If you read out previous Iris Inn blog post, you know that we suggested gouda cheese from Our Lady of the Angels Monastery as a Christmas gift for that hard-to-buy-for individual. We now have another recommendation for you that would not only make an excellent holiday gift, but would also provide quality time with friends and/or family.
Sunspots Studios is a gift gallery that also has a live glass blowing studio where you can observe the fascinating process of their craft. The artists at Sunspots produce and sell such items as vases, perfume bottles, garden art, decorative ornaments, and a huge variety of other pieces, all forged right in their studio in historic downtown Staunton, Virginia.
Along with the items for sale in their gallery, Sunspots is also offering another way to obtain the perfect gift for the holidays—blowing your own glass ornaments. (Seriously, who wouldn’t want their own handmade glass ornament? These things are amazing!) On Wednesdays through Sundays from now until December 31, 2011, you can “start a new family tradition” and create a one-of-a-kind prize that the receiver is sure to treasure. (Okay, so that was incredibly cheesy, but the sentiment really can be stated in no other fashion.)
People enjoy a well thought out gift, and to help mold the gift with your own hands is to add another depth of meaning entirely. It says that you place more than monetary worth on the recipient; you value them as worthy of your time and creativity.
Are you convinced yet? No? Then have a look at some of Sunspots Studios’ photos and see for yourself how beautiful these creations are. To contact Sunspots Studios, call 540-885-0678, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit their Facebook page.
Photo by Neon Ja
We all have that one individual in our lives for whom it is impossible to buy the perfect gift. Christmas shopping for this person involves wracking our brains for unique ideas, usually unsuccessfully, and in the end, they receive a generic gift that is well-received but still not complete perfection. However, if said individual is a fan of cheese (and isn’t a vegan, of course), then we believe we have found the perfect gift for them (which you can pick up during your stay at the Iris Inn!).
Our Lady of the Angels is a Trappist monastery located in Crozet, Virginia and comprised of eleven lovely Sisters. The Sisters boast a variety of backgrounds, having come from New York, Minnesota, Texas, Korea, India, and various other locations. These diligently faithful women make a living by making Gouda cheese, using a Dutch recipe and fresh cheese culture from Wisconsin. Everything from making the cheese to packaging and shipping the cheese is done by the Sisters of the monastery, illustrating their emphasis on self-sufficiency and manual labor. As they state on their website, “We try to be good stewards of our land, and our cheese-making endeavor helps to support our life of prayer and service.”
If you are interested in purchasing cheese or simply visiting the monastery, the Sisters will gladly welcome you. Gouda cheese would certainly make a deliciously unique holiday gift!
“The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.” –Abraham Lincoln
Veterans Day will be here shortly, and you may be looking to join in the celebration which honors the lives of all men and women who have served in the various branches of the military. During your stay here at the Iris Inn, there are several different options of showing your patriotic thankfulness. You can, of course, adorn yourselves in red, white and blue attire while waving your own star-spangled banner. However, if you’re looking for a more subtle option of celebration, have no fear.
There will be a Veterans Day program at the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum in Staunton, Virginia. The program begins at 10:30 am (the 93rd anniversary of President Wilson’s original Armistice Day address), and it is free to the public.
Shenandoah National Park will be offering free admission to everyone Veterans Day. What better way to thank the men and women of the armed forces than by getting out and delighting in the land they help to protect?
Another Veterans Day commemoration will be found at Ash-Lawn Highland, the home of President James Monroe, who was a Revolutionary War veteran. The event begins at 11 am and is free to the public. Ash-Lawn Highland will be free the entire day to all military personnel, active, former, and retired.