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The Art of the Season Celebrated in Quakertown
Written by Kelly Kalb, Correspondent
Diane Lueckel and her husband from Doylestown offered a creative display of handmade Christmas ornaments using everything from toothpicks to painted, uncooked pasta for her uniquely designed items.

        Christmas shopping got a jump start in Quakertown at McCoole’s Arts and Events Place on S. Main Street Nov. 15.

        This year 11 area artists and crafters participating in the Quakertown Historical Society’s first annual Artisans’ Holiday Show and Sale. About 200 people came out to see a variety of handmade items perfect for the giving season.
        Craig Gillahan, president of the Quakertown Historical Society, and his wife, Cathy of Cat Gil Designs, started the holiday-themed adventure in their home four years ago, inviting family and friends of five local artists and crafters to purchase the original pieces they created. This year the event grew into a more elaborate and inviting affair.
        People were free to mingle amongst the displayed items, speaking intimately with the artists, and purchasing a variety of handmade designed art, crafts, jewelry, holiday ornaments and pottery. 
        Diane Lueckel from Doylestown offered a creative display of handmade Christmas ornaments using anything from toothpicks to painted uncooked pasta for her uniquely designed items.
        Susan Shelly displayed handwoven items and handpainted silk scarves.
        Beautifully sculpted pieces of pottery such as mugs, bowls, vases and one-of-a-kind items in a variety of earth tones were arranged at Linda Stauffer’s table display.
        Quakertown resident Linda Harstine stated, “I absolutely love the pottery. That’s what I’m here for.”
        Anne Meyers of ReNew Designs out of Havertown brought a fresh and innovative display of her accessories and ornaments created from recycled materials. Her pieces are made from soda cans to bottle caps as well as glass and paper. She has been in business for about a year and uses non-toxic alcohol and soy acrylic paints which are safer for the environment.
        Lori Oraschin, owner of Harley Hill Farm in Quakertown, brought her alpaca clothing products such as gloves, scarves, hats, socks and stuffed bears. All items are made from alpaca hair which is hypoallergenic, extremely soft, warm and washing machine friendly.
        Jewelry was a hot item at the event with designs from Susan Quinque of Suzi Q’s Bangles, Baubles, and Beads as well as Cathy Gillahan from Cat Gil Designs which also makes custom teddy bears and crocheted scarves and cowls.
        Alice Yates from Quakertown helped promote the artisans’ event but also admits, “I’m here for Cathy Gillahan’s jewelry. It’s beautiful.”
        Paintings were presented by Natalie Searl who uses recycled barn wood to frame digital pictures of outdoor scenes and animals printed on special paper that she applies a clear acrylic paint. She then adds brush strokes which allow for a canvased painting look.
        Arrow Crafts by Eric Hellman includes smooth, non-porous cutting boards and hot plates created from recycled corian kitchen countertops. Corian is versatile in that it can be shaped and finished into various designs and sizes.
        Janet Stever’s table modeled handmade holiday ornaments as well as her illustrations available in framed prints or on flags represented by Porterfield’s fine art licensing. Janet discussed the art of ornament making which she shares with her husband Gary. She stated, “My husband does the first two steps of the four step process and I do the more intricate details and painting.”
The holiday ornaments such as snowmen, decorated Christmas trees, and Santa Clauses, are made of wood and offer a delicately detailed appearance.
        Overall, the event brought together not only fellow artists and crafters but the Quakertown community as a way of celebrating the holiday season in a welcoming environment.
        Quakertown resident Dodee Diaz summed up the event by stating, “I enjoyed the variety of everyone’s talent displayed.”
The night was successful for vendors and will more than likely occur again next year in November.
        Cathy Gillahan commented after the event, “We were very pleased with how the night turned out. McCoole’s Arts and Events Place was a perfect venue for this event. A big thank you goes to Jan Hench and her staff at McCoole’s.”





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