One of the things about moving is that you just get to know the community where you lived, then you move and have to start all over again in a new place.
Back in our small town in western Maryland, I had discovered 2 wonderful little fabric shops right in the homes of my Amish neighbors. Another local woman had a larger fabric shop where she sold wool, spinning wheels and looms along with remnants and the ends of bolts of all kinds of fabric. What a treasure for a crafter like me!
Each Wednesday during the summer, there was a quaint farmer's market where the Amish and other local farmers brought produce, baked goods and crafts to sell on Wednesday and Saturday mornings. No one was allowed to start shopping until the bell rang at 10:00 a.m. sharp. That fresh produce sure tasted good!
It was sad to leave those places behind when we moved. But now here we are living in another small town in central PA. Even though my husband grew up here, there are a lot of new discoveries to make, like farming neighbors who sell eggs and other produce and a hardware store that has a pretty decent craft supply section.
But the other day I made a really neat discovery. Being an avid crafter/card maker, I found out that the local child service office which serves 2 rural counties was a great crafting resource!
They have a "Toy Lending Library" which is not only for the children in their programs like Head Start, low income, special needs or the Wrap-Around programs, but is a free resource to the community. If my grand kids come to visit, I can go and borrow toys for the duration of their visit or borrow some and when their interest lags, return them and borrow something else! No more toy clutter in my house when the grand kids go home.
Now, that doesn't have much to do with paper crafts, but the woman who operates this center also has invested in several die-cut machines with the accompanying tools to cut a wide assortment of shapes out of paper and craft foam including letters, numbers and even large shapes that work on bulletin boards or displays! Because they are used for educational purposes, they are a part of the lending library.
That's right up my alley. My mind is already working on plans for projects for children's church, Wednesday evening children's ministry and of course, my card making. The machines are free to use as long as you bring your own paper and Sally who operates the lending library is already putting together a new wish list for the next round of grant money she will receive. Oh boy! more scrapbook toys!!!!!!!
No matter where you live, there are resources available. Many will be "hidden treasures just waiting to be discovered so get out your phone books, talk to your neighbors, contact those who run community programs and see what treasure troves are "hiding" nearby. You'll make new friends and have fun discovering the wealth that may be right next door.
Happy treasure hunting!