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Crafting club brings together divas and dudes

There’s an old proverb that says “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.”

There are only busy, creative hands among members of the Artistic Divas and Dudes, a local group consisting of multi-talented individuals skilled in all kinds of crafts including sewing, quilting, crocheting, painting, woodworking, jewelry making, and so much more.

A core group of 10 women started the group back in 2009 under their former name Artistic Divas. The “Dudes” was added when one of the member’s sons participated and helped the group wherever needed.

The group has grown to around 30 members and is always looking for more, especially bringing in more “dudes.”

Carol Bird is group’s secretary and one of the original members. She said part of their mission is to assist beginners or “newbies” to the craft show circuit by educating them on how to show legally, in collecting the proper sales taxes, and helping them showcase their wares.

Bird said she loves to sew and her hobby is buying used Barbie dolls then remaking and redressing them in historic and period costumes. She fashions the dolls with intricate details including hair styles, jewelry and accessories.

She said her greatest “lift” is seeing something made from the beginning to the end.

“I look at a doll or I look at some material and I get an idea and I then I start working,” Bird stated. “It’s a vision, sometimes the visions turn out and sometimes you can’t stand what you make and sometimes you get a happy surprise.”

Over the Black Friday shopping weekend you can purchase crafts and goods from the group at their holiday arts and crafts show next Friday, Nov. 27, noon to 4 p.m., and Saturday, Nov. 28, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Bob Ruud Community Center, 150 N. Highway 160. Admission is free and proceeds from the raffle drawing on Saturday will benefit the local non-profit Retired Senior Volunteer Program.

The group prides itself on only selling items which are handmade or homemade and not commercially produced. There will also be a number of cottage food vendors on site selling breads, biscotti, muffins and other goodies.

Original member Sherry Rhine is a gourd artist. She crafts and paints works of art using ornamental gourds.

Rhine will tell you that gourds are “absolutely” her most favorite thing to craft. She compares it to working on wood once they are dried and treated.

“I did not know what a gourd was until I moved here and saw them one day at a yard sale and said ‘what is that’,” she said. “It was just fascinating to me.”

She also paints on salad forks and spoons as ornaments for Christmas trees.

“If it doesn’t move I’ll paint it,” Rhine said.

She recently added painting on small-framed canvas to her list of talents.

“My mom was very artistic, she would paint and so I’m sure I took after her,” Rhine said.

Wilhelmina Moses is the treasurer and also one of the original members. She does pastel paintings, pencil drawings, makes jewelry, bookmarks, greeting cards and does tatting, which is an old Victorian art of lacemaking, just to mention some of her talents.

“I’ve drawn ever since I was a kid, you know, I started doodling and drawing and then yeah, the crafts just came naturally,” Moses said.

Being an all-around artisan, Moses is also a member of the Spring Mountain Art Guild, but creates different items for the “Diva’s” show.

“You know, like for Christmas, I will decorate Christmas balls, paint them, make angels, just a lot of different stuff for the holiday shows that you don’t do all year-round,” Moses added.

Tom Christenson joined the group two years ago and is one of the few “dudes” and would like to see more men join.

“What the ‘Divas’ do is promote the sale of our crafts and promote our shows where we can sell them and show them and they’re very good at that,” Christenson said.

He crafts acrylic and wood pens and his specialty is making pens with a bolt action and a rifle clip shaped like a .30 or .50 caliber bullet shell from kits.

Christenson used to crafted some of the pens for the Front Sight Firearms Training Institute.

He also makes letter openers, seam rippers and recently added styluses and pen combos for smartphones and tablets to his inventory, which Christenson said are quite popular.

Editor’s note: This story is updated on 2-13-19 to delete outdated information.

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