Raeville Welcomes New Gift Shop

prairie-house-gifts-elgin-review-20157378A “great idea” swirling in her head for years has finally become a reality for Raeville resident Karen Siems.
Know by many for her award-winning works of leather art, Siems will add the title of Shop Owner to her resumé.
“It’s been an accrued thing over the years,” said Siems on Monday of her desire to open a shop. “Its just finally happening.”
With the opening scheduled for this Saturday and Sunday, April 25 and 26, final touches are being completed on the east side of Siems’ home. Posts for a rail along the few steps up to the door are being put up and they have revamped their enclosed east porch, adding shelving that is stocked with items and named it Prairie House Gifts.
“I had my leatherwork for sale at the Wildwood Gift Barn (in Nebraska City),” Siems said. Then her nephew opened a gift shop also in Nebraska City. Those two experiences motivated her to follow through on her shop idea.
“I wanted a showcase for our local people to show their works,” she said.
At this time, Siems is featuring local work by five area artists. Eventually she plans to add a website that will also feature the works found in Prairie House Gifts.
Along with Siems leather art (unique creations) and leather crafts (repeats of a pattern), visitors to her shop will find stained glass art by Dennis and Mary Mattner, specialty sewing by Kate’s Treadle Treasures (aprons & more sewn items), fleece Cuddle Blankets by Joan Mattner and prints by photographer Jack Nordeen.
Other gift shop items she carries includes souvenirs for visitors. “We get a lot of visitors who stop to see the church (St. Bonaventure),” she said. At this time,  Raeville-themed items are T-shirts and koozies. Stop by and you’ll find a selection of spice mug mats (scented mats that release aroma as a hot item sits on it), greeting cards, jewelry and note pad/pens with coordinated tea towels.
Prairie House Gifts will be opening this weekend, April 25 and 26, with Saturday hours of 1 to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. These weekend days and hours will continue to be their normal hours. To set up an appointment or for more information, Siems can be reached at 402-386-5206.