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Nature's dried greens see new life at the hands of Jo Meyer. (Sarah Smith / Enterprise)

Craft show draws notable artistans

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Jo Meyer calls her craft "ditching and dumpstering."

The end result is designer quality.

She makes floral wreaths, arrangements and accessories out of items salvaged from a dump and Mother Nature.

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"I would go into Byerly's Grocery and Bachman's (Floral in Minneapolis) and see something I liked," she said of her start 28 years ago.

She'd sit down, sip a free cup of coffee and visually memorize the details or sketch them out.

When she first started out, she'd make a second trip to those stores to check out her own work, modifying the finished products as she thought needed.

The Dent woman uses wild flowers, weeds, twigs and "repurposed" artificial Christmas decorations that have been discarded to create new decorations.

When a man at her dump set aside some artificial greens, asking, "Could you use these?" she was on her way.

"My kids thought I was a hoarder," she laughed. She stopped on her way to Park Rapids to cut dogwood branches and gather twigs. She found a gold mine of items off County Road 117. But she doesn't recommend ditching during hunting season.

Meyer also gives seminars on how to re-use nature's dried greens.

"I teach a traveling wreath camp to anyone who asks," she said. She's appeared at many Extension Service expos and other events.

"We don't have secrets," she said. "We each share what we know. This is very learnable, very teachable."

Meyer was one of dozens of talented vendors at the weekend's Peppermint & Pinecones Holiday Craft Show at Century School.

Coordinator Ruth Pachel said last year 1,100 people came through the doors to Christmas shop, mainly.

"I've spent $200 already," she laughed. "You have to support your vendors."

The show featured handmade baskets, purses, bags, dog collars, foods and hundreds of items.

Hats, scarves and mittens were big sellers.

Pachel said the turnout was great, especially when Saturday was miserably cold and rainy.

"Can you believe it?" she asked. "We've been wanting fudge people for four years and this year we have two!"

Fudge, funnel cakes and kettle corn were hot sellers.

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Sarah Smith
Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.
(218) 732-3364
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