Local organic farm features heirloom gifts at fair

Avid crafters and artist give back to the community

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Vintage Chix, an upcycled gifts brand created by Shannon Mantione of Hauppauge and Sherri Vinciguerra of Bay Shore, will have a stand to sell their unique and cottage-core teacup collection at the Organics Today Farm in East Islip on Sunday, July 31 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Mantione and Vinciguerra, both avid crafters and artists, wanted to give back to the community and create new treasures from old finds.

With different abilities, Mantione and Vinciguerra are both proud ambassadors of the special-needs community.

Ardent devotees to the thrift circuit in neighboring communities, Mantione and Vinciguerra source their teacups from antique stores and local businesses, including St. Mark’s Church in Islip.

One of their biggest donations for teacups came from the Bayard Cutting Arboretum in Great River, which had an excess of supplies from their café. The chipped teacups were inspiring to Mantione and Vinciguerra because they wanted to give “broken” items a new life.

The teacups are turned into beautiful, expressive, and whimsical birdbaths and bird feeders. Those that are intact are crafted into themed gift boxes, perfect for the backyards of avid gardeners or quiet readers.

“We inspect each teacup to see which type of gift it would be best as,” said Mantione.

The bird feeders and baths are put together in their own individual aesthetics and would be a delight to anyone who takes pride in their garden, or who has a soft spot for avian friends.

“The gift sets are perfect for teachers’ gifts or Mother’s Day gifts,” said Vinciguerra.

Cigar boxes donated to Vintage Chix provide the canvas for Mantione and Vinciguerra’s boxed sets. Journals, pens, pencils, notepads, and other items complete the set.

Another staple of Vintage Chix are their scented sachets, which can take up to an hour each to make the diminutive treasures.

A pattern, in the shape of a dress, is cut out for the front and back and sewed together after it is filled with cotton balls infused with essential oils like lavender, lemon, or mint.

While Mantione has recently, but masterfully, picked up sewing, Vinciguerra has been an avid seamstress for two years having made pillows, clothing, bags, and purses for family gifts.

For Sunday’s event, Vintage Chix will have 32 bird feeders/baths for sale, with small ones for $10 or two for $18 and large ones for $12 or two for $20.

Included is a nectar recipe sourced by Mantione and Vinciguerra.

Also featured on July 31 is a honey bee lesson for $10, a cooking demonstration by D’Artagnan Meats, which sells organic, antibiotic and hormone-free products, and locally crafted fruit and nut bars from The Willy Bar.  

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