/ The Atlanta Traveler
Atlanta — By Linda Erbele on December 3, 2009 at 2:10 pm

Hunting treasure in North Georgia

Some of the people on your Christmas list call for something completely unique — generally not available at a mall. Something Georgia-made is also a great way to show your out-of-state friends what we have to offer here. Priscilla Wilson of The Gourd Place in Sautee Nacoochee (see map) creates one-of-a-kind items from nature, often associated with gourds.asian2

Since 9/11, Priscilla has been creating a specially-themed Christmas ornament every year. This year’s theme is “Sharing the Abundance,” based on a mystical Japanese folk-tale about a gourd. The theme is written on the ornament in Japanese. “”Most people don’t realize how important gourds have been in Asian cultures,” says Wilson. “This theme is proving to be very meaningful to us, and we love the chance to create an Asian ambience in our decorating.” She and partner Janice Lymburger are holding an open house Saturday (12/5/09) from 10 to 5. (The two even plan to serve fortune cookies at their annual open house with customized “gourd” fortunes.)

There are other things to buy besides the Christmas ornaments — nature-themed jewelry, T-shirts, note cards and a line of pottery that has been picked up by Pottery Barn. The pottery is ceramic and formed with gourd molds, creating unique shapes with the delicate lines of leaves.

GourdcraftAlso available are two books recently published and not available everywhere. Distant Voices by Emory Jones (see my post about this book here) and Flashes of Memory – An Appalachian Self-Portrait by Linda Anderson. Anderson is a self-taught folk artist whose work shows the rural South. She talks about her inspirations and life in this book, illustrated with a number of her paintings.

There’s more shopping in this part of the state scheduled for Saturday. The Moonshine Highway, from Clarkesville to Lake Burton is having its Third Annual Holiday Treasure Hunt. Participating merchants, restaurants and lodges of the Scenic 197 Association, will be offering seasonal decorations, artist demonstrations and specially selected one of a kind gifts in addition to the official Treasure Hunt map. The map instructs participants to stop at designated locations to answer trivia questions specific to each business. For example: In what year was Cottage Garden Furniture established? Look around you for the answer!  Hunters may start at any point on the map beginning at 10:00 AM. Treasure hunt prize winners will be announced at the Old Batesville Store at 5 pm, although if you get there by 4 you can get in on some remembrances of this moonshine highway as remembered by some old moonshiners.(see map)

(Photo of Gourd ornament, courtesy the Gourd Place. Used with permission.  Photo pottery, personal collection.)

2 places are mentioned in this post!
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