Sunday, July 31, 2011

Antiques Roadshow Recap

   Sorry it has taken me so long to report back about the Roadshow experience. 
I picked up a part time job waiting tables and a couple of shifts at the Wild Hare Beadery this week so I have been swamped with "other work."

   The Roadshow was a lot of fun and it was also a lot of waiting, about 2 1/2 hours.
We arrived at 9:30 and stood in one line then got into the area where you talk to the appraisers and had to stand in two separate lines. One for jewelry and one for "military and militia."

   The necklace I took wasn't of much value and the appraiser didn't tell me anything I didn't already know. I was hoping they would be able to tell me where it came from or at least what part of the country they thought it came from. He said it might be worth $100 depending on the market I sold it in. 
All that being said, I have decided to take the chain off and make it a beaded necklace to add some "oomph" to the piece. That would make it worth more too... but value doesn't matter because this piece is staying with me in and my jewelry collection ; )

   The whole experience was fun. There were some very interesting people and items at the show. Seeing the set and meeting the appraisers was really cool too. I keep pointing out which ones I met when Matt and I watch the shows that are airing on PBS right now.
After we returned to our hotel I learned that the highest appraisal for Antiques Roadshow was given at the Tulsa show. You can read more about it in the Tulsa World.

   I haven't shared the story of how we got the tickets to the show. Matt, my husband, is supposed to write about it on the blog I started for our wedding. So if you are interested in hearing it you might check our blog later today or this week.
UPDATE: August 10th, Matt finally wrote the story. It is awesome and it is on our personal blog... see links above!

This is me sporting my special piece for a Bella Vita event, you can kind of see it behind my hair. Photo by Abraham Savyong

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Guess Where I AM GOING??!!!???!!

and I'm taking this...

If you (or someone you know) knows anthing about this wonderful necklace feel free to share. 
I thought it might be Native American but am not so sure about that anymore. I feel like it is an "artist" piece. I do know that it is from some people from the West and that they also had some turquoise jewelry... that is all.
I think it is a jasper stone and I am sure it is sterling silver.
I'll be sure to tell you what I find out!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


While on vacation I ran across some beautiful feathers. I think they are probably from the 70's, judging by the dust on the boxes they were stored in!

All these pieces are designed exclusively for Ultra Studios in Fayetteville, Arkansas and should arrive there next week. If you are interested in a pair contact me or the store. I can also make custom feather jewelry... I have a ton of feathers now!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

$100 Bella Vita Gift Certificate Giveaway

For the month of July I will be hosting a giveaway on my social media sites (facebook, blog, twitter). The giveaway is for a $100 Bella Vita gift certificate.
You can enter the contest several ways:
-become a fan of Bella Vita on Facebook (1 entry)
-after you are a fan, share my page with all your friends. (1 entry) 
-follow Bella Vita on Twitter (1 entry)
-once you become a follower, tweet about Bella Vita. (1 entry)
-follow the Bella Vita Blog (1 entry)
      -comment on blog posts (1 entry per comment)
Each time you share, tweet or comment make sure you send an email to: This is very important so I know to enter your name the appropriate amount of times. I will hold the drawing on July 31st.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Wedding: July 4th, 2011

  After throwing around a hundred ideas of how/where/when we should get married we agreed on eloping on July 4th. This was a very special date for me, it is my Dad's parents wedding anniversary. Deciding this on June 29th meant we had A LOT of planning to do in a short period of time. It also didn't help that we live in a town where we know hardly anyone... 
After a few phone calls to ministers and photographers that weren't available we started doubting that we could pull it off on the 4th. 
But, things started to turn around and we worked it all out! Matt's good friend Mike, from Texas ended up preforming the ceremony for us.  We got married on the campus of the University of Oklahoma under an arbor of wisteria in the gardens outside of the building Matt's department is in. We had two friends present as witnesses and Brooke (Mike's wife) as our photographer. The service was beautiful as were the vows. 
After the ceremony we returned to our house for a toast and to sign the papers and then headed to lunch.

  We are planning our wedding party/reception for September 10th in Harrison, Arkansas. I am hoping to save all the photos from our special day for the party in September. But, I am terrible at keeping secrets (and fibbing), so we'll see how long it lasts. Until then, here is a sneak peek at a picture I really like. It gives away just enough : )

Mr. and Mrs. McNair
  Everyone keeps asking what the rush is? Well, after 4 1/2 years together we decided it was just silly that we weren't official! So now we are and couldn't be more excited to start this new chapter in life. Of all the congratulations and well wishes we have received, I think my favorite has been "welcome to the dance."

Vacation to Asheville, North Carolina... a.k.a. the Proposal!

  Matt and I had been planning our trip to Asheville, NC for quite a while. Our good friends Matt and Maggie live out there and we were due a visit. 

  We left on a Monday and arrived at our destination on Tuesday afternoon. We spent our first day bumming around the downtown area, shopping, drinking local beers and trying local restaurants. 

Matt bought me this sunflower at a farmer's market we stumbled upon. It got a lot of attention, everyone complimented it... and he earned his share of brownie points for the day.  
  Day two of our vacation was quite possibly the best day ever. The plan was to climb Mt. LeConte in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. Mt LeConte is the third highest peak in the Smoky Mountains at 6,583 ft. The day started out rainy, cloudy and pretty gloomy but Matt and Matt assured me of a back up plan in case we got to the trail and it was still raining. Everything worked out beautifully, we hit the trail around 10 a.m. and hiked the 5 miles UP the mountain. I got a little whiny somewhere around 3.5 miles into it... I was ready for my peanut butter and banana sandwich! 
  But, Matt kept pushing me and encouraging me to keep going so we could get to the special spot the other Matt had scouted out on a previous hike. 
Well, we are getting closer and I stumble upon a look out platform, then I am told that we are having a surprise lunch at the Lodge right next door. All of this sounds great to me, I am just in shock that there are cabins and a Lodge at the top of the mountain. We all settle in to the cozy Lodge and eat our soup and sandwiches and sip hot chocolate. I am pretty sure that I kept talking about what a great surprise the hot lunch was! The top of the mountain was pretty chilly, maybe low 50's. 
  We sit and visit and finish our lunches and then my Matt gets up to go outside in a nervous manner! At this point I am very suspicious of what is about to happen. Honestly, my suspicions grew as we climbed the mountain. Matt returns from the restroom and we all go outside on the deck to admire the view and take some pictures. Then in the midst of changing into dry socks and shuffling wet shoes around I am informed that there is some "extra weight" in our backpack. All of a sudden Matt is on one knee proposing to me! Of course my answer was "YES." We all talked, laughed and celebrated. Of course Matt and Maggie knew all about the surprise. They planned accordingly and had a bottle of wine and cups for us to toast to. All of it was absolutely perfect and such a surprise to me.
It was fun to talk about all the conversations leading up to the top of the mountain. I was kind of rushed to the top and wasn't allowed to talk to the passer-byers in case they wanted to talk about the lodge, wasn't able to read any of the trail signs etc. etc. :)
  I did talk to one lady and she told me "there is something special about the top." I couldn't agree more, luckily we ran into each other again at the Lodge and I told her my news. I snapped a lot of pictures but pictures don't capture the beauty of being up in the mountains. I imagine this will be a place we return to visit quite often.
Matt and I in front of the Lodge we had lunch at. I love how they change the date everyday! The Lodge doesn't have electricity and the groceries are brought up by a pack of llamas!!!

6,500 feet up! Breathtaking!

Matt and Maggie Reynolds, Matt and I.
  The rest of our vacation was very pleasant. We spent more time bumming around Asheville, I did a show in Pack Square on Saturday and then on Sunday we paddled the French Broad River.
  Paddling was very exciting! We opted for duckies (similar to a kayak but you sit on top, kind of hard to explain...) I haven't ever gone down a river in a boat on my own until this trip. It was a great and exciting challenge.
After the river we cleaned up and headed to town for dinner. We had reservations at the new tapas restaurant, Curate. It was wonderful, a must try if you are in the area!

  Monday we started our journey home... in a Northern kind of way. We headed to Boone, NC to meet with a shop that was interested in carrying my jewelry. We started out on the Blue Ridge Parkway but opted for the highway that was a bit quicker. I loved this drive, it was absolutely gorgeous! North Carolina and Tennessee remind me a lot of Arkansas but with bigger hills and mountains. 

Somewhere outside of Boone, headed to Johnson City, TN.
  After that we made our journey home to spend a day with our families and to announce the good news!