Whimsical bottles, jars, and wands are shaken and then carefully placed on the ‘Zoopothecary’ vendor’s table creating a sense of enchantment as the glitter swirls, sparkles and shines, stopping people in their tracks.
“It’s a whole sensory experience,” said Pam Boutilier about her creation on display at the Spring Craft Fair held at the Credit Union Place on Saturday.
“This one reminds me of the ocean’s tumbling white-crested waves,” she said as she picked up a bottle, gave it a shake and placed it back down on the table before repeating the process with another jar.
“And this one is like the constellations found in the inky sky.”
Boutilier, a retired veterinarian, began the creation of the calming containers after a diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
“I researched ways to help me with me diagnosis and came across these calming jars,” she said. “But I love the wizarding world of Harry Potter and all that type of stuff, so I make bottles to resemble magical potions and keep one on my desk back home because it’s a very soothing experience when shaken.”
The calming containers can be used for adults as a stress distraction, those with ADHD or autism, as well a time-out for kids.
“Children can watch the glitter until it settles to the bottom of the plastic jar and it takes them away from the immediacy of the anger or sadness,” she explained. “And for adults, life can sometimes be overwhelming and we can’t always stop and meditate, so this is a way to refocus and refresh.”
When asked about the name of her booth, Boutilier admitted ‘Zoopothecary’ is based on her second career as an illustrator.
“I have a lot of art on display at the Atlantic Veterinary College’s front entrance, but I’m moving towards children illustration. I’m in the very early stages of making my own comic book, 'Zoopothecary'.”
She was not alone among the 55 vendors at the craft fair that had a deft hand in storytelling.
“I’ve been selling children’s books for years, but my sister was the one who helped me turn the chapter in 2011 with the idea to personalize my stories so the child could become the star – and it took off,” said vendor Sara Dawn, an animator who creates customized rhyming books.
“My five children are the inspiration for the story themes, and the personalized books can be made within three weeks,” she said.
The craft fair brought in a steady stream of people from out of the rain.
Attendees weaved their way through the wide variety of vendors that were selling everything from gnomes, jigsaw puzzles, wood carvings, knitted pieces, lotions, potions and artwork, to name but a few.