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Encased gardens, jewelry among features of Heritage Valley Sewickley Unique Boutique

Joanne Barron - Kristen Finamore creates glass gardens and her own styles of jewelry. She will participate in the Unique Boutique charity event.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Joanne Barron</em></div>Kristen Finamore creates glass gardens and her own styles of jewelry. She will participate in the Unique Boutique charity event.
submitted - Gail Gagnon, of Bradford Woods, owner of Me & My Shadow, will offer her embellished handbags and brooches decorated with silk flowers, feather and fringes at this year's Unique Boutique.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>submitted</em></div>Gail Gagnon, of Bradford Woods, owner of Me & My Shadow, will offer her embellished handbags and brooches decorated with silk flowers, feather and fringes at this year's Unique Boutique.
submitted - Pat Etta of Edgeworth again will feature her knitted children's hats at this year's Unique Boutique.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>submitted</em></div>Pat Etta of Edgeworth again will feature her knitted children's hats at this year's Unique Boutique.

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If you go

What: 13th annual Heritage Valley Sewickley UniqueBoutique.

When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

Where: Edgeworth Club, 511 East End Drive, Edgeworth.

Cost: $10 for shopping, and $35 for shopping and buffet lunch, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Transportation: A courtesy shuttle will be available from the Heritage Valley Sewickley Hospital garage at Fitch Circle — 720 Blackburn Road — to the Edgeworth Club. The shuttle will make rounds every 30 minutes from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Reservations for luncheon: Contact Susie Abercrombie at 412-749-7050 or www.heritagevalley.org.

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Joanne Barron
Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
 

Whether it's painting, drawing or making jewelry, Kristen Finamore's creations are all wrapped up in her love for nature, and her newest glass garden project is no exception.

“I've always loved the idea of the little glass garden habitats. There is a whole other world in there,” said Finamore of Leetsdale, who will sell her crafts for the second year during the 13th Annual Heritage Valley Sewickley Unique Boutique, to be held on Saturday.

The gardens are nestled in a variety of glass containers filled with sheet moss, soil, carbon, stones and plants. Finamore can add any kind of little “trinket,” such as an angel or a personal message on a small rock to fit the buyer's needs.

She said she began the project as a wedding gift to a friend, who she described as “artsy.” She found a tray featuring a small chalkboard on the front, where she wrote the bride's and groom's names. On the tray were three sizes of glass gardens.

“When it was shown at the shower, I started to get orders right away. I made 30 of them in one week,” she said. Some buyers have purchased the glass gardens for funerals, so loved ones can take them home as keepsakes.

Finamore creates animal paintings that feature pictures of other animals inside the main creature. Her jewelry includes necklaces featuring birds nests and “chunky” daises.

The nests can be personalized to fit buyers' lifestyles, such as three eggs in a nest to signify having three children in the house. The little wire nests showcase a small silver bird.

Finamore is keeping her business, Kritta Co., somewhat small and doing everything herself but plans to expand in the future when her three boys are a little older. More information and products can be found on her website, www.krittacompany.com.

“When I saw the moss and ferns in the beautiful vases, I thought they would make great gifts and a wonderful addition to the Unique Boutique,” said Terri Tunick of Bell Acres, Unique Boutique chairwoman.

“Her glass gardens are a modern version of a terrarium with a classy touch.”

Pat Etta of Edgeworth, who started her craft business, Papa's Garden, 10 years ago, has returned to the event after several years' absence. She again will sell knitted children's hats featuring a garden theme to honor her grandfather who “taught me a love of all living things.” Etta also will sell her new mini-hats, which can be used as decorations for a package when a hat is given for a gift, or as Christmas ornaments.

The hats, which she has been making since 1999, are available in three sizes, ranging from birth to teens.

Finamore and Etta will be among about 50 artists and vendors to participate in the show this year, which includes a luncheon and raises money for the Heritage Valley Sewickley Foundation.

Joanne Barron is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-324-1406 or jbarron@tribweb.com.

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