Bazaar season begins

Jill Payne puts finishing touches on her display of Nutcrackers at the Officers’ Spouses Club holiday bazaar Saturday. Kathy Reed/Whidbey Crosswind

Officers’ Spouses Club gets season rolling

Forget Black Friday. Oak Harbor’s holiday bazaar shopping season has begun and the Officers’ Spouses Club of Whidbey Island helped lead the way.

The group held its annual holiday bazaar Saturday at the Roller Barn, boasting about 30 vendors with all manner of items.

The Officers’ Spouses Group of VQ-1 offered customized travel mugs for sale. Kathy Reed/Whidbey Crosswind

The Officer Spouses Group from Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron (VQ) 1 offered a new-to-the-group item this year — customized travel mugs with changeable inserts. Melissa Wissel, wife of VQ-1 commanding officer, Cmdr. Jeffrey Wissel, said they were really excited about the group’s choice this year.

“We try something different every year and you never know how it’s going to go,” she said. “If this is successful, absolutely I’d say it’s something we’d do again next year.”

Profits from VQ-1’s booth will go to support the sailors in the squadron and their spouses.

Kathy Johnson of Anacortes was a first-time vendor at the OSCWI bazaar.  She was selling note cards with photos she had taken, dessert pedestals and customized coaster sets.

“I wanted to try this show because it’s been around a long time and I knew there were a lot of vendors,” she said.

Kathy Johnson of Anacortes talks with someone about her hand-made coasters at the Officers' Spouses Club holiday Bazaar Saturday in Oak Harbor. Kathy Reed/Whidbey Crosswind

There was no shortage of creativity on display.

Jill Payne, wife of Lt. Cmdr. Richard Payne, put a new twist on nutcrackers that many on Whidbey Island could identify with by dressing them in flight suits instead of traditional nutcracker “uniforms.”  Her idea came to her a couple of years ago while decorating a squadron wreath for the Officers’ Club on Naval Air Station Whidbey Island.

“I had volunteered to make the wreath and it was finished, but I felt like there was something missing,” Payne said. “I had a small, unfinished nutcracker and I painted a flight suit on it and attached it to the wreath.”

Payne customized each nutcracker as they were sold, attaching the appropriate squadron logo and painting the wings and rank on each.

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