Sidney Area Crafter Enjoys Holiday Shows
December 4, 2019 | View PDF
Sidney area crafter Betty Lee spends her holiday season visiting with customers while selling her homemade blankets, rugs, and toys at local craft and vendor show.
After retiring from 25 years of serving individuals with developmental disabilities in South Dakota, Betty and her husband moved to Sidney, where Betty picked up crafting as her full-time hobby. "I've always kind of been a crafty person. I like to see what I can make and what I can do," she said. In South Dakota, she made Christmas wreaths, mixing natural elements with man-made. "I'd take my dog for a walk at the cemetery and pick up pinecones, and pick up different little crafts at Hobby Lobby, and put them together," she said.
Now, Betty attends various area craft and vendor shows and even sells her wares through Facebook, at Bettys Jean Blankets. Betty's main offerings are hand-made jean blankets, quilts, rugs, and crocheted toys. "I love making jean blankets with decals on them," she explained, adding "I do all different kinds of quilts, plain cotton with fleece on the inside, tie blankets." She also makes yarn rugs, which have been a hit with her customers.
Betty's most recent venture has been crafting Amigurumi crocheted toys. Amigurumi is the Japanese art of knitting or crocheting small, stuffed yarn creatures. The crocheted creatures are some of the most popular items on the online craft marketplace Etsy, and of course, through Betty's Facebook page. Betty's Jean Blankets shows an array of Amigurumi toys, ranging from animals to dinosaurs to unicorns to dolls, all crafted by hand.
All of Betty's items are available at the local craft shows, including the St. Matthew's Craft Bazaar on December 6 and 7 at St. Matthew's Parish Center in Sidney, and the Jingle Mingle, a vendor show at the Event Center in Sidney on December 14. Though selling her crafts is her main objective, Betty enjoys visiting with people most. "I like to see the kids' and people's faces when they see my crafts, and when they know how much work goes into it and how long it takes. It's about making someone else's day," she said. Betty remembers one little girl who wanted a rug so bad. She said her grandma quilted. The little girl only had so much money, so I said 'You seem to know how much work goes into it', and I gave her the rug. To see a smile on their face, that's kind of fun," Betty explained.
Betty currently crafts from home, where she lives with her husband Dale. She and Dale have three adult children, as well as grand- and great-grandchildren. Betty's Jean Blankets can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BettysJeanBlankets/.