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

| 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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