The Creative Frenzy: An Arts + Crafts Playground on Yadkin Rd

Addrienne VanOver, owner of The Creative Frenzy on Yadkin Road, glanced around the shop, smiling as she said, “There’s so much more I want to do, too.” It’s hard to believe there’s more, as VanOver currently runs the shop, does custom design work for private clients, leads private and group crafting workshops, and teaches both one-on-one in her store and at Fayetteville Technical Community College (and is a mama of three and married for almost twenty years!).

She opened The Creative Frenzy in August 2018 and moved into the current location at 4760 Yadkin Road (near the corner of Yadkin and Skibo) in March of 2019. It’s a bit like an arts & crafts playground. You can bring your own toys–er, arts and crafts supplies–and work on your project in the company of others. Or you can buy or borrow from the shop. “Anything you see on Pinterest, we can do here,” Addrienne quips. There’s supplies for paper-crafting, painting, embroidery, making wood signs, printing t-shirts, even a photo studio set up for product or people shoots. And at $25-35 per hour for most workshops or instruction, it’s affordable to try everything.

Group workshops are the current shop specialty. In addition to her general craft workshops, there are also events geared towards veterans and for homeschoolers. There’s even a quilting club who meets at the shop every Monday! “We also have a free kids story time–it’s always on Saturday but varies through the month–and book club on the last Sunday of every month,” Addrienne said. “They both have crafts involved and everyone is welcome to come.” She did say the kids’ storytime tends to fill up, so get there early!

Addrienne also does custom design work and sells her original embroidery designs through her website. “I want other crafters to use the shop as a place to start their own Etsy stores,” she expressed. And since she often brings her own kids to the shop, kids are more than welcomed: they are encouraged to come and craft, too! Oh, and did I mention you can rent the shop for birthday parties? Eight kid minimum and an amazing craft to take home after!

image via The Creative Frenzy Facebook page

Check out her website, Facebook, and Instagram, and sign up for the email list to find out about ALL Addrienne has going on! She’s also looking for other crafty teachers, so if you have friends asking “how do you do that?,” maybe it’s time for you to teach it!

Sweet and Salty: “The Cake” at CFRT

“The Cake”, a play by Bekah Brunstetter, is my favorite kind of theater: hilarious, heart-warming, and profoundly topical. I was going to say it was like pineapple upside down cake, which is my favorite kind of cake, but I couldn’t figure out the topical part: maybe it’s the maraschino cherries?

Cape Fear Regional Theatre, the crown jewel of theater in Fayetteville*, is currently running this show. It was our first show to see after moving to town. I was really excited to see it on the season list, as it is the type of play that pushes the envelope for a Southern, relatively conservative theater audience. But that’s what theater is for, right? To wake up viewers, cause them to think about long-held beliefs, empathize with characters, and maybe realize we all have common human traits.

This production tickles the funny bone as much as it twinges the heart-strings. Brunstetter has drawn authentically complex characters and this cast brings them delightfully to life. I rooted for Della and Tim as much as for Jen and Macy. Love is love is love.

Since the play is an intimate one–four characters, minimal number of sets needed–CFRT brought the audience onto the regular proscenium stage, building risers to accommodate seating around the glorious set. The bakery is, dare I say, a confectionery, all pastels and gingerbread trim. The prop cakes were stunning, thanks to the handiwork of Susannah-Lee Wagner, props artisan. The turntable bedroom and upstairs loft space are breath-taking in such close quarters. Jimmy Bennett’s costumes and Dan Robbins’ lights help establish character and mood.

And I have to give a shout-out to the crack stage management team! Scene transitions can make or break a show and they were efficient and focused, even fixing a set dressing snafu in between scenes. Credit where credit’s due, y’all: I didn’t notice a missed light or sound cue, transitions were quick, and everything moved smoothly. This is the mark of fine theater craftsmanship, just as much as what the actors do on stage.

The proverbial icing on the cake is the actual cake served up post-show, thanks to local bakery Sweet Palette (another huge arts supporter that we’ll profile later). I do hope that CFRT can find other ways to work in partnering with different local businesses for future shows. Complimentary mud facials for Shrek, perhaps?

*The other theaters are jewel-like in their own ways. More on them soon.

What is going on here?

Thanks for checking out this new venture! I’ve long dreamed of combining my journalism background with my arts administration skills and publishing a magazine dedicated to celebrating local arts & culture. And since I find myself living in Fayetteville, North Carolina, what better place to use than here!

This magazine (yeah, I’m going to call it that, even if it is a blog currently) will focus on sharing the stories of the amazing artists that call Fayetteville home. We’ll do interviews. We’ll publish poetry and short fiction by local authors. We’ll talk about performances and jam sessions. We’ll delve into the history of the arts in the area. We’ll showcase interesting public art found around the city. Think of this as the story behind the art, not just a listing of what to go see.

And because you can’t get to the 50th piece without starting at #1, now I’m over that hurdle!

Get out and support local art!

~Devra