Historic home a venue for homemade goods

Eleven local crafters sell wares at Jacob Hess House

Eleven local crafters sell wares at Jacob Hess House

November 21, 2009|By ALICIA NOTARIANNI

KEEDYSVILLE -- The beeswax crafter.

The gourd artist.

The jewelry designer.

Three local friends, each with her own niche.

Diane Putman, the beeswax crafter, said the trio got together three years ago in one room of her historic Keedysville home and invited people in to browse their wares at a Holiday Home Show.

Dale Foster, also of Keedysville, offered her gourd creations, and Ellen Miller of Rohrersville peddled her jewelry.

"We were just a bunch of friends, all local crafters, and we got together to have a good time," Putman said. "We said, 'You know, we've got this huge home. We ought to open up more rooms and involve more people.'"


The group did so last year, and again this year. Eleven local crafters gathered Saturday at the Jacob Hess House, filling many of the home's downstairs rooms -- including a bedroom and a bathroom -- with handmade wares from pocketbooks to greeting cards, and many items in between.

"I leave my home pretty much as it is," Putman said. "I might just move some tables out of the way to make room for traffic flow."

Guests and vendors alike said they think the cozy atmosphere of the 1768 home makes for a quaint place to shop.

Sharon Weis, 43, of Bluemont, Va., visited the home with her husband, Rick Sawyer, 43, and son, Sam Sawyer, 7. Weis said she is a friend of Diane Putman and her husband, Ken Putman.

"I think this is amazing. I'm surprised to see quality of vendors," Sharon Weis said. "It's a beautiful old house and such a nice atmosphere. There are free cookies, it's before the holidays, it's just perfect. I'm on a good keel."

Weis also said she liked that the show offered a variety of items in a range of prices.

"Next year, you'll need to open the upstairs," she told the Putmans.

Diane Silas joined in the event this year, selling hand-woven wool scarves and shawls. She said the home was "a magnificent place" to have the show.

"Some shoppers coming through want to know if people really live here. They said the feel of the place is just so wonderfully 'put together.' They just think it's a shop," Silas said. "It makes sense that an old house would have handcrafted things to sell."

Nancy Anders of Taneytown, Md., painted and blow dried Christmas bulbs. Across the room, Yukiko Homman of Frederick, Md., folded origami crafts, including greeting cards, gift card holders, rings made of dollar bills and even origami earrings.

"Everyone tells me the earrings are very unique," said Homman, who said she moved from Japan 14 years ago. "In Japan, it's very common to fold money. People here seem to like the money greeting cards."

Beth Brent of Harpers Ferry, W.Va., browsed wares, picking up beeswax candles, an ornament and a pendant crafted from silverware.

"I think this is wonderful," Brent said. "(The organizers) have created an easily accessible venue for people to sell homemade goods. I'm all for anything that supports people in being creative, and I'd much rather buy local. Plus, this really builds a sense of community in the town."

Diane Putman estimated about 500 shoppers visited her home throughout the day.

If you go

What: Holiday Home Show

When: Today, noon to 5 p.m.

Where: Jacob Hess House, 17 S. Main St., Keedysville

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