May 7, 2013
Finally! It’s spring (sort of) in our neck of the woods. And let’s face it, after what seemed like an endless winter, we all want to spend as much time outside as we can. Unfortunately, sharing the great outdoors with a bumper crop of blood-thirsty black flies and mosquitoes is the price we must pay for warmer weather.read more
April 8, 2013
Glass making is one of America’s oldest crafts—and art fused with history. Let’s go back in time for a minute . . .
One of America’s oldest towns, on Cape Cod in Massachusetts, is called “Sandwich”—incorporated back in 1637, Sandwich is well known for many things, especially its long-standing tradition of glass making.read more
February 20, 2013
There’s something magical about blown glass objects that captivates people. Over the past few years, there’s been an increase in interest in this art form, as well as in studios that not only sell unique glass creations such as rondels and sun catchers, but also offer a wide variety glassblowing classes.read more
November 26, 2012
Recently, I was warned, “No one buys wooden kitchen stuff anymore. People want things made from materials that are dishwasher-friendly.”
I wasn’t convinced. I’ve found that a lot of great kitchens have a good hardwood cutting board in the kitchen, not to mention beautiful wooden knife blocks and other well-crafted items.
After doing a little research, I felt validated to find that there are still some companies doing quite well making wooden kitchen products in the United States.read more
November 14, 2012
I’m always amazed by how many tree ornaments are sold throughout the year in my store. A single evergreen is on display year-round, loaded with an assortment of wooden, clay, and glass decorations. In addition, there’s a large antique jewelry case that houses a dazzling selection of Danforth pewter ornaments and jewelry.read more
October 12, 2012
For many of us (including me), Halloween is a favorite holiday.
Rich in history and folklore, Halloween has roots that trace back to the ancient Celts, who celebrated the new year on November 1. They believed that the souls of the dead returned to Earth the night before (Samhain). Later, Irish immigrants brought over customs and superstitions such as carved vegetables with a demon’s face to frighten away the spirits. Among other long-held beliefs and symbols from the 1700s and 1800s is the witch ball.read more
September 5, 2012
“Ohhh, it smells so good in here.” This is what just about everyone says when they come into my store. The subtle fragrances from soaps, candles, and lavender pillows provide a nice complement to the prevailing forest-fresh scent of balsam fir. Few people can resist the urge to pick up one of the dozens of balsam-filled pillows on display and inhale that pleasing, invigorating, evergreen aroma.read more
May 25, 2012
For many years, my wife and I owned and operated a full-service “sit and fit” family shoe store. When we sold that business a few years ago, many people asked us, “Why did you sell the shoe store? Were you tired of smelling stinky feet all day?” That wasn’t our top reason for bowing out, but occasionally it was a rather unpleasant aspect that went with the territory.read more
April 24, 2012
Nearly all of the products in my store have an interesting story behind them, and I’m always eager to share these details with customers. Favorite items of mine to talk about are the doormats made from reclaimed fishing rope.
These colorful, brawny mats don’t need to be imprinted or embossed with a “Welcome” message to make the entrance to your home or business inviting. But there’s much more to these virtually indestructible, utilitarian mats . . .read more
April 12, 2012
Maintaining weather records was a popular pastime when the Almanac began. Many U.S. presidents, for example, Thomas Jefferson, owned their own weather instruments, from which they recorded daily observations.read more
April 3, 2012
A year ago, my wife and I attended a local craft show. It wasn’t long before she spotted what she called a “must see, must have” product: Lorna’s Wool Needle Felting Kits. Having been judged the best new product of the previous year’s show, this item had an exhibit that was buzzing with activity.
I was bewildered. Why were these craft kits getting so much attention? I had never heard of needle felting and didn’t see the attraction of it. But what do I know? Obviously, not much about needle felting!read more
March 7, 2012
One of the many things I love about my store’s location is all the windows. With a full southern exposure spanning from east to west, the windows flood the space with brilliant sunlight. Hanging in every one of the more than 100 windowpanes in the sashes and transoms is a dazzling Pairpoint sun catcher.read more