Union County, Blairsville, Georgia Holiday-Winter 2018-2019 - Page 25

Union County GA Magazine . Holiday & Winter 2018-19 . www.unioncountymag.com Local Hand-made Great for Gifts at Christmas The wonderful challenge of selecting the right gifts for those on the list at Christmas is cherished by most of those looking to give with only a few who grumble at the task. In small towns the admonishment “Shop Local” rings out. However, take that another step up the ladder. Shop Local and Seek Out wonderful “hand-made” gifts that will be something those receiving it will enjoy. Union County is indeed very fortunate to have an abundance of talented individuals in the community, those including artists, photographers, craftsmen and authors. During the holiday season, scores are finding it more satisfying to seek out those who ‘create things’ and acquire a treasure to either keep for themselves or to give someone else. The handmade items are not only Made In American, better yet, they are Made In Union County.  The fascinating art of woodcarving has become perfected by Brian Ledford, who has a reputation as a woodcarving master. It began when he simply picked up a piece of wood and carved something with a pocket knife. The talent was natural. Most of the work is Page 25 By Norm Cooper Editor, Union County GA Magazine by freehand. Most of the different colors in the piece are different types of wood. Brian gives scores of carved items, like Christmas ornaments, to students.  Fairy houses can be seen nestled in the hillside along Hwy. 515 in the eastern part of Union County at a place called Sleepy Hollow. There is an outside fairy village children can visit, created by Arthur Millican, the owner of Sleepy Hollow. There is an arts and crafts gift shop that includes arts/crafts supplies, fairy houses, handmade crafts that can be displayed inside, some are used in gardens and some for children to create a magical world. Arthur’s wife Wendi runs the store, which includes helping kids to use their imaginations. Millican was trained by Disney and worked there for 15 years in the three dimensional arts departments. Millican left Disney and helped build Neverland. Millican was involved with Hardrock Cafe and Planet Hollywood, helping to design theme restaurants.  Flowers brighten any occasion, especially the holidays. Sara Smith at Brian Ledford Woodcarver Art Millican Sleepy Hollow Rest Haven Florist can make arrangements for any occasion, with the red and white and green blending in for the holiday festivities or a special centerpiece for a table. The exquisite flower arrangements and other floral gifts are professionally designed and arranged.  A lot of natural talent meets at the Union County Senior Center along Hwy. 515 sharing an entrance with North Georgia Technical College. Paintings on canvas, quilts, ornaments, painted ceramics and more are produced and sold. Senior Center Director Kathy Hill puts all the money raised into the Meals on Wheels food program which delivers meals to families and provides lunch at the Senior Center.  Sundance Gallery Gifts on Town Creek School Road has unique items made locally and other places in America. Owner Julie Willer has Painting on Canvas UC Senior Center Fresh Ground Items Logan Turnpike pottery that is functional as well as pretty to look at and much more. Many items become instant treasures.  Handcrafted custom items and handmade furniture are featured at Rustic Mountain Decor. Owners Jim & June McEldowney have everything for your home or cabin in their store in Merchants Walk.  Logan Turnpike Mill, owned by George & Cecilia Holland, feature fresh ground grains, whole grain products, grits, cornbread mix and a variety of other items that are created at their location on Beasley Street, with a window to look in to see the process in action. The Enchanted Gift Shop, in General Supply Store on the Gainesville Highway, has jewelry, jams, jellies, pottery and more. Tami Keen has the most unique variety of items in the area in the holiday season for gifts and personal use.