Friday, July 11, 2014

Art and wellness at Spring Craft Fair

April 16. 2013 10:57PM
By Kait Burrier, Weekender Correspondent

Spring Craft Fair: April 20, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., New Visions Studio & Gallery (201 Vine St., Scranton). Free admission.

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Spring cleaning leaves room for new and exciting finds, and the Spring Craft Fair at New Visions Studio & Gallery on Saturday, April 20, offers plenty of innovative, local wares worth your shelf space. Looking for the perfect statement piece? Jennifer Amazon has an array of up-cycled jewelry, accessories, and stunning chainmail garb. Like Vera Bradley? Try the personal touch of A Daily Obsession's cute clutches, funky key fobs, and uniquely patterned totes.

Are you more of the Ron Swanson type, an admirer of quality hardwood? Kerry and John Foose of Funny Farm Collectibles craft natural products, from hardwood furniture to hemp dog leads, and they repurpose both decorative and practical fixtures. Got a sweet tooth? Ask about their 100% pure, Pennsylvanian honey and maple products.

Original artwork will be on display both inside the gallery and outdoors. Members of Marywood University's chapter of the Kappa Pi International Honorary Art Fraternity will be present, representing the spectrum of fine arts.

There will also be various home and beauty products, including Mary Kay cosmetics, fragrant oils, hand-poured candles, and herbal remedies. Blessed Be Herbal Creations by Sarah will offer all-purpose cleaners, hand scrubs, bath crystals, massage oils, and other home care products for under $10. Owner/operator Sarah Yzkanin of Scranton named Blessed Be after the old greeting that extends positive intentions to others.

“That is what I wish to do when I sell someone a product,” she shared.

Her interest in wellness and holistic health has translated into her products.

“I have always admired the healing power of herbs and the grounding idea of bringing myself closer to nature. Blessed Be Herbal Creations by Sarah was inspired by what gardening and herbalism have always done for me. The company allows for me to share the sacredness of nature and my love for holistic health with others through distributing my products.”

A Penn State student, Yzkanin hopes to apply her knowledge of both holistic and conventional methods to a career in marriage and family therapy. She is an avid gardener, a yoga instructor, and a holistic health practitioner.

“I'm passionate about vegetarian/vegan cooking, caring for nature, and living an Earth-conscious, Buddhist lifestyle.”

Yzkanin chooses her ingredients based on each plant's beneficial properties.

“When a product should be energizing and refreshing, it may call for some peppermint. Conversely, if I feel that a product should be calming and soothing, it may call for some lavender,” she explained.

Don't let guilt sway you from scooping up some of her homemade goodies; her mission of wellness carries into the kitchen.

“I'm a big fan of cooking and baking in healthy ways, so I'm going to sell one of my favorite, off-the-wall treats: chocolate chip chickpea cookies. They sound bizarre, but they're delicious and a great way to sneak in nutrients.”

Yzkanin will try out other new, health-conscious dessert recipes, including black bean spinach brownies. If veggified pastries aren't your thing, you can scope out some more conventional homemade treats among the crowd of nearly 30 vendors.

The Spring Craft Fair is free and open to the public.

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