A Shaker table is calling my name. So is the sturdy sea grass stool, which would look perfect in my family room. With a sigh of regret, I turn away from the table ($950) but mentally add the stool ($75) to my wish list.
I'm browsing the Log House Craft Gallery, operated by Berea College and filled with student-made goods. It's just one of many places to shop in the town that calls itself the folk arts-and-crafts capital of Kentucky.
My trek through Berea begins in the Old Town area at the L&N Railroad Depot-turned-Welcome Center, where I'm greeted by Tux, the town cat. She lives at the Welcome Center but makes rounds to nearby businesses.
It's an easy stroll through Old Town, with lots of shops to browse. The jewelry in Dragonfly Gallery is tempting, as are the quilted items in the Family Tree. In Honeysuckle Vine II, there's a nice selection of Bybee Pottery, as well as artist Jimmy Lou Jackson creating her handmade glass beads. Lunchtime finds me down the street at Hogg Heaven Cafe, trying to decide between a burger and the pulled pork barbecue.
Leaving the Old Town area, I stop by The Mitchell Tolle Studio & Gallery on Chestnut Street. The gallery features the artist's original works and prints that depict such images as clapboard houses and bearded old men.
Next, I drive to Churchill Weavers, which has been producing handwoven pieces since 1922. The jewel-toned scarves (from $80) and soft throws (from $104) draw me like a magnet. Happily, I find the bargain room, filled with shelves of discounted irregulars.