Wallingnford Center
Crackerjack Contemporary Crafts Newsletter
Celebrating the Handmade since 1986
In This Issue
Upcoming Events
Things to Celebrate
A Conversation with Kristin Ford
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Issue: # 14   September 2009
Well, it's September, we got a small taste of Fall weather yesterday, the kids are going back to school, and suddenly plaids and sweaters look appealing! I have always loved Fall, although this year, I must admit, I'm a little loathe to let go of Summer quite yet. There are still some clothes I'm not sick of yet, and the morning coffee in the backyard is a ritual I love. But the Fall clothes are starting to arrive, and they're so exciting this year!

We have some new Erin Mcleod skirts with embroidered accents, and her newest creation, a little capelet, is just perfect for the Northwest day. It hangs just below the elbow, looks good open or with the scarflike neck detail crossed and thrown around your neck, and it too has the sweet detail of embroidery. Available in camel, navy, olive and graphite.

Niche has completely invigorated their line with some great cotton blouses in both black and white, a fabulous wool blend plaid skirt, a super comfortable rayon patterned skirt and some favorite rayon crepe pieces. The rayon crepe is truly an all season fabric and is a pleasure to wear!

Maralyce Ferree has come up with a new take on a pullover fleece - what to call it?- topper, I guess, with non-functioning button detail on one side from the neck all the way down the arm. This piece we have in a rich brown, dark blue and burgundy. All yummy Fall colors!

And I won't go on and on about scarves, but we have some great ones, and more to come! And purses too!

Don't miss out on the opportunity to get in the Fall spirit by visiting with Ann De Vouno during the Art Walk Weds. Sept. 2 from 6 - 8 p.m. There's nothing quite so spirit lifting as a new hat - our mothers' generation had that right!

So we all know that if it's Fall, the Holidays can't be far behind! Remeber that we offer a free Lay-Away service. It's a good way to reserve your gifts from the best selection, take some of the last minute stress away, and spread your spending out over a couple months. For you Tintin fans, we've just received a large shipment of brand new items, including the 2010 Calendar and Agenda, some very nice blank books, Land of the Soviets in paperback, and much more!

Remember, too, that many items can be special ordered for you. We have been having a lot of fun with Lightwaves, a sterling line made by a California artist. She will make a sterling charm with any name on it, or several, or initials, and you can put them on a chain with tiny hearts, stars, spacer beads, and birth stone crystals to make a very unique gift. So be thinking now, so we have time to help you create that perfect gift!

When I saw that September 18 is Play Doh Day, it reminded me that I had recently come across all the recipes my son collected when he was little. We have a recipe for Goop, and Bubbles and Slime, as well as one for Play Doh, which I have included below. So enjoy the crisp mornings and the familiar rain, make some Play Doh and have a fabulous Fall!
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Saturdays - now open until 8 p.m.!

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Upcoming Events
Ann De Vuono Green Hat w/ Pheasant Feathers 

Wednesday September 2-Wallingford Art Walk 6-8 p.m. September's Featured Artist will be Ann de Vuono, another very local (Wallingford) artist, who has a fabulous hat for every occasion!
Join us Wednesday evening for a great selection, meet the artist behind the work, and enjoy some refreshments!

Wednesdays -Wallingford Center Farmers Market
is back every Wednesday, 3 -7 through Fall! Come enjoy local produce, pasta, meats, fish and baked goods - Yum! And don't forget to check inside for Market Day Specials at the various stores.

Wednesday October 7- Wallingford Art Walk 6-8 p.m.
Our featured artist in October will be Andrea Savar, whose jewelry reflects a collector's passion for the found object!

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

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Things to Celebrate!

Sept. 5 -  Be Late For Something Day (I'm not recommending it!)

Sept. 6 -  Read a Book Day

Sept. 7 -  Labor Day - Crackerjack is OPEN 10 to 5. I know, our culture celebrates labor by having people work!?!

Sept. 9 -  Teddy Bear Day

Sept. 10 -   Hot Dog Day - when I was a kid, there was no hot lunch at our school - we all brown bagged it, or went home for lunch. As a fundraiser, the room mothers would have a hot dog lunch once a month - what a treat that was!

Sept. 11 -
Remebrance Day

Sept. 13 -  International Chocolate Day (Wasn't that last month? Maybe there's one every month!)

Sept. 16 -  Collect Rocks Day

Sept. 18 -  National Play-Doh Day - Check out the recipe below!

Sept. 19 - Talk Like a Pirate Day and Wife Appreciation Day - this seems a bit weird - do we think husbands would appreciate their wives more if they talked like pirates? "Ayyy, eat yer grub, man!"

Sept. 20 - Women's Friendship Day

Sept. 21 -
World Gratitude Day and International Day of Peace

Sept. 22 - Elephant Appreciation Day and American Business Women's Day

Sept. 26 -
Shamu's Birthday and National Pancake Day (wasn't National Waffle Day last month? Is there a food that doesn't have its own day?)

Sept. 28 - National Strawberry Cream Pie Day Day AND Family Day - a day to eat dinner with your kids!

September is Fall Hat Month - how appropriate that our guest artist for the Art Walk on the 2nd is Milliner Ann Devuono! Come in and find a New Chapeau for Fall - you will feel fantastic!
Ann De Vuono Grey Hat.jpg
A Conversation with Kristin Ford

Kristin Ford has been a customer favorite at Crackerjack since we began carrying her line maybe ten years ago. I came across her booth at an apparel show and promptly placed an order for two dozen earrings. We have never looked back! As soon as that order came in, we ordered more, and necklaces as well, and the rest is Crackerjack history!

Always making things as a child, Kristin still has the paper clip necklace she made for her mother, which has pride of place in her studio next to the beautiful glass bead necklace belonging to her great-great-grandmother. They still provide her with inspiration! But as an adult, it began with admiration of a friend's earrings at a party. Kristin asked where the friend had found the earrings, hoping to buy some for herself. It turns out the woman had made them and offered to show Kristin how. After a trip to the bead store, and some instruction, Kristin was hooked! "It was way harder than I thought". That was in the early nineties.

Kristin, however, had never intended to make her living creating the jewelry we all can't get enough of. She began her working career as a producer for KIRO, which she happily pursued for  about eight years. But in 1993, she decided to take a month off to do volunteer work at an orphanage in India. While there, she was introduced to the concept of stones possessing healing properties. Her interest was piqued and though curious, the time was not yet right to pursue the topic further.

Soon after her return from India, Kristin was asked to volunteer with an organization working with orphaned children in a Croation refugee camp. Combining her passion for humanitarian work and experience in broadcast journalism, Kristin lived, worked, and reported from the camp for a month. Ultimately she found the volunteer work much more fulfilling than broadcasting, so upon her return gave notice and continued to work with children in war -ravaged Yugoslavia.

Kristin flew into Bosnia the day of the Market Massacre, February 5, 1994. It was the worst single atrocity of the then 22-month-old conflict, a mortar explosion in the main market square of Sarajevo which killed 68 and wounded 200 people. Through a relief organization, Kristin worked with children hoping to be evacuated from Sarajevo, which remained a front line of war. It wasn't until after she returned to the U.S. that Kristin realized she was probably suffering from PTSD.  She says "all I wanted to do was make jewelry. It was something I could do in the middle of the night when I couldn't sleep." She began to connect to the stones as things of beauty while reflecting on the possibility that each of the stones contained a unique energy. This became a pivotal, soul-searching time. "I didn't even have a phone. I had given up a high profile job to do humanitarian work, so my needs were minimal." Kristin made jewelry until all the doorknobs were hung with her creations. Friends suggested she sell her work, but she thought who else would buy it except her friends and family? But try she must! She remembers packing some of the jewelry into a small box and taking it to a store in Bellevue called Stargazer. The owner, Tess,  agreed to try it on consignment and helped Kristin arrive at some prices. And that was the start of Kristin's new career.

In 1996, a milestone for Kristin was her first trip to Peru. She had been feeling melancholy, and asked herself aloud "What can I do to be nice to myself?" and she answered "Go to Peru!"  She had not been thinking about Peru at all, but that night, Wednesday, she dreamt about Peru. On Saturday morning she was on a flight to South America that would again change the course of her life. Here she was introduced to a shaman (what's a shaman? I interjected. In an indigenous culture, she explained, a shaman is a teacher, a healer, someone who connects to essential elements.). She felt so drawn to him that she suggested coming back to study with him. He agreed, and so she returned six months later to live out in the mountains, learning to connect with her innate ability to be in tune with nature, with plants, with stones.  Kristin spent the next nine years traveling back and forth to Peru, studying with various teachers. She supported her education through her jewelry, which was bringing her more joy, not only as things of beauty, but as reflections of her studies of the energies of the stones. "I don't consider myself an artist", she says, "and when people tell me I have a great sense of color, I'm not sure what they mean." Her education has been in the energies of the stones, not in art. She considers herself an energy worker, putting stones together that have compatible forces. "Sapphires don't play well with others" Kristin has been known to say, "They like to be the center of attention!" She will put a sapphire with stones that have a quieter, calmer, softer energy, stones that are more grounded.

In the intervening years, Kristin's renown has grown, as has the number of her avid collectors. And the interesting thing about Kristin's work is that you will be shopping for a color, or a style, but you often end up with something different, something that surprises you. And then you read the little card that comes with each piece, about the meanings of the stones, and you realize that it's the right piece for you; that it is perfect!

Kristin creates her jewelry, not with an eye for artistry, but with a feeling for harmony. Her customers, though, choose it for both!


 Thank You for your continued patronage of a local independent business and for supporting American handmade! Remember that many of your favorites are available through our online catalog, and we're always adding more, so visit us there, too!

Kathleen Koch
Crackerjack Contemporary Crafts

Play Dough
 1 Cup Flower

 1 Cup Water

 2 Teaspoons Cream of Tartar

 1/2 Cup of Salt

 1 Tablespoon Oil


 1. Stir all things together and cook over med. high heat for 5 min. or until the Dough leaves the sides   of the pan.

 2. Cool befor use.

 (misspellings courtesy of six year old Asher) I think I remember adding the food coloring afterward,     so you can divide the mixture and make more than one color.

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