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Annual Holiday Bazaar Kicks Off Fall Season
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Manning a table in one of the craft rooms at the Farmington United Methodist Church on Saturday, Bob Carreiro of Stockton makes the creations out of old fence posts, finding a new hobby for his retirement years. Marg Jackson/The Times


A sure sign of fall – and the fast-approaching holidays – the Farmington United Methodist Church hosted its annual holiday bazaar and soup luncheon on Saturday, Oct. 17.

While diners gathered in the kitchen-dining room area of the Elm Street church in Farmington, others took time to visit each of several church classrooms, jam packed with handmade items, food, novelties and more. One room was dedicated to the work of the Farmington United Methodist Women, and Deanna Bell of Farmington was holding down the fort there.

“For the last 10 years,” Bell said of being involved with the bazaar. “All the things here were made by the church ladies, we have potholders, dish cloths, embroidered dish towels, blankets, aprons, baby gifts.”

Many of the church members contributed items for the sale, with proceeds benefiting the church and its programs. Though one room is dedicated solely to the ‘church ladies,’ others housed area crafters that paid a fee to set up shop for the day.

Among them were youngsters Isabell Spaulding, 7, and brother Alex Stone, 9, both of Ceres, offering Halloween-themed cupcakes and candy.

“She bought one for herself,” mom Zshnette Spaulding-Stone said of her daughter, chuckling about eating the profits.

Elsewhere, there were stained glass creations, handmade wooden decorations and more.

Stockton resident Margie Santos offered a variety of stylish handbags, made out of plastic grocery store bags, tightly tied together to create a strong, durable carryall.

Tiered Creations by Liz Vasquez of Stockton, featured a variety of serving trays and platters.

“When I’m out, I find plates, dishes, I bring them home and create,” said Vasquez.

Old fence posts are the primary material for Bob Carreiro of Stockton, who fashions them into decorative wood pieces, birdhouses and wall hangings.

“Not even a year,” he said of how long he has been involved in the new hobby/business. “I’m retired so I’m just fooling around with it.”

Added wife Ginell, “It keeps him out of trouble.”

Anita Cota had a number of handcrafted items for sale as well, including polyester-fleece filled stuffed animals.

“They’re all machine washable,” she said. “Kids love them; they can throw them and nobody gets hurt.”

Farmington’s holiday bazaar was the first of many that will be offered in and around the region throughout the next couple of months.