"I've been doing this all my life and had fiber animals for almost 30 years," said Evans, who tends to 100 animals at her Taylorsville farm. "Like I said, I raise them and shear them and I do the whole process, wash it and spin it and knit it. I breed my animals -- the sheep and goat -- for the type of fiber that I need and an animal that can try to survive down here.
"It's awfully hard for any animal to take this heat and humidity. They're bred more for their fiber so I have Angora goat and my sheep is a cross. It's a Cormo and a Bluefaced Leicester, and they're long wool. They're easy for handspinning and felting."
At her farm, Evans creates and markets her fiber pieces, such as scarves and shawls, through her business, Dry Creek Naturals.
"It's a natural process that I do," she said. "I don't use any chemicals. Also I have a lot of natural colors. That's what I've been breeding for all these years is different colors, the natural colors of the animals.
"I breed them to produce blacks and silvers and golds, reds, browns. It's just a long, slow process. It's not something I do instantly and I don't buy things to make these things. I do it from start to finish and it just takes a long, long time. It's very slow but they really last a long time."
Along with her blog, drycreeknaturals.blogspot.com, Evans promotes her craft and fabrics at festivals across the country, including this weekend's Arts Festival at Rose Lawn, a juried show where she won first place in the heritage arts category last year. Unlike the wool festivals, which are geared toward her type of work, she believes the Rose Lawn show is an ideal venue to educate the community about her craft.
"[People] have no clue that you can actually take wool and mohair and make fabric from it and [I] also make felt from my wool," Evans said. "And especially the young people -- they have no clue where things come from. This is a thousands-of-years-old process. So it's been around a long time, and [I enjoy] just showing them a little about it.
"I'll be bring my handspun yarn, handwoven scarves, handfelted scarves, shawls. So it will be just items that are grown and made here."
At the 35th annual Arts Festival at Rose Lawn, Evans will be one of more than 85 artists showcasing their works on the grounds of the Rose Lawn Museum -- 224 W. Cherokee Ave. in Cartersville -- Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Attracting exhibitors from across the Southeast, the festival will feature a wide variety of artwork, such as pottery, woodworking, paintings, photography and jewelry.
"Rose Lawn takes pride in the quality that it offers," said Regina Wheeler, member of the planning committee for the Arts Festival at Rose Lawn. "Being a juried show, of course every new artist that comes in is reviewed by the committee. We look at the quality of the art. We look at its ability to sell there at the show as well as their displays, how they set up, those types of things because we really do on behalf of Bartow County government want to produce a great, quality festival for residents of this community to attend and enjoy free each fall.
"The variety is pretty amazing," she said, adding the free-admission festival draws between 5,000 and 7,500 people over its two days. "We always do have a lot of potters. But even in one field, you will have a variety of styles and techniques, [such as] various types of utilitarian, others are truly works of art. So it's a unique event. ... there's a lot of depth within each genre of art but also a lot of different styles presented."
In addition to artists, the festival -- sponsored by Bartow County government and Cartersville Medical Center -- also will include live entertainment, an annual book sale hosted by the Cartersville chapter of American Association of University Women and a plant sale by the Bartow County Master Gardeners.
The entertainment lineup will kick off with Kerry's School of Dance Saturday at 10 a.m. Other acts will include Steps of Faith Dance Studio, Cartersville Twisters Gymnastics, vocalist Ahmad Hall, Cartersville City Ballet, the Dixie Hot Shots Band, Stephanie Culver & Praise Team, Spirit of the Dance Company, the East Calhoun Church of God in concert, 3B&C rock band, and Tammy Cox and David Traeger.
Following the Juried Artists Awards on Saturday at 1 p.m., the People's Choice Awards for the top attraction, restaurant and shop will be presented. Throughout the festival, patrons also can partake in $4 guided tours of the 18-room Victorian museum that is the former residence of the late Methodist evangelist Sam Jones and now features the belongings of his family and teacher, Rebecca Felton.
"The home itself is just a great centerpiece for the festival. ... It's a story that you'll find in no other location -- the story of Sam Jones, his life and times," Wheeler said. "He's a very unique man and I think he's a story that many people can relate to.
"There are docents in each of the home's rooms and they will be telling various points about the architecture of the home itself, but also about the life and times of Sam Jones. In addition to that people will discover some of the personal effects of Rebecca Latimer Felton, who was our first female senator in the U.S. She also had a very unique life and a lot to share, so we are very honored there at Rose Lawn to have two great stories to share with people and there's a lot to be learned from them."
Guests will be able to park at the Cartersville Civic Center or the Frank Moore Administration and Judicial Center, where complimentary shuttle buses will transport them to Rose Lawn's grounds. For more information about the festival, call Wheeler at 770-387-1357.