Sunday, October 05, 2014

First Frost and a Folk Festival


Blairsville, Georgia (first frost of the year) 32.5 degrees this morning!

We got our first cold front of the year.  It only got up to 58 degrees yesterday, but today will be low 60’s and then back to the 70’s for the rest of the week.

I guess the cold weather helps the leaves change color, so we aren’t complaining.

I found out last night now low the temperature needs to be before the heat pump quits working on our new AC unit. It was 35 degrees.    We had the electric blanket on, and were nice and toasty all night.   We don’t run the noisy furnace if we don’t have to.


Yesterday was the annual John C. Campbell Folk School Festival.  This one is just north of us in Brasstown, North Carolina. There are many, many fall festivals in this area, but this was our favorite last year, so we were looking forward to it again this year.

from Wikipedia:

The John C. Campbell Folk School, also referred to as "The Folk School" is located near Brasstown along the Cherokee County and Clay line. The school was founded to nurture and preserve the folk arts of the Appalachian Mountains, it is a non-profit adult educational organization based on non-competitive learning. Founded in 1925, the Folk School's motto is “I sing behind the plow”.

It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a national historic district in 1983.[1] The district encompasses 19 contributing buildings. Notable buildings include the Farm House (pre-1925), Keith House (1926-1928), Log House Museum (19th century, 1926), Mill House (1928), (Former) Milking Barn (now Pittman Blacksmith Shop, c. 1930), Hay Barn (1931), Tower House (1933), Rock House (c. 1932), and Hill House (c. 1932).

The Folk School has week-long and weekend classes year-round in traditional and contemporary arts, including blacksmithing, music, dance, cooking, gardening, nature studies, photography, storytelling and writing. The school campus includes a history museum, craft shop, nature trails, lodging, campground and cafeteria. The school also holds a regular concert series and community dances. The School hosts Morris Dance, Garland Dance and Clogging Teams.


We remembered from last year that the festival was pretty crowded, so we decided to get there early. Unfortunately, so did thousands of other people!  

The students displayed and sold their crafts and there were some amazing and unusual things.  There were also some amazing prices! 

We ended up buying only one thing.  It was a home grown loofah sponge. Who knew loofah’s came from a plant?   I guess I never really thought about it.

We were told they take 6 months from seed to sponge.  Once they are ready to harvest, they have to remove the skin and meat,  then shake out all the seeds. It’s quite a process, I guess.

They look much like squash before harvest.

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The finished product. The “farmer” told us they clean them naturally but the ones you buy commercially have been chemically cleaned and are not as soft.  Of course, we had to buy one.



They had some demonstrations of some of the crafts they do at the school.  This woman was weaving.


You can see all the machines in the background. This was just one of the many classrooms.


I tried to take a picture of one of the displays of blown glass, but I guess I wasn’t supposed to.  There was no sign saying no photos, so I didn’t think it would be a problem. I was backed up far enough not to get much detail of their art, but I guess it was a no-no and the lady was kind of nasty about it.  She shoved me and then told me they didn’t allow pictures.   I don’t think she needed to be so rude, I just wanted something for the blog. 


Well, this guy was much nicer and didn’t mind his picture taken one little bit.

He was an 8 month old Alpaca, and boy was he adorable.  It was his first outing in public and he was a little nervous.  His “mom” had to snuggle and comfort him.


You better believe I got my hands on this little sweetie.


Their fur is so thick and soft.


The crowds got worse and worse and it got to the point it was hard to see the crafts.  I got a little aggravated at some of the people who seemed oblivious and would stand in the middle of a doorway, or vendor area and keep everyone else out.  


They had a lot of music groups and some cloggers, but we didn’t take the time to watch them this year.  It was too hard to try and see all of the 300+ exhibits.  

One of my favorite things (after the Alpaca) was the port-a-potties!

I normally detest using a port-a-potty, and will avoid it at all cost, but Al told me that they had a guy who cleaned them after each use.  That intrigued me, so I decided to give it a try…..after all, it was a long day.   :)

I was pleasantly surprised how clean it was.  No odors, and everything was clean and shiny. They even had a hand sanitizer inside and outside there was a big portable sink with fresh water and soap to wash your hands. They even had paper towels and hand lotion!  Wow, was I impressed.  We even left a tip and I complemented the guy who cleaned after each use.  All of the women were impressed and talking about how nice they were.   Now, that’s how to run a port-a-potty business!


There is another festival today in Suches, Georgia.  We’re not sure it we’ll go or not, but if we do, we’ll need to dress warm.   It’s still only 35 degrees at 9am!    Burrrrrr.


  1. Burrrrr is right. It is 60 here and I think that is cold.

  2. I would have bought one of those sponges too. Neat!

  3. You've been spoiled by all that Florida weather. With that cold, I'm surprised you didn't shear that little Alpaca and make yourself a coat... ;c)

  4. Thats is cold weather about the same as we are having here.
    Soon time for to be heading south too.

  5. We had a busy day yesterday and even though it was cool it didn't get as cold as you had it in the mountains.
    I agree with you there was no reason that woman had to be so rude if there were no signs and it wasn't like you were trying to copy her product.
    At this point we're sure that you are starting to think about heading south just like we are.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  6. Love fall festivals, and they're especially interesting when the crafters give demonstrations.

    The Alpaca is a real cutie pie!

  7. Alpaca's are so cute, they always look like they're smiling. I have seen some alpaca yarn for sale and it is very expensive.


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