Cindy Collins, Vivian Pfankuch and More Set for Appalachian Potpourri of Artists, 3/22

Cindy Collins, Vivian Pfankuch and More Set for Appalachian Potpourri of Artists, 3/22

Yes, a potpourri of Appalachian artists will amass on March 22nd from 9am to 6pm in southwest Ohio.

What is potpourri of artists you might ask? Webster Dictionary describes potpourri as a mixture of dried flower petals, leaves and spices that is used to make a room smell pleasant. Or the dictionary simply defines it as a miscellaneous collection. Either definition describes the mixture of some of Southern Ohio's best artists combined under one big roof to present a most pleasant collection of Appalachian crafts.

It's a great way to end the winter chills and blahs. Enjoy a ladies day out or family outing to rural Appalachia. Bring your gift list for home, family and friends as well as your "gifts for ME" list and shop the potpourri of artists' booths.

Appalachian artists have a theory of making use of something old and making it beautiful. So the motto "recycle, reuse and repurpose" is widely used amongst the artists.

Cincinnati native, Cindy Collins - better known as the Wool lady - has created a unique business of recycling rugs, scarves, shoulder wraps, blankets and garlands from used clothing made of 100% wool. Cindy's business, Little Lamb n Ewe Woolens, has gone from a much needed home item into a thriving business that keeps her going to festivals and shows during the cool months of the year. Cindy states that her items do not sell well in the summer months,for obvious reasons , but also humidity and rain can be hard on her wool items. To pinpoint Cindy's booth location at the March show, just look for the abundance of customers waiting to purchase one of Cindy's vibrant colored creations.

Husband and wife, R.D. and Juanita Morgan of Hillsboro, are by far the most unique entrepreneurs. In the early 1940's R.D. helped his father make walking canes and hiking sticks. R.D. is keeping the family tradition and business thriving by going to festivals, fairs and indoor events. He and Juanita also have a 70 year collection of walking sticks from all over the US, Mexico and Japan. The couple spent some time over the winter months in Texas and collected material along the banks of the Brazos River to make 20 new sticks and canes for this March event. Besides recreating a family tradition, R.D. and Juanita are a fun loving team and quickly make lifetime friends at all their shows. It turns out R.D. is quite the jokester and comedic story teller, but with a spiritual meaning. You can also locate their booth easily by the laughter and the rows of handsomely designed walking sticks and canes.

Vivian Pfankuch has become one dynamic entrepreneur by focusing on one specific color and plant ...purple lavender! Vivian owns her own lavender farm in rural Highland county, known as Jaybird Farms. Everything she does involves the color purple. Vivian is a self-taught maker of the finest Lavender Jam Conserve, blackberry jelly, lavender herbal soaps, lavender infused oils and potpourri, lavender scented small pillows that is said to help one sleep. Vivian along with her husband Jay also plant rows of sunflowers and produce that Vivian sells at farmers markets everywhere in the Cincinnati area. She has also raised pheasant from baby chicks to maturity and sells them to restaurants in downtown Cincinnati. Every weekend in June, Jaybird Farm hosts garden clubs and invites individuals to tour the lavender field as Vivian describes each variety. Look for the lady dressed in purple with purple quilt topped tables and every smelly good and delicious item in purple, of course.

Come with an appetite for soups, chicken salad croissants, chips and plate sized soft pretzels. Quench your thirst with sweet Appalachian tea and lemonade and fresh brewed coffee.

No one can leave without a sweet treat from Alecia Sowards', Buckeye Confections. Alecia whips up homemade sweets of buckeyes white and chocolate, chocolate covered pretzels and strawberries, gigantic cookies of all varieties, cakes, candies and so much more. Most folks visit her booth on the way in and on the way out to take her goodies home.

So make plans for a day trip out to rural Appalachia in southwest Ohio's Amish country on March 22 from 9am - 6pm. The location is Hilltop Designs at 9764 Tri-county Road in Winchester, Ohio. Watch for the red signs. Visit www.hilltopdesigns.org.

Photo Credit: Hilltop Designs

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