Irish Traditions owner Margaret Barry McLemore and her staff specialize in imported Irish and Scottish goods, but they don’t just sell physical wares–they also give customers guidance on how to inject Celtic tradition into celebrations ranging from weddings to first communions. Inside two boutique stores in Easton and Annapolis, staff members help visitors navigate shelves stocked with Irish-made cable-knit sweaters, scarves, cardigans, and jackets. Elsewhere in the shop, they keep a full stock of finery including wedding candles embellished with Celtic trinity and claddagh symbols, Galway crystalware and Belleek china, Celtic books and music, and Irish jewelry inspired by folk myths.
When formal occasions beckon, staff members can tailor full Highland traditional wear, fashioning custom kilts and tartan scarves, ties, and sashes bearing the marks of Scotland’s ancient clans or each of the 32 Irish counties. Irish Traditions also helps visitors get in touch with their ancestry, partnering with CIE Tours for several annual trips to cities and villages across the Emerald Isle.
The Biggs Museum of American Art showcases late founder Sewell C. Biggs's impressive collection that focuses on the evolution of American and especially Mid-Atlantic art from the 18th century up to the present. Steal some time inside the museum's 18 intimate galleries and peruse the permanent collection’s early American furniture, regional silver, and sculptures needled by the famously opposable-thumbed Hiram Powers. Although admission is free, the Biggs Museum fills a bustling calendar with programs such as art classes and kids’ activities that members can enjoy at a discount, along with events such as the annual member appreciation breakfast. With a rotating cast of exhibitions, current offerings include the Award Winners XI exhibition running through October 23, 2011, which displays works by the Individual Artist fellows of the Delaware Division of the Arts. The upcoming Delaware By Hand: Masters Competition exhibition, on display from November 4, 2011 to February 19, 2012, features contemporary work chosen by a panel of judges and presented in tandem with an array of public programs, art sales, and grassroots movements to line public spaces with paint-spewing fire hydrants.
Held June 4–5, the Secret Garden Tour invites guests to meander through 12–14 private gardens in a historic neighborhood built on the banks of Spa Creek. Among the tour's palatial plots is the historic John Ridout House garden at 120 Duke of Gloucester Street, sight of John Quincy Adams' 1780 tickling duel. The Ridout garden will be open to Hammond-Harwood members and will be open only on Saturday, June 4.
In 1963, Maryland Federation of Art (MFA) and the Circle Gallery were established to develop professional exhibition opportunities for the local art community. The MFA primarily supports emerging and underrepresented artists with member-only art shows and small exhibitions at Circle Gallery, its home since 1968. To showcase artwork from across the country, MFA sponsors national exhibitions at Circle Gallery, furnishing innovative new works for the local population to explore. Educational opportunities also engage local artists and art enthusiasts with programs specifically aimed at underserved populations including youth and adults with learning disabilities.
The fruit florists at Edible Arrangements inspect each piece of preservative-free produce for freshness before stamping it with a chocolaty seal of approval and finding it a cozy home in a customizable box. Mix and match scrumptious strawberries, granny smith wedges, piquant pineapple daisies, and other chocolate-varnished delights to design a box of 12 just right for thanking a business partner or showing your bedside mini fridge that you care. On a holiday or any day, an Edible Arrangement can turn a frown into an upright orange wedge, a tear into a three-tiered citrus structure, and a friend into still just a friend, but one with a sweet, balanced diet.
A full-scale rainbow of yarns populates the shelves within A Tangled Skein, where a helpful staff culls a comprehensive collection of top-quality knitting and crocheting supplies. Drawing from its immense knowledge of the craft, the team helps patrons peruse the vast array of hand-dyed South American skeins and yarns from brands such as Debbie Bliss, Noro, and Berroco. They add new specimens to the lineup almost daily, and equip creators with books, patterns, needles, and notions. To further nurture blossoming skills or refine expert abilities, seasoned instructors lead relaxed, casual classes that divulge such techniques as purling, chain stitching, and making scarves for the most discerning snowmen.