Wall-to-wall crafts, shoppers at Buttons ‘n’ Bows

By Corene Brisendine

Saturday’s Buttons ‘n’ Bows craft show looked like a homespun Black Friday — thousands of shoppers squeezed into a maze of hand-crafted holiday wares.

Throngs of craft enthusiasts packed the campus of Manhattan Catholic Schools and Seven Dolors church on Saturday for the 33rd annual event.

The show spanned three buildings: the elementary, the junior high and the church basement.

It was one-in, one-out at the front door of Luckey Junior High. And if someone stopped to admire something, all the people lined up behind were halted in their tracks because the place was so full.

But that didn’t seem to deter more shoppers from coming in and making their way down the hallways to see what was there.

Each room was a mixed bag of goodies. Jewelers were next to soap makers. Potters were next to scarf-knitters. Christmas decorations peppered every room, and even a table offering crafts and treats for pets stood near one entrance.

Gertrude Hinkle of Herrington brought her stained glass.

She had angels and puppies, flowers and abstract pieces.

Hinkle said she has been making the windows since 1985. The most intricate glass she ever made had 1,300 separate pieces all soldered together. She didn’t sell that particular piece. Instead, she said she donated it to a cancer patient to sell as part of a fundraiser.

Several crafters brought jewelry to sell. Yvonne and John Yost have been driving all the way from Kansas City, Kan., for the last 10 years to be at the show.

John said his wife, Yvonne, has been making jewelry for the past 23 years. He only started coming along after he retired. He also helps make the jewelry. They had all kinds of earrings, necklaces and bracelets for sale. All their jewelry featured precious and semi-precious stones, like amethyst.

He said what started as a hobby for his wife has turned into a thriving business attending craft shows all over the country. He said they attend 30 to 35 shows a year.

One vendor was selling whiskey and wine bottles with Christmas lights inside. A few sold spoons with snowmen painted on them. One vendor was selling bowl warmers to keep soup hot.

Another vendor even braved the brisk morning outside selling fleece blankets. Across the street, another vendor peddled fresh kettle corn.

Manhattan resident Shirley Degenhardt said she bought stocking stuffers for her granddaughters this year. She said she has been attending the fair for about 20 years with her friend.

Diana Rubottom, the friend, didn’t have quite such a focused agenda. She bought a shirt and a pair of earrings on the spur of the moment.

“It caught my eye,” she said. “So I bought it.”

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