Nancy Elwood always had an artistic side. She drew in high school, learned calligraphy and watercolor painting. That was put on hold as she worked in a number of jobs, including sales with Hickory Farms, a cookie bouquet company and her own soap operation.
She developed sales knowledge while helping to clear a family estate. After her father died, and her mother’s dementia progressed, she sought an outlet for the stress of being a caregiver.
Nancy soon discovered a knack for upcycling discarded items or garage sale bargains into three-dimensional art pieces – some festive or beach-themed, others whimsical.
“I am not a fine artist, though I have taken some classes,” she said. After her mother died, she and husband Wes moved from Portland to Ocean Park, Washington.
Now semi-retired, the pair set up a couple of studios to practice their arts as Boondocks Vintique, a name combining vintage and antique. Wes Elwood creates sturdy art items from welding together old railroad spikes and horseshoes. Nancy has a separate studio packed with her crafts.
She savors the challenge. “This is my little puzzle. What am I going to turn that into?” she said, gesturing around packed wall displays which range from a miniature Marilyn Monroe tribute to a bucket of sand dollars adorned with glitter. “The reward is to use the creative part of my brain and try new things,” she added.
TrendThe pair’s work will be featured at a gift bazaar on the Long Beach Peninsula this weekend. The event is spearheaded by Jan Bono, a local author and retired teacher. To make sales and connect to her readers, she sells them from booths at regional events.
With the help of the Elwoods and more than a dozen local artists, she is putting together a large-scale holiday event, set to be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Peninsula Church Center in Seaview.
Bono promotes the event as a Uniquely Local Quality Crafts Holiday Gift Bazaar. “The holiday gift-giving trend is to get back to handmade items, as opposed to an impersonal gift card, or just clicking a product online.” she said.
“Bazaars can be a win-win-win. The buyer gets to give a unique handmade item to a loved one, they support our local crafters and the makers now have a little spare room at home to happily make some more.”
FoodBono will attend with her books, including six mystery novels set in Long Beach and two more recent works. Lorna Hansen, of Long Beach, and her daughter, Kim, will offer reimagined jewelry.
A portion of their sales will benefit the Grassroots Garbage Gang, a volunteer group that cleans peninsula beaches four times a year.
Other participants include Ocean Park painters Kathryn Murdock and Gloria Martin, as well as chainsaw artist Blaine Gunkel. John Holman will have magnetic signs, Joan Porter will have Christmas decorations, Cathy Hamilton will display art crafted with seashells and Don Perry will feature metalwork with nature motifs.
Naselle artist Judy Jeffrey will bring crossbody strap purses and Dee Anttonen will create epoxy tumblers and pens.
As well as art, there will be food to take home. Erin Glenn from Cranguyma Farms will provide fresh local cranberries, John Good will offer scones and cookies, Amy Cords has marina sauce, Denise LaRochelle has jams and pickles and Ivan Sultan of Astoria will provide black garlic energy bars. Another Clatsop County participant is Jeff Skotland of Cannon Beach, who takes nature and wildlife photographs.
OrdersBono, the organizer, tried to invite artists with different craft styles. “Most vendors are happy to take special orders, and having this bazaar on Nov. 4 and 5 gives them time to make that happen before Dec. 25 arrives.”
Safety will be in mind. “We’d like to call this a post-pandemic bazaar, but there will be sanitizer available at the door, and masks are certainly encouraged,” she said.