400 prizes for crafts

February 27, 2016

When you work on a small newspaper, you find that everyone has a story to tell about at least one aspect of their lives and often several. As a reporter in a small community, no story is too small to pursue and the smaller the story, the more you will be surprised by what you learn from it.

Here is one who found a way to “stave off the winter doldrums”:

Gravelbourg Gazette — Mossbank News

November 16, 1982

400 prizes for crafts

by Tanya Lester

Edna Stark, who lives on a farm near Mossbank, got an indication of how well recognized her multi-crafts hobby really is when she was attending a wedding in Winnipeg awhile back.

Someone at the wedding mentioned Mrs. Stark’s name. A woman, who Mrs. Stark did not know, became very excited at this. “Edna Stark!” the stranger exclaimed. “Where is she? I collect her pieces.”

It is not surprising for Mrs. Stark to be recognized, in this way, for her handicrafts. She has won at least 400 prizes for her work.

Mrs. Stark put that number of hours and five miles of yarn into the crocheted tablecloth which won her the Home of Honor award at the Buffalo Days Exhibition in Regina one year. The award is given for “exemplifying excellence of workmanship.” Mrs. Stark’s table cloth was put on display in a special exhibit room.

Mrs. Stark has also won awards at summer fairs in Regina, Moose Jaw and Brandon, Manitoba for her quilts, clay and porcelain flowers, and stuffed toys. She used to win prizes for eggs, homemade soap, cakes, and African violets.

“Everything I put my fingers on, seems to work,” Mrs. Stark explained her success. Like her grandmother before her, Mrs. Stark likes to keep her hands busy. Sometimes she will pick a project that is convenient to work on while she watches television in the evenings.

Mrs. Stark said that working at crafts makes her relax. She does not get “wound up” like some people who work at hobbies. She does handicrafts during every minute she can spare. “If I want to do something really bad, I’ll make time for it,” she said.

Mrs. Stark’s interest in crafts dates back to her childhood. As a girl, she learned to crochet with sewing thread. She used sewing thread because she did not live near a store where she could get crochet cotton.

Perhaps the most recent craft Mrs. Stark is concentrating on is making white satin Christmas stockings with lace and silver embroidery. She has fairly recently learned to make porcelain and clay flowers, too. Mrs. Stark credits Linda Olafson and Emma Radfelder, both of Mossbank, as her “inspiration” in learning this hobby. These women specialize in this particular art form. Mrs. Stark finds clay flower making to be more challenging than ceramics because the flowers are “hand molded from scratch”.

Mrs. Stark’s pieces are sold in shops in Winnipeg, Calgary, and Banff. From there, according to her, the handicrafts might end up almost anywhere including Australia and Germany. Sometimes Mrs. Stark receives letters from people who want to order more of her work or who mention how good her work is.

But Mrs. Stark has her priorities. “I give away a lot of my work and the rest goes to the shops,” she said. One of her pieces, which she gave as a wedding gift, ended up in the Yukon.

Mrs. Stark can “hardly wait” for winter. That is the time when she works intensively on her crafts. This is the way Mrs. Stark is able to stave off the winter doldrums. “I never have enough hours in the day,” she said.


Tanya’s other posts that feature a wide range of topics gleaned from articles and other writing that she has had published over the years can be accessed by going to tealeaf56.wordpress.com or writingsmall.wordpress.com


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