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Corey Area Craft Festival
An alternative to crowded malls, holiday shoppers seek seasonal gifts at annual show
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Image courtesy of HOWARD ALAN EVENTS
Linda Mayes specializes in creative art photography. Her work will be on display and available for purchase at the 18th annual St. Pete Beach Corey Area Craft Festival set for Dec. 1-2.
ST. PETE BEACH – The very best crafters in the country return to the area for the 18th annual St. Pete Beach Corey Area Craft Festival on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 1-2, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., on Corey Avenue in downtown St. Pete Beach.

This year’s festival will feature 150 leading crafters selling a wide array of original and affordable crafts in addition to a Green Market offering exotic live plants, handmade soaps, savory dips and gourmet sauces.

With Tampa Bay area malls overflowing with holiday shoppers, the festival offers a pleasant alternative to the seasonal gift-buying exercise. It’s the perfect time of year for outdoor festivals across the Pinellas beach communities: Cool mornings, pleasant afternoons, clear skies and gentle sea breezes collaborate to forge the ideal backdrop. Howard Alan Events will take advantage of the beautiful weather, scheduling the annual festival in the run-up to the holiday season. Prices are set to suit all budgets and range from as little as $3 to $3,000. Admission is free.

Howard Alan Events are designed to help support the arts, the Corey Avenue Merchants Association and the local economy. A portion of the proceeds benefits St. Pete Beach Corey Area Merchants.

In order to ensure a superior event with quality affordable original crafts, all of the local and national crafters have been hand-selected from hundreds of applicants by American Craft Endeavors, producers of the top outdoor craft festivals in the country. All of the crafters will be at the festival with their finest work, available to discuss their art and inspiration.

The juried outdoor craft showcase will include a vast array of craft media, such as folk art, pottery, handmade jewelry, personalized gifts, handmade clothing, scented soaps and body products.

Among the crafters scheduled to participate in this year’s festival are local and state artisans such as:

• Walter Catts of Palmetto – Furniture/functional art

• Karen and Jerry Hull of Cape Coral – Glass jewelry

• Carol Hurless of Tampa – Bamboo

• Sid and Lee Klein of Leesburg – Jewelry

• Finny Lazarus of Boca Raton – Jewelry

• Zack Marksz of West Palm Beach – Jewelry

• Larry and Linda Mayes of Venice – Jewelry

• Linda Mayes of Venice – Photography

• Lori Kay Olling of Tampa – Jewelry

Tampa-based jewelry designer Lori Kay Olling’s work features a mix of clean, simple lines and contemporary designs.

A metalsmith, Olling uses all precious metals. She has expanded her repertoire recently, becoming a lapidary and utilizing semi-precious stones in her work.

Karen Hull of Cape Coral will be showcasing her glass jewelry at the festival.

According to her website, Hull specializes in unique dichroic glass pendants and earrings. Dichroic glass is glass containing multiple micro-layers of metal oxides, which give it dichroic optical properties.

“The main characteristic of dichroic glass is that it has a transmitted color and a completely different reflected color, as certain wavelengths of light either pass through or are reflected,” Hull explains. “This causes an array of color to be displayed. Due to variations in the kiln firing process, individual results can never be predicted, so each piece of our glass jewelry is unique.”

Sid and Lee Klein create beautiful hand cut jewelry out of coinage from countries around the world.

“We started creating cut-coin jewelry more than a quarter century ago in Sacramento, Calif.,” the couple explains on their website. “We started at the local flea market, then to military bases, on to doing CB jamborees, and graduated to art and craft shows in shopping malls, traveling the United States.”

While they were working the shopping mall circuit, Lee learned to solder, so she can make cufflinks and tie tacks.

“She also makes buckles, but cufflinks are her favorite to make. We are now exhibiting our beautiful cut coins in outdoor craft shows and festivals, almost always in Florida.”

Linda Mayes, who specializes in creative art photography, also will take part in the festival.

Mayes was born and raised in the Ozarks of Missouri, Mayes says on her website that photography grew from being her favorite pastime into her profession.

“I have enjoyed recording the special places my husband and I visit in our travels, but continue to take most of my pictures closer to home where I now live in Venice, Florida,” she says. “When I am taking pictures, I find beauty everywhere, often hidden amidst the visual chaos of our cluttered civilization.”

Howard Alan Events also will be hosting the following upcoming festivals on Florida’s west coast:

• 16th annual Downtown Dunedin Art Festival – Jan. 12-13

• 10th annual St. Armands Circle Art Festival – Jan. 26-27

• 19th annual St. Pete Beach Corey Area Craft Festival – Jan. 26-27

• 21st annual Downtown Dunedin Craft Festival – Feb. 16-17

• 25th annual Downtown Sarasota Festival of the Arts – Feb. 16-17

• 11th annual Downtown Sarasota Art and Craft Festival – March 23-24

• 24th annual Hyde Park Village Art Fair – March 23-24

For additional information on the 18th Annual St. Pete Beach Corey Area Craft Festival and other American Craft Endeavors craft shows across the country, visit www.a­rtfes­tival­.com.
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