What a DAY.
Scored all sorts of treasure at the bazaar here at the Assembly. It was a cavalcade of crafting, a melange of making. The concept of “shop local” was deep in my heart, given that the bazaar takes place maybe 100 yards from my cottage. Any more local, and it’d be in my kitchen. The real fun, of course, was talking to these folks.
Craft No. 1: Crochet
Our longtime knitting friend Sallie Swor has a new venture, Strands by Sallie. Strands. She had a righteous strand business cranking all day long—nobody left the bazaar without a string of something or other dangling from the neck.
I beelined for this strand, which you will recognize is crochet with little pearls hooked in every stitch. Sallie told me this strand was “too turquoise” for me. In the heart of White Capri Pants Nation’s convention of ladyhood, this hurt me. I can do turquoise, Sallie! I like turquoise! It goes with my white jeans which are practically white capri pants . . .
Side note: one of the great sensory moments here at the Assembly is bazaar day, when you are walking down the hill toward the mall, and you become aware of the magnificent scent of 200 ladies’ perfumes, colognes, bath powders, and fragrances combined into an invisible soft cloud that hits you like a hug from your grandma. From 50 yards away. Incredible.
Craft No. 2: Woodworking
This is Will Peebles.
He is studying woodworking at a pretty high level here in Tennessee. I managed to score one of his walnut cutting boards. They’re all unusual shapes, lovely finishes.
This one has a handle that means I could whack the tar out of anybody who takes my last piece of cheese.
I expect great things from Will. His mom, my next-door neighbor here, showed me the blanket chest that was his first project. Beautiful lines.
Will’s spoon game is strong, and if you follow him on Instagram at @peebles_wood, you’ll soon discover the wooden spoon world. The spoonists are every bit as obsessed about curly, curvy spoons as we are about our favorite craft.
Craft No. 3: Painting
This painting is 2″ x 2″. Brooke Ballenger teaches Russian in Memphis, after living in St. Petersburg for 17 years. She imports things from Russia and Estonia, including tiny paintings like this. We talked mittens and scarves and the way Estonian handcraft exports aren’t subject to customs tariffs, to aid in expanding Estonia’s economy. I look at these tiny goats and wonder who painted them.
Brooke just won a fiction contest run by Memphis magazine. Her story, “Grandfather’s Coat,” is set during the siege of Leningrad. There is no more haunting piece of history than that miserable siege.
Craft No. 4: Agriculture
Tomatoes of a very high level, bought from the supernice lady who also brought the most gorgeous, deep-woods, ancient-looking ferns I ever saw. Sorry not to get a photo.
Craft No. 5: Knitting
Look who came up for the day.
Haus of Yarn spokesmodel Kelley and her mom Ann. We cooled our heels on the porch, knitted a few rows, and had a great time not solving a single one of the world’s problems.
Stay cool, knittas. It’s getting hot out there.