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Make sure to visit the big tent at the Palmerton Festival

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    Hand-crafted wine lights bottle by Bambi Elsasser

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    Green’s Hand-Painted Signs & More

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    S & C Handmade Crafts

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    Just Stringing Around

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    Lighthouse by Just Stringing Around

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    Circle of Friends Quilting

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    Bossards Boardworks, who has a pallet painting workshop on Delaware Avenue in Palmerton, will offer people a chance to paint stenciled signs for $10.

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    Hypertufa by Brenda Rhodes

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    Alcohol Ink painting by Brenda Rhodes

Published September 07. 2018 12:46PM

The common theme is quite uncommon for the crafters who exhibit their wares at the Palmerton Community Festival this weekend.

Under the big tent, festivalgoers will find unique works by local crafters.

Here’s a look at a few of them.

Organizing the festival

Carla Binder, owner of Creative Framing by Carla in Palmerton, finds the crafters for the show.

“I love being surrounded by so many wonderful crafters for the entire weekend. It’s truly inspiring,” said Binder.

She is inspired by her life experiences, family and nature. Her offerings include Halloween and fall-themed home décor, in addition to handcrafted fine art pins. This year she has added a “Pudgy Pooch” pin.

“I’ve had people asking me when I was going to add some dog designs to my line, and it’s finally happening. How could I not include them when I have a grand puppy?”

Her daughter, Sarah Binder of Sincerely Sarah Jewelry, shares a space with her.

Sincerely Sarah

Sarah Binder says she has been crafting since she could hold a pencil. She lives in Freeland now, but sells her jewelry online and in her mother’s Palmerton store.

Her handcrafted copper jewelry with mixed metal and mixed media accents is nature oriented.

“I draw inspiration from what is around me. For example my newest additions to my collection include copper and enamel jewelry that I call ‘bubbles.’ Working for a white-water rafting company and living so close to the Lehigh River it seems like the perfect fit.”

She said, “The festival is a great event with tons of amazing people, talented vendors, and I’m inspired to keep creating art every year just for this particular event. I love being able to be part of a community that is so close-knit.”


Trish DeSousa offers candles, stained glass, glass bead jewelry, and all kinds of knitting, crocheting, weaving, spinning and felting.

“If you can do it with a fiber, we do it. Everything is handmade by two of my daughters and myself,” DeSousa said.

She will be displaying candles of all shapes and sizes along with glass sun-catchers and stained glass holiday decorations.

“The containers used in my candles are all unique — tea cups, ceramic bowls, copper bowls, whelk (similar to Conch) shells collected on Chincoteague in Virginia, various glass jars. You name it — anything that looks good with a candle inside it.”

Born and raised in Palmerton, she returned here after retirement.

“I was a child when the festival began as the hospital festival, and my father and friends were instrumental in getting the first festivals up and running. I was there helping (more like getting in the way). It was just natural that I get involved again now that I am back in town,” she said.

Handcrafted wine lights

Bambi Elsasser works out of her Lehighton home, making handcrafted lights out of recycled wine bottles for nearly 20 years.

She goes to eight to 10 crafts shows a year.

“Palmerton was my very first craft show and the community has embraced my wine lights with open arms,” she said.

Danielle’s Crochet Shop

Danielle Leibig of Nesquehoning is displaying at the festival for her sixth year.

Leibig and her mother make handmade crocheted hats. “All of our items are made completely by hand and made with lots of love,” she said.

“We love returning to the Palmerton festival because we love seeing and meeting all the people, great food, great entertainment, and it’s a wonderful place for everyone to go and just have a wonderful time.”

Brenda Rhodes

Brenda Rhodes is bringing stained glass and hypertufa, a medium consisting of cement, peat moss and pearlite.

“I’ve perfected the right mixture to be able to sculpt into various pieces of art. Most of my pieces have multiple functions such as garden art, planters, wall hangings and ornamental pieces to place within the home.”

She will also introduce her latest addition of alcohol ink painting.

“Alcohol ink pieces are created with a special ink, alcohol and any medium that is smooth. The medium could be anything from a plastic vase to Yupo paper. The inks have a beautiful flow and cause one to be willing to be flexible when creating with them,” she said.

“All my pieces are one-of-a-kind, handcrafted and unique mediums,” she said.

Circle of Friends Quilting

Cheryl Hank has lived in Palmerton for 14 years. She has been making crafts and sewing since she was young, but she started concentrating on quilting 16 years ago.

She makes kitchen towels, folded fabric star Christmas ornaments and quilted items including table runners, baby crib quilts and throw size quilts all done in quilt-shop quality flannel and cottons.

Hank has a full-time job so she does two shows a year and sells items at the Palmerton quilt show in October. She also runs quilt retreats and teaches quilt classes as Circle of Friends Quilting.

Just Stringing Around

Lisa Newhard will have a wide range of string art on display, with everything from holiday to everyday décor.

“My pieces are unique because they are all different. Not one is the same,” she said.

“I’m always updating adding lights and different elements.”

Greens’ Handpainted Signs

Jyneal Kamonka-Green offers inspirational hand-lettered wooden signs and painted windows.

She tried working with stencils, but said, “I prefer to hand letter. Iit is a process and a lost art.”

Kamonka-Green has a degree in advertising and fine arts with a drawing concentration.

“I occasionally throw in some abstract mixed media techniques and images into my work. It is all about the process while creating,” she said.

S & C Handmade Crafts

Susan Kondravy and Craig Wetzel have been officially crafting as S & C since 2003.

“I always say our crafts are one-of-a-kind: either funny or functional,” Kondravy said. “I am the functional one: knitting and crocheting hats, scarves, doilies and dish cloths. Craig can make things from junk and recycles everything.”

He makes yard ornaments and household items.

“We come to the Palmerton festival because it is local, has great food and retains that old-time flavor,” Kondravy said.

Kountry Krafts and Treasures

Donna Balliet, who has been crafting for 14 years, will be displaying country primitive décor, re-purposed items, signs and fall/Christmas décor.

“If I see something I like, I re-create and put my own flair on it. A lot of my repurposed items are one of a kind,” Balliet said.

She displays her items in Blue Mountain Candle Company on Route 209, Tinks Antiques in Tamaqua, Slatington Marketplace, and in September, she will be putting items in Jenny’s Sweets and More in Lehighton. She recently opened an art studio, Love 4 Art, in Palmerton.

Bossards Board Works

Bossards Board Works, which has a store on Delaware Avenue in Palmerton, will offer pallet painting once again this year for $10. There are four designs to choose from at the stand, located near the creek at the festival.

The business has been offering paint and sip classes on pallets for a little over two years.

Painted wooden creations are also available for sale.

“We love, love, love Palmerton Festival. It is our favorite time of year. Growing up it was the perfect end to the summer.” Anne Marie Bossard said.

“Pallet painting is a lot of fun, and the festival allows us to offer our customers some of our pallet designs we normally do not have available at the shop.”

White confections

And if buying all those crafts makes you hungry, Brigitte White has the solution. She is bringing her homemade confections that she sells at the Mahoning Valley Farmers Market every Friday and Saturday.

“Everything I make is homemade, by hand,” White said.

She will have peanut-rolled balls, peanut butter cups, pumpkin cups, Nutella cups, toasted coconut clusters, cashew clusters, peanut clusters, potato candy, chocolate and caramel apples and chocolate-covered chips, just to name a few of her popular items.

White does about 10 craft shows a year and also participates in the Lehighton Farmers Market.

A Bowmanstown resident, her children attend Palmerton schools.

“Palmerton is a wonderful community, and the Palmerton festival is just one of the great things about Palmerton. The festival is a tradition for me, my family and the town.”

Other crafters

Sylvia Storm of Sylvia’s Crafts: Cloth topped tea towels, 15- and 18-inch doll clothes and accessories, cloth dolls, sewn items and seasonal decorations

Kristen Mertz of Totally Bombed: Shower bombs, candles and sprays

Elizabeth Campbell of Lizzy Sue’s: Purses, snack bags, felt food and more

Rose Correll of Rose’s Simple Accents: Country décor with battery and electric candles

Christina McDonigle: Hemp jewelry and accessories, re-purposed leather, dream catchers

Timothy Schaible of TJ’s Acorn: Natural handmade soap, bath salts, bath bombs and sachets

Bramble Ridge Honey Farm: Raw Honey, honey lotions, soaps and lip balms

Jim Haines of CJ’s Wood n’ Stuff: Handcrafted turned pens, keychains, wine bottle stoppers, puzzles and seasonal items

Debbie Burdge of Sugar & Spice & All Things Nice: Children’s wood wall hooks, girls’ wall décor and hair-bow holders, girls’ hair accessories

Donna Mease and Joan Groff of “Crafts For Sale:” Welcome signs, snappy bags, team tiles and more

Sherry Bishop of Bishop’s Creations: Jewelry

Liz Morris of Gourd & Jewelry Fantasies: Decorative gourds and hand-beaded jewelry

Sandra Hinckle of Sandy, Andy & Friends: Face-painting

Eileen Hentz: Paracord bracelets and key fobs

Margaret Shinsec: Fleece blankets, hats, scarfs and totes

Grizzly’s Leather: Leather belts, wallets, motorcycle accessories, buckles, cowboy hats, vests and purses

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