Neighbors join creative forces for crafts fair

Moss Creek will open the doors of its Monarch Club community center to the public 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday for its first holiday bazaar, a showcase of local craftspeople, many of whom reside in the neighborhood themselves.

The idea for a craft fair came from residents, said Dawn Gallegos, one of the event organizers. Moss Creek, a larger neighborhood in Cabarrus County with an eventual capacity to house nearly 1,500 families, has a thriving social life. Residents frequently suggest ideas for clubs and events to share common interests, from coupon clipping to triathlon training.

"This is how one of the ideas from Moss Creek residents comes to life," said Gallegos.

Twenty-two vendors have signed up to rent tables, selling everything from tutus to handmade jewelry, proving you never really know the creative flair of your neighbors until they have an opportunity to show you.

"I've just met some wonderful people, and talented folks, too, at that," said Kristen Bogunia, a resident in Moss Creek.

Bogunia can count herself among them.

Nearly every night, she sets aside a few hours at her kitchen table to paint swirls, stripes, and other abstract shapes onto wine glasses before baking them in her oven.

Taught at a young age by her artist father, Bogunia finds inspiration for designs in everyday life, from throw rugs to china patterns. Her color schemes come from a clothing designer friend who lets her in on next year's trends.

Bogunia will have 35 of her wine glasses for sale at the bazaar, ranging from $8 to $20, depending on the amount of time she spent painting each, usually one to three hours.

Not too far away from Bogunia, another resident, Danielle Goodwin, sits in her living room surrounded by tulle, ribbons, silk flowers, and feathers, creating intricate tutus and hair accessories.

With two boys, ages 8 and 11, Goodwin needed an outlet to release her pent-up girly energy. "I have a lot of Star Wars and Ninja Turtles at my house, so I was looking for something fancy going on in my life."

First making them for a day care's pageant show, the popularity of her tutus grew to family, friends and beyond. To date, she has made more than 100 tutus and more than 500 hair accessories, with themes like winter, garden and holidays.

Goodwin will have plenty of tutus and hair accessories for sale at the event, from $7 to $50, and will take special orders as well.

Nancy Hernandez, another Moss Creek resident, will show off her line of eco-friendly jewelry at the bazaar. Made by her mother in Colombia, South America, each design retains the natural scents of the dried fruit, seeds, beans and peels used to make them.

Hernandez has seen little of this style of jewelry in the area.

"It something new," she said. "It's very unique."

The necklaces, earrings, bracelets, hair accessories and rosaries will cost between $6 and $25 this Saturday.

Other vendors include needlework crafters, ornament-makers, bakers and party plan company consultants, like Pampered Chef, Scentsy and Thirty-One.