Sounds, scents savored at festival

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 13, 2009

NATCHEZ — Local plant and craft enthusiasts made their way to Historic Jefferson College Saturday in hopes of a good time at the annual Copper Magnolia festival.

Music from a traditional folk string band filled the air, and festival-goers standing in the right spot could have gotten a whiff of both incense and funnel cake.

While members of the Adams County Master Gardeners discussed various planting and potting techniques at their plant sale, other folks at the festival made their way through the artisans’ displays, whether under a tent or inside one of the buildings.

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Inside one of those buildings was Ann Colley, who was selling prints of paintings made by her late father, Edward M. Colley, a New Orleans artist.

“We had his artwork in the house for years,” she said.

“We didn’t sell it because it’s personal.”

Recently, however, she acquired the ability to make prints of his work, and Saturday she was selling copies of his landscapes, portraits, abstract and cubist paintings.

“I just came out here and hoped everybody would like them as much as I do,” she said.

Outside, braving the off-and-on sprinkles of rain that lasted all day, was Carolyn Weir, who was selling wire and bead jewelry.

Saturday was her first trade show, and Weir said she was happy with the way things were going, and that the festival gave her a chance to see more people than her office job normally allows her.

“I am selling some (jewelry), but more than anything I am meeting more members of the community,” she said.

Inside a different building, Shelia and Misty Byers were selling assorted goods to make homes smell better, from candles and wax-dipped paper to smelly jelly.

Smelly jelly is a jar full of crystals that swell and give off a smell when water is added.

A jar lasts approximately six months, Shelia Byers said.

The smells she offered included scents that come standard with candles, as well as kudzu.

“The scent comes from the (kudzu) flower,” Misty Byers said. “You don’t see it a lot around here because they kill it off.”