Spokane-area craft shows kick off holiday season with artisan-made trinkets, decor

<p><p>Spokane schools opened their gyms over the weekend to hundreds of artisans who sold wares including real gem earrings and handmade soaps, in some of the first craft shows since the coronavirus put a pause on in-person fairs in 2020. </p></p><p><p>Hannah Opsal spent hours in creek beds to get gems and stones for her handcrafted jewelry she sold at Central Valley High School’s booster club fundraising craft show.</p></p><p><p>For about four years Opsal has run PNW Jewelry Finds, she said, after she realized she had a knack for finding and making natural-style jewelry.</p></p><p><p>“As much as I can I like to do the real stones,” Opsal said.</p></p><p><p>Other vendors also took inspiration from the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest, like Seraphim Glass owner Amy Holtorf.</p></p><p><p>Stained glass portraits of animals like moose, deer and bison hung around her booth Sunday morning at Shadle Park High School’s craft fair.</p></p><p><p>“We are living in a unique place, and there’s a lot of life around us, so that’s mostly where I draw from,” Holtorf said.</p></p><p><p>Holtorf is self-taught in the field, after becoming interested in the art form about four years ago, she said.</p></p><p><p>“You can do so many fun things with glass, and I really like to think outside the box, so it lends itself to that,” Holtorf said.</p></p><p><p>Mary’s Creations owner Mary Kay Hiatt said she also got into her work because it provided an outlet for her creativity. She and her husband, Terry Hiatt, sold handcrafted festive wreaths and styled glass bottles with embedded string lights while at the Shadle Park High School fair on Sunday.</p></p><p><p>Hiatt began her work about 10 years ago and has only ever sold her products at local craft shows, she said.</p></p><p><p>“We don’t have anything online or a store, you know, we come here because we like it, and we get so many repeat customers,” Hiatt said.</p></p><p><p>Though Hiatt lives with Parkinson’s disease that has made her projects take longer to complete, she said she still enjoys designing new wreaths using a number of materials like wire, string lights and colored threads. As the holidays approach, her wreaths feature red and green color schemes with festive glitter, she said. During spring she uses more forest green and lots of flowers, she said.</p></p><p><p>The bottles are hand-painted by Hiatt and take about four hours to complete, she said.</p></p><p><p>“This really stimulates my brain,” she said. “We do it all at home.”</p></p><p><p>Tawnya Nanny’s business also began and remains homegrown, she said Sunday afternoon at the Central Valley High School craft show. Her brand, Willow and Bramble, features skin care products infused with ingredients from Nanny’s home garden of botanicals, she said.</p></p><p><p>“I feel like being minimal in your ingredients is just as important as with what you’re eating,” Nanny said.</p></p><p><p>Nanny’s vendor booth included premade boxes, each packed with a bar of herb-infused goat milk-based soap, a candle, a Himalayan salt scrub mixture and lotion.</p></p><p><p>Each box has its own scent based on what sold at other fairs Nanny has been to, like chamomile, lavender and citrus. She said the weekend had been a success so far.</p></p><p><p>“It’s good to have the opportunity to be here and support the craft show again,” Nanny said.</p></p>