House of Santa Mouse offers gift options with an artistic flair

Louise Pharo shows off items she’ll be selling at the Sixth Annual House of Santa Mouse at the Blount County Public Library.

Photo by Leslie Karnowski

Louise Pharo shows off items she’ll be selling at the Sixth Annual House of Santa Mouse at the Blount County Public Library.

The holidays are coming, and folks entering the Blount County Public Library will be treated to a healthy dose of holiday cheer when the Sixth Annual House of Santa Mouse opens Thursday, Dec. 2, through Saturday, Dec. 4.

This is the sixth year for Santa Mouse, which is organized by the Blount County Arts and Crafts Guild, and the organizers are hoping this will be a banner year. Sales from last year’s event were eight times greater than the first year the event was held, said guild newsletter editor Gloria Nelson.

Nelson said there are 49 vendors with 12 new vendors this year including several artists, doll makers and jewelry artisans. All vendors must be members of the Blount County Arts and Crafts Guild. Only those who are members before May are allowed to participate in House of Santa Mouse.

Loris Colburn is the head of the organizing committee, Nelson said.

“Loris planned the first show, and with each one being more successful than the last, her leadership has proven invaluable,” Nelson said.

A solid oak drop-leaf table that has been hand-painted by two members of the guild will be given away at noon on Dec. 4. Tickets are a $1 donation and can be purchased up to the time the winner is drawn. The winner need not be present to win.

All items sold at House of Santa Mouse are handcrafted by an artisan. Price ranges start at $1 and up, but are very affordable, said Nelson, especially for the great quality merchandise, most being one-of-a-kind items.

New to the show are newborn baby dolls, walking sticks, knotted quilts, crocheted animals, painted gourds and air-brushed T-shirts.

There are four new artisans along with a number of jewelry artisans and crafters who make quality Christmas gifts. There are also silk flowers and wreath makers, stained glass experts, fabric art and soft sculptures, basket weavers, floral baskets, photography, decorative painters and painted rocks, Nelson said.

All the meeting rooms plus the front hallway in the library will be used.

The guild meets the first Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m. except in June and July. There is a membership picnic in August. Currently there are 89 members.

Blount County Arts and Crafts Guild is a non-profit organization of artisans and crafters. Anyone is welcome to join. “It is 46 years in existence, and our main goal is sharing and camaraderie,” Nelson said. “The House of Santa Mouse show is our way of thanking all the members for being part of such a successful organization.”

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