For the 26th season, area crafters will set up booths at Centennial's Goodson Recreation Center for the annual Juried Holiday Arts and Crafts fair, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Dec. 1.
Many, such as Prairie Essence soaps and lotions, are returning to the same space they have had in the past, and some will introduce new items to the exciting mix of available items.
Nora Kentwerk and her mother, Donna Buskirk, have participated in the fair for 10 years, with soaps made from a great-grandmother's recipe and lotions with similar fragrances. Nora said she makes the soap and her mother painstakingly decorates each bar of soap and packages it. They display their wares on a lace-covered table.
Their sales have been primarily with craft fairs, although they did have it for sale at Grandma's Trunk in Littleton for a time.
The owner of that business has created some decorative basket packages for them — a gingerbread-scented one, for instance. Their website lists the different scents available at prairieessencesoap.com.
Nora said she took a class and made soaps for family gifts to start, Her mother thought she'd like some for presents at her offices and the business was under way. They do five to six craft shows in the spring and more from September to December, sometimes finding new scents to add to the line.
They are members of the Colorado Crafters Guild, which has been a most helpful connection through the years, Nora said. The two only do indoor fairs, rather than deal with unpredictable weather.
Their most popular scent year-round is lavender, and in the holiday season, the best-selling one is Victorian Christmas. Soaps take three weeks to cure, so if they run out, they do without at this point in the season (Rose Petal and Lilac Blossom are gone at this point).
Last year, Amazing Fibers participated for the first time, with gifts made from alpaca yarn that are reported to have been very popular — especially their embellished scarves. They will return.
Partners in the business are Samantha Tanner and Vickie Ruth from Elizabeth in Elbert County.
Tanner is a retired accountant who, with her husband, bought 40 acres over 12 years ago and has a studio for spinning, weaving and dyeing the lovely soft yarn, as well as teaching others how to do it.
Ruth, she says, raises 100 alpacas and both process the wool into yarn for scarves, purses, hats and more. The studio is open most days from about 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. See amazingfibers.com.
Shoppers will be able to find a bit of lunch at Goodson on fair day, if the munchies strike before they have finished with that list.
Goodson Recreation Center is at 6315 S. University Blvd.