OGDEN — Face it. Not all of us are creative. Not all of us like to do crafts. Some crafts I prefer not to do, like painting anything or beading.
But there are times we want that unique handcrafted item but we don’t want to pay for all the equipment, materials and classes for it, or even take the time to make it.
And that’s where your local farmers markets can help.
This time of year throughout Utah there are farmers markets with booths selling more than just local produce. I recently visited Ogden’s Farmers Market and I will admit I bought a few items to mail to my exchange students in Europe. I love sending them things that are uniquely Utah.
At the farmers markets, be they in Syracuse, Ogden Valley or Layton, you will find booths with handcrafted items. Most farmers markets happen one day a week for several months during the summer.
Plan on spending a few hours and take cash, because not every booth can accept debit or credit cards. Don’t be afraid to ask for business cards or contact information. It’s OK to browse and then decide to buy later.
There were so many booths to browse in Ogden that I barely walked one block in the two hours I allotted to see what was there. And there was a lot to see — birdhouses, jewelry, doll furniture, crocheted purses, jewelry, house decorations, paintings and clothing.
On my adventure I met first-timers like Dalton Harper, 19; and Sterling Adams, 18, who met at Davis High School. They decided to make jewelry out of deer and elk antlers. They drill out the antlers, then cut them into small circles. They insert beads in the circles. They also make earrings, jewelry boards and key chains out of antlers.
“It’s a hobby and we enjoy it,” Harper said.
Karen Mason of Clinton has brought her handmade silver-utensil jewelry to the farmers market for the past six years. She started making jewelry from old silver forks, knives and spoons after she bought a spoon bracelet on a trip.
Her niece, Jamie Richards, also of Clinton, joined her a year ago. While customers watch, Richards pounds utensils into spoon rings at the booth.
Richards said creating a spoon ring takes her between five and 10 minutes depending on how heavy the silver is.
She enjoys it because “It’s kind of freeing, relaxing — as strange as that might sound,” she said. “And then what comes out of it is a really pretty ring.”
One of the more unique booths I visited had birdbaths, bird feeders, mushroom solar lights, angels and other yard decorations made out of glass dishes and vases. Tonya Angers of Ogden is the creator.
She got the idea when she was in Michigan last year and saw one of the glass items. She bought it and then decided she could do it herself.
Angers said she would place her glass creations in her yard and people stopped to buy them. Now her handmade creations can be found not just at the farmers market but also at Kaffe Mercantile, 1221 26th St.
There were also seamstresses who were selling their wares at the farmers market. Alicia Cruz-Jones of Salt Lake City joined My Urban Poncho about 18 months ago. The company imports cashmere/silk fabrics and sews them into ponchos which can be worn in five different ways.
Meanwhile Maricela Gibbons of Ogden loves sewing dresses and summer outfits for little girls. She has sold her dresses at the Ogden farmers market for the past three years.
Many of her dresses and outfits reminded me of when I sewed for my daughters. They had that “retro” look to them.
“Little girls love them,” Gibbons said. “Each dress is unique.”