Craft fair features handmade gifts from Wyandotte County

What’s the perfect gift? Something that is just right for the recipient, something handmade, and something from Wyandotte County? Is it something that provides you with the unusual opportunity to talk to the person who made the gift?

Visitors in search of the perfect gift came to the Eisenhower Craft Fair today at the Eisenhower Recreation Center in Kansas City, Kan., and found many one-of-a-kind handmade gifts from Wyandotte County and surrounding areas.

Debby Smith Porter held a ceramics figure she made that says, "Let it Snow," at the Eisenhower Craft Fair on Saturday at Eisenhower Recreation Center, Kansas City, Kan. (Staff photo)
Debby Smith Porter held a ceramics figure she made that says, “Let it Snow,” at the Eisenhower Craft Fair on Saturday at Eisenhower Recreation Center, Kansas City, Kan. (Staff photo)

One of the crafters, Debby Smith Porter, held a ceramics piece she painted that featured three snowmen with the message, “Let it Snow.”

Her craft display had not only ceramics, but also stained glass designs, and the name of her business is “Crafted Stained Glass Designs.”

Corinne Larkin, right, painted ceramic figures on display Saturday at the Eisenhower Craft Fair, Kansas City, Kan. With her was Karen Bales, left. (Staff photo)
Corinne Larkin, right, painted ceramic figures on display Saturday at the Eisenhower Craft Fair, Kansas City, Kan. With her was Karen Bales, left. (Staff photo)

Corinne Larkin had a number of ceramic figures for sale, and she said she painted every one herself.

Before she retired, she worked for Michael’s and JoAnn’s for about 20 years, and she frequently bought items for crafting when they were on sale, she said.

“I just needed hobbies and this was it,” Larkin remarked. “I’m now retired and this is what I do.

“I enjoyed today because I met a lot of super people,” Larkin said.

Santa Claus was helping Special Olympics on Saturday at the Eisenhower Craft Fair. Proceeds from the photos sold at the event were going to Special Olympics. (Staff photo)
Santa Claus was helping Special Olympics on Saturday at the Eisenhower Craft Fair. Proceeds from the photos sold at the event were going to Special Olympics. (Staff photo)

Playing Santa Claus at the event for the second straight year, Don Parish said he wanted to support this “picture with Santa” benefit for the Special Olympics.

All proceeds from the photos today went to the Special Olympics, he said. Parish recalled that when one of his brothers passed away, Special Olympics contributed some funds to help with the costs of the funeral.

Marion Tommer made jewelry that was on display Saturday at the Eisenhower Craft Fair, Kansas City, Kan. (Staff photo)
Marion Tommer made jewelry that was on display Saturday at the Eisenhower Craft Fair, Kansas City, Kan. (Staff photo)

At a table nearby, Marion Tommer of Kansas City, Kan., showed customers some of the jewelry she had made.

Her handcrafted jewelry company is called M&S Jewelry Design.

Andy Bettinger of Kansas City, Kan., displayed pieces of  found wood that has been finished. He was at the Eisenhower Craft Fair, Kansas City, Kan. (Staff photo)
Andy Bettinger of Kansas City, Kan., displayed pieces of found wood that has been finished. He was at the Eisenhower Craft Fair, Kansas City, Kan. (Staff photo)

Andy Bettinger of Kansas City, Kan., displayed pieces of wood he found in or near rivers that he finishes for yard art for rock gardens.

One piece in particular, he said, was cut out of a piece of cypress.

“The hardest part is finding it,” Bettinger remarked.

A kayaker, Bettinger has found wood from the Delaware River, the Illinois River in Oklahoma, and the Kaw River.

After finding the wood, he uses a pressure washer to take off the grime and mud, then finishes it.

A Parks Department employee, Bettinger started this effort this spring, and it is the first time he has ever showed it in public, he said. Also displayed at his table were antique jewelry items that his sister works on.

Cheryl Vandruff demonstrated the techniques used in arm knitting to make scarves. She was at the Eisenhower Craft Fair, Kansas City, Kan. (Staff photo)
Cheryl Vandruff demonstrated the techniques used in arm knitting to make scarves. She was at the Eisenhower Craft Fair, Kansas City, Kan. (Staff photo)

Cheryl Vandruff of Kansas City, Kan., demonstrated for visitors the techniques used in arm knitting.

She knitted several scarves for the craft show without knitting needles, using just her arms. She found the instructions for this online, she added.

Also at Vandruff’s table were several crocheted items she made, including blankets and baby bootees.

A Kansas statehood porcelain Santa made by Joyce Nickell was on display at the Eisenhower Craft Fair, Kansas City, Kan. (Staff photo)
A Kansas statehood porcelain Santa made by Joyce Nickell was on display at the Eisenhower Craft Fair, Kansas City, Kan. (Staff photo)

Joyce Nickell, a resident of Basehor, Kan., showed a Kansas statehood porcelain Santa she had on display.

This figure included such Kansas details as a combine, sunflowers, meadowlarks, Ike and “Home on the Range.”

Nickell poured, fired, sanded and painted the Kansas porcelain Santa.

She has extensive experience in the field, having owned her own shop in Salina for 15 years before moving to this area around 2000. She and her husband were married at St. Paul’s Church in 1960.

Sparkle Lucky produced all of the crocheted items at her table in only one month. She was at the Eisenhower Craft Fair, Kansas City, Kan. (Staff photo)
Sparkle Lucky produced all of the crocheted items at her table in only one month. She was at the Eisenhower Craft Fair, Kansas City, Kan. (Staff photo)

Sparkle Lucky crochets headbands, scarves, cup cozies and Christmas ornament coasters.

A resident of Wyandotte County, she went to Washington High School, KCKCC-TEC and K-State. She studied event planning and is still finishing her degree.

The name of her venture is Glitter Lucky Crafts, and its slogan is “Always add a touch of Glitter.”

Lucky told visitors that she produced all of the items at her table in only one month.

Nikki Gregory held a cat and mouse item that she sewed, and Sherrie Vogel held a pigtail hat she crocheted.

The two Wyandotte Countians have been working on crafts for many years. Vogel said she’s been crocheting 51 years, but this is only the second craft show for her.

Lonell "Friday" Brown of Kansas City, Kan., who makes crocheted items, was at her first craft fair on Saturday at the Eisenhower Craft Fair, Kansas City, Kan. (Staff photo)
Lonell “Friday” Brown of Kansas City, Kan., who makes crocheted items, was at her first craft fair on Saturday at the Eisenhower Craft Fair, Kansas City, Kan. (Staff photo)

More crocheted items were offered by Lonell Brown, at a table named Friday’s Crafts.

Lonell “Friday” Brown lives in Kansas City, Kan., and enjoys making crocheted headbands, hats and other items. She said she will custom-make items in various colors or sizes for customers.

She also makes plant containers.

“It’s my first craft show,” she shared.

Juanita Clay of Garden City, Mo., a former Dotte, had a lot of homemade foods at the Eisenhower Craft Fair. She said she was the "queen of zucchini."  (Staff photo)
Juanita Clay of Garden City, Mo., a former Dotte, had a lot of homemade foods at the Eisenhower Craft Fair. She said she was the “queen of zucchini.” (Staff photo)

Juanita Clay is a former Dotte who now lives in Garden City, Mo.

On her table were homemade zucchini relish, zucchini salsa and even, zucchini pie.

“It tastes like apple pie,” she said.

“I’m the queen of zucchini,” Clay quipped.

Combat Corn returned for another year Saturday at the Eisenhower Craft Fair in Kansas City, Kan. (Staff photo)
Combat Corn returned for another year Saturday at the Eisenhower Craft Fair in Kansas City, Kan. (Staff photo)

Community calendar

The Wyandotte Daily News is interested in news of your community event in Wyandotte County. Send information to maryr@wyandottedaily.com and include your name and phone number. Please send in planned events about a week before the event if possible. In the event of inclement weather, call the sponsoring organization to see if the event will be held.

Strawberry Hill Museum reopens for holidays
The Strawberry Hill Museum, 720 N. 4th St., Kansas City, Kan., reopened for the holidays on Nov. 21. A night-time Christmas tour of Strawberry Hill Museum is planned Nov. 27 and Dec. 11. Breakfast with St. Nicholas is scheduled from 8 to 11 a.m. Dec. 5 at the Strawberry Hill Museum. A $10 fee includes breakfast, a visit with St. Nicholas and a picture. An adult breakfast is available for $6. A visit with St. Nicholas and picture only will cost $5. For more information, visit www.strawberryhillmuseum.org/ or call 913-371-3264.

Legends tree-lighting ceremony to be Nov. 21
The Legends Outlets plans its 11th annual Legendary Tree Lighting Ceremony from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21, at The Legends, I-70 and I-435 in Kansas City, Kan. A 45-foot holiday tree will be lit, and there will be holiday music, synchronized lights, and an appearance by Santa Claus. There will be prize giveaways.

Fundraiser to benefit Keeler Center
Fifteen percent of the purchases at Ten Thousand Villages, 7949 Santa Fe Drive, Overland Park, Kan., until Nov. 22 will be donated to Keeler Women’s Center in Kansas City, Kan. It is at the Keeler Women’s Center. See websites, http://www.mountosb.org/ministries/keeler-womens-center or https://www.facebook.com/Keeler-Womens-Center-218839641502432/.

Chiropractic Healing Center to hold blood drive
The Chiropractic Healing Center, 8437 State Ave., will hold a Community Blood Center blood drive from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 23, in the parking lot. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 816-753-4040 or visit www.savealifenow.org.

Home economists to meet Nov. 30
Home and Community Group Greater Kansas City Association of Family and Consumer Sciences will meet at 11:30 a.m. Nov. 30 at Grand Street Café, 4740 Grand Ave., Kansas City, Mo. The program will be by Mackenzie Mallon, researcher at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, on “Monument Men.”

Volunteers needed to teach English
The Keeler Women’s Center, 2220 Central Ave., Kansas City, Kan., needs volunteers to teach English. Volunteers may devote 1.5 hours each week, which varies with the volunteer’s schedule. Materials and training are provided. Classes are held at library locations convenient for teacher and student. Volunteers attend training sessions scheduled at Keeler from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 1, or from 9 a.m. to noon Friday, Jan. 8. Call the Keeler Women’s Center, 913-906-8990, to register and for more information.

Open enrollment event for Medicare on Dec. 2
An open enrollment event for Medicare will be held from 10 am. to 2 p.m. Dec. 2 at the community room, Area Agency on Aging, 849 N. 47th St., (Indian Springs area), Kansas City, Kan. The event is sponsored by Wyandotte-Leavenworth Area Agency on Aging. Walk-ins are welcome. Medicare counselors from Senior Health Insurance Counselors for Kansans (SHICK) will be available.

Charity benefit dinner to be Dec. 3
The Bonner Springs Rotary is sponsoring its annual holiday banquet at 6 p.m. Dec. 3 at the event barn at the National Agricultural Center and Hall of Fame, 630 N. 126th, Bonner Springs. The event will benefit Vaughn-Trent Community Services. There will be entertainment and an auction. Tickets are $20. For reservations, call 913-441-2584 or email bonnerrotary@gmail.com.

Santa Express to be Dec. 5 at Ag Hall
The Santa Express and 5K run is planned at 10 a.m. Dec. 5 at the National Agricultural Center and Hall of Fame, 126th and State Avenue, Bonner Springs. The 5K run will kick off the holiday at the Ag Hall’s train depot. There also will be a 1K walk. For more information, see www.aghalloffame.com/santas-express-5k-run/. Santa’s Express 5K supports the living history education at the Agricultural Hall of Fame and the restoration of the historic structures. December events at the Ag Hall include kids getting their pictures taken with Santa in the train depot and riding the trail at the Ag Hall. There will be reindeer games, cookies and hot chocolate in the barn. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 5; 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 6; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 12; and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 13.

Armourdale Renewal Association to hold Christmas luncheon
The Armourdale Renewal Association will hold its annual Christmas luncheon noon to 1:30 p.m. Dec. 11 at 730 Osage Ave., Kansas City, Kan. The guest speaker will be State Rep. Stan Frownfelter, D-37th Dist. There will be a large assortment of food, including barbecued food. The cost of the dinner is $10 per person and $5 for senior citizens. For more information, call 913-371-5696.

Winter Carnival planned at Eisenhower Rec Center
A Winter Carnival is planned from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12, at the Eisenhower Recreation Center, 901 N. 72nd St., Kansas City, Kan. The host of the event is the Unified Government Parks and Recreation Department. Toys will be collected to hand out to the first 500 children under the age of 12 attending the event. The donors will decide the price of the gift. Toys will be collected from Friday, Nov. 13, through Tuesday, Dec. 8. The event on Dec. 12 will offer games and activities for the family. For more information, call 573-8358.

Cabelas to hold blood drive
Cabelas, 10300 Cabela Drive, Kansas City, Kan., will hold a Red Cross blood drive from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12. For more information, visit www.redcrossblood.org.

Historical bus tour planned Dec. 12
The Wyandotte County Museums and Historical Sites Bus Tour is planned from 3 p.m. t 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12. Tickets are $25 per person. There will be a tour at each location. On the tour will be the Wyandotte County Museum, Strawberry Hill Museum, Quindaro Underground Railroad Museujm, Old Quindaro Museum, Grinter Place Historic Site and National Agricultural Center and Hall of Fame. Tickets must be purchased in advance. For information see http://visitkansascityks.com/events/2532 or contact the Kansas City, Kan., Convention and Visitors Bureau at 913-321-5800 during business hours.

UG Justice Complex to hold blood drive
The Unified Government Justice Complex, 710 N. 7th St., Kansas City, Kan., will hold a Red Cross blood drive from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 16. For more information, visit www.redcrossblood.org.

West State Plaza Shopping Center to hold blood drive
West State Plaza Shopping Center, 7523 State Ave., Kansas City, Kan., will hold an American Red Cross blood drive from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, Dec. 21. For more information, visit www.redcrossblood.org.

Counseling offered
Keeler Women’s Center, a ministry of the Benedictine Sisters of Mount St. Scholastica, 2220 Central Ave., Kansas City, Kan., offers individual and couples counseling to women and men who might otherwise not be able to afford counseling. Nothing is billed. Donations are accepted. Call 913-906-8990 for information or to do an intake and schedule an appointment.

Wyandotte County Museum open
The Wyandotte County Museum, 631 N. 126th St., Bonner Springs, is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays. It is closed on Sundays and holidays. The current exhibit is about the 75th anniversary of the B-25 and the bomber builders in Kansas City, Kan. For more information visit the website www.facebook.com/wycomuseum or call 913-573-5002.

Unemployment rate stable in KCK

Unemployment rates in Kansas City, Kan., and Wyandotte County in October remained the same as September, according to figures released today by the Kansas Department of Labor.

Unemployment was 5.5 percent in Wyandotte County and 5.6 percent in Kansas City, Kan., according to the state’s figures.

One year ago, unemployment was higher here at 6.1 percent in Wyandotte County and 6.2 percent in Kansas City, Kan., according to KDOL.

Kansas City, Kan., has the highest unemployment rate of any of the largest cities in Kansas, the state’s statistics showed.

The Kansas unemployment rate, seasonally adjusted, was 4.1 percent in October, a slight drop from 4.4 percent in September, the Kansas Department of Labor stated.

“The state’s unemployment rate continues to improve, falling to 4.1 percent in October,” said Kansas Secretary of Labor Lana Gordon, in a news release. “This is the lowest rate Kansas has recorded in more than 14 years.”