The holiday shopping season kicked off on Beaver Island today, with the annual Christmas bazaar. Sponsored by the Beaver Island Christian Church, and held in their Fellowship Hall, it’s a great opportunity to see the products of many island artists and craftspeople. There is live music, and a good selection of hot soups for lunch. There are more gift ideas than I need, this year when I’ve promised myself to cut back. It was a fun day.
I attended this year as a vendor. It’s been many years since I’ve done that. I find it excruciating to sit peddling my own work. I’m terrified people will not like what they see. It embarrasses me to see people try to walk past without making eye contact. If they stop, I refuse to try to convince them of its merits, to the point where I humiliate myself. I understand that my style of artwork is not for everyone. I simply do not enjoy being present for it.
I think the last time I had a table at the bazaar, I was selling a mass of winter hats that I crocheted. I thought that would be easier that sitting with my abstract paintings and collages. It was, a little. Still, it wasn’t fun.
Today, I was at the bazaar for the benefit of my cousin, Mary. She sews beautifully, and had, at my request, sent me a selection of her things. Her mittens are made of recycled sweaters, and lined in cozy fleece. Her large tote bags are sewn from vintage tapestries, meticulously lined with complimentary fabrics. As I was crazy about her products, but had no personal investment in them, none of my usual discomfort applied.
There was a steady stream of people coming through. Sales were good. Everyone was in high spirits. I managed to get a little of my own Christmas shopping done. The soup was delicious, and the music was wonderful. I had a good time!