Vita Liepa is the author of Little Oolly, a book written to teach children more about herbs and their purpose as medicinal plants in their everyday life. Liepa was one of many writers and artists at the fourth annual Authors and Artists Christmas Faire held Saturday at Penticton's Shatford Centre.
"He is telling me all kinds of things," said Liepa, who was selling copies of her children's book, Little Oolly The Garden Gnome, at the fourth annual Authors and Artists Faire happening Saturday and today at the Shatford Centre in Penticton.
Liepa said she came up with the idea to write the book a couple of years ago as a way to teach her
toddler-aged son the many uses of herbs in everyday life.
"They have no clue about these herbs and that they can use them for so many things," she said.
The two would play in her garden where she used to hide a small, wool doll named Oolly. In her book Oolly picks fresh herbs and finds adventure in the garden, where he lives with his parents.
"Through Oolly, I could get the message through to him," said Liepa.
She also takes Oolly with her when she visits schools to talk about the value of herbs, saying it allows her to strike up discussions with youngsters about something that otherwise might not appeal to them.
Faire organizer David Korinetz said it's the first time the event has been held at the Shatford, noting the change in venue provides more time and flexibility for exhibitors.
The event attracts writers and artists from all over the Okanagan and features original paintings, prints and art cards, sculptures, carvings and autographed books.
Korinetz said although it generally attracts Okanagan-based artists, he noted they've got one man who ventured from the Northwest Territories just for the faire.
They also decided to extend the hours on Saturday until 8 p.m. to give those interested the chance to drop by after work or dinner and to give artists a better opportunity to sell their work.
The faire also held exhibitor presentations to allow visitors to learn various facets of the writing and arts industries.
Prices range from about $4 and into the $1,000-plus range. Korinetz said there's a good chance anyone can find something at the faire, provided they come in with an open mind.
The fair continues from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. today.
Admission is free.