life in the Kearsarge area

what's happening in the Kearsarge/Lake Sunapee area of NH

Archive for November, 2008

Shop local

picture-030 Before I traveled to Tilton and points beyond, I started my shopping day at 9:30 at several local shops. The first was Bayberry Barn ( on Route 114 in Sutton for a 20 percent off sale on items throughout the store. Now there’s a shop to get you in the Christmas mood – ornaments, candles, cards, linens, calendars, music boxes and wind chimes displayed throughout the store with great holiday cheer.

Then it was off to the holiday open house at Country Treasures in East Andover. Marsha and her family have turned their home into an extravagant craft emporium for several days. There are so many cool things (made by local artists) that I had to make the loop to all five rooms several times to make sure I didn’t miss anything! I bought a gift for my daughter (not telling what it is – but let’s just say it is less expensive than a real horse) and a back up gift for some lucky person (just in case I didn’t check my list twice). Read the article in the winter 2008 issue of Kearsarge Magazine if you want more information.   picture-079

This has been on my to-do list for quite some time: American Cottage ( in Andover. WOW! Was it ever worth the trip! I fell in love with several of Jodi Sleeper’s magnificent rugs. She is super talented and a nice person to boot. In addition to handcrafted rugs in all sizes, the store also has furniture, lamps, pillows and accessories, such as oversize dragonflies with pyrite eyes made by Tom Sleeper of Sleeper Welding in Belmont. (His glass top table with a cement and metal base resembling a tree was spectacular.) I predict great things for Jodi – her products are high quality, fun, colorful and will change the way you look at rugs. picture-052


What recession?

picture-102 I wasn’t brave enough to tackle Black Friday, but I did venture out on Saturday. I did as much shopping as I could locally (see next blog), then drove to Tilton to run errands: check to see how my kids’s clothes sold at consignment shop Growing Like a Weed, Gap (I had a return and a $10 certificate) and Jockey (I had a $20 rewards certificate). The parking lot was packed – not a single open parking space in site. There was a bus waiting for its passengers. Cash registers had lines of seven or more people. I’m not sure why I am hearing about low retail numbers on the news every day – I certainly saw quite a bit of retail activity happening on Saturday. (And I’m not using Tilton as my only example. After Tilton I went to Concord, Manchester and Bedford…and I had to travel all away around the Mall of NH to find a parking space for a return at Sears.) Maybe folks are getting into the holiday spirit after all?

Master of all mediums

picture-0131 Sandy Steen Bartholomew is one talented lady. So when I received a flyer that her new studio was open – just inside Wingdoodle at 19 East Main Street in Warner – I was there the next day. The Beehive ( is a collection of her work, which includes painted furniture, stained glass, ceramics, rubber stamps, greeting cards and postcards. I’m leaving out the mixed media wall art, because I bought one and want to go back and buy the rest. (So don’t get any ideas, readers! Mine, mine, mine.) Sandy looks at simple things – like a word or a bird or a gingerbread man – and turns them into a fun, whimsical piece of art. If you’re looking for a Christmas gift or a fun card to send to a friend, be sure to check it out. Maybe you can stop by during the Warner shopping weekend that retailers are sponsoring on December 13 and 14? picture-0024

Pretty things

picture-0092 There are plenty of gifts to be found at the Library Arts Center in Newport. Every year, artists from all over New Hampshire (and Vermont) provide their handcrafted work for The Gallery of Gifts. There is something for everyone – from $5 notecards to a mahogany dry vase for $595. picture-0021 I did purchase a small gift for a friend, and then spoke to the new director, Kate Niboli. Kate came on board in September, and it was my first chance to meet her. She obviously loves what she does, and loves to talk about the art and artists at the LAC, so make a point to say hello to her. She let me know about the open house this weekend – Saturday, November 29 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Refreshments will be available, which always helps my shopping experience, ha ha. You can certainly pick up a small treasure for someone on your list. How about one of these wood carvings? (My favorite) picture-005

Year-round farm stand

picture-006 Today I ran another Thanksgiving errand – to Autumn Harvest Farm in Grafton. I picked up 15 pounds of fresh turkey, as well as quite a few other things for our Thanksgiving dinner: wine, cheese, potatoes, a loaf of bread, bacon, pepperoni and pickled cauliflower. And the best thing about it: ALL LOCALLY MADE. (I can also skip the busy grocery store line this afternoon.) So if you think farm stands are only available in the summer, think again. Autumn Harvest is open year round, and there were quite a few fresh veggies on hand – such as tomatoes, red peppers and scallions, to name a few – in November! Get directions at picture-009

Pie guy

Thanksgiving is at my house this year, but I am going to try to do as little as possible. Not because I am lazy…we just always go overboard and have enough food for 20 people (instead of our maximum of 10). So today I picked up an apple pie at Rocky Cannoli’s Red Barn Farm Bakery in Newport. And I wasn’t the only one who ordered a pie – Rocky has been making 50+ pies a day. Not only are his tasty pies available at his bakery on Sand Hill Road, he also has pies for sale at Spring Ledge Farm on Main Street in New London, where it is hard to keep them stocked. (See, I’m not the only one outsourcing this year!) And who can blame all of us pie eaters? Rocky’s pies are excellent. I’m already eyeballing the apple pie in my fridge, wondering if I can control myself until Thursday. But I do know one person who will not be eating pie this week – Rocky! I think he’ll be thankful when the holiday is over.

Flowers? For me?

picture-014 I love flowers! picture-0201

Too bad I’m not a better photographer, because Safflowers in Enfield did a really lovely job on a bouquet I received last week. Gerber daisies, roses, carnations, curly green grass – all in bright, happy colors: orange, yellow, purple, red. After I said thanks to my co-workers, I called shop owner Joanna Anderson to say thanks and get the scoop on her flower philosophy. She laughed at me, because although she does have one, she’s never been asked that question. Her philosophy is all about color – bright colors and color contrast. She also likes using different types of materials to create movement. One example is using lily grass instead of baby’s breath in a bouquet (such as mine).

So if you have a friend that needs a smile, someone who needs a get well soon or a Thanksgiving hostess gift that you need next week, be sure to try Safflowers. The four-year-old business is located on 468 Route 4 in Enfield and deliver to the following areas: Enfield, Canaan, Orange, Grafton, West Lebanon, Lebanon, Grantham and Dorcester. You can also visit them on the Web at