Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Tansi Smoke Signals

December 19, 2013

Craft Show kicks off shopping season

CROSSVILLE — With Christmas just ahead, the folks of Lake Tansi were able to get their shopping done early and done right at the Lake Tansi Christmas Craft Show. Held at the Thunderbird Recreation Center on Nov. 15 and 16, the craft show featured the creative wares of more than 25 vendors.

The Thunderbird’s halls were decked with a mixture of fall and holiday boughs, trees, twinkle lights and gifts made by hand at every turn. Hosts and hostesses brought forth their creative delights to make easy the task of gift giving. From handmade soaps, jewelry and candles to stained glass, woodwork and quilts, the Tansi Christmas Craft Fair had something for everyone on the Nice List.

This holiday gift guide is sure to take gift giving to a whole new level this holiday season:

Artist John E. Cole set up a makeshift art studio in the T-Bird lobby mimicking his Lazy Arts Studios home. Shoppers perused Cole’s latest work of oversized acrylic and watercolor paintings, unique ceramic sculptures and one-of-a-kind pottery pieces. Basket designer, Scott Eatherly, weaved long strands of reeds into a gorgeous basket while browsers and basket cases alike checked out his finished products from large picnic baskets to his original “Onion Basket.”

Zelda Adams’ beautiful quilts, quilt tops and sewn items made for excellent gifts of functional art. For Katheryn Cagle, soapstress of Mariposa Soaps, cleanliness is not only next to godliness but also fun with her batches of personal care items infused with natural ingredients, herbs and essential oils. Scented soaps of rose, peppermint, lavender-vanilla, apple cider, pumpkin cake, sage, maple pecan and calendula smelled nearly good enough to eat. Mother-daughter team, Doris King of Fine Art Pottery and Heather Mullinix of Wise Glass Crafts, loaded tables with adorable, hand fashioned stained glass ornaments and perfectly glazed autumnal pottery. 

Stained Glass By Jan-Nel, caste from the hands of Jane Opatrny and Nell Lane, offered wall and window hangings and ornaments in unusual shapes from dragons to ballet slippers. Food was a favorite among shoppers from Branson Confections’ Carol Branson who hoisted delectable truffles, fried pies, marinated pretzels, and mini bread loaves among other tasty items.

Jennifer Watts of Jewels by Jenn displayed her beaded magic in the form of ornate custom jewelry, as did her friend Michalanne Sloan of Two Blue Cats with her unique and fanciful collection of designs. No two pieces were the same. No two jewelry designers have had such a wonderful exhibition of wearable passion and style.

Aafke Parker presented goat milk soaps, cheeses, butter, yogurt and lotions of Wolf Creek Farms. Originally from Holland, Parker met her business partner in Spring City who also happened to be from Holland. “We are quiet the Dutch contingency in this area,” said Parker, smiling at the coincidence. “We start by milking the goats and work our way up.” Wolf Creek Farms offers herd sharing and will soon be adding tours and workshops on the farm.

Roy and Laurie Vickers craft shop, The Owl’s Nest, put on a showing of crocheted toy mice, ornaments and magnets in all shapes and colors. Pizazz was the centerpiece of this store’s playfulness on crafting. Toby and Jeannette Cordell set up shop with his woodworking and her sewing, household and holiday décor, and homemade soy wax candles. George Duvall’s Living Rocks took ordinary items of rocks, bones, antlers, and old pieces and gives them purpose in his pendent necklaces for men and women. Mary Fuhst’s Moonmaze Designs gave a clever take on modern jewelry with beads, copper and Sterling silver pendants, as well as Morse code jewelry that featured messages typeset in dashes and dots of the old code.

Dixie Bling’s table manned by Nicole Spivey and Avis Oliver gave a whole new meaning to “get your shine on” with their sparkle clad ruffle scarves, ornaments, jewelry and hand stamped canvas bags. Wire wrapped jewelry is all the rage and Mary Blackburn is a true artist with lavish taste and techniques to creating her own Viking Weave chains and wrapped polished rare stones. Bead and fiber artist featured on “Tennessee Crossroads,” Judi Moenck, revealed artistic and careful designs in her work with leather bands and unique bracelets, designer brooches and more.

Ed Johnson’s Mustang Creations highlighted his handy, custom woodwork of local East Tennessee cherry, black walnut, sassafras and cedar into beautiful clocks, plant hangers, picture frames, shadow boxes and finger-joint boxes. Tennessee Treasures of purses, hats, Afghans, and baby items were crocheted with the care of Betty Smith and Helen Davis.  DJ’s Craft Den, owned by Donna Nelson, boasted her crafting trousseau of ruffle scarves, ladder ribbon necklaces and homemade treats. Nelson also takes special orders and offers sweet breads, candies, jellies and other crafts.

Jane Tavernier, quilter extraordinaire, had a table full of what she tenderly called her “hobby” from quilted baby blankets and placemats to folded fabric ornaments. Tavernier is an interior decorator and consultant for Budget Blinds’ newest venture of adding a whole line of designer draperies, throw pillows and more to add dimension to the average window dressing. Independent consultant, Vicki Taylor, showed her inventory of Miche interchangeable purses and jewelry items making fashion and coordination easier for trendsetters. DANLs Art by Daniel R. Boggs specializes in ceramics and acrylics by perfecting and expanding a technique Boggs’ father invented to make greeting cards. Boggs determined to figure out this technique after his father passed away and now he uses it to create acrylic abstracts on wood along with his ceramics.

The artistic expression, indescribable handiwork, homemade goodness and craftsmanship left nothing to be desired. Take advantage of the Lake Tansi Christmas Craft Show Vendor Reference Guide and shop small by letting these wonderful shopkeepers help make your holiday easier. For more information about activities at the T-Bird Recreation Center call 788-6282.

Lake Tansi Craft Show Quick Reference Guide: Jane Tavernier, quilter and Budget Blinds interior decorator, or (931) 707-7727. Vicki Taylor, Miche independent consultant, or (931) 260-0388. Daniel R. Boggs, DANLs ART, or 619-517-4730. Mary Blackburn, wire wrapped jewelry designer, or (931) 484-1561. Donna Nelson, DJ’s Craft Den, or (941) 661-7820. Betty Smith and Helen Davis, Tennessee Treasures, (931) 239-8427 or (931) 761- 1927. Ed Johnson, Mustang Creations, or (865) 354-1761. Judi Moenck, bead and fiber artist, or (931) 210- 1236. Mary Fuhst, Moonmaze Designs, or (931) 484-8405. Aafke Parker, Wolf Creek Farms, or (770) 843-5335. Jane Opatrny and Nell Lane, Stained Glass by Jan-Nel, (931) 456-4987. Michalanne Sloan, Two Blue Cats, or (559) 977-4703. Jennifer Watts, Jewels by Jenn, or (931) 787-0413. Katheryn Cagle, Mariposa Soaps, or (931) 319-0129. Zelda Adams, quilter and seamstress, (931) 707-7217. John E. Cole, Lazy Arts Studios, or (931) 200-6967. Nicole Spivey and Avis Oliver, Dixie Bling, or Heather Mullinix, Wise Glass Crafts, or (931) 260-9578. Doris King, Fine Art Pottery, (931) 397-4808. Scott Eatherly, chair caning and basket weaving, (931) 788-3464.

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