Susanna Prince
Crackerjack Contemporary Crafts Newsletter
Celebrating the Handmade since 1986
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Upcoming Events
Things to Celebrate
A Fish Story
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Issue: # 18   February 2010

It's February, the month of Women's Heart Health and Valentine's Day. We are in the depths of winter, most of the country is in the depths of snow or mud, but here in the Northwest, our crocus are up, daffodils are immanent and the forsythia is blooming! What the heck is April going to look like? And I have heard a few people mutter "summer drought" under their breath this past week. How consuming the weather can be!

But more consuming than weather is love, and that sweetest of days, Valentine's Day, when we commemorate love in all its forms. There is something about the pink and red and lavender that I find so appealing, and those are the ribbon colors we can put on all your Valentine's purchases. And do we have a great selection of jewelry right now! From casual to dressy, colorful to metallics and everything in between. If you like imagery of birds, we have it. If you want simple hoops, we have them. If you are craving pearls - look no further! And color? Do we have color - in natural stones, glass, enamel, resin, crystal - you name it!

 Of course if your gift is one of time, or indulgence, consider some fabulous spa-quality lotions, scents and soaps from Zents. There truly is a scent for everyone, from the sweet simplicity of Pear, to the simple cleanliness of Water, from the spiciness of Ore, to the sensuality of Sun. Ten scents in all, incorporating such luxurious ingredients as shea butter and ground silk! Come in to try them all, or check them out on our web store.

We also feature local Chocolatti truffles in a four pack assortment - perfect for giving, especially if you hope they'll share! Spokandy Mints, both Dinner Mints and the Butter Mints, are another good choice. And for something a bit different, how about Vineyard Sweets from Oregon? These are jelly candies made from three different wines - so good, they're habit-forming!

If you have some little ones that need a token of love, consider a Mally Bib. Made of leather, with cute appliques, these trendy bibs wipe clean and have an adjustable magnetic closure that allows you to store it right on the fridge! How cool is that? And to keep baby entertained during mealtime (so you can get some peas in them!) what could be better than a locally made cone puppet? With bright colors, fuzzy hair and manes, and big ears, you can make these critters pop up, dance about and then hide back in their cone base! Little ones are absolutely enchanted with these. And they're made right here in Wallingford.

And for the guy in your life, consider our selection of pocket knives, some from Santa Fe with stone or wood inlay, or those from France. We carry both Nontron, the oldest continually produced knife in France, and L'aguiole, arguably the most elegant of knives!

                                    Concretas by Zents            Susanna Prince


          Pear Zents Eau de Toilette                     Susanna Prince


We're excited to be able to offer
Gift Certificates online now! They can be either in an electronic form to be used on the website, or a paper form that can be used either in the store or online. So you can give a gift to someone in another city to shop with us online, and they can give you a certificate to use in the store or online! How easy is that?

And don't forget our other services - Gift Wrapping, Lay-Away and our Wish Cards. The Wish Cards work like this - you choose an item or two you would love to receive, we write down all the particulars on the card, and you give it to that special someone who will be so happy to know exactly what you want! It works like a charm!

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                     Our Hours


         Monday through Saturday: 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.
           Sunday: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.

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 Upcoming Events
For those of you who have not been to the Center recently, we have welcomed two new stores!

Izilla Toys gave Wallingford Center a try for the holiday season and has decided to stay. Their brightly lit orange and green space is filled with all sorts of toys, both the familiar and unique.

Peron's Closet is a beautifully appointed Children's Clothing Store which features new and gently used clothing through size 6.

Stop by and check them out!

Watch for the Opening of a new Fabric Store in the Southwest corner of the building. Expected to open in March!


Things to Celebrate!

Feb 2 - Groundhog Day - the 1993 movie of the same name was filmed in Woodstock, Illinois,
    where my sister lives. She was fortunate enough to meet Bill Murray! Groundhog Day grew
    out of Candlemas Day which was celebrated in Europe at this point in the year. Candles
    were blessed and distributed to bring light at the dark time of the year. If the sun made an
    appearance on Candlemas Day, an animal would cast a shadow, thus predicting six more
    weeks of Winter.  Germans watched a badger for the shadow.  In Pennsylvania, the
    groundhog, upon waking from mid-Winter hibernation, was selected as the replacement.

    Pennsylvania's official celebration of Groundhog Day began on February 2nd, 1886 with a        proclamation in The Punxsutawney Spirit by the newspaper's editor, Clymer Freas:"Today           is groundhog day and up to the time of going to press the beast has not seen its shadow.    

    The groundhog was given the name "Punxsutawney Phil, Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages,                 Prognosticator of Prognosticators, and Weather Prophet Extraordinary'' and his hometown            thus called the "Weather Capital of the World.''  His debut performance: no shadow - early            Spring. 

    The legendary first trip to Gobbler's Knob was made the following year.

Feb. 4 - Gumby's Birthday

Feb. 6 - National Frozen Yogurt Day

Feb. 7 - Charles Dickens' Birthday - what a great time of year to read a Dickens novel!
            Super Bowl XLIV - Quick! What number do those Roman Numerals represent?

Feb. 8 -Boy Scouts Day
            Jules Verne's Birthday

Feb. 9 - National Bagels and Lox Day

Feb. 10 - Umbrella Day - had you ever heard of a Bumbershoot before coming to Seattle????

Feb. 12 - Abraham Lincoln's Birthday (and my husband's!)


Feb. 16 -National Almond Day

Feb. 19 - Mr. Roger's Neighborhood debuted

Feb. 20 - John Glenn orbited the Earth, 1962

Feb. 22 - George Washington's Birthday
              Pebbles Flintstone's Birthday - as I remember, they had a contest to name the
                   Flintstone's baby, and I thought Pebbles was perfect!
Feb. 26 - Levi Strauss' Birthday - do you think he would ever have imagined...???
              National Pistachio Day - it's a nutty month

Feb. 27 - Tower of Pisa First Leaned - or how to become a top tourist attraction!

Feb. 28 - National Tooth Fairy Day

A Fish Story

So today I have to bury a fish. Bury a fish you say? Well, this is not a fish from the grocery that I'm burying to improve my garden, or in hopes of bringing luck or love. It is our goldfish, whose name is long forgotten. He (?) was named either Rusty or Goldy - we started with two - by my son when he was in kindergarten. He wanted a pet of his own. How many parents have heard that one before? So we went to the pet store where I successfully steered him toward the goldfish tank. I was a little confused by the label that read "Feeders" on the tank. I figured that one out at a later date! We carefully chose two goldfish who, after some frantic chasing on the part of the pet store employee, were deposited into a plastic bag for the quick drive to their new two-gallon home. Rusty and Goldy had a beautiful bowl with black rocks on the bottom, a fine selection of plastic plants, and a red rock with a hole in the middle large enough to swim through. What fish could be happier? Especially when I realized what the occupants of the Feeder tank were destined for. And so they seemed. Happy. Until one of them died. We couldn't remember even at that point if it was Rusty or Goldy. But I re-assured my son, suddenly remembered it was a new Goldy we needed, and off to the pet store we went. The next fish that died I think was Rusty. No matter - thank goodness those feeder fish are cheap! We kept the same names, not that it mattered much, because by now, my son wanted a furry pet he could hold, Mom was feeding Goldy and Rusty and stressing about how green the surface of the bowl kept becoming! I was so relieved when another mom told me that she'd found out that the fish didn't mind the green on the sides of the bowl at all - in fact, they seemed to like it just fine, and it didn't affect their health. Hallelujah! Talk about a load off my mind! Seriuosly! I had a tropical fish tank for a while in college, and I would literally have bad dreams about what was growing and mutating in that green tank.


Now my son is almost twenty-two. We've been through the hamster stage (another story for another time) and been adopted by two stray cats in succession. Some time ago, we lost Rusty II (or Goldy II) and figured the other was not far behind, so we didn't get a replacement. That could have been eight or ten years ago. But this remaining fish soldiered on, getting a few flakes of fish food morning and night, still able to fit through the hole in the red rock despite some deformity that left him bent. Last night my son noticed the fish wasn't moving. "Oh, he does that sometimes," I said, " I've thought he was dead several times, but then he'll start moving around." We both peered into the bowl. Nope. No movement, not of fins or gills. "hmm, maybe he is dead. Hard to believe - he must be about sixteen years old!" "Do you think he was in pain?" Oh! There's my boy!


I asked my son if he wanted to help me bury the fish today. Somehow pouring it down the toilet seems disrespectful. "No", he said. So I guess it's Mom who gets to do this last bit of pet care, by herself. Oh great - I just noticed it's starting to rain.

NEXT MONTH: Has Spring Sprung?

Also, the results of our Two Thousand Ten vs. Twenty-Ten debate. Interest continues, so we decided to extend the debate through February, so you still have time to weigh in and be entered to win $10. and $20. gift certificates!!!

 In this month that celebrates Love and promotes Heart Health,
I wish you both!

Kathleen Koch
Crackerjack Contemporary Crafts

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

Shakespeare's 18th

Shall I compare thee to a Summer's day?

Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And Summer's lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course untrimm'd:
But thy eternal Summer shall not fade,
Nor loose possession of that fair thou ow'st;
Nor shall Death brag thou wand'rest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this and this gives life to thee.