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home : arts & entertainment : arts & entertainment July 22, 2018

10/17/2017 1:16:00 PM
Crowds flock to Harvest Faire
Visitors to the Sisters Harvest Faire got to explore dozens of booths featuring unique wares. photo by Jerry Baldock
+ click to enlarge
Visitors to the Sisters Harvest Faire got to explore dozens of booths featuring unique wares. photo by Jerry Baldock

By Jodi Schneider McNamee

The sunny autumn weather helped attract thousands of treasure-seekers into town for the 42nd annual Harvest Faire hosted by Sisters Area Chamber of Commerce on Main Avenue last weekend.

Folks from all over the Pacific Northwest came to browse through an abundant harvest of handmade items, from handcrafted dried floral arrangements to whimsical cloth dolls. And with over 165 juried artisan vendors, there was something for everyone's taste.

First-time vendor Randy Snow, from Sutherlin, Oregon, kickstarted a metal art project two years ago after retiring as a general contractor and hasn't stopped since. SnoCoArt became Snow's new business in his barn where he handcrafts metal art into unique Western themes in wooden frames he designs himself.

"My very first design was a head of a horse made from horseshoes," Snow said. "Now I start all my pieces with a big square sheet of steel or other metal and I trace my outline, cut it out and shape it."

Musical entertainment on the Songbird Stage provided by The Anvil Blasters on Saturday enhanced everyone's shopping experience. Bill Keale played on Sunday.

There were samples for your taste buds from organic pumpkin spiced tea to homemade salsa. There were samples of unique scented lotions that softened your skin and handcrafted soaps that smelled like everything you love about fall.

There were also samples for your pooch, and loads of dogs and their pet parents browsed through The Doggie Bakery from Bend booth. There were all-natural cookies, cakes, chews, chicken breast and beef liver jerky made especially for your furry friend.

New vendor from Crooked River Ranch, Valerie Smith, an artist who paints unique horses in acrylic and colored pencil - hence her business name Crazyhorse Art - has been painting on and off for over 30 years.

"I worked for the State of California for 24 years and retired in 2007, and then really began painting," Smith told The Nugget. "I'm mostly self-taught, but was an art major at UCLA after high school. My mission is to bring out the inner beauty of wild horses through my paintings, even an unkempt mustang with sagebrush hanging from his mane."

Nora Schneider from Mabton, Washington showcased Country Wreath, dried floral arrangements.

"I buy all my dried flowers from Eastern Washington from the grower," Schneider said. "I do all the design work and my husband Lonnie does the window framing. Then I add the dried flowers inside the framed glass window."

Lamps made out of Blackheart Rum bottles and real bullet earrings enticed folks into Sherrie Rininger's Chic by Squeak booth.

"The name for my business got its start over a bottle of wine with a friend," Rininger said. "And Squeak is my nickname. At first I started out with just jewelry and branched out."

Stone Vases & Functional Pottery by Dee and Barbara Adams from Pacific City is one vendor that folks can always count on seeing every year at the Harvest Faire.

"We've been at the Harvest Faire for 37 years," said Dee Adams.

First-time vendor at the Harvest Faire, Kay Smart, brought her incredibly unique doll-making business, Antique Annie's, where folk art and whimsy meet, to Sisters from Aumsville.

"I start with a bolt of muslin fabric and go from there." Smart explained. "My inspiration started when I started making Raggedy Anne dolls and I called them raggedy with a twist, because they are a bit more updated.

"I do shows all the time and I am a full-time doll artist. I have been making dolls for about 18 years, and they change and develop as time goes on."

Tom and Jeannie Riley from Auburn, Washington brought Riley's Spice of Life, their business that travels with them around the country.

"We're both retired and wanted to travel," Tom Riley said. "But we found out we needed to make money on the side to pay for the fuel for our motor home!"

The Rileys now do 60 shows a year, selling their homemade salsa and all-natural chili spices.

"Since my wife was in the food and beverage business before we retired we put together a plan and started with salsa. And then I took some master cooking classes and learned a lot about spices and cooking with them. We take our business pretty serious, but have fun traveling, too."

Event coordinator for the Sisters Area Chamber of Commerce, Jeri Buckmann was also shopping locally at the faire while keeping an eye on things.

"It was an incredible weekend. Blue skies, sunshine, great music and thousands of people were at the Faire," Buckmann said. "I walked through town and talked to a lady from Texas who travels to Sisters every year just for the Harvest Faire!

"It was great to see people in Sisters," Buckmann said. "That was the goal."

Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Article comment by: Chris Nichols

I wish you would've mentioned some of the local vendors from Sisters but great article none the less.

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