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Artists' scarf-jewelry combo is a winning tie

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Becky Walker, a retired schoolteacher and longtime customer of Cornucopia, walked into the shop recently wearing a fabulously colorful and textured scarf. Owner Nancy Ward had two questions: "Where did you get that?" and "Can I get more of them to sell?"

"With 25 years of buying experience I recognized it as a winner right off," Ward said.

Walker told Ward she had made the scarf herself, and that made it all the more appealing to the Bridge Road storeowner.

"I said, 'We gotta talk.' It seemed like fate that Becky had walked in just when I had been looking for an interesting handmade scarf line to pair with my original scarf jewelry. My background is in jewelry design, and even though I hadn't made jewelry for many years, the spirit moved me to start again and I'm working on a wholesale line of scarf jewelry that will debut at the August and July trade shows in New York and Atlanta.

"So, between running a business, raising kids, hunting wild mushrooms -- I'm known locally as the mushroom lady -- and whitewater kayaking, my latest obsession, I'm now making jewelry again ... in my spare time," Ward explained.

Ward's designs combine old deconstructed jewelry with new elements, turning any scarf into a necklace.

Walker started knitting five years ago when her husband was in the Cleveland clinic for heart surgery.

"Books and magazines didn't get it, so she decided to take up knitting to while away her time in the hospital. She got a book and some bright, cheerful yarn at the craft shop and with help from others at the clinic, was on her way," Ward said. "She likes to say he came home with a new heart, and she came home with a poncho!"

Before working with Ward, Walker knitted mainly for friends and family, but did one craft show at a local synagogue selling shawls. She calls her colorful creations "onederfull scarves" because each is one of a kind.

The collaborative effort of scarves and jewelry will debut from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. April 28 at Cornucopia, 912 Bridge Road. It will be a trunk show and scarf party, where customers can learn a multitude of different ways to wear and tie scarves. There will also be a drawing for a free scarf and scarf jewelry.

The two women are applying for and hoping to get into a number of local arts and crafts fairs. The items will continue to be sold at Cornucopia.

Reach Sara Busse at sara.busse@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1249.


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