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On the Street Where We Live

On the street where we live there has been all of kinds of action over the last few spring days and even more in our forty years on North Street. We particularly notice being out front raking the flower gardens, sweeping up sand from the sidewalks, urging the daffodils and greeting the walkers. Times are a changing, be sure. All this affects our business here in our home but it is not bad, just different. This is why doing Vermont Crafts Council Open Studio is important. A New Year's invitation to enter a home gallery freely.

Most noticeable for both sight and sound are the big trucks that are also beating up the pavement. On moving here, the traffic study revealed good seasonal traffic for a business. Our sign was grandfathered in although today signs around town are overdone. Where are the children? We have one kid in the neighborhood. In the old days there were a dozen easily, three of them our treasures. Here they are in front of an old sign, with a dog no less. We had two fabulous dog greeters over the years--the gifted English sheepdog, Daphne, and the comical dollar dog, Lucy. Both stars, they were welcomers be sure. Today we have the significant Silvio, cat extraordinary. And if you have heard about our cat book, you know over those years there were a dozen more. Half of the stone houses belong to second homeowners, and we don't know everyone by name, just sight. Some we miss more than others. Years ago there was lots more engagement in the neighborhood and cooperation between the businesses in town. Are we too busy to remember good times?

The touching part of our participation in VCC is the forty-year relationship with our neighbors, the Carpenters. Bunny, my super stitcher died in 2011 and her treasure and ours, Barney, went to God on March 11, 2015, just short of year 93. The family has given back to my care four of Bunny's Bundles, 32 years old and as good as new. I will feature them in a special sale on Memorial Day weekend. One will be given to the Springfield Adult Care where Barney enjoyed more than a few Wednesdays playing games and being social. They are fighting over who will go. I miss cooking for the guy, so the benefit of the sale of these girls will be the Springfield Humane Society--a favorite charity of theirs and ours.

Thanks to our slick brochure we do get visitors but mostly directly from the official state welcome centers. There were heydays like the eighties when 850 dolls were made and sold it. So how did you do that? Several ways: a simple pink rack card with black type, word of mouth, and the curious.View imageThen we used drawings not photography; the paper catalog not the web; and most significant moved the gallery from back of the house to the front. I am not hurting for sales but we have had no visitors so being in a special gang of other area artists and setting up a tantalizing display in the Guilford Welcome Center will change all that. We will share our visitors and here we will share our process story on the dining room table. Adults and children love to hear how our doll creations are made from start to finish. We will have yummy treats and fun activities for kids to become engaged and create. So come be part of the fun action Saturday and Sunday, May 23 and 24. Let the famous yellow signage, No. 24, bring you here to be welcomed, be enlightened and be engaged with my personality-filled original Vermont made cloth treasures. We will even dust down the place! Some things just don't change!

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