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Craftsmen from the Central Peninsula helped usher in the holiday season on Saturday at the Soldotna Holiday Bazaar held at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex.

Michelle Ravenmoon, who makes Dena’ina art, showcased earrings, ornaments, dreamcatchers and knitted textiles. She said she left Lake Iliamna last year and was testing the waters on Saturday to see how her business would fare.

“I’ve been making jewelry probably for about 20 years,” Ravenmoon said. “I make parkas and I make slippers. … I’ve been doing this for about 10 years and it has been one of the biggest and funniest challenges in crafting.

She had shown earrings made from salmon cheekbones, as well as moose hair and salmon skin.

“The bears harvest (the salmon) first,” Ravenmoon said. “I can’t harvest them myself because if I cook the salmon head, the cheekbones will curl. ”

After the bears have had their fill of salmon and left the carcass on the ground, she gathers the discarded extras for her earrings, she said.

“It’s a lot of steps,” Ravenmoon said. “First you go out and harvest (the salmon) where the bear left them on the riverside.”

Then, she says, she cleans the bone, paints it, lets it dry, then adds metal to stabilize the earring.

“So it’s a process of about a week to make it about 10,” Ravenmoon said.

Amanda Alaniz had a long table full of sewn fur products.

She runs a taxidermy and fur tailoring business, Gold Standard Furs, from her home.

“I make all the fur hats and mittens and vests and everything here,” Alaniz said on Saturday. “I work with local trappers and try to find everything as locally as possible, and I take pride in creating beautiful, functional works of art.”

Fur hats were the majority of his bazaar products, some even with hollow taxidermy fox heads as the top of the cap.

“It’s part taxidermy, part art, part tailoring,” Alaniz said. “I use a taxidermy form, but then I remove the form later and make it… rigid.”

She was inspired to start her business when she moved to Alaska, she said.

“I’ve seen people wear hats like this and I’m like, ‘This is the coolest thing there is,” said Alaniz.

She also gives sewing lessons.

“I teach people how to do easier projects, usually like… handbags and mittens,” Alaniz said. “And like the Davy Crockett hat. Everyone loves a Davy Crockett hat.

Julia Weeks, who was attending a bazaar for the first time, sold a range of woven goods, including baskets, bowls, heating pads and quilts. On his table were also pots of pizza dough with water.

Weeks said she specialized in quilts, but wanted to start making something else.

“I got tired of making quilts and thought, what else can I do? »», She declared. “So I started looking on YouTube. ”

After watching a few tutorials, Weeks decided to start making woven rope products. She also had denim baskets and heating pads on her booth.

“I had a bunch of old Levi’s jeans and I just cut them into strips,” she said. “And I started with that.”

The Soldotna Holiday Bazaar will be open at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

Contact journalist Camille Botello at [email protected]

Michelle Ravenmoon sells salmon bone earrings and other handicrafts at Soldotna Holiday Bazaar at Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Saturday, November 20, 2021. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)

Amanda Alaniz sells fur products at the Soldotna Holiday Bazaar at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Saturday, November 20, 2021. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)

Amanda Alaniz sells fur products at the Soldotna Holiday Bazaar at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Saturday, November 20, 2021. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)

Amanda Alaniz sells fur products at the Soldotna Holiday Bazaar at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Saturday, November 20, 2021. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)

Amanda Alaniz sells fur products at the Soldotna Holiday Bazaar at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Saturday, November 20, 2021. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)


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