Wallingnford Center
Crackerjack Contemporary Crafts Newsletter
Celebrating the Handmade since 1986
In This Issue
Upcoming Events
Things to Celebrate
Honoring Mom
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Issue: # 10   May 2009
Welcome to our May Newsletter. Like Spring itself, we have had lots going on and a lot of things in the works!

First of all, we'd like to announce that Crackerjack has been honored as the feature gallery in Niche Magazine's Spring issue. Niche Magazine, the exclusive trade publication for retailers of fine craft, is published by The Rosen Group, which also produces the bi-annual Philadelphia Buyers Market of American Craft, the nation's largest wholesale American craft tradeshow. They are also the publishers of  AmericanStyle magazine, a consumer lifestyle magazine for art enthusiasts, collectors and travelers. We will soon have the complete article posted on our website.

Soon after Niche Magazine came out, we were included in an article in Girlfriend Getaways, a supplement to Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel, which was written by Maliha Masood, daughter of our very own Tradewinds Store here at Wallingford Center.

Then last week, I received an email informing us that Crackerjack has been nominated in Niche Magazine's 2009 Top Retailer Awards in two categories: Top Retailer and Best Customer Newsletter! Nominations are made by professional crafts artist throughout the U.S. and Canada whose criteria is to nominate retailers committed to fair business practices and to growing and strengthening the North American craft community. What an honor to be included in this select group!

I must confess that one of the nicest things about receiving these accolades is being able to send copies to my mother and mother-in-law. Which brings me to the subject of Mothers Day. No one else is as proud of any of my or my sisters' accomplishments as our mother. There is a selflessness there that I think is the kernel of motherhood - the giving of oneself in such an unadulterated manner, that mothers the world over are held in high esteem. And that is what we acknowledge on Mother's Day.

I know that a Mother's Day gift needs to be something special and unique, because Mom is special and unique!  Let us help you choose just the right thing from Crackerjack, be it jewelry (what woman ever has enough?), luxurious soaps, or something practical like some handmade wooden spoons, screen-printed tea towels, or a piece of pottery. And don't forget the card, personally inscribed with just the right words from her favorite person!

If a purse or scarf seems like the right choice, for Mom, or for yourself, see the coupon at the bottom of this page for savings on the work of Portland artist Dana Herbert. Dana crafts great scarves, purses and other accessories from some of the most beautiful fabrics! It's always hard to choose a favorite!

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Saturdays - now open until 8 p.m.!

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Upcoming Events

Sunday May 3 -
Happy Birthday to us!

Saturday May 9 - 4 Your Eyes Only hosts a Prodesign Trunk Show from 12 - 5

Sunday May 10 - MOTHERS DAY!

Wednesday May 6 -
2nd Annual Wallingford Art  Walkresumes 6-8 p.m.
Join us as we welcome Deanna DiBene, local accessories designer! Deanna will bring a delightful array of hats perfect for Spring and Summer, as well as some of her pins, hair ornaments and other pretties. Enjoy some champagne or sparkling cider, and meet this charming milliner.

Wednesday May 20 - Wallingford Center Farmers Market is back every Wednesday, 3 -7 through Fall! Come enjoy local produce, pasta, meats, fish and baked goods - Yum!

And Mark your Calendars for our
Annual Kristin Ford Trunk Show: Saturday October 24, from 12 - 4

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Things to Celebrate!

May is Crackerjack's Birthday Month!

May 1 -  May Day and Mother Goose Day
May 3 -  Crackerjack's 23rd Birthday!!!!

May 5 -  Cinco de Mayo (and Happy Birthday to Judy @ 4 Your Eyes    Only!)

May 8 -  No Socks Day (let's hope it's warm). And if it's not, at least wear some fun socks like our mis-matched pairs from SoleMate socks in Vermont, colorfully crafted from recycled cotton yarn!


May 12 - Florence Nightingale's Birthday

May 16 -  Armed Forces Day - send a prayer their way

May 17 -  Peace Day

May 23 -  Penny Day - a penny saved is a penny earned!

May 25 -  Memorial Day observed AND Tap Dance Day!

May 29 - in 1948 the first Ice Cream Freezer was patented - I know I'm happy about that!

Honoring Mom

We all had a mom. Somewhere, sometime. It is a fact of our biology. And moms come in all shapes and sizes. Some are better at being moms than others. Some are better "fits" with one child than they are with another. And some are not our biological moms, but grandmothers and aunts and friends and strangers who "mother" us. And we all "mother" more than our own children. There are our students, our pets, our friends, our friend's children, our children's friends. I think that is why Mothers Day is so special: it calls us to take time out from our busy lives and say Thank You to these nurturing women. How appropriate that Mothers Day falls in May, in Spring, that time of growth of all nature. When we see the delicate growth of flowers and plants emerging from the rocky (at least in my backyard!) soil, so fragile, yet so strong, one can ponder the fragility of all of us and how important the motherly nurturing was to forming us into who we are today. So let's Celebrate and Honor Moms everywhere for not yelling at us when we gave her the only tulip from the yard, for the rapturous response and proud wearing of the macaroni necklace made at Brownies, for all those home cooked meals inspired by Campbell's soups. Let's forgive her for not being perfect (as a mom myself, I have a feeling all moms already beat themselves up for that) and appreciate her for trying, for being there when she was, and for wanting to be there when she wasn't able.

So honor the Mothers in your own life, those women who have seen you through thick and thin, who love you no matter what. Tell them who they are and what they mean to you. And enjoy the true blessing of being grateful!

NEXT MONTH:  Dads and Grads!

Mayor Nichols and Kathleen May is our Birthday Month.  Of course, at Crackerjack , our tag line is "Celebrating the Handmade" and we do it every day and every month, and have been for 23 Years now! What a lot has changed in that time - I've watched a lot of your families grow, and grow up (we look the same, of course!), we've all learned how to fax and email and use ATMs. What hasn't changed, though, is the quality of the artist made goods available - it is really astounding! Every time a line goes away because someone has moved onto something else, or had that fourth baby, I have a momentary worry of whether we will find something as good to bring into the store. And we always find something great. Different, to be sure, but something endowed with creative spirit and energy that is just the right thing to take its place on the shelves at Crackerjack!

I had the pleasure of meeting Mayor Nichols when he was touring the Wallingford Neighborhood a few weeks ago. I took the opportunity to tell him what we do at Crackerjack, how long we've been here, and of the importance of a small local business to the local economy. And none of it would be possible without the support of all of you! So thank you, thank you, thank you!

Thank you for your continued patronage of a local independent business and for supporting American handmade!

Happy May! Happy Mothers Day!

Kathleen Koch
Crackerjack Contemporary Crafts

My Mom's Cheeseburger Loaf

1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup (Campbell's of course!)
2 Lbs. ground beef
1 C. fine dry bread crumbs
1/2 C. chopped onion
2 T. chopped parsley (2 t. dried)
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 slightly beaten egg
1 t. salt
dash pepper
Tomato slices
1/2 C. shredded mild cheese

Mix soup through egg thoroughly. Shape firmly into loaf and place in shallow baking pan. Bake in moderate oven (350 degrees) about one hour. Top with tomato slices and cheese. Bake 15 minutes longer.

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Now we didn't always have a tomato in the house - not fresh anyway. Remember, these were the days of canned vegetables. And the cheese was probably American slices rather than the sharp Cheddar I'd use today. And sometimes there was neither, but this is still the only meatloaf I ever make. My mom always bought the Italian breadcrumbs, as do I, but plain would be fine too.

To round out the theme, serve with boiled potatoes and canned green beans. To update, skip the butter on the potatoes, use fresh beans, and add a salad! Oh - don't forget to offer ketchup - some people like their meatloaf that way, and definitely lots of ketchup on sandwiches the next day!

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Save 20%        Your purchase of Dana Herbert!
        off                        Choose from scarves, purses, hair ties, coin                                                                            pouches and wallets!
One coupon to a customer, please. May not be combined with                                    other offers and is not eligible for Customer Appreciation stamps.

Offer Expires: May 30,2009