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May 6, 2015

We’ve all had this happen. You’ve had some veggies in your refrigerator for just a couple of days, and you open the crisper drawer to get your salad fixings. Then you look inside the plastic produce bags—only to discover that your lettuce leaves are limp, peppers are pathetic, and cucumbers are composting. Not very appetizing. Even fresh-picked veggies right from your own garden will start to deteriorate soon after they’re harvested. And putting them in plastic bags only accelerates their... more

April 8, 2015

“You can call me by any name; just don't call me late for dinner!” That old saying rings true for most people. Family and visitors will know dinner’s on the table when they hear the distinctive tones from North Country Wind Bells'® newest introduction, the Ship's Bell®. For centuries, traditional ship bells have been used for signaling, keeping time, and sounding alarm. My wife and I recently gave this pint-size bell to her parents for their anniversary. We thought it would be a nice addition... more

May 29, 2013

I still remember when some of our good friends came to dinner with a incredible apple-cranberry crisp that was baked in a very handsome pie plate. Not only did we enjoy the dessert, but our gracious guests gave the pie plate to my wife and me as a gift—along with the recipe (see below). That pie plate was made by Great Bay Pottery from Greenland, New Hampshire. Since then, it has been joined by several other pieces of Great Bay Pottery: mugs, pitchers, bowls, to name just a few. All are on... more

May 7, 2013

  On Memorial Day weekend, a visitor to my store asked me if carried Tick Keys. “What’s a tick key?” was my bewildered reply. “Look it up online, and I bet you’ll have Tick Keys in here the next time I stop in,” he said confidently. So I did a little searching and discovered this “key” is a must-have little device for anyone who ventures outdoors—people as well as their furry friends. (FYI, dog owners: This simple yet ingenious product is endorsed by the American Canine Association.) As the... more

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. You can’t bite back, but you can fend off those pesky insects with safe, non-toxic, DEET-free repellents from a super-eco-friendly Vermont company, Way Out Wax. Their highly... 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. It all started with the legendary Boston and Sandwich Glass Factory (better known as Sandwich Glass), which operated from 1825 until 1888. During that same time period in the Bay... 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. Novices quickly discover that it can take years to master this craft. For some, it’s an interesting hobby, but for an artist like Luke Adams, glassblowing is a way of life. A native of... 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... 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. Customers are always surprised to learn a few things about the balsam fir merchandise that I carry... more

June 21, 2012

My wife and I are big fans of artisan stoneware and pottery, and our collection of pieces has grown over the past 30 years. We have everything from basic bowls and mugs to unusual and unique items such as cutting pots. If you’re not familiar with cutting pots, this signature handcraft created by potter Lorraine Dilmore is worthy of a little explanation … A cutting pot is a useful as well as decorative vessel that can be filled with water to hold fresh-cut flowers and herbs. It’s essentially a... more

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