Liz Holland said her mother bought “one of the cutest hats I’ve ever seen” at a Moab Arts and Recreation Center Holiday Art and Craft Fair, held annually at the MARC, 111 E. 100 North. The crocheted owl-like hat was for Holland’s daughter and they received compliments on it everywhere they went, Holland said.
Holland, who is assistant director of the arts and rec center, said she’ll be doing some of her own shopping at this year’s arts and crafts fair that will be held this Friday and Saturday, Dec. 5-6.
“There are things you’ve never seen before anywhere else,” Holland said. “My mother has been buying her Christmas gifts here for years, and years, and years.”
Approximately 50 local and regional artisans and crafters will be selling their hand-made holiday cards, ornaments, paintings, ceramics, textiles, jewelry, glasswork, woodwork, candles, and soaps and salves, plus jams and syrups – and more. Santa Claus will be there as well.
One of the featured artists, Pete Apicella, makes “bodywear” for hats, hair and lapels – pieces made from natural found objects such as pine cones, feathers, bark and seeds.
He calls his Twig-N-Sprig accessories “nature wear for the modern age,” or “fascinators.” Apicella, a former “Community Artist in the Parks” artist for Canyonlands and Arches National Parks, also illustrates Christmas cards with Utah scenes.
Apicella said he enjoys meeting, and making a direct connection with the person who is purchasing his art.
Another vendor, Emily Stock, of Sundial Medicinals, will be selling her herbal tinctures, medicinal tea blends, and body care products such as deodorant spray, lip balm, salve, massage oils and bath soaps.
Stock, who learned the trade from her herbalist grandmother, grows herbs in her garden, and wildcrafts others. Wildcrafting refers to the harvesting of plants in the wild in an ethical manner that doesn’t deplete the source. She also purchases herbs from a distributor in Eugene, Oregon.
One of Stock’s bestselling tinctures is the Mellow Me – a bedtime sedative made from a complex blend of herbs including valerian, passionflower, California poppy, chamomile and more, she said.
For this year’s art and crafts fair, Stock specially prepared two different herbal hot cocoa blends. She said she plans to serve samples of her herbal blend teas and herbal hot cocoa during the event.
“It’s really good,” Stock said. “It has a base of tonic herbs that balance the stress response, and of course, it has chocolate in it.”
Other unique items you’ll find at this year’s art and craft fair include those from Moab Bag Company. Owner Brandy Bowmaster makes wallets, pouches and bags from recycled rubber bike tubes.
She collects the spent tubes from local bike shops, cuts off the valves, lays the tubes out long-ways, and washes them thoroughly. Then she sews the pieces together using various colored threads and webbing to offset the black material.
Bowmaster came upon the idea while brainstorming a way to make her own bicycle panniers.
“Someone showed me a bag made of bike tubes – that showed me the possibility,” Bowmaster said.
She made the panniers, and then set out, during one unemployed winter, making other bags with a sewing machine she bought at a yard sale. This will be Bowmaster’s second year displaying and selling her wares at the art and crafts fair.
“There are always really nice, surprising things; a lot of beautiful handmade items (at the fair),” Bowmaster said. “It’s impressive to know Moab contains so much creativity.”
Find unique, local gifts at MARC Dec 5-6
“There are always really nice, surprising things; a lot of beautiful handmade items … It’s impressive to know Moab contains so much creativity.”
When: Friday, Dec. 5, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 6, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: MARC, 111 E. 100 North
Information: www.moabmarc.com; 435-259-6272