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Who says Christmas can't be in spring or all throughout the year? Artisan Carla Fahrni says every day can be Christmas, and her Minerva boutique, Treasured Sensations, proves it.
The shop's grand opening on April 7 will give visitors an idea of Christmas in spring with a party from 4:30-7 p.m. that will include raffle baskets, entertainment, light refreshments and the opportunity to sign up for three crafting classes offered in April and May. But customers do not have to wait until the seventh to experience Christmas cheer, as the shop opened its doors for business this month.
Recently moved from a seasonal spot in the Market Street Salon to a permanent home at 107 N. Market St., Treasured Sensations greets customers with decorated Christmas trees and a softly glowing fireplace that Carla said are intended to help people relax and think back to their happiest memories.
"I wanted it to look like Grandma's house on Christmas morning," she said.
Customers will find the holiday's traditional accents on display, but Carla noted that each item is also meant to be unique and even a bit unusual.
For example, her hand-decorated Christmas ornaments, many of which are displayed on the shop's lighted trees, include sand dollars and starfish decorated with sparkles and silk flowers. The shop also stocks Christmas ornaments decorated by artisan Lorie Bowman, of Dragonfly Dynamics, who uses materials such as felt, burlap and craft birds.
Hand-decorated wreaths, big fireplace stockings made with a variety of fabrics, and Santa and Mrs. Claus figurines round out the Christmas decor.
Christmas memories are not the only ones that the offerings at Treasured Sensations are meant to evoke.
The shop is also home to Carla's signature Memory Mutts, soft, floppy, Snoopy-nosed plush puppies that Carla hand-crafts using clothing, tote bags, blankets, or other fabrics that a customer brings to her.
Each mutt celebrates what is most important for its owner. Some mutts celebrate sports teams, military service or even video games, while others honor kids who have graduated from school or memorialize loved ones who have passed on.
New this year, Carla has also begun creating Memory Pillows. Most are sized about 12 inches by 16 inches, but Carla said the size of each custom-made pillow depends on how many fabrics the customer brings for her to use.
Memories of Minerva are the focus of coffee mugs and Christmas ornaments that Carla commissioned from Family Place Digital Imaging. Each item features a photograph of the old bank on Market Street, where the Minerva Historical Society is currently housed.
Carla said she plans to donate a portion of each sale for these items to the Minerva Community Charitable Fund.
"I thought that would be a good way to give back to the community by donating money from each sale," she commented.
Carla's other offerings at Treasured Sensations include custom-made bracelets that she strings with glass pearls and rhinestone rondelle beads as well as her "3D art," which she creates by layering paint, seashells, silk flowers and other materials on canvas squares. Meanwhile, silk flowers, ribbons and lace come into play in Carla's decorated hats, which can be hung on the wall.
The shop also features hand-decorated works by other local artisans, including Dwayne Steigerwald, who sews colorful sequins on fabric calendars in a variety of themes. Calendars can take several months for Dwayne to decorate, so customers are invited now to choose from an album of patterns for 2018. Lorie Bowman, whose Christmas ornaments join Carla's on the shop's trees, has also provided housewares and other small items.
Precious Moments figurines, vintage glass works and other vintage collectibles are also available at the shop along with a variety of Disney Golden Books for children. But the shop's offerings do not stop there: Carla said she plans to add new items as often as possible.
Treasured Sensations is open from 1-7 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays. Customers can reach Carla at 330-705-3771.