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Lima Township Resident Demonstrates Counted Cross Stitch at Dexter's Pioneer Arts Fair

Janet Brown will be one of 50 artisans from across Michigan exhibiting her craft at the fair on March 17.

On Saturday, hundreds of visitors will descend on in Dexter for the 39th annual Pioneer Arts Fair.

The fair is a veritable Mecca for local crafters, and features more than 50 artisans from across Michigan, who demonstrate their traditional folk crafts and offer them for sale. Included this year are jewelry, stained glass, weaving, quilting, water colors, wood carving, spinning, toys, and lace making, among others.

Lima Township resident Janet Brown will showcase the craft of counted cross stitching. The needlecraft is usually done on fabric or linen. It is a type of embroidery that requires the artist to work from a printed chart, which uses symbols to represent various colors.

"It's a lot like paint-by-numbers," Brown said.

Brown has been cross-stitching for more than 15 years, and said this is her second year she has been invited to attend the Pioneer Arts Fair.

"The event organizers wanted this medium represented, and so they approached me when their regular cross stitch artist retired," she explained.

Brown said she primarily sells cross-stitch greeting cards with funny sayings, but she's also created larger prints of the Great Lakes and other Michigan themes.

"It takes weeks and weeks to make an original, so the products I sell are copies of the original," she said.

No stranger to the community, Brown is also a regular at the Chelsea and Dexter summer farmers markets. Brown sells meat rubs, spices and herbs every year. In the winter she travels around to indoor farmers markets in Michigan to sell homemade Easter candy, jams and chocolates.

"I really like attending the Pioneer Fair," she said. "It is really awesome to see what people can do, because you can't do everything. I like watching all the other artists who attend the event. It's a lot of fun."

The event takes place Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and costs $3. Proceeds from the event benefit the Dexter Area Historical Society. For more information, visit www.dextermuseum.org.

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