Homespun craft show attracts many, offers variety


First Posted: 11/3/2014

Holiday crafts, handmade jewelry, wood carvings, home-baked goods and yule logs were among the many items available as Penn-State/Wilkes-Barre presented the 25th Annual The Arts at Hayfield Homespun Holidays craft show on Nov. 2.

The show featured over 100 vendors displaying their hand-crafted items such as wreaths, dolls, jewelry, seasonal items, paintings and woodworking, among many other specialties.

The Arts at Hayfield is a community focused non-profit organization. The proceeds of the annual event go toward a $1,000 achievement award for academically and artistically talented students, as well as provide support for campus offerings such as Great Books, musical and film events, poetry workshops, museum and cultural events.

In addition to the unique crafts on display, an assortment of foods such as artisan breads, gourmet pound cake, homemade Italian cookies, and the feature of the day – a complete turkey dinner with all the trimmings – were offered in the campus cafeteria.

Sylvia Hughes, of Dallas, started volunteering with the event at its start and is still volunteering at the age of 85. Hughes stated that she is pleased that the show displays only hand-crafted items.

“Everything has to be your own work,” she said. “The event is wonderful and exhilarating and has improved every year. I am so proud to be a part of it.”

Mary Reddy, of Shavertown, who also volunteered with Hughes, has been volunteering since the 80s when her late husband was a teacher at Penn State. Reddy said the event is “a lot of fun” and that the money collected goes to good causes.

Jack Monick, of Dallas, brought his array of photographs of Pic 10 photography. Monick is a sports photographer, who also photographs weddings, portraits, insurance claims and special requests. This was his fourth year with the Arts in Hayfield event.

“This is a great event,” said Monick, who developed his photography business after retiring from the position of athletic director at PennState/Wilkes-Barre for 25 years. “It is well put together by Janice Winter and the staff.”

Jennie Veloski, of Franklin Township, brought handmade quilts to the show as a part of Project Donating Joy. The project’s volunteer group has donated over 5,000 handcrafted quilts within the past 10 years to various hospitals, particularly the Hershey Children’s Hospital, as a way of giving comfort to seriously ill or traumatized children.

The volunteers, a group of 25 women, meet every Monday at the Trucksville United Methodist Church and accept monetary donations as well as supplies. Veloski explained that the group makes no money off the sales of its items and members use some of their own money at times. This was the fourth year that Project Joy has participated with the craft show. This year, so far, over 900 quilts have been distributed to those in need of comfort.

Doris and David Hatch, of New Albany, brought their crafts to the show for the third year. Doris displayed hand saws that she painted with various landscape themes, as well as her original wall painting. Her husband displayed his woodcarvings of birds, birdhouses and bowls. The couple enjoy the show and plan to return . Family friend, Mona Collum, of Tunkhannock, joined the Hatches at their stand.

Bernadine Vojtko of Wyoming, has attended the festival since the beginning. Assisted by her mother, Bernadine Borinski, of Plymouth. Vojtko displayed her homemade floral designs featuring an abundance of fall colors. Also displayed were Thanksgiving cornucopias, andminiature Christmas trees among the holiday décor. A teacher at Wyoming Seminary, Vojtko began working on crafts in 1985. She works with dried and silk flowers with her home craft business “Flower Finery.”

Vojtko and Borinski are a team. Vojtko said that, although she puts the crafts together, her mother does much of the prep work.

“I wouldn’t be able to do it without her. She is so energetic,” Vojko said of Borinski. “It is wonderful to see people doing their shopping here when there are so many other places that they could go.”

Both mother and daughter look forward to the event each year.

“It is the start to the holiday season. We get to see friends that we may not see all year,” Voitko said.

Borinski added, “As soon as the New Year’s calendar comes out, we schedule both of the events” (the summer and the Homespun Holiday craft shows). “It is a great event and I am glad to be a part of it.”

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