The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

December 3, 2012

'Homespun Christmas' | Holiday events Saturday, Sunday at Russell House in Moxham


JOHNSTOWN — A stately mansion will be as cozy as a country cabin.

Christmas at Russell House will present “Homespun Christmas” from 1 to 8 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday at Russell House Community Center, 538 Park Ave. in the Moxham section of Johnstown.

The free event, sponsored by Moxham Renaissance, is being co-chaired by Susan McCoy-Nickel and Margaret Abram.

Committee members are Eileen DiBartola, Janice Forosisky, Jean Tanaka, Helen Walker, Rose Howarth and Leslie Lech.

“We were getting sick of Victorian and wanted something cozy,” McCoy-Nickel said of this year’s theme.

“At first, it was ‘Country Christmas.’ It all starts with an idea. We figured the glitter needed a rest.”

This is Abram’s first year as co-chairwoman and McCoy-Nickel’s third.

There are 15 featured trees, starting with “French Country” by McCoy-Nickel in the foyer. The grand room will feature “Granny's Gingerbreads” by Forosisky; “Cameos and Lace” by Tanaka; “A Natural Celebration” by DiBartola; and “Birds of a Feather” and “Baskets Upon Baskets” by Abram.

“Heartland” by Tanaka, “Down on the Farm” by Walker and “Ode to Jonathan” by McCoy-Nickel will be in the parlor, and “To the Future” by Lexington Tanaka will be in the refreshment area. “Ode to Jonathan” is a tribute to Moxham Renaissance board member Jonathan Freeburg, who died this year.

The second floor will hold “A Country Kitchen” by DiBartola; “Yuletide Yarns” by Kristina Strosnider; and “Homespun – In and Out” by Howarth and Lech.

“Whittled Wood” will be displayed in the train room and “Pink Calico”  in the country store area, both by McCoy-Nickel and Abram.  

In keeping with the theme, McCoy-Nickel and Abram painted birdhouses for the sidewalk.

“If it’s believable, we can do it,” McCoy-Nickel said.                           

Entertainment for Saturday will feature Maria Naylor, vocals, accompanied by Kathy Novak at 1 p.m.; Carol Nevseta on piano at 2; the Rev. Ed Schoeneck on guitar and vocals at 3; Polish Heritage Choir, directed by Kelly Harrity, at 4; Charles Holtzman Jr. on piano at 5; and a tribute to Jonathan Freeburg by former voice students Sidney Petro and Nicholas Piskurich, accompanied by Evonne Yanzetich Homway, at 6:30 p.m.

Sunday’s entertainment will feature John Bayush on violin and Anna Johnson on cello at noon; Rachel Allen on guitar and vocals at 1; Harriet Miller on piano at 2; Matthew Myers, vocals, accompanied by Nancy Myers, at 3; and Maria Naylor, vocals, accompanied by Kathy Novak, at 4.

On both days, there will be refreshments and a basket auction on the first floor, with an auction drawing at 5 p.m. Sunday, and children’s crafts, Santa and a train display by Rick Blackford on the second floor.

A country store on the second floor will feature handcrafted jewelry, place mats, table runners, beeswax candles, soaps and salves.

Baked goods and poinsettias will be available for purchase, and carriage rides will be available for a fee.

Decked out

What: Christmas at Russell House presents “Homespun Christmas.”

When: 1 to  8 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Where: Russell House Community Center, 538 Park Ave. in the Moxham section of Johnstown.

Admission: Free.

Information: 536-1555.

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