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Sign up for a table at the crafts fair

Click to fill out the formHandmade quilts, fabulous scarves, ceramics, greeting cards, candles, and jewelry – lots of jewelry. That’s just a sampling of the wares available at the annual UCOP holiday crafts fair, scheduled this year for Dec. 10.

Organizer Evelyn Wright – aka The Scarf Lady – has been coordinating the event since 1998, when UCOP moved into the Franklin Street building.

The crafts fair runs from 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. in the ground floor lobby. It’s a hugely popular event with UCOP employees, Wright said.

“People start shopping way before 10 o’clock. As soon as they come in that morning, they start shopping,” she said. “It’s a good morale booster for the staff, and the vendor response is overwhelming.”

To register for a table, fill out the attached form and send it to Evelyn by Dec. 5, 2009. She will need to know your name, the kind of craft you plan to sell (no food items, please) and the price range of your products. There is a $35 fee that is used to offset the cost of producing the event.

In addition to the crafts people whose tables line the lobby from one end to the other, the UCOP carolers are scheduled to come through that morning at about 10:45 a.m.

“It’s a lot of work, but its fun,” Wright said. “I have to be there when they first deliver the tables the day before and then I have to be there to put the lobby back together the way I found it at the end of the following day.”

The exact mix of vendors changes a bit from year to year, but most people selling crafts work at UCOP or are related to someone who does. A few are recent retirees. The variety of crafts being produced is as diverse as the staff itself, Wright said.

“One year, someone wanted to sell beer-making supplies,” she said. “I’ve had all kinds of requests.”

Perhaps the most popular vendor is Edna Coleman, UCOP’s former H.R. director. Her mother makes quilts by hand throughout the year for the fair, then donates the proceeds to her church.

Despite gentle urging, Coleman’s mother has resisted suggestions that she raise prices beyond $30 or so.

“Edna’s quilts are sold before she’s even finished parking. She is attacked (by shoppers) before she enters the building,” said Bilha Coen, who organized the fair before handing the reins to Wright, and owns two of Coleman’s beautiful quilts.

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