AUGUSTA — Reindeer and snowmen crafted from rounds of birch attracted the attention of those attending the Maine Made Crafts show at the Augusta Civic Center Sunday.

Those products were featured at two of the 94 booths operated by craftspeople, artists and others.

There were hand-knitted scarves and mittens, handmade jewelry, honeybee and maple syrup products, jerky, floral wreaths, reversible neckerchiefs for dogs, and all other manner of fare suitable for gifts for the holiday season and other occasions.

The two-day Maine Made Crafts show started Saturday and welcomed some 2,100 attendees, said Steven Taylor, show chairman, adding that he expected at least half that number to visit on Sunday.

The show, with some of the same crafters, will reprise Dec. 16 and 17 at the Augusta State Armory.

“Some of the birch reindeer and the other birch crafts are going real well,” Taylor said.

It was a debut show for both reindeer and snowman makers.

Anna Adams, of Richmond, carried a birch reindeer she had just purchased from Jenn Conrad of Augusta. “I’m going to put it on my front porch,” Adams said.

“You don’t have to feed it, and you don’t have to pick up after it,” Conrad said to indicate why they are so popular.

Conrad said the reindeer sold out on Saturday, so she and Sheila Hanscom Child had to make 20 more to sell on Sunday.

Child said the two had seen something similar, thought it looked cool, and found an ample supply of white birch logs.

“It’s something fun that we decided to do,” Conrad said.

Child and her husband Randall also operate Country Folk Creations from their Monmouth home.

About half the reindeer herd had thin branches for antlers, the other half had fat red bows on their heads, and all the wooden figures mingled with wooden boxes full of winter greenery and stems of bright red winterberries.

“I think the girls have to look a little more feminine,” Conrad said with a laugh. Both male and female reindeer have antlers.

The reindeer sported wide scarves around their necks, and Valerie Morin, of Augusta, picked out one with a blue scarf that would look good on her enclosed porch.

“Can you put that one aside for me?” she asked, hoping to avoid having to carry it around the main auditorium while she continued to shop. Conrad agreed immediately.

Morin also showed off her other fair purchases, including a teddy bear crafted of alpaca fur, which would be a present at a baby shower, and “Money in a Can,” destined for a college student.

Just across the aisle, two other newcomers to the craft fair scene, Chris Zelenkewich and Christa LaPointe, of Anson, sold two of their “misfit snowmen,” which were decorated with upholstery tacks and ribbon scarves.

Brenda Struck, of Readfield, and her daughter, Wendy Struck, of Livermore Falls, debated a few minutes before finally choosing one for each other. “Each one is a little difference and has a different personality,” Wendy Struck said.

“I like the saying, ‘I love you to the moon and back,'” Brenda Struck said, explaining why her daughter chose to buy that one for her.

Zelenkewich said LaPointe had made about 30 snowmen last year as gifts for co-workers, and they were such a hit that they decided to make them and sell them. Her father, too, had a ready supply of different styles of upholstery tacks for the buttons and facial features.

Not far away, Mellori Worthen, of Mercer, ran her hands over the strings of her Celtic harp in a soft accompaniment to the ambient Christmas music. On Sunday she was surrounded by a series of smaller harps, including “lap harps so kids can come by and try them out,” she said. She’s been at the fair for 15 to 20 years. Nearby, a rack of CDs held her recordings of her performances.

As “Uniquely Music!” Worthen, a professional orchestra and Celtic harpist, teaches music and sells and builds level harps made by Stoney End in Red Wing, Minnesota.

“Anybody that wants a Celtic harp comes to me and I build it,” she said. The buyers can choose different woods and sizes for their harps.

More information about the Maine Made Crafts fairs is available at the website,

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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