Wallingnford Center
Crackerjack Contemporary Crafts Newsletter
Celebrating the Handmade since 1986
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Issue: # 11   June 2009
Last month I mentioned that Crackerjack had been nominated in the Niche Magazine Top Retailer Awards search. To accept the nomination and move on to the judging phase, I had to compile a packet of materials to send in, including a focus statement, photos of the store, copies of marketing materials and our newsletter, etc. As I worked on this project, I thought often of how similar it was to doing a report in school. The familiar feelings of minor accomplishment as things are crossed off the list, or of panic as new things to do arise! Finally, yesterday, it was complete - neatly presented in a black folder with a Crackerjack sticker on the front. Off it went into the mail, to wend its way to Baltimore - I have my fingers crossed!

Yes, June is the month of final reports, exams, and finally graduations; those markers of something completed, accomplished, and the promise of a future to come, markers of a point in time to acknowledge and celebrate. I personally find graduation gifts rather difficult. I want something personal, meaningful, adult: something that will be kept as a memento of the occasion. Several of our customers have identified a favorite gift that they give to all their special graduates. One woman gives beautiful Santa Fe letter openers inlaid with natural stone, another gives hand bound journals from Watermark Books in Port Townsend. We sell a lot of Kristin Ford jewelry for young women, and Heartwood wooden boxes and Tigo colored pencil sets wrapped in luscious suede for both guys and girls. My favorite niece (I only have one, so she is always my favorite) just graduated from Bowling Green in Ohio, and is moving to Toledo for a job in her field of broadcasting. She has rented her first apartment there, so I'm thinking about things like Harmony Lanterns, Bella Luz nightlights, Christine Vaughan tea towels and Tin Woodsman measuring spoons. But then again, can any girl have too much jewelry?

There are the teachers and school staff to remember as well at this time of year! I felt no greater appreciation for anyone than some of my son's teachers. And we all know the principal is important, but it is really the school secretary who runs the school, and (s)he deserves something especially indulgent, like the newest scent lotion from Flora Nappa - Meyer Lemon. It starts with a lemon scent, but also has some floral, and I love the feel of it on my skin - very silky!

And then later in the month is Fathers Day. Generally dads are as hard as grads to buy for! But Crackerjack can come to the rescue with beautiful pocketknives and corkscrews from Nontron and Laguiole, both from France. Nontron is the oldest continuosly-produced knife in France, and has a humble appeal, made of aged light boxwood, burned with a traditional design of what is believed to be mountains and trees. Laguiole knives are like jewelry - elegant, and with a hand cut design in the metal of the spine. The knives we get are authenticated by Societe de Laguiole, which means they are completely made in France, rather than assembled in France from imported parts. The Societe is dedicated to keeping this knife-making craft tradition alive. I have seen and held knives called Laguiole that have felt too light, and had cheap looking steel blades, so beware of imitations! We also have a nice selection of wood boxes, from tiny pocket-sized Secret Boxes, to the oval bent wood Shaker boxes made form authentic Shaker patterns. Some dads like good soap, and we have plenty to choose from, and if your dad likes to cook, we have all sorts of things, from whimsical potholders, to pewter measuring cups, to one-handed salad servers, to wooden spoons. And for the dad with a sweet tooth, we have a good selection of indulgent goodies fit for a king!

So bring your June shopping list into Crackerjack and let us assist you in finding the perfect gift!


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Saturdays - now open until 8 p.m.!

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Upcoming Events

Wednesday June 3 -
Wallingford Art  Walk 6-8 p.m.
This month we welcome Colleen Grahm, one of the lovely faces behind Tuzzie Muzzie Hats. These party hats run the gamut from elegant to whimsical to just plain silly, but are guaranteed to add a festive note to any celebration! Come have a little party with us and pick out something to add flair to your next occasion!

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

Wednesday July 1 - Wallingford Art Walk 6-8 p.m. July's Featured Artist will be Susanna Prince, jewelry and glass

23rd Anniversary Sale -July 18 through August 2 -
look for more details in the July issue!

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

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Things to Celebrate!

June is Adopt a Shelter Cat Month, National Dairy Month and National Rose Month!

June 1 -   Oscar the Grouch's Birth
June 2 -  I Love My Dentist Day

June 7 -  Chocolate Ice Cream Day and Write to Your Father Day

June 11 -  Jacques Cousteau's Birthday

June 13 -   National Juggling Day, and my son Asher's 21st Birthday! (speaking of juggling...)

June 14 - Flag Day and Raggedy Ann and Andy Day

June 21 -  FATHER'S DAY and First Day of Summer (although in Seattle, it's debatable!)

June 23 -  Typewriter invented 1868 - look where we are now! Kids don't even know what a typewriter is! Remember carbon paper and correction tape?

June 28 -  Paul Bunyan Day! He was such a part of growing up in Michigan (the Great Lakes are the sweat of his brow, and the state his mitten) - I always wanted to see Babe, his blue ox!

International clothesline Week is June 6 -15. I love hanging clothes on the line - they smell so good. Plus it's eco-friendly!

The Full Moon on June 7 was called the Strawberry Moon by Native Americans of New England and the Great Lakes because it was the time of year the strawberries ripened. Mmmmm. Fresh, ripe strawberries!

Dads and Grads

Dads and Grads traditionally share June, and it often seems that Dads get a bit overshadowed by all the hoopla given to graduates. After all, graduation is a several times in a life occurrence (depending on whether or not your preschool held a graduation ceremony!). But Fathers Day occurs every year. And dads generally seem less demanding of attention, more self-deprecating, than they could be. Is it just another sacrifice, one of many they signed on for when they became dads?

My dad, father of four girls, was a bit of a mystery to me. He went to work, he worked hard, he made all the money the family lived on. He put up the storm windows in the fall, and exchanged them for the screens in the spring. He mowed the lawn. He shined our shoes at the bottom of the basement steps every Sunday before church. Then he took us for drives in the country or stayed home and read the paper he'd purchased after church and right before the drugstore closed (stores were closed on Sundays, but pharmacies could stay open part of the day. The liquor section, though, was covered with fabric, since that could not be sold on Sunday.) He knew how to fix things and make things, including doll's houses. He called my grandma "Ma" even though we were not allowed to call our mom that! He bought my mom a corsage every Easter. He also bought four carnations and made each of us girls our own corsage using florist's tape and corsage pins. He liked animals, especially dogs. But he didn't like snakes. He had been a fighter pilot in World War II. He had kept an amazing photo album, which we would look at sometimes and marvel over the captions he had so neatly written, noting that this young man, or that, had been shot down the next day, or the next week. He could look at my art work and tell me what didn't look right. He could help us with our math. He had a huge movie camera with big lights to capture us running down the stairs on Christmas morning. We'd start down at his okay, but then have to go back up if he could see that the film wasn't moving across the lens properly. Each movie begins with him looking into the camera lens to make sure!

Dads were not as approachable as moms - they didn't have room fathers at school, so you didn't get to know your friends' dads. Kids went home from friends' houses when the dads came home because it was almost time for dinner, and the sense was that the dads wanted to come home to a quiet house, not one filled with a bunch of neighborhood kids. So, as a species, they remained a bit of an unknown element, a little removed form the day to day goings on of the household.

But who was it you called when the car broke down? Or trusted to help you pick out a car? Who always had money to pay the dinner bill despite your protests, even as a grown adult? Who taught you how to paint a wall, drive a car, fix your bike? And who holds a unique place in your heart that no one else can fill, no matter what? That sometimes mysterious, unknown, yet familiar man who came to dinner every night - your dad!

NEXT MONTH:  Firework

As I write this, it's hot outside. Not only hot for Seattle, but really hot, and the forecast is for even hotter days to come. But all of us who live in Seattle know that it's only a matter of time, and probably not a lot of time, before it rains again!

So stay cool - remember that Crackerjack is air conditioned! - and Thank You for your continued patronage of a local independent business and for supporting American handmade!

Kathleen Koch
Crackerjack Contemporary Crafts

Save 15%      Your purchase of any one Pocket                                          Knife, Wood Box or Letter Opener!
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