Southern New Hampshire Life

Southern New Hampshire Blog by Steve Russo, Realtor


Southern New Hampshire Life - Southern New Hampshire Blog by Steve Russo, Realtor

The 2014 Made in New Hampshire Expo

The 19th annual Made in NH Expo will be April 4th through 6th this year.  This fair highlights local New Hampshire businesses; over 110 will be there to introduce you to their offerings.  As the motto of the Expo is “Try It and Buy It,” many exhibitors will be giving away free samples.  Vendors run the gamut from Barkin’ Biscuits (all natural dog treats), Candia Vineyards, and the Granite State Candy Shop to Sunapee Granite Works (jewelry), Knot Again (cutting boards),  and Weeping Willow Fine Arts (jewelry and housewares).  Many new companies are joining veteran exhibitors at this fun fair. Other companies present will be showcasing a wide variety of products: foods, glassware, tableware, pet foods, skin care items, clothing, furniture, and various services.

The hours for the Made in New Hampshire Expo will be Friday  1 –  8PM; Saturday  10AM – 8PM; and Sunday 10AM – 4PM.   As usual, the Expo is at the Radisson Hotel, 700 Elm Street, Manchester.  There is an admission charge; seniors and children’s tickets are discounted.  For more information see their website.   You can find a list of the Made in New Hampshire Expo exhibitors by clicking here. Mt. Monadnock

Unique Shopping Opportunities: Gibson Pewter in Hillsborough

In an era of mass produced throw-aways, it’s great that some craftsmen and artisans are carrying on the centuries-old tradition of crafting one-of-a-kind items by hand. In Southern New Hampshire we are very fortunate to have Gibson Pewter, a second-generation family craft shop in Hillsborough.

Jonathan Gibson today carries on the craft he learned from his father growing up, using lead-free pewter. The shop is filled with reproductions of 18th and 19th century tableware, Christmas ornaments, and other original creations that he has fashioned. Gibson Pewter 2

Although Gibson’s works are represented in the collections of the Smithsonian and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, they are very affordable. Gibson Pewter 2

From talking with Jon Gibson, you can see how much he loves his work. He was featured in a WMUR Chronicle segment, available by clicking here. His excellent workmanship is easy to see. 

Gibson Pewter 3

The Gibson Pewter Shop is located in a 250-year old barn in Hillsborough Center at 18 East Washington Road; it’s open Monday through Saturday from 10AM to 4PM. Visitors are encouraged and demonstrations are frequently given. Gibson Pewter sign

If visiting the shop is not possible, check out the Gibson Pewter website; it is very comprehensive, with a gallery of the works that are currently available and directions for ordering by mail or phone.

New Hampshire Open Doors 2013

New Hampshire Open Doors gives everyone the opportunity to meet hundreds of crafters, artists, farmers, and other creative folk in their own workshops or studios.  This year Open Doors will be held the weekend of November 2nd and 3rd.   For an “up close and personal” time with these inventive people, this can’t be beat!

Gibson Pewter, Hillsborough
Gibson Pewter, Hillsborough

What began 9 years ago as a way of letting New Hampshire residents know about the great crafters in their midst has grown into a celebration of everything created in New Hampshire – from beer to high-end paintings. Local farms, chocolatiers, wineries, and bakeries join potters, jewelers, clothiers, quilters, photographers and painters for this event.  No matter where you live in the state, you will be able to meet dozens of your most creative neighbors during this two-day celebration.  Also included in the Open Doors event are retail stores like Wilderness Creations (Dublin) and the Black Moose Country Store (Windham) which specialize in handcrafted New Hampshire made products.

Oak Leaves Studio, Wilton

Oak Leaves Studio, Wilton

It’s a great way to start your holiday shopping.  The New Hampshire Open Doors website makes stopping and shopping very easy.  The website includes lists of the participants by name, category, and location, and even contains tours that take you to several crafters who live in adjacent areas, such as the Keene area, Mont Vernon, and the Peterborough region.  Further afield, tours are also listed for central and northern New Hampshire places like, Canterbury, Walpole, and Plymouth. Check out the website for the list of participants, detailed maps and directions, and the times each shop or studio will be open.

Country Cuisine 10: Zeppelin & Kaleidoscope in Marlborough

Zeppelin & Kaleidoscope is one of the few vegetarian/vegan restaurants in this area of New England.  They aim to please, and will delete or substitute ingredients to fulfill the patron’s request.

Its breakfast menu, which includes bagels, egg and cheese sandwiches, etc., is served all day.  For lunch and dinner, they offer soups, wraps, five different veggie burgers, and eight kinds of sandwiches, including the Inner Child (a cheese panini) and The Fungus Among Us (a mushroom, onion, and cheese panini).  Their reuben is vegetarian, as is their Green Monster salad platter and their Falafel platter, which features chickpea croquettes.   20130622_131915-1

Zep & Kal serves a wide variety of natural drinks, including juices, carbonated beverages, fair trade coffee, and teas.  Cakes, cookies, muffins, and ice creams feature in their dessert list.

There are four tables inside and six outside during good weather.  The restaurant also has a grocery area, with a large selection of natural, organic, vegan, and gluten free foods, including spices, teas, cookies, candy, nut butters, etc. –  even Marmite.  They also carry a selection of natural and ecological friendly cleaning supplies and housewares.

Zeppelin & Kaleidoscope is open seven days a week, from early morning to early evening. Check out their website for their menu and hours.

When you stop at Zep & Kal, you may want to spend some time exploring some of the interesting shops in town.  Along 101 (Main Street) there are several unique stores: Inkubus, Mother’s Hardware, Muse Books & Gifts, and the Homestead Bookshop; most are just a short walk from the Zeppelin & Kaleidoscope restaurant.

Inkubus specializes in gothic clothing and accessories for adults and children.  Mother’s Hardware is an independent locally owned hardware store with great customer service; their motto is: “Old time service with all the modern perks.” Muse Books carries metaphysical items such as crystals, books, tarots, incense, candles, statuary, jewelry, etc.  The Homestead, a short drive from the restaurant,  has one of the most extensive collections of gently used books in New England, presided over by the very knowledgeable owners, Robert and Connie Kenney.

18th Annual Made in New Hampshire Expo

The Made in NH Expo is this coming weekend, April 5th through 7th.  This fair highlights local New Hampshire businesses; over 130 will be there to introduce you to their offerings.  As the motto of the Expo is “Try It and Buy It,” many exhibitors will be giving away free samples.  Vendors run the gamut from Mason’s Alpine Angels (makers of natural goat’s milk soaps), winemaker Candia Vineyards, and Laconia’s Woodshed Roasting Company (coffee roasters) to North Hampton’s Great Bay Pottery, Sunapee Granite Works (jewelry), and Peterborough’s Creations Frumdawoods carved furnishings and accessories. Many new companies are joining veteran exhibitors at this fun fair. Other companies present will be showcasing a wide variety of products: foods, glassware, tableware, pet foods, skin care items, clothing, furniture, and various services.

The hours for the Made in New Hampshire Expo will be Friday 4/5 1 –  8PM; Saturday 4/6 10AM – 8PM; and Sunday 4/7 10AM – 4PM.   As usual, the Expo is at the Radisson Hotel, 700 Elm Street, Manchester.  There is an admission charge; seniors and children’s tickets are discounted.  For more information see their website.   You can find a list of the Made in New Hampshire Expo exhibitors by clicking here.

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Steve Russo

– Steve Russo, Connecting People with Homes in Southern New Hampshire and North Central Massachusetts.

Website: http://www.SteveRusso4Homes.com

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Unique Shopping Opportunities: Bedford Fields Garden Center & Home Decor in Bedford

Bedford Fields Garden Center and Home Decor has been a mecca for plant lovers for almost 20 years. During planting season, its grounds are covered with choice perennials and annuals, many from local nurseries. This locally owned shop also features organic vegetable and herb plants, organic weed and feed products, outdoor/garden furniture and statuary, and a wide range of quality items for your pet and home. The friendly informative staff includes master gardeners and horticultural-degreed employees. Bedford Fields

During the winter holiday season, Bedford Fields’emphasis is on home decor. This Bedford town institution is transformed with several artificial holiday trees, including their celebrated upside-down balsam fir.  The trees are covered from top to bottom with traditional and contemporary ornaments for sale.

The store also offers a wide variety of distinctive home accent items and a selection of tasteful gifts, even including gift ideas for pets. Of course the shop also stocks interesting plants for the holiday season, and is well-known for its wreaths and garlands in a wide variety of styles.  Their website details the wide variety of items they stock. Open daily, Bedford Fields is located at 331 State Route 101 in Bedford.

 

Unique Shoping Opportunities: The League of New Hampshire Craftsmen Gallery in Nashua

Nashua’s League of New Hampshire Craftsmen Gallery features the best by master craftsmen and artists who have qualified to be members of the League.  A wide selection of giftables in pottery, stained glass, textiles, jewelry, prints, and wood are available in this interesting shop, as are holiday ornaments and cards. Nashua League Store

The store at 98 Main Street in Nashua changes its stock regularly, so one should stop by frequently to see the unique goods that are constantly arriving on its shelves. Hours vary during the year; check their website for current open times. There are other League of New Hampshire Craftsmen Galleries throughout the state; a list can be found at this site.

Unique Shopping Opportunities: Frye’s Measure Mill in Wilton

The artisans at Frye’s Measure Mill craft colonial and Shaker trays, round and oval wooden boxes, and other hand made items the same way they were originally fashioned over a hundred years ago.

Visitors are invited to tour the water mill where some of the production processes haven’t changed in over 150 years.  The Mill is a great place to view the best in handcrafted wooden ware,  glassware, pottery, pewter, and tin ware from not only New England, but from throughout the country.  Old-fashioned books, candles, and linens are also available.

You will find many unique items in the seven-room gift shop.  Frye’s Measure Mills’ website will acquaint you with all that’s available to experience at the old sawmill.  Frye'sMeasure Mill

The mill and shop, at 12 Frye Mill Road in Wilton, is on the National Register of Historic Places; it is open Tuesdays through Sundays.

Unique Shopping Opportunities: Wilderness Creations in Dublin

Wilderness Creations is the place to go for rustic furnishings for your home or cabin. They feature handmade pieces crafted by New England and other American woodworkers, everything from spoons and cups to chairs, tables, beds, and desks. There is something for every room in the house.  Wilderness Creations 1

The store also includes rustic-themed bedding and lighting, books on cabins and log homes, and playful chainsaw figures of bears.  A recent addition to Wilderness Creations is barrel saunas – easy to assemble kits made from Western Canadian Red Cedar.

If you can’t find exactly what you want in their showroom, they will be happy to arrange with an artisan to make a special creation just for you.  A tour of their website will give you many decorating ideas.
Wilderness Creations 2

Wilderness Creations is located at 1327 Main Street (State Route 101) in Dublin.  They are open Tuesdays through Sundays.
Wilderness Creations 3

 

Unique Shopping Opportunities: C’est Cheese in North Hampton

C’est Cheese in North Hampton is a great resource for imported and domestic cheeses. They carry all the popular favorites as well as artisan cheeses from some of the world’s most renowned cheese makers. The varieties are endless: soft-ripened, rind-washed, made from goat’s milk, sheep’s milk, cow’s milk, etc.

In addition to myriad dairy-based cheeses, C’est Cheese also features fine wines and imported cheese accompaniments, such as olives, mustards, meats, breads, crackers, and marinated vegetables. They encourage in-store tastings, and are also happy to put together a gift basket to suit your needs and tastes.

The shop’s website details their wide range of products and services. C’est Cheese, located at 61 Lafayette Road in North Hampton, is open Tuesdays through Saturdays the year round.