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Holiday shoppers: Get ready for a warm up

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By Special to the Monitor

Get ready for some pre-season retail training with a shopping day at The Art Center at Fuller Lodge’s Fall Arts and Crafts Fair, held from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday at Los Alamos Middle School. The 31st Annual Fall Fair hosts numerous new vendors as well as long-time favorites, selling everything needed for holiday shopping or for adding a little flair to people’s home and wardrobe.

During the fair, the middle school gym and cafeteria become holiday bazaars; vendors selling original and handmade goods line walls and aisles, transforming the vast rooms into markets. Come soak up some holiday spirit while visiting stalls full of seasonal gifts, like wreaths or glass pumpkins or greeting cards. Consider glamorizing the home with a new painting, sculpture or piece of pottery. Local and regional artists such as Paul Birchak, Heike Stroebel, Mary Cardin, Mary Barnes and others will offer fine art in pastels, oils, acrylic and watercolor. Sculptor Terry Adams of Cuba, N.M., will be on hand with metalwork sculpture and wall pieces that would add delight to any home. Potter Romaine Begay, who won both first and second place ribbons at Indian Market this year, will have an array of works for sale.

If residents ever wanted something handcrafted in wood, they are certain to find a treasure at this fair. There will be a number of woodcrafters, each with a different focus. Regina Dingler’s wood inlay work includes hair barrettes with scenes from outer space, while Adrian Martinez portrays landscapes. Norma Plemons turns beautiful wooden bowls, and Carrie Driver of Howard, Colo., provides all kinds of wood items to outfit the home.

If it’s clothing shoppers are thinking about, they will find hand-painted T-shirts by Ken Iwata, hand-painted silk clothing by Anita Bauer, leather clothing by Venus Brightstar, among several others. There will be vendors with homemade children’s clothing, and a variety of woven and knitted clothing for all ages. Outerwear also has its place. Susan Young returns with her popular kitty-ear hats and shawls, while several people will offer scarves and winter hats.

As always, the fair is a superb time to buy jewelry as a gift and people might find something for themselves as well in the wide array of styles. Several Native American artists join the fair this year, expanding the selection of silverwork. Artists will also be selling consumable art, including homemade bath products, handmade skin care and makeup and gourmet packaged foods.

To keep people’s energy up while shopping, the First Baptist Church of Espaola will be selling hamburgers, hot dogs, and barbequed brisket and canned drinks to raise funds for a youth mission trip. And for entertainment, Josephine Boyer will offer face painting. Boyer, a popular fixture at the outdoor concerts this year, will also provide a sandbox for little ones to play in.

This year’s fair is sure to be a great way to ring in the upcoming holiday season. For more information about the fair, call The Art Center at Fuller Lodge at 662-9331 or stop by the Art Center at 2132 Central Ave. Most vendors’ work can be previewed at the Art Center’s website at: www.artfulnm.org/FallArtsandCraftsFair/.