Visiting The Artist

Saturday is the day we go exploring, so we try to do something fun that corresponds well with the weather conditions. That means we take day trips to the mountains often in the summer months. This past Saturday, we visited Alta Vista Gallery in Valle Crucis, North Carolina. My sweet friend and exceptional artist, Monique Carr, has an exhibit of her work there until October 14th.

Mr. Mickey has many pieces of original art. He also has a photograph of himself with many of the artists, including Red Skelton. Add Monique to the collection!

The photo above shows a collage of some of Monique’s work hanging in my kitchen so that I can enjoy it every day.

Later in the day, we joined friends for dinner at one of our favorite places. Redtail Mountain is just a few minutes away from Valle Crucis and Boone, so it was an easy beautiful drive. Our dinner at Vistas Land & Sea Grille was perfect, as always.

I was thrilled to see the “mascot” for the resort soaring over our heads while waiting for our friends to arrive. The Redtail Hawk is a majestic bird of prey.

My look for the day included a royal blue jacket trimmed in black. It is very lightweight and can be worn as a jacket or as a shirt on a warmer day. It is by Moonlight via

When we spend the day traveling around the area, I take a large tote to hold all the things I might need. The tote is by Coach, and it is at least thirty years old. I polish it every year and store it stuffed with paper when not in use. With care, high-quality purchases can last for many years. I choose classic styles so that they don’t have to be replaced with every passing trend. The suede shoes I wore are by Louise Et Cie, and they are about five years old. The shoes I took with me in case I wanted to change into flats are by J. Reneé. I also took one of my favorite large silk scarves. If the jacket had become too warm during the day, I could have removed it and draped the scarf around my shoulders. If I had become too cool in the evening, it could have been used as a wrap over the jacket.

If my windblown hair looks especially full and shiny, it is because I have started using the Volume and Shape Collection from Beautycounter here. I am thrilled with the results!

  1. I always love reading your blog. You inspire me to take better care of myself, dress nicely, and live simpler. Your travel pics have convinced me that my husband and I need to visit the area in hopes of moving there when the kids are on their own! 🙂

  2. You are so right about buying quality items that last. I’m a great lover of Coach handbags and have several, one that I’ve had for 30+ years also. Did you know that Coach will repair and refurbish their bags for free? Ralph Lauren is a favorite as well.

    Have a great weekend you can share with us next week. 😉

  3. I appreciate the what ifs of your blog, scarf, flat shoes and how they all corrdinate, I am in the process of de cluttering my home, and my personal wardrobe is next! Can you share how you purged and what your closet/ basics look like now? I need a starting place!

  4. Hello Susan
    I have a couple of similar jackets in royal blue and red with gold and black buttons. Question: do you use many products from Beautycounter? Have you checked the ingredients used by Beautycounter??
    I checked the EWG’S Healthy Living- Environmental Working Group.
    Have a wonderful weekend Susan!

    1. Yes, I have checked the ingredients. Not all natural ingredients are safe and not all lab made ingredients are harmful. I have been very happy with all of the Beautycounter products I have used. I have sensitive skin and fine hair. So far everything has been much better behaved after Beautycounter.

  5. Susan — Thank you for visiting Alta Vista Gallery again — and for blogging about it. I’m so happy that you love it here and that you love your art from here by Monique Carr. I always enjoy visiting with you! All of your photos here are great!

  6. Hello Susan, I’ve been following you for a few years now and enjoy all the information. Youhave given us all so many wonderful tips on clothes, jewelry, makeup, and living a full life. Thank you! I was getting your blog by email but they stopped a couple of weeks ago, not sure why. I have to come to your website to read it. Have you changed something? I don’t want to miss a single thing!

    1. Thank you for your note, Pam. Have you checked your Spam folder? Sometimes the notice land there. I have not changed anything. Look for regular posts on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings.

  7. After reading this, I visited the very talented (and stylish)Monique gallery site and also found a local gallery with an online showcase of work..enjoyed viewing both! Thanks for including a photo of her work in your her work & the way you have them grouped & framed. You look great in the new blue jacket; and your hair consistently looks so good from the back! Glad you shared your adventure..Thx!

  8. Thank you again Susan, for sharing your journey through these beautiful pictures. Between the pictures and your prose, I can see some of the beauty in your neck of the woods. I do have a quick question regarding how I can incorporate necklines other than vees and scoops into my wardrobe. My bra size is 29G, so although full-busted, my frame isn’t large. Since I wear size 8 or 10 on the bottom, I’m most likely an inverted triangle body shape. I’d love to wear a turtle neck or bateau once in a while,can I? I’ve read such conflicting suggestions, I’ve rather lost my way. On the upside, I have gained so much insight into the power of three, scarves and using solids properly. Please continue helping us gently along our own journeys.

    1. Always keep in mind that where ever you wear a straight horizontal line, such as in a bateau, you are drawing attention to that area and making it appear wider. A V-neck always makes you look taller and if it isn’t too low, it makes a full bust look less so. A turtleneck with a long scarf or a long necklace will provide straight vertical lines.

  9. A fairly new reader, have to been enjoying the blog. My hair is very similar to yours, in a not too distant blog you said you liked Morrocanoil volumnizing shampoo. I tried it and like it very much for my now finer hair. Do you now prefer the Beautycounter Volumn and Shape to the Morrocanoil shampoo?

    1. I do prefer the Beautycounter Volume and Shape. Other shampoos I have tried, either weigh my hair down or dry it out. At least once a week I use one of those purple shampoos and conditioners to keep my gray from turning yellow.

  10. Thank you for the beautiful photos and fashion tips. Love your blog and your style!
    Do you think the flounce sleeve style will be with us for awhile? I’m trying to decide how much to spend on this style, and how much of the style I want to add to my wardrobe.
    Thank you in advance for your insight.
    Darlene B.

    1. I never follow trends, but if something becomes popular and it looks good on me, I will stock up while I can get it. If there is a trendy item, you would like to try, but you know you will not wear it for more than a few weeks, buy it from an inexpensive shop. You won’t feel so guilty when you donate it after it has lost favor.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

I share tips and inspiration for using what you already have in contemporary ways. Defining words include effortless, classic, refined, discreet, and elegant. My style is chic, minimal, and timeless with a bit of edge.