Maybe Grandma wants an iPad for the holidays this year. Or a roadster.

More likely, she’d prefer to get something from the heart. And nothing says “from the heart” quite like a handmade gift.

Unfortunately, not everyone is talented enough to whittle a moose from a fallen maple tree or capture crashing waves with oil-based paint.

Enter the craft fair.

Next weekend’s Augusta Arts and Crafts Show is filling the Augusta Civic Center with more than 120 exhibitors, selling Maine-made wares from distinctive pottery to sweet jams and jellies. The show is put on by United Maine Craftsmen, a nonprofit that provides venues for local crafters and artisans to showcase and sell their work.

According to Aletha Boyle, craft show director and vice president of United Maine Craftsmen, all the vendors live in Maine and craft their works within the state. “We’re very stringent in our rules,” said Boyle. “Everything has to be made by the crafter. And not simple assembly, something that’s a creation.”

Other items available for sale include jewelry, fine art, photographs, baskets, hand-blown glass, knitted hats and scarves and unique lamp shades.

There won’t be many popsicle stick picture frames at this craft fair. But there will be plenty of artistic creations that attendees can be proud to buy to keep or give as gifts.

“You can go to that craft show and you know that you’ll find heirlooms and things that’ll be treasured for years to come,” Boyle said. In addition, shoppers are supporting local artists.

Boyle herself sells pet ornaments and will even personalize one for a pooch right there on the spot.

Throughout the fair there will also be giveaways, said Boyle, and they aren’t the re-gifting kind. Fair vendors donate items — sometimes several — to the raffle. Each attendee gets a ticket upon entering and winners are announced every hour.

“The winners are always shocked by all the stuff they get,” said Boyle. “They are just amazed, they get this shopping bag of stuff.” Attendees can also enter to win a $100 Visa gift card.

While not everyone will walk away with freebies, Boyle noted that the prices at the craft show are always reasonable. There are higher-end pieces of fine art to more-affordable knits, jewelry and pet accoutrements.

“It’s worth the trip,” said Boyle. “You won’t find a nicer, more beautiful craft show this time of year, with everything made in Maine.”

While in Augusta, craft fair patrons can head over to the Augusta Armory (179 Western Ave., Augusta) a few miles away for the Early Christmas Craft Show happening the same weekend. The show is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and features craftspeople from Maine and New England. Craft-buyers can find items such as finished and unfinished wood, gourmet fudge, quilts, fine art and photography, soaps and jewelry.

Both fairs offer an array of locally made treasures ideal for the gift-giving season, because handmade items come from the heart, even if you’re not the one who made it. There’s no shame in buying a little something for yourself, either.

Staff Writer Shannon Bryan can be contacted at 791-6333 or at:

[email protected]