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“Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be enrolled…” Luke 2:1 – For those who haven’t heard this before, that’s how Luke starts his telling of how Jesus was born.  Today is the First Sunday of Advent, so it’s entirely seasonally appropriate that it’s Census Time on this blog.  So if you haven’t already, please fill out my little survey.  Thank you!  And now back to your regular blogging content:

Back in the day, one of my before-Christmas traditions was the yearly trip up to Columbus with variously assorted family members to go to Winterfair, the once a year amazing art & craft show.  This is the kind of show where you have to pay just to get in to see what might be for sale.  And it’s worth it, even if all you can afford is your ticket to get inside, just to see the beautiful things on display and for sale.  I have so many memories of wandering the aisles, in a daze of awe at the beautiful things.

For one reason or another, it had been a long time since I had joined the group heading up to Winterfair.  This year I decided to make the extra effort to make sure I went.  I’m really glad that I did.  It was just myself and Indy, and my feet were so sore afterwards, but I saw so many beautiful things, and even brought a few home with me.  I enjoyed it so much that I thought I’d share a few of the artists I particularly liked with you.

owl mobile

I think my very favorite artist was Viola Hale of Viola Studio.  Everywhere you looked in her stall, there was something either beautiful or ridiculously cute just begging for you to take it home.  Whether it was the stuffed elephant that Indy nearly kidnapped, the wool capelet that Sweet Pea was born to wear, or the poncho that Fleur would likely wear until it fell to bits, I could have happily bought one of everything she had for sale.  Plus, Viola herself was very nice.  Even though the first time I visited her stall, I left without buying anything, the thought of the ridiculously cute stuffed owls made me run back at the last minute to grab one before the show closed.  I’m so glad I did!

Another artist I loved was Jennifer Fabian of Chronographia.  Alas, her Etsy shop is currently almost empty, so you’ll just have to take my word for it when I say that she had the most cunning hats for sale.  (And no, they were not oddly knit striped orange and yellow.  Well, most of them, anyway.)  I have the type of head that doesn’t really look good in most types of hats.  I don’t know what it is, but nine times out of ten, no matter how darling a hat may look on display, as soon as I pop it on my own noggin, it looks… odd.  Not fetching.  Sortof strange in a costumey, possibly too-small sort of way.

However, she had this hat of brown felted wool, shaped a bit like an acorn cap, if an acorn wore a rather fetching 1950s style chapeau.  I popped it on just for giggles, took one look at myself in the mirror, and thought, “Wow!”  It sat on my head as if it had always been meant to be there, looking all cute and slightly mischievous, both decidedly vintage influenced and thoroughly modern, finding exactly the right jaunty angle without any adjustment whatsoever.  The only problem was that, well, it was brown, a color I never wear, and moreover, it was at a price that, while it was worth every penny and then some, I just don’t have at the moment.  But I think I’m going to have to save up a little, and maybe before winter is out, I’ll have a ridiculously cute acorn cap of my own to wear.

Another highlight was my favorite woodworkers, Allegheny Treenware, makers of two of my favorite kitchen utensils: a wood spatula, and a large ladle, both still as sleekly beautiful as the day I bought them.  Everything they make feels so good, and sortof right in your hand.  I can’t get enough of it.  Unfortunately, my pocketbook doesn’t allow for adding any more to my collection right now, but now that I know where they live on the internet, I’m sure I’ll be back.

One new find was Heekin Pewter, a collection of miniature pewter figures sculpted by Kevin Heekin.  He has everything from miniature animals, to gaming pieces, to miniature soldiers, to even a tiny nativity set.  You could have a full set, including the Holy Family, three Wisemen (including the camel), shepherds, the angel, and the stable, all so small that a child could cup them in the palm of her hand.  There was even a shepherd watching a flock of sheep expansion pack, complete with a ridiculously small sheep dog.  I loved it.  I think I’m going to be saving up for this too.

Hmmm… maybe this is why I stopped going to Winterfair…

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