Cherokee Heights neighborhood showcases local artistry at fest
by Rachel Gray
November 10, 2013 12:10 AM | 2410 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Carolyn Johnston arranges her homemade soaps and accessories on a table during the Cherokee Heights Art Festival on Saturday. Johnston said business was good at the annual event.
Carolyn Johnston arranges her homemade soaps and accessories on a table during the Cherokee Heights Art Festival on Saturday. Johnston said business was good at the annual event.
The twang of guitar strings and soft voices singing traveled from microphones and amps set up in a front corner yard on Etowah Drive to delight shoppers Saturday afternoon.

Cars lined both sides of Freyer Drive for a block party, where neighbors mingled or walked their dogs through a block filled with 30 artists’ booths for this year’s annual Cherokee Heights Arts Festival, one block off Cherokee Street.

Jenny Burklow, who has lived in Cherokee Heights for two years, is an interior designer, but the neighborhood festival was a chance to show off her culinary skills.

Burklow participated for the first time, offering treats like salted caramel banana cream for $4, including the tiny glass jar in which it was cooked.

Her mini-chocolate bourbon pecan pies had sold out by the afternoon.

Cherokee Heights was built in 1924 and is a National Historic Register neighborhood one mile north of the Square.

Many of the quaint little homes, some covered in brick or wrapped with olive green or dark gray siding, had screened-in porches decorated for the autumn season.

Kristin Haynie has lived in Cherokee Heights for almost two years after moving from Buckhead.

After growing up in Acworth, Haynie said she decided it was time to move back home with her two young children for a sense of community.

“We have really enjoyed living here,” Haynie said. “We know everybody.”

An artistic hand

Haynie creates fresh container gardens with live wreaths and miniature potted shrubs.

For 13 years, Haynie said she has created the tiny topiaries, which is the horticultural practice of clipping and cultivating small perennial plants.

“I think it is nice to have something living inside the house,” Haynie said.

The festival was mostly filled with booths selling handmade arts and crafts, including metal work, soap, jewelry, scarves, paintings and multimedia art. There were also several local authors and poets autographing books.

One booth that offered gifts for the holiday season was Carolyn Johnston’s all natural herbal soaps, where the flowery and spicy scents tempted potential shoppers strolling by.

Johnston had an array of sweet food scents such as apple, pumpkin and cake, to the always popular lavender, rosemary and peppermint varieties, some combined with hints of citrus.

“Scent is very personal,” Johnston said. “I spend a lot of time customizing soap.”

Johnston, who operates Mountainside Soap out of her home in Kennesaw, said she was part of the original group that started the street fair at least eight years ago.

Johnston admits at the time she did not have much artistic talent, but wanted to join with her friends, so she took a soap making class.

“I have always loved to cook,” said Johnston, who also has a chemistry degree. “I love to mix things up.”

Comments-icon Post a Comment
No Comments Yet
*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, and spam will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides