Elizabeth A.S. Brooke

Crafting, traveling and everything in between.


Mayberry Toy Co., Mount Airy, N.C.

Looking back over my posts from past years, it seems I’ve been pretty awful at noting many of the local stores and trails in my own backyard. I focus more on the local hangouts of the cities we visit. In the next several months, I will try to point out some not-to-be-missed places in the Twin Counties and surrounding communities, including linking to posts from those areas. That includes Mount Airy, N.C., and Floyd, Hillsville, Galax, Wytheville, and Grayson County, Va.

Today, I have to note a really cool store that opened a year or two ago in Mount Airy — Mayberry Toy Co. This past weekend was the first time I’d visited the store. Chris had went in and bought a gift last year while I stayed outside with Sidney. He was thoroughly impressed. So, this time, I went in with him.

The store is pretty amazing. I love the variety of toys, including Melissa and Dog and Fisher Price toys. There were board games, craft kits, stuffed toys, and science kits. I wish we had a niece or nephew old or young enough who would be interested in the DNA or physics science kits! I would love to see those in action.

We left with a Lego train set for our 18-month-old nephew. I wish we were going to live close enough to visit again next year.

So, if you’re in the area, whether you need a gift or not, stop by and check out the selection. Other Mount Airy posts are found here.


Appomattox, Va.

The next morning, we went to the Town of Appomattox to eat breakfast and use the WiFi at the local McDonald’s. After catching up on work and other email, we headed to the Historic Downtown of Appomattox to walk around. The historic area features galleries, gift shops and hardware stores.

First stop was an old courthouse that is now a theater. There were also war memorials, cannons and a couple of other buildings in the same lot. A building to the right and behind the old courthouse housed the county historical museum. There weren’t any signs explaining what it used to be and the museum wasn’t open. It looks like it is undergoing renovations and there was a construction permit in the window.

Appomattox courthouse

Appomattox courthouse.

A few blocks up, we stopped at a multiple-home yard sale. From one woman, I bought a 50 cent Tupperware sandwich container and a cute change purse she had made out of a metal tape measurer and quilting fabric. The fabric is pink and gray with cupcakes on the front of it. It’ll make a cute Christmas gift.

I went in to check out Hanny’s Sew’n Basket, which is a tiny quilting and notion shop. It is at the corner of Atwood and Church. It featured a lot of Christmas fabrics and gifts the owners had made, including Kleenex package covers and placemats.

Hanny's

On our way back to the car, we checked out Appomattox Arts and Crafts, which features 36 artisans from across the state. There were all kinds of handmade gifts, from soaps and crocheted blankets to sewn purses and toys. One adorable item was a Burglar Bear. He had on a black eye mask and shirt. One toboggan looked like a wig of red hair with braided pigtails.

Appomattox Arts and Crafts

Next was Baines Books and Coffee. It is the best locally-owned book store I’ve seen in a while. Up front was a sitting area with checkers, Sorry and other board games. Upstairs were more books and an area used for performances with a podium and several tables. Here, we bought three books: children’s book Frederick by Leo Lionni, Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv and Stones into Schools by Greg Mortenson, a follow up to Three Cups of Tea. The guy behind the counter said the book store will celebrate its 10th year.

Baines Books

Baines Books and Coffee

Baines Books and Coffee

A sitting area in the front section of Baines Books and Coffee.

Appomattox is a quaint town and a nice stop along 460.


Greenberry House has moved

Leslie of Greenberry House posted yesterday that the yarn shop has opened in its new location. By her post, it looks like she’s got most of her stock out. She carries lots of locally made yarn and other products. She’ll soon have her books set out, too, according to her post.

Leslie is a great person to talk to about all things spinning, crocheting or knitting. And, once you’re an avid fiber user, you have to check out her luxurious yarns made from angora, mohair, silk and wool, and others. If you’ve never worked with natural fibers, I’d recommend it. I am currently making a scarf from alpaca and it’s like a mini spa for my fingers. Instant stress relief. 🙂

Greenberry House is located in Meadows of Dan, a quaint little town off the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia. While you’re there, make sure to check out Nancy’s Candy Co. and other shops in there area.


Findley Market, Cincinnati, Ohio

Chris took this photo of Findley Market on our recent trip to Cincy.

We recently made a quick jaunt to Cincy to visit family. We checked out Findley Market in Over the Rhine on our last day. Love it! If we were to ever move to Cincy, I’d want to live close enough to the market to make weekly visits.

You can buy all kinds of fresh meats, including sausages, ribs, fish and chicken, and other goodies. I loved all the different kinds of bakeries. If we weren’t leaving later that day I would have bought a loaf of bread and chocolate-covered baklava (something Chris really wanted) for dinner.

We did buy grub for lunch at one of the many delis. Chris’ aunt and I split a veggie moussaka, beans with leeks and dolmades (stuffed grape leaves), and the guys ate the biggest gyros I’d ever seen. I tasted a piece of Chris’ lamb. Delicious!

Besides the food and delis, I also saw jewelry and plants for sale.

If you’re ever in the area, make an effort to check out the market!


Davis Flea Market, Level Cross, N.C.

I recently learned about a new flea market in Level Cross, N.C.

A security guard at the Jackson Library told me about it after I stopped to ask her what she was crocheting. While watching the door to the library, she was whipping up a variety of hats in multi-colors. She said a lot of the college kids loved her pattern and she sold many to them.

Other hats she sells on Saturdays at the Davis Flea Market in Level Cross (9755 U.S. 220 Bus. N., Randleman, N.C.).

The woman said the market started up about a year and a half ago and has been growing ever since.

If you’re ever in that area during the weekend, you should stop by and check it out. According to the website, the hours are 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays.

(As an aside, I lived in the Level Cross community for four years. I owned property there for six.)


The Knit and Crochet Show

The Knit and Crochet Show is coming to the Greensboro, N.C., area in September. Will you be there?

I learned about it from Ravelry friend hartroadhomestead. So, I’ve emailed Mom and my sis to see if they want to go to the Greensboro show, which is Sept. 23-25.

There’s also a show in Minneapolis, Minn., in July. Might want to check that one out if it’s closer to you.

The show features vendors of yarns and notions for knitters and crocheters alike.

There’s also classes and several special events, like dinners and fashion shows.

I don’t think we’re going to take in any classes as they’re pretty expensive. But we’re talking about going at least one day to check out some yarn and other events.

Cost is $10 for one day and $5 for each additional day. That cost isn’t too bad. Plus, you can grab a coupon off the event’s website here.

You can register for the event here.

Hope to see you there!


Free Pattern Month and buying fabric online

Hiya! Just a quick reminder to stop by Grosgrain to enjoy Free Pattern Month through the end of May. Click the button below!

Also, Rae over at Made by Rae is hosting her annual Spring Top Sewalong. Submissions should already be in and judges will soon narrow down the tops down to the finalists, which we’ll get to vote for our favorite.

One of the judges, Deborah of Whipstitch Fabrics, shared how to buy fabric from online stores earlier this week. If you’re anxious about buying fabric online, stop by Whipstitch Fabrics to see what Deborah says about picking out the best fabric for your project.