Being a military spouse you hear things from your girlfriends about these "Holiday/Yuletide Bazaars" that are held at overseas bases, they are said to be the end all be all of holiday shopping experiences. Oh I had been so envious of my girlfriends whose husbands had overseas assignments that were able to first off be overseas and live the life and secondly for being able to shop at these "holiday bazaars".
My girlfriends would tell these fun stories about how they got their Polish Pottery (it was such a novelty item 14 -15 years ago) or their tapestry rugs and wrought iron pieces from Turkey, their handsome furniture pieces from Germany and their bone china service from England. There we were, assigned to a duty station in the Midwest- we had a whole lot of Tex Mex food and that was about it. To be honest, we lived in Abilene for 7 years and the only furniture we bought was a bed and a dresser for Andrew that we ordered from a company in Maine (we love handcrafted maple furniture). Nothing exotic going on at our house that's for sure. Okay so I did buy a lot of Longaberger baskets, pottery and wrought iron- but then again that was made when all things Longaberger was still being made in the USA (it's a whole different story now).
Now for me to tell you about the unique things we came across yesterday at the Mildenhall Bazaar- Where to begin...
There are these 2 little old ladies that card and spin wool and make their own yarn! Their hand knitted creations are true works of art. Last year I bought quite a few hand knitted sheep and other little creatures from them. Too darn cute!!!
The ladies that do the egg crafts-seriously cool stuff there! Picture it,enameled and bejeweled duck, goose , emu and ostrich eggs (hollowed out of course). These eggs are true works of art! They were made into music boxes and jewellery boxes. I fell in love with 3 different ones yesterday- the price charming (it's a bejeweled frog with a gold crown and tigers eye stone for eyes), the Christmas Tree music box, it was VERY ornate and the Regatta, it had cut out parts in the top egg shell half, lots of jewels and little pearls here too. I was in love, talk about something not every has. Last year my darling husband surprised me an enameled egg from these ladies, mine had a dragon fly theme (I adore dragon flies). This year, he bought me another one but this year it was not a surprise, I got to choose one.
I simply Loved the folks who were selling the Russian Matryoshkas those adorable nesting wooden dolls (click on the words and it will take you to the history of those dolls). I got my first matryoshka or babushka (Russian for grandmother) from my aunt who went on a trip to Russian in the early 1970's. It was a little 3 piece nesting doll set and I was in love with them from then on. I now have a small collection of them and cherish each and every one! I knew that I wanted to get another one but which one- they are all so pretty (my tastes go towards the traditional and floral designs). The one I bought yesterday has 15 pieces and is of a traditional design. Here's a side note- all of my nesting dolls with exception of one have blonde hair.
Many vendors selling Pashmina Scarves, all of them had excellent prices and color selections. Needless to say I bought a few to give as gifts, with the great prices at the bazaar, I can look like a spent a million dollars!
Loads of antique furniture! There were many great pieces on display. I only wish that I had room in this house to put them (even if it's only for a few months). But alas this house is pretty cramped for space and I couldn't do that to us now...talk to me after Christmas though ;-)
The handmade blown glass perfume bottles- oooh how pretty! The pieces came from Egypt and were just like the ones I saw at the perfume factory in Egypt but at a faction of the price!
There was the lady that was selling hand carved Welsh loving spoons (yes she traveled from Wales for the bazaar). Talk about more of this one of a kind handmade with love art. Friends of ours have one in their home and we both have admired it. Now we have one commemorating our 20 years of marriage. Take a look at the website and learn the history of this unique craft.
There was so much more there and it would be a shame not to mention them all but alas I want you to go there and experience it on your own if you can.