BROWSING THE GOODS, MEETING PEOPLE // Festival about more than arts and crafts

Published Dec. 9, 2002|Updated June 20, 2006

Linda Makland and Marie Denig of Spring Hill came to the Lutz-Land O'Lakes Woman's Club 23rd Annual Arts and Crafts Festival Sunday looking for something special.

"Something you won't find in a store," Denig said.

They agreed that the choices were beautiful and the prices good.

"When you think of the all the labor and love that goes into creating the crafts, you know the prices are great," Denig said. "Especially the stained glass _ there is a lot of breakage involved in making the designs."

The two-day event was held at Lake Park on N Dale Mabry Highway and offered a variety of food in addition to the 250 vendors of arts and crafts.

Phyllis Hoedt, past president of the sponsoring club who co-chaired the festival, said Saturday was a very busy day.

"Nineteen hundred and ninety-five cars came in the front of the park, and 400 in from the back," she said. "With an average of 4.5 people per car, that is a lot of people."

One of the vendors, Sharon Thacker of Brandon agreed that Saturday was very good.

"It's a little slow today," she said. "But that is probably because of the (Buccaneer football) game."

Thacker was selling handcrafted and hand painted wooden items, including picture frames and wooden decorative pins, refrigerator magnets and specialty boxes.

But the best part of the festival, she said, was meeting people.

"You get to see the people's reaction to our crafts and their interaction with each other," she said.

Suzanne Grayson of Dade City sold a lot of her hand-painted bricks on Saturday.

"My husband does the dirty work," she said. "He uses a diamond blade saw and cuts the bricks. I do the clean work, the painting."

Her bricks are used as door stops, bookends, in a fireplace or in a village. The designs she paints on them consist of logos, symbols of hobbies and professions or special themes.

Grayson also paints scenes on the glass of old window frames.

"Customers tell me where to find the frames," she said. "My favorite is the snowmen in the window."

All the frames are old, weather worn and mostly antiques.

Joyce Remick of Tampa purchased a stepping stone at the Wesley Chapel High School booth.

She said she would add it to her collection of stones that are in the ground from her back porch to the backyard shed.

"One of my stones has all sea shells and other souvenirs from Gasparilla, beads and coins," she said. "This one has broken tiles and glass with some neat colors."

Her friend Catherine Haight, a teacher at the school, brought her to the festival.

"I came to support the kids in art class," said Haight, who purchased several pieces of the students' art work.

Remick said it was nice to buy handmade items instead of manufactured ones.

"Plus, you meet such nice people at these things," she said. "It is a nice community event."

Hoedt said the show was a very good fundraiser for all the club's community work.

"We had good weather, and it was a nice weekend," she said.

Dora Bean, another past president of the club, said the event was very well-organized.

"It gets bigger and better every year," Bean said.

Winning the Best of Show award was Gary Curtis of Woodstock, Ga., with his painting titled Fruit of the Spirit.

_ Michelle Jones covers central Pasco community news. She can be reached at (800) 333-7505 ext. 4612 or (813) 909-4612. Her e-mail address is