Friday, October 24, 2014

up the hill at the end of the handmade parade

(Hillsborough Handmade Parade continued)
So the parade continued up the hill to the Burwell School lawn, watchers falling into line behind the marchers...
...stopping along the way to create sidewalk art in front of one of the galleries, to enjoy a delicious warm beignet or a mug of thick hot chocolate. 
 On the rolling lawn, the Historical Society served hot buttery corn-on-the-cob on a stick and freshly made lemonade.  The giant puppets towered over everyone...

...and drummers from Cakalak Thunder, Magic of African Rhythms, the Occaneechi Tribe and the Bulltown Strutters all joined together in a circle.  They took turns leading the beat with the other drummers picking up their rhythm to produce a glorious noise. 

 Inside the drum circle, children gathered and started to spin, twirl, grasp hands and dance...
...while on the outer ring, the adults danced along.
And slowly but surely, people began to tire and wandered back down the hill, heading home again.

Monday, October 20, 2014

hillsborough's handmade parade

Each October, the Hillsborough Arts Council, along with the Town of Hillsborough and the Orange County Arts Council, puts on a glorious Handmade Parade. The aim is to foster community involvement in the arts and to help people gain confidence in their own creative abilities. They invite all comers to work directly with local artists during several workshops ahead of time, but participants can also choose to create their own costume or giant puppet on their own.
Everyone in invited to participate in the parade and groups are also encouraged to join in. The only stipulations are that the costumes must be homemade. Logos, political and religious beliefs are prohibited, no written word or motorized vehicles (except motorized wheelchairs). 
It's a fabulous way to spend a beautiful autumn afternoon! 
This little boy and his dinosaur need a nap before the parade arrives!

Here they come!


Several area drum groups add rhythm and lots of excitement!

The Bulltown Strutters add New Orleans style fun!

This little "bluebird" danced wildly along the parade route.

At the end of the parade, the crowd joins in...

...and climbs the hill to the Burwell School lawn, where even more fun ensues. (next post) For more information on the Handmade Parade, including lots of resources for your own costuming, click here!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

corner view: pretty eyesore

Corner View is a weekly appointment - each Wednesday - created by Jane (Spain) and curated by Francesca (Italy), where bloggers from all corners of the world share their view on a pre-arranged theme.  The theme this week  "pretty eyesore", and comes from Francesca (Italy).

North Carolina used to have a thriving textile industry whose mills were world renowned suppliers of yarns, fabrics, clothing, hosiery, cotton products, mattress ticking, military materials, plaids, etc. Those days have passed and now NC is dotted with vine covered, neglected old mill buildings. Lately though, there's a growing interest in saving the old buildings, repurposing them but keeping architectural facets in place. Some are being turned into beautiful shopping malls, full of huge, gleaming golden beams, expansive windows and heavy, polished ironwork.

One such restoration has happened in the village of Saxapahaw, a tiny hamlet with approximately 1800 residents. It's far from the interstate, miles from any large town, found only by traveling down windy country roads or by canoeing down the Haw River. Sitting on the river is the old cotton mill, mill complex buildings, the company administrative office, a one-room schoolhouse and dozens of tiny, quaint mill houses.

The mill opened in 1844, established by a Quaker settler. It remained a working facility for 150 years, until a tornado hit the area, damaged much of the area and the owners decided not to rehabilitate after the extensive storm damage. After languishing for decades and falling into disrepair, a local leader whose family had lived in the village for generations, gathered like-minded people together to rehab, restore and re-imagine. 
photo via village archive

Today, the old mill is filled with gorgeous, high-ceiling residential lofts. Sitting along the river it's a gorgeous spot to watch the water birds and swift water running over huge rock formations. The area is heavily wooded and hiking trails have been created there. The golden wood floors, the heavy beams and some of the old machinery remains as a clue or reminder of the complex's history.  
It's a gathering place, full of environmentally conscious people, artists, musicians, and folks who love the outdoors. A fabulous pub with world-class food offerings, a general store that also offers amazing noshes 7 days a week, a bio-fuel station, a farmer's market, outdoor music venue, and charter school all have all taken up residence at the complex.
Surrounding the village are organic farms, a winery, cute little antiques shops, a village bookstore, art gallery and the fabulous Paperhand Puppet Intervention Company that I've mentioned in previous posts.
The old dye-house has been renovated into a fantastic music venue which attracts top-notch music groups from NC as well as acclaimed national acts. It's also a popular spot for weddings, conferences, music jams and other community events. A great coffee shop sits just outside the "ballroom" and residents and visitors enjoy their coffee on the deck overlooking the river. It's a great spot to watch the sunset.
So what once might have been a worn-out eyesore has been renovated into something lovely. I think that the pieces of machinery that were left in place and serve as a marker to an industry that's long-gone, and the families whose lives depended on it are perfect, rusty treasures.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

corner view: what makes me happy

Corner View is a weekly appointment - each Wednesday - created by Jane (Spain) and curated by Francesca (Italy), where bloggers from all corners of the world share their view on a pre-arranged theme.  The theme this week  "what makes me happy", and comes from  Kristin (Germany).

For this post I started collecting photos of things that make me happy,
 but where to draw the line? I had amassed too many photos to share this week. 
So here's what makes me the most happiest of family!