Friday, February 25, 2011

Women, Wine...and Inspiration!

Left: Gallery Owner Debbie Campbell is joined by Intertwined Creator Camine Pappas and Intertwined Artist Cynthia Howard. Middle: Event goers enjoy a display of each of the Intertwined verses.
Descending down the stairs into Providence Fine Art Gallery in Charlotte, NC, this week was like entering a different world. The popular gallery, owned by Debbie Campbell was humming with conversation, laughter, the sound of wine being uncorked and poured, and the soft whisper of paint brushes gliding across gleaming, white canvases.
It all centered around the very special event on the 22nd and 23rd of February held by Networking, Women and Wine, a Charlotte based networking group formed in 2008 by Camine Pappas. The event heralded the beginning of a new way to "say it with the vine in mind!" as Camine (creator and author of Intertwined) and artist Cynthia Howard celebrated the unveiling of the "Intertwined" gift card series.

What is so different about wine, a greeting card line and women? Plenty. The card line, which offers powerful sentiments set against a background of beautiful paintings of grape clusters and vines, was launched with eight, inspiring messages. Aptly and poignantly themed with titles such as, "Bursting With Promise," "Peace Will Return," and "I Choose To Forgive," the greetings articulate the words of encouragement and wisdom that women love to share. The twist is that each message is said as though the vine itself is speaking from deep within her viniferous soul.

Why? By blending the timeless beauty and wisdom of the vine with the strength, diversity and journey of women, fans of the vineyard can share their sentiments through powerful poetry and art and literally, "say it with the vine in mind™." The hope is that women will attach themselves to this universal metaphor and see that our collective experiences are mirrored by the vine through graceful, powerful and triumphant words, to find the possibility and potential built into each one of us.

Joining in the event were wine sponsors Tryon Distributing and Mutual Distributing  who poured, respectively, the popular Women of the Vine wines on Tuesday, and the whimsical Middle Sister Wines on Wednesday. The wine was provided by D'Vine Wine Cafe in Ballantyne, multiple winner of the City Search Best of Charlotte "Best Wine List" award, and managed by Justin Boudrie.
However, it was the musings of the attendees that most aptly described the theme of the evening. "I see myself in these words!" shared one woman who brought three of her friends to enjoy the festivities.

"You have said what we are all thinking and never had the words to say.." was another powerful quote.

All in all, over 130 attendees found themselves sipping wine, making new friends, and becoming Intertwined in a very special way. If you want to become a part of Networking, Women and Wine, FRIEND us on Facebook and learn more about how to "BeIntertwined." You will receive updates, invitations and more connection through the best vine of all, the friendship of like-minded women.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Fidgeting About the Feminine Mystique (and Musings on My Favorite Things)

I love buying dishes. Micky spoke to me at Target.
 I couldn't sleep last night. I imagine it was due to several reasons not the least of which are my changing hormonal signals. Add to that all of the things I'm having to juggle today plus the anticipated opening and unveiling of my new card line tomorrow and Wednesday. It's enough to give a girl adult acne. --  Ahhhh, it's so fun to be a girl. (?)

But then again, maybe it is? For all the complaining we seem to so easily channel aren't there some pretty exciting reasons to be happy about being a woman no matter what the REM patterns?

First of all, there are the esoteric reasons. I love lipstick, shoes and handbags. And, it is so fun to buy dishes. Really, I absolutely love shopping for dishes. I could feed the YMCA in one, mis-matched sitting, but still. They're all so cute! And then there is this uncontrollable urge to shriek when I see a group of more than 3 girlfriends. I'm not fond of sitting next to those cackling groups of overly excited, estrogen charged parties, but when I'm in the circle? I make noises like a music box on speed.

The real reasons I love being a women are much more varied. I like the fact that both sides of my brain can work together when I'm dealing with an issue. I love how it feels to nurture and care for others in a maternal way. I enjoy the fact that people rely on you to share whatever is in your pocketbook whether it be lip gloss, or change for a 5 dollar bill. But most of all I love that we are so complex and varied. Each of us has a story, a struggle, and that ever present question that bobbles around in our head's 24-7. We play with those same problems forever and yet when a friend comes to us for advice, our concise wisdom spews out in even, measured words that must be heeded.

One of the reasons I created the verses in the Intertwined line is a celebration of those traits, but with a twist. For all our femininity and its similarities with the vine, we must look more closely at how much we resist the change we despise, the aging we dread, and the trials we are surrounded by.

The grape? When faced with these issues it simply adapts and does so happily. And the result is often a wine with more complexity, awe and enjoyment. I like how that sounds.

Yeah, I couldn't sleep last night. But I did see a beautiful moon and watched a deer cross through my yard in the morning light while I was rearranging my sock drawer. Girl-issues? Bring 'em on.