Friday, November 30, 2012


Help the Birds 

     Jim Allen, owner of Wild Birds Unlimited, said you can really help birds in the winter by ensuring they have water.
     "We need to conscious of the fact that all through the winter birds need water not only for hydration, but it's important for birds to keep their feathers clean to keep them warm and healthy," Mr. Allen said.
     It's good to keep birdbaths as clean as possible and to have a heater to thaw ice when it freezes, Jim said. 
     Wild Birds sells a variety of heaters and defrosters for birdbaths.  
    "The better ones have higher wattage and are thermostatically controlled to kick on when the water temperature tests down to forty degrees."
    The less expensive ones, you plug in and unplug. 
    Of course, Wild Birds also offers lots of other goodies for your backyard birds, including a fully array of feeders and houses. There are some nice basic feeders, decorative feeders, and ones that keep out squirrels.
    "We have field guides and books and binoculars and lots of bird-related gifts, such as coffee mugs, blue birds of happiness, cards and pre-packed gifts, such as a gift pack of a suet cage and a book.  That runs about $20."
   The shop also carries a variety of seeds and suet cakes.  It can make up gift boxes or bags.
   Wild Birds is located at 1818 North Taylor across from Kroger in the Heights. It is open Monday through Saturday.  For more information, call Jim at 666-4210.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A Very Marilyn Christmas at Stephano's




A Very Marilyn Christmas
At Stephano's Fine Art Gallery 


    Stephano's Fine Art Gallery will hold A Very Marilyn Christmas as part of Holidays in the Heights noon to 5 p.m. November 11.
    Ashley Polk-Sutherlin, manager of the gallery, said the Marilyn Monroe theme aims to create a mood to take us back to a time when things were good. The nostalgic shout-out to happier days will include a number of Marilyn paintings by her husband, Stephano Sutherlin, Christmas ornaments and vintage Christmas boxes by local artists, and signed and numbered lithographs by artists such as Dali. 
     Mr. Sutherlin, whose gallery has been in the Heights for six years now, was named Best Artist in Arkansas in the Best Of Arkansas 2012 readers' poll by the Arkansas Times.  Stephano has created Marilyn images so small they could hang on a Christmas tree (1x1 inch and 2x2 inch).  In addition 3x3 inch and 5x5 Marilyns will be for sale, as well as a 36x48 inch piece.

     Mrs. Polk-Sutherlin said artists Kathleen Kennally, Tony Dow and Angela Turney will have great Christmas ornaments for sale. 
     "And there will be cool stuff from K.K. Bennett, vintage Christmas boxes made from repurposed, recycled materials," Ashley said. 
     "We have several of Dali's pieces from the late 60s, early 70s: Helen of Troy, The Judgment of Paris, Tear of Time and three from his Alice in Wonderland series.  They are signed and numbered lithographs. And one, Helen of Troy, is an artist's proof."
      The Dalis range in price from $1,800 for framed pieces from the Alice series up to $4,000.  Other art objects for sale start as low as $25.
      "We have a good selection for everybody's budget," Ashley said. 
      The gallery also offers works by Peter Max in the $2,000 to $3,000 range and LeRoy Neiman's Grenadier Bar for $6,500.  "It was his favorite piece for a long time.  It hung behind his desk."
       Featured artists for November include digital artist Mark Johnson and fun, tongue-in-cheek stuff by Susan Olsen, who played Cindy Brady on the The Brady Bunch.  The gallery also features Mike Gaines, whose "Squareism" style of thousands of tiny squares is his take on Pointillism.   
     So, stop by for the Marilyn show, take a brief step back in time, and enjoy the laid-back atmosphere of Stephano's Gallery.  For more information, call Ashley or Stephano at 614-7113.




Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Relocation Resources for Seniors





Hassle-free Custom Moving Service for Seniors
          You're a senior who's lived in one spot for years, perhaps decades, and now you are moving to a new space.  What would you wish for?  A "surrogate daughter/genie" who would help you decide on which furniture to move, measure your new space to provide a plan to best utilize the new digs, pack everything expertly, be on the other end when you move with a detailed list of all of your belongings in numbered boxes, unpack them, place the furniture, and hang the pictures? 
        All your wishes would be granted by Ellen C. Stern of Little Rock.  Her Relocation Resources for Seniors helps seniors who are moving to smaller homes or apartments, retirement communities, or assisted living facilities.
        Ms. Stern is in the business of eliminating stress for "seniors on the move."  
        Ellen will help as much or as little as you need it; each move is different. 
        If you haven't decided where to move, she will explore local housing options.  When you've decided what to keep and what to leave behind, Ellen will even help hold an estate sale, or if you prefer, bundle items for donation to charity.
       In addition, she will handle pesky items such as the cut off or transfer of utilities, change of address notices, and notifying banks and other institutions of your move. 
       "I recycle almost everything I can.  It saves my clients' money.  I reuse cardboard boxes.  I tell clients to start saving their newspapers for packing to keep the cost as low as possible. 
       Sometimes daughters want to help her pack.  "I really welcome that when a family member wants to work with me.  It saves them money.  I am all for saving money and keeping families happy with one another.  This is a stressful time."
       Ellen creates a packing list, so she has a list of everything in every box when she arrives at the new living space. 
        Jane M. Cazort said that was especially helpful during the two moves that Ellen helped her with, the first two years ago, and, then recently, a move into her sister's home.  -    "I am physically unable to do very much.  She just did everything.  She packed everything and marked what they held and kept a record of it.  So, I knew, for example, what box #6 held.  That was just invaluable.  I think we had 26 boxes," Ms. Cazort said. 
     Jane said Ellen removed her pictures from the walls and packed them professionally.
     "I am a picture person.  I have about 25 pictures, some of them quite large. She rehung the pictures.  She is just a great packer.  Nothing was broken.
     "It was a hassle-free move. She took all the responsibility.  She hired the movers. She was there when I moved out and there when I moved in.  She placed the furniture.  
     "She is just a great person for detail.  I'm rather slap-dash, so it made it easy for me. And she is reasonable.  She gave me her bill, and I added more to it.  I thought it wasn't enough.  She's very pleasant and articulate, and, of course, honest.  I would think people are very fortunate if they get her to do their move."
     Ellen charges $20 an hour.  Most of the moves she's completed are done in two days or less.  She makes a custom plan and provides an estimate before the job. 
     Sue Buffalo of Little Rock said Ellen helped ease her mother's move from an apartment into a retirement community.
     "Ellen is extremely organized.  She had all the boxes and the papers and packed it all up, so when the movers came, it was ready.  What looked like a monumental task, she whittled down to a few hours," Mrs. Buffalo said.
     "She seemed to know when things would fit.  When we were sorting through things, she would say, 'She'll want to take this.  This will look good.'  She helped make the process so much easier.  She is very pleasant and easy to get along with.  I would highly recommend her." 
     Ellen decided to open her business after she couldn't find a job.  
     "It's kind of funny.  I am by profession an adult educator.  I was a museum curator and educator.  I have specialized in adult programs.  I found myself with no job."
     Ellen had come to Arkansas to care for aging, ailing relatives.  But, when she was ready to get back into the job market, she couldn't find work.
     "I spent 10 years helping all the old folks around me die.  When that was over, I was 63 or 64.  When I applied for jobs ... I was overeducated, overqualified, and overaged."
     She decided to take some classes at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
     "I ended up in a class about aging issues, and I was really interested in it.  I found that the university offered a gerontology program, and now I am a graduate student in it."
     When her new studies spurred her thinking about services for the aging population, Ellen decided that she could create her own employment opportunity.
      "It seemed to me that the senior market is where it's at.  And it is going to get bigger.  Us Baby Boomers, we like our services."
      "In addition to helping people move, Ellen will help them "age in place" by such means a adding ramps or enlarging bathroom doors and adding hold bars.
      "I work as a go-between.  I find contractors to do the work to bring homes up to a safe place."
       She also moves people from one room to another in retirement communities.
       Relocation Resources operates in Pulaski County and occasionally in nearby towns such as Conway.
       Ellen enjoys her new career.
       "I miss having older people in my life.  They are so interesting.  They have such good perspectives on things.  And moving is such an overwhelming process, even when you are younger."

This story was written by Bobbi Nesbitt and appeared in the August 2012 issue of Shoppe Talk. 
You may call Ellen at 663-2515.
      










Sunday, July 8, 2012

Life Without Limits

Craig Reinhardt: Life Without Limits 

     Craig Reinhardt is a busy guy who knows how to live his life without limits.
     Mr. Reinhardt is owner of the computer company CustomNeeds, LLC, works as information technology director for United Cerebral Palsy, is an avid collector of Razorback and St. Louis Cardinals memorabilia, likes to play the stock market and has volunteered at Riverfest for seven years.
     Oh, and he has cerebral palsy.  It certainly hasn't kept Craig from having a full, fun-filled life and making the lives of people who know him fuller.
     His main job is at UCP of Arkansas where he has worked for eight years keeping the computers of all 13 of the organization's offices around the state in tiptop shape.
     "I fix their computers.  I develop software for the whole state.  They keep me busy," Craig said.
      "CustomNeeds is a side hobby, because I like it so much."
      Craig went to Little Rock schools all of his life and was graduated from Hall High School in 1994.  Then he attended the University of Arkansas at Little Rock earning a double major in finance and computer information systems.  He was graduated from UALR in 1999.
      "I want people to know they can do this.  Don't let anyone hold them back because they have a disability."
      Craig worked for a Little Rock technology company for five years before joining the staff of UCP.
       He has a real knack and affection for computers.
       "The are just so unique.  They like me, and I like them.  A computer to me is like a new car.  It needs a tuneup every so often.  Most people think that just because a computer is going slow that they need a new one or need an update.  I can reformat computers and make them like new."
        Reformat?
        "It's taking the computer and wiping it clean and reloading the Windows back on.  I back up everything and reformat, and they have an old computer like brand new.  This is my favorite thing to do.  When you do that, it's better than when you first bought it, because all this junk is loaded in that you never use.  When I get a brand new computer, I wipe it clean."
       It hasn't been a picnic to get to where Craig has gotten in his life.  He went through 22 years of speech therapy and many, many hours of physical therapy.
       But, he is a very determined, glass-half-full kind of guy, and his efforts have been recognized nationally.   In 2010, Craig was given the "Life Without Limits Award" from the nationwide UCP, which gives the award to recognize an individual with disabilities who has "demonstrated leadership and achievement of such a high caliber as to be a significant role model to people with and without disabilities."
       His award stated:  "Craig embodies what UCP represents - he has overcome significant physical and speech limitations to be come a critical contributor to the work at UCP of Arkansas in his role as Technology Administrator.  The things that Craig has done to help UCP of Arkansas meet its mission of advancing the independence, productivity and full citizenship for people with disabilities are way too numerous to list in their entirety, but his ability to be a role model to others is immeasurable."
       Tricia Vangilder, chief financial officer of UCP of Arkansas, said Craig handles all kinds of computer problems for the organization.  "He also developed software that has made our medical billing so much easier to keep up with.  He goes to our northwest region and our northeast region, so he's all over the place.  He is a very hard worker.
        "I can't say enough about Craig.  He is like a family member.  He pulls pranks on us all of the time.  If it is April Fools Day or Halloween, be very aware," Mrs. Vangilder said.
        "He will give the shirt off his back for you.  He has the biggest heart.  He is special to us and special to a lot of people.  We don't think of him as someone who has a disability.,  He is just Craig, and we love him."
        Jane Arthurs of Little Rock said Craig had purchased computers for her, installed them and answered all her many questions.
        "He's just a Number 1 computer man.  When I have a problem with my computer, I call Craig," Mrs. Arthurs said.
        It is not only that he is very knowledgeable, his warm personality and cheerfulness help too, she said.
        "Craig has a great sense of humor, and I think his being able to laugh as so many of the problems helps you through the problems when you are dealing with people like me who are not very computer literate.  He has a great laugh, and his sense of humor, I think, adds to his being so pleasant and his ability to work so well with people."
         Craig created his computer company, CustomNeeds, in 2002 as a hobby.  It helps individuals and small businesses with common computer problems, reformats, and Windows upgrades.  If your computer has constant popups or alerts, if you think it has viruses or spyware, or even if you think it's "dead," call CustomNeeds at 291-4673 or email Craig at tech@customneeds.com.  He also offers a service to convert VHS tapes to DVDs.
         Barbara Casey of Ward, office manager for Chiropractic Wellness Center in Little Rock, said Craig does computer work for that business.
         "Every time I have a big problem, I'm like, 'CRAIG, come here!'  He is a wonderful person.  I really like him.
         "He has probably taken most of the ones we have and just wiped them out and reprogrammed them."
        Melanie Gibson of Little Rock, broker and property manager for Collins International in Little Rock, said she first knew Craig when he began working on her home computer.
       "Now he does some of my work in the building.  I'll call him with a problem, and he will guide me through every step off the top of his head," Ms. Gibson said.
       "Craig is very capable, a true professional.  I am truly appreciative of Craig's skills,  because I sure don't have them, and I need him terribly."
         Craig has been driving since 1994.  He went to Hot Springs Rehabilitation to learn how to drive and had his automobile outfitted with hand controls.
         He enjoys driving to schools and organizations to share his success story.,
         "I just like for people to realize that they do not have to let a challenge get in the way of anything. I see people make fun.  We are just like you are.  There's no need for people to discriminate against someone who cannot walk as well or talk as well.
         "I see worse disabilities (than mine). Some people can't walk, some people are paralyzed.  So, I feel lucky.  I always thank my parents for letting me have the independence they allowed me to have all through my youth."
           I'd like to end Craig's story with one of his recent favorite quotes.  It comes from  Elena Delle Donne, who has won a number of awards for her basketball prowess, including USA Today National Player of the Year, Naismith Prep Player of the Year, Gatorade National Player of the Year, and EA Sports Player of the Year.  
           "As I grew up, I became aware that there are people with special needs out there, and I have a real connection to them. It's upsetting when people are afraid of these kids. Instead of being afraid, you should just go up to them and talk to them.  Because you can learn so much from them,"   Ms. Donne said.                                                           
       This story was written by Bobbi Nesbitt and first appeared in the July issue of Shoppe Talk.   
  

Friday, July 6, 2012

Getting to Know Craig Reinhardt



Craig Reinhardt
      Tell us about your family.  My mom is Patricia Reinhardt.  I have a sister, Nicole Held.  I have a niece and nephew, Michaela and Michael, her kids.
      Where were you born?  Little Rock.
      Where do you live?  Foxcroft.
       Do you have any pets?  I have two dogs, Schnauzers.  Misti is eight and Shutze is six.
      What do you like to read?  Computer magazines and investment magazines. I like the stock market. I play the stock market.
       Do you have any hobbies?  I am a big Razorback fan.  In my office, I've got a corner of Razorback things I've collected and a corner of St. Louis Cardinals.  I've been collecting for a long time.  They kid me that they're going to have to knock out a wall to make me a bigger office if I keep collecting.  My dad, [the late Nelson Reinhardt], was from St. Louis.  He died in 2009, but we went to a Cardinals' game when the new stadium opened about 2006.
      What's your favorite food?  Pizza.
      What's your favorite restaurant?  U.S. Pizza.
      Do you have a favorite movie?  The Blind Side. 
      What's your favorite city?  St. Louis.
       If you could have a dream dinner party and invite any three people, who would you choose? Bill Gates, Albert Pujols, and Warren Buffett.
       Is there anything you'd like to see the City of Little Rock do differently?  Lower the taxes.
       Is there anything you'd like people in other countries to know about Americans?  That we are just like them.  We don't have to be enemies. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Renaissance Woman: Kelley Naylor Wise



Kelley Naylor Wise

     Kelley Naylor Wise of Little Rock is a renaissance woman.  She excels in a number of fields and her fervid enthusiasm for life and learning knows few bounds.

     She creates jewelry and stained glass, has supported herself by her carpentry skills, is certified to teach metal clay classes, has worked in film and advertising, serves as contract jeweler and business manager for Hillcrest Designer Jewelry, and is an accomplished painter.  Mrs. Wise is also color design director for Shoppe Talk.  Yes, we are extolling one of our own, and for good reason.

     Kelley had been showing her jewelry and stained glass work at The Hidden Gallery in Perryville when she and artist Reylene Finkbeiner began talking about painting on canvas.

     "I said that I'd never tried it, but I admired it.  Reylene got this kind of motherly look, handed me five canvases and buckets of paint, and said, "Go home and paint - right now."

      She did.  "At the time, I had been hanging out with Stephano and (his wife) Ashley at Stephano's Gallery.  I took him some of the work.  I said, "I respect you ... and want to know what you think."  He said out of the gate, "Can I show them?"  I became one of his artists.  With his support and Reylene's support, I was painting.

      "I love painting.  People should love what they do."

       Kelley started out making art when she was a child.

      "I've been an artist all my life.  I was just born making stuff.  Everything I've done since I was a child has taught me about color and expression and flow.

    "There's something that moves our soul, and there's no reason why we shouldn't be abundant."

     When Kelley was growing up, her best friend, her father, the late Dr. Larry Naylor, had a hobby creating jewelry. And he taught her to create pieces too.  Her dad would do it for gifts for friends and tailor his creations to the personality of folks he wanted to  please with his designs.

      "The most beautiful thing about my father, he didn't make it for money. I said, 'Why don't you sell this?' He said, "As soon as I do it for money, I'm afraid I won't love it anymore."

      Kelley's having none of that; artists get to be paid for their work.  But most of her painting the past two years has been commission work, so she is creating for individuals just as her father did with his jewelry. 

     "It is for someone specifically, so it is more of a joy, more of a blessing."

      She has sold commission pieces in a number of places including Arkansas, Texas, Ohio, New York, Washington, Memphis  and Japan.

     Kelley learned carpentry as a child too.  Her grandfather and his grandfather on her mother's side were master carpenters.

      "I was just taught how to build stuff."  She does residential remodels here in Little Rock, and, earlier, when Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf, she moved to  New Orleans to help rebuild there.

       She began working in stained glass in 1994.  "I just got hooked.  Stained glass helped me to define simple lines, to express what I wanted to at the core of it in basic forms.  It really helped me get clear on my intentions during my creative process."

      Then she began working in metal clay. "In about 1997, there was this new art form out of Japan - metal clay. It was non-toxic and had a great potential for jewelry design.  It requires no soldering.  It is clay that fires in a kiln and produces pure gold and silver solid forms.  I was really excited about combining sculpture and metalsmithing! The possibilities of this art form are just limitless."

      She studied to gain an international certificate to become a master instructor in the art of metal clay jewelry making.  She taught a class in metal clay at Gallery 360 in Little Rock in May and will teach another class there June 30.

       "This is an art form you can immediately finish.  It is immediate gratification. Anything you can conceive, you can make in metal clay"

        Kelley shows her work at Eric Coleman's  Hillcrest Designer Jewelry and is the featured artist at Rings & Things in Hot Springs.

        She also shows at Plenty Mystic Emporium in Hot Springs where she will have a show June 15, "Fine Art.  Living Art.  Moving Art."  It will feature her work, along with art by Maxwell Blade.

       It's no surprise that Kelley was interested in art from an early age.  She was an only child to two parents who were both artistic.  Her mom, Sharon, was in theater and was also a professor of English.  And her dad, a respected anthropologist, had authored seven books in his field. 

       "I was raised with the entire planet in my home.  I was taught to see myself as a global citizen and to look beyond cultural barriers.

       "Every language was spoken in my home.  The foreign students my mother taught were from everywhere,  I was raised knowing there were no communication barriers. Language was not a barrier, culture was not a barrier. I just accepted everyone and learned respect very early."

       Do you believe this had any bearing on your becoming a Buddhist?  "Absolutely yes.  Buddhism makes no judgement. Buddhism makes no judgement of right and wrong.  This is very true for me."

       Three years before Kelley's birth, her parents had been living with an extremely primitive tribe, the Dani, in Baliem Valley in New Guinea. 

        "My mom found out she was pregnant, and the medicine woman said, 'It will be a girl,' and they gave me a naming ceremony.  They named me 'Bahlim-Na-Ka,' which is 'girl of the valley.'

         "When people would ask my dad about what was the coolest artifact he brought back, my dad would always say, 'My daughter.'"




Monday, April 2, 2012

Kavanaugh Eye Care in the Heights


Dr. Brian Guice's Kavanaugh Eye Care


How do you have healthy eyes, clear sight, and look fantastic in the latest designer eyewear from around the world? Visit Kavanaugh Eye Care in the Heights.



It is the third anniversary for this upscale total eye and vision care business, which Dr. Brian Guice and his wife, Kerry, opened March 16, 2009.

Dr. Guice is an optometric physician, which means he is licensed and trained to diagnose and treat ocular diseases, as well as to fit and dispense glasses and contact lenses. OPs treat all sorts of eye ailments, from diabetic retinopathy to glaucoma to eye infections.

Brian was graduated from the Southern College of Optometry in Memphis after four years of study there. He attended the Memphis school after having graduated from the University of Central Arkansas with a bachelor's in biology.

Being nearsighted may have had something to do with his opting for optometry.

"Not coincidentally, I am pretty nearsighted. As a kid, the eye doctor was my favorite doctor.

When I left, I could see the leaves on the trees clearly, and I didn't get a shot. That had a lot to play in it."

Kavanaugh Eye Care has a bright, sophisticated showroom featuring some of the best designers in the business and several exclusive lines. In addition, there are some lower-priced frames - "something for everybody."

The shop offers the colorful and trendy French label, Anne et Valentin, as well as the French collection, Face à Face, which is sometimes called "eye jewelry."
It carries the daring designs of the German Ogi Eyewear and of ProDesign, a Danish firm. You'll find top-selling brands, such as Kate Spade, and sports eye wear from Italy's Rudy Project. Ray-Bans, Giorgio Armani, Grant Italia, Gucci, Jimmy Choo - and the list goes on.

Not only are the frames smart and swank, recent research has improved the quality of lenses.

"No-line bifocals have essentially replaced line bifocals," Dr. Guice said. "New research has improved the reading portion. They are much more improved.

"We only offer digital, free-form technology, which customizes the lens around a patient's specific prescription."

His patients have been very pleased with free-form manufacturing, which produces a highly accurate finished lens.

Brian uses lenses from innovative manufacturers, such as HOYA, a company that specializes in high-end industrial optics and glass lenses.

"They make very high quality lenses. They are thinner and lighter and there are anti-reflective lenses that decrease glare and have UV protection."

And they don't scratch like older anti-glare coatings. "They will replace them an unlimited number of times due to scratches. ... They offer that, knowing they won't have to."

Kavanaugh Eye Care utilizes the most advanced technologies in contact lens fitting and manufacture. It offers bifocal and multi-focal lenses.

"We also do a lot of custom disposable contact lenses." This is beneficial for folks who have astigmatism.

Brian said business is good, despite having opened during an unstable economic time.

"We are doing very well. It takes generally three to five years ... from what we call a 'cold start,' getting out of school with not a single patient. We opened in 2009, probably about the worst time to open a new business. But we are right on track."

He loves the Heights location, and many of his patients who have, in the past, had to travel for annual eye exams, are pleased to have his services in the neighborhood.

Stephano's Fine Art Gallery, one of the neighboring businesses, has art on display at Kavanaugh Eye Care.

"Stephano was kind enough to lend us some of his art work. It is for sale. It creates a vibe that we like."

Kavanaugh Eye Care won "Best in Eyewear" in the Soiree Platinum Service Awards for 2010, 2011, and 2012. In the new category, "Best Optometrist," Dr. Guice won that as well.

Stop in the shop at 5600 Kavanaugh Blvd., in the Heights Theatre Building, and check out the beautiful frames. For additional information or for an appointment, call 614-9900.

By Bobbi Nesbitt
This story first appeared in the April 2012 issue of Shoppe Talk.

Stephano's Fine Art Gallery Holds A Tribute to Dali



Alice in Wonderland: A Tribute to Dali

Stephano's Fine Art Gallery in the Heights will hold Alice in Wonderland: A Tribute to Dali April 27 and 28.

Come join in this fun event, and, if you like, dress as your favorite character from Alice in Wonderland. (There might be a prize for best costume; we're not telling.)

Stephano said this will be his biggest show of the year. It comes as he has added to his gallery serigraphs and lithographs by Salvador Dali, LeRoy Neiman, Andy Warhol and Peter Max.

The gallery is also featuring works by Ron Woods of the Rolling Stones. Local artist of the month is Lynda Marnon, a 3-D artist who works in papier-mache.

Stephano opened his gallery five years ago this August.

"My part-owner and my equal partner is my beautiful wife, Ashley. I'm just the artist. She is the gallery. She keeps me going and keeps me painting."

The gallery is dog friendly and wine friendly. Stop by and hoist a glass, even when there's not an event scheduled.


"We're a pretty laid-back gallery. We just want everyone to enjoy art," he said. 563-4218.


The Stones
By Stephano








Sunday, February 26, 2012

Jonda White's Spology

Spaology

Many of Jonda White's clients have followed her from location to location for more than a decade, because she's just that good.

Mrs. White's Spaology, 3000 Kavanaugh Blvd., in Hillcrest, offers manicures, pedicures, waxing, eyelash extensions, and a full-service salon.

Barbara Pryor, former First Lady of Arkansas and wife of former U.S. Senator David Pryor, said that Jonda gives the best pedicures she's ever had.

"They are just wonderful. I go to Jonda every three or four weeks. It's just the biggest treat."

Mrs. Pryor said she has been going to Jonda for at least 10 years.

"She is not only a great nailologist, ... she is such a good person. I love her. I think of her as a good friend."

Barbara said she'd been with Jonda through some trials over the years, including breast cancer.

"She is a breast cancer survivor. All through everything, she just kept working. She is a hard worker. I admire her so. She is one of the most deserving people I know. She deserves every success, every happiness."

Another former First Lady of Arkansas, Gay White, wife of the late Governor Frank White, has been a client of Jonda's for about 13 years.

"I have been to some of the finest resorts around the world and have paid top dollar, and Jonda gives the best pedicures and manicures I've ever had."

Mrs. White said her visits to Jonda are always "a treat."

"She is just a lovely young woman. She has a sweet, gentle spirit, and I just enjoy being there. Some days I feel like talking, and some days I don't. She's sensitive to that. Some people will just talk your ear off. Jonda senses when you want to be quiet. She has a very calming spirit about her."

When Jonda was a little girl, her older sister, Audrey Cutts, a nail tech, would do her nails for her.

"And, I always said I wanted to grow up to be a nail tech."

Jonda said her sister has progressed to doing elaborate nail art, such as the skyline of New York City.

And Jonda does nail art too. "Nail art goes from putting feathers on the nails to foil strips and air brushing," she said.

It includes freehand painting involving different designs with color acrylics.

"My whole family could draw. I've always wanted to just pick up a brush and paint."

Jonda started her business 16 years ago in Little Rock. This is her fourth salon. And she loves what she does.

"I love giving back and helping people and making people feel good. Doing nails is therapy for me. I relax like I am working in the garden. And, then, I am the client's therapist also," she said with a laugh.

Dr. Roslyn L. Knutson, professor emerita in the Department of English at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, enjoys the ambiance of Jonda's Hillcrest shop and her artistic talents.

"I have been going to Jonda for about a dozen years now, and I would not go to anyone else. She is not just a nail tech; she is an artist. She works carefully and deliberately, getting the lines right. (I have a French manicure.) I've followed her to about four locations, and the place she has now is unquestionably the nicest. And she has upgraded to match the environment: added two pedicure chairs, acquired a good selection of shellac and gelish, and upgraded her nail dryer to one that takes just 30 seconds," Dr. Knutson said.

Roslyn said she likes the fact that Jonda is easy to talk with, but doesn't pry, and is flexible about appointment changes.

"Let me add one thing: Jonda is not a complainer. Things are right in her world, not wrong. And what is wrong, she confronts with equanimity. ... She is just a really neat lady."

This description of a full pedicure doesn't do Jonda justice, but it goes something like this. You're seated in a chair that gives you a back massage while your feet soak in warm water. Your toenails are trimmed, cuticles groomed, calluses removed. Then, you get a sugar scrub and a massage and polish. It's a routine you may have experienced at other salons, and it's a technically correct description. But, so is saying that the food is warm when it's served at McDonald's and it's warm when it's served at Brave New Restaurant. Worlds way apart.

"Her manicures and pedicures are the most relaxing thing imaginable, Suzann Barr of Little Rock, said. "She is very thorough, very methodical, very gentle. Her manicures and pedicures last longer than anyone else I know of. Her work is quality work, and it really lasts."

Mrs. Barr has been a client of Jonda's for 15 or 16 years.

"I have a great respect for Jonda. She works hard and wants to constantly upgrade her services. Her shop is immaculately clean. She cares about quality. She keeps up with the newest equipment and the latest products. It makes you feel like your are getting the best that's on the market."

Spaology offers pedicures for $40, shellac pedicures for $50, and an express pedicure for $25. A regular manicure is $25, and an express manicure is $18. You may opt for a paraffin dip, which is $10 more for feet and $5 more for hands.

Salon services include cuts, wash and set, color, hair extensions, foils and highlights.

Hair cuts are $20 for children under age 13, $25 for men and $40 for women. The cost of a trim for bangs or a beard is $10.

A shampoo and style is $25, a style with rollers and hair drying is $30, and a formal updo is $35.

Highlighting with a cap is $85, The cost of a foil weave and color is $55 for a face frame, $75 for a partial and $95 for a total highlighting. Semi-permanent color and permanent color are both $55 each.

Eyelash extensions are $25, and fill-ins are $18.

Jonda also offers bridal packages.

Lastly, let's hear something about Jonda from a woman who likes to keep her nails short, no art.

Naomi Hall, owner of TouchPoint Centre and president of the Arkansas State Board of Massage, has to keep her nails short, but needs to have her hands looking nice.

"I have been to other places, and they laughed at me with my short nails, asking why I wanted a manicure. Jonda never laughed at me," Ms. Hall said.

"I have a contract with a hospital and want to look professional in a hospital environment. I just think clean, well-manicured hands make a statement. I wouldn't go to anyone else."

And, then there are some social situations where Naomi would like to have a bit of nail length. She said Jonda "almost stealthily" helped her grow them out.

"It didn't interfere with working on my clients. She is just really kind of a master at working with me for what I need. And her pedicures and manicures last. Not even using the new shellacs, her manicures stay on me, and I am hard on my hands, in and out of water all day and digging in the (peace) labyrinth at TouchPoint."

Naomi said it had been absolutely wonderful to watch Jonda grow in the arena of business.

"She has had to deal with health set-backs and financial set-backs, yet she has been real focused on what her next step is going to be. It makes me want to give her my business. She's a young woman entrepreneur, and I am incredibly proud of her and have a deep respect for her. She's been through a lot and still comes out shining."

Jonda has gone from offering manicures and pedicures to also providing full-service salon services.

In the next two years, she hopes to open a full day spa that would also offer massages and facials.

"That's my dream. I love Hillcrest, but Hillcrest is too small to expand. But, I would always keep this one. I love the Hillcrest area, and I love where I am located. It's like a family. There is no competition. The salons all refer clients to me. All of the salons do great work. It's like one big happy family."

Jonda White Profile




Jonda White

Tell us about your family. I am married with three kids. My husband, Kevin White, is an electrician. My son, Eric Hill, is 17 and goes to Central. My daughter, Jordan Works, is 11 and goes to Carver. My step-son, Kavon White, is 19 and in the service.

Do you have any pets? I have a dog named Mpingo.

How did you come up with that name? Mpingo is a tree in Africa. When you cut it open, it's black. She's all black, an Akita. She will be two years old in July.

What's your favorite Little Rock restaurant? The Taj Mahal.

What do you like to read? Inspirational. I love the book, The Power of Now.

Is there anything you'd like to learn how to do? Yes, work on the computer and learn how to do all the new gadgets.

Do you support any charities? Yes. I am always giving back. I give to the Deaf and Blind school, the Symphony, and I do manis and pedis for the basketball team, for the Trojans. I also help a young lady trying out for AKA, a sorority; I helped her with her fees.

Do you have a favorite movie? The Lion King.

What would you do if you won a large lottery? I would pay all my bills off, buy a comfortable home to live in, and definitely give back. I would help the homeless, give to cancer research and try to help the system with foster kids, especially kids who have more than one sibling, so they can stay together. And I would try to help Haiti.

What do you watch on the tube? I love all the CSIs. My favorite is Criminal Minds. And now, I like the show, The Voice.

Is there anything you'd like to see Little Rock do differently? Help kids with values and morals and have activities for them. At the Dunbar school, they have a garden where they teach the kids how to plant things. Go back to hard work and the innocent days. And have more parks.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Dr. Blake Weber

Blake Weber
Dr. Blake H. Weber loves being a dentist, relieving pain both physical and psychological, and enjoying being part of his patients' lives, many of whom he has treated from their childhoods.

"I am very blessed to be able to enjoy what I do," Dr. Weber said. "I love what I do mostly because of the human contact. I see people from three to 93. A lot of patients I've been seeing since I started practice. These personal contacts are the great part about it.

"I've treated the children and watched the kids grow up. Seen them graduate from college and get married. It's been nice. It's really neat to be part of that and be connected to families."

Blake, who specializes in preventative and family dentistry, as well as cosmetic and implant restoration, has been in practice for 23 years.

His parents may have set him on the road to his profession with a joke. While other kids replied "policeman," "fireman" or "cowboy" to the question of what they wanted to be when they grew up, Blake's answer was a bit different.

"When I was a little kid, my parents thought it was a good laugh to teach me how to say 'orthodontist.' When anyone would ask what I wanted to be when I grew up, I'd say 'orthodontist.' I can't remember actually wanting to do anything else (except dentistry)."

John Novelle of Maumelle, owner of two drug and alcohol treatment centers for adolescents, said one thing he likes about Dr. Weber is the warm, welcoming atmosphere of his office.

"It's just kind of a family thing. I walk in, grab a cup of coffee, share pictures," Mr. Novelle said.

"Blake has been my dentist since 1989, something like that. He did my daughter Lauren's teeth when she was two years old. She's 23 now, and my granddaughter, Kristin, her daughter, who is five years old, goes there. She doesn't have a great need for work. We just put her in the chair and make her comfortable with it.

"I would trust no other. I would not go to another dentist."

The base of Blake's practice is family dentistry, but he does a good number of cosmetic procedures, too. This side of his practice is heartwarming, with his biggest reward often being "a big hug around the neck."

Not all patients are that emotive. Blake remembered a teenage boy who had brown and white splotchy teeth replaced with porcelain veneers. Clearly, the teen was pleased when he looked at the result in the mirror, but he said very little.

"I ran into his mother ... who said, 'I can't tell you how much you did for "Billy." Literally, his personality has changed. He interacts with people. And he laughs.' When someone tells me, "it literally changed my personality,' those are really the coolest moments of what I do."

Then there are those folks who are terrified of going to the dentist. Blake said he understands their fears and works to make visits less stressful.

"We handle it two or three different ways. We encourage parents to bring their children in with them, as early as two or three years old, when they get their teeth cleaned. So kids see it's no big deal. The ones that already are (afraid) ... we sit down and visit with them and let them know that their fears are not uncommon, that a lot of people feel like that. Also that dentistry has changed a lot. And that we are going to let them know exactly what we are going to do. And, that they are in complete control. All they have to do is raise their hand, and we'll stop immediately.

"And then, there's nitrous oxide."

The fact that dentistry has changed a lot with advances in technology helps patients in both physical and psychological ways. The digital x-rays Dr. Weber uses greatly reduce exposure to radiation. He gets an image almost immediately and pops it up on a video machine, so that not only he, but his assistants and the patient can see. Also, he utilizes oral cameras that can snap photographs the patients can see. Light-activated bleaching allows for tooth whitening in a couple of hours. And, far better materials than mercury amalgams are available.

In addition to his practice, Blake works with a group of dentists who volunteer their skills for the Harmony Health Clinic on East Roosevelt Road. The non-profit clinic opened in December 2008 offering free medical care, and its free dental clinic opened in March 2009. It serves local residents ages 13 to 64 whose income does not exceed 200% of the Federal poverty level.

Since opening, it has provided $369,731 in free medical services and $517,943 in free dental services. In addition, it has given out $739,238 in free medications and performed $643,021 worth of free lab tests.

"The people there are so incredibly thankful," Blake said. "I am touched by my patients in my office every day. But the patients at the clinic are so thankful, many of whom are homeless and very disadvantaged, and I am touched by that as much as anything."

Story by Bobbi Nesbitt, February 2012 Shoppe Talk.

Getting to Know Dr. Blake Weber


Blake Weber

Tell us about your family. I have two teenage boys, both seniors at Central. Paul is 18, and Hunter is 17. I have a daughter, Jessica, who is 12 in 7th grade and lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with her mom. I am incredibly blessed with all three of my kids. They are smart and handsome and beautiful, really good kids.

Do you have any pets? I have Spot, a two-year-old rescue dog, and Buddy, who is an 11-week-old goldendoodle.

Goldendoodle? It's a standard poodle and a golden retriever (mix).

What do you like to read? I read a lot of different magazines, and I like spy thrillers. I like John La Carre and James Lee Burke. I like the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Robert Ludlum. Tom Clancy.

What's your favorite Little Rock restaurant? Brave New Restaurant is always exceptionally good. Trios is great, and Arthur's is great.

Where were you born? I was born and raised in Little Rock and went to public schools here and graduated from Parkview High School in 1979. I went all the way through Little Rock public schools.

Do you support any charities? I support Harmony Health Clinic and Camp Pfeifer and we do a lot of things through the office. We support different charitable auctions, offering tooth bleaching. We support eight to 10 organizations that way. I am active at the church (Pulaski Heights Christian Church) and on the board.

Is there anything you'd like to learn how to do? I did that about six to eight years ago. I took up flying. I was in my early 40s ... had to retest my brain and learn all that material.

What do you do in your spare time? I love to fly. And most of what I do revolves around relationships, kinships, and kids.

What do you watch on the tube? I'm getting addicted to The Iron Chef and Chopped. It's kind of laughable, because I don't cook that much. To be perfectly honest, I've tried to cut back on my TV watching.

What's your favorite city? Taos, New Mexico, or Pagosa Springs, Colorado. I really love it out west. If we go out of the country, I like literally 'end-of-the-road' places where no one speaks English.

Is there anything you'd like to see Little Rock do differently? I wish that somehow they'd find the way and the ability to complete the bike path. I love to bike ride.

Do you have a favorite movie? I've seen two incredible movies in the past week, Mission Impossible and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.


What would you do if you won a large lottery? The first thing, family things ... all my family members and extended family members, pay off their houses. And give a big chunk to the church and create a charitable organization. So, I've got a plan - if anybody wins and wants to share the booty.

Little Rock Events February 2012


Donate to FuRR by buying Avon

Avon fans can help Feline Rescue and Rehome by buying Avon products.

FuRR friend Penny Shore is running an email party to benefit FuRR from
now until February 8.

Anything purchased from her website will benefit the organization.

Visit http://pshore.avonrepresentative.com.

Click on "shop my eparty," select your items, and, at checkout, enter
FURRAISER in the code box.

If you order $30 or more, shipping is free and will be delivered to your
door in time for Valentine's Day.

For more information, call 661-0956 or visit saveacat@teamfurr.org.




Chili with a Kick
The 4th Annual Big Red Ball Charitable Foundation's Chili with a Kick will
be held 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. February 25 at Dickey-Stephens Park.

It will benefit Youth Home. Admission is $5.

The event will include games, a kickball tournament, a chili cook-off,
a jalapeno eating contest, live music, arts and crafts, and fare from
Hot Dog Mike.

Bands include Whale Fire, Booyah! Dad, The Year of The Tiger,
Grayson Shelton & War Chief, Suburban Legend, DNR,
Echo Canyon and Falcon Scott.

For information about participating as a chili cook, a player,
or to reserve booth space, contact Larry Betz at lrka@yahoo.com.


Blue Man Group
Blue Man Group will perform
7:30 p.m. February 14
and 15 and 1 p.m. and
7:30 p.m. February 16 at
Robinson Center Music Hall.

The group's popular
shows combine comedy,
music and technology
for fantastic performance
pieces. Loud, funny and
visually arresting fun for all ages.

Tickets are $24 - $51. 501-244-8800 or ticketmaster.com.








Shen Yun

Enjoy Shen Yun 7 - 9:30 p.m. February 27 & 28 at Robinson
Center Music Hall and discover the glory of classical
China's rich culture.

Shen Yun Performing Arts seeks to revive this majestic tradition
through beautifully choreographed dance, drama and music.

Tickets are $50 - $120. Charge by phone at 800-745-300, or visit ticketmaster.com.


Chamber Singers Event at Governor's Mansion


The Arkansas Chamber Singers will hold "A Valentine Soiree" 6:30 p.m.
February 9 at the Governor's Mansion.

Celebrate Valentine's Day with romantic music in a grand setting
featuring local singer Beau Humble.

Tickets are $65 per person. 377-1121.



Flower & Garden Show
The Arkansas Flower and Garden Show will be held
February 24 - 26 at the Statehouse Convention Center.

Landscape architect and author Chris Olsen will present
Five Seasons of Gardening at 11:45 a.m. February 25
and will be signing copies of his book all weekend.

Show times are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Friday and Saturday
and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

$8, $6 for seniors, and free for
children ages 12 or younger.

Parking is free at Dickey-Stephens Park.
A round-trip shuttle ride is $1 and
free for kids.

Chris Olsen







Arkansas Custom Knife Show


The 2012 Arkansas Custom Knife Show will be held February 18 and 19 at Robinson Center.

Admission is $5.

The show will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday.

arkansasknifemakers.com.






ASO's February Lineup

"Valentine's in New York" will be presented by the Arkansas Symphony
Orchestra February 11 and 12 at Robinson Center Music Hall.
Hear beloved hits from the stage with featured soloists.

ASO will present "Ode To Joy" February 25 and 26 at the music hall.
It includes Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 and Schoenberg's A Survivor
from Warsaw. Philip Mann will conduct.

ASO River Rhapsodies will present "Ode to Beethoven" 7 p.m. at the
Clinton Presidential Center.

arkansassymphony.org or 666-1761.


Love Poems Inspired Carmina Burana

The Little Rock Wind Symphony will present Carmina Burana
3 p.m. February 26 at Second Presbyterian Church,
600 Pleasant Valley Drive.

Jamie Lipton will be featured on the euphonium, and
Michael Chance will conduct.

Admission is $10 and $8 for seniors.
Free admission for students. For more information, call
666-0777 or visit lrwindsymphony.org.

Hay Ride at Pinnacle

Enjoy a hay ride followed by a cozy campfire
February 11 at Pinnacle Valley Road, a quarter
mile east of Highway 300. The ride is sponsored
by Pinnacle Mountain State Park.

$10 adults, $5 children ages 6 to 12. 868-5806.