Arts & Crafts
People have always appreciated the beauty of Appalachian fiber arts, going way back to the settler days. What began as a necessity, when mothers took great pains to stitch their children’s clothing with precision and pride, became an art form. Young women respected the hours and hours their forebears spent at quilting bees. Brides admired the handiwork in a fine-knitted afghan handed down from one generation to the next. And no home was complete without a carefully crafted needlepoint sampler hung in every bedroom.
As Appalachian as the banjo and as ancient as civilization
Few artists embody the Appalachian culture, the autumnal colors and the handcrafted heritage of the Appalachian Mountains like Matt Tommey. He produces “sculptural basketry for luxury mountain homes that include wall hangings, tabletop pieces, fireplace mantel installations and collections for the pedestal or shelf.” In other words, he creates woven baskets as ornamental art.
Seven autumn activities to do with your crafty kids
It wouldn’t be a real Appalachian autumn without watching children dive into a huge pile of fallen leaves. It’s a rite of passage, a way to tell time — you see who jumps right in, who wasn’t quite ready last year but now goes full-speed ahead, and who were master leaf-jumpers last year but might be a little too cool for it this year. But when the kids get tired of jumping, how do you keep them busy, and what do you do with all those leaves?
The fruit you scoop from innards of a gourd can be just as tasty as any squash, pumpkin or zucchini. Boil it, mash it, grill it or mix it all up into a tasty casserole for your next potluck event. Cook your gourds with butter, olive oil or deep-fried breading. Season your gourds with brown sugar, cinnamon or sage. With cooler weather approaching, you’ll see more gourds at the farmers markets. And while you may be tempted to grab some gourds while they are ripe, consider leaving a few in the sun for more artistic endeavors.
Inside and Out