Frizellburg artist makes little Santas at her Small Wonders Antiques shop NORTHWEST -- Taneytown* Union Bridge*New Windsor* Uniontown


December 24, 1992|By JUDY REILLY

Children all over the world have been waiting for this Christmas Eve with unconcealed anticipation. It's tonight that the jolly old elf with the twinkle in his eye lands on the rooftop, mysteriously enters the house and with unsurpassed generosity leaves gifts in the living room. And then he disappears, without even waiting for a thank you or saying goodbye.

If this Santa never forgets you, then you might want to meet one you'll never forget -- the keepsake Kriss Kringles that Laura ZTC Turner has been creating in her Frizellburg home for the last four years.

Mrs. Turner, whose keen eye and deft hand transform anything she touches into a work of art, carefully sculpts each Santa's face from cloth, then paints the intricate details that make each one unique. Eye color, facial expression and beards, made from sheep's wool, give each Santa a face you won't forget. Each one looks like it has seen a million Christmases.

She crafts antique quilts, feathers and other vintage items into suits that would keep any St. Nick warm on a journey from the North Pole. Each Santa is an endearing lifelike character.

"I hope people appreciate the artistry in the Santas," Mrs. Turner, said, "and that they really enjoy looking at them -- that they'll bring a smile to their faces."

The Santas are scattered around her Frizellburg shop, Small Wonders Antiques, along with her teddy bear creations and antique dolls that she collects and sells. The shop occupies two rooms in the old house that she and her husband have been living in and restoring for four years.

With antique toys, dolls, Santas, and teddy bears filling the house, and its exterior painted to look like a Currier and Ives print, it's a home that looks like it celebrates the joy of Christmas year round.

Shop hours for Small Wonders Antiques are Tuesdays from noon until 5 p.m., or by chance. Information: 875-2850.

* Evelyn Peterson, 84, remembers Santa Claus with great affection, anda smile brightens her face when she reminisces about her childhood Christmases.

The Taneytown resident grew up in an apartment building in Takoma Park. But it was not just any apartment building. This one, built by her grandfather, housed only family members -- one apartment for each of her aunts and uncles -- so she grew up surrounded by relatives.

"We always had such wonderful Christmases," she said.

"All the kids had to go to bed early on Christmas, and then the adults would put up the Christmas trees in each apartment, going back and forth between all the apartments, getting each other's opinions on the decorations. We kids always thought Santa Claus brought the trees."

"Everyone, even Grandmother, hung Christmas stockings, and they were filled with 10-cent gifts. We had so much fun opening those presents. Of course, you got so much more for your money then."

Mrs. Peterson, a striking woman with bright blue eyes and a perfect complexion, has 11 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren of her own. She frequents the Taneytown Senior Center these days, where she plays cards, a favorite activity honed from those years of living in the apartment building with card-playing aunts and uncles.

Does she have a Christmas wish for today's children?

"Nothing can make the old days return again," she said. "I wish we could all go back to Santa Claus bringing the Christmas tree."

* The second graders in Janet Stevens' class at Uniontown Elementary School have some Christmas wishes, too. And, as a surprise to their parents, none of them costs any money.

Some of their wishes:

Kayla Nichols wants a rock collection.

Valerie Lunz doesn't want her friend Michele to move away.

A baby brother is the hope of Michele Fahey.

Nick Plazio wants a walking stick with his name carved on it.

Daniel Dillon hopes his father will finish the go-cart.

Eric Reese has his eye on the family's football collection.

Asher Hurwitz wants his dad to finish the model soldiers before Hanukkah ends.

Terron Pickett wishes that every day could be Christmas.

May all their holiday dreams come true.

* Cub Scout Den 1 of Pack 633 recently "adopted" the residents of Bethany Care Home. The scouts' first visit found them singing Christmas carols and sharing fruit, holiday candy, and hugs with the residents on a recent December day. The boys hope to spread cheer throughout the months with more visits to the care center.

* The star in the East guided the Wise Men to the Christ child's manger those many years ago. What they saw is known as the Star of Bethlehem. On this Christmas Eve, Venus and Saturn will be particularly bright, only secondary in brightness to the sun and the moon, Joe Kelch, an astronomer at the Maryland Science Center, says. Look for them in the southwest sky about three hours after sunset.

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