Tuesday, August 13, 2019

St. Mary's County MD: First Catholics in New World - Getaway Mavens Shop Make Walk Kayak Leonardtown

SHOP: Leonardtown. Collaboration is in the air in this artsy town – from the “retail incubator” community of Shepherds Old Field (SOF Market) to the women’s fiber collective, New View Fiber Works, to the fantastic artist collective, North End Gallery. 

SHOP: Shepherd’s Old Field (SOF Market). Helmed by the vivacious and engaging Gerrie Lheureux, the enclosed SOF is a “retail incubator” in a “town within a town.” Twenty vendors sell their unique wares inside the former Old Leonardtown Hardware Store that Lheureux renovated to look like a main street, complete with a concrete floor stamped to look like brick. There’s a “community Brew House” (the stylish Brudergarten) with an outdoor patio and upstairs room dedicated to vets, police, firefighters, nurses – First Responders, all. You’ll find a Farmer’s Market, Fitness Center, and everything from CBD Oil products to jewelry, ceramics, signs, prepared foods, Lori Schendel’s quilts, biodegradable garden markers, crab-shaped sugar cookies, antiques and more. There’s even a Pet Photography Studio. This wonderful assemblage is worth checking out.

MAKE/SHOP: Patina + Stone Studio. Come in to ogle exceptional silver jewelry by Cynthia Rosenblatt, and if so inclined, arrange a guided project “Jewelry Party” for two to six people. After 1 ½ to 2 hours, you’ve made a piece of silver jewelry to take home ($40-$60 per person depending on the piece). A tiny shop, walk in and there’s Cynthia working at her desk. 
MAKE/SHOP: New View Fiber Works. Misti Dayton declares that though she “owns” this shop, it’s really a 20 women strong cooperative of local artisans and farmers. New View supports a large community of yarn spinners, and in fact this establishment is a dealer for a specific brand of spinning wheels. Though not a “yarn shop” (you’ll find mostly finished textiles, lace, and supplies), you can take knitting, crochet, felting, weaving, tatting, and, yes, spinning classes here.

SHOP: North End Gallery. For 33 years (22 in this location), 25-30 artisans have been exhibiting and selling juried, high-end and unique pieces of jewelry, sculpture, ceramics, furniture, paintings, photography, and more at great prices. I’d go so far as to say this is one of the best craft galleries of its kind in the region for uncommon, extraordinary, and wonderful objects d’art.
Discover lots of talent with great back-stories. Jim Doussard, a graphic designer at an architectural firm, makes whimsical clocks – aka “Curious Chronometers” from the likes of old movie projectors and other machine parts. Diana Manchak creates sculptural ceramic bowls and jars with a “surprise” (e.g., lobster top with “pats of butter” inside). And 82 year old Mickey Kunkle still turns out funky beaded light plastic jewelry “for women who love to be seen.”
SHOP: Bourbon & Bows. Fantastic on-trend clothing for women, and a fun shopping experience. B&B was incubated in the SOF Market, and is now fully fledged in town.
WALK: Leonardtown Wharf. For a few moments of serenity on the Potomac River, head to Leonardtown Wharf and esplanade – a short walk from downtown.
KAYAK: PAC Paddle Sports, Leonardtown. Paddle with Dave Lane, owner of Patuxent Adventure Center, or one of his guides, on a meandering woodland river float – McIntosh Run – into the stock-still waters of Breton Bay (2.4 miles). You’ll begin just out of town near Leonardtown Winery and end up at Leonardtown Wharf – a stunning waterfront park. Or, opt for the “Illuminated SUP Tour” – bringing you out to the calm bay at night with LED lights illuminating the base of the boards, or the Wed. Night Paddle and Wine ($50) – ending at the Leonardtown Winery. Great, innovative ways to get on the water for sure. Open Wed – Sun 9-6 in season.