In my travels down the Square, I came to my other favorite store to visit. Mountain Made is half handmade craft store, half antique store. And in case I’m not describing that well enough, the “crafty” side of the store is where local artisans sell their wares. From canned foodstuffs to toys, from pottery to Christmas ornaments, everything that you would find at a craft show, where everything is handmade, locally.
I admit to drooling whenever I’m around pottery, and I have a deep-set hankering to learn how to do it myself, someday. But that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the skills involved that created all of the other items in the store. Even when a jacket or hand-knit scarf isn’t of a style that I would wear, I can tell that much care (and probably many hours of work) were put into it.
My walk around the store started, as usual, with me going to talk to the owner, wanting to request permission to take photos in their store. Aside from generally being flabbergasted at the request, I’ve never yet had anyone say no. But this conversation began a little differently, as I was trying to tell Mrs. Grossman that I’d been in there before. In fact, that they used to sell some dolls that my mom had made. But she was looking confused, until I mentioned that the dolls had blocky, wooden feet, and then she said, “Oh, the angels!”. I had forgotten they had angel wings, too.
So, aside from my usual conversation about photos, I got sidetracked into finding that they’d had my mom’s dolls in storage for years, because somehow the letter had gone astray, saying that they had some left. Also, some snowman shelves. I’ll put this in a later post, but I did walk out of the store, looking like I’d bought a huge bunch of things, when I was actually reclaiming some handiwork from years ago.
Also during that conversation, I found that Mrs. Grossman actually knew my older brother, back to when he was taking life-guarding courses in high school. She was his instructor, and had kids in the grades between my brother and I. So, that was an interesting chat, as he graduated in ’95, and she hasn’t seen him in a “few” years.
I continued to putz around the store, paying more attention to some things than I normally would have. I don’t really have an “artist’s eye” for seeing the best way to photograph something, but at the very least, you have to pay attention to what’s around you. I look for anything and everything that’s interesting, and I find things that are interesting, even when I might not buy it for myself. That doesn’t make it any less fascinating, that such intricate care was put into all of these items.
The toy section is one of my favorites, as I’d love to get those letter trains, when I have children of my own. I could spend a long time looking at the neat little quilted stuffed animals, and many more things of this type. Just because you don’t have kids or you’re not working with them anymore (for the time being) doesn’t mean you can’t pay attention to toys. I have little cousins with birthdays a-comin’, you know.
Then, I took a step up into the next room, and wandered back to look at the antiques. This small store has competition from several local antique stores, but I think the combination of handmade crafts on the other side, and the small room that’s easy to make your way around, works well. There are several large shelves of books, and I have to resist looking, because prices can vary, and I have a hard time saying no to a fascinating tome.
I thought the little toy fort, with it’s plastic cowboys and Indians, as well as a plastic moose, was a great find. I don’t recall seeing one quite like it before. I’m not certain whether the little figurines are Hummels or Berta Hummels (there’s a difference), but they’re still adorable. A store like this can be a treasure trove, if you just look carefully. I’ve heard of weddings where centerpieces were made of old books. The furniture can be just as interesting as the items placed on them.
Eventually, I had to resurface, sooner than I wanted, because nature was calling, and I still had to go retrieve my car from The Mercantile’s parking area. I was not carrying the angel dolls or the snowman shelves down the street. Once the car was loaded, I headed for home, to surprise my family with my haul. But more on that, later. You’ll have to drop by again, if you want to see them.