Photo by Kelly Sullivan/ Peninsula Clarion Bonnie Cain hold open one of her handcrafted cards Saturday, April 25, 2015 at the Sterling Community Center in Sterling, Alaska. "I love this. I love it with all my heart," Cain said. "I would rather make cards than eat."

Photo by Kelly Sullivan/ Peninsula Clarion Bonnie Cain hold open one of her handcrafted cards Saturday, April 25, 2015 at the Sterling Community Center in Sterling, Alaska. "I love this. I love it with all my heart," Cain said. "I would rather make cards than eat."

Sterling fair shows shift

  • By Kelly Sullivan
  • Sunday, April 26, 2015 9:50pm
  • News

The Spring Craft Fair at Sterling Community Center brought local hobbyists, enthusiasts and entrepreneurs out of the woodwork Saturday.

Vendors from as close as Sterling and Kenai and as far as Homer, Seward and Anchorage displayed intricate greeting cards, beaded earrings and translucent melted glass formations.

“I love homemade stuff and people making things they are not mass producing,” said Sterling Community Center Administrative Assistant Rochelle Hanson. “I love the quality and time and pride they put into it.”

The bi-annual event, also held in October, spotlights vendors and brings revenue into the community, Hanson said.

The fair’s youngest merchants, sisters Elly Bauer, 12, and Charlotte Bauer, 9, from Cooper Landing included a demonstration at their booth. The two crocheted as they spent the day selling their homemade rings, earrings, cotton hats, purses and coasters.

“Its just fun,” Elly Bauer said. “Its entertaining to watch my fingers make things.”

Charlotte Bauer said she doesn’t know many other children that dedicate so much time to a craft. Eventually the two sisters hope to display their work in a large gallery.

The pair was so thankful to have a booth at the fair, Hanson said. Watching the maturity and diligence they displayed at their booth was impressive, she said.

Hanson said the high turn out that day was indicative of the overall shift in the community’s attitude toward, and interest in the community center. Since December, membership has tripled and the ‘likes’ on the center’s Facebook group page has doubled, she said.

Any event that gets people involved in their community is positive, Hanson said.

“That is how it should be,” Hanson said. “The community center is the heartbeat of the community.”

Each year the fair is first opened to the Sterling community, then the Kenai Peninsula followed by the rest of the state, Hanson.

“We are looking out for Sterling folks,” Hanson said.

For Swanson Lake area residents Pam Schrock, and her daughters Jessica and Jennifer, the fair was a chance to make some money from a family hobby. The trio took turns manning their tables that were covered in two-foot-long Danish Braids, strawberry pies and potent, herbed breads.

The Parmesan, garlic bread is one of the best sellers, Pam Schrock said.

“As soon as you smell if you will know why,” she said.

At the end of the table, beside a hand drawn chalk sign was cluster of gluten-free goods. Pam Schrock said she was recently diagnosed with Celiac Disease and had to tweak her treat intake.

“We are sort of health minded. I know it doesn’t look like it,” Pam Schrock said. “We don’t eat dessert every night. We are meat and potato people.”

The recipes are traditional and have been used and perfected for generations, Jessica Schrok said. In the past, the family ran a bakery, but now make the desserts at request and to sell at events such as the spring fair, she said.

Setting up shop Saturday was also an opportunity to network, Jessica Schrock said. A woman that had four-weeks until her due date asked if the Schrocks could bake for her baby shower, she said.

Across the gymnasium, Bonnie Cain said behind a symmetrical display of her handcrafted cards. Sparkling, delicate butterfly’s glistened in a pile next to piles of pens and textured papers.

She started working on her craft 15 years ago.

“I went to a home party and I was hooked,” Cain said.

“This is a craft for the non-artist. I can’t draw. This turned me into an artist.”

The fair was one of the first Cain had sold her work at for nearly two years.

She said she prefers to keep it as a hobby right now, but has developed her product so well she could live off of the profits for it if she wanted to.

“I love this. I love it with all my heart,” Cain said. “I would rather make cards than eat.”

Cain works as an independent demonstrator for Stampin Up in Soldotna so she can receive discounts on the materials she needs to make her cards.

She also teaches monthly classes. She said it is something anyone can learn.

“When ever day life gets to me I have my craft,” Cain said. “I can lose myself in my work for an hour or two. When I come out I’m a whole new person again.”

 

Reach Kelly Sullivan at kelly.sullivan@peninsulaclarion.com

More in News

The Homer Spit stretching into Kachemak Bay is seen here on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020 in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
Homer woman indicted over seaplane incident

Marian Tillion Beck was indicted on charges of negligent operation of a vessel and attempted interference with the navigation of a sea plane

Soldotna High School can be seen in this Sept. 2, 2021, photo, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion file)
‘Little Sweethearts’ family dance to debut at SoHi

The event will be hosted by SoHi’s freshmen student council

Soldotna City Council members interview city manager applicant Elke Doom (on screen) during a special city council meeting on Monday, Jan. 30, 2023. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Doom, Bower named finalists for Soldotna manager gig

The two will visit Soldotna for in-person meetings on Feb. 7 and 13, respectively

The northern fur seal rescued by Alaska SeaLife Center staff is seen on Jan. 31, 2023, at the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward, Alaska. (Photo courtesy Kaiti Grant/Alaska SeaLife Center)
Northern fur seal pup admitted to SeaLife Center rescue program

The pup was reported by Sitka residents using the center’s 24-hour stranding hotline

The Kenai Community Library children’s section is seen on Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Literary competition returns to local schools

Battle of the Books aims to instill in kids a love of reading

Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire
Climate activists hold a rally outside the Alaska State Capitol Friday afternoon in advocacy for legislative action to improve Alaska’s renewable energy development and future sustainability.
Climate activists hold rally near the Capitol

Statewide organizations advocate for legislative action

Shanon Davis, the executive director of the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce, hands out candy during the Sweeny’s St. Patrick’s Parade in Soldotna on March 17, 2022. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Davis to step down as Soldotna chamber head

Davis oversaw the implementation of Soldotna’s “Holding Our Own,” shop local program

Golden-yellow birch trees and spruce frame a view of Aurora Lagoon and Portlock Glacier from a trail in the Cottonwood-Eastland Unit of Kachemak Bay State Park off East End Road on Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021, near Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong)
State parks advisory boards accepting applictions

Alaska State Park advisory boards provide state park managers with recommendations on management issues

Most Read