By DELANIA TRIGG, Register Staff Writer
Gainesville Daily Register
Every crafter has a story.
The Gainesville Civic Center was the site of multiple stories and exchanges as vendors sold handmade items at the 32nd annual Arts & Crafts Sell-O-Rama.
The event helped raise money for the Cooke County Fair Association and gave area artisans a chance to show and sell their creations.
Vendor Sylvia Nelson of Oklahoma showcased her jellies, jams and candies while Virginia Sanford sold holiday items including festive figures in crocheted outfits and decked out teddy bears.
Nelson said it takes time to prepare for a craft extravaganza.
“I’ve been cooking since the middle of September,” she said.
Her culinary offerings included jewel-toned jams and jellies in pint and half pint jars. Among her specialties are apricot jam and champagne jelly flavored with a generous portion of the sparkling beverage.
“The jelly is made of (fruit) juice and the champagne is added later,” Nelson said. “The alcohol evaporates and only the champagne flavor is left. Everybody loves it.”
Nelson also pointed out the link between food and fellowship, adding she recently made batches of her pecan candy to share with a bereaved family.
“Flowers and potted plants are beautiful but food can give comfort in a way (floral) arrangements can’t,” she said.
Most of the crafters, including Kathy Westbrook add personal touches to their work.
Westsbrook said she likes finding ways to use nontraditional materials.
Aerosol spray insulation, for instance, can become glistening snow when painted white and nestled among bottle brush trees and snowmen.
Solar yard lights take on a new life when embellished with welcome signs, coyote figurines or autumn accents.
“I’ll just see something I like and try to make my own version,” Westbrook said.
Crafter Carol Jacobsen’s booth offered both handmade and vintage wares including a circa 1950s wedding cake topper.
Collecting and crafting aren’t essential activities, she noted, but they can be a joyful diversion.
“These beautiful things are eye candy,” Jacobsen said.