Stina's picks

A point in the right direction
By Stina Sieg | Sep 24, 2012
Photo by: Donated photo PACK OF ALPACAS — Meet this adorable pair and others this Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Sue and Lyle Baskin's country farm during National Alpaca Farm Days.

There’s nothing like being trapped under a mountain of work to make you believe the world is alive, exciting and full of possibilities — and just outside your grasp.
I’ve been there for the last few days, but I’m not complaining. I like being busy, and even though I’ve got a couple jobs, I know my most hectic times still don’t hold a candle to those of you with farms or children or a whole host of other adult responsibilities I haven’t yet tackled.

Really, I’m just an amateur at this stress and responsibility stuff. But that doesn’t mean I can’t wax philosophical about it a bit. The thing I like about being here, stuck between more projects and plans than I know how to handle, is that it reminds me how rich this place is. The more things I have say “no” to, the more I want to do everything. The perspective is both important and frustrating as can be — and makes me want to actually meet my deadlines.

Here’s what might be on the docket if I do.

Handmade in Haywood

Opening this week, Gallery 86’s newest show is a good antidote to a trip down any big-box store aisle. While it might seem like nothing is made in America anymore, the faculty and students of Haywood Community College’s Professional Crafts Program prove that isn’t completely true — at least not in WNC. See their artisan fabric, blacksmithing, ceramics, woodwork and more, and become a believer, too. Up through Oct. 20, the show coincides with American Craft Week, Oct. 7 to 13. Stroll through the Haywood County Arts Council’s gallery from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. any day but Sunday. For the most personal intro to the show, stop by between 6 and 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5, during “Art After Dark.” Then, you can talk with the masters of craft themselves: Robert Blanton, Caryl Brt, David Burnette, Terry Gess, Steve Lloyd, Sam Nichols, Amy Putansu, Journel Thomas, Brian Wurst and others. For more information, visit or call 452-0593

Alpacas aplenty

OK, quick question. Who doesn’t melt at the sight of a friendly alpaca face? I’m not saying these fuzzy creatures are always the nicest — but they sure look it, with their big, girlish eyes and cartoonish, almost smiling mouths. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, this Saturday is your chance to find out. In honor of National Alpaca Farm Days (and, yes, there really is such a thing), local alpaca keepers Lyle and Sue Baskin are inviting the public to see their herd. The alpaca meet and greet will be 1 to 4 p.m. at Riverside Farm, 346 Lucky Lane, off Hwy. 209, in Clyde. Prepare to be charmed. The alpacas are taking calls at 734-2109.

Amazing MAiZE

I have cut down my own Christmas tree and picked my own pumpkin from a patch, but I have never, ever, been inside a corn maze. This is one of the perils of being from the suburbs. Luckily, I now live in a place where I can make up for lost time. The second annual “Smokin’ BBQ & Bluegrass Festival” benefit is heading to the Cold Mountain Corn MAiZE this Saturday, beginning at 10 a.m. The fundraiser for the Good Samaritan Clinic of Haywood County will feature music by the Hominy Valley Boys, Ross Brothers, Trantham Family, Wiregrass and more, as well as an all-out barbecue showdown between 10 competitors. As I have a negative sense of direction, it would probably would be wise to bring my GPS.
For more information, call 279-6458, or stop by the MAiZE at 4168 Pisgah Dr. in Canton.

Mr. Sharpe comes to Asheville

Well, actually no one with that name is coming to town, but all 10 members of the off-beat indie band Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros will be in Asheville this week. I like these guys, and not just because they have that colorful granola look of everyone at my old college. With their variety of instruments and exuberant songs filled with whistles and shouts, they just make me feel good.
To see what I’m talking about, type their name and “Letterman” into YouTube, and watch the funnest five minutes of live music I’ve ever seen on late-night TV. If you, too,  like what you see, there are still tickets available for their Thursday night show, starting at 8 p.m. at the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah opens.
Visit for tickets and info.