Hand-crafted illuminating shell trees won’t be the only beautiful item that can be found at the Christmas Craft Extravaganza next weekend.
It’s the sixth annual event held by the Oceanside Grandmothers to Grandmothers (G2G) and the group’s largest annual fundraising event. It takes place Friday, November 29 from 2 until 7 p.m. and Saturday November 30 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
All funds collected at the event, held at the Quality Inn Bayside, are in support of the Stephen Lewis Foundation which aids African Grandmothers caring for children who have been orphaned by the AIDS pandemic and those who have been affected by the disease in that country.
Shoppers will find colourful cloth tote bags and the African Christmas Angel ornaments, each one hand-made and named after an African child who has died of AIDS.
There will be hand crafted Christmas wreaths both alive and artificial, knitted items, jewelry made by women in Africa, driftwood birdhouses, cards, journals, quilts, gingerbread houses and more, including many Christmas stocking ideas.
Kids will love the wizard capes with wands that one of the Grandmothers made this year.
A silent auction will take place to bid on the shell Christmas trees, which took local Grandmothers many hours to create. The shells were collected from local beaches, soaked and dried, and glued on to a base fitted with lights and topped with beads and jewelry. Starfish were collected from beaches to adorn the trees and some were crafted out of clay.
“Each little part is like a story if you really look at them,” said Olivia Mennie, member of the G2G and local artist. Mennie teaches art classes from her studio in Parksville, which was used to make the shell trees.
The Grandmothers will also have their Christmas cakes, breads, all sorts of baking as well as refreshments at the event.
Live music will contribute to a fun shopping atmosphere during the fundraiser, and female country music group Moonshine Mollys from Cedar will play Friday at 5:30 p.m. There will also be live music on Saturday.
The fundraiser raised $16,000 last year and Grandmothers are keen to raise as much as they can this year to help Grandmothers in Africa.
Admission is free. For more on the Oceanside G2G visit www.oceansideg2g.ca.