Monday, December 31, 2007

old year, new year

today is a day for reflection. yesterday i finished off my last commission (this mailbox). it's for a friend who has a black clapboard house with indigo trim so i think it will look stunning.
today is cleanup and re-sort and plan the next few months of work.
it's also the day i read my tarot cards. i take notes and read over my cards from last year. this helps me remember where i was a year ago - emotionally, spiritually, financially, physically - and where i am now. the cards help me figure out where i want to be a year from now. i wish you all joy and comfort in the coming year.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

grey day for a ski

yesterday was my first ski of the season. barb and i went to the park on the north shore - a 10 minute drive. a beautiful grey calm day. no snowmobiles are allowed in the park so the dogs could run freely. the bay is free of ice again.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

more handmade gifts

a few more wonderful gifts i got this year:

robyn made me this beautiful hat. i've been inspired by robyn to learn how to spin (she only started this past summer). her spun yarn is fine and nobbly and dyed soft and intricate colours. i love this hat. light but warm. her yarn and handknit items are available to buy at weeballyarns

barb gave me this lovely handknit rose broach. i loaned her my flower knitting book recently and she took over! i love it's presence.

Friday, December 28, 2007

handmade gifts

this year i gave and received handmade gifts. my son gave me a delicate pottery bowl made by carol mose of montreal. my sister gave me notecards of animal "shrouds"by jane kenyon of vancouver. and my friend gave my a wall tile by deb kzyk and ray mackie of nova scotia. and keith loved the hooked mat i made him...

for a number of reasons i made a conscious decision to give handmade gifts this year. i didn't want to shop in the malls. i like to support other craftspeople. i like to buy local. i like to give unique one-of-a-kind gifts. if you would like to read more about "handmade giving" check out buyhandmade

Thursday, December 27, 2007

what it's all about...

lucy and eamon opening their gifts christmas morning.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

a christmas of firsts

this was a christmas of firsts:

1. no family came home, so for the first time it was just keith and me.

2. christmas eve mass with keith's mum.

3. christmas morning sleep in

4. we ate breakfast before we opened our gifts.

5. lying on the bed late afternoon reading and then slipping into a nap.

it was all ok...

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Monday, December 24, 2007

this christmas

this is such a different christmas for me this year. the first year that neither child will be home. no preparation needed except for keith and i . it's like when you're young and first leave home and don't quite know how to do christmas for yourself. i like the calm. i like not being caught up in the over indulgence . i like choosing just how much i want to do. but i'm also missing the excitement. and i'm desperately missing the children and grandchildren. so this year it's good to focus on the small details. the essence of what i love about christmas. and try to remember that next year. merry christmas to all of you.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

i don't party much anymore

last night we went to a party. it was a big party at a big house. at a young friend's who's partner is much younger than she is, so most of the guests were younger than my children. when i first moved to newfoundland in 1975 i was 25 years old and i learned how to party hard. christmas was about partying. i don't smoke any more and stopped drinking entirely about 5 years ago. music is too loud for conversation. i didn't last long at the party (keith has more tolerance so stayed a little longer). i walked home through the town. a crisp calm night. the moon almost full. the christmas lights making every home beautiful. i couldn't have been happier...

Saturday, December 22, 2007

my calico scarf

flora is 11. we took her in as a semi-wild kitten and she's stayed that way. when the weather is warm she's outside every day but in the winter she choses the warmth of the house. she's not a cat to be petted and will sit on your lap only when she wants. sometimes it's still like she's seeing you for the first time. but during these short dark days she follows me around as i work and i spend alot of time just marvelling at her beauty. she's a calico cat with perfectly proportioned shapes of white, orange, black. the other day i started knitting this scarf - playing with some of the wonderful yarn i'd picked up over the autumn. flora was sitting beside the yarn i had chosen and i realized that they were flora's colours - including the green (like her eyes). sometimes you look for inspiration. sometimes it's just there. i'll be putting this scarf up for sale on my etsy shop after the holidays.

Friday, December 21, 2007

winter solstice

it is so dark. corner brook is surrounded by hills. this time of year from my house i see the sun rise above the hills around 8:00 am, so when i get up i'm turning on lights. often i need lights on all day to work by. the sun sets for me at 4:30 and then long dark nights. i love the feeling, after winter solstice, that every day is getting longer.

Thursday, December 20, 2007


winter came so early this year. the bay of islands doesn't usually freeze over until febuary. sometimes it doesn't at all. a month before the freeze you get what is locally called sish - a thickening of the water. it begins in patches. it looks like it sounds. this is happening already. it will be along long winter.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

keith's gift

keith doesn't understand why we don't own any of my mats. i've explained that we can't afford one. although the materials cost next to nothing (burlap and recycled tshirts) they are so labour intensive to make that i can't afford the time or money to make one for ourselves. many have left the house that he's said "can't we keep it?" well, this year i am making him one for christmas. his favourite have always been the codfish. i've made many of them - they sell well locally and to tourists. i've done them in many colours. they're 13"x22" and sell for $350.00. now we'll have one of our own.

Monday, December 17, 2007

sweet tiny tree

i think this year, more than any other, we're all struggling with the natural/fake/ no tree dilemma. this was our solution. this little "tree" was squat between two larger trees so wouldn't have grown anyway. on the way home from the cabin it filled the jeep with the smell of christmas. keith put it in a coffee can filled with stones and attached the can to a block of wood to make it steady. it took 2 strings of lights. i put only my favourite/most sentimental decorations on it. it's all we need...

Sunday, December 16, 2007

cold and hot

it's been so cold. cold like not wanting to go out of the house cold. but yesterday we headed down to the cabin to get our christmas tree. we chose one quickly. there's nothing colder than atlantic ocean cold and our cabin is right on the ocean. abigail didn't take her time crossing the beach - no sniffing and searching for the perfect stick. today she ran and waited for us by the cabin door. it was -10 degrees in the cabin, but within 2 hours keith had the cabin up to 25 degrees. he's good with a fire. calm and comfort.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

that's how it goes

yesterday i delivered a commissioned mailbox and picked up a cheque for $200.00. i then went to the natural foods store and stocked up on vital greens (i swear that's what's keeping me healthy this year), mouthwash and eye vitamins. the bill came to $158.00. that's how it goes...

Friday, December 14, 2007

winding up

yesterday was a cold snowy day. brenda dropped in in the morning for a visit and brought me her yarn swift. i've been wanting to ball off all my skeins of yarn and try to get my yarn stash more organized. this will make the task so much easier. she also brought me a skein of luscious nepalese yarn made from banana . how sweet is that...

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

my etsy shop

i've been finishing up the last of my pre-christmas commissions. this birdhouse (it will be up for auction at next week's gros morne music festival gala fundraiser) and a couple of cod mailboxes. i finally got my etsy shop up and running (thanks to the guidance and encouragement from Robyn Love). i always think that new technical achievements are going to be too difficult for me. bit by bit i'm getting courage... i
f you don't know etsy it's this amazing online store for hand crafted items.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

simple gifts

i sent off the last of my gifts yesterday. this christmas there will be no family coming to corner brook - no children or grandchildren. keith's parents live here so we'll be getting together with them. this year is our chance to keep things very simple. what i don't like about this holiday is that there's too much of everything: too much spending of money you don't have, too much giving and receiving of gifts that are not wanted or needed, too much food and drink, too much socializing. this year we'll be cutting back on everything. i did a little online shopping (we all love l.l. bean's flannel p.j.'s) but other than that i shopped at the craft fairs and made gifts. so i didn't have to hit the malls and wander about in a trance of indecision. we'll go next weekend to the cabin and cut a tiny tree and we'll decorate it with only our favourite ornaments. i'm looking forward to keeping my health and sanity this year...

Monday, December 10, 2007


yesterday our craft co-op got together for our christmas potluck party. it was to be hosted at barb's, but that fell through. so it was at my house instead. there were 10 of us - joan and molly from woody point and urve and shannon from gillams and the rest from corner brook - so a great turnout in spite of the snowy day.(we missed barb and niki and robyn). we had exchanged names at our last meeting in oct. and everyone made a gift for the name they drew. lovely gifts - those are glass buttons from urve to shannon in the photo - and a wonderful potluck feast. we try to keep our gatherings a little structered but this was more of a celebration (although we did get a "report" from brenda about her participation at the "one -of-a-kind-show" in toronto and from urve about her trip to iceland with the newfoundland small business trade mission). our group is young and growing. it's an important part of our lives. everyone working seriously with their craft and knowing there is local support.

Saturday, December 8, 2007


keith and i don't watch tv series when they first air. we don't get hbo. any series we do get comes on tv later here than anywhere else in north america (newfoundland is 1/2 hour ahead of eastern canada, 1 1/2 hours ahead of toronto where most of our tv shows originate).we also have trouble remembering when a show is coming on. because of all this, we tend to wait until a new series comes out on dvd to watch it. and when we do, we don't watch it with restraint. we binge. from the time keith gets home from work till sometimes midnight we watch episode after episode. weekends can be all day and all night. rushed dogwalks and showers and fast food. i get tonnes of knitting or rug hooking done. i love it.

Friday, December 7, 2007

christmas stockings

when i was a child my mother made us all christmas stockings. mine was thick yellow felt with appliqued flowers and a white fur trim. i loved it. opening the christmas stocking has always been my favourite part of gift giving/receiving.

my own children hung work socks (their father's family tradition). i've knit large colourful and beaded stockings for my grandchildren and this year decided to finally make stockings for my son and daughter and their partners. they're made from vintage chenille and vintage/retro cotton lining. embellished with vintage buttons and rick-rack.

Thursday, December 6, 2007


every serious knitter has a stash. if it's well organized it can be a wonderful source of inspiration. i've recently added some deliscious yarn to my collection and it's influencing what i'm knitting.yesterday i finished this little set - scarf, cap and booties for the 0-3 month size baby. soft and warm.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

it's hit hard

winter has hit early and hard here (as it has in many parts of canada). it has been snowing for days and on the bonavista penninsula people have been without power since sunday. on mornings like this i'm happy to work from home. when the weather is bad the birds come to the feeders. chickadees, sparrows, blue jays. a large flock of cedar waxwings came around but are skittish and flew away when i tried to get their photo.


i picked up lovely yarn in halifax last week. my usual knitwear is loud and energetic with strong contrasts in colour and texture. with this yarn i decided that i wanted to knit something more elegant and fancy. this is a fine, soft, variegated tweedy wool. the scarf pattern was a simple repeat of 12 rows. i'm giving it away as a gift.

Monday, December 3, 2007


this was the first weekend i've had at home in over a month (november was craft fairs and visits and travel). although i work from home and what i do with my time is self-directed, weekends still feel special. keith is home. we sleep in later. breakfast is liesurely and saturday morning keith goes out and picks up our lattes and the globe and mail (i make the paper last all week and save the style section and the book section for sunday morning). sunday morning marilee and i got to the gym. it's so crowded late afternoon when i usually go, so sunday mornings are a treat because it's so empty. and this weekend i finally had time to redisign my blog. i like the lighter feel. now i have to figure out flickr so that i can get images of more work up.

there's just a light layering of snow on the ground, and because it was mild yesterday, i spent the afternoon in the garden cutting down dead plants and finished tying up the rest of the bushes. the garden is really ready for winter now.

Sunday, December 2, 2007


keith's father don is 77 years old and full of joie de vivre. every year in june, as a clown, he leads the spca dog walk through the park, and in december he takes part in corner brook's santa claus parade. he works and reworks his costume each year but the only thing that stays the same are the 3 legs (all the children know the 3-legged clown). this year we tracked down (on ebay) new shoes and a mask for him from england and he added an extra arm. during the parade he spends so much time talking and clowning with the children that often santa passes him by and he ends up being the last in the parade. he hopes to continue into his 80's. two years ago he was suffering from chronic jaw pain (he had been climbing rocks at our cabin trying to take a photo of our dogs, slipped and fell on his face). he wasn't in the parade that year and talked of giving away his costumes. corner brook is happy to have him back. this year (as usual) he won best clown in the parade...