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Mask maker’s list included Santa Claus

By CAROL SONES SHETLER - Reporter | Oct 5, 2020

PHOTO PROVIDED Kenna Fisher and Karen Brandis of Picture Rocks were the granddaughter - grandmother duo creating more than 75 face coverings for family and friends.

PICTURE ROCKS – Teachers, family, friends and Santa Claus were among those for whom about 75 face coverings were sewed as protections from spreading Covid-19. The coverings were cooperatively made by nine-year-old Kenna Fisher, her mother Jennifer, and grandmother Karen Brandis of Picture Rocks.

“Covid hit while we were in Florida, so Kenna and her mom began making masks after taking a pattern off the internet. As Jennifer works in the heath care industry she needed a special mask, so for others, they began sewing,” Karen said.

As school closed in mid-March and Karen was back home, the three generations of women set up a production line. Soon, Kenna and Gram were off to purchase fabric at Clarkstown’s Ben Franklin. Kenna said that, “Our entire family are Penn State Ninety Lions and Green Bay Packer football team fans, so we have material with their logos. My other favorites are prints of dogs and chickens.” Kenna said.

Additional fabrics include baseballs, manatees, deer, camouflage, and much more, In fact, the basement production room holds a drying rack draped with fabrics the seamstresses hope will not be needed for mask making to protect from the virus.

Kenna is accustomed to machine sewing as two years ago she received her very own Singer, a gift from her grandmother. “At first it took us a while to make the masks, but we finally got the time down to fifteen minutes,” Kenna said. All mask fabrics are pre-washed to avoid shrinkage.

Photo provided Santa and Mrs. Claus pose wearing one of three sets of face masks made with holiday themed fabric for the famous couple by Kenna Fisher and her grandmother Karen Brandis, both of Picture Rocks.

In further explaining the project, the grandma said, “We bought elastic by the yard and in some instances used legging material which stretches and also make strings that tie. We’ve used T-shirts and also bandannas that if laid out carefully, can be cut to get four masks each, with other fabric for backing. Some masks are form fitting like shields, while others are made in a triangle to allow for beards or those who don’t like tight confinement for breathing.”

Speaking of beards, word of the cottage industry had spread to Santa Claus who requested his order shipped to a Florida address. We speculate that as CEO of the holiday gifting season, Santa is teleconferencing with his elves at the North Pole, overseeing production of toys and other items via long distance

Wondering if the virus situation will allow pre-holiday in-person visits with children, Santa and Mrs. Claus were sent three matching face coverings each. The various holiday designs included candy canes on a dark background; and thinking of Mrs. Claus, a cookie print. The third was a white background fabric printed with white swirls much like the jolly-old-elf’s beard.

Other activities to keep the energetic, vivacious girl occupied during the early spring and summer hiatus, was building a coup and filling it with chickens. Kenna identified varieties of chickens with her favorite being “Buttercup” of the Isa Brown breed. “We have peeps, teenagers and adults with five now laying eggs, and all of them have names,” Kenna said.

The youngster dreams of being a veterinarian and is undaunted as to the additional eight years of schooling it will require.

In addition to all the above, the youngster had a display of paintings and loom weavings. “I call Kenna Little Karen as she’s so much like her grandma,” chimed in grandpa Glenn, noting artistic abilities must be in the women’s DNA. Karen is a self-taught painter whose outdoor garden is decorated with painted rocks. “I enjoy looking for unusual shaped stones and imagining how they can be enhanced with paint,” Karen said.

Of her history in sewing Karen said, “I learned from my mother and grandmother, was in a Brownie Troop and had Home Economics in school. That’s what girls did then.”

When school reopened, Kenna went back to playing soccer, softball, and additionally she’s a trophy winner in swimming.

Karen and Glenn Brandis are Florida natives who’ve lived many years in this area. Karen retired from Muncy Bank & Company.