Artists display works at arts and crafts fair

Published 12:08 am Sunday, May 30, 2010

NATCHEZ — Four years ago, Judy Cruse was having major oral surgery and needed something to do with her hands.

Cruse decided that making her own jewelry would take her mind off the pain, and Saturday she had her crafts on display at Natchez Art Association’s Arts and Crafts Fair at the James Andrews House.

“I have always found jewelry making to be interesting,” Cruse said. “A lot of the time, when I’m shopping, I’ll want to change something about the store’s jewelry.

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“I thought if I learned how, I could design jewelry to fit my needs.”

So when Cruse was going through a series of surgeries to have her dental implants removed, she found that the pain pills were not enough to rid her of the pain.

“In jewelry making, you have to work with those little chains and with little tools,” Cruse said. “You can’t think about anything else. You have to be focused.”

Originally from Ferriday, Cruse recently retired from Second Baptist Church in Houston and decided Natchez was where she wanted to spend the rest of her life, as long as she has her craft table in her kitchen.

“I just can’t stop doing it,” Cruse said. “I think I’ll be doing this until I check out, which is good.

“I always wanted something to do where I can just sit there and work with my hands.”

Susan Lawson of Memphis came to Natchez for the Kelly’s Kids warehouse sale, but found the crafts fair online and decided to check it out.

“I am buying toys for my daughter,” Lawson said. “She is 4, and I think she will absolutely love this crossbow.

“I have a feeling I will be out there shooting with her.”

Janice Rich of Washington, N.C., was in town for her niece’s engagement party and decided to tour downtown during her free time.

“I was just walking to the river and saw it,” Rich said. “This is a good idea — it is amazing what people can make with their hands.”

Emily Lawrence and her family of Nettleton were in town to tour some houses and learned about the crafts fair online.

“We just came here to have something different to go to,” Lawrence said. “And I like the dog clothes like these, that cover their back legs. Yogi, our Shih Tzu, would look so cute in this.”