Bazaars help artisans, shoppers get in the holiday spirit early

Bazaars help artisans, shoppers get in the holiday spirit early

lpemberton@theolympian.comOctober 6, 2013 

Those leaves on the ground and crisp autumn mornings mean one thing for Janet Kiltoff: It’s time to get crafty.

Every year, the retired state worker creates handmade soaps and candles to sell at South Sound bazaars, and the production line began last week in her kitchen.

“With the economy the way it is, I think a lot of seniors are doing bazaars in hopes to make a little extra money for Christmas,” said Kiltoff, 67, of Olympia. “I feel good about the products that I make, and I enjoy working with my hands. And I like to make kids smile and laugh when they come to the bazaars and see my things.”

Thurston County is home to dozens of holiday bazaars. Some of the events have been going on for decades, such as the Colonial Estates Holiday Bazaar and Bake Sale, which will be Nov. 9 at 3700 14th Ave. SE, Olympia.

“It’s just been an essential part of the community, probably since the inception, and that was back in the 1980s,” said organizer Genie Johnston. “It’s very well-received. We get an awful lot of people going through.”

Residents in the 55-and-up modular home park contribute to the bake sale, and those who want to create items to sell are welcome to do so.

Each year, about 20 vendors participate, Johnston said.

“Everything we have is homemade, individually, made by the vendor,” she said.

Shoppers can find wares such as quilts, birdhouses, baskets and stained-glass items. The event raises money for Colonial Estates Homeowners Association, which uses the money for special projects, Johnston said.

“A couple of years ago, we had our lovely piano tuned professionally,” she said. “We’ve purchased a barbecue for the patio, and we also purchased a new sound system for our homeowner meetings.”

The event is one of Kiltoff’s favorite bazaars to sell and shop at during the holiday season.

“You can look around and enjoy what other people have made, and you can find things that are really unique that you can’t find in stores,” Kiltoff said.

Lisa Pemberton: 360-754-5433 @Lisa_Pemberton

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