It's a sad state of affairs, really. There is a little fabric store in Manchester that is stocked with bolt ends from NY. In years past, it and it's predecessor, Lavine's, were bursting with all kinds of amazing fabrics, so many it was hard to narrow the pile. It's still a great place, don't get me wrong. There is a lovely assortment of fabrics, especially fleece, but their wools were lacking, and there is no hope for more to arrive, as the next buy is in Spring. The reason for all this, is the fact that all our clothing is being made overseas, so all our fabric is being cut there too, hence not bolt ends. It's sad really, not just because I don't have the amazing selection of fabrics I once did, at the wonderful prices; 100% wool suiting for $8.00 a yard! Amazing. But it speaks to a larger problem. The US has given up so many of it's backbone industry. It's a shame. They did have new fold over elastic, so I picked up some tutu pink and a lovely steel blue. A yard of flannel, but no wool. The prospect of Joann Fabrics being my only garment fabric option is really getting me down.
On the flip side of all that doom and gloom was lunch! Mom and I were trying to figure out where to eat, what would be the least offensive option, when I remembered an ad, or spot on NPR, or maybe it was an article, I read, or a combo of all of the above. Republic, a new cafe/bar/restaurant on Elm Street in Manchester!
Local meats, produce (when in season), dairy products (including cheese, except parmesean), oh my! The price points were fair and quite varied. You could enjoy an appetizer or salad for less than $10.00, a sandwich or lunch special for around $10.00 or entrees in the $15-under $20 range, with one meal hitting $23. Mom and I decided on the same thing, but it was delicious. Farm Fresh eggs poached in a lovely tomato based sauce, topped with a piece of fried polenta and local mozzarella.
We had a lovely chat with Claudia, co-owner, about their practices, and how things are going. They have some great partner farms, that they list on a board in the front (I was very happy to see Brookford Farm listed, as Yogurt supplier), and she told us the story of a farm that they work with that is going to be making some changes to be able to provide a great amount of diverse produce through the entire calendar year, for 2011. They are struggling with local produce now that winter has hit, but are still going strong with their meats, seafood, and dairy options. I made a couple suggestions of farmers she wasn't familiar with, that might still have something other than squash (which she still has a source for). She's excited with how well they did this year, and anticipates even more, next year.
I highly recommend stopping in.
Upon arriving home, I decided to take advantage of the warm weather and headed to my unheated glass studio. I've been having so much fun being back at the torch! I have a couple more sets of buttons to bring on Wednesday, to Spinning Yarns.
I have had a couple folks ask about buying my buttons online. I am not offering them there yet, but will update here when I do. My current plan is to add them to my Etsy Store in January, if I can keep up with the demand at Spinning Yarns and online. I'd like to think I can, but as I said, I'll let you know here, when they are available outside of Spinning Yarns.