I’m actually going to send two posts today! Suffice it to say that Mark and I are enjoying the off-season in Door County. Yesterday, I got to go to Christkindlemarkt in Sister Bay for the first time ever!

Christkindlemarkt is an outdoor Christmas fest that happens on the last weekend of November and the first two weekends of December.
Besides the shops in the buildings of the Corner of the Past museum in Sister Bay, they also had a long tent set up for artisan vendors.
This vendor had Turkish lanterns she was selling. I showed this to Kader and she confirmed that they have these lanterns all over Turkey.

The woman who was selling these Turkish lanterns told me how she came to sell them. She has a shop in Fish Creek called Castle Art where she sells things from local, state, and international artisans. Her shop is recessed back a bit from the two shops on either side of her and she would watch out the window and see people going from one neighbor shop to the other without even glancing at her shop. It was like her shop was invisible. She realized she needed to do something to catch peoples’ attention, so she ordered some Turkish lanterns and hung them, lighted, in her shop window. When she had finished doing that, she watched someone start to walk from one neighbor shop to the other, and then she saw him glance her way and stop and come back to enter her shop. Smart marketing!

I saw some of my favorite people there. This is Mark Carlson from Door County Wildwood Market, my favorite mom-and-pop farm market to go to!

Wildwood Market is housed in a long building with quite a history. It has a number of doors in front and those originally went to separate small rooms for the cherry pickers that came to work in the Ellison Bay area. During WWII, there was a shortage of men to pick the cherry crops, so the government brought German prisoners of war to stay in the picker huts around the county and pick cherries. I’m told the prisoners of war loved it here. They sang as they worked. They were so happy not to be on the battlefield! Then the Carlsons took out most of the room divisions and opened the building as a farm market. They have their own cherry orchard and they grow their own vegetables. They grow flowers and dry them for dried bouquets or lavender bunches. They have local ranchers who bring meat, and Mary Pat Carlson, Mark’s wife, bakes and cans all sorts of delicious things…

…like this which Mr. Carlson gave me at no charge because I’ve made some things for his granddaughter.

Mark and Mary Pat have a married daughter named Anna who had a baby girl over a year ago. I made a quilt for the baby, Karmen, right before she was born, and for her first birthday this summer, I made her a quiet book that she could look at in church or at home. When I first got to Christkindlemarkt, Anna was there with her dad and I asked her if she had any small gifts she wanted to give Karmen. I had brought a bag of reusable gift bags that I had made and I opened it up and let her pick what sizes she wanted. I also gave Mark a Christmas hot pad I had made to give to Mary Pat since she likes to bake. When I turned back to Anna, she was counting out money, and I said, “No, this is a gift!” She said, “You put a lot of work into these and I want to pay you,” so I let her. I hadn’t brought any money with me for buying things at Christkindlemarkt.

This is another friend of mine, Emily of Emily’s Art Cart. She is very talented and makes all sorts of stickers out of her own designs. You can see a few of them in the lower left of this picture. She also made some stickers for me last summer when I was trying to do my fundraiser for the Alzheimer’s Association.
This was a glass blower giving a public demonstration of how he makes things out of glass.
I went into some of the buildings that had different vendors in them and came across a woman I had read about in our local tourism magazine. She started a company called DC Chocolate Design. She designs and “paints” chocolates that are practically works of art. With the money Anna gave me, I bought these for Mark and me. We just ate them and they were delicious!

Finally, it was getting so dark out that I decided to head home, but not without taking one more picture:

This is Corner of the Past Museum all lit up for Christkindlemarkt!

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