Arts & Crafts

4th of July Decorations
Bunting has come a long way from its origins. Today, you’ll see bunting hanging from Southern Appalachian porches, town halls and city center gazebos on the Fourth of July. All summer long, buntings grace the tables at family reunion picnics and church bazaars. Bunting is especially popular at political rallies, but it’s even used by patriotic hawkers at car lots and flea markets. The term “bunting” refers to most any decorative flags or drapes that you can hang from porch railings, rooftops, windows, doors and decks. Today, bunting can be made of anything from fabric to plastic or cardboard. And while bunting typically is used to showcase patriotism, it can come in an assortment of colors and themes.
Surprise your dad or help him build it. Early Appalachian settlers were do-it-yourselfers before do-it-yourself became an American movement. Embrace the trend and give a handmade gift to your dad this Father’s Day. If you’ve got the tools, here’s a great project to house them: a toolbox that’s as functional as it is good-looking. The finished product, which is 24½ inches long by 14½ inches tall, holds all the tools your dad needs to make his next project.
What differentiates a fiddle from a violin — they’re essentially the same instrument — is the way they’re played. The Italians, in particular Antonio Stradivari, developed modern violin techniques and music. But it’s the Irish who migrated to the rough hills of Appalachia who can count the fiddle as their own incarnation.
With spring comes an opportunity for the whole family to get out of the house and take a trip to an area farm for berry picking. Many farms offer more than just a bucketful of berries. With farm animals, markets, tours and more, kids can learn about farms to gain a better understanding about where their food comes from. Here's a round-up of some berry-picking farms throughout Central Appalachia:

The air fills with natural scents. The grounds are overrun with herbalists, home gardeners and curious nature lovers. And the bounty is plentiful. Nature at its best comes alive when you experience the largest assortment of fresh herbs in one place when the Asheville Herb Festival marks its 25th anniversary:

How to get the most from them It’s the time of year to bring out the flowers. Whether you plan to display fresh-cut flowers in your home or office or regal your garden with a blooming array of color, professional florists at the flower markets throughout the Appalachians are ready to give you a hand.
Whether you’re planning to attend the Kentucky Derby on May 1 or the Blockhouse Steeplechase on May 2, you don’t have much time to get your hat ready. And don’t even think about attending either race without one. For women, it’s a major fashion faux pas, and for men, well, it’s just not done. The South still has certain traditions that should not be broken.

Hat trends from past to present

Hats are hot! What may serve as a must-have cover-up to keep your face shaded from the damaging UV rays of the sun actually may be one of the hottest trends for Southern women in 2015. Big brims, low-hanging bucket hats and hats in outrageous new shapes and sizes were all the rage on the fashion-forward runways this year.

Beth Lebhar: Needlepointing’s champion shares her passion.
A craft project for that someone special… and you.