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Getting crafty

Creative, colorful, community-oriented describes Tallgrass Creek’s craft fair

Created date

November 25th, 2015
Resident Mary Robison at the craft fair.
Resident Mary Robison at the craft fair.

There were colorful aprons, miniature paintings, togs for dogs, and lots more up for grabs at Tallgrass Creek’s annual craft fair held earlier this year. The creative shopping bonanza took place in the clubhouse living room, where about 30 participants displayed their artistic wares while fellow residents enjoyed some pre-holiday shopping.   

“Seeing everything in one place like this makes you realize what creative people live here,” says resident Diane Tolin, whose cozy baby blankets, hand-knitted neck warmers, and woven necklaces caught shoppers’ eyes.

The fair’s participants are not only creative but also community oriented. Of the show’s proceeds, 10% went to the community’s Resident Care Fund, which supports residents who experience an unforeseen financial hardship for reasons beyond their control. The Residence and Care Agreement has all the details.

Something for everyone

Among the fair’s participants were the Tallgrass Creek woodworkers, always well represented with their handcrafted ballpoint pens, wine stoppers, shelves, and children’s toys. For the last few years, the group has created and donated cradles, miniature benches, and other children’s items to the Johnson County Christmas Bureau, an organization that serves the needs of low-income individuals and families in the area. 

The woodworkers create their pieces in the community’s spacious woodshop located behind the Sunflower Bistro, a popular lunch and happy hour gathering spot. The group also hangs pictures and repairs lamps for their fellow residents. 

Resident Mary Robison, a newcomer to this year’s fair, offered eye-catching handmade chocolate matchbooks. Resembling actual matchbooks in size, the unique items are creatively decorated and contain a piece of Ghiradelli chocolate. She sold about 90 of the colorful gift items at this year’s fair. 

“I taught fourth grade for 30 years and always enjoyed thinking of different ways to make things,” says Mary. “It’s relaxing and creative at the same time.”  

To share her enthusiasm, Mary started a craft club for residents earlier this year. The group meets on the third Tuesday evening of each month in the Sunflower room to work on creative projects Mary coordinates. 

Another newcomer to the show was resident Florence (Flossie) Shattuck, who moved to Tallgrass Creek recently from Vermont, where she lived on a dairy farm for 40 years. Florence’s watercolors depict peaceful, everyday scenes and hang on many walls in Vermont as she has sold numerous pieces in her former home state. At this year’s fair, Florence offered beautiful greeting cards and handmade journals that show her work. 

“I paint almost every day and find it very freeing,” says Florence. “There is much to be painted here just as in Vermont.”