Elves create holiday magic

Marilyn Hammer owner of Creative Inspirations sets up one of her hand painted gourds Saturday afternoon during the Two River Convention Centers Holiday Crafts Fair.

Hundreds of people walked rows of colorful fabrics, whimsical paintings and clever crafts at the Two Rivers Convention Center Saturday morning for the annual Handmade Holiday Craft Show.

Local artists and craft makers displayed their handmade work, which was for sale during the busiest shopping weekend of the year. About 2,000 people attend the event, which is now in its third year, event manager Diandra Green said. For each person who paid the $5 entry fee, $1 was donated to United Way. "They like to come see the handmade crafts and keep it all local," Green said. "They like to see handmade items to give to their family."

Alyssa Lehmann said she came out with her mother to look for home decor items for herself and potential Christmas gifts. She said she liked the handmade quality and some of the Christmas spirit around the event. Santa was in attendance for the morning.

"It's probably the biggest (craft show) I've been to in Junction," Lehmann said. "I'm impressed so far. It's been great and friendly, so I like it."

Tony Prodzinski was back for a second year as a vendor at the craft show and said the turnout was good. Prodzinski etches and paints large hand-collected stones with words and images of nature, which, he said, work well as an accent in a garden.

"I just try to look for something that I think people will like," Prodzinski said. "Hummingbirds, flowers, of course the animals, the bears, the spruce trees they all fit in with Colorado pretty well."

Many artists displayed work inspired by the natural world. Anastasia Kenner uses alcohol inks to create colorful images, often depicting animals and nature. "Basically I provide a variety of different styles, from flowers to mountain themes on many different surfaces," Kenner said. "I just want to show everybody the vibrant colors here that you can do with them."

Kenner was inspired by posts on Pinterest to try alcohol ink a few years ago. Since then she has taken to that medium so much she now teaches classes on how to use that type of ink.

"I've been an artist my whole life in many other mediums," Kenner said. "When I found the inks it just fit. It really took everything I've learned over the years and brought it all together to get where I am today."

In total there were more than 100 vendors selling their art and crafts. The diversity of the art and the community, of both artists and customers, made for a special event, Kenner said.

"I love it," Kenner said. "There's more of a variety here and just a lot of wonderful colorful things to choose from that are all handmade. I think it's wonderful."

Recommended for you