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A handmade holiday

November 26, 2012
By GARRETT NEESE - DMG writer ( , The Daily Mining Gazette

HOUGHTON - Home for the Holidays Gift Market celebrated its 15th year with a bustling show Saturday, drawing crowds through the morning and afternoon to the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts lobby.

Vendors included art, woven goods, candles, pottery and more.

Harry and Barb Knapp of Glass Gardens were selling stained and fused glass works. They've been doing stained glass for 15 years, fused glass for five.

Article Photos

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette
Jill Johnson and Erin Johnson of Houghton browse a selection of handmade soaps at the 15th annual Home for the Holidays Gift Market Saturday at the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts.

Barb Knapp said she likes the unpredictability of the fused glass.

"You never know what it's going to look like when you pick it up. ... It's always a surprise," she said.

Barb said this year's Home for the Holidays had gone "very well."

Milt Olsson was on hand selling the new Christmas CD he made with his son, PJ. They'd made it four years ago, when PJ had the idea to do instrumental arrangements of Christmas carols with electronic beats.

The demo version, set to Handel's Hallejulah Chorus, attracted the interest of producers, who suggested a choral album.

After they finished it, it sat on the shelf for four years, until they decided to release it themselves.

Sales had gone "very well" Saturday, he said.

"We had excellent sales," he said. "People are very enthusiastic about the different-sounding Christmas music, except it's very familiar carols."

He cited the version of Vivaldi's "Gloria" then playing - "but with a beat, so younger people will like it, too."

And Olsson said the day had been busy overall - particularly in the morning, where it had been so packed "you could barely walk through here." The recent snows may have put the holidays in people's minds, he said.

"It really does lend itself to thinking, 'You know what, it really is getting to be Christmastime,'" he said.

Jill Johnson and her daughter Erin Johnson, both of Houghton, were looking at olive oil soap.

Jill Johnson said she enjoys coming to the show each year.

"We can support local businesses, and it's inspiring to see what people are making," she said. "And you see people you know. It's a fun time."

She'd already picked up a bagful of presents, including music, books and soap.



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