FRANKFORT — Sandy Anderson is a self-taught rosemaler, something she began doing about eight or nine years ago.
Her work will be for sale at the Scandinavian Bazaar and Luncheon being held Nov. 2 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Frankfort.
Rosemaling is an art form brought over from Norway that consists of finely detailed flowers painted in a scroll pattern on tables, wooden plates, small boxes, trunks and more.
“There were very few rosemalers left,” Anderson said. “Most of them had died or weren’t doing it any more, so I taught myself.”
Anderson said she is now the only rosemal painter left in the area.
The church fundraiser takes place from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. About six tables of crafts, all with a Scandinavian twist, will be for sale at the bazaar.
There is also a bake sale featuring Scandinavian confections, breads and more, as well as a luncheon including Norwegian meatballs, Swedish potato sausage and five different kinds of Scandinavian dessert cookies.
The luncheon is $12 for adults and $6 for children 6 and under.
Anderson said about 150 to 200 people normally eat at the luncheon and the craft tables will be mostly empty at the end of the sale. Anything that is left will be sold the following two Sundays.
“It’s a big day for us,” she said.
Anderson’s husband makes tables, or sometimes benches, that she paints and sells. She has also rosemaled old wooden chairs and tree ornaments that she cuts out herself using a band saw.
This year Anderson was given five wooden large wooden trays after the woman who had been painting them died. Her husband made legs for them and turned them into tables, which she has painted and will sell at the bazaar.
Another item that has been a big seller the last couple of years are the handmade nisse and tomtens, which are fashioned after mythical elves or gnomes that are said to protect a farmstead. The creatures are from 6 inches to 12 inches tall with round noses and furry hair and beards.
“They’re kind of these little mysterious Scandinavian characters,” said Greta Zwinck, craft chairman. “They’re like these little mischievous guys.”
In past years a few of the gnomes have been made, but this year there are more than 50, Zwinck said.
“They’ve been multiplying,” Zwinck said. “It’s been a lot of fun this year.”
They also have names and personalities this year, with their makers adding a little more fur here and a bigger nose there to accentuate their personalities, she said. Anderson has even built a home to display them.
Zwinck said people come in for the luncheon and there has to be something to catch their eyes as they go through. She is hoping the nisse and tomtens will do that. There will also be felted miniature owl families, quilts and driftwood village wall art for sale.
The bazaar at Trinity Lutheran has been going on since the church was built in 1882 — annually for at least the last 50 years, Anderson said. Back then the church was made up of Danes, Norwegians and Swedes and was known as the Scandinavian Lutheran Church.
That first year furnishings were needed, so the church women walked out into the country and got donations from farmers, brought them back, sold them and used the money to outfit the church, Anderson said.
“The bazaar has a long tradition here,” Anderson said.
Every dollar raised by the bazaar goes right back out into the community, Anderson said. About a third goes to Benzie County food pantries, Meals on Wheels, Toys for Tots, Habitat for Humanity and more; a third goes to the church’s emergency fund to be distributed to parishioners who need it; and about a third goes to a national or international cause.
Last year about $1,000 went to wildfire relief in California, while this year the group will likely support hurricane relief in the Bahamas, Anderson said.