Monthly Archives: April 2018

In Fine Feather

In The Home

Dan-Lee-&-Nancy-CrawfordThis cheerful River Island home of empty nesters is full of folk art and family treasures

When Evans residents Nancy Crawford and her husband, Dan Lee, decided to build a new home, the empty nesters, who have four children between them, wanted to “downsize, but not downgrade.”

The avid walkers were drawn to River Island for its tranquil, traffic-free walking paths through the neighborhood and along the Savannah River. “It’s the best walk in the area,” Nancy says. “All we see are birds.”

They also wanted a design that would let them “feather their nest” according to their lifestyle. For instance, their previous home in Northwood, where they raised their “yours, mine and ours” blended family, had five bedrooms – all on the second story. “We wanted a master bedroom downstairs,” says Nancy. 

The couple started doing their research, and they came across an open floor plan that matched their needs. “I found these house plans online and fell in love with them,” says Dan. “I didn’t know how much house plans cost, but I found out that if you use a Southern Living builder, you get the plans at half price.”

He contacted Jamie Reynierson of J. Reynierson Homes Inc., the exclusive Southern Living custom builder in the area, and told him what they wanted in a home. “Jamie said, ‘I have wanted to build that house for three years,’” says Dan.

_Neighborhood-BoardwalkEarly Birds & ‘Girly’ Birds
While the house was under construction, Nancy and Dan visited the waterfront site almost every day. The couple made several tweaks to the plans before moving into their home in April 2017. “Jamie said, ‘If you don’t change the footprint of the house, we can do anything you want,” says Nancy.

For instance, the Carolina room – their favorite spot in the house – was supposed to be a screened-in porch, but they enclosed the space to have more heated and cooled territory.

Thanks to the suggestion of one of their vendors, the couple made a slight change to the front door as well. According to the original house plans, the door opened from the direction that would have led straight into the powder room. By reversing sides, however, guests are guided into the great room.

“Everybody had really good ideas along the way,” says Nancy. “We just had to listen to them. I told all of the subcontractors, ‘Don’t let me make a mistake.’”

Carolina-Room-VerticalThe original plans also called for French doors, which became windows instead, in the great room. Along the back of the house, which overlooks Jones Creek, the original plan called for more French doors that became windows. “I knew I wanted lots of windows,” Nancy says.

Using every bit of the space in the house, they also tucked a niche of reclaimed wood shelfing on the side of the great room fireplace. 

“Everyone who walks in this house says, ‘It’s unique,’” says Dan. “You don’t know what that really means.” 

With the home’s open floor plan, the great room connects with the Carolina room. “We have these two living spaces side by side, so our task when building this house was for them to not look matchy-matchy,” says Nancy. 

Carolina-Room-&-Great-RoomWhile the two rooms share traits such as shiplap walls, fireplaces and folk art accents, subtle differences give them distinct personalities. The great room includes cabinetry topped with reclaimed wood shelving, a reclaimed brick fireplace, ceiling fan, cart coffee table, cream-colored couch, brightly colored French Country rug and buffalo check curtains.

A large colorful acrylic painting on wood of a crow – one of several pieces of artwork in the house by Georgia artist Cornbread Anderson – hangs on a wall. “I have several of his pieces. I wish I had more,” says Nancy. “I love a nice, bright piece of folk art, and if I can support a Georgia artist, I do.”

A John Perry painting of apple pickers on wood also hangs on a wall in the great room. “He carved the wood and then painted it,” says Dan.

The Carolina room features cabinetry with built-in bookcases and a perfect view of the rising sun over Jones Creek.

Exterior-Horizontal“Every morning we can watch the sunrise over the clubhouse,” says Dan, a pulmonologist at Eisenhower Army Medical Center. “You need sunglasses in here at nine o’clock in the morning.” 

That’s just the way they like it. “I’m an early riser. Every morning I watch the sunrise, and it’s absolutely beautiful,” Nancy says.

The Carolina room décor includes a red wicker rocker and matching footstool by a wrought iron floor lamp with birds perched on branches in one corner of the room. A black wrought iron chair with woodpeckers in the back occupies another corner, and a vase of fresh flowers sits on a glass-topped, gray wrought iron coffee table by the wicker couch with bright blue cushions. 

Exterior-Rear-Elevation-2Edith the Egret, a life-sized metal bird with a fish in her mouth – a housewarming gift from their two older daughters – stands next to the console table behind the couch. A pair of binoculars hangs on the wall. “We keep binoculars by the door so we can look out at the birds,” says Dan. 

The reclaimed wood mantel on the Carolina room fireplace matches the great room shelving, and a colorful acrylic on canvas, “Sunflowers and Poppies” by Brooke Baxter Howie, rests on the mantel. The fireplace, also made of reclaimed brick, features a crushed oyster shell tabby surround. 

“The builders put up wet stucco and threw the rocks at it,” says Nancy. “They let me place one rock.” And yes, she can point out that particular pebble. 

The shelving in the great and Carolina rooms holds the couple’s treasures, ranging from framed family photos to more folk art. Another Cornbread Anderson painting of a mother guinea hen and her babies sits on a top shelf in the great room, while his painting of a raccoon resides in the Carolina room.

“You buy stuff that makes you happy. Then when you put it in your home, it makes you happy every time you look at it,” says Nancy.

Hallway-Rooster-On-Table-1A handprint ceramic platter from their daughter, Molly, a Medical College of Georgia student, and three of her classmates, who call Nancy and Dan “their substitute parents,” has sentimental value. The handprints look like fish, and each girl’s name is under her print. Of course, one of the med students even worked a DNA image into her fishtail. 

When the couple moved in, they already had all the furniture in the house except the upholstered pieces in the great room and the Carolina room. “We finally got the home that suits our style and furnishings,” says Nancy. “A lot of our furniture could be used in different rooms.”

While the furnishings are versatile, the construction includes consistent features such as paneled doors and 8-inch pine flooring throughout the house. “The entire house is hardwood. There is no carpet, no vinyl and no tile,” says Dan. 

They also have found that taking care of the floors is easy, simply sanding away a gouge or scratch.

Dining-Room“I love the knots. I like the way it doesn’t look uniform,” says Nancy. “The flooring has all kinds of imperfections in it, and that is fine with me.”

With Flying Colors
While the house is teeming with vibrant colors, Nancy says, “Black, white and gray are my neutral colors.”

Nowhere is that more evident than in the kitchen. The large island was painted red and distressed with black paint. Nancy keeps a small herb garden on the white quartz countertop by the farmhouse sink, and decorative tin adds interest to a pair of cabinet doors underneath the countertop. Pendant lights hang above the island, and a quartet of black barn light wall sconces sits up high on the walls.

The kitchen also features a two-story ceiling, shiplap walls, stainless steel appliances, leathered granite perimeter cabinets and glass-front doors on the top cabinets. A distressed red barn door leads to the pantry.

Kitchen-Pantry-Barn-DoorAn old butter churn, which belonged to Nancy’s mother, sits against a kitchen wall beneath a framed tea towel that friends brought them from Italy. “Something doesn’t have to be fancy for me to love it,” says Nancy.

“It has to hit her just right though,” adds Dan.

The dining room features a wood table with Windsor chairs. “Every little nick and scratch I see in the table is somebody having a good time at a meal,” Nancy says. “There is factory distressing and then there’s personal distressing.”

Like the great room, Carolina room and kitchen, the dining room also has shiplap walls. “We tried to put it where it would have the most impact,” Nancy says.

A pair of decorative hens – that’s Henrietta on the left and Henri on the right – is perched on the bottom shelf of the black sideboard in the dining room. “We have lots of chickens. Many of them have names,” says Nancy. “It can’t be just any chicken though. It has to look folky enough.”

The master bedroom features a wrought iron forest canopy bed, magnolia bloom lamps on the bedside tables, a black wooden chair with a pair of rabbits carved in the back and a houndstooth-patterned chair and footstool. Quilts that Dan’s grandmother made are draped on the back of a small church pew.

The adjoining master bath includes hardwood flooring, a stand-alone tub and two vanities with off-center sinks to allow room for larger drawers. The walk-in shower features tile flooring in a basket weave pattern.

Wrought-Iron-Canopy-BedPlaces to Perch
Their style extends into the guest bedrooms upstairs. One room includes a wood canopy bed, a quilt rack holding quilts that Nancy’s grandmother made and a rabbit-carved wooden chair like the one in the master bedroom –but this one is painted white. Another bedroom includes an iron canopy bed with birds perched on the bars, and a six-paned window painted with bright orange carrots sits on an easel.

The lime green walls of the third bedroom offer a striking contract with the black wrought iron bed and black and white décor. Black and white vertical stripes run down the front of a black chest.

“This house has more ‘live’ space and less bedroom space,” Nancy says.

Their “live” space includes the great outdoors as well. The front porch features kiln-dried, stained decking that is nailed on the sides, two ceiling fans, a pair of wicker chairs, two rockers and a porch swing.

Front-Porch-Vertical“We love our swing,” Nancy says. “In the summer we spend a good bit of time out here. We’ve had lots of people on this porch. We just drag chairs out here.”

When they want to soak in their water view, they can sit on the back deck, which features a tall table with four tall chairs and a tete-a-tete pair of seats made of recycled milk jugs. “It’s heavy, durable and sturdy,” Nancy says. Four Adirondack chairs surround a covered fire pit on reclaimed brick. Nearby, sits a wall of firewood, which Dan and their son split and Nancy stacked. “It came from all of the trees we had to take down on the lot,” she says. “We tried to save as many trees as possible.”

An iron heron sculpture, which Nancy and Dan got seven years ago, watches over the flowerbeds. “Little did we know that he was going to have his own place by the river with all of his heron and egret friends,” says Nancy.

Backyard visitors include real birds flock that to the feeders.

Master-Bedroom“I pinch myself that I get to live here,” Dan says.

By Betsy Gilliland

Rotary Club of Columbia County Giant Community Yard Sale


Calling-Post-2The Rotary Club of Columbia County supports the community in a variety of ways, but it primarily focuses on literacy projects. And one of the main ways the organization supports these endeavors is with its Giant Community Yard Sale each spring.

This year’s eighth annual yard sale will be held from 7 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 5 at the Columbia County fairgrounds. Bargain hunters can find items such as furniture, plants, Tupperware, arts and crafts, books, toys and baby clothes at more than 200 booths. 

“We sell the space, and we allow people to have their own yard sales,” says James Waldron, a Rotary Club of Columbia County board member. “Imagine having 220 yard sales in your neighborhood at one time.” 

Calling-Post-1The Rotary Club rents 10-foot-by-10-foot or 20-foot-by-20-foot spaces to vendors at indoor, outdoor or patio locations, and attendees might find more than household goods.

“One year we had a man cooking ribs. I didn’t know anybody ate ribs for breakfast, but he had a long line at his booth,” says Waldron.

About 2,000 to 3,000 people typically attend the yard sale. Local charities also will be on hand to accept donations from vendors that don’t want to take home any items they don’t sell. 

Shoppers are asked to make a donation for parking, and these proceeds will be used to support literacy projects such as Communities in School, the Greater Augusta Partnership for Literacy and the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. Proceeds also will provide funding to purchase books for the SAIL school, sponsor an international student at Augusta University and support a local Boy Scout troop.

“It’s a great project,” says Waldron. “We don’t do it to promote Rotary. It’s an avenue for us to expand our youth charities.”

Sister Act


8x10-both-sistersA pair of siblings from Martinez could find themselves together on stage vying for the title of Miss America 2019

Between the two of them, Martinez natives Kendyl and Karson Pennington have won many beauty/scholarship contest titles and leadership awards – often the same ones, but four years apart. With the age difference between the two sisters, however, they have been in the same competition only once.

Well, they just might find themselves vying against each other again before too long. Kendyl, 23, will compete as Miss Boiling Springs at the Miss South Carolina Pageant June 26 – 30 in Columbia. Karson, 20, will compete as Miss Fayette County in the Miss Georgia Pageant June 12 – 16 in Columbus. If the Pennington sisters win the state crowns, then they will advance to the Miss America 2019 competition later this year. 

“That would be the coolest thing ever,” says Karson.

Kendyl agrees. “If you get that far,” she says, “you’ve already won by then.”

Defying the Odds
KendylThe sisters had a great experience when they competed together in the Miss Georgia Outstanding Teen pageant in 2011. Kendyl was 17 years old at the time, and Karson was 13. And as luck would have it, a random drawing among the 50 contestants put them in back-to-back placement.

“It was a Godsend,” says Karson. “If I had to go through that by myself, I don’t think I would have made it.”

They say it is rare for sisters to compete in pageants. In addition, Kendyl says, “Statistics say that you’re more likely to have a son compete in the Super Bowl than a daughter that competes in Miss America.”

If you ask the Pennington sisters about competing in pageants, however, they tend to say little about the contests themselves. They are more likely to talk about each other’s accomplishments or the charitable causes they promote as contestants for their platforms.

“It’s more about everything else that goes along with it. Everything I do to prepare for Miss South Carolina is only helping me in my professional career,” says Kendyl. “If you do it the right way, you’re doing things you’re already doing in life anyway.”

And they have been doing quite a bit in life already, thank you.

Kendyl is a 2016 honors graduate of University of South Carolina with a degree in philosophy and physics. She is finishing pursuit of a second degree in chemistry at USC this month and is interviewing with medical schools for fall admission. She hopes to become a pediatric oncologist one day.

As an undergraduate, Kendyl danced for the USC Coquette Dance Team and served as the Relay for Life captain at USC for two years. She also was one of the top Relay for Life earners for Columbia County for several years, and Relay for Life is her pageant platform. “I had a skin cancer scare when I was in high school,” says Kendyl. In addition, while she was at Lakeside, one of her teachers was diagnosed with breast cancer.

KarsonKarson, a University of Georgia sophomore, is double majoring in journalism and political science. She is in honors college at UGA and was one of 12 UGA women chosen from her class as an outstanding leader to be inducted in the Dean William Tate Honor Society. She hopes to go to law school to become a child advocacy attorney.

She dances for the UGA Georgettes Dance Team and serves as assistant chairwoman for UGA Miracle, a student-run philanthropic organization that recently raised $1.3 million for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta – the university’s Children’s Miracle Network hospital.

Both girls won Miss Lakeside High School, and they have received recognition for their leadership skills, academic success, extracurricular activities and community service as well. They were named Augusta Exchange Club Youth of the Year (2012 and 2016) and Georgia Exchange Club Youth of the Year (2012 and 2016). Both girls won the Ryan Clark Community Service Award/Scholarship (2012 and 2016) and were selected as Martinez Merchant Association Scholarship recipients (2012 and 2016).

Miss America Organization’s partnership with Children’s Miracle Network hospitals is a driving force behind their pageant participation for Kendyl and Karson. As a service requirement, contestants competing in Miss America-sponsored pageants are expected to raise a minimum of $100 for Children’s Miracle Network hospitals and the Miss America Scholarship Fund.

Karson, whose pageant platform is Reach Out and Read (ROAR), also appreciates the connection between her literacy project and the children’s hospitals. She delivers books – with Kendyl’s help sometimes – to children while they are hospitalized. “It’s the best feeling in the world,” says Karson. In addition, she says, “It is a gateway to get more involved in child advocacy.”

Karson has created literacy PSAs, and she is writing a children’s book, featuring Lucky the Lion, about the importance of reading. “You can’t do much in society if you don’t know how to read,” she says. “It’s such a disadvantage socially and economically. My platform is aimed at kids and adults.”

Kendyl-&-Karson-at-office-3Living and Learning
Kendyl competed in the 2013 Miss Georgia Pageant as Miss Augusta and in the Miss South Carolina Pageant last year as Miss Georgia-Carolina State Fair. In last year’s pageant alone, she took home almost $5,000 in scholarship money for finishing in the Top 10, winning the swimsuit competition and winning the community service award.

“It’s more than a beauty pageant. It’s not about who wins at all — all of the contestants are accomplished,” says Kendyl. “Becoming the best version of yourself is what it’s all about for me.”

The girls also got involved in the scholarship-based pageants for the educational opportunities they offer contestants, but they have learned life lessons as well.

For instance, Kendyl says, “Giving back is so important. You get so much out of volunteering.”

“Your character is the most important thing you have,” says Karson. “You learn to be truthful about yourself.”

While some people might have the idea that pageant participants are selfish or superficial, Kendyl and Karson say they have formed wonderful friendships with their fellow contestants.

“Everyone that I’ve met during pageants is incredibly genuine,” Karson says. “I love spending so much time with the other contestants during pageant week.”

Kendyl will tap dance during the talent portion of the pageant while Karson will perform a lyrical dance. “Dancing in front of thousands of people at football games makes it easier to dance on stage,” Karson says.

The contestants also participate in swimsuit and evening gown competitions. Both girls agree, however, that the interview portion, which carries the most weight, is their favorite part of the pageant. Apparently, the sash doesn’t fall far from the contestant. After all, their mother, Kathy, won the interview segment of Miss Georgia when she competed in the pageant as Miss Southeast Georgia in the 1980s. She helps her daughters sharpen their interview skills by having lively discussions about current events with them.

The sisters have taught each other a thing or two as well. Karson has learned to “keep trying” from her big sister, and Kendyl has learned to “keep a positive attitude” from her little sister.

“We really help each other,” Kendyl says. “We’re each other’s biggest resources.”

Until, of course, it comes to supremacy between the Bulldogs or the Gamecocks. . . .

Casual Furniture Augusta

Women In Business

Casual Furniture of Augusta is known for its quality outdoor furnishings at affordable prices and its impeccable customer service. And now, the store – voted Best Outdoor Furniture six years in a row – has added even more new collections.

“We’re excited to bring these new indoor and outdoor furnishings and accessories to our customers,” says owner Donna Gibbs, who has more than 33 years in the business. “It’s one more way for us to serve them.”
3725 Washington Rd
Augusta, GA 30907


Martinez Gold Fine Jewelry

Women In Business

New and longtime customers agree: anyone who stops in Martinez Gold instantly feels at home. The neighborhood jewelry store, which has been serving the area in the same location for 40 years, is welcoming, yet elegant, and the staff friendly and helpful. Owner Karen Deer has run the business, started by her husband, Jimmy, and his father, since 1981, and has deep, long-lasting roots in the community.

“We take great pride in our ability to offer a level of service that encourages repeat customers and referrals,” says Karen. “To ensure the absolute best value for our clients, we exercise extreme diligence in selecting merchandise from companies with long-standing reputations in the jewelry industry.”

3801 Washington Road | Suite D | Martinez, GA
(706) 863-3314
Visit our website:


L & J Roofing and Home Improvements, Inc.

Women In Business

Some customers might be surprised to find two women run- ning a roofing/remodeling company. They might not be surprised, however, when they realize the women are Grace Gilpin, president and CEO of L & J Roofing and Home Improvements, Inc., and general contractor Carol McWhorter. Grace and Carol are excited to play an active role in the roofing/remodeling industry and community, just as Larry Gilpin, Sr. would have intended for them to do.

The women are building on the business model that Larry – Grace’s late husband of 41 years and a mentor to Carol – started in 1972.

Visit our website at:
4345 Columbia Rd. #D  • Martinez, GA 30907
(706) 738-7663
Hours of Operation:  Monday – Friday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM


Window Décor by Dana

Women In Business

It’s easy to see that no one can add the finishing touches to your home like Window Décor by Dana.

Founded by Dana Conley in January 2006, Window Décor by Dana offers blinds, shades, woven woods and plantation shutters. Woven woods give texture to any room, and one of her newest products, cordless cellular shades, are energy efficient and change color from day to night. The cellular shades also work well on doors or windows. Motorized shutters are the perfect solution for hard-to-reach places such as over tubs and tall windows.

Dana offers free in-home consultations and quotes for homes or businesses, and her professional installers complete each job. 

“I truly enjoy meeting new customers and providing quality window products for their home or business,” Dana says. “No job is too big or too small.”

DANA M. CONLEY  803-646-1605



La Bonbonnière

Women In Business

World-class chocolates are right around the corner. Just look for La Bonbonnière.

La Bonbonnière was founded in 2005 by Marie-Hélène VandenBrugge-Smith (Bébette). After graduating from the Chocolate Academy in Wieze, Belgium, Bébette opened her first location on Fury’s Ferry Road. She continues to further her education in the chocolate and confection fields by attending workshops in Belgium as well as in the U.S.

229 Fury’s Ferry Rd. | Suite 129 | (706) 868-8120
Our website is


Silverton Mortgage

Women In Business

At Silverton, we consider all the financial factors affecting your mortgage. We don’t believe one size fits all – we help you strike the perfect balance between product and pricing, so you can finance your home with confidence knowing we’ve got this! This balance, along with superior personal service and communication throughout the entire process, is why branch manager Holly Lott and her team are one of the leading mortgage lenders in Augusta, Georgia.

Holly, an award-winning mortgage banker, has more than 30 years of experience in the banking and financial industry – 22 of those years in the mortgage industry. She is a past president of Augusta Mortgage Bankers Association and a member of Augusta Board of Realtors, Augusta Homebuilders Association and Sales & Marketing Council. She also serves on the FHA/VA liaison committee for Mortgage Bankers Association of Georgia.

3520 Walton Way Ext | Suite B Augusta, GA 30909
Visit our website at


Paradise Kennels

Women In Business

Paradise Kennels was opened in 1977 by Richard Lord, who was passionate about caring for animals. Today, his daughter, Ashton Thompson, along with her long-term staff, carries on that same passion. Whether it’s bathing, grooming, or keeping your babies while you’re on vacation, you can rest assured that your pet will be loved and cared for as one of our own.

We offer short- and long-term boarding. Does your pet require any medications? No worries. Our staff is trained to administer any medications including daily insulin injections. We offer a wide range of grooming solutions for your cat or dog. Bathing, full haircut, or just a nail trim, we can take care of all your pets’ grooming needs!

Call us and make a spa day appointment or reservations for an overnight stay!

3996 Belair Road
Augusta, GA   30909  
(706) 860-1977



Willene J. Satcher – Satcher Insurance Services, Inc.

Women In Business

Insurance is an unavoidable aspect of life, and Willene J. Satcher,  owner of Satcher Insurance Services Inc., is dedicated to protecting her clients’ families, properties and businesses. The company, which serves customers in Georgia and South Carolina, covers many items that people often overlook including recreational vehicles such as motorcycles, boats, jet skis, campers and motor homes.

Building 1 A | 4210 Columbia Rd | Martinez
(706) 863-0002

Visit our website at :


Jordan Family Dentistry

Women In Business

Columbia County native Melissa Jordan has always known she wanted to serve her community, and the Medical College of Georgia School of Dentistry honors graduate has found her niche. Dr. Jordan, who lives in Evans with her husband and fellow Columbia County native, Daniel, and their three children, opened Jordan Family Dentistry in Grovetown in April 2018.

“As a business owner in a healthcare service field, I can serve the community,” she says. “I enjoy supporting my patients and local causes.”

(706) 619-1733
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