Discover the 27th Annual Autumn Drive Octoer 17-19 in rural Marengo and Woodstock, with many art and craft treasures along the way, in additon to fall produce, food, music, attractions and more!
As you approach this unique fall festival in the countryside, you notice steam rising from the old-fashioned kettle corn popper, the roadside lined with colorful mums, and tables decorated with vintage collectables and handmade goods. The doors of charming farms you’ve previously admired in passing are now open to all. So pull over, park and see what it’s all about.
It doesn’t matter from which stop you start – there are 21 this year – you’re guaranteed to find something unique to taste, touch or take home.
In this exclusive preview, it’s all about the arts, and there are many must-visit artistic treasures on the Autumn Drive trail. Watch artist demonstrations and shop one-of-a-kind pieces that make perfect gifts for the holidays or treats for yourself.
Unique Works of Art
Stop 16, home to Blue Eagle Pottery, is an exciting site for arts and crafts. Operated by Robert Blue, artist and Autumn Drive organizer, this stop sells decorative stoneware pottery created by Robert and wife Susan Blue Galloway (photo, above). At the same location, Two Feathers Gourds and Honey of Marengo offers birdhouses, paintings and holiday decorations.
Also at Stop 16 is Garden Studio Designs, which fuses dichroic glass to make earrings, pendants and bracelets (photo, above). “Dichroic glass is this wonderful product of the space age that shifts color as the light hits it from different angles,” said artists Joanne Long and Marti Schmidt. “The glass is layered and melted in a kiln at temperatures that exceed 1,500 degrees – each piece is unique and a individual work of art.”
Handmade from the Heart
Stop 11, Ceramic Bug, like Blue Eagle, is one of the original artisans of Autumn Drive. Janet Sjurseth encourages visitors to check out the throngs of artists and crafters at her stop, including the following:
-Blessed Roots Farms (photo, below) – All-natural household cleaners and body products.
-Solee – Bath and body products.
-Margaret and Frank Gamble – Handmade gold and silver wire jewelry.
-Debbie Georgia Fandis – Hand-embroidered t-shirts and sweatshirts.
-One Love Candle and Bath – Handcrafted bath, body and soy candle products.
-Alison Bedford – Hair bows, tutus, bow holders, knit hats, baby sweaters and embellished baby cloths.
-Gigi's One of a Kind Gifts – Recycled clothes line, frames, broaches, charms, jewelry keeps, bling trays, sun catchers, garden tea lights and cups, magnetic rings, bobby pins, vintage items and wreaths.
-Elma Black – Placemats, table runners, bags and potholders.
-Eileen White – Hand-woven baskets featuring live demonstrations.
-Silver Prairie Farm Natural Soap Co. – Handmade goat's milk soaps and lotions.
-Deb Hershberger – Scarves and necklaces.
-Audrey Gburek – Featuring ideas for the use of a glass block, from banks to lamps and witches to Santa Claus.
-Arleen Klug/Gramma's Treasures – Birdhouses, puppets and knickknacks.
-Sandra Kollenbark – High-quality, hand-sewn clothes that fit American Girl dolls.
Repurposed Gifts for the Home
Stop 17, site of the McHenry County Historical Society stop at Perkins Hall, features the unique items of Recycled Madness.
Operated by Jim and Rita McMahon, Recycled Madness “is all about repurposing, recycling and fun,” Rita said. “We make beautiful wooden items to use around the kitchen like tablet holders, cutting boards, rolling pins and salad hands. We also make great yard art like owls, pigs, lady bugs, dogs and cats made from repurposed items found at area garage sales and tool boxes.
“It is as much fun to scavenge for trinkets as it is to make the yard animals,” she added.
Autumn Drive Stops
Below, find the 21 stops of Autumn Drive 2014. Visit autumndrive.net/farms.html for a full list of vendors and attractions at within each stop!
- Cody’s Farm Fresh Vegetables
- Antiques by The Partlo’s
- Ohana Farms Inc.
- Treasures of Millstream Woods
- Treasures of Millstream Road
- Thiede's Antiques & Collectables on Standish
- Extreme Edge
- Prairie Sky Orchards
- Lees Acres/Storage Shed Outlet Barn
- Lisk Family & Friends
- Janet Sjurseth/Ceramic Bug Supplies
- The Farmer’s Wife
- Grasser Antiques
- Countryside Nursery
- A Bit of Everything
- Blue Eagle Pottery
- McHenry County Historical Society
- This is the Place
- Chic & Unique / Treasures of all Kinds!
- 5 Lazy K Ranch Barn Sale, Craft Supplies and Fun on the Farm
- All Seasons Apple Orchard