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Albany Woman’s Club Hosts Holiday Crafts Show

November 5, 2012

by Alexandra Korcz

The Holiday Craft Show at the Woman’s Club of Albany Friday and Saturday attracted vendors and shoppers from the Capital Region.

Albany Woman’s Club Hosts Holiday Crafts Show

“Everything being sold here is handmade, handcrafted items,” said Maryanne Malecki, member of the Woman’s Club of Albany and coordinator of the Holiday Crafts Show. She also said that they look for a certain quality, caliber, and variety in the vendors at the show. Some of the crafters were affected by Hurricane Sandy. Malecki said that unfortunately a milliner from Saratoga was unable to attend the show because she was stuck in Belgium because of  the hurricane

While many of the vendors were veterans of the crafts shows hosted by the Woman’s Club of Albany, several in attendance were new to the event. Brent Atkins, the owner of Just Bead It, and his wife Lou Ann Atkins, a designer, made their inaugural appearance.

Another jewelry designer at the event was Loretta Fontaine. Fontaine has a degree in architecture and is an avid photographer. Fontaine’s jewelry designs incorporated some of her photographs. She also had books where photos of her designs were published as a well as a never before seen copy of a new book that she is working on. The book includes photos that she’s taken throughout her life and words that she felt fit each photograph.

Nancy Miller was another jewelry designer at the crafts show. Miller is also the owner of Nancy Miller Jewelry Designs in Saratoga. Miller creates jewelry using sterling silver as well as some gold.

On the first floor of the Woman’s Club of Albany house at 725 Madison Ave, was jewelry designer Katie Nare, owner of Katie Nare Jewelry. Nare’s studio is located in Troy. Nare’s pieces are African inspired and some pieces took her as long as a week to create.

Vendor Carol A. McIntosh, the owner and designer of Leaning Tree Designs, specializes in “handcrafted jewelry utilizing semi-precious stones and sterling silver.”

There was more than just jewelry at the crafts show. There was everything from aprons to mosaic statues available for purchase.

Mauri Davis Lewis is the owner and designer of Sistahs Vintage Aprons in Albany. Lewis takes old apron designs from as far back as the 1920s and uses the patterns to make fun, personality filled aprons. Lewis describes herself as a “product visionary” on her business cards and her products matched her playful personality.

Barbara Jean Weingart was another vendor with handcrafted clothing. Weingart painted and dyed silks which she transformed into scarves, jackets, and bags. In a 14-step process Weingart turns an  ordinary piece of white silk into a fashion statement.

At a table next to Weingart was Joyce Noerr, owner and designer of Sororia Organics, from Scotia. Noerr makes ecofriendly soaps, perfumes, and body butters. One of the soaps is wrapped in quilt fabric and the label, once composted, will grow into flowers indigenous to North America.

Another crafter who repurposed products into something new was Marilyn Desmond, owner and designer of “Just Smashing.” Desmond creates mosaics for the garden and inside the house. The mosaics are in the shape of animals and picture frames. Desmond uses broken china to create her designs. This was Desmond’s first time at the Holiday Crafts Show at the Woman’s Club of Albany. She found out about the event at a fair when she was purchasing china for her designs.

Later this week, on Thursday, the Woman’s Club will host Dining for Women, and on. Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, a Celebrate the Season Tea. -30-



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