Jose Montero - "Madeira" Hand Carved Wood Products
Since my youth I have admired trees and loved wood. I love working with wood and sharing my knowledge with others. Out of desire and economic necessity, I have made most of the furniture for our home. About sixteen years ago, my mother-in-law asked me if I could make her some spoons from scraps. I told her that I would try, and I did. As it turns out, she never used them. Instead she hung them on her kitchen wall, where they still hang today. When we visit her, and I look at those spoons, I tell her that if anyone asks who made them, not to tell them it was me! Those original spoons were crude. But with practice I have refined my product.
I have expanded to bowls and other utilitarian accessories. My wife and partner, assists me with the design ideas, marketing and sales, and the occasional back rub after a long day of carving and shaping.
Most of my wood comes from our wood lot, trees that have been damaged by storms or attacked by insects. Though, I will never turn down a log or piece of wood given to me.
We sell our product at craft fairs in Virginia, West Virginia and at Farm Markets. Our spoons are in gift shops at Belle Grove Plantation, and the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in Winchester, Virginia. We enjoy working with the public. We have developed friendships with our fellow crafters and our customers.
We strive to sell a quality product at a reasonable price.
John & Wendy R. Venskoske, J & W Farm
J & W Farm started four years ago by John and Wendy R. Venskoske, Jr. with the idea of adding value to local agricultural products. For Christmas that year, we made these birdseed wreaths to give to family members, friends, and wife's co-workers. They were so much appreciated that we decided to offer it to our current retail outlets that we were selling our food products to. They have been a hit and steadily growing. We use a special blend of birdseed from two local feed stores and custom make them with seasonal ribbon and/or special requests. For Valentine's Day, we offer a Heart shaped wreath. Our Holiday Birdseed Wreaths are packaged for gift giving and shipping!
Jackie Tobin - Handcrafts of the Shenandoah Valley
Jackie has been creating something for as long as she can remember. Encouragement and inspiration came from her multi-talented grandmother, who not only taught her to sew, but provided her with self confidence and unlimited materials to make things. Create something from nothing? Of course!
Over the years, Jackie has participated in many Shenandoah Valley Craft Fairs and Shops. She was a partner in Stone Soup Gallery on Winchester's walking mall, where you might find her creating hand woven baskets or painting detailed images on newly designed Holiday ornaments. Currently, she has added upcycled wood creations to her palette, greenery arrangements and dried flowers from her garden, and so much more.
Jackie works full time with children at Virginia Avenue Elementary School. She lives with her husband Bill, has two grown children and six grandchildren.
Visit Jackie at her Facebook page.
Cyndie and Peter Rinek - Blooming Hill Lavender Farm and Gift Shop
Cyndie Rinek, along with her husband Peter, a landscape architect and arborist, is the owner of Blooming Hill Lavender Farm and Gift Shop, located in the tiny Western Loudoun County hamlet of Philomont, Virginia. With a degree in journalism and a professional background in retail management, Cyndie left the corporate world 23 years ago. Over the years and through hard work as well as a lot of trial and error, Cyndie has taken what was once an interest in flowers and plants, to a passion and then turned it into a business specializing in lavender at her home, aptly named Blooming Hill. She now has a collection of one thousand lavender plants in almost one hundred different varieties and also tends the many formal, informal and herb garden beds that fill the 4 1/2 acres patch of paradise with a view of the Blue Ridge that make up Blooming Hill.
Cyndie is a member of the United States Lavender Growers Association, the Potomac Unit of the Herb Society of America, a Master Gardener and also a member of a local garden club called the Night Bloomers and often hosts talks at Blooming Hill or travels to garden clubs and groups and speaks on the subject of lavender and other various garden topics. Aside from being a landscape architect/planner and arborist with over 30 years of experience and whose design aesthetic is the backbone of Blooming Hill, Peter is also an accomplished artist and craftsman, creating beautiful eucalyptus wreaths and original oil paintings of Loudoun County Towns in his unique "Americana" style and has developed a loyal following of art enthusiasts.
Blooming Hill is open to the public on Fridays and Saturdays and other days by appointment, April through December. Visitors to the farmlet may tour the grounds and gardens, peruse the gift shop on the property, hear Cyndie and/or her husband share their gardening knowledge and, on certain and/or special occasions, enjoy a lavender infused traditional cream tea or traditional full tea on the porch.
Visit Blooming Hill online at bloominghillva.com.
Lin Hausknecht - Klay Haus Pottery
Lin grew up in Western New York, & has been living in Yellow Spring, WV since 1989. She has been creating art with clay for over 25 years. She first studied pottery in Geneseo, NY, then Towson, MD, & other locations. Her works range from mugs & bowls to birdfeeders & birdbaths. Her goal is to make utilitarian pots that are well-crafted, aesthetically interesting, and enjoyable to use. Throwing on the wheel and hand-building with clay allows her to make things by hand that are pleasing to the hand and eye. She also likes to experiment with various techniques and firing methods, exploring the endless possibilities and qualities of clay.
She also enjoys sharing her enthusiasm for pottery with others by teaching classes, where she tries to pass on the skills and enjoyment of working with clay.
She currently teaches non-credit classes at Lord Fairfax Community College, and is a member of the Shenandoah Potters Guild.
Jennifer C. Komaromi - Jennifersartstudio
Jennifer Komaromi hand paints unique Christmas bulbs - no two ornaments are the same! Each is executed in acrylic paint and sealed with a clear finish to protect the artwork. Her subjects range from kid-friendly to fantastical and are sure to bring whimsy and delight to your Christmas tree.
Emily Whitesell - The Homestead Farm at Fruit Hill Orchard
Emily will be doing "double duty" this year as both our purveyor of baked treats and locally handmade items. The Homestead Farm has been in her family since the early 1800s when their great, great, great grandfather James Thwaite started farming at the location. There will be a variety of gift items from the farmer's market, like candles, soap, body cream, body/room spray and milk bath tubes. Even more tempting will be the selection of freshly baked sugar cookies, gingerbread men, rice krispie treats, small and large cakes, truffles, cake pops, pies, candied nuts and peppermint bark.
The Clowser Foundation
The Clowser Foundation is seeking your help in its restoration Project Phase 1. The first task needed to save the Clowser House is the repair to the brick wall of the home. The project will consist of rebuilding the back brick wall, which has suffered deterioration from a combination of age, neglect, and prior less sympathetic changes to the house. The Clowser Foundation will have prints of the Clowser House by Michael Martin available for purchase. All proceeds from the sale of the Clowser House prints goes back to the Clowser Foundation for their effort to preserve this historic landmark of Frederick County.