In Shepherdstown, you can even eat the wreaths

November 26, 2006|by MATTHEW UMSTEAD

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.VA. - Susie Wimer's secret recipe for making cinnamon dough ornaments will not be published here.

The Shepherdstown native only will say she rolls out a cookie-like dough that is 99 percent cinnamon, and cuts it with metal cutters in the shape of gingerbread men, candy canes and sheep, among other symbols of Christmas revelry.

"The dogs don't even eat them," said Wimer, one of several artisans taking part Saturday in the Christmas in Shepherdstown holiday marketplace at the War Memorial Building off German Street.

Unlike the ornaments, Wimer was more forthcoming about her wreaths, some dotted with blue berries from cedar trees, and others with red rose hips from multiflora bushes.


"I just have to do something creative or I'd go crazy," said Wimer, who is employed with AB&C Group.

"We have a lot of really creative people in here," she added.

Jim Foltz of Peace in the Valley Herbs in Berkeley County was one of them.

"I grow everything on here except the Spanish moss," Foltz said, holding a wreath arranged with eight different types of dried flowers, along with lavender, rosemary, Indian basil and French thyme.

With a smile, Foltz suggested the herbs could be taken off the wreath and eaten.

Nearby, Amy Williams, proprietor of Peace of Cake just outside of Martinsburg, W.Va., had samples of fudge, cookies, cakes, double-dipped cherries and spicy nuts ready for shoppers.

"There's nothing like homemade," Williams said as her daughter, Maya, prepared more samples. "I think you just taste the homemade in it."

In operation since 2000, Williams said her daughter helped her name some of the cakes she makes, including "Zainy Zucchini Bread" and "Banana Nut Bonsai."

Outside the War Memorial Building, Megan Webber enjoyed the pleasant weather conditions while selling her own wreath creations.

"Usually, I'm out here, and people do not envy me at all," Webber said.

Like Wimer, Webber, of Sharpsburg, said she employs a clamp machine to frame her wreaths, but said the most important part of their construction is to make sure all of the greenery is cut at the same length.

Webber also likes to use five or six different greens to develop a three-dimensional display.

"I like the textures," said Webber, who hoped to sell about 60 wreaths she had made in the week leading up to Saturday.

"The first one of the year I make, I usually hate and hang it on my own house," Webber said.

Christmas in Shepherdstown continues today, with events also scheduled for Dec. 1-3.

If you go

What: Christmas in Shepherdstown

When: Today, and Dec. 1-3

Where: Various locations in Shepherdstown, W.Va.

For information and a schedule of events, go to

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