American Craft Week is coming, get creative: Allison Dougherty –

Drum roll, please.

American Craft Week is October 2-11. Why is this a big deal in our area?

Because the Cumberland Valley region was voted number six in the nation for craft lovers – places with a hopping craft environment – by visitors to the American Craft Week website. According to the website, more than 15,000 people voted. We beat Sante Fe, New Mexico. We beat New Hope, Pennsylvania. What are the odds?

The drums can retire, now.

I constantly tell my son: If you’re good enough at something, and work hard, the odds mean nothing. This is a positive leaning statement from someone who is not by a long shot a glass-half-full person. I am forever preparing for gloom and destruction and I’ve always been like that.

At the age of five, I entirely participated in my school’s – the Russians are coming, the Russians are coming – bomb drill: turn out the lights – why ever did we turn out the lights; close the windows and shades; grab your pillow; get under your desk; cover your head; close your eyes.

I distinctly remember bringing a pillow to school for bomb drill day. Had the Russians attacked on any day of the year other than bomb drill day we would’ve been totally unprepared for them.

PJ Heyman.jpgP. J. Heyman, owner of Village Artisans Gallery in Boiling Springs. 

No pillows.

This worried me, a lot, but as I said, I’m not necessarily the most positive human being. But, I do believe in the power of talent and work and from the looks of it we have some very talented artists in our area and we get to reap the benefits.

American Craft Week is a national celebration of artisans and quality handmade craft. The lead for the event is the non-profit Craft Retailers and Artists for Tomorrow trade organization. In Cumberland County, the Cumberland Area Economic Development Corporation in Carlisle has been working with local artists and businesses to make this year’s craft week nothing short of spectacular.

More than 100 events at over 40 locations will be bustling away in our area  with artist demonstrations, workshops and art and craft shows, so if you want to participate it won’t be hard.

And if you want to stay in our neck of the woods, you can go to The Rosemary House in Mechanicsburg and watch a bay leaf making demonstration. The Rosemary House owner Susanna Reppert-Brill said this is the first year she’s participated in the event and she’s looking forward to it.

You can do things in Camp Hill, New Cumberland and all kinds of places, but American Craft Week is a national event, so you could venture out, too.

P.J. Heyman, owner of Village Artisans Gallery in Boiling Springs, is credited with bringing the six-year-old craft week to the area. Heyman said we have a long standing tradition of handmade quality crafts.

Number six in the nation, I say forget the odds.

More information about American Craft Week events is posted on the Cumberland Valley Visitors Bureau website at