A perfect day to paint

4-H craft projects put imagination, hands to work
By: Loryll Nicolaisen
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Saturday was a do-it-yourself kind of day at the Gold Country Fairgrounds. Rainy weather proved the perfect reason to stay inside the armory building and have some good, clean, crafty fun during the 13th annual You-Make-It Craft Expo, hosted by Placer County 4-H. “We usually compete with sports and today I’m afraid all the soccer games are getting a little wet around the edges. So it’s a wonderful day to come in and spend some time making crafts,” said June Stewart, 4-H program representative. “It’s like a little beehive today, Santa’s workshop.” The annual craft expo is offered as a way to raise awareness, and a little bit of funding, for Placer County 4-H clubs. Each of the local clubs set up a booth, providing the materials and guidance for more than 50 craft projects, everything from color-your-own gift bags and holiday bookmarks, to Christmas ornaments and scented bath salts. Crafts cost anywhere from 50 cents to $5, with the exception of a $10 Christmas wreath. Annalee Ball, 9, of Auburn and her mother Audrey Ball each plunked down $2 to decorate candleholders. “I’m working on a candle. I’m hot-gluing beads on it,” Annalee said, working with green, blue, teal and clear glass pebbles. “These are my favorite colors and I’m making a pattern out of it.” By 10:30 a.m. Saturday Annalee, a member of the Ophir 4-H Club, had already created an egg-carton snowman ornament and a candy wreath. “It’s fun because there’s different crafts to be doing,” she said. Mom Audrey also enjoyed the craft expo. “The nice part is that there are so many varieties of crafts,” she said. “We’re all having fun and being creative. There are ideas that you can take away too, so it gets the imagination going.” On the other side of the armory building, Jennifer Lyons, of Auburn, watched her sons Reid, 4, and Josh, 3, paint ceramic animals. “This one’s going to be a tropical fish, and this one is a tropical fish,” Reid said as he applied different colors of paint to his masterpiece. Lyons said the craft expo offered the perfect reason to get out of the house on a gray day. “It’s a great thing to do on a rainy day,” Lyons said. “It’s so fun. You don’t have to have the supplies at home, and they do all the set up and clean up.” Nearby, Elisabeth Anderson, 5, of Lincoln, decorated a brick, transforming it into a snowman doorstopper with the help of her grandmother, Ann Anderson. “I’m making my snowman a girl,” she said. “We’re going to put it by the door when it’s Christmas.” Both granddaughter and grandmother said they were having fun at Saturday’s craft expo. “You get to do all this art,” Elisabeth explained. Ann appreciated the opportunities the expo offered young crafters. “It’s great for the children who are making, and the children who are teaching, to get to know about the other clubs,” she said. “It’s a real community event.” The Journal’s Loryll Nicolaisen can be reached at, or comment online at