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 Willard holds first annual craft fair: Event highlights local vendors and artisans

Jeremy D. Wells
Carter County Times

 The Willard community held their First Annual Willard Craft & Vendor Fair on Saturday. The event, which offered local hand-crafted items and baked goods, along with local vendors offering popular essential oil and wax scent brands, and other items, had fairly good turn-out throughout the day, event organizer Whitney Dallaire said. 

Vendors and artisans agreed. Though some of them did have to adapt their displays to account for the stiff breeze, all said they would come back for a future event. 

Rachel Walker and Shelly P’simer, with Memento Hut, said they will plan differently for the wind next time they set up. But despite challenges with keeping all their labels in place the duo said they had a good day and enjoyed the experience. 

“It’s been really cool,” Walker said. 

She said they may be set up in Olive Hill for Fall Y’all this weekend unless her plans change. 

Someone who benefited from the wind was Sheila Porter, whose repurposed CD wind catchers danced and spun in the breeze. 

“I just paint rocks,” Porter said, when asked about her booth. 

But Porter obviously does much more than “paint rocks.” Her detailed pointillism art adorns wind catchers, mugs, planters, Christmas ornaments, and – yes – rocks. 

She’s even done record albums. That was what inspired her to repurpose stacks of old and unused CDs gathering dust in storage as wind catchers. 

“After I retired I kind of had too much time on my hands, so I had to do something,” she explained. So, she started painting on things. Eventually she painted a large mandala design on a record album, and she wanted to do more art like that, but not as large. That’s when the CDs came into the picture. 

“I actually had painted a record album, and I thought, ‘I want to do something smaller than a record album,’ and then I thought, ‘I’ve got all those old CDs down there, and we never use them anymore.’ So I started painting on them,” she said. “Then I thought, ‘Oh, those would be pretty for wind-spinners.’” 

The shiny side became a nice bonus by accident, after she decided to turn them into wind-catchers. 

It all came together once she decided to pair them with a heavy crystal to act as a counter-weight. 

“I needed them to be a little more stable, so I got the crystals and put on them. A little weight makes them spin better.” 

But because the crystal also acts as a prism, and the sun was reflecting off the shiny side of the CDs, there was a point in the morning, she said, when, “I had rainbows all over the place here, the way the sun was hitting.” 

Porter’s business, Coffee Branch Creations, doesn’t have any more events scheduled until December, when she’ll be set up at the Boyd County Convention Center’s holiday vendor event. 

Dallaire, who helped organize the event through the local American Legion Auxiliary, Willard Unit 342, said she felt the event was a success as well. Enough of a success, she said, that there may be more in store for Willard’s future. 

“The plan is to showcase the talent in the local area, and hopefully get us back to the days of Willard Days,” Dallaire said. 

That event, she said, ran until the early 1980s and hasn’t been put on since then. But she thinks there has been enough interest that the community might be able to revive the annual event. 

“It used to be a big time thing, and it would be great to get back to that,” she said. 

As a test run, she said, the vendor and craft fair has been, “pretty successful,” and she expects that more will grow from it, even if they don’t get back to Willard Days right away. 

“The Legion’s doing our best to help expand the community and draw people back,” she said. The success of the craft fair, she said, is evidence enough for her they aren’t alone in wanting it. 

Contact the writer at editor@cartercountytimes.com 

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