Christmas in the Rockies
December 1, 2006
Steamboat Springs — When Abbey, 11, and Belle, 9, Jean get home from school today, they will eat a snack and proceed directly into the soap factory in their basement.
“It becomes an assembly line,” said Brita Jean, the girls’ mother, about her daughters’ soap and bath products business. “All the soap made will be shrink-wrapped by my husband, who takes a hair dryer to it and seals it, and then the girls put all the labels on it and package them.”
The night before the Christmas in the Rockies’ 19th annual Holiday Artisans Market can be very stressful for vendors. Participants often spend the evening frantically packaging their handmade creations and putting the finishing touches on their products and displays.
“We have to be in bed by 11 p.m.,” Brita said. “We are done with those 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. nights, and my husband says that makes for a miserable day to try to be chipper the next day.”
Jenny Graham, who, with her mother, sells specialty baskets loaded with hand-crafted items, hopes to relax and enjoy a nice dinner tonight – the eve of the craft show.
“Otherwise we will still be pricing things and putting on bows,” Graham said. “Most of the big stuff is done, which I am so grateful for. We’re both getting ready in advance, because last year we were up until 2 a.m. doing the finishing touches.”
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Dawnelle Manzanares’ job tonight is to drive from Durango to Steamboat Springs. Saturday’s show will be her first time at Christmas in the Rockies. Dawnelle’s sister, Tamera Manzanares, makes knotted silk and beaded chain jewelry.
“My job is probably going to be (breast milk) pumping so my husband can watch my son all day Saturday,” Tamera said about her 10-week-old child. “I’m hoping I can make some (jewelry), but I’m not too hopeful. My sister is mostly going to be the one supplying the inventory.”
Jodie Atherton, who makes ceramic tiles and installations, had her night before Christmas in the Rockies on Thursday. She’s driving to Steamboat from Laramie this morning.
“My Friday night will be Thursday night,” she said. “I’ll be doing what I am doing now in my basement studio. I’m redoing my Web site and finalizing a brochure I’ve been working on with a graphic designer.”
Atherton thinks procrastination is human nature, no matter how much time we are given to do something.
“Having a deadline has gotten my little butt in gear. If I had two more weeks, I would still be as frantic the week before,” she said. “But I’m going to go out for sushi Friday night. That’s my plan.”
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