Youthful talent and entrepreneurship were on full view in Maple Creek on Saturday.
Christena Pettyjohn, and Dani Linford and her brother, Kade, displayed their hand-crafted products at the Christmas Farmers’ Market in the Elks Hall – and the response from the public, not to mention other vendors, was enthusiastic, proving a get-up-and-go attitude trumps relative inexperience.
Christena, who graduated in 2020, started wood burning a year ago after finally making use of a Christmas gift she had received from an auntie when she was 12.
That gift was a wood burner, and it didn’t take her long to discover a new outlet for her creative abilities. The drawings in her artist’s sketchbook could now be transferred to pieces of wood.
“I’m 100 per cent self-taught,” she said, adding: “I use scrap wood or buy material on Amazon.”
As a 4th-generation member of a cattle farmer, her images often reflect her background – horses, dogs, herds, and sunflowers. She also gets ideas from Pinterest.
Christena, from Consul, has launched Wild Wood Burns to sell her products, which she makes at home. Some of her creations can be seen on Instagram (wold_wood_burns).
Fourteen-year-old Dani Linford, who lives on an acreage in Walsh, Alberta, makes rope wreaths, a hobby she started in the summer.
She has no problem in finding material, thanks to her team-roping grandpa.
After washing each rope, she ties it together with string, and glued on artificial flowers.
“I use flowers to match the season,” she said. “It takes about 30 minutes for each wreath.”
Dani, who sold five of her wreaths at the farmers’ market, has christened her cottage industry “Daisy Craft Co. 2022”.
Meanwhile, seated next to her, 13-year-old brother, Kade, was selling his hoof picks.
A sign on his table read: “Hand-forged picks from horses’ shoes”.
Kade has a good teacher for his new hobby – his father, who is a farrier.
“I’ve been doing this since about September,” he said.
Christena, Dani and Kade were among 27 vendors at the 10am-5pm market, which saw all tables occupied and a good variety of products on show.
Some of the traders were familiar: Raymond and Ava Broderick, from Cypress Hills Honey Farm; Tommy Lee’s glass creations, including his well-known hummingbirds; and Glenda Neitz, whose baked goods always prove irresistible to many visitors. Particularly popular were Glenda’s butter pecan cake, rice krispie cake, date squares, butter tarts, cinnamon buns, and 20 trays of cookies.
A newcomer this year was Lori Tumbach, who designs the interior of lanterns, creating what she believes to be ideal gifts for Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving … and, yes, Christmas.
She acquires materials from “anywhere and everywhere”, she says, working in the basement of her home in Medicine Hat, with the help of daughter, Madison.
The lanterns lit up the eyes of all who viewed them at the weekend.
“It has gone very, very well,” Lori said.