Grand Lake craft fair: Shop locally, the olde-fashioned way |

Grand Lake craft fair: Shop locally, the olde-fashioned way

by Cyndi McCoy
Grand Lake, Colorado

As Grand County nears the end of the year, there are several ways to shop locally for those crafty collectibles and holiday gifts. A favorite among those in Grand Lake is the Grand Arts Council’s annual Olde-Fashioned Crafts Bazaar.

The festive event will feature more than 30 tables with several return and quite a few new artists. Items set for showcase include hand-stitched, stuffed animals and Santas, jewelry, Hot Sulphur Springs soaps, stained glass, table runners and quilts, Christmas wreaths and floral arrangements, photography note cards, pet accessories, stamped cards, carved wood items and Welcome signs, wooden crosses, hand-carved wooden toys, calligraphy and pine cone creations, clothing, log carvings, crocheted snowflakes, as well as several culinary items, such as cookbooks, bread and soup mixes, different flavors of honey, and jams, jellies, baked goods and the famous “walking tacos” by the Grand Lake Women’s Club.

To keep warm through the chilly winter evenings, the GL Women’s Club will once again have a quilt for raffle (tickets are $1). For a second year Cleta Leinbach, member of the Grand Lake Women’s Club, created a blanket to raise funds for local charities the women’s group supports. The Grand Lake resident for 16 years estimates the size is about 77×80 inches and describes the Victorian garden quilt as very colorful with a varied floral pattern.

A former art teacher, Leinbach learned quilting and sewing arts from her mother. As an only child, she jokes that it was a way to keep her busy. She worked in a fabric store later on, her skill thriving with all the leftovers, and she’s been quilting for at least the past decade.

For the fourth year, the GAC will also have a quilt for raffle donated by expert quilter Linda Carlson (tickets are $5 each or five for $20). She’s been working on the quilt, which will end up being about 60×60 inches, for the last six months. It features a beautiful fox, as well as a thread-painting technique called free-motion embroidery.

“They are such gorgeous animals,” Carlson said of the blanket’s centerpiece.

Carlson just loves making them and is thankful to be able to contribute to the arts council and its efforts to renovate the art center in town. This year was set to be the bazaar’s debut in the new Grand Arts Center, but renovations are yet to be complete. Another $100,000 is needed to finalize the 8,000-square-foot facility with final touches inside and out.

Hopes for the building include using it as a concert venue, artists’ shows, and as a place which will offer local artists modestly priced studio and classroom space. The building will also be available to the public for gatherings like meetings, small conferences, wedding receptions and family reunions.

GAC President Barbara Ahrens, who also directs the cast and crew for the organization’s holiday melodrama coming up, is excited about this year’s expanded variety at the craft fair this year. She also was pleased to notice that many of the things will in the right price range for those with tight holiday budgets.