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Part of the Christmastime tradition in Inner Southeast Portland is the Llewellyn School market

RITA A. LEONARD - Zoe, age 9, created Christmas ornaments to sell in the Llewellyn Holiday Market. The 12th annual Llewellyn Elementary School "Holiday Market" featured 61 vendors, with proceeds slated for the school's General Fund. That's not unusual – it's common to have community vendors pay to participate in such school fundraisers, and that they provide a share of the earnings to the school.

What was a bit more unusual, as THE BEE learned from Co-Coordinators Melisa Ferguson and Mindy Parker, was that some of the vendors were themselves still in school. In fact, "About 16 of the vendors are 4th grade students here! And their creative efforts are remarkable," Parker exclaimed. The array of gifts for sale at the vendor market included jewelry, paintings, cards, felted and leather items, wood and metal sculpture, pottery, honey, clocks, hair accessories, scented items, and handmade clothing. There were linen aprons, knit hats, scarves, and fingerless gloves made from recycled sweaters. High-schooler Siena Geren sold acorn people and play mats, floating candles made from acorn caps, and felted Christmas Trees created from recycled wool sweaters.

Eleven-year-olds Ruby and Vivi displayed a host of colorful dollhouse figures they'd made from Wxboom dry clay. Fourth grader Zoey, 9, sold clever Christmas ornaments made from painted bottle caps (snowmen), wine-cork reindeer, and Santas fashioned from Hershey's Kisses.

Another 4th grade team sold recycled crayons in heart shapes, and painted clothespin people. Lillian, 10, and Alma, 9, minded the table, but their friend and crafter Penny, 9, couldn't make it, as she was at a soccer game.

The Llewellyn Holiday Market provides a fun focus for community interaction. Although some vendors come from other neighborhoods, a sense of Holiday spirit pervades the event, providing an opportunity to support the school and to buy creative hand-made gifts.

The Sellwood Marimba Band and School House Rock Band entertained visitors in the Westmoreland school's cafetorium, while shoppers ate stew and corn muffins purchased from Nana's Guilty Pleasures, at 6108 S.E. Milwaukie Ave. There was also a Photo Booth and a special Story Time, with guest reader Cheryl McDonald – the retired but still well-loved Llewellyn Librarian.

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