SPARKS — Not only was Santa on hand for special holiday wishes at the Crafts for Christmas Gift Fair at John Ascuaga’s Nugget on Friday, there was also plenty of neat gift ideas, including handmade artistic egg ornaments, dozens of yard displays, woolen scarves from Scotland and jewelry.
Other than the light crowds from time to time, the room appeared lively with holiday joy, along with the incense of pulled pork sandwiches, snacks and assorted treats for sale.
Natalie Stedman, who moved here from the East Coast nine years ago after retiring from the garment industry in New York. Now, she teaches classes making miniature egg portraits, from a bathing Santa looking over his naughty and nice list, to an egg with mini drawers costing thousands of dollars. She uses Emu, Ostrich, goose, duck and quail eggs, cleaned first.
“I never thought it was ever going to be a career,” said Stedman, who was dressed smartly in a handmade fedora. Her miniature masterpiece oval scenes sell for $15 to $2,000.
In the corner, Santa sat quietly listening to children talk about their wishes for the coming year.
Dezie Geen said he asked for an iPhone 4, though he didn’t think it would happen. He figured he would get toilet paper like last year, he joked.
“I would want the world for Christmas, because I would get everything,” he said.
Mikenzee Liebe, 5, “wanted a Happy Nappy,” her mother said.
Booth operator Barbara Forder and her sister, Janice Perez, makes crafts all year by hand to sell at the fair. Her booth was, perhaps the most holiday-filled booth on the floor, with cotton-stuffed toys sticking their noses out of every possible corner and around every nook and cranny available.
“I do a lot of handmade crafts,” Forder said.
Some come ready to assemble, but nevertheless, hard work goes into putting together the stitches necessary for the eyes to stay in place and soft body parts ready for someone’s snuggles, she added.
She was visited by the Great Basin Carolers midway through the afternoon. Belting out old-fashioned tunes, the music made the toys come to life as they sat ready-for-purchase in their wooden boxes, display cases and on the tables.
The Crafts for Christmas Gift Fair continues all weekend.