The Winter Texan Times recently ran a story about the different types of crafts that Winter Texans like to do while in the Rio Grande Valley. This week the paper is looking at some of the craft shows where Winter Texans sell their wares. The editor visited three different craft shows held Saturday, Mar. 3.
The first craft show was at Magnolia in Donna. A smaller park, the craft show was coupled with a flea market. Several vendors were selling items they made. Noreen Ergen of Minnesota had a table filled with table runners in all sorts of fabrics.
“I like to buy fabric,” she said. “Then I figure out what to do with it.” Her decision to sell table runners was based on the fact that most Winter Texans do not have the money to buy larger ticket items like quilts.
“My customers will buy table runners just to protect their good furniture or to decorate the room of special occasions. I tried selling quilts in the Rio Grande Valley in the past but most people down here will not buy quilts except for baby quilts. I sell my quilts up north or donate them to my church to be auctioned,” she added. She also added that she and her quilting friends made baby quilts or small quilts and donated them to Runns Elementary in Donna to be given to needy families.
Sally Louks of Michigan had a booth of “Jewelry by Sally.” Her sales trays featured a variety of jewelry made from beads, stone and crystals. She started making jewelry five years ago when she had back surgery. She could do very little so she started making jewelry to keep herself busy.
Moving on to Snow to Sun in Weslaco, Bob Delp of Oklahoma had a table filled with magnetic therapy jewelry, which many people believe helps arthritis and other types of pain.
“The magnets enhance your blood to pick up more oxygen, which is transferred to the muscles.” Delp had a tray of necklaces made of magnetized hematite. “If you put a necklace around your neck, it will stop headaches,” he advised. “The hematite will increase the flow of blood to the upper torso and provide relief from the headache.”
Delp also had trays of bracelets and anklets and a bowl of something he called zingers, which were pieces of hematite resembling large tear drops. “If you put one in each pocket, it will help you stand straighter and it will relieve pain in the lower torso,” he explained. (Please be aware the Winter Texan Times is not endorsing use of magnetic rocks as a way of healing. In this case the paper is simply reporting on a craft and will leave it to the individual to decide if magnetic rocks will help him or her).
“My husband drills a hole in the back and we put in a string of Christmas lights through the hole in the bottle,” she explained. “Of course we had a good time drinking whatever was in the bottle before we made the nightlights,” she said with a twinkle in her eye.
Because of the many beautiful bottles used for alcoholic beverages, many of the lights gave off a very pretty light.
Near the front door Don Kelm had a large display of woodworks he had made.
“I started woodcarving while I was in high school,” he explained. “Then I had to get a real job to support my family. But after I retired, I started making things again and selling them of giving them to family members.”
He had an abundance of items for sale including napkin holders, banana hooks, maple and black walnut toothpick holders and pencil cups, and crosses in all shapes and sizes.
Mary Killam had a tabled filled with polyester double knit throw rugs. They featured two and three-fourth inch squares that were folded into a triangular shape and stitched into a long ribbon. The ribbons were then sewn to an oval based piece of polyester material creating a rug with dimensions of 23 inches by 33 inches that she sold for $25.
“The good thing about them is that when they get dirty, you can pick them up and throw them in the washing machine, unlike many other kinds of throw rugs.”
I use old clothes that people give me or that I find in a ropa usada to make them.
Jewelry is popular among ladies everywhere and Anne Gilmer of Tennessee had a both selling the jewelry she has been making for the past 15 years since she retired. She had displays of necklaces, bracelets and other item featuring metalwork, and fine gemstones.
In a back corner John Venema of Quiet Village had a display of yard stakes in all sorts of designs including a bright yellow sunflower. He also had a display of hummingbird feeders that had been hand-painted. He and his wife spend January through March in the Rio Grande Valley but travel all over the United States in other months selling their crafts and fairs.
Larry Rask of Minnesota had a large display of wood-crafted items he made. He had the usual pencil holders and other items but he also had some unusual items as well. The author’s favorite was a cabin clock, which was made of ash and had a lot of scrollwork designs on it. He said it takes six to seven hours to make each clock because of the amount of work that went into cutting each one.
Another booth that caught the eye featured the solar light posts made by Jean McGuire. “We use four by four’s to make them so the wind cannot knock them down. Then a solar light is mounted on the posts with other decorations made of resin.” One light post featured a colorful red parrot; a sign said paradise. Another featured a group of bears. For Easter there were bunnies while another had several winsome kittens.
Many Winter Texans are very talented people, who sell the crafts they make to supplement their incomes.