County Holiday Bazaar
crafter uses farm animals
in producing her goods
sheep, Angora goats
Helen E. McKinney
(November 2010) Mary Anne Holmes and her husband,
Earl, have been raising Icelandic sheep and Angora goats since 2004
on their farm between Point Pleasant and Franklinton. Before that, she
tried her hand at raising dairy goats. The herd has grown to 100, just
enough to keep her extremely busy, while also working a full time job
off of the farm.
Anne Holmes has been
raising Icelandic sheep and Angora
goats since 2004 to make goat milk
soap and sheep related crafts.
Originally from Bethlehem, Ky., Holmes always invites
people to come see the animals first hand and experience them
in their natural habitat. You can look at the wool, but most people
dont know what goes into the process, of creating a finished
product, she said.
Holmes does wash the fleece and performs some of the shearing, picking
and carding, but she sends the majority of the fleece off to be processed
elsewhere in Kentucky and at Morning Star Fiber in Ohio. Theres
just too many animals to do it all myself, said Holmes, 59.
After devoting many hours to the process, she has recently learned to
spin the wool. Local spinner JoAnn Adams has guided her some in the
process, but Holmes has also learned a lot on her own. Adams, who owns
Home Sweet Spun in Pleasureville, will also participate in the Holiday
Bazaar this year.
Holmes will have wool, goat milk soap and sheep related crafts on display
from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 13 at the annual Henry County Extension
Holiday Bazaar. This event is sponsored by the Henry County Extension
Homemakers. Chili, bean soup, sandwiches and pie will be available from
Senior Citizens from Tri-County Community Action.
Held at the Henry County 4-H Building at the Fairgrounds in New Castle
on Hwy. 421, visitors will be able to browse more than 30 booths to
shop for Christmas gifts close to home. A variety of gift-giving items
for every budget will be for sale including customized farm toys, soy
candles, painted ornaments, music boxes, painted gourds, wood turned
items, hand crafted silver jewelry and Southwest Indian jewelry, photography,
leather items, homemade jams and jellies, and a raffle by the Henry
County Art & Craft Guild.
We had a wonderful crowd last year and the vendors actually said
they sold more last year than ever before, which is surprising in this
tight economy, said Henry County Extension Agent Maryellen Garrison,
who helps organize this event.
Last year was the first year Holmes sold her wool products at the Holiday
Bazaar, although she has participated in the bazaar many times in the
past with other items she creates. Holmes prefers to sell her work at
local craft fairs such as this one, because individuals can come and
see first-hand what she makes and are able to custom-order items.
Holmes makes goat milk soap through a process she learned on her own
through trial and error. My mother used to make lye soap,
she said. She researched, came across recipes and tried different additives
until she concocted a soap she really liked.
I use six cups of milk per batch, Holmes said of her oatmeal-based
soap. She adds essential oils such as lavender, honeysuckle and vanilla,
and said the gentle soap is really good for your complexion.
In addition to various artists and craftspeople, the Smithfield Garden
Club will have a booth on display as well. As a fundraising effort,
the club will be selling used paperback books and non-streak cleaning
cloths. They will be raffling a quilt that was hand-made by a members
daughter, said club treasurer Donna Ludwig.
The Smithfield Garden Club maintains the flowers around the town of
Smithfield, mainly at the Smithfield Cemetery and the four-way stop.
In the past, the club has purchased lettering for the arch leading into
the cemetery, raised funds to send Henry County 4-H children to camp,
and donates to the Teddy Bear Tree at Christmastime. All of our
money goes back into charities, Ludwig said.
The club currently has ten to twelve members, including one original
living member, Annabell Wilson. She began the club along with
others in the 1950s, said Ludwig.
The Henry County Holiday Bazaar is a great way to experience the variety
of crafts and artisans the county has to offer, while avoiding crowded
malls during the holidays.
For more information, contact the Henry
County Extension Office at (502) 845-2811.
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