OAKLAND MILLS resident Annetta Jones is a "crafty" lady.
Much of the wall space in her home is decorated with intricate needlepoint and silk flower wall hangings that she made. Boxes in her basement and sewing room are filled to the brim with crocheted and knitted baby blankets, baby booties, hat and scarf sets for adults, needlepoint tissue box covers, needlepoint bookmarks, handmade pincushions, handmade decorative pillows, handmade Christmas stockings and many other items.
The grandmother of four keeps busy four to five hours a day working on her crafts.
"It keeps my mind and my hands working," said Jones, who suffers from arthritis. "It's perfect therapy for my fingers."
But her crafts are much more than therapy. Her creations are popular items at craft fairs around town. "The hat and scarf sets sell like hotcakes," she said. "The blankets are popular, too. I never make them is solid colors."
She has been selling her creations at local fairs since she retired from a job in retail sales nine years ago. But needlework is not new to her. It connects her to her childhood in Germany, she said.
"We learned needlework, knitting, sewing, crocheting, everything in school," Jones said. "It was part of the curriculum when I was a girl. Once you have the basics, you can always expand."
Jones shares her love of needlework with her sister Renate Mumper, who lives in Germany. The two talk weekly over the phone, and Jones spends a month with her sister in Germany every year. Their love of the craft helps to keep them close.
"There are always things that she has tried that I have not tried yet," Jones said. "And there are things I have tried that she hasn't."
The two also exchange supplies. "Knitting needles and crochet needles are less expensive here, so I bring them to her. But yarn is cheaper there, so I buy it there."
There are differences in the way the two create their pieces.
"She always works from a pattern," Jones said. "I never do."
While working on her needlepoint, Jones carefully counts each stitch to create dogs, ducks, flowers and anything else from her mind's eye.
"I don't even draw on the canvas," she said. "If I miss a stitch, I rip it out and start again. My daughter tells me no one will know. I will know."
Jones immigrated to the United States with her husband, Earl, in 1963. After living in Washington, they moved to Columbia 30 years ago. Their daughter, Carmen Burke, lives in Owen Brown with her four children, Kayla, 17, Carena, 16, Kiel, 13, and Cody, 7.
"What I love about Columbia is what I love about America," Jones said. "I have complete freedom here. I can say anything and I can do anything."
Her work will be on sale at the Long Reach Country Fair from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 14 in Long Reach Village Center.
Join friends in Long Reach village for the 23rd Long Reach Country Fair, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 14
Hark back to a simpler time while enjoying old-fashioned games such as goldfish toss, dart toss, pony rides, a grab bag, a treasure scoop and the more contemporary Moon Bounce and face-painting, said Jess Duvall, program coordinator for Long Reach Village Center.
"The fair is a way to bring the family out and enjoy the end of summer while renewing community spirit," Duvall said.
This year's festivities will start with a parade, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. It begins at Phelps Luck Elementary School, winds down High Tor Hill to Tamar Drive, and ends at the village center.
This year's grand marshal is Dave Bruzga, principal of Long Reach High School. Other highlights include the Long Reach High School Band and Maggie J. Brown, Columbia Association president. Fire trucks and police cars also will roll along.
The fair will include handmade crafts such as stained glass, jewelry, dolls and photography. Entertainment will include Joe Carta and the Cruisers playing music from the 1950s, Joe Carta and the Bluegrass Cats and the Ellis Woodward Trio. While all booth spaces have been sold, volunteers are needed to run the games.
The event is free and open to the public. Games are about 25 cents each.
Information or to volunteer: 410-730-8113.
Sundaes on a Friday
A cool way to celebrate the end of summer and the start of school is by sharing ice cream with neighbors. The Kings Contrivance Village Board invites everyone to a sundae-making party from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sept. 13 at Amherst House.
Ice cream and toppings will be provided. The event is open to all, not just Kings Contrivance residents. Tickets are $2 and must be purchased in advance.
Information: 410- 381-9600.
The Columbia Art Center's faculty and student Courtyard Ceramics Sale will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 14 as part of the Long Reach Country Fair. Prices are reasonable, and the pieces are perfect for gift giving.
The Columbia Art Center is at 6100 Foreland Garth.