LEHMAN TWP. — The 24th annual homespun holiday craft show Sunday at Penn State Wilkes-Barre featured all kinds of homemade items to inspire gift-givers and home decorators as the holidays approach.
The show was part of the Arts at Hayfield, which supports fine arts, crafts and cultural performances in the Back Mountain and Wyoming Valley Area. The show featured holiday wreaths, clothing, candy, jewelry, pottery and other handmade crafts.
Jennie Veloski and Jean Kaprel brought their handmade quilts aprons, hats, purses and under-the-tree Christmas runners to the show on behalf of Project DJ (for donating joy). The project’s volunteer group has donated more than 5,000 handcrafted quilts within the past 10 years to various hospitals, particularly to the Hershey Children’s Hospital, as a way of giving comfort to seriously ill or traumatized children.
The volunteers meet every Monday morning at the Trucksville United Methodist Church, and accept monetary donations as well as supplies.
Veloski said the group makes no money off the sales of their items, and even has to use some of its own money at times. She said this was the third year the group has participated in the show, and she said all of the work the group does is to “help people out.”
Bernadine Vojtko and her mother, Bernadine Borinski, are regular participants at the show. Vojtko’s Wyoming home-based business, Flower Finery, featured new items such as miniature Christmas trees and handmade trellises, among other handcrafted décor items.
Vojtko said she wanted to create additional new items, but has been experiencing a very hectic schedule at Wyoming Seminary, where she is choreographing the school’s production of “How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying” in preparation for its performances on Nov. 8-10 .
Vojtko and Borinski are both members of the Arts at Hayfield Organization.
Vojtko said she enjoys participating in the craft shows as all proceeds benefit a “worthy cause to continue arts in the area.” The Arts at Hayfield has benefitted artistic establishments such as the Kirby Center, The Little Theatre of Wilkes Barre and various local library programs. Borinski added she always enjoys the events as well, and is looking forward to returning next year with her daughter.
Artist Bonnie Bell-Hilfiger of Troy, Pa. has attended the event since it started bringing with her various original paintings and ornaments featuring portraits, among her other objects of artwork. Bell-Hilfiger, who teaches at the Ben Franklin Craft Store in Towanda, has also painted a 384-foot mural at the Towanda Iron and Metal Building.
“People stop in traffic to the view the mural” (which depicts scenes from various Stephen Foster songs), Bell-Hilfiger said. She also described the art work that she created on the Towanda and Tioga County Court Houses. Her husband, Gary, participates in several of her creations with his chainsaw carvings.
Myrtle Chamberlain of the Lehman Nursery, along with her daughter, Brenda, attended the event for the second year. The nursery has been in existence since 1989 and houses approximately 70 sheep.
Their wool is used to make hats and socks. The sales help to pay for the animals’ food.
Chamberlain said that she hopes to return to The Arts at Hayfield exhibits next year.