Monday, June 30, 2008

low tide

spent yesterday at the cabin. the weather has been cold and damp lately so haven't been tempted to overnight. yesterday the sun shone. the temperatures warmed up slightly. i sat on the deck and knit this shawl - the colours influenced by the beach, the low tide...

Sunday, June 29, 2008

baby chestnut

because i've had chestnut trees on my mind lately, last week we bought a little chestnut tree and yesterday we planted it up on the meadow. right now the buttercups are taller than it is...

Saturday, June 28, 2008

and another blessing

in the heart of corner brook we are loosing a green space. the city of corner brook lacks foresight and has, over the years, allowed the historical beauty of this place to be bulldozed. this green space will be replaced with a fast food tim hortons and wendy drive-thru. the deal is done and our protests fell on deaf ears. my heart has been broken with the thought of the magnificant old chestnut trees, that ring the green space, being torn down. walking under them is like entering into a cathedral. after many unanswered messages to city hall, i finally reached someone who was able to tell me that the trees will be saved. that a 30 foot band of green will be kept. that the building will be "residential style" and blend into the surroundings. i think maybe someone is listening...

Friday, June 27, 2008

a blessing

my friend sally is moving. sally melville is well known across canada for her knitting books and for her teaching. she asked me if i'd be interested in some of her yarn stash. 4 boxes of the most exquisite yarn arrived yesterday. sally collects and receives samples of yarn from all over the world. mostly a skein of each - which isn't what most knitters are looking for. for me it's perfect. my scarves and shawls are made up of bits and pieces. now i have chinese cashmere, linen from habu, italian cotton... i can reach into a box and a whole scarf will be inspired by what i pull out. i feel blessed..

Thursday, June 26, 2008

keeping it all going

i'm so used to living with deadlines. orders, exhibitions... when i don't have any (like now) it's so tempting to slow down. my next big deadline isn't until dec. with the toronto one of a kind show. i know i will need hundreds of scarves, shawls and scarflettes to sell. but now, in june, with the warmer days, the garden, my spinning wheel...

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

big and little

over the past 2 days, between the rain showers and thunder storms, i've been weeding my flower beds. i love this kind of gardening. on my knees, face inches from the soil, rediscovering my garden. acknowledging the little plants that aren't as big, aren't as showy.

Monday, June 23, 2008

in the garden

yesterday i didn't knit and i didn't spin. instead i spent the day in the garden. this time of year the garden is at it's best. iris, poppies, peonies. lush and large.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


before going to the spinnersloft workshop last week, i'd had 1 week of spinning under my belt. no technique. no understanding or knowledge. now i know alot more. the appearance and structure of unprocessed wool, the names and workings of the wheel, the characteristics and feel of different exotic fibres. i can spin thin and even. i can make yarn that holds together. i know how to add "embellishments" so that they stay in place. i've got the basics...

Saturday, June 21, 2008

refreshed and ready to go...

the day i was leaving for my spinning workshop in nova scotia, i realized that i could think of this trip as a holiday. so i did. yes - i was going there to learn how to spin. but i could leave behind everything else and just enjoy myself. the setting could not have been more idylic. pastoral farm land flowing down to the sea. every morning i walked from my b&b to the workshop along the narrow road that hugged the harbour. every morning something different. always an incredible calm. because of the recent fires there was more wildlife out in the open - hares, on the last morning a deer. wild flowers about 2 weeks ahead of here in newfoundland. i ate well (exquisite vegetarian cooking (thank you thank you leslie for your care)). i slept well - open windows, the ocean breeze, the sound of little peeper frogs from the nearby swamps. and i learned how to spin...

Sunday, June 15, 2008

into the fire

yesterday we spent a wonderful day at colette's "fulltilt creative centre" and organic farm in mccivers on the north shore of the bay of islands. worked, chatted, hung our exhibition "creative pause" and enjoyed a mostly salad potluck (including the first greens from colette's farm).

today i fly to nova scotia for a 5 day spinning workshop. a forest fire is raging just outside of halifax (right now 13 miles long and 3 miles wide and 4,000 people have been evacuated from their homes). leslie will pick me up at the airport and we'll skirt the fire to get to her place (she's separated from the fire by a body of water). i know (on many levels) that this will be a big experience...

Saturday, June 14, 2008

alot on the go

thursday evening a group of us met at humber valley resort to scout out our space for the july "craft celebration". yesterday we met at robyn's "house museum" with karen thistle (the head craft person with the government) to talk about our group, the craft conference that will take place on the west coast next spring, and what the government can do to help our group. today we're gathering at colette's "fulltilt creative centre" in mccivers for our monthly get together. we're hanging a show of unfinished work for "creative pause. works in motion". tomorrow i head off to nova scotia for a week long spinning workshop at leslie hauck's spinner's loft. what i really want to do is just stay home and spin...

Friday, June 13, 2008

can't stop now...

i've been told that, for some, spinning can be addictive. i see that. for 2 days i've been stealing time to get at the wheel. the possibilities seem endless and i'm full of excitement at the yarn i'll be able to make. the bright orange yarn in the photo - i died with kool-aid last night - and so my next step is to learn about dyeing. then i'll have yarn the texture i want and the colour i want.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

spinning heaven

last september i picked up some yarn at purlsoho in new york city. i fell in love. it was rough and nubbly, thick and thin, full of bits of texture and colour. "i need to know how to make this". and yesterday i did. robyn came over with her spinning wheel and some fleece and we sat side by side all morning and she taught me how to use my wheel. all afternoon i sat outside and spun. the colours of the yarn blurring with the colours of the garden. i was in spinning heaven...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

cod mail boxes

i got a call last week from the elizabeth burry gallery in st. john's for a wholesale order for 12 cod mail boxes. i told her i could do 6 for now and see how they sell. i'm working on the 2nd and will get them sent off before i go away this weekend.
this morning robyn is coming over to teach me how to use my spinning wheel. i need to see her spin. i need her to tell me what i'm doing wrong. hopefully by the end of the day i'll be spinning.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

gathering my wits

the little family flew back to st. john's late yesterday afternoon. the last couple of days of the visit were rainy so we had to come up with rainy day outings to get us out of the tiny house. ice cream at george's in steady brook . the insectorium in deer lake where we sat in the butterfly pavillion. the rain beating on the roof. the butterflies enchanting us all. the bee house tea room in little rapids has opened this week. andrea (who my children grew up with) and paige are bee keepers (the newfoundland bee company) and have opened up a tea room, gift shop and by the end of the summer there will be an educational bee display (how bees live, how to extract honey etc.) now the house is still. and i'm gathering my wits about me...

Sunday, June 8, 2008

her world is new

lucy is almost 3. she was born on summer solstice. her world is still brand new. she moves through it slowly , with care. she is now full of questions. my explanations to her questions without predjudice or judgement. i wish her world could always be so simple.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

a pleasant invasion

my daughter edith and the little family have
come for a four day visit. adam (my son-in-law) is scouting a large renovation contract in woody point.
when they come to my small house, it turns upside down. nothing rests. inside and out. room to room. it's all in motion. i sit back and let it flow over me. the children perching on my lap for stories, songs, cuddles and then off again.

Friday, June 6, 2008

a shawl for thich nhat hahn

the june challenge for the etsy fibre arts team is "heroes". my hero is thich nhat hahn. his writings have given me a structure for my spiritual beliefs. i'm knitting a shawl mostly from bamboo that beth of whorlingtides.etsy dyed and spun for me. the colours are like buddhist robes.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

attention to detail...

on our east coast trip we visited janet davis's print studio at norton's cove (near wesleyville (famous for david blackwood's imagery)). janet and duke bought the abandoned house behind the shop and have spent 6 years refinishing it. they moved in last july. what struck me the most was their attention to detail. i could have stood in any room and with my camera, pivoted 360 degrees and captured exquisite and simple details.

my home is not like that. too many piles of clutter. dusty shelves of unattended and unnecessary objects. i look at this and it fills me with heaviness and guilt. so the decluttering continues. today is "big garbage day" so more incentive to push on. i feel lighter already.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

a life of it's own

i always come back from a trip to see my home with new eyes. i work in my home so i think i become, to a certain extent, myopic and oblivious to my surroundings. this time i was shocked to see the excessive amout of "stuff" i surround myself with. and i find it overwhelming. yesterday i spent the day reorganizing and decluttering. my studio is now ready to open to the public for the season. my garden has taken on it's own life. when i left 2 weeks ago it was new and full of promise and ready to burst. it has. and it's wild and rampant with colour and no longer in my hands.
i can mow the lawn and trim the edges, but mostly i have to stand back and listen to it's conversation...

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

backwards and forwards

15 years ago my (then young) children and i were part of a protest about a green space in the centre of downtown corner brook being turned into a condominium and parking lot. the project was stopped. for 15 years i've waked along the path in that space almost daily. yesterday keith and i joined a quiet and heartfelt "beautification" of the same space. it has been sold to tim horton's and a large drive-thru tim/wendy will be built there causing traffic confusion and car emmissions. because of the current city's ideas of "progress", it won't be stopped this time.

and moving forward - robyn and her children dropped by after the "planting" for dinner and helped me assemble the kiwi spinning wheel and give me a demonstration. pure bliss. today i have to stay away from it because i just got a wholesale order for 6 mailboxes (and a charity birdhouse...)

Monday, June 2, 2008

a few things i saw on my trip

our first stop was in chapel's cove to pick up my spinning wheel and linda who was joining us in lumsden for the craft council agm. her "hobby" farm was everyone's dream - "baynoddy" studio is attached to her home. she has 8 sheep, 2 goats and a llama. she spins their fleece for her beautiful traditional knitwear. it was good to see where my wheel was coming from...
in gloverton we visited the "diamond house" where kevin blackmore (of "buddy what's his name" fame) and cathy sweetapple gave us a tour and talked of their hopes to turn it into an artist resource centre.
we arrived in lumsden around 5:00 and had meetings late into the night. next morning we spent at the barbour historic village in newtown. a bleak and wind swept landscape on the edge of the ocean. we had a lesson in "knitting" or mending fish nets. more meetings and the following day janet davis (new chair of the board) offered a linocut workshop from her norton's cove studio. i've done alot of lino so i spent the day wandering around brookfield and wesleyville, and knitting (i knit 5 scarves and a shawl while i was away).

brenda and i got home late last night. the leaves are out on the trees (we're further ahead here than on the east coast) and the garden has gone wild...