By Sharyn Cornelius
One of the most fun things about attending arts and crafts bazaars like the Whitmore Volunteer Fire Company’s Christmas Bazaar on Dec. 5 at the Community Center is seeing all the creativity expressed in the wares offered for sale. The four rows of tables were filled with displays of sparkling handmade jewelry and colorful crocheted or plush blankets. There were also a few commercial vendors selling products such as Sentsy flameless candles and Damsel in Defense pepper spray dispensers. But I was drawn to the unique, one-of a kind exhibits.
Some of the most unusual and colorful art found at Whitmore’s Bazaar were the mosaics made by April Avalon, daughter of longtime Oak Run resident Pat Ankerberg. Avalon said she had been doing mosaics for about 15 years and learned the art from her grandmother. She started out making garden art, but has now branched out to decorating vases, goblets, cups, bottles. “I’ll mosaic anything,” she said with a laugh. To view Avalon’s work online go to avalondelights.com
Another creative booth was Toffee Girl candies. Proprietor Lora told us she had always wanted to work from home so decided to take advantage of the new state law passed in 2012 allowing cottage food operators to sell their homemade creations in both retail and wholesale markets. She makes toffee in nine different flavors, including espresso (to die for!), coconut, pretzel, bacon and pina colada. She sells her candy at Enjoy the Store in Redding or online at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We also admired the exquisite toll painting by Jeannine Theobold of Whitmore. Her two friends, Kim and Tanja, were minding the booth for her when we stopped by. They said she does this for fun and also does “serious painting.”
Event organizer Jeri Johnson said she had quite a few last minute cancellations from vendors, but none of them asked for their money back, saying they were glad to make a donation to such a good cause.