Kentucky Crafted: The Market

We are thrilled to welcome Lydia Powell to the HerKentucky Team.  A Transylvania alumna (and Sarah and my Phi Mu sorority sister!), Lydia crunches numbers by day and indulges her many creative urges in her downtime.  Lydia., a Frankfort native, is a devoted Kentucky Wildcats fan, a quilter, a runner, and a photographer.  And did I mention that she made her own wedding dress? 

Lydia will be writing the new HerKentucky Crafts column, which spotlights her own crafty interests, tutorials and more!  -- HCW

How many of you have a DIY or craft-related board on Pinterest? Is it full of awesome crafty goodness that you hope to replicate or draw inspiration from for your next bridal shower or gift-giving opportunity?
If you are anything like me, you pin and pin and pin ideas for home decor that you love. You know it would be fun and more economical to make it yourself, right? How often do we ever put those grand pinboards into action, though? I've always been a crafter, but I rarely find time to make every project that is in my head. A lot of times, I have to turn to the professionals.

Of course, almost everyone is aware of Etsy as a great alternative when you just haven't found the time to make that chevron-striped throw pillow for your front porch swing. Etsy is a great handmade marketplace. While the site does have some location-specific searches so that you can support local artists and makers, I've got an even better option for you. This weekend, in Lexington Kentucky, the Kentucky Arts Council will host the 30th annual Kentucky Crafted: The Market event.

On Saturday and Sunday, March 3rd and 4th, at the Lexington Convention Center you can browse through the award-winning market for Kentucky art, craft, music, books, foods and more.

Kentucky artisans are known the world over for their exquisite traditional crafts and Appalachian art but you might be surprised at the contemporary art and design going on within the Commonwealth's borders. Very often, I think Kentucky residents take for granted the beautiful art available to them. The quilts on our beds or the basket we throw our car keys in were gifts from talented aunts or grandmothers. Each of us likely knows someone who is a maker of traditional crafts. Perhaps we are makers ourselves. This market really celebrates that strong tradition that goes back centuries in Kentucky's history but is so very alive and thriving today.

Tickets for the market are $10 for one day or $15 for two while children under 15 enjoy free admission. Children and adults, alike, will enjoy hands-on opportunities to create at booths sponsored by area institutions like the Living Arts & Science Center and The Carnegie Center for Living and Learning. Additionally, workshops are held throughout the weekend to provide more in-depth discussions of Kentucky art and craft.

What I am most looking forward to, though, are the retail booths. Shell-Bee’s Homemade Gourmet Sea Salts & Spices is a booth I am definitely marking to visit (you can preview the market program). I could do all my shopping for upcoming birthdays with some key purchases of pottery, jewelry and handmade baskets. With more than 200 exhibitors, I'm pretty sure I could easily find everything I wanted and more I didn't even know I wanted! The Boone Creek Creamery's handmade artisan cheeses, alone, could keep me happy for hours.

Supporting local artists is important. The Kentucky Crafted Market is an excellent place to do that!