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Arts & Crafts Christmas Fair continues today

December 02, 2002|by LAURA ERNDE

HAGERSTOWN - Barbara Myers stopped to sketch pictures of some wooden crafts she saw at the Americana Arts & Crafts Christmas Fair in Hagerstown on Saturday.

Myers, 53, of Falling Waters, W.Va., said she was there to get ideas for her own crafts in addition to shopping for gifts.

Hundreds of people visited the annual show, which continues today at Hagerstown Community College's Athletic, Recreation and Community Center.

Admission is free to browse the unique items handmade by craftspeople throughout the region.

Wreaths and other Christmas decorations predominate the show, but there are other items as well.

For example, there were reproduction prints of watercolors by artist Eric Mohn of Gaithersburg, Md.

A 1963 car accident left Mohn a quadriplegic, but a few years later he learned to hold a brush in his mouth and has been painting pastoral country scenes ever since.

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Crafter Kathy Isenberg of Indiana, Pa., takes apart old fur coats she buys at Goodwill and other second-hand shops to make soft-as-silk teddy bears. She uses the scraps and some rubber cement to cover miniature statues of other animals such as cats, dogs and horses.

Her personal favorites are the collies, since she also raises collies.

Leisl McCrae of Chambersburg, Pa., makes candles embedded with pressed flowers from her garden. She said it took a year of trial and error to learn the craft.

Proceeds help her 15-year-old son, Mitchell McCrae, who suffers from thyroid cancer.

People who attended the show said there was a larger selection of vendors than last year. Still, it was not crowded.

"We've enjoyed it. It kind of gets you in the Christmas mood," said Jean Walls of Hancock, who was there with her sister, Tina Starliper, of Hancock.

Darlene Bitner, 57, of Greencastle, Pa., said she is the kind of shopper who gives everything a once-over before she decides whether to buy.

"I enjoy coming over just to see what's available," she said.

Frances Ryan, 65, of Frostburg, Md., said she attends a lot of craft shows and this one had some interesting things she didn't see anywhere else such as Isenberg's fur animals and Christmas paintings done on screens.

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