Making and meeting: Grayson woman gives friends crafting instruction, a place to gather

Aug. 26—GRAYSON — As a retired nurse, Vicki Boster is adept at helping people.

But she's found a new way to do it.

Boster, who earned her nursing degree from Morehead State University, worked in the neo-natal nursery at Cabell Huntington Hospital for 43 years. Now, she works on the deck of her house sharing crafting ideas with friends, many of them she met during her medical career.

Toni Jobe of Grayson said she met Boster through her husband, who also worked at Cabell. She recently attended what Boster calls Vicki's Back Deck Workshop to make a pillow cover decorated with flowers made from strips of material.

"I come because I have FOMO — Fear of Missing out," Jobe said.

Others agreed, but reasons for attending vary.

Grayson resident Dawn Watson said she started crafting with Boster after having back surgery.

"I've seen people here I know from around. I've seen them around but didn't really know them," Watson said. "This is the home for old, retired and disabled nurses."

The women gather on the deck, beautifully decorated with a variety of plants and lights. A potluck dinner comes first. Boster waits on her participants and gives some explanation about the craft they'll do that evening. If the weather doesn't cooperate, the group meets in the garage. Tables await, bearing all the supplies needed to complete the craft. Regardless of the setting, you might see a chicken or a cat strolling through, but they pay no mind to visitors. They're used to them.

Many are regulars, but the group varies some. Crafts they've made include wreaths, fabric pumpkins, cornucopia, pigment-dyed aprons and miniature. Sometimes, there is sewing involved. In fact, they've done crafting that includes embroidery and knitting, but much of it simply makes use of fabric glue.

"We all start with the same materials, but everybody puts their own touch on it. Each piece turns out different," Boster said.

She said she's constantly looking for ideas, collecting materials and preparing them for workshops. She gets her ideas from all over.

"I might see something in a magazine and like it and start thinking about how we can make it," she said, noting from idea to reality can take a year or two. "I try to be thrifty and cut corners when I can."

Boster was surprised to learn how deeply crafting runs in the family.

"I knew my mom had a shop and sold craft items and had a floral shop in the back," she said. "Then at one of the workshops I found out my mom did workshops. She had this whole life I didn't know about."

She said she can't predict what workshops will be most popular.

"There is always a workshop that explodes and you never know which it's going to be," she said.

Attendees appreciate the work and the ability that goes into the workshops.

"Vicki is so talented and she loves to share her talents," Ann Webb of Kenova said.

Avid crafter Fran Sites of Kenova agreed.

"She brings life to whatever we're working on," she said.

Jeanie Wallace of Grayson enjoys the needlework.

"I love embroidery and knitting," Wallace said. "They are great skills and people don't teach them anymore."

Boster's husband, Dan, doesn't mind that a dozen or so women descend on his home so frequently, sometimes more than once a week. In fact, he helps his wife make it possible.

"I couldn't do it without him," she said. "He helps me set up tables and get things ready."

There is a fee for the class, depending on the materials required, but Boster said she doesn't make money from offering the classes.

"Women need this. Women take care of everybody else all the time," she said. "That's the number one reason I do this. We need it."

Patty Moore, who comes from Catlettsburg, said that's true.

"For me, it's a super treat just to come out," she said. "It's like a door of sunshine just opened up."