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Staff to Display Crafty Creations at Staff Association Pancake Breakfast

Ioana Patringenaru | December 11, 2006

You might have spotted Judy Schulman on campus before, say on a shuttle, hauling four or five bags full of pine needles. Well, Schulman is no crazy pine needle lady. She actually makes baskets from all her loot — and they will be on sale on campus this Wednesday.

Schulman, and many other crafters, will take part in the first full-blown crafts fair to be held at the Staff Association Holiday Pancake Breakfast in the foyer of the Price Center Ballroom. Offerings will include jewelry, baskets, holiday cards and ornaments and much much, more.

“It’s so exciting that so many talented members of the UCSD community have agreed to display and sell their work,” Mason said.

Here’s a sampling of some of the goodies that will be available and a little bit about those who make them.

Pine Needle Basket (By Judy Schulman)

BASKETS Judy Schulman has been making pine needle basketry for about a dozen years. She teaches a class about local Native American culture and history at the Torrey Pines State Reserve. One day, a friend suggested she should learn more about what she taught. She decided to learn by doing and took a basketry class at the UCSD Crafts Center. She loves every aspect of the craft, from gathering pine needles to weaving them. “It’s very relaxing,” she said. “It keeps me in touch with Mother Nature. About 90 percent of the pine needles she uses come from campus. She gathers them on breaks or while she’s shuttling between assignments for her job at Core Bio Services in the School of Medicine. She has to sell her work, she said. Otherwise, her condo would be way too overcrowded. Wednesday, she plans to bring baskets, some with agate and petrified wood bottoms ($20-$35), Christmas ornaments and baby booties. Click here to see some of Schulman’s work.

BATH PRODUCTS For Justina Houston, it’s all about loving your body and taking care of yourself. Ever since she was 13, the administrative assistant in ACT has dreamed of making beauty products. “I like to go in the kitchen and make things for your body that are good for you,” she said. She started taking classes a few years ago, and now has her own tools, including a double boiler, large glass pots and a hand mixer. She buys shea butter and mango butter wholesale. Her Fizzy Shea Butter Bath Salts ($6) are one of her favorite creations. They dissolve slowly, soften the water and make your skin soft too. Wednesday, she also plans to bring creams ($13-$16) and soaps ($10).

JEWELRY Jane Stadulis has been making jewelry since the 1990s and often sells her creations in the courtyard of the Spanish Village Art Center in Balboa Park. She took to her craft while working at General Dynamics. The company was going through layoffs and Stadulis said she decided to start doing something she actually enjoyed. “I was looking for independence,” she said. When it comes to her craft, she’s a jack of all trades and uses beading, wire work and silver. Earrings are about $12 to $24, necklaces $6 to $100 and bracelets $14 to $36. Wednesday, she plans to bring a special holiday treat: Santa holiday ornaments made of cinnamon sticks ($2).

Dreaming (Oil Painting / Betsy Stiles)

PAINTING Betsy Stiles always loved the arts in general and drawing in particular. But she never acted on her passion until she got to college. She started taking art classes and soon was making paintings of her own. After she got to UCSD, she started taking classes at UCSD Extension, where she now works. She plans to sell cards based on her work ($5 to $10) as well as a few prints and paintings ($50 to $100).  Stiles said painting allows her to process her feelings and thoughts, and work out problems. She also said she loves the versatility of that medium. “I love to explore all the options,” she said. She’s now going through an abstract phase, which has turned out to be tricky. “People look at it and think ‘my 5-year-old could do that’,” she said. “But it really requires looseness and that kind of freedom is hard to cope with sometimes.”

AND MORE Making crafts is a family affair for Heather Hire. The MSO for general internal medicine will sell angel ornaments that she made herself. But she will also sell hand-made scarves knit by her sister, Virginia Hire and homemade holiday cards made by her mother, Bonnie Hire, who uses a wide variety of techniques, including collage, stamping and water color for her cards. Then there will be wares made by her friend, Tami Barnas. “She’s the craftiest of us all,” Hire said. Barnas makes aprons, ornaments, pins and even shirts decorated with holiday motifs. All these goodies will go for $2 to $15. To stock up for Wednesday’s sale, Hire, her family and her friends held a craft night. “It was good stuff,” she said.

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