Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Christmas Bazaar showcases handmade gifts

Popular craft show benefits kid programs

Express Staff Writer

“A Good Year” Alvie Kratzer, of Kratzers Klauses, created these Santas. He says he loves eavesdropping on customers and watching which of his creations says “Take me home.” Courtesy photo

    There’s nothing like a handcrafted Christmas ornament, decoration or simply a gift to feel the true spirit of giving this season. Knowing that someone’s hard work and creativity will become a part of Christmas past and future seems as rewarding as the giving.
    For 22 years now, the Papoose Club, whose mission is to support local youth-oriented groups through fundraising activities and events in the Wood River Valley, has provided a venue for such  heartfelt exchanges at its annual Holiday Bazaar, held at Hemingway Elementary School in Ketchum, Saturday, Dec. 1, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 2, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    The Holiday Bazaar is a juried arts show that features high-quality handcrafted goods from more than 50 vendors from across the Intermountain West. A wide assortment of gift items will be available for purchase, including ceramics, hand-blown glass, clothing, jewelry, handbags, birdhouses, home décor, textiles and edibles.
    “This is a fantastic event that really brings out the entire community,” said Alexis Lindberg-Stedman, chair of the 2012 Holiday Bazaar. “We’re really excited about the variety and quality of items that will be available at the Bazaar this year.”
    Some highlights this year include Regina H. Smith, with her jewelry from recycled and reclaimed materials. The Boise artist creates one-of-a-kind items and does custom work as well from a client’s sentimental hand-me-downs.     
    Braden Jon Anderson will present, as part of his collection, ornamental orbs and teardrop glass mini-terrariums for the holiday season. Also available will be decorative apothecary-jar terrariums as well as other vessels.
    The terrariums, eco-chic and fast becoming a must-have home décor item, can be custom-sized for centerpieces or as a specialized gift of living art for the holidays. Each terrarium is unique and individual.
    “Creating and enjoying terrariums is inspiring,” Anderson said. “I like the art of creating and watching something grow. The composition of the living elements of the plants combined with the rocks, lights and branches as well as other adornments present a one-of-a-kind composition anyone can enjoy.”
    Moving into the realm of the nostalgic are the gingerbread houses of Dan Freeman, which started as a fun family project and evolved into what he calls a “magical process.”
    The accomplished artist and painter has developed a unique method for painting with transparent acrylics on glass, creating a backlit look like stained glass. He is also patenting a method for mixing colorants. The musician also is the greenhouse coordinator for the Sage School, where the greenhouse produces a couple thousand pounds of tomatoes each year.    
    “I started building gingerbread houses in 2008, Freeman said. “It started as just a fun family project, but a style emerged pretty quickly and we got attached to the ‘magical’ process and result.”
    Alvie Kratzer’s avocation makes every day a holiday. The whittler’s folk-art Santas and Father Christmases started in 1987, after he retired and moved to Challis.
     He said he begins every day in his shop, believing that “the whole object is to pour yourself into it.” Made with only hand tools—chisels and knives—each piece requires from four to 15 hours to carve.  His one-of-a-kind creations are colorful and whimsical, inviting year-long display, not just at Christmas.
    Why Santas?
    “I just like him,” Kratzer said. “He’s interesting, he’s patient, waiting for you.”  
    Over the course of the weekend, Papoose Club volunteers will be offering fresh soup in the Soup Café and selling homemade holiday cookies by the dozen. Tickets for Papoose Club’s famous raffle are also available for purchase, with a fabulous array of raffle items, including a 2012-13 Sun Valley adult season ski pass.
    As a special treat, Santa Claus will make an appearance at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday. There will also be a creative children’s activity sponsored by The Bead Shop in Hailey, a booth where children can write letters to Santa, and live musical entertainment all weekend long.


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