By Jaymie White Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
PORT AUX BASQUES – As part of Come Home Year 2022, the Community Market took place at the Bruce II Sports Centre between 12:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. last Wednesday. Local vendors presented a fantastic showing of handmade crafts, jewelry, candles, paintings and the like for the crowd to pour over while listening to the live music.
One vendor, Kathleen Buchanan, had a table displaying diamond paintings and costume jewelry, some of which she made herself. Buchanan said this is her first time as a vendor at a Come Home Year Event.
“It’s nice to see so many people,” said Buchanan. “We go to the Christmas events at the Lion’s Club. It’s busier with the Christmas ones. There’s no big crowds at any point, but there has been a steady flow of people.”
Buchanan said she has been enjoying Come Home Year so far.
“I’ve been taking in a lot of the events. It’s nice to have so much family home. That’s the best part, seeing family.”
Tables were set up, not just for individuals selling their wares, but for small businesses as well.
Wildflower Co. had numerous all-natural skin care items for sale such as soaps, bug balm, body oils, body scrubs, soaking salts, and face masks. Owner Justine Anderson, said she originally started the business in Port Aux Basques, but she is now located in the Codroy Valley.
“We use a lot of locally foraged wildflowers as well as plants that we grow in our own garden. We pride ourselves in using all-organic ingredients, as much as possible. We use very low scent. We only use essential oils, no fragrances.”
Anderson also debuted a brand-new soap for the occasion, to commemorate the Town of Port Aux Basques, the community that helped her launch Wildflower Co. The soap is peppermint and clay infused with local wildflowers and comes in a variety of rock shapes, but if you didn’t move fast, you were sure to miss out, as it was a hit at the Community Market.
“The Grey Foggy Day soap has been very popular because it’s very, of Port Aux Basques. It’s reminiscent of being here.”
Anderson said she has never been at a Come Home Year event before, but it’s been a great experience.
“I started in 2016. This is my first big Come Home Year event. I started at Scott’s Cove. Every summer I would go set up there. It’s been wonderful. It’s so nice to see so many people around. Everybody is in the spirit of celebrating their love of Newfoundland and Labrador.”
Triquetra Creative Arts were also enjoying their first time at Come Home Year craft fair as well. Jim and Yvonne Lane began their business just under a year ago, and the main focus is all things geek, gamer, and fandom.
Spread across their table, they had tabletop roleplaying accessories such as dice and dice towers, wooden welcome home signs, resin artwork, headset stands, ornaments and more.
“We have a little bit of everything. We started out about a year ago and really focused on gaming and geekery, all those fun things, like video games and Dungeons and Dragons, anything geek related,” said Jim.
Everything on the table, with the exception of the dice towers, are all his own designs. Some items were made in molds while others, like the towers, were 3D printed.
“We hand paint them, and all the other things we have here, in wood, 3D prints, and resin are all my own designs,” said Jim. “We can also do a lot of custom work as well.”
They are currently working on their own website where people can view and purchase their work online.
“This was our very first event for Come Home Year. It’s actually our very first local show. We’ve only actually done one other,” said Jim. “We did Gander Geek Fest, and we have a couple of other ones in the fall. We’re going to CaperCon in Sydney and Atlantic-Con in Corner Brook, but this is our home craft fair in Port Aux Basques. It’s been a very good experience, a lot of positivity, a lot of people really interested in what we do and, because I do a lot of my own designs, a lot of people ask me about potential custom work.”
The Bruce II offered more than the Community Market that day, they also had a Kid’s Gym where parents could take their children to have some fun before heading back outside in the heat to take in the rest of the Come Home Year events.