Coupeville Arts and Crafts Festival gets added element: rain

B.L. Pemberton demonstrates a blessing using sage and a feather to clear negative energy. As part Cherokee, she specializes in Native American crafts.  - Liz Burlingame/Whidbey News-Times
B.L. Pemberton demonstrates a blessing using sage and a feather to clear negative energy. As part Cherokee, she specializes in Native American crafts.
— image credit: Liz Burlingame/Whidbey News-Times

Twangy guitar sounds, fresh gyros and Northwest paintings sated each of the senses at Saturday’s Coupeville Arts and Crafts Festival; however, one of the show’s most creative players was the weather.

Sporadic showers had vendors and visitors scuttling for shelter, then reemerging minutes later with their purchases wrapped tightly in garbage bags.

For the hundreds who milled from booth to booth Saturday, the weather wasn’t much of a deterrent, just an annoyance.

“It could be better weather, but so far I’ve eaten, bought my funky yard art and some chocolate,” said Tom Ferris , motioning to his iron-wrought sculpture.

Each tent contained a mix of unusual treasures and pieces made by professional artisans.

B.L. Pemberton, of Freeland, offered a spread of sacred tools smudged and blessed, used for ceremony, dance and prayer work.

One of her Native American rattles was made from a tortoise shell, with an authentic, deer leg handle.

“In 1984 I got asthma and the Great Spirit told me to make a rattle to focus on my breathing,” Pemberton said.

She demonstrated to a customer how to burn sage and use a feather to clear negative energy.

Oak Harbor couple TC and Lin Robertson collaborated on glass blown sculptures. TC is the ceramic engineer and Lin sandblasted many of the light fixtures.

Their glass flowers, which appeared to be reflecting and refracting light, were actually torches used for gardens and patios.

Beyond the buzz of families chatting and eager hagglers, rich music flowed from the hilltop from artists such as Locust Street Taxi, Danny Ward and Shakeh.

Surrounding the stage were eclectic food booths. Bangkok Bistro had fine Thai cuisine and seafood and booth “Wazzup Lumpia” offered pansit and nacho cheese, two radically different dishes, under one plastic roof.

Smells also lured customers into the “Sweet Sisters” booth, where they could find natural face care products and body butter.

The small business was originally started for teenage sisters Terra and Rohanna Wildon to buy their own horses.

“And after they bought the horses, it kind of blossomed into this,” Karen Wilson said.

The trio made a unique, organic laundry liquid from an oversized pot, that people could have refilled. As a way to help the environment, Wilson said.

Many out-of-towners, including Lorraine DeVries and Harlean Visser of Everett, were impressed by the deals and the character of the area.

“I really love this island,” Visser said. “I’m just browsing today, but I do have some money in my back pocket.”

By late afternoon, the rain went from mild to nonexistent, and overcast skies were overshadowed by the festival colors. And ending band, Spoonshine, brought the energy, with their combination of world beat and happy rock.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the Oct 26
Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates