One of the highlights of the Tehachapi Mountain Festival is the annual Arts & Crafts Fair held at Phillip Marx Central Park.
This year, more than 60 vendors arrived from far and wide to participate in the fair, bringing handmade arts and crafts that are both eclectic and unique. Selling their one-of-a-kind wares were some of the best vendors California has to offer.
A flat bottle is a lucrative bottle
Elaine Martinez of Ventura has returned to the Mountain Festival for the fourth year, offering her unique collection of flattened wine bottles, which she has decorated with labels to please any palate.
"We put them in a kiln for about 16 hours," Martinez said of her bottles.
Since she has been creating her bottles for many years, Martinez said she has the process down to a science, and has achieved zero breakage as a result in creating them.
After the flattened bottles have cooled, Martinez adheres labels, which she creates herself. With a program of approximately 2,000 labels to chose from, she is sure to create something for everyone.
Her most popular labels are the ones that tickle the funny bone, she said; however, sports enthusiasts are sure to find their favorite team as well.
She sells her unusual flattened bottles for $18 each, two for $17 each, or buy three for $15 each.
Thru the Garden Window
Participating in the Mountain Festival for the first time this year was John Derrick and his partner, Kristen, of Las Vegas, Nev., bringing with them home fragrance and beauty from nature.
Thru the Garden Window produces natural home fragrance products, and features their own unique garlands, wreaths and potpourri made from dehydrated fruits, nuts and herbs.
John has been producing fragrances and all-natural oils for the past 30 years. His scents can last up to a year.
"There is no one here with anything remotely like what we make," said John. "It's all about quality, and not quantity."
John said he used to simmer the fragrances on the kitchen stove when he first started 35 years ago. It took him up to three hours to create per quart. Today, he has streamlined the process, and offers three fragrances to chose from.
The whimsy of Wisteria
Coming from Santa Clarita is Tami Cardony, bringing her whimsical hummingbird feeders and other hand-painted creations she calls Wisteria Painting.
Cardony has participated in the Tehachapi Mountain Festival for the past four years, and has done very well for herself with each show.
The bottles she uses to create her hummingbird feeders are replicas of antique bottles, and are themselves unusual and quite colorful.
"Once I get the bottles, I hand paint them all with all my own original designs," said Cardony, who paints mostly flower motifs because hummingbirds love flowers.
After the bottles are painted, Cardony bakes them in the oven to cure the glass so they can be washed and filled with nectar without harming the designs.
"I do very well," said Cardony. "I retired from my job, and that's all that I do now."
The Arts & Crafts Fair will continue through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.