Saturday, December 26, 2009

Twas the Day After Christmas

and all through the shop there were visitors visiting and browsing around.  It was hustling and bustling throughout the downtown, as overstuffed people walked off each extra Christmas pound.  They shopped for themselves, and wanted some glass, artistically crafted and artfully made.   We welcomed them pleasantly, eyes all aglow, hoping to finish the year with nothing more displayed.
The shelves would be empty and ready for the New Year, when all the new art would suddenly appear!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Holidays in this season...Part Two Christmas

 Cape Fear Community College Musicians performing at the Cotton Exchange
Six days away...people scurrying through shops...visiting friends...wrapping gifts...baking cookies...finding family recipes...shipping last minute...fighting traffic...singing carols...writing cards...packing suitcases...throwing parties...watching football...stressing out 
take time to understand...

reprinted from wikipedia

Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual holiday, celebrated on December 25, and commemorates the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. Christmas is central to the Christmas and holiday season, and in Christianity marks the beginning of the larger season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days.  The remembrance and re-enactment of the Nativity in the Christian celebration of Christmas signifies the belief that Jesus is the "Christ" or Messiah promised by the Old Testament. The main religious celebration among members of the Catholic Church and other Christian groups is the Church service at midnight on Christmas Eve or on the morning of Christmas Day. During the forty days leading up to Christmas, the Eastern Orthodox Church practices the nativity Fast, while the majority of Christian congregations (including the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion, many Mainline churches, and Baptists) begin observing the liturgical season of Advent four Sundays before Christmas—both are seen as times of spiritual cleansing, recollection and renewal to prepare for the celebration of the birth of Jesus.
Christmastide is one of the seasons of the liturgical year of most Christian churches. It tends to be defined (with slight variations) as the period from Christmas Eve to the evening of January 5th, the day before Epiphany. This period is also commonly known as the Twelve Days of Christmas, as referred to in the Christmas carol of the same name, or Yuletide, as in "Deck the Halls".
In the Church of England, however, Christmastide includes Epiphany and ends at Candlemas in early February, which celebrates the Presentation of Jesus Christ at the Temple. This is in keeping with the traditional liturgical significance of Forty Days. In the Roman Catholic Church, since Vatican II in the early 1960s, the Christmas season runs a shorter period, from Christmas Eve evening to the Sunday after Epiphany, the commemoration of the Baptism of the Lord, after which Ordinary Time begins.
During the season, various festivities are traditionally enjoyed and buildings decorated. In some countries, by superstition it has become bad luck to leave the decorations up after Twelfth Night.
Popular modern customs of the holiday include gift-giving, music, an exchange of greeting cards, church, celebrations, a special meal, and the display of various decorations; including Christmas trees, lights, and garlands, mistletoe, nativity scenes, and holly. In addition, Father Christmas (known as Santa Claus in some areas, including North America, Australia and Ireland) is a popular mythological figure in many countries, associated with the bringing of gifts for children.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Holidays in this season...Part One Hanukkah

Hanukkah starts at sundown next Friday, December 11th and continues for eight days.  As the first celebration in what we all consider a "holiday season" I thought I would provide a little insight and background into the origin and rituals of each one.  At Crescent Moon we make it a point to familiarize ourselves with the items used in the celebrations because it pretty much means one of our artists or maybe several have created unique works of art glass from them.  Our Hanukkah menorahs are a part of our complete Judaica line in the shop.  Artists such as Andrew Jackson Pollack, Tamara Baskin and Sara Beames have become favorites here.  Read on...

reprinted from About.Com:Judaism
The festival of Hanukkah (also spelled Chanukah) was established to commemorate the Jewish Maccabees' military victory over the Greek-Syrians and the re-dedication of the Second Temple, which had been desecrated by the Greek-Syrians, to the worship of God. Thus, Hanukkah is a celebration of Jewish national survival and religious freedom.

Celebrating Hanukkah
In commemoration of these miracles, a Hanukkah Menorah (also called a Hanukkiah) is lit during each of the eight nights of Hanukkah. Lighting the Hanukkah Menorah is the central observance of the festival. One candle is lit the first night, and an additional candle is lit each successive night. Thus, on the last night of Hanukkah, all eight candles of the Hanukkiah are lit. The candles should be lit by a window or door in order to fulfill the commandment to "publicize the miracle." While lighting the candles, blessings are recited and the ancient chant Hanerot Hallalu is traditionally sung. After lighting the candles, it is a tradition to sing Maoz Tzur.

Hanukkah is a fun festival, especially for children. After lighting the Hanukkah candles together, families (and often invited guests) will eat and play games. Traditional Hanukkah food is oil-rich in commemoration of the miracle of the oil that burned for eight days. Potato pancakes (Latkas in Yiddish, Livivot in Hebrew) are a Hanukkah favorite. Israelis eat Hanukkah doughnuts called soofganiot. Dreidel (sivovon in Hebrew) is a traditional Hanukkah game, with game rules so simple that the whole family, from toddlers to grandparents can play together. The custom of giving Hanukkah gelt (money) to children has evolved into a gift-giving tradition in many Jewish families today.

Here are some of the Hanukkah items currently on display here at Crescent Moon.

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Day Off...One of Thanksgiving

I cried because I had no shoes
Until I saw a man who had no feet.

That is a phrase that stays with me always for many reasons.  Six years ago I shattered my right foot almost beyond repair.  But a fine surgeon put it back together again.  When it aches and I need my walking stick at night, I remind myself that I have my foot.  Five years ago I lost my mom on Thanksgiving Eve.  It was hard to approach the day in the next years without some grief erupting. I remind myself now that she was there in my life for 49 years and 87 on earth.

2009 has been tough for so many, and it is easy to get lost in your own challenges.  But there is always someone that is being challenged more.  Those who have lost their footing.

So this Thanksgiving Thursday, a rare day off for Mike and I, we will give thanks for so much.  Our safe country, our soldiers that protect us relentlessly, my in-laws at age 87 each, and the freedom to own our own business and pursue our passion.

So a parade, some football, a walk, and a casual quiet dinner, just the two of us, will make our day.
Happy Thanksgiving...take time to remember.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

One Of These Days...

Fess Up!  How many of us have said that?  Probably each person reading this.  Whether it was in talking about a special trip to a far off place or leaving a less than enthusiastic job and starting a new second career.  Hey we heard it all the time when Mike or I would talk about living on our boat for 4 years.  "One of these days, my wife and I want to do that, and cruise the The Loop."

Martha Eggerton and Ted Humphries said it repeatedly over Friday cocktails with their respective spouses on the back deck.  They dreamed that "one of these days" they would be able to blow glass here in Wilmington.  Out of that dream, OTD Studios was born in 2005.  Fast forward five years and Crescent Moon is proud to showcase their art glass bowls and vases.  I just love these stories.
Moral here is:  You Can Do It...If You Dream It!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Hey Mikey...You Like It...

Remember the commercials for LIFE cereal?   The big boys shove the cereal bowl over to little Mikey who casually spoons a few morsels from the bowl and then a little more and then the boys who are amazed exclaim...He Likes It! 

Well, my Mike, who does not consider himself the glass artist as yet...Likes It.  The studio time that is to make his ornaments.  He likes working with glass and he is getting good.  I consider him an artist and so do our wonderful customers.  Last week alone we sold over 8 of his ornaments.

Mike likes owning Crescent Moon too!  Whether it is working the gallery floor or networking at night.  Mikey Likes It!
So I invite you to come in and judge for yourself if Mike is an artist.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Keeping it Local...

My time spent with our social networking on Facebook and Twitter is time well spent.  It has introduced us to many local businesses that we might not have known about otherwise.  See, with working seven days a week, we don't get out much, ("wink").  One great example of a connection we made on Facebook was our "friending" with Old Growth Riverwood, a local husband and wife wood working enterprise.  Old Growth Riverwood located in Castle Hayne, reclaims lost pieces of history and transforms them into unique and beautiful wood products for home or business.  When I read that on their website an idea immediately popped into my head.  We were planning a new display area in the shop, so why not contact Chris at Old Growth Riverwood for shelving.  Well, the rest is history now, literally.  The display is finished and all the shelves are historical...reclaimed from the bottom of the Cape Fear River.  Over a hundred years ago, these logs were cut from trees somewhere upriver and were floated down to mills to become lumber.  The logs were rafted together, but the heavier dense logs sank to the bottom of the Cape Fear.  Now they are wonderful heart pine wood shelves floating on the walls of our shop.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Catching Up with New Artists

Is there such a thing a bloggers block? Looking at the last post date, I think I came down with a case of it. But I'm re-focused, refreshed and ready to write. Some exciting new artists have joined Crescent Moon. Let me introduce them.

Ted Sam
ple was a 25 year glass blower with Steuben Glass in New York state until he and his fam
ily relocated to North Carolina a few years ago. He is blowing glass again out of our favorite studio on Castle Street, RDG Designs, owned by Jane Greer. Mike assists him in the studio and some wonderful designs are happening. His latest... Lemon Yellow Vase...shown to the left is stunning and priced at $110 Look for more postings on Ted and his work soon.

Meet Jennifer Thomas, a local artist from Castle Hayne. Jennifer walked into Crescent Moon earlier this week and wowed us with her simple, yet artistic ornaments. We are thrilled to be the first gallery to introduce her work. Using stained glass and putting her own painted twist on the designs, she embellishes them nicely and wraps up the whole package with a stenciled box. Makes the perfect gift for $30 each. There are 5 styles: Drop, Oval, Paisley, Mushroom and Frame. Shown below are Drop and Paisley . Come in and welcome Jennifer by buying an original.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

when size doesn't matter

When size doesn’t matter…

Our introduction started like this “And now for our next five NICHE Top Retailers of 2009, the galleries range from 5000 square feet to simply 465 square feet”. A few gasps were distinctly heard from behind us. FOUR HUNDRED and SIXTY FIVE square feet? Unheard of for a gallery. Exactly…that’s why when we were called to the podium to accept this wonderful award we were described in our words as “the little glass shop with a big attitude”. Right on!

That was Sunday night, August 2nd at the NICHE Magazine’s award ceremony at the Pennsylvania Convention Center during the Buyers Market of American Craft, the nation’s largest wholesale craft show.

Four days later and we are still on cloud nine and feeling pretty honored. It’s all in the numbers when you look at it from afar, our four hundred and sixty square feet of space represents ninety nine percent North American craft from seventy artists at any time, has three employees including the two owners, us, and now was named one of twenty five Top Retailers for 2009 from over six hundred nominees throughout North America.

If I may say so myself that’s quite a feat for two ex-corporate suit types who have taken on a whole new unfamiliar career within the last three years.

To be honored with this award a retailer of craft had to show commitment to fair business practices and commitment to growing and strengthening the North American Craft community. Nowhere did the qualifications say you had to be big. The commitment and the passion can come in a small package just like our little glass shop.

Mike and my sincere appreciation must go to our fabulously talented artists and our ever-loyal customers who have not only made us a success but make our life fun! As Mike said at the podium…”Goes to show you don’t have to be the biggest to be one of the best”! Right On!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Immortalized Literally!

Crescent Moon and the Lochs have been immortalized forever in print. Thousands of readers of Ellen Elizabeth Hunter’s latest novel Murder at The Bellamy Mansion will read a scene staged at Crescent Moon. Wow. It is so cool to find a different form of promotion, a lasting one at that, and have it benefit a good cause. The good cause is Kids Making It, a non-profit, helping Wilmington’s kids at risk learn woodworking to keep them off the streets and build their self-esteem. At their first annual fundraiser in 2008 we bid on Ellen’s generous donation to write the winner into her next murder mystery in the Cape Fear region and won.

Ellen was a pleasure to meet in person, when she came by to scout out and research how Crescent Moon and yours truly, Joan and Mike would fit into the plot. As it happened, one of the main characters, Melanie Wilkes, decides to shop for a special thank you gift for a client at Crescent Moon and chooses one of their much revered art glass jellyfish by artist Rick Satava.

What will be our next adventure...a movie perhaps?

Murder at Bellamy Mansion was released in July and Ellen’s first book signing is July 16th at Bellamy Mansion at 7pm. Buy a signed copy and 10% goes to Bellamy Mansion.

If you miss that opportunity, don’t fret, Two Sisters Bookery, here at the Cotton Exchange will have more copies. Mention Crescent Moon’s blog and you will receive 10% off the $15 price. Go to

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Art of the Glass

Simply some of the most gorgeous new art glass added to the gallery! Variegated Gold Perfume Bottle with Gecko by Seth Parks of Maine, Deco Art Flowers by Elodie Holmes of New Mexico and Fused Glass Kites by Lisa Yogt of Florida. Stay tuned for more new art being introduced at Crescent Moon.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Discovered Talent

When you meet someone talented and fascinating you know it. That’s how it was when Val Johnson first walked into Crescent Moon. We could tell he was looking for something in particular but didn’t want to interrupt his browsing right away. Then we noticed the cane he had. The carved details left little room for words. When we struck up a conversation with Val we learned that carving a cane that he would need one on his feet again was therapy for him. Bedridden during many months of rehab and physical therapy for a severe knee injury left him lots of time on his hands. For such a young man who was a avid sportsman and hiker those months were difficult. But from that challenge came a talent uncovered.

Each section of the cane represents a significant time in Val’s life he said. Someday we’d love to hear the details. The handle of the cane needed to be completed and Val was specific in his vision for it. A glass marble art piece representing the universe.

Josh Simpson’s large Inhabited Planet was the perfect choice. It fit Val’s palm of his hand and only Josh depicts the essence of the universe in his planets, exactly the vision Val had. He has promised to come back and show us the planet fully affixed to the top of his cane. Talking with him, we’ve learned he may start carving more and selling his work. We only have words of encouragement for him.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

It's a Family and Friend Affair

Put to music and this title would sound pretty familiar, right? Here at Crescent Moon we are hitting all the right notes and friends and family are part of the band. Mike started apprenticing in glass blowing last year and has since spent time honing his craft. He doesn't get many hours to do this, since he is active in running the shop and most of the time spent at the studio is as the assistant to one or another glass blower. Assisting is the best way to learn.
He brought this wonderful blue vase to the shop last week and it shows how far he has come.

Anne Bartlett is my sister, the pretty one, and since our purchasing the shop, has discovered her love for glass too. Working with fused glass her dichroic pendants have become a favorite item since their introduction. Talented family so far! Anne's studio Serendipity is in her home in Wilmington.

Friends included here. Lynn Donofrio and "Me" have embarked on unleashing hidden talents recently. Our method of choice is hand-painted glass art. Not as easy as one imagines. Just getting started we are practicing painting techniques and let me tell you...leaves are hard. But the laughs and good times we are having make the mistakes all worth it. I convinced Lynn and myself that our first "vases" deserved to be showcased in the shop. So here they are. Would all the real artists please try not to roll on the floor laughing. :)

Mike and I are fortunate to be loving our work and our hobbies, and we have more family and many friends that you never know may want to tap into their artistic sides. There will be a place in the gallery for each and every one.

"Do what you love. Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still." Henry David Thoreau

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


We are asked frequently at Crescent Moon on how someone would go about displaying or hanging their art glass ornaments. That one question sometimes catches me by surprise, because at Crescent Moon we have our art glass displayed every way we can think of. That is not the typical situation for your home however. We do suggest to anyone decorating with art glass to think outside of the normal table displays.

We have several display hangers that you can extend from a sturdy cup or “j” hook inserted in the ceiling, wall, or window frame. The size of the hook needed will depend on the weight of the glass object.

For solid surfaces such as a stud, simply drill and screw the “j” hook into the wall stud or ceiling beam. But if the surface is hollow, you will need to drill and insert a plastic anchor into the hole and then screw in the “j” hook. Anchors and hooks can be found at the hardware store.

Here are some examples of displays. Have fun with your decorating and add a little surprise of color to an unexpected place in your home. Glass catches the light from your windows and lighting like no other 3D art and catches the eye as well.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Another New Beginning

The blog has been silent and I have been absent. We are dirt dwellers once again and my mind and body are totally absorbed in the many tasks required to set up a full household. Running from store to store, I’ve stimulated the Wilmington economy with my purchases on multiple trash cans, laundry accessories, cleaning dusters, mops, brooms, wands, cloths and rugs, drawer organizers, and last but not least, bubble bath for enjoying our new soaking tub. There will be projects of course, lovely ones like painting, caulking here and there, building shelves, and replacing faucets. The task we’re looking forward to the most however, is decorating with our art glass. Our new home showcases like a gallery with perfect architectural points and excellent lighting. Platters, jellyfish, orbs and vases will be placed throughout. Fan Pulls and finials will grace the lighting. Nightlights will illuminate the halls and chimes will hang on the porch.

House living is new and exciting for us. Seems silly to some I’m sure, just as moving and living aboard our boat was 4 years ago. That was exciting and new then too. Buying a shop called Crescent Moon 2 years ago was exciting and new. Every choice we’ve made has been refreshing and fits Mike and I and our personalities. Everyone should add something new and exciting to their lives occasionally. It’s stimulating!

Next I’ve heard is the Harley…

Saturday, February 28, 2009


Making a significant change in your life or taking a risk that may seem crazy to everyone around you, and feeling good about it, is not something that is taught or coached in a class or seminar. The "feeling good about it" simply comes from the gut. At least that has been our experience. And we are feeling good about our decision to become dirt dwellers again and have bought a lovely home in Wilmington's Masonboro area. This means we will move off our dear Quiescent which I've described and blogged about previously. It is for sale and we are getting quite a few interested inquiries on it. So there are transactions happening both in home and boat real estate and that is good news.

Living aboard Quiescent and traveling the ICW in 2005-2006 is an experience that Mike and I agree we will never regret. Many individuals and couples put off doing what they talk about, always putting another milestone in their path to accomplish before embarking on their plans, and subsequently often lose the opportunity. Maybe foolishly to some, we tend to jump right in. When the guts tell us it's right. Quiescent has allowed us to meet many new friends while traveling, experience sunsets that were awe inspiring and gave us "a story" to tell our customers when we strike up a conversation with them. No, we don't regret a moment. Well, maybe the moments when I blow fuses trying to use too many burners and the oven at one time, or the coffee pot is brewing and I plug in the blow dryer. But those pale to all the other wonderful times we've had with friends and family aboard cruising NJ and the Cape Fear region.

So this transition in our lives once again must mean I will need to change part of our blog purpose and shift all my focus to our glass and shop. Well, Mike has never been without a boat since he was eight, and we do have a kayak still, so there will always be a little bit of our love of the water in my musings.

Here are a few of our boats we've enjoyed.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Off to the Show

The Buyers Market of American Craft is this weekend in Philadelphia and we will be there walking the aisles in awe of the numerous glass artists with their work smartly displayed with just the right lighting enticing me to spend more than our budget allows. The economy this time around will certainly weigh on our decisions on how many new artists to add to the shop and which artists' work will offer the best choice for our customers who are cutting expenses along with all of us.

Even with the serious business of making our choices, this show is still a highlight of our year. We learn so much from talking with our artists about their craft and simply enjoy being in the company of such magnificent work.

Another perk to the trip is combining visits with family and friends since we are from southern New Jersey. So tomorrow we will head out Rt 40 to that great interstate 95 and make our pilgrimage north and hope all the way that the weather will be on our side.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Josh Simpson - New Work

Many in the glass world know Josh Simpson. You easily recognize his extraordinary “planets”, and Blue New Mexico glass. His work and name are associated with many fine museums and galleries worldwide. What you may not know about Josh is his fascination with space. Incidentally he is married to Cady Coleman, a space astronaut with an extensive biography of shuttle trips and adventures. Together they intrigue me because they appear to be so down to earth (couldn’t resist), so approachable and willing to invite you into their lives by detailing their passions through several video productions.

As an artist Josh likes to challenge himself and will come up with new work each year or have a project to undertake. From his staff you get the impression he has a great sense of humor and studio days are sometimes full of surprises.

His new glass this year is “Corona”. Josh has stated that he likes to translate some of the wonder of the Universe into his work. That is exactly what the new Corona pieces do. When we received our latest order for planets and vases, we received a Corona platter and bowl accompanied by a photo from the Hubble satellite that undoubtedly inspired Josh. The rich color distribution with earthy hues and then a splash of vibrant purple blended and swirled expertly allows you to view it as a piece of the universe only a few get to see close up.

Customers will always find a large selection of Josh's inhabited planets, gravitrons, and vessels here at Crescent Moon. It is something personal to pick up and hold, touch and then gravitate to the certain piece that captivates you. You will be captivated!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Rick Satava - New Work

Most of our customers know that Rick Satava's jellyfish are one of the favorite pieces of our glass art for many who visit. I've blogged about them early on and commented that people bring relatives in just to show them our shelf of jellies. We do keep an impressive amount on display, I must say. Now the one wish of many has come true. Rick is producing "mini" jellies that stand 4.5" tall and retail for $260. Previously the smallest available was a 6.5" jelly retailing at $440-$480. The small stature does not take away from any of the qualities of jellyfish. The translucency of the jelly "domes" and the three-D affects of the "legs" are maintained. It is such a wonderful addition to his line and perfect for our customers who have longed to own a Satava "jelly". We already have orders for the mini Blue Moon and Pacific colors. Speaking of colors, Rick has added a Ribbed Purple to his colors. We haven't seen it yet and we are eagerly awaiting the arrival.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


Friday night was the coldest night we ever spent on the boat. But it was pretty cozy in our aft cabin with the zoned heating on. Just a little frosty in the aft head if you happened to need to visit it in the middle of the night! Avoiding cold nights and months in New Jersey while living on our boat was the main reason we came south in the fall of 2005. Sure looking forward to the Carolina spring time.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

NC Coastal Person of The Year Awards

Paige Somervell, Marketing Manager for Wilmington Cape Fear Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau, wandered in one day last week and seemed to me to be on a mission. It turned out I was right. She was given the task to find something that would represent the coast and would serve as an award to be presented to three very active "Persons of The Year" who promote the coast for their region. An inscribed plate needed to be attached commemorating this honor in each of their names. Paige was immediately drawn to one of our local artists, Richard Bunting's, conch shells that are solid glass blown pieces in rich vibrant colors and range in petite size to extra large size. This choice fit for many reasons because of it's a shell representing the coastal waters and Richard being a local artist. Now the task was to find a way to make it into an award presentation piece. Paige and I brainstormed, first considering mounting the piece on a low acrylic base and soon discarding that idea. I thought of using clear stained glass that would give the base a "water" look. Mike works in stained glass and had just the right pieces in his studio. After cutting them and placing the silver inscribed plates on them, the shells are perfect as an award. We were so pleased to work with Paige, and have learned that Richard's shells will be used again next year. Richard and Mike, his assistant in the studio, will work on a one-piece sculpture incorporating the base for next year.

The recipients are Al Delia, Kim Hufham, and Penny Leary. Congratulations to each from Mike and I. Enjoy your beautiful art glass shell

Sunday, January 4, 2009

On My Game

I promised that some of my Philadelphia Eagles fan frustration might surface in future blogs way back in September. Well here I sit alone watching them play the Vikings in the playoffs with the score Eagles 16 and Vikings 14 in the 4th quarter and chewing my nails to pieces. I want this win for McNabb soooo badly because it's been a tough year for him. I'm always loyal to our quarterbacks.

But that has nothing to do with glass art or boats...oops Sheldon almost picked off a throw. darn Back to art. Our shelves and cupboards are bare after the holiday sales! I'm placing orders with our artists to...omg Westbrook scores, yeah! Five minutes to go in the 4th and its 23 to 14. I think I'll get back to the art later.

Stay tuned...