Hancock Fabrics, Good Bye!

Pile of cloth

Alas! The venerable Hancock Fabric Store is no more. I have such fond memories of Hancock Fabrics, from way back. I won the 8th grade science fair and got $50 cash money for it. I bee-lined it to Woolco Department Store in the Indian Trail Shopping Center so Ma and I could pick out a sewing machine. Not that she was much help – she did not sew at all. I got a Brother, rather plain but highly serviceable.

I made all of our church dresses and made my little sisters colorful outfits for church and school. I particularly remember Poo (Alice) wanting more pockets! I made a yellow tunic with matching flared pants. The cotton material had big white flowers splattered across it, and a red band across the front tunic bottom divided into at least six pockets. I made myself a deep purple pair of hiphugger flared brushed denim jeans…the coolest nerd in school.

071415 018Imagine my delight many years later, when I found Hancock Fabrics had a store minutes from the house I’d moved into! I didn’t actually go in there or even find my sewing machine (a different one, another story) until Ma moved in with me over a year ago. Oh, she needed tailor made church dresses! We both enjoyed roaming Hancock’s, ferreting out the deals, and she loved the quirky and brightly patterned stuff.

When I heard they were closing, bankrupt, I couldn’t believe it. No reorganizing? No restructuring? Nope, just gone. I haunted the store the last few days and bought entire bolts of cloth at 90% off. I got gobs of patterns at $1 each. One always needs buttons and zippers, so into the overloaded cart they went.

Now I have cloth from satins to upholstery to fanciful cotton blends. I have years worth of scrumptious silky, flowery fabrics and all of the smooth linings I hope to ever need. Sure I loved the spectacular deals. I’m so sorely going to miss dear old Hancock Fabrics, though.

 

 

Disingenuous Gift Ideas – Things I Like!

Last minute gift ideas for the reader, the writer, the baker, the brewer, and the sewist!

The easiest is the Reader. I sent my littlest sister’s family boxes of books so each could Science Booksperuse and pick. I know they are ecologically minded (as am I), so had no qualms about getting them at Thrift Books. I also get quite a few at Abe Books and Better World Books, but Thrift had a good sale at the time. Not sure of personal tastes, I got a wide variety – painless as they were inexpensive.

Now the Writer: How about a Lonely Planet Guide to a far-off place? Or a Russian-American dictionary? These are good idea-generators and might come in handy for details. Along a similarIndian Books line, try a picture book of the Pantanal or the Congo. Pictures open the mind and writers need the aeration. The Audubon Society made a dozen different nature identification books a few years ago; I have birds east, birds west, amphibians, insects, clouds, reptiles and more. I have the Cornell University plush birdies that sing authentic songs. A writer might need a reference, or could be inspired by an oriole call.

The Baker. For the bread baker, try a pound of yeast or Kentucky sorghum molasses. Does Cookie Cuttersthe baker load the bread? How about a pound or two of dried cherries or almonds? For the sweets baker, try Mexican vanilla or several bags of different chips, like chocolate chunks, toffee bits, cinnamon chips, the odd stuff. Gee, they might like the cherries and almonds too. Try one of those cookbooks made by a church, the kind with the plastic binding and tons of homey recipes. For a baker who has everything, give a Bulgarian Yule Pastries cookbook or one on home canning in Dutch. Odd cookie cutters are always good!

Any brewer or wine maker can use cool, sealable Cabin June 2015 085bottles. Get ’em out of their comfort zone and give a mead kit or a book and six pounds of clover honey. A specialty ale or stout kit or set of ingredients would probable cause a thrill. Could he use a five pound can of boysenberry puree? You could fill a box with a thousand (new) bottle caps – they will be used eventually with fond remembrance of you.

Oh the sewist! A few yards of a beautiful cloth Skirt maybewould spark imagination. How about a pickle jar (cleaned) filled with different colors of thread spools? Does she need a better or more cushioned chair? One cannot have too many scissors, and there are many different kinds of pinking shears now – they make scallops, waves, like that. For the budget-minded, fill a cloth sack or wooden box with all of the buttons you could find at the second hand store (Goodwill, Salvation Army, Tina’s Treasures). Perhaps the best gift would be raving about the wonderful thing she made you, and being honest about the fit so she can take care of it for you. That way she will see you wear it!

Christmas Card