Craft show rings in the season

Published 9:36 am Saturday, December 4, 2010

Staff Writer

The Christmas season opened not with a bang but with a jingle Friday afternoon in Washington.
The 2010 Holiday Arts &Craft Show ran from noon until 7 p.m. at the Washington Civic Center.
The show is open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. today. The organizers request that each attendee make a $2 donation.
This annual event is presented by the Beaufort County Arts Council.
Beginning at lunchtime Friday, dozens of shoppers began filing in to browse booths spread throughout the Civic Center.
On display were nearly every conceivable holiday item, from hand-painted Santa Clauses to homemade jewelry.
Among the artists and artisans on hand was Patti Barnes, who was selling her original jewelry onstage in the auditorium.
“I bead because I’m an insomniac and, if I didn’t bead, I’d be shopping on the Internet all night,” said Barnes.
By day, Barnes is secretary at Washington High School, but she makes jewelry in her spare time.
Asked what words she would choose to reach out to potential patrons of the craft show, Barnes replied, “You really need to support hometown flavor and the efforts that the arts council makes and, in the process, you’re going to have a good time.”
Most of the vendors are from the area, so they’re relatively easy to find if people want to purchase more pieces after the show, she pointed out.
Near the stairway leading to the mezzanine, Michelle Hess was selling decorated pine cones, some of which took hours for her to adorn with beads, layers of paint and enamel.
“It’s a very long process,” said Hess.
Asked how she selects pine cones to decorate, she responded by saying she hunts through people’s yards — with the owners’ permission — and picks around neighborhoods for the best specimens.
“We’re very picky,” she commented. “If we don’t like it, we just toss it and pick up another one.”
As gift-seekers milled about, Joey Toler, executive director of the arts council, took in the scene, taking publicity pictures.
“We’ve got a wonderful group of vendors in here this year,” Toler said. “I’m very excited about the show. It is always one of our most popular events.”
For more information, call the arts council at 252-946-2504 or e-mail the staff at