Church craft fair is a potpourri of community

PRINCEVILLE — Squeaky might not have been present physically, but his spirit was on hand at the monthly Church of the Pacific craft fair.

Jeni Hardy, one of the event organizers, had a supply of kitty quilts she was selling, each laced with at least a quarter cup of real catnip.

“It all started with Squeaky,” Hardy said as she was quick to pull out a picture album containing a picture of the inspiration for the quilts.

Additionally, the album is filled with satisfied customers from across the nation, who send her photos of their feline pets enjoying the quilts.

Hardy said the quilts are available at the monthly craft fair, as well as at several other locations around the island, including the Humane Society, the Kapaa Animal Clinic, and the Earth and Sea Gallery in Kapa‘a.

“We even have a store in Ketchum, Idaho, selling them,” she laughed.

Hardy does more than create kitty-sized quilts, as she explained that she also does the sample quilts at Kapaia Stitchery and, in the field of quilts, is one of the leaders for the upcoming Quilts Hawaii show that will return to the Kaua‘i Marriott Resort & Beach Club later this summer. That event is scheduled for July 3 through 9.

For the monthly craft fair, Hardy was offering soft, fabric bowls created using quilting techniques, along with her cat-sized quilts.

Hardy and Mary Frazier are credited with organizing the monthly event in Princeville that features about two dozen vendors from different parts of the island who gather on the first Saturday of each month from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“It’s not a tent,” Hardy said. The vendors are arranged alongside the sidewalks, inside, and on the patio area of the church’s social hall, where they get fair protection from the elements. “We don’t have to deal with the mud.”

“And, they have toilets, not porta potties,” offered neighboring artist Susan Watson, who had her “Pieces of Paradise” items that she said are available only at craft fairs.

Mother’s Day will be the fifth anniversary of this monthly gathering that increases to twice monthly during January and February, Hardy said.

She is quick to point out that Colleen Toyama and Bob Wright were probably two of the vendors who have been attending the event since its inception, after Petrina Britt, another crafter, asked, “Can we have a craft fair?”

Nicole Kelley coordinated the first event, Hardy said, and the fair was geared for crafters in the North Shore area. However, since that time, crafters started coming in from all over, Hardy pointing out that at Saturday’s event there were crafters from Kilauea, Anahola, Princeville, and even Kalaheo.

One of the unique vendors was Katia Langholz of Mineral Amorphia, who moved here after living for 12 years in the United Kingdom.

Langholz said she was born in Germany, and somewhere learned about crystals and their healing powers. After moving here, she continues to work with the crystals, doing a lot of her trade through eBay on the Internet.

However, she said she is working towards getting more exposure at the craft fairs, and is pondering getting out to the Westside craft fair.

D. Mike Taylor, chairman for the North Shore Lions Club annual pancake breakfast, took advantage of the gathering to announce that their event will take place at the Hanalei School cafeteria on April 23 from 7 a.m. until 11 a.m.

“Gary Pacheco is waiting,” he laughed, as Hardy explained that there are two Mike Taylors in the club, one being D. Mike, and Mike lives next door to her in Princeville.

Other community events that were being shared among the vendors and customers was one from Laurel Lemons, saying she is in the process of getting the Kilauea craft fair nailed down.

Proceeds from the monthly event at Princeville help with the church’s food pantry program, said Amy Christmas, another of the vendors.

Hardy said the pantry program helps feed between 75 and 100 people every week.

“And, they even take orders for lunch,” Christmas joked as she returned to her booth after purchasing a bag of baked goods.

“This is so much fun,” Hardy said. “It’s nice to see everyone every month.”

Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, may be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@kauaipubco.com.

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