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Jewelry and candles and toys ...

Shop 'til you drop as Harvest Bazaar season kicks off this weekend


Photo Credit: THE OUTLOOK: TROY WAYRYNEN - Andrej Bolotow of Gresham creates decorative eggs with intricate designs. They are made with goose eggs.

Santa may be resting up for his one-night world tour, but his elves have been laboring around the clock to assemble an amazing assortment of handcrafted gifts for this year’s Harvest Bazaar season.

From handmade dolls and children’s toys, to stunning gemstone jewelry and home decor, you’re sure to find something for everyone on your holiday shopping list — even the naughty ones!

So while the calendar may say it’s the Season of the Witch, the real question is “witch” bazaar to attend?

One of the area’s longest running holiday bazaars is marking its 50th anniversary this season at the Gresham Elks Lodge. Members of the Gresham Women of the Elks sponsor the annual event as a fundraiser for their charities, as well as those of the lodge. Traditionally held the first weekend in December, the affair was moved to an earlier date this year to avoid competition with the World’s Largest Christmas Bazaar at the Portland Expo Center. The non-juried show will feature more than 40 handcraft and boutique vendors.

Photo Credit: THE OUTLOOK: TROY WAYRYNEN - Burdetta Foreman, Gresham Women of the Elks president, left, and Sandy Lowe, bazaar coordinator for the past six years, remember when the event was held at the Elks former lodge on Northwest Eastman Parkway and Division Street.  This holiday season marks the 50th anniversary for the groups bazaar. “Attendance was down last year, so we decided to do something different,” said Sandy Lowe, bazaar coordinator the past six years. “This is the first time we’ve opened it up to boutique vendors, but I’ve got a good feeling about this year.”

Regular shoppers will remember artist Andrej Bolotow, who is returning for his 20th season, with a wonderful display of hand-decorated goose eggs.

Bolotow, 86, is a Gresham Elk who learned the delicate art of egg decorating after immigrating from Yugoslavia in 1950.

“Some call it Faberge, but these aren’t Faberge,” he said, laughing. “Those are Russian and have diamonds and pearls.”

Still, Bolotow’s intricate designs are collectible works of art. Embellished with paint, jewels and a few with lights, the handcrafted eggs feature miniature scenes visible through small hand-cut windows. Intended as tabletop decorations, Bolotow’s goose eggs range in size and price, depending on the level of embellishment. Some are attached to music boxes. Bolotow also offers a line of tree ornament eggs, equally as delicate and unique.

Another familiar purveyor at the Elks bazaar is East County resident Nancy Paul, who began handcrafting jewelry long before it became trendy. Photo Credit: THE OUTLOOK: TROY WAYRYNEN - Jewelry artist Nancy Paul creates fresh-water pearl jewelry necklaces, earrings and bracelets.

“I knew in high school I wasn’t going to be a secretary — it’s that simple,” she said. “I started with a jewelry kit, and I’ve been going ever since.”

A 10-year vendor at the Elks bazaar, Paul uses seed pearls, jade, amethyst and other gemstones to create stunning necklaces, bracelets and earrings. She works closely with Japanese importers to acquire high-quality pearls, which are woven into one-of-a-kind necklaces that are classic in design or worthy of making a statement.

Paul is an 18-year member of the Elks. She is also a Grand Lodge vendor, meaning she is licensed to sell trademarked items with the Elks’ ensignia, such as glassware.

For the second year, papercrafter Diane Kidder brings a wonderfully whimsical line of gift boxes and bags, along with greeting cards, from her cottage company Kidder Designs. Recently retired from the medical field after 51 years, Kidder calls the creation of her paper goods “therapy.”

Photo Credit: THE OUTLOOK: TROY WAYRYNEN - Diane Kidder, with Kidder Designs, fabricates decorative cards and boxes in various sizes, shapes, colors and patterns. Tiny gift boxes and paper purses are perfect for a small trinket, while miniature notepads make a great stocking stuffer or a place to keep your holiday shopping list. (It should be noted Kidder carries an equal number of Ducks and Beavers covered notepads.) Handmade greeting cards for any occasion are blank inside on purpose, Kidder said, adding that an assortment of pre-made sentiments are available to personalize the card on the spot.

The Gresham Women of the Elks Holiday Bazaar runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 15, at the lodge, 3330 N.E. Division St. Admission is three cans of food or a cash donation, which supports the Elks’ Christmas Basket program. Don’t miss the quilt raffle, home-baked goods in the Gingerbread House or the cantina for a fresh sandwich and bowl of homemade soup. Proceeds from the event benefit the Elks Children’s Eye Clinic, Meadowood Springs Speech Camp, Zarephath Kitchen and pantry, and other charities.

For more information, call the Elks at 503-666-1805.

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