Tuesday, December 30, 2008

roots and tendrils

my roots are in corner brook, newfoundland. keith and the pets, my friends, my home. my work. my tendrils are here in st. john's. my daughter and grandchildren. from my core they unfold and wrap themselves around meals and laundry and stories and card games with an eight year old and slow walks with a three-year old. they are ready to sprout tiny green leaves to encircle a new baby. it's important to keep the core strong. to be able to give in both directions.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

nesting dolls

i have witnessed the birth of both my grandchildren. and now i'm heading into st. john's for the birth of my third. my grandson's birth was long and difficult (he was a very large baby). my grand daughter's was quick and much more simple. when my daughter was in my womb she had all her eggs so i carried these babies in my womb. my mother's mother carried me. years ago my sister wrote a poem about this where she compared us to nesting dolls. backwards and forwards. on and on...

Saturday, December 27, 2008

getting ready

i'm heading in to st. john's tomorrow (no - no baby yet) and plan on being away about 10 days (depending on when the baby comes). i'm reluctant to shut down my etsy shop again so soon (it was closed while i was in toronto earlier in the month). i've been adding new items the past couple of days and it will still be possible to purchase, convo etc. but i won't be mailing anything out until i return. i'm adding these new yarns today and hope to get a couple more up before i leave. i'll have access to my etsy shop and blog but not my emails, so if you need/want to get in touch with me you can do it through my etsy shop.

Friday, December 26, 2008

calm waters with a little evening turbulance

christmas day felt more like boxing day this year. sleeping in, leisurely opening of gifts (keith gave me wonderful snowshoes which means i can walk anywhere...), all day snacking. my daughter sent photos throughout the day so it felt like we were in st. john's with them all. but early in the evening she phoned to say perhaps labour might be starting. i checked flight schedules (i have a flight booked to go out on sunday) and no flights till early this morning. so i very quickly packed (knowing i might have to leave the house at 6:00am). by late evening things had settled down with her and we'll stick to the original plan. but now i'm packed. and ready.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

christmas lights in the snow

it has snowed so much (and continues to snow) that our christmas lights are buried in the snow. this was the inspiration for yesterday's yarn. have a lovely christmas eve.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

deep in snow and snacks

it snowed all day yesterday. the forcast today is for the same, so last night after dinner we dug out and drove to dominion to do the christmas food shopping . i looked into the food cart at one point and there was nothing healthy in it (unless you can count soya milk eggnog as healthy). it's only keith and i this year so we decided to buy all the snacky items we most enjoy. keith and i are opposites in most things including what we want to snack on. so for keith there were chocolate covered cherries and shortbread cookies. for me pistachios and brie. the video store was closed (we were going to stock up on movies) because of the weather, so we'll make another stab at that today. as i write this morning, the snowfall is again picking up. if i don't have to travel, and i'm not waiting for someone to fly in - i love this type of holiday...

Monday, December 22, 2008

there's nothing i need to do

this weekend i finished off my last commissioned piece. now there's nothing i have to do. i can't remember the last time i was in this position. always there are orders to work on. exhibitions to prepare for. i woke this morning to the first big storm of the season here on the west coast of newfoundland. rolled over and slept for another 1/2 hour. it's even too cold and snowy and windy to go for a walk with abigail. so i'll do a little spinning. maybe start sorting through some drawers of old paperwork. read a little. begin knitting a little cross-over vest for the new baby. all without the nagging weight of unfinished business on my shoulders...

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Saturday, December 20, 2008

no tree this year

when i was young, and married, i felt sorry for my in-laws when they decided not to have a christmas tree. i saw it as a failure, and a lack. this year keith and i will be on our own (no children or grandchildren home for christmas) and last night we decided we really didn't want a christmas tree. so i've decorated the mantel and put up our little blinking artificial tree (the one for the grand children's bedroom when they're here) by the spinning wheel. and it's enough. and i feel free.

Friday, December 19, 2008


unfortunately i was still in toronto when our west coast craft group met for our december gathering and exchange of "secret santa" gifts. this is the second year we've done this and the only rule is that the gift be hand made. i made a skein of yarn for susan (who is a master spinner but spins very differently than i do). and yesterday barb dropped off my gift from colette. colette is a performance artist but has recently joined our group, and to supplement her organic farm and her artist residency "fulltilt", she has been painting wonderful floor mats - acrylic paint and varnish on canvas. my gift was a small version. i love the lightness of it...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

what it became...

i love seeing my yarn knit up by other people. here is a clutch made out of my "i live on an island" yarn by one of my regular customers on etsy. and here is one of robyn's great hats. "red hot" was knit up as a collaborative piece for our etsy fibre group's december challenge it's available for sale on robyn's etsy shop

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

moonlight sonata

artists and craftspeople are constantly being asked to donate their product to charitable auctions. because of this, we have to be very selective. one of the organizations i love to support is gros morne summer music. it was started about 6 years ago by david maggs (a childhood friend of my son's). he invites musicians (mostly, but not all classically trained) from all over the world to perform in gros morne national park. these weekly concerts all summer long are a highlight of my summers now. for their auction next week i spun and then knit up "moonlight sonata" - exquisitely soft shetland, mohair, corn fibre and bamboo with just a little moonlit sparkle.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

spinning for baby

my daughter is expecting her 3rd baby in early january. when she was expecting her first (9 years ago) i spent the whole 9 months knitting. with her 2nd (4 years ago) i managed to knit up a few items. for this one, i've knit nothing... that's what happens when you knit professionally! so this week i'm spinning yarn for the new one. i'm heading out to st. john's right after christmas to help out the family and be there for the birth. and i'll be taking alot of my own yarn to knit up...

Monday, December 15, 2008

my grandfather billy

my mother's parents separeted when she was 6 years old, so we grew up with no contact with our grandfather and we knew little of him - until last year when we were contacted by a private detective working for the government and searching (for 20 years!) for billy's descendents. we received a small inheritance and with that money, this past summer, i took time to learn how to spin. (billy was from scotland so i knew he would have approved). in all the information we gathered about him, my brother discovered that he had been buried (at the age of 93) in the graveyard in north toronto that we played in as children. he knew all along where we were... so this past week, while i was in toronto, i went to visit his grave. unfortunately, the night before there had been light snow, so when i got to the veteran's area of the graveyard, and stood where my brother had marked the sight, all i could see were indentations of the flat grave markers. i could not "will" myself to find his grave. i had spun a very small skein to leave with him, so i wound it in a small tree. i'll go back another time, when there is no snow...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

the princes' gates

in 1925 my scottish great uncle, who was an architect with chapman and oxley, came to toronto to work on the princes' gates at the CNE. 2 years later my grandfather came over from edinborough and shortly after my grandmother and mother followed. that's how we ended up in canada. the toronto one of a kind show was held in the direct energy building just behind the princes' gates. every day i would walk from my lodgings to the CNE grounds. it was about an hour's walk (wonderful way to start the day of 10 hours of basically sitting in my booth). i have a very poor sense of direction, and every day, taking a slightly different route, i would get slightly lost. and every day, at some point i would see the white angel on the top of the gates and know that i was heading in the right direction and would soon be there. she was my beacon...

Friday, December 12, 2008

my etsy anniversary

yesterday was my etsy shop's 1 year anniversary. to celebrate, i'm having a sale this week (until dec. 18th)- 10% off of all items in the shop and an additional free shipping if you purchase more than 1 item. the shop is still a little bare (i shut it down when i was in toronto) but each day i'll be adding more yarn, scarflettes, fingerless gloves and baby hats. please drop by (the link is on the side of my blog) and check it out.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

so... how it all went down.

i thought, after it (the toronto one of a kind show) was all over, that i'd have a clear idea of whether or not to do it again. financially, it's tricky. i made back my expenses and then some, but not alot for the 3 months work i put into preparation. i can blame it partially on the economy. the less expensive items - the skeins of yarn, the baby hats and fingerless gloves and scarflettes - all items around $35.00-$45.00 - sold well. the more expensive items - the shawls and scarves didn't (so people were really sticking to buying gifts for others and not treats for themselves). the experience was exhausting - it included a 5:00 am set up on the first day in time for the show opening at 11:00 am and 6 eleven hour days. but on the positive - i reached out to thousands of people. 400 business cards were taken. i talked with many, many customers and potential customers. i met with some amazing other crafts people. on the last day in toronto i took some skeins over to the knit cafe on queen street and they will be carrying my yarn. so... i think i'll be going back next year...