by Vicky Vasco

The Flamingo Gardens Holiday Craft Fair was held on December 1, amidst the beautiful backdrop of this West Broward paradise. The setting was picturesque with the vendors, over 85 of them, displaying their wares under the the 200-year-old oak trees on the lawn of the historic Wray home.

The merchandise was varied and colorful. Everything from Christmas decorations to hand-sewn pillows and teddy bears made an appearance. Some of the more unusual items, however, caught my eye.


Enter the Kirklands and their Funky Mobiles. If you're looking for a creative mobile for inside or outside your home, something that's sure to be a conversation piece and give you hours of joy just staring at it, then a funky mobile made from old spoons, forks and other tableware items is just the ticket. Husband and wife team, John and Flor Kirkland design these one-of-a-kind pieces that range in price for $25 to $45.

"Each piece is different," says John. "That's the beauty—you have an original piece. No two are alike." His wife agrees, "If you see something you like, buy it right away, because you'll never find it the same way again."







The Kirklands have been very successful with their mobiles and every other Sunday they attend the arts and crafts exhibit on Lincoln Road in Miami. Their next showing will be Dec. 9. They'll also be displaying their wares at the Funky Arts and Crafts Show in Hollywood on Dec. 16. You can email them at kirkflor@aol.com.

Another eyecatcher was a cute idea for a back pack made from fabric. Back Sacks as they are called are designed by Chelsea Combs and her mom, Odalys. They sell for $10. These fabric sacks are lightweight and perfect for carrying small items, relieving the wearer of having a heavier backpack to carry. They can be made in all kinds of colorful, lightweight fabrics and to find out more about them, you can email Chelsea and her mom at Honeycombs01@aol.com. Chelsea is pictured on the right with Marcella Rodriguez, whose mom makes the soap aprons you'll read about in the next paragraph.


And here we are. Soap Bottle Aprons made by Maritza Rodriguez, are little cloth aprons that go around a bottle of soap to spruce up its appearance in the kitchen.They're decorative and fun. (It's still uncertain however, if they make you feel better about doing the dishes.)These sell only at crafts shows for $2 and you can email Maritza for more info at Honeycombs01@aol.com.




Next was Dolly Harbour's booth. She displayed, amongst other things, an adorable bunch of Dolls handmade in Columbia. At first glance they looked like they could be made from some sort of resin or plastic because their surface is so smooth, but it turns out the little beauties are made from cornstarch and glue. The dolls signify the "Quinceaneras" or turning "Sweet 15" for young Hispanic girls. The dolls sell for $17.

Another great display was by Miami mosaic artist, JoBeth Thomas. Thomas expresses her mosaic talent in lizards, boxes, picture frames and pots. Her specialty items usually revolve around a certain theme. Like her clock that's a commemorative item for the events that happened on September 11. A Statue of Liberty stands in the middle of the face of a clock whose hands are at "9" and "11". The clock sold as soon as Thomas displayed it. Price is $85.

Included in her display were her signature lizards, an old-fashioned organ grinder's monkey and a pink flamingo. (After all, what would a crafts show at Flamingo Gardens be without a pink flamingo?)




One particularly compelling piece was an old-fashioned monkey, the kind you'd see accompanying an organ grinder. Price is $175. The lizards are $95.




JoBeth's Pink Flamingo said it all. Price is $450. Thomas is also available for commission work and can be reached at mortiworld@aol.com.


And what would a crafts show be without cotton candy?

Self-proclaimed Cotton Candy King Bob Grasso was on hand to supply sugar-craving visitors with his many flavored gourmet cotton candy. At one point, during a rush, the place looked like a sea of pink fluff. No matter how old you are, cotton candy always makes you feel like a kid again. Yum! If you need the Cotton Candy King at your next event you can call him at (954) 370-3167.



Genevieve 8, and Shannon 7, in the pink.



Many thanks go to the volunteers who helped put this show together. Volunteers at Flamingo Gardens play an important part in keeping this bird and wildlife sanctuary operating. Their help is keenly appreciated. The park was fortunate to have an entire family helping out at this show. A mother and her three daughters were there to help with all the work. (I didn't ask if they had any brothers...)


Another volunteer, Kaylin Griffo, has been volunteering here since she was 6 (she's now 12). She says the reason she likes her work so much is because of "the animals." She just loves them. Kaylin occasionally gives tours of the Wray Home and really knows her stuff (she's learned a lot in six years!).

The next show will be the Reptile Show & Sale on Sunday, December 16 from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm. A sale of snakes, lizards, turtles, tortoises, amphibians and accessories. For more info call Flamingo Gardens at (954) 473-2955 or visit their website Flamingo Gardens.


Visit Flamingo Gardens often. There's always something interesting going on!

Up and Coming


Adults: $12 - Children: $6 (Ages 4-11) - (Ages 3 and under free)
Senior (65+) Student AAA Member Armed Service Exceptions: 20% Off (with ID)
Tram Tour: $3.00 Adults · $2.00 Children (4-11) · Ages 3 and under FREE

Group Rates and Discounts Available

HOURS: OPEN 7 DAYS 9:30AM - 5:30PM
Closed Mondays June 1 - October 1
(954) 473-2955

For more information on Flamingo Gardens please visit their website Flamingo Gardens.

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