Saturday, June 6, 2020     Volume: 21, Issue: 14

Santa Maria Sun / Art

The following article was posted on January 7th, 2020, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 20, Issue 45 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 20, Issue 45

Santa Barbara pop-up gallery showcases handmade home accessories from North County artisans


Works from more than 40 artisans are on display and available for purchase at the 13th annual A Crimson Holiday, a special pop-up studio that returns to Santa Barbara’s La Cumbre Plaza every holiday season. 

Keep on giving
A Crimson Holiday, a pop-up artisan gift gallery, runs through Wednesday, Jan. 15, at La Cumbre Plaza in Santa Barbara. The gallery is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Visit to find out more.

Salt and pepper shakers from Santa Maria-based artisan Christopher Bojorquez, owner of Glass Act, are on display and available for purchase at A Crimson Holiday.

If you weren’t able to check out the gallery in time for Christmas gift giving, there’s still one week left to get a head start on next year, as the pop-up will remain open through mid January. The showcase features a variety of wearable art, including jewelry, designer scarves, and shawls, as well as home accessories—from blankets and pillows to cutting boards and glassware.

Lompoc resident and fabric artist Diane Reese first discovered the annual pop-up in late 2018 while Christmas shopping in Santa Barbara. Impressed by the studio’s flair, Reese was eager to submit her sewn home accessories to be showcased the following year.

“My mother taught me how to sew around age 8,” Reese told the Sun

The aspiring artisan grew up on the East Coast and continued to sew all throughout high school.

“I always loved fabric—combining interesting colors and patterns,” she said. “My first job was at a large fabric store in Massachusetts when I was 15.”

As an adult, Reese became even more interested in fine fabrics, especially for home accessories. She began sewing her own place mats, table runners, pillow cases, and other fabric items.

In 2002, Reese relocated to Lompoc to be closer to family residing in Santa Ynez. Coming from snowy New England at the time, Reese immediately appreciated the area’s warm, coastal weather.

Vintage campers is one of the many themes fabric artist Diane Reese uses to design her pillow cases, table cloths, and other items.

“But most of all, it’s the friendliness of the people,” Reese said, describing why she’s called the Central Coast her home ever since.

Aside from A Crimson Holiday, Reese’s fabric items are available year-round at the Garden Shoppe in Lompoc.

Other fabric artisans featured in the Santa Barbara pop-up include sisters Barbara Burgos and Margaret George, who are showcasing a collection of their quilts, quilted handbags, pouches, and shopping bags. The duo is based in Nipomo, and the two have been quilting together for almost two decades.

“Maggie (Margaret) became interested in quilting in the early ’90s and encouraged me to begin quilting in the early 2000s,” Burgos told the Sun. “I attended a quilting retreat with her and was hooked.”

Most of the fabric the sisters use to create their purses and tote bags is quilted on their personal longarm quilting machine, which they purchased in 2012.

The home accessories showcased at A Crimson Holiday are of the glass variety as well, in the form of several items from glass blower Christopher Bojorquez. The Santa Maria-based artisan first became interested in glass blowing after a next-door neighbor recommended it as a hobby.

“I let her know, ‘I don’t know if I’m going to like it, but I’ll give it a shot,’” Bojorquez told the Sun. “I picked it up very quickly.”

Other artisans featured in A Crimson Holiday include sisters Barbara Burgos and Margaret George, who are showcasing a collection of their quilted handbags, pouches, and purses.

In 2008, the unexpected hobby of happenstance became a full-time career as the U.S. Army veteran embarked on a new business venture—purchasing Glass Act, a wholesale glass product company based in Santa Maria. With “Art with a purpose” as its tagline, the company specializes in “functional art”—including various adornments to the dining table such as glass shakers and other decorative items.

Over the last decade since purchasing the business, Bojorquez has perfected his craft, finding a unique balance between old and new glass blowing techniques to create the company’s products, he said.

“I utilize special antique techniques combined with modern technology and proprietary methods to create sought-after, elegant salt and pepper shakers, fine fragrance bottles, unique pendants, and striking ornaments,” he said.

With the new year already in motion, it’s a bit too late to get said Christmas ornaments on your tree. But as previously mentioned, it’s never too early to start thinking about next year, and A Crimson Holiday runs through Jan. 15 for that exact purpose. 

Arts Editor Caleb Wiseblood already counting down the days until next Christmas. Contact him at

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