As I browsed displays at a craft show recently, I was in awe of the creativity shown by the crafters participating.

I have a limited ability when it comes to crafts. I’ve made a few homemade decorations, and am able to make simple crocheted items, mainly dish cloths and scarves.

Having firsthand knowledge of the time and expense that goes into crafts, I have an appreciation for anyone who creates enough items to sell them at a public event.

I’ve been at craft shows and bazaars where customers aren’t so appreciative. Rather than just walking past something they aren’t interested in buying, they let everyone around them know that they could easily make that same item.

Whenever I attend a craft fair, I typically check out all of the booths before making any purchases. That way there’s no regret if I’ve spent the amount I allowed myself, only to find something else I wish I’d bought.

One of the more unique booths I frequented this fall sold hand painted rocks. The images on the rocks were mainly of animals, including cats, dogs, squirrels and rabbits.

There was one rock painted to resemble a striped cat that stood out. The artist who painted this rock was able to create a life-like stare coming from the bright green eyes of the cat.

As much as I liked the cat rock, I passed it up for fleece dog beds that I found at another booth.

Some of the crafters also have the knack of relating to customers.

One such crafter was selling hot pads. While I may normally not have purchased a set of hot pads, the crafter was able to hit home with an issue I’ve experienced.

“If you’re hands are wet, they won’t get burned through these,” she told me.

I could totally relate to getting burnt through a hot pad, because of damp hands. It usually happens when I’m baking cookies and cleaning up the dishes made to create the cookie dough.

When the timer for the cookies sounds off, I dry my hands in a half-hazard manner, grab a hot pad and remove the cookies from the oven. There are a couple of hot pads that I own that work fine if you have dry hands, but if they’re at all wet, you’ll get burned.

Needless to say, I purchased a set of these handcrafted hot pads. Now if my hands are damp, I can remove things from my oven without getting hot hands.

A couple of weeks later, I attended another craft fair where I found some handcrafted wooden ornaments. I found the ornaments to be a perfect fit as a new addition to our holiday tree. I purchased five of the ornaments — each with a unique shape.

The crafter who made the wooden ornaments donated a portion of each sale to a local non-profit that assists cancer patients. Knowing that made this purchase even more satisfying.

I plan to make it to a few more craft shows and holiday bazaars in the coming month, and am looking forward to seeing what other unique items I can find.

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