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Artists fill Valley home for one-day ‘Handmade Christmas’ sale | TribLIVE.com
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Artists fill Valley home for one-day ‘Handmade Christmas’ sale

Tribune-Review
| Saturday, November 29, 2014 12:11 a.m
LTCraftHouse111714
Louis B. Ruediger | Trib Total Media
Amber Spiker of Valley shows some of her hand-woven products that will be for sale during an event that she will be hosting in her home Dec. 6.

A stay-at-home mom is transforming the living room of her Valley home into a store for a day to offer holiday shoppers a chance to buy handcrafted gifts from local artists.

Amber Spiker is a fiber artist and mother of three who knits and crochets woolen items like scarves, gloves, hats and shawls while homeschooling her two youngest children. At least 11 other crafters and artists will join her Dec. 6 to sell and display their work in what she is calling “A handmade Christmas.”

“We basically turn our home into a shop, move out our personal items and fill it with artists’ work,” Spiker said. “We’ll pack it in here and make it look cute and cozy with a personal touch.”

Spiker’s 8-year-old daughter, Lily, will be among the artists and will be selling her handcrafted earrings made with glass beads shimmering in pastel and earth tones. Other artists’ work include sewn accessories and home decor, signs made from reclaimed kneeling benches, wreaths, birdhouses, natural soaps and lip balms, doll clothing, cards and picture frames.

“Small business is very important to me,” Spiker said, adding that she thinks there has been an increase in demand for handmade items.

She credits her “can-do” attitude to her industrious relatives and ancestors who included farmers and a fiber mill owner. Her family raises alpacas and chickens in the backyard of their home on Anderson Creek Road.

“I’ve developed the philosophy that you can pretty much do anything if you want to,” she said.

Spiker first opened her home for a one-day craft event two years ago and spread the word on social media and by word of mouth.

Christina Nicholl of Smicksburg was there and recalls how surprised she was at the number of people who showed up to buy items that included her own eclectic mix of wire-wrapped jewelry.

“People were consistently flowing in from the time the doors were opened,” she said.

Nicholl said Spiker’s event is a great option for shoppers who are tired of mass-produced gifts.

“Someone put their heart and soul into creating these things,” Nicholl said. “It’s not only good for the buyer, but for the customer too — just knowing that they are supporting local families, rather than having that money going overseas.”

Cher Shaeffer echoed that sentiment. She lives down the road from Spiker and makes handmade cards and framed art.

“This gives people the opportunity to buy something homemade — it’s more of a personal touch,” Shaeffer said.

Not everyone can make handmade goods, she said. But going to an event like this gives shoppers a chance to select something unique made by a local artist.

“It’s in a nice environment. It’s not in a fire hall or big store. It’s in a home, where people can shop and spend time with others,” she said.

Brigid Beatty is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-543-1303 or bbeatty@tribweb.com.

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