The holidays bring out a lot of different feelings in many of us as we stress around trying to 'make it.' Make it to the post office. Make it to the sale at The Bon. Make it to the dinner at Uncle Rick's. Make the Christmas card list. Make it to work. Make it home. Make cookies. Many also feel a strong urge to make something really creative, as in ornaments or gifts. And yes, there was a time when the long dusk of fall was spent sewing and painting, cutting and gluing, knitting and drawing little handmade gifts individually designed for that one special person on the list.
Even today, nothing beats the feeling of getting something handmade -- something unique -- that's made especially for you. But few have time to make gifts anymore, and this is where all the art and craft shows in the area conveniently come in. Here, you can browse a large selection of many different crafts while you listen to carolers, nibble a treat and get a shot of the real holiday spirit. Plus, don't forget that when you buy something that's locally made, you provide vital support for the artists' community in your area, whether it's ceramics you fancy or jewelry or handmade soaps.
& & & lt;i & The Inn at Priest Lake & lt;/i & & lt;/center &
Here's the perfect destination for a post-Thanksgiving drive. The Inn is located at the south end of Priest Lake in Coolin, Idaho, and it's hosting a bash of a holiday show. Most of the exhibitors are from around Priest Lake, and you can find ceramics, ornaments and many other craft items. The locally grown but elusive delicacy, huckleberries, have long been picked and turned into pies, jams and syrups, and there's also a large selection of Heart of Idaho potato toppers and soups.
On Saturday, there will be free sleigh rides with Santa from 11 am-2 pm, followed by caroling at 2 pm. On Sunday, there is a special celebration of this year's first French wine, Beaujolais Nouveau, accompanied by cheese and other delicacies at 1 pm.
& & & lt;i & The Inn at Priest Lake's arts and crafts show runs Saturday, Nov. 25, from 10 am-6 pm, and on Sunday, Nov. 26, from 10 am-4 pm. Throughout the show, there is a holiday ornament competition for both kids and adults. Donations for the local food bank are accepted both days. Tickets for the wine event are $10; everything else is free. Call: (208) 443-4066. & lt;/i & & lt;/center &
& & Hill's Resort & & & &
Here's another scenic Priest Lake location with a long tradition for holiday arts and crafts. At Hill's, the fun begins on Friday after Thanksgiving and continues through Saturday.
"This is the 15th annual show, and we have local artists who come from the Priest Lake area, Spokane, Spirit Lake, Rathdrum and many other places," says Teri Hill, whose parents own the resort. "This is more art oriented; it's not a knick-knacky type of event. You can find wood sculptures, porcelain sculptures and sheepskin-type jackets and purses. We also have a large selection of Native American paintings and jewelry."
Doc Redwoolf Fulton, whom Hill describes as a "mountain man-type of person," will set up his teepee outside the Inn and sell his wares from there.
"He's very special. He does crafts from what he finds in the woods and burns his fire and makes coffee," says Hill. At the show, you can also find more traditional Christmas things, and crafts made with willow and birch.
"This one woman does these beautiful wall hangings out of willow. This is something you'd want for decorating your home," says Hill. "There will be Christmas music both days, and all the Christmas trees are up. We are usually very well attended after Thanksgiving. The drive up here from Spokane is so pretty, the colors are still showing a little, and we don't have much snow yet. It's a nice little excursion for the whole family."
& & & lt;i & 'Tis the Season Arts and Crafts Show is on Friday, Nov. 24, from 10 am-8 pm, and on Saturday, Nov. 25, from 10 am-6 pm at Hill's Resort, on the west side of Priest Lake by Luby Bay. It's free. Call: (208) 443-2551. & lt;/i & & lt;/center &
& & Yuletide & & & &
At Spokane Art School, artists gather in late November and early December to show you some of the best and most diverse handcrafted, locally made art available.
"We pretty much have everything, from ceramics to woodwork to printmaking and sculpture. This year, we also have different fiber arts, and I think we have more glass work than previous years," says Sue Ellen Heflin, the school's director. "There are some things that are holiday-oriented, and some things are more year round; there is a lot to choose from."
When Yuletide holds it gala opening night party on Nov. 30, it will be the 21st time the Art School has held an arts and crafts fair to raise funds for its programs. The Art School celebrated its 30th anniversary last year and has undergone a lot of improvements this year.
"We are going to be introducing our renovated first floor to the public, and dedicate the gallery space to the memory of Connie Huneke [a long-time art school supporter]," says Heflin. "This whole face-lift of the art school is very important to us. We have worked on it since the end of summer."
After the gala evening, Yuletide continues with the juried show for another three days, and there's always been plenty of wonderful creations to marvel at and buy for stockings and gifts. This year, there are a large number of new exhibitors who've made it through the needle eye of the jury process.
"I'd say a third of our exhibitors are new artists. It's fun to see their new stuff," says Heflin. "But it is also interesting to see the people who have been here many years and see the changes they have made in their individual styles."
& & & lt;i & The Yuletide gala features fine wines, hors d'oeuvres, desserts and live music on Thursday, Nov. 30, from 5-9 pm. Tickets: $35; $30, SAS members. The show and sale continues with free admission on Friday, Dec. 1, from 10 am-8 pm, Saturday, Dec. 2, from 10 am-6 pm, and Sunday, Dec. 3, from noon-5 pm. Reservations required for gala. Call: 328-0900. & lt;/i & & lt;/center &
& & The Corbin Art Center & & & &
The art center has held a holiday sale for the last 25 years, so it's safe to say that shoppers won't be disappointed. This year, more than 50 artists are showing off their wares, and there is a lot to choose from. Besides dolls, floral arrangements and jewelry of many kinds, handmade candles in many shapes and colors have always been very popular at this show. This year, you can also pick up handmade bath soaps in many shapes and scents. In the more traditional holiday department there is a large selection of handmade cards, some with calligraphy, some with photos and some with prints and paintings, as well as ornaments and gift boxes.
& & & lt;i & The Fine Arts and Crafts Christmas Sale takes place on Saturday, Dec. 2, from 9:30 am-4:30 pm, and on Sunday, Dec. 3, from 11 am-4 pm, at the Corbin Art Center, 507 W. Seventh. Admission is free. Call: 625-6677. & lt;/i & & lt;/center &
& & & lt;i & There are many more arts and craft shows in the area than we can possibly mention here. Check out our Calendar of Events under "Crafts" and "Art Events" for more listings every week. & lt;/i & & lt;/center &