When I was a kid, my family had a band appropriately named the Trantham Family. My grandfather built instruments, my dad learned to play them, and as soon as we got old enough stand alone, Daddy taught us to play them too. This took us lots of cool places, but our favorite of all was the North Carolina State Fair. For ten days every October, we were part of an educational exhibit called the Village of Yesteryear.
The Village is different from your average craft show. All the crafters are experts in their craft, and all are actively demonstrating their skills. Also, everyone is dressed in period clothing, to add to the illusion of stepping back in time. It's all about education and nurturing a love of heritage crafts in the next generation. It totally worked on us.
As young kids, we were welcomed into booths by all kinds of crafters and learned to knit, weave, throw pots, make stained glass, carve leather, fold paper, make corn shuck dolls, and dye Ukrainian Eggs. It was a total wonderland. And it taught us something really important: if there's something we want to do, we should find an expert and give it a try. We can probably learn to do it.
These experiences led us directly to Cackleberry Studios, the Etsy shop Josh and I have opened with Sara to make money for our adoption. We make Ukrainian Eggshell Jewelry, and we were honored to return to the Village of Yesteryear this year as crafters ourselves.
Sometimes when you visit places from your childhood you realize they are different than you remember. Somehow the magic doesn't translate to adulthood. Not so with the Village. We had an absolute ball. We made new friends, reunited with old friends, and were encouraged by world-class artists all week. We even won 4th place for our booth, and our Ukrainian Egg teacher, Kit Lennon, won 1st!
It was a huge endeavor to be ready for such a long event. And enough can not be said about our amazing, wonderful, over-the-top supportive parents who took care of our kids while we were away. As always, they are our biggest blessing. The best part of the whole experience was when the kids joined us for the last weekend.
It was so fun to watch them learn that they can sew, paint, spin yarn, weave, and even decorate Ukrainian eggs. All they need is a teacher.
Josh and Emily
We hope that by sharing our steps, challenges, and milestones of our adoption, you will see yourself as part of the community we hope to build around our child as she grows up.