Local women to exhibit at craft show

Pgh. event bills itself as largest

November 30, 2019 Cranberry Local News

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At least two artists with local ties will display and sell unique and handmade items at the 15th annual Handmade Arcade craft show next Saturday in Pittsburgh.

Considered Pittsburgh's largest craft fair, the free event will be held from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Dec. 7 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

Included among the 250 vendors at the show will be Adams Township resident Jaci Dean and 2012 Seneca Valley High graduate Ashley Olinger.

Dean makes hand-embroidered gifts, novelties and artwork.

“The type of stuff I typically do is more focused on pop culture, pop quotes and popular TV shows,” Dean said.

“People laugh,” she said of the reaction of those perusing booths who see her items. “That's something I like the most.”

One line of merchandise is “swear word items.”

“That's probably some of my best-selling work,” Dean said.

She said her mother taught her to cross-stitch many years ago.

“I taught myself how to embroider a couple years ago,” Dean said.

Next Saturday will be Dean's second year at the Handmade Arcade, where she was successful in 2018.

“It's a great community of really talented artists coming together and kind of showing off everything we can to the area, and people love it,” she said of Handmade Arcade.

Dean, whose regular job is in information technology in downtown Pittsburgh, goes to about seven craft shows per year.

Butler County native Olinger, who now lives in Stanton Heights, creates handmade paper goods such as cards and stickers.

“It's really bright and colorful,” she said.

While she once set up at several craft shows every year, she has whittled that list down to one other large show and the Handmade Arcade.

“You cut back when you find which ones you like best and you commit,” Olinger said.

She makes her paper items, which cost $4 to $6 each, in a studio inside her house.

Olinger greatly anticipates Handmade Arcade each year.

“I really like just meeting so many people and hearing what they like about my stuff and their suggestions,” she said. “It's always a successful day, and it's very well-run and organized.”

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Paula Grubbs

Paula Grubbs

Paula Grubbs is a Butler County native who has been with the Butler and Cranberry Eagle newspapers since June 2000. Grubbs has covered the Mars School District and Middlesex Township for over 20 years with the Eagle and her former employer, the Cranberry Journal. She also covers Adams Township, Evans City and Mars in addition to events and incidents throughout Southwestern Butler County as assigned. Grubbs has taken the lead at the Cranberry Eagle in reporting on shale gas development, which has been a hotly debated topic in the recent past, both locally and nationally. A 1979 graduate of Butler Senior High School and a 1994 graduate of Geneva College, Grubbs has won a Golden Quill and four Keystone state awards, plus an award from the Society of Professional Journalists. Grubbs enjoys following the Penguins, Pirates and Steelers, volunteers with the Connoquenessing Creek Cleanup each summer, and loves spending time outdoors and bird watching at her Penn Township home. Grubbs is the daughter of James R. Davis Sr., of Center Township, and the late Maxine Davis. She has two grown children, Jacqueline and Thomas.