It all started with a class – an Appalachian Arts Craft Center class to boot. After several memorable trips to our area to visit family and friends, Karen, her husband, 3 children and 2 dogs packed up and made the move from LA County, California to East Tennessee in February, 2020. Some might say the timing wasn’t the best, given what the rest of 2020 had in store for all of us. But Karen thinks it was the perfect time to leave the brown landscape and smoggy air of LA for the verdant greenery and beautiful skies of east Tennessee.
A crafter and sewer, a Facebook posting for a new weekly beadweaving group/class at AACC caught Karen’s attention and in September, 2020, she began to learn the craft of beadweaving. For over a year, Karen honed her skills with the group, mastering different stitches and various designs. She found creating her own designs stimulating and the sewing and hand-work relaxing.
She began creating necklaces, bracelets, earrings and other items of jewelry. It wasn’t long until she had amassed a sizeable collection of creations and decided she’d like to sell her work for others to enjoy. On her second attempt, in October, 2021, Karen’s work was favorably judged by the center’s jurors and her hand-made and locally-crafted jewelry is now available for purchase in the AACC Gift Shop.
Karen loves being part of the artist community at AACC and her new “home” town of Powell. She’s also grateful for many things the move from California has brought to her life – new friends, a backyard and so many wonderful opportunities to enjoy the outdoors and explore new places so close to home.