I live in the South.
The military life has brought my Husband and I here, which I am grateful for, because having been born and raised in New York, there’s a good chance that without the Military, I never would have even visited South Carolina, let alone lived here.
I live on the coast, at the very southern end of the State, in a small town called Beaufort.
You’ve likely never heard of it, but if you’ve seen the movie ‘Forrest Gump,’ you’ve seen it.
The tree that Jenny is buried under lives here. The dock that Forrest crashes his shrimping boat into was built in the marshes here. And that bridge that Forrest runs over while being interviewed on the news? Yep. That’s here too, along with so many other beautiful and historical places to visit.
I guess you can say the Low Country has really grown on me in the past four years, and one of Beaufort’s many charms is festival season.
During the summer here, you can find a festival just about every weekend. Food festivals, beer festivals, clam bakes, crab fests. If you can think it up, chances are there’s a street lined with tents in honor of it at some point during the summer here.
But the big one is the Water Festival. Its held in downtown Beaufort every July, and spans 2 weeks. There are different events held every day; concerts, races, tournaments.
My favorite part, of course, is the arts and crafts market, which is open all 14 days of the festival. Brave artisans set up their wares in the South Carolina heat, and every year there are new, talented vendors, proudly displaying their hard work.
This year, my friends Britney and Fern were in town visiting during the festival, so we went downtown to check it out.
I brought my camera, and thought I’d share some photos with you of the amazing talent found here in the low-country (and the contact information in case you fall in love with something!)
There was so much to see, and so many talented artisans that I’ll be breaking this up into two posts, so that I can cover everything!
One of the things I love about the south is the extending growing season. It makes for a very productive garden every year, and lots to look at visually when you’re walking around downtown!
One of the first booths we came across was ‘by the lane’, owned by Lydia Williams.
Lydia creates custom wreaths and signs for any occasion you can think of! And in addition to her ready-to-purchase items, she’s happy to do custom creations!
This next Artisan works with hot, molten glass. SO COOL! His name is Curtis Cecil, and he is the owner and creator at Crystal Palace Glass, based out of High Point, NC.
Because I’m only a photography hobbyist, and have SO much more to learn, I found it difficult to get photos of his sculptures that truly convey how magnificent they really are.
Curtis was just setting up for the day, and boy, he must love his work. It was already at least 85 degrees outside, at 10 in the morning, and Curtis was working over an open flame hot enough to melt glass. That, my friend, is dedication to one’s craft.
I spent a lot of time just staring at the detail in his mesmerizing work.
Curtis can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org,
or by phone at 336-475-4050.
This next vendor caught my eye initially because of their beautiful jewelry,and their lovely display. But upon closer inspection, this jewelry serves a purpose beyond adornment.
Rick and Pam are the owners and artists at Beyond Jewelry, and they create beautiful necklaces and bracelets that utilize the benefits of Hematite Magnetic Therapy.
After getting into a car accident, Rick and Pam were dealing with some long term effects of their injuries, like pain and swelling. They happened upon an artisan selling similar jewelry while on a business trip, and after purchasing a piece and experiencing noticeable benefits from wearing it, Rick and Pam decided to start making and selling it themselves!
You can learn more about their story, the specific benefits of Hematite Magnetic Therapy, and even shop on their new website, or contact Rick and Pam at email@example.com.
The last Artisan I’ll show you today is sort of a 2 for 1 deal! Bootlegger Soap Company, and Bay Front Treasures. They’re both owned by Debbie and Skip Alexander, and I can tell you from personal experience, they make amazing soap!
Bootlegger Soap company focuses on handcrafted soap made from Beer, Wine and Moonshine. If there was ever a time you wished smell-o-vision had been invented…this would be it. I can’t really adequately describe how good these beer soaps smell! The Shock Top Honeycrisp Apple Wheat was my favorite, I think, but I can’t be sure, because, honestly, they were all so good!
As you can see, there is a lot to choose from. You can see all of the ‘beverage-based’ choices pretty clearly in this photo, and all of the bins in the foreground contained even more non-‘beverage-based’ scents from Bay Front Treasures, one of which is called ‘Monkey Farts’, which sounds comical, but smells like a tropical fruit basket!
They also offer generously sized 12 oz jar candles, in packaging so beautifully presented, they are perfect for gifts!
I hope all of these beautiful photos have brightened up your mid-week slump, and maybe even inspired you! Check back next Wednesday for the second half of my trip to the Beaufort Water Festival!