More than 50 artists, makers and creators congregated at the Dolores Community Center Saturday, putting their passions on display at various booths for this year’s holiday craft bazaar.
Vendors were elated to see the return of the event, which was canceled last year because of the pandemic.
Behind each booth was a different backstory, and artists were happy to share. Many of them are carrying on family traditions or passed-down crafts woven through generations. Others were excited to debut self-taught skills.
For instance, Darla Sanders – alongside Melva Terry – presented sewn artwork in the form of bowl cozies, potato bags and quilts.
They also auctioned off a quilt, donated by Cindy Eiland and stitched together by Sewn by SO in Cortez. The ticket entry proceeds went to the Disabled American Veterans.
Last month, U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert honored Sanders in Cortez for 23 years of active duty service, as well as for her volunteer work with the Disabled American Veterans.
For Dolores High School freshman Kai’lyn Lewis, this year’s event was an opportunity to raise money for an upcoming school trip to Italy, which was canceled last year.
Her homemade bath bombs, fashioned to look like cupcakes, sell for $5.50 and will sponsor her weeklong travels to Europe.
Originally from California, Rodney and Donna Guggenheim were present, selling merchandise with the logo of Dolores’ Galloping Goose train. Rodney serves on the Galloping Goose Historical’s Society’s board, and Donna manages the gift shop.
The Guggenheim’ found a new sense of peace in Dolores – a departure from a more corporate lifestyle farther West. The move was partially triggered when Rodney faced a health scare.
“When I had a heart attack, it was a mild wake-up call,” he said.
Their love of trains started as a hobby, but now they’re dedicated to educating others about the Galloping Goose.
Hailing from Dove Creek, Kyle Carhart has been molding metal for 15 years now.
One day on his family farm, his dad “messed up and let me have the welding shop to myself, and I never got away from it,” he said.
The pieces are made about 20 at a time, he said.
During the pandemic, he was forced to turn to new platforms for operating his business, and found success shifting his sales to the likes of Etsy and eBay.
That made this year’s in-person event all the more meaningful for him.