Ballantyne Magazine

SUMMER 2018

Ballantyne Magazine covers news, events, real estate, restaurants, shopping, health, schools and business in the upscale Ballantyne Area of Charlotte, NC.

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See Yourself Here? Share with us your creative projects and you could be featured on this page. Contact Jodi Greenwald at jgreenwald@ballantynemagazine.com. The magazine staff reviews submissions and consults with Matt Olin at CreativeMornings/Charlotte, www.charlotteiscreative.com. C R E A T I V E S P A R K Acting on a Great Idea Noah's Ark Project helps shelter the homeless By Jodi Werner Greenwald with Matt Olin | Photo by Ray Sepesy SEE YOURSELF HERE? Share with us your creative ideas or projects, and you could be featured on this page. To be considered, send a brief description and any accompanying imagery to Jodi Greenwald at jgreenwald@ballantynemagazine.com. C R E A T I V E S P A R K Vintage Vibe Local Resident Fashions Wearable Art By Matt Olin and Jodi Werner Greenwald | Photo by Ray Sepesy In this edition of "Creative Spark," Morris shares her creative process with Matt Olin from CreativeMorn- ings/Charlotte, www.charlotteiscreative.com. What was your original "spark" of inspiration? The altered couture styles I discovered on Etsy. But the more I searched, the more what I wanted was in my own head. That was the beginning of my "self-taught" adventure. From where do you source your vintage textiles? In the beginning, it was my mom being an excellent early-bird hunter at yard sales. I now have contacts that specialize in sell- ing vintage linens. Friends and customers also donate beauti- ful linens to me to repurpose. How long does it take to create a single garment? From two hours to two days. Sometimes I will look at a large tablecloth for hours, hold it up at different angles, plan the cuts around the patterns. If it's big and beautiful, I pray over it. I have to get up enough nerve to cut it. I can't imagine being a surgeon. Do you have a favorite piece? My current favorite is one I dyed an eggplant shade because it was stained. It merged per- fectly with a faux suede jacket I rescued from a thrift store. Is there creative tension inherent in creating clothes that are both works of art and something practical to be worn? Mixing prints can be a chal- lenge from an aesthetic standpoint as well as a wearable one. Cer- tain prints and colors have a lot more range of flattery than oth- ers. Early on I decided if I could merge unpredictable elements and keep it comfortable, I would have a successful line of clothing. What's up next? I have big plans for my little scraps. Nothing should go to waste. I would like to see a whole separate product line produced from my leftover pieces. The cus- tomer would be informed at point of purchase that a portion of each sale goes to help a specific charity. Anything else you'd like to tell us? I am a single mother who started on a shoestring budget. My most valuable trade secret is my mom. She tags, trims, runs errands and picks up all the slack when I travel to shows. She's my amazing sweat- equity, dependable business partner. Cara Morris creates wearable art from the basement of her Ballantyne home. She sells her one-of-a-kind pieces at boutiques, art shows and on her website, www.runway45.com. In 2016, she won "Best in Show" at Waxhaw's Kaleidoscope Fest. C R E A T I V E S P A R K Written Legacy Simple Notes, Letters Enrich the Human Spirit By Matt Olin and Jodi Werner Greenwald | Photo by Ray Sepesy What was it like growing up as the "dreamer" in your family? I think being the dreamer was a direct result of being the middle child. Thinking outside the box was a necessity early in life. Find- ing creative ways to stand out and express one's self is essential for everyone. The middle child learns to do it a little earlier than most. What's been most challeng- ing about creating your book, "A Life through Letters"? Making sure that I captured the spirit in which my father wrote his original letters. That was ever present in my work. It was such an honor to posthu- mously co-write with my father, and I wanted to get it right. How did you keep yourself motivated and accountable to see this project through? I had worked on the project starting in early 2013. Then in January 2015 I simply decided that was the year I was publish- ing the book. I picked a date and would not let myself stop until it was completed. I would often think of the struggles my father had in his life due to his physical limitations. That always kept me motivated. How do you want your book to make others feel? I hope this book inspires people to connect. We all have people in our lives with whom we should be in touch. A simple note or letter has such a tre- mendous impact on the human spirit. Emails can be deleted in a fraction of a second. As I say in the book, letters can last a lifetime — and sometimes beyond. Where are favorite spots in Ballantyne to get inspired? Rush espresso, hands down. I spent a tremendous amount of time there while working on the book. It is where I go to write, connect and create. Paul and Jenny have done an amazing job of creating a space that feels like a community. Anything else to share? I see letter writing as a way to preserve one's legacy. One of the very fortunate by-products of this project is that I now have a living, breathing tribute to my father and our entire family from which my two little boys can learn. I would encourage everyone to take the time to capture that same legacy and put their own stamp on it. FOR MORE INFORMATION http://www.alifethroughletters.com https://creativemornings.com/cities/clt Ballantyne author Ashley Davis found inspiration in his father's handwritten letters and published them in a curated collection. In our first Creative Spark — a collaboration with Matt Olin and the CreativeMornings/CLT team — Davis shares with us the joys and challenges of his creative process. BALLANTYNE SPRING 2017 96 Creative Spark C R E A T I V E S P A R K Written Legacy Simple Notes, Letters Enrich the Human Spirit By Matt Olin and Jodi Werner Greenwald | Photo by Ray Sepesy What was it like growing up as the "dreamer" in your family? I think being the dreamer was a direct result of being the middle child. Thinking outside the box was a necessity early in life. Find- ing creative ways to stand out and express one's self is essential for everyone. The middle child learns to do it a little earlier than most. What's been most challeng- ing about creating your book, "A Life through Letters"? Making sure that I captured the spirit in which my father wrote his original letters. That was ever present in my work. It was such an honor to posthu- mously co-write with my father, and I wanted to get it right. How did you keep yourself motivated and accountable to see this project through? I had worked on the project starting in early 2013. Then in January 2015 I simply decided that was the year I was publish- ing the book. I picked a date and would not let myself stop until it was completed. I would often think of the struggles my father had in his life due to his physical limitations. That always kept me motivated. How do you want your book to make others feel? I hope this book inspires people to connect. We all have people in our lives with whom we should be in touch. A simple note or letter has such a tre- mendous impact on the human spirit. Emails can be deleted in a fraction of a second. As I say in the book, letters can last a lifetime — and sometimes beyond. Where are favorite spots in Ballantyne to get inspired? Rush espresso, hands down. I spent a tremendous amount of time there while working on the book. It is where I go to write, connect and create. Paul and Jenny have done an amazing job of creating a space that feels like a community. Anything else to share? I see letter writing as a way to preserve one's legacy. One of the very fortunate by-products of this project is that I now have a living, breathing tribute to my father and our entire family from which my two little boys can learn. I would encourage everyone to take the time to capture that same legacy and put their own stamp on it. FOR MORE INFORMATION http://www.alifethroughletters.com https://creativemornings.com/cities/clt Ballantyne author Ashley Davis found inspiration in his father's handwritten letters and published them in a curated collection. In our first Creative Spark — a collaboration with Matt Olin and the CreativeMornings/CLT team — Davis shares with us the joys and challenges of his creative process. BALLANTYNE SPRING 2017 96 Creative Spark BALLANTYNE SUMMER 2017 96 Creative Spark C R E A T I V E S P A R K Written Legacy Simple Notes, Letters Enrich the Human Spirit By Matt Olin and Jodi Werner Greenwald | Photo by Ray Sepesy What was it like growing up as the "dreamer" in your family? I think being the dreamer was a direct result of being the middle child. Thinking outside the box was a necessity early in life. Find- ing creative ways to stand out and express one's self is essential for everyone. The middle child learns to do it a little earlier than most. What's been most challeng- ing about creating your book, "A Life through Letters"? Making sure that I captured the spirit in which my father wrote his original letters. That was ever present in my work. It was such an honor to posthu- mously co-write with my father, and I wanted to get it right. How did you keep yourself motivated and accountable to see this project through? I had worked on the project starting in early 2013. Then in January 2015 I simply decided that was the year I was publish- ing the book. I picked a date and would not let myself stop until it was completed. I would often think of the struggles my father had in his life due to his physical limitations. That always kept me motivated. How do you want your book to make others feel? I hope this book inspires people to connect. We all have people in our lives with whom we should be in touch. A simple note or letter has such a tre- mendous impact on the human spirit. Emails can be deleted in a fraction of a second. As I say in the book, letters can last a lifetime — and sometimes beyond. Where are favorite spots in Ballantyne to get inspired? Rush espresso, hands down. I spent a tremendous amount of time there while working on the book. It is where I go to write, connect and create. Paul and Jenny have done an amazing job of creating a space that feels like a community. Anything else to share? I see letter writing as a way to preserve one's legacy. One of the very fortunate by-products of this project is that I now have a living, breathing tribute to my father and our entire family from which my two little boys can learn. I would encourage everyone to take the time to capture that same legacy and put their own stamp on it. FOR MORE INFORMATION http://www.alifethroughletters.com https://creativemornings.com/cities/clt Ballantyne author Ashley Davis found inspiration in his father's handwritten letters and published them in a curated collection. In our first Creative Spark — a collaboration with Matt Olin and the CreativeMornings/CLT team — Davis shares with us the joys and challenges of his creative process. BALLANTYNE SPRING 2017 96 Creative Spark Creatively — how have you tackled project challenges? The first challenge was the sleeping bag itself. We decided on key requirements our "shelter" would need — to withstand the elements, be windproof, waterproof and warm, yet durable, lightweight, packable and easy to take with you. After a lot of searching, we found a sleeping bag made from material inspired by NASA, and my dad helped me negotiate the price down to $15 per bag with a minimum order of 1,000. What have you learned from this experience that has surprised you? How much people genuinely care. I have met and talked to so many people through this project, and so many have been overwhelmingly supportive, both financially to the cause and emotionally by sharing their kind words of encouragement. Has the project led to other creative ideas? I designed Noah's Ark Project to be fluid. I've been focused solely on putting our resources into the sleeping bag project, but am open to helping people in other ways if it makes sense for NAP. How much money have you raised to date? Just a little over $15,000! Our first 1,000 sleeping bags have been ordered. Tell us about your distribution. We will be working with the Urban Ministry Center in Charlotte to distribute the sleeping bags. They do a lot of work with the homeless, and we will be going to wherever they live to hand them out. We have a similar contact in Asheville, and we will be driving up there to do the same thing. What's next? Sleeping bags don't last forever (no matter how well they're made), so we don't see stopping anytime soon. We will continue to raise funds to provide all unsheltered homeless with a sleeping bag. I also plan to expand our reach covering North Carolina and branch out from there. What else would you like to share with the Ballantyne community? Stick to an idea. I know so many people who have great ideas and never follow through on them. The world would be a lot better if people followed through on the positive ideas they have. Noah Rupp , 15, a rising sophomore at Providence High School, had a creative spark when he visited Asheville in November 2016 with his dad, Mark. The two felt "chilled to the bone" walking outside at night and wondered how people living on the streets could stand it. Noah "felt called to make a change," he says, and the two began Noah's Ark Project (NAP), www.noahsarkprojectusa.org. NAP provides sleeping bags for homeless people, many of whom won't seek shelter or can't meet shelter rules. Responses were edited for brevity. BALLANTYNE SUMMER 2018 96 Creative Spark

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