, Muskogee, OK

November 8, 2012

Artisans show off their stuff on Saturday

Frost on the Pumpkin event to benefit Muskogee church

By Leilani Roberts Ott
Phoenix Correspondent

— Everything has a purpose and then a “repurpose.”

Just ask Miriam Sommers. She and her sister, Jolie Person, are My Sisters Charms. They use what others discard like old doors, windows, books, glass bottles and more to make their artistic creations. They range from tiny pieces of jewelry to windows with art between pieces of glass.

You can see their work and much more from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Frost on the Pumpkin at First United Methodist Church, 600 E. Okmulgee Ave. It’s free and open to the public. Proceeds benefit the church’s youth group.

Their booth is framed in old doors and windows from Sommers’ home built in 1931. The sisters have been traveling to festivals and shows that feature arts and crafts like this one for six years.

Festival coordinator Francie Wright said the 19th annual show features 50 vendors.

“There are new vendors and we’ve expanded into new space,” Wright said.

The show is the smallest show the sisters participate in.

“It is so packed with so many talented artisans, it’s hard to stay in my own booth,” Sommers said. “There are so many things to look at.”

There will be door prizes given with the big prize — a Kindle Fire HD. Everyone is welcome to have lunch or a snack served by the youth of the church. Homemade baked goods are for sale, too.

Sommers said the church’s youth help them during the show with anything they need. And the food ... it’s “delicious,” she said.

While Sommers nibbles on warm goodies through the day, she’ll share her love of creating something new from items that are very old.

“The trend now and what draws me is old, vintage items that are being refurbished,” she said.

Del Buckmaster will be sharing a corner of her booth at this show. He makes benches and tables from old tailgates.

Sommers credits the creativity of her and her four sisters with their parents. Her mother, Alyce Person, a well-known cake decorator and seamstress, and her father, the late Don Person, who made stained-glass windows. Sommers uses the skills she learned from her father to solder sterling silver jewelry and make hooks for photos.

“The first soldering iron I used was Dad’s,” she said. “I still use his tools. Sometimes I say, ‘How do I make this work Dad?’”

Their mother will have doll blankets she’s sewn to add to the booth at the show.

One of the sisters’ more popular selling works are old family photos put between glass with a quote or family story on the other side. They also “repurpose” wine bottles, old glass bottles and old Mason jars used as lighting fixtures.

Another sister, Josette Kelle, who is a teacher in Ponca City, is sewing aprons and bibs from vintage material like old handkerchiefs, dresses and doilies. She considers vintage as items 40 to 50 years old.

“She gives it new life,” she said.

This show will be a little harder on Sommers. Her sister/partner, Jolie Person, has moved to Amarillo, Texas.

“We work together long distance,” she said. “I’m going to miss her. This will be my first show to do without her there.”