EaStEaR Eggs on ThE CoUrThouSe LaWn

The day started off sunny and beautiful.. but a breeze brought in a few clouds. It looks like we have some rain coming. But not before the kids got to enjoy an Easter Egg hunt on the lawn of our Courthouse. We could hear lots of excited screams as the children discovered eggs. It was nice to see so many people turn out for the fun event.

We have gotten some Mad Scientist time to create a new product. We have sold tons of our Battery Operated LED Taper Candles so we know you like the look. But, with our being in Shipshewana in an unconditioned building this summer, we are looking for a grubby concoction that will not melt. We have finally come up with a process and have applied it to not only the battery tapers, but electric candles as well. Check out our new light. The boxes are made by a local Amish man and we finish them here ourselves. The candle has our new grungy finish. We are planning to make these several colors. Check them out while you are here.

All the excitement and kids have kept Bruce busy today. Here he is catching a cat nap.. but notice he is right by the door so as not to miss anybody. He takes being the official Greeter very seriously.

LoCal FlaVoR

Kenton is such a wonderful place. The area has a rich history, people are friendly, the architecture of the old buildings is interesting and the miles of farmland encourages one to slow down and relax a bit. Our shop is located downtown on the square in the Historic Courthouse District. When I came to Kenton 5 years ago, not much was happening on the square. Now we have several interesting and thriving businesses and upper floors are being converted into living space. I see downtown Kenton a real happening place in a few years.

Kenton is also home to some very talented local artists. I am very fortunate to have several of these artists as friends. Sycamore Circle Heritage Farms produces hand-made herbal soaps with herbs they grow on their farm. Their family is  four generations working together on various aspects of farming. They also have a concentration on nineteenth century (or “heirloom”) herbs, apples and poultry. Sycamore Circle offers several lines.. herbal, specialty and goat milk soaps, soaps with Civil War and Victorian fragrances and their incredibly popular Foot Scrubbies and Doggie Bath line. They can be found at several markets and craft shows in Ohio, at Whole Foods and at Helen’s Gifts in downtown Kenton.

Another very talented local artist is Marilyn Reed. Her motto is “if it doesn’t move ~ Paint it!” The owner of Marilyn’s Artistry, Marilyn has painted everything from wooden bowls to murals on buildings. Kenton’s own Michael Angelos is a show case of her work. A lifelong student of the arts, she is inspired by the latest trends and colors and a master of many techniques.  At the shop we sell her hand painted furniture, candle boxes, plates and what ever else she can get a paint brush on. Right now we have a wonderful table with a checkerboard painted on top and a delightful potting bench. Be sure to check them out when you stop by.

When you do craft shows, you meet  and get to know the regular professional crafters. Over the years we have become friends with talented artists and always enjoy seeing new items they bring forth. Cindy and Frank were two crafters we enjoyed and they constantly had new items. Their booth was always attractive and full of people buying.. a nice thing to have next to your booth. And, I learned about crafting from them.. from setting up my booth to always have something new. Imagine my surprise when I found out they lived right here in Kenton! I begged and pleaded and finally have some of their items in the shop. This house is only one of their lighted houses. We have smaller, shorter and wider ones.. and they are available in mustard, burgundy and cream. Their lighted church is darling.. and the price point they offer can not be found else where. They also make a narrow shelf that we are constantly selling out of. They do not have a web site but can be found at many of the finer craft shows in Ohio. Look for them at shows we will attend.

Because we started out as crafters, we love to support other crafters. If you make a quality hand-made country prim product and would like to consign at the shop, stop by and discuss it with us. As the area grows and more tourists come through, there will be a market for locally made items. If your not ready to sell and just need some advice, also feel free to stop by. I am more than happy to share the knowledge I have picked up over the years. Who knows, someday you too may have a business on the Square.

ChriStmaS in OcTobeR

findlay 09-1The Findlay craft show is this coming weekend, October 3-4, and we are very busy getting ready. We will close early Friday to get set up for the show and be closed Saturday. With all the Christmas items we have received around the shop the last few months it will be nice to get away and just enjoy Fall. The weather should be cool and crisp, perfect weather for strolling around the Craft Show. If you have never been to this show you are missing a wonderful way to spend a day.

Findlay’s Christmas in October is one of NW Ohio’s largest and most distinctive Fall Craft Shows. Every year it features over 300 exhibits from 10 States. With ten buildings, two tents & dozens of outdoor locations brimming full of Americana, Country, Contemporary, Folk Art and Victorian Arts & Crafts it is fun for the entire family!

You can pre-order your candles and lotions from us now so you can enjoy the show and pick up your items when you are done. No need to see us early to get the best selection or worry about your favorites being sold out. Buckeye is always sold out no matter how many I bring and we have some wonderful new fragrances that we are expecting to sell out of as well. Amish Harvest and Toasted Hazelnut have received many comments around the shop while being tested and will be available at the show. Other favorites will be  Caramel Crunch, Glazed Baklava, Coffe Cake , Pink Sugar and Pumpkin Crunch. In the lotions it is hard to beat Pink Sugar and Sandalwood Vanilla.

So come see us in Findlay this weekend. To get $1 off admission see HERE. Come for the day or make a weekend of it and stay in one of Findlay’s many fine hotel accommodations. We hope to see you there!

Amish Country

farm 4Another place my son and I traveled about and took pictures on Mother’s Day was in our Amish Country. I love a drive out past the Amish farms and along River Road. The rolling hills and stately barns make me hard pressed to enjoy Amish Country any where else. The beautiful sunny day and gentle breeze made the drive a wonderful way to spend the day.

horses Sundays are a day of rest for man and beast in Amish country. Here a herd of Belgiums are enjoying the beautiful weather.  My son got to drive a pair of these horses when he helped an Amish friend dig his basement. That’s right.. DIG.. with horses. They are hooked up to a large scoop and layer by layer they scrape up the soil. Then it is shoveled onto a wagon and taken out into a field and scattered like their manure. My son loved every minute of all that hard work.. especially when he was given home made bread and Coconut Cream Pie.

baby bell2Spring also brings all the young colts and fillies. We caught this young’un trying to reach something on the drive. He was funny to watch as he spread his legs to get anywhere close to the ground. He was also a neat light color with a darker strip down his back. I imagine he will be a light buff color when he matures.

river road 3

 This farm is also along River Road. I wish I lived out that way as I would love to travel this road every day. The winding turns, beautiful farms and the river make for some incredible scenery. I have yet to drive this road and not meet a horse and buggy along the way. I can think of no better way to slow down and enjoy the simpler things in life than a ride in our Amish Country.

Published in: on May 11, 2009 at 10:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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Farmer’s Market

fm-1It’s getting that time of year again.. time for the 6th annual Farmers Market in Historic Downtown Kenton. Set amid the distinctive architecture of our historic downtown, the Market offers fresh produce in season, local crafts and Amish goods, flowers, demonstrations and family fun. Opening day for the Market is May 16 and runs from 9am to 12.

Many of our vendors are regulars and have developed a following by consistently providing a quality product. VanScoy Farms offers hydroponic tomatoes, cucumbers, bib lettuce, and strawberries that are always a delicious treat. And one of my favorites is hand made pottery by Matina Rostorfer. I have one of her large mugs and just love a cup of tea or chocolate in it. .. check here for a list of this years vendors.

The Market is also a great place for new crafters or growers to introduce their product to the county and refine their presentation as well as product offering. As a professional crafter dreaming of a business of my own, I jumped into the Farmers Market as a way to test my products and get to know the market I wanted to do business in. The Farmers Market helped this non local get to know people and that paved the way to opening my business as I established a local market for my product. I continue to support the market with a booth run by my son. He is learning invaluable job skills.. sales, making change, interacting with customers.. and is also getting the best part of the Market.. the great camaraderie of both vendors and customers. See you there!!

Published in: on May 6, 2009 at 8:01 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Photo Contest

camera3378350116_c2ef4ee3f9The Hardin County Chamber & Business Alliance is sponsoring a photo contest of Hardin County images. All area photographers, age 18 or older, are encouraged to enter the contest which will be held from April 15 – May 11. Winning entries will become part of a new series of Hardin County postcards to be sold by the Tourism Division of the Alliance.

 The 2009 contest is open to amateurs taking snapshots around the Hardin County area. The competition has no specific subject category but all photos should capture the unique character of Hardin County.  Color images are preferred. For more information on the contest see the Hardin County Chamber & Business Alliance website. All entries must be received by May 11 and include name, address, and phone number. Be sure to also include where in Hardin County the photo was taken.

Here at the shop we are looking forward to getting the post cards printed. We get a lot of out of town visitors here at the shop, and I know the coffee shop Jitterz also gets a lot of travelers. Many are looking for something to take home after visiting the area, and post cards offer a piece of our history, architecture, rolling farm land and Old Order Amish. There are so many unique and wonderful things in this area to take pictures of.. maybe I’ll take a few myself.

Published in: on May 6, 2009 at 6:40 pm  Leave a Comment  
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