Elizabeth A.S. Brooke

Crafting, traveling and everything in between.


Upcoming September events

Lots of events are coming up that are on my radar.

Carroll County (Va.) Fair
First off, this weekend is the Carroll County (Va.) Fair. I think Chris has to work some this weekend to cover it, so we might actually go.
(Please do not use any photos without permission.)
A girl pets a pig at the Carroll County Fair/Photo by Christopher Brooke
I’ve never been to the fair although it’s been held for a few years now. It’s really small, so there’s not much to it. But maybe it’s supposed to be small. I’ve never been to a county fair, only a state one. And state fairs are huge.
The county fair is held at the Southwest Virginia Farmers Market, right off I-77 at exit 14.
Hillsville’s Labor Day Flea Market and Gun Show
Next weekend is Hillsville’s Labor Day Flea Market and Gun Show. I know many, many people probably already have this on their calendars.
I wonder if this will be the largest flea market yet. I swear tents started popping up along U.S. 58 a week ago.
I’m looking forward to seeing if the market expands this year and seeing if the sidewalks and streets will be hard to move through because of the thousands of people wandering around booths.
Blue Ridge Parkway’s 75th
One of the biggest events I’m looking forward to is the Blue Ridge Parkway’s 75th Anniversary Festival, Sept. 10-12.
I know there have been several events throughout the year, but this will be the official celebration.
I want to go to the Blue Ridge Music Center in Galax, Va., and Cumberland Knob for the activities. I’m really looking forward to seeing Dr. Ralph Stanley at the music center that Saturday. I gotta see that man perform before he dies! (I’m not a big old time or bluegrass music fan, but I do enjoy some of it.)
If you go to the music center, check out the trail that winds up and down the peak behind the stage. It’s a nice, short hike.
You can check out the schedules and more information of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation’s 75th Anniversary website here.
Hillsville’s Downtown Celebrations
Don’t forget about Hillsville’s downtown celebrations, featuring arts and crafts, classic car cruise-in and beach music.
I wrote about that here. The next concert is Sept. 11.
Chateau Morrisette’s Black Dog Wine and Beach Music Festival
Chateau Morrisette, 287 Winery Road SW, Floyd, Va., will continue its music festivals Oct. 9 with the Black Dog Wine and Beach Music Festival. The winery is located at Milepost 171.5 off the Blue Ridge Parkway.
We visited the winery Aug. 14 for the Black Dog Wine and Jazz Festival. The day’s music featured salsa, jazz and Caribbean music, courtesy of Beleza Brazil and Los Gatos. It was so much fun!
The price of a ticket gets you admission, free wine tasting and a free wine glass. It’s a pretty good deal.
The glasses of wine we got this year at one of the Chateau’s wine and jazz festival./Photo by E.A. Seagraves
We also enjoyed lunch in the winery’s restaurant. I had a delicious lamb chop, couscous and asparagus. The dessert was a heavenly chocolate cake with espresso ice cream. We enjoyed the meal with a bottle of Chateau’s Blackberry Wine, probably one of our favorites.
The next events are Oct. 9 music festival will feature The Embers and Key West Band.


Memorial Day Weekend Flea Market, Hillsville, Va.

The annual Memorial Day Weekend Flea Market in Hillsville, Va., is about to start. Are you ready to scour hundreds of vendor booths for antiques and flea market finds?

I like looking for dishes that complete sets that I have that have been broken or were given to me with missing pieces. That includes discontinued designs of Princess House Crystal and other lines.

I know the link above says the market is only held in Bowman’s lot, but it’s grown much larger than that over the years and covers a large portion of town.

The market is smaller than Hillsville’s famous Labor Day Flea Market and Gun Show, but still draws in a crowd and vendors from all over.

The market opens Friday and runs through Monday.


Hillsville Labor Day Flea Market and Gun Show

In case you may have forgot (and, seriously, how could you?), Labor Day Weekend is synonymous with flea market in Hillsville (Va.).

Every Labor Day Weekend, the center of Hillsville turns into a tent city when hundreds of vendors set up camp and wares for an event that attracts throngs of people to this small Blue Ridge Mountain town.

Traffic slows down to a crawl along U.S. 58 as motorists dodge the pedestrians walking in the street because the sidewalks are full of people browsing the flea market finds.

The event kicked off this morning and will last through Monday.

Off of I-77 in Southwestern Virginia, take exit 14 (Galax/Hillsville). Turn right and you’ll fall in line with the rest of the traffic trying to make its way through within a quarter of a mile.

Don’t worry, there’s plenty of parking and the friendly townfolk will point you in the right direction.

It could easily take you 3 days to walk the whole market, so feel free to book a room at the various hotels at the I-77 interchange, in Hillsville or Galax, just 12 miles west of Hillsville.


Labor Day Weekend crafting

Since Chris and I aren’t heading to West Virginia for some camping, rafting and visiting a friend this weekend, I’m going to take the opportunity to finish up my last summer project — a skirt.

My grandma gave me a bunch of fabric from her stash lately, and besides the shorts I completed earlier this summer, I had plans to make a skirt.

I’m also in the process of teaching myself how to draft patterns. I’m excited to embark on this adventure and can’t wait to see how the ideas in my head translate onto paper.

I’m using Rene Bergh’s “How to make your own patterns: An easy step-by-step guide to making over 60 patterns.” You can buy a copy here, although I have a different edition.

I haven’t picked up a pencil and paper yet, but reading through the instructions gives me hope. I didn’t realize how easy patterns can be made, just using various measurements of your body. I figured it would be much more complicated.

Besides basic skirt, shirt and trouser patterns, the book also gives you instructions on how to make different bodice details, such as tucking, darts, gathers and cowl, boat and v-necks.

I’ll let you know how my new adventure goes into creating my own creations. The theme for my first designs is wild columbine . . . a beautiful wildflower you can find growing in rocks and crevices here in the mountains and elsewhere.

My favorite is the red columbine with a yellow center. Here’s a good photo that shows you the color. It’s so striking! I’m surprised such a color combination exists in real life.