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40 Years of Getting Arts and Crafty

Paula Sherwood and 18 other Bay Area arts and crafts vendors opened shop at her humble abode on Wednesday to kick off the four-day home craft fair.

Charming Christmas melodies enchant you as you step into the garage of 1608 Via Sarita in San Lorenzo.

However, upon first arrival, you see Halloween decor of dangling skeletons, painted pumpkins and black cat knick-knacks.

Move through the kitchen and marvel at an array of jarred jams, jellies and preserves.

In the back patio, you'll find one-of-a-kind clothing and more Christmas ornaments than you could ever fit on a 10-foot Douglas Fir.

You've just stepped into Paula Sherwood's home craft fair — an event that's been held annually for the past 40 years.

More than 18 vendors from across the Bay Area set up shop in her house, garage and back yard to sell their hand-made crafts.

Vendors range from the retired to unemployed. Others simply want their crafts to bring the same joy to buyers as they have brought them to make.

"We have A-D-D and we constantly have to do something," joked Gayle Koffler from San Leandro. "We find [making crafts] very relaxing and it's a great joy to share them with others."

Gayle, a mother of three, used to be an accountant. However, when it comes to crafts, she wears many hats. She has created everything from crocheted kitchen towels to tree ornaments made of old Christmas cards.

After being laid off due to the dwindling economy, she said she found peace of mind in recycling mundane items into creative works of art.

Pleasanton resident Elaine Cuadros' specialty is silk floral arrangements. From Christmas wreathes to holiday centerpieces, she said she prides herself on the fact that "no two arrangements are ever the same."

She said her creativity possibly stemmed from working as a registered dental assistant.

"They're two different worlds, but I love working with my hands," Cuadros said.

The vendors will sell their items out of Sherwood's home on Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. On Saturday, the craft fair will last from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Scroll through the photos to see some of the many arts and crafts for sale.

Pat Davis October 06, 2011 at 04:24 PM
Excellent Article! Great photos. Pat Davis

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