The crafts of Christmas

Gift-giving made easier by craft fairs in Poughkeepsie, Woodstock & Cottekill this weekend

by Ann Hutton
November 24, 2010 12:57 PM | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Artist Jenny Lee Fowler will be demonstrating how she makes her paper-cut portraits this Saturday at a two-day craft fair held in the Historic Cottekill Reformed Church (which is now Ayumi Horie’s Cottekill studio).
Artist Jenny Lee Fowler will be demonstrating how she makes her paper-cut portraits this Saturday at a two-day craft fair held in the Historic Cottekill Reformed Church (which is now Ayumi Horie’s Cottekill studio).
The season of gift-giving is upon us. I recommend taking a deep breath and contemplating what it’s all about. And when you have that figured out, consider that, if you must enter the fray with your hard-earned cash reserves in the name of whatever holiday you celebrate, choosing gifts made by local artisans and crafters is a good thing. Unique and handmade, an absolute surfeit of items will be available for purchase at arts and crafts events this month. Here are three to check out this weekend:

The Holiday Craft Fair put on annually by the Dutchess Community College (DCC) Foundation will take place this weekend, November 27 and 28, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day in Falcon and Drumlin Halls on the DCC main campus in Poughkeepsie. For 39 years, the Foundation has coordinated this event to provide deserving students with scholarships. Drawing more than 3,000 visitors and more than 100 artisans and specialty foodmakers annually, the event attracts vendors from the Hudson Valley as well as across New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and New Jersey to offer their wares.

Items for sale will include jewelry, fiber arts, clothing, candles, soaps and oils, decorative painting, photographs, toys, collectibles, ceramics, porcelain, floral arrangements and works in glass, metal, leather and wood. Students will bring in pottery wheels to throw clay and demonstrate their techniques. Door-prize drawings will be held and refreshments can be purchased.

Dutchess County Community College is located at 53 Pendell Road in Poughkeepsie. Entry is $6 general admission, $4 for seniors over 55, DCC students, staff and alumni. Children under 12 get in free. Those with special needs are invited to beat the rush by starting their shopping at 9:30 a.m. For more information and to get a $1 off coupon for admission, visit


More than 50 artists and craftspeople will show a wide variety of genres and media, including painting, printmaking, woodworking, fiber art, jewelry, pottery and ceramics, chocolate and photography in the third annual Woodstock Arts Fair at the Woodstock Jewish Congregation (WJC) on Sunday, November 28 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Co-sponsored by WJC and Art Times, a literary journal and resource for the fine and performing arts, the Fair provides an opportunity for area residents and visitors to see work made by artists and craftspeople, some of whom have traveled from as far as Manhattan to be part of the Fair. In addition to original art and crafts items, prints, notecards, CDs, books, jewelry, candy and other items will be available for purchase. A complete listing of the participants can be found on

The annual event is the brainchild of Woodstock artist and WJC member Myra Schwartz, who says, “I felt it was time for the Woodstock Jewish Congregation to do something for the arts community; a fair with very low cost for the participants and no commission fee for the Synagogue seemed perfect.” Cornelia Seckel, publisher of Art Times, added her expertise and experience with artists and the arts world, and says, “I was very pleased to be asked and saw this as a way for me and my business to give a return to the community of creative people who have supported our publication in print and now online.”

There is no entry fee, but a $5 donation for adults and $3 for children will be appreciated. Mezzaluna Bistro Latino will offer delicious food throughout the day. Come to the Woodstock Jewish Congregation at 1682 Glasco Turnpike rain or shine. For more information, call (845) 679-2218.


For a collection of fine gifts and curiosities, drop in at the Historic Cottekill Reformed Church this weekend, November 27 and 28, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Handmade in the Hudson Valley Holiday Sale will be held in Ayumi Horie’s Cottekill studio. The one-time church makes for quite a cozy shop, with the woodstove glowing and kettles of tea flowing and a vibrant collection of some of the Hudson Valley’s finest handmade gifts. There will be a diversity of local wares, a range of prices, and ongoing demonstrations so that gift-givers can find treasures for loved ones, gesture gifts for acquaintances and enjoy a uniquely local experience.

Come enjoy the items offered by the Hudson Valley Seed Library, Bluestocking Bonbons, Treeo Design, Whimsy Designs, Dirty Girls Design, Hodge Podge Farm, Rustic Stu, Jenny Lee Fowler, High Falls Mercantile, Greyson Designs, Christine Fromm Designs and Ayumi Horie herself. More than a sale, this is an event worthy of an afternoon outing. Sit on the couch sipping tea, warm up by the fire, meet friends and get to know each craftsperson. Assemble gift baskets with your own customized collection from the sale, and leave with them all eco-wrapped and ready to go. Plus, watch demonstrations of live paper-cutting portraits, seed-saving, garden advice, a spinning wheel and a ceramics studio tour. Horie’s studio is located at 167 Cottekill Road. For more information visit

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