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Artists join together for holiday sales
Artists across the island are finding new ways to connect with holiday shoppers this season.
Markets and stores in the community have kicked it into gear for the holiday season.
At Country Christmas at the Fair, 44 vendors are lined up to sell everything from stocking stuffers to vintage collectibles.
Soap, handcrafted ornaments, and crocheted goods are some of the items offered this year. The crafts range anywhere from $5 to about $60 in addition to art gallery pieces.
“I’m amazed at the quality of stuff we have to offer,” said organizer Barb Pearson.
The sale has been going for about 25 years. This year, Pearson aimed for a different layout that combines items from different artists rather than separating them by vendor.
“What’s unique is that it’s a blended show. People walk in and it’s like walking into a gift boutique,” Pearson said.
Pearson said she is looking forward to people supporting local artists in the community. The market also includes photos with Santa Claus, face painting and tractor hay rides.
Proceeds from the event will benefit scholarships for high school students through the Island County Fair Association.
The boutique will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, and Sunday, Dec. 8, in the Coffman Building at the fairgrounds, 819 Camano Ave., Langley.
Another offering of local artists has appeared in Freeland for six weeks — Eddy’s Repurposed. The store is a reincarnation of the former Eddy’s in Langley, which sold organic cotton T-shirts with images on the front by Whidbey artists of all ages.
Harriet Behncke, co-owner of the store, said over the five years the store was open, it garnered a following that has been reprised through the pop-up version.
The pop-up store includes items from about 25 artists around the island and includes wearable art, dish towels, glass art, children’s books, jewelry and other oddities. The artists also help tend the store, working in shifts.
“It’s a real cooperative effort,” she said. “Many have rolled up their sleeves to help in every area.”
For crafter Barbara MacCallum, the store has provided a great space to sell her items.
MacCallum made crafts including croquet balls along with vases and candlestick holders made from globes, to journals made from board games and pillows made from shirts, which also provide a handy pocket for essential items such as remote controls.
MacCallum said people have been enjoying gifts from the store, many of which are crafted from another item.
Having the pop-up store available is “fabulous,” she said. With other markets she usually finds herself hauling all of her items at the beginning and end of each day. But with the pop-up store she can leave her crafts and make more as they sell.
Select items at the store also benefit three organizations. Proceeds from silver gelatin prints by Penny Kaela Bauer and body products by The Fay Farm benefit Good Cheer. Hand-blown glass decorations from Glass Eye Studio in Seattle were donated to benefit the Island Shakespeare Festival.
The store will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, at 1594 Main St., Freeland.
Special events will also take place featuring items from different artists throughout that time. From 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, Meredith MacLeod and Peggy Juve will showcase their wearable art.