Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Beautiful Blizzard of 2009

I love snow. 

I lived in Boulder, Colorado, in 1981 and loved every minute of snow--except when it lasted until May 1st...I moved in June.

But here, in Little Washington, Virginia, the snow is a little different. It's lovely, soft, fluffy and fun. At least this time. And yes, I am in Heaven. The blue, is very blue.  The white, is brilliant. And at night, the stars can be a reading lamp...I think I was a happy Russian in Siberia in a previous life.

Driving into work this morning, after being plowed-out of our driveway in Amissville by a happy drive-by snow-plow-guy, I was giddy with delight at the site of barren, white, frozen fields and mountains that are my home in Rappahannock County. I was so happy, so in love with the peace that snow inherently brings to me. It's quiet. It's tranquil. There are only a few cars on the slushy roads.

We drive up to the shop, and voila! Not so bad. Easy to shovel out the front for our customers (not many around, but I don't care because it's gorgeous!).  We settle into the shop, check all the vitals, and start to work.  There is always something to do, even on snowy days when hardly anyone is around. I finish our Christmas cards, answer some emails, post a few things online, and do a bit of work on some display ideas. Love this day.

Thought I'd share some images of our shop & town. I hope to add a few more images tomorrow, for as you know, I love the snow.



Saturday, December 12, 2009

Stylist Joanie Ballard on WUSA TV Channel 9

I had a great time at WUSA TV Channel 9 Studios in Washington, DC, working as stylist for John MacPherson's segment on how to create an elegant party with easy to make party dishes.  

I chose my favorite Le Jacquard Francais Tablecloths and Napkins from the shop (Sari Paprika and Ispahan) and also brought in some lovely white French serving dishes, platters and contemporary martini glasses to display the delicious food. It was a blast! 

John MacPherson did a wonderful job showing how easy it can be to put together a delicious and hassle-free event with simple yet tasty dishes and drink using several recipes from his Foster Harris House Cookbook. He was interviewed by Andrea Rowen, from Channel 9. 

Here area few backstage photos from the TV segment, taken by Diane MacPherson (you'll also see the MacPherson's cutie-pie son Finn, who had a good time playing on set with dad). 

Check out John's recipe here:

Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas in Little Washington Celebration and Parade!

This was an amazing, fun and celebratory day for us and for so many people who came out for the Christmas in Little Washington Celebration & Parade, sponsored by the Washington Hospitality and Visitors Association (WHVA). 

The parade started near the Inn at Little Washington, wrapped itself down Main Street and then over to Gay Street. It was loud and joyous. Even Chef Patrick O'Connell got involved, waving to the crowd from his own Christmas float, which was decorated with a large old stove and several Inn at Little Washington employees dressed in their signature Dalmation pants!

To let you all see what a small town parade really looks like, I am posting some pictures I took from in front of our shop on Main Street. We had a great view!

At the R. H. Ballard Shop & Gallery, we also had some special goodies for parade goers available from delicious Red Truck Bakery. We made sure people knew where to pick up some of these tasty treats!

Starting the parade was our honored Grand Marshal, "George the Bear" (aka John MacPherson from the Foster Harris House B&B)! How cute is that?

Our special guest to our little town was U.S. Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps. They were the highlight of the show!



So many events were going on all day. The Artisan Markets were full and bursting with activity, all businesses up & down Main & Gay Streets participated with delicious Open Houses, and there was Lunch and Gingerbread Decorating going on at the Washington Baptist Church.

Inside our shop on Parade Day
Elves and Donkeys on Parade

Miniature Horse & Big Elves



There were Llamas too!
12 Singers Singing....

Beautiful Horses & Riders

Come on out next year for a fun time in a small town!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Red Truck Bakery at Ballard's!

On Sunday, Dec. 6th, to celebrate "Christmas in Little Washington," we will feature delicious Red Truck Bakery goods for sale and for tasting!  Doors open at 10:00am.

Because of high demand, we are unable to take any phone orders for Red Truck items, so it's first-come first served. Come in early for best selections and get a free cup of Ballard Coffee along with a Red Truck "Mini Rum Cake with Brown Butter Frosting," a yummy treat to enjoy while watching the parade go by!

The following Red Truck Bakery items will be for sale: Brian's new "Moonshine Cake", made with Wasmund's Whiskey of Copper Fox Distillery, plus amazing Cranberry-Orange-Walnut Quick Breads, Muffins, and deliciously packaged Red Truck cookies.

Come on down and enjoy the festivities of the day, which will include the amazing U.S. Army Fife and Drum Corps marching in the parade down Main Street!  Should be great fun. Hope to see you all there!