Saturday’s fall festival on the patio of the Vacaville museum had several items available for purchase, but it wasn’t your typical garage sale.
The items included jewelry, woodcarvings, artwork, and memorabilia associated with the original Nut Tree restaurant, and all raised funds for the Vacaville Museum Guild, the museum’s volunteer base that helps plan its events and activities.
Guild member Pat Zetah said she was happy with the turnout.
“It speeds up as the morning comes,” she said. “It’s been stable since about 9am (or) 9:15 am.”
Two of the tables run by Guild members featured items from or paying homage to the nut tree, in honor of the museum’s current exhibit on the 100th anniversary of the iconic roadside restaurant. Items included vintage t-shirts, caps, tote bags, stacked colorful sugar cans that were placed on tables during the holidays, placemats with pictures of the original nut tree , the “Nut Tree Remembered” cookbook and mini giraffe soft toys, paying homage to the animal’s long history as an icon of the nut tree. These include the rocking horses outside the restaurant and the current fiberglass giraffe outside the carousel at Nut Tree Plaza.
The giraffe soft toys were a big hit with the kids at the event. Another item that piqued the interest of attendees were the replicas of the restaurant’s circular cutting boards where breads were served with a condiment on one side and a knife on the other.
Guild member Annie Lopez said the boards have a fun story. One of the owners went to Wisconsin where they were making toilet seats. Seeing the hole that was cut into the seats inspired Nut Tree owners to start serving bread on boards of the same shape.
“It gave them the idea of making bread boards,” she said.
The boards were also available for purchase in the Nut Tree gift shop at the time, although the replicas sold at Saturday’s event were slightly smaller than the originals.
The fall festival also featured pumpkin muffins, using a recipe used to create pumpkin bread in the original Nut Tree. In addition, a raffle has been organized for a large pumpkin, and the draw will take place during this Saturday’s pumpkin decoration contest at the museum, where children and adults will decorate their pumpkin lanterns to win prizes.
However, the fall festival was more than just nostalgia for the nut tree. The sellers also had the chance to sell some of their items. These included containers from Tupperware, handmade jewelry and artwork from Susse Biene Creations, nail accessories from Color Street, jewelry from Handcrafted by MaryAnn, and wooden sketches from La Honda Artworks. .
The Honda, founded by Alan Venturini, a resident of Vacaville, uses recycled wood that Venturtini sells with printed messages promoting concepts such as play and love as well as references to the Beatles, a favorite band of Venturini.
Venturini said the pieces of wood came from everywhere, including people dropping wood at his home and – in at least one case – pieces thrown from his neighbor’s house.
“He had boards that he threw in the trash,” he said. “I took them out.”
Venturini also reuses parts of wood that he used to create other pieces.
“I’m not throwing anything away,” he said. “I keep every little bit.”
Venturini’s background is actually in the sale, but he drifted into art following the terrorist attacks of September 11.
“It just motivated me to buy posters and start drawing summaries,” he said. “He just walked through the woods.”
Venturini’s wife is a member of the Guild, and he saw the event as a good way to sell his lumber.
“I like to sell my art,” he says. “Being retired is good to have something to do.
Venturini loved the opportunity to meet and interact with people.
“They love that it’s cool, creative (and) one of a kind,” he said.
Local artist Lori Borchers, who specializes in the art of resin, also had a table where she sold her pieces. Her work uses epoxy resin and mica powder to tint the colors and create a 3D look. She also does acrylic pop and puts leftover paint in jewelry.
Borchers particularly enjoys creating beach scenes, some of which feature 3D seashells and starfish and one of which features a mermaid tail coming out of the mug. The tail was created using a mold into which resin was poured. Once the resin dries and hardens, a layer of resin is poured into the bottom followed by a layer of top coat to solidify everything.
“Most resin artwork requires multiple applications,” she said. “It starts with just a flat layer, then you pour several layers each time you do it, and then it will eventually build up and it will become the 3D effect of waves and things like that.”
It can take a long time, but Borchers said it was also “quite relaxing”.
Borchers was happy to sell his work someday with such good weather.
“You couldn’t ask for a better day,” she said.
The Girl Scouts of Northern California were also present to promote their services. In addition to the information on how to join, the table had a Dia de los Muertos theme with kids able to create a Day of the Dead coloring book or skeleton cutouts with brass pins to move the joints.
Communications manager Mayra Romero said she heard about the Fall Festival through a volunteer and felt that “it would be a good opportunity for us to come and talk to people about girl scouts “.
Romero had also never been to the museum before and loved to see it.
“It’s great to have a community event like this,” she said. “It’s great to involve the community, especially during a pandemic.”