Suzanne Lockwood sells gardening aprons she attributes to the work of one “Queenie Alexander.”
“She lives in a garden up in Benson,” said Lockwood, who splits her time between Benson and Massachusetts, adding a nudge and a wink. “I’m her assistant. She creates and designs all these magical garden vests that are repurposed from nurses scrubs.”
Lockwood was one of dozens of vendors at the Holiday Inn Saturday for the Vermont Farmers Market craft fair. The event is one of two that the organization puts on. A “Christmas holiday” fair is scheduled for the same location Dec. 14.
Two hot-sauce makers and three distilleries joined tables offering knit hats — including some with holes for pony tails — jewelry, hand-painted Christmas tree bulbs, handmade candies, photographs, pottery, wooden cutting boards, and a variety of artsy bric-a-brac.
Lockwood said she would find bright, multi-colored nursing scrubs in Salvation Army stores during her travels and decided that she — or, rather, “Queenie” — needed to do something with them. The resulting gardening aprons have ample pockets, busy patterns, and bits of detail like crystals or quilted patches.
Lockwood, who named her fictional patron as a tribute to designer Alexander McQueen, also sold equally colorful pincushions made from repurposed items like teacups or candlestick holders.
Carla Prehoda, of Middle Granville, New York,. sold hand-made beeswax candles that still bore the hexagonal honeycomb patterns imprinted on the wax inside the hive.
“The beeswax comes in sheets,” she said. “It’s dyed, obviously. ... My craft is to heat it to the right temperature, cutting it in different patterns and rolling it together. To me, it’s like working with dough.”
Prehoda said she learned the craft from her mother.
“It is an old art,” she said.
Mike Spafford also was working from family tradition — in his case, fudge that he learned to make from his late grandmother.
“She used to make it for me when I ran my retail store, Mike’s Country Store,” Spafford said. “I took her recipe, her base, and I add different ideas to it.”
Spafford has played with flavor combinations, including pumpkin cranberry and cinnamon bun.
“I have fun with it,” he said. “It just takes a long time. I was up at 1 this morning slicing and bagging fudge.”
He pushed slabs of maple and chocolate at everyone who walked by.
“The secret is to be as generous as possible with the samples,” he said. “I just give them a big piece because you want it to sit in their mouth and you want them to savor it. The more you give, the more they come back.”