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Hand-crafted art for sale

Seventy-five vendors display handiwork at Fine Craft Show in Newhall

Posted: June 13, 2009 8:49 p.m.
Updated: June 15, 2009 4:20 p.m.

A hula dancer wind chime hangs with other handmade creations at the Weathered Woods booth as shoppers visit the Fine Craft Show at Old Orchard Park on Saturday.

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Kathleen Ismail started hand-crafting decorative faux cakes two months ago, so the local arts and crafts show Saturday came at an opportune time for her new business venture.

"I wasn't sure how I was going to showcase them. When this came up, I figured it was a perfect opportunity," said Ismail, of Newhall, in a booth displaying rows of what she calls "shabby-chic" cake creations.

It takes Ismail about two hours to create each cake, meant for decorative display, with fabric, woven lace, chiffon, silk and paper.

Ismail was one of 75 vendors displaying and selling their works at the annual Fine Craft Show hosted by the city of Santa Clarita at Old Orchard Park in Newhall. The show will continue today from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the park at Avenida Rotella and Lyons Avenue.

"We like to (host) an art event to advertise the arts and the music and show there is such a different variety of what people see as art," said Alexis Heinz, program coordinator with the city of Santa Clarita. "For some, (art) is jewelry, for some it's painting, for some it's a painted shirt."

Residents and art enthusiasts shopped for fine hand-crafted items including intricate and colorful jewelry, pottery, woodwork, ceramics, floral arrangements and more.

Helene Lederman made her first purchase at a vendor selling hand-carved personalized picture frames.

"I really like things that are hand-crafted and not the same thing you find every other place," Lederman, of Stevenson Ranch, said.

Since the arts and craft show is advertised in different crafts magazines and Web sites, vendors come from all over Los Angeles as well as other states such as Nevada. About 24 booths were occupied by local vendors.

Young entrepreneur Kelsie Marie Leach, also known as Miss Teen Newhall, is one of those local creators.

Leach had her original laptop cases showcased "for the girl on the go," she said. The cases are created with bright, colorful fabric with pockets for the laptop battery, and a design which allows its users to keep their computer in the case at all times.

Although Leach already manages a successful Web site around her product, she said attending a craft fair helps "get the word out."
Mark Rubin brought his Tree Bark Art out from Ventura.

"Mother nature has the best palette," said Rubin who forms images from peace signs to birds out of eucalyptus bark. Rubin believes he might be the only artisan in the world using the eucalyptus bark as a sculpting medium, according to his research on

"I got out with my six dogs every morning to the woods and look for bark," he said.

Rubin has sculpted and painted his entire life, but he's only worked with eucalyptus bark for five years.

"When you're born an artist, you're always an artist," he said.

Angel and Tonni Martinez spent their afternoon at the fair with their 6-month-old son.

"It gives us a chance to see how people get can creative with what's out there," Martinez said. "Out here, people put their thoughts into something they can present to the community."


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