Fraser craft fair: ‘You don’t have to spend a bunch of money for the best gift’ |

Fraser craft fair: ‘You don’t have to spend a bunch of money for the best gift’

by Cyndi McCoy
Fraser, Colorado

Come out to do some holiday shopping in support Fraser Valley Metropolitan Recreation District this Saturday.

The recreation department is pulling artists together for its 10th Annual Holiday Artisan Fair, a major fundraiser for the department. The event will showcase unique arts and crafts, holiday gifts and food concessions.

“I’ve always had a place in my heart for the arts,” said Michelle Lawrence, FVMRD recreation supervisor who helped organize the event, “and people can shop locally, too.” Any funds raised through booth rental, she said, will go right back into the youth programs.

This year’s fair will have vendors from Grand County, as well as the region. Many of them have been participating several years since the event’s inception, including Francie DeVos of Frank Expressions who participates for her seventh year. She points out that many of her items are fairly priced, “because you don’t have to spend a bunch of money for the best gift.” New items she’s offering this year include weather sticks, vintage and retro aprons, and “the best” new honey candy.

Other vendor offerings, in a list of more than 30 artisans that continues to grow, include silk scarves, wall hangings, artwork, handmade gift and stamped cards, handmade beaded items and jewelry, homemade soap, lotions and lip balm, knitted accessories and seatbelt bags, hand-blown glass, hand-forged iron, handmade potholders, soup and bread mixes, ornaments, quilted postcard pillows, photography, wood carvings, Usborne Children’s Books, Arbonne International and Whole Food Nutrition products, and a variety of mixed media, prints and frames.

Artist Sandra Geiser will be there with hand-felted wool purses and decorated gloves and wine bottles (with sparkling inner lights). She calls herself a creative hobbyist rather than an artist and has been participating in craft fairs since the 1980s.

Growing up in rural Minnesota, she, her sister and their mother had a lot of time to share and learn about it together, she said. Her grandmother also taught her tatting and bobbin lace skills, teaching her the art of working with fibers.

She took classes at Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and pursued classes in various mediums from individual artists in Texas, where she also owned her own hand-made jewelry business. After a move to Denver in the 1970s, she soaked in several other skills at Emily Griffith Opportunity School.

She moved to Grand County in 2001 and said she always enjoys giving handmade gifts. Continually looking for new creative ideas to develop, she said the beauty all around her and in nature are major stimulation for her work. Other Geiser art includes pottery, painting, sewing dolls, scrapbooking, and her collection of Santa Clauses is on display at the Granby Library through the end of the year.

Geiser said the upcoming event is the “best winter fair here in the Valley with a lot of creative participants.” In addition to the fine array of items, each participating artist donates one item for a raffle. Tickets are $4, with the drawing at the end of fair day (no need to be present). The event also includes photos with Santa 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., as well as a Children’s Craft Corner 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (with childcare provided for $5 each hour).

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