Crafters help create Christmas memories

Teddy bears, stars, jams and jellies: Christmas begins at 15th Annual Artisans Store in Vernon

For as long as she can remember, Marilyn Radonz has loved crafting.

As a child, the longtime Vernon resident loved creating treasures with her mother. As an adult, she has taken that love of crafting and turned it into a holiday tradition, with the Christmas Memories Artisans Store, the annual craft show she organizes at Trinity United Church.

“I have always been a crafter, and growing up in Alberta, my mom was really into crafts and she used to sew all of the clothes for my sister and me,” she said. “My son loves crafting, too.

“For me, I just come up with ideas and run with them. I have a pad of paper beside my bed and if at 4 a.m. something comes up, I write it down.”

The 15th annual Artisans Store will once again be a two-day craft extravaganza at Trinity United Church, Nov. 17 and 18. As always, expect an enormous assortment of hand-crafted gifts and decorations.

“We started 15 years ago as a way for us to sell our crafts,” said Radonz. “I used to do the markets and found that intimidating and it was usually two or three days and very tiring, so I thought we could try something different and so I approached a few people and spoke to the United Church and we’ve been there the whole time.”

And, as always, the artisans have banded together to give back to the community. For many years, they have held a door prize draw and given the proceeds to the North Okanagan Hospice Society. This year, they are helping out the North Okanagan Youth and Family Services Society’s adopt-a-family program. Through the program. NOYFSS matches businesses, agencies, families and groups to the families/youth it serves in the North Okanagan who are less fortunate. If you are interested in adopting a family, please call Lorel at 250-545-3572 or

“Each crafter donates something for the door prize and we sell tickets,” said Radonz, who will once again bring her own wide and varied assortment of hand-crafted items, from huge stars made from reclaimed wood, to the exquisite teddy bears that could give Gund a run for its money.

In addition to the artisans, the P.E.O. Sisterhood will once again have their own table set up where they’ll sell their popular jams, jellies, Christmas cakes and other treats. Proceeds from their sale will go, as always, towards helping a young woman to continue her post-secondary education.

The Artisans Store brings people from all over the Okanagan and Shuswap, said Radonz, drawing people each year who are looking for that special ornament for the tree, a fresh table runner for the Christmas dinner table or a hand-crafted toy.

“The ornaments are a big thing and I get a couple of folks who are there at 9 a.m. on the first day, waiting for us to open and they buy a bear from me every year,” said Radonz. “And we get a lot of seniors who come and buy the jams, also those who buy something for their grandchildren every year.”

Radonz, who has one grown son and two grandchildren, making the teddy bears is truly a labour of love. Each bear is a little different from the next and could range from a large blue teddy wearing a Christmas bow tie, to a small pink teddy in a party dress.

“When I finish a project, I have to be happy with it or I take it apart and redo it,” she said. “Everything we do is unique, so if you see it and you like it, you buy it right away as you might not see it again.”

With the sale running Nov. 17 and 18 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., both days, Radonz and her fellow crafters — there are seven in total — will spend the entire day before the sale setting up.

“And then it takes us an hour to take it down,” she said, laughing. “All of these crafters don’t do any other sales — we do it because we love it.

Christmas Memories, the 15th Annual Artisans Store, takes place Nov. 17 and 18 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., both days, at Trinity United Church, 3300 Alexis Park Dr., Vernon.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Athletes win Premier’s Awards

Armstrong’s Jacob Taylor among eight from Interior region to capture award

Funtastic grants soon available

Organization gives back to sporting community with grant program

Music of the Heavens to be an out of this world musical experience

Centre for Culture and Technology at UBC Okanagan teaming up with Orchid Ensemble for Nov. 30 event

Program keeps B.C. drivers in check for safety’s sake

RCMP warn drivers to stay safe this holiday season or suffer the consequences

Vernon one of Canada’s most dangerous places

Penticton, Kamloops, Kelowna, Lake Country and Salmon Arm also make Maclean’s list

Okanagan ski hills open for the season

Both Big White and Silverstar Resort open for the 2017-18 season Thursday

Giving Tuesday will be celebrated in Vernon on Nov.28

Giving Tuesday Okanagan mobilizes to celebrate the global day of giving November 28

MP announces intention to run

North Okanagan-Shuswap MP Mel Arnold sets sights on 2019 federal election

Cougar confronts man in Clearwater

Clearwater resident Barry Joneson had a close encounter of the cougar kind

Letter: Closing pot shops not in public interest

Letter writer says the public is not being served by Kelowna, West Kelowna going after pot shops

Panda picks Argonauts for the win

Giant panda at the Toronto Zoo picks Argos to win Grey Cup on Sunday

Black Friday fervour wanes as some consumers, retailers shun practice

Some businesses are choosing to opt out, while some shoppers are turning to buying online

Trudeau apologizes to excluded residential school students

PM makes statement to former students in Nfld who were left out of previous compensation, apology

Most Read