Saturday, January 31, 2009

phatfiber goody box

this week i received my phatfiber goodie box in the mail (no abigail - mine - not yours). each month jessie at phatfiber (check out the link on my blog for more details) puts together boxes of fibre related samples and sells them through her etsy shop. she's contacted many fibre artists from around the world to contribute - yarn, batts, knitting patterns, needle markers etc. each month has a different theme. i participated in january's inaugaral box. (when they went on sale in her shop, they sold out in 20 minutes). each of us is asked to contribute 20 samples, but if we contribute 45, we get our own box. and i got mine - not yours - abigail...

Friday, January 30, 2009

storm day

yesterday we had a big storm with high winds and another 15 cm of snow. so aside from goping out and shovelling late in the afternoon after the winds died down, abigail and i stayed indoors. keith is still off work with his back injury, so abigail spent most of the day lying on top of him. whenever keith gets up off the couch, abigail dives for the heating pad... those two know how to pass a storm day.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


i'm not afraid of colour. in my painting, in my spinning i can bring colours together that sing. but i am stumped by the colour of my bathroom tiles. they are medium yellow with black edging. original to the 1950's house. when i bought the house 10 years ago i painted the walls a bright orangey-yellow. it actually always felt dark. so this is what i went with this time. my inspiration was 1950's motel bathrooms. but it doesn't work. it's bright and clean but feels so stark. i think i need to keep going with the 1950's quirkiness to bring it to life. last night i bought this print on etsy to replace bonnards bathing woman. he reminds me of abigail!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

look what i won!

i consider myself a lucky person (i have a good life), and although i've won things that i've worked for (awards etc), i've never won a draw. until this week. kathy at whiltangerinedreams made this gorgeous felted poncho and offered it up in a draw on her blog. i'm absolutely delighted to have won it. the colour is amazing. as you can see in the photo (that's the lovely kathy), kathy does colour well. she spins great funky yarn too that can be seen and purchased in her etsy shop (

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

some like it hot

the deep cold is continuing in newfoundland and across much of canada. so yesterday i spun up this "red hot chili peppers" yarn. it sold on etsy within hours! last night i carded up some more fleece from the same fibres and colours and will be posting the batts in my shop this morning.

Monday, January 26, 2009

one thing leads to another.

well i found some ok fabric i had in my stash and got the bathroom curtains made (this is part of my resolve to do something other than work...) and then keith patched a few rough spots on the walls and now of course the walls need to be painted (it was the first thing i did when we bought the house 10 years ago and hasn't been done since). so yesterday i painted the trim from paint we had left over (this is going to be on an almost no budget) and today we'll go and choose a new wall colour. we have dark yellow and black original 1950's tiles so it's really hard to get a good colour to go with them. i hadn't meant to get so deeply into this now... but there you have it...

Sunday, January 25, 2009

it was a party!

a new grocery store opened up in corner brook this week! (you can tell i live in a small community...) although new, it's run by the coleman's, a local family that has been in business here for 75 years. that's great, but there are other good things about it. rather than building a new store from scratch, they bought and renovated the old humber gardens hockey arena that has been sitting empty for more than 10 years. they used as much recycled and eco- friendly material as they could. inside, the produce is local - when it can be - and not all wrapped up in plastic and styrofoam. and best of all, our friend kevin, who works the deli section , is making sushi. that's a first in corner brook. so yesterday morning, where it seemed everyone we knew was there, it was like a party at the grocery store.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

another cold dark weekend

the weekend forcast is for more deep cold, snow squalls and more snow accumulation. my plan is to stay in. sew new curtains for the bathroom. get together a fleece order. spin and read...

Friday, January 23, 2009

finn's first bath

finn is 3 weeks old. he's gaining a pound a week. he cries when he's hungry. he's fed and then he is happy. he loves to be swaddled and complains when he's undressed. he's hated his sponge baths. he had his first full bath this week. one of his grandmother's (my grand children have 4 sets of doting grand-parents) gave him a baby spa tub. because of the conical shape, he can float in the warm water. he draws up his little legs as if he were back in the womb. from the expression on his face you can see how calm he is. "hmmm- this seems familiar". my daughter said that they finally called a halt to the bath - finn would have stayed there indefinitely!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

shy violet

in my front garden there is a small patch of tiny violets. dark purple with yellow centres. they are so quiet that some years i miss them all together. but if i get down on my knees, lower my head and breathe deeply i draw into my body the richest most exquisite smell in the garden.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

a little brighter...

along with much of the world, i watched obama's inauguration yesterday. i see him not just as an american leader but as a world leader. i hope other leaders are listening to what he's saying. today the world feels a little bit brighter...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

the good earth scarf/shawl

just before christmas a customer came to my studio looking for a gift for his wife. he knew she liked my knitwear. he loved the shawls but felt she would get more use out of them if they were smaller - half way between a scarf and a shawl. he even knew what colours were her favourites - pink and orange and green. i've never met such an amazing male shopper! anyway - i made the scarf/shawl and then made one for myself and am making 3for a craft council shop order. and this one is going on etsy this morning.

Monday, January 19, 2009

atlantic blue is grey

all weekend the temperatures were frigid. we darted out of the house for groceries and movies (we're having a marathon viewing of "dexter"). i spun up this yarn that reflects the cold of the atlantic ocean in winter. i'll be posting it, and a few others, on my etsy shop today.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

tea time

yesterday i went to tea at barb's. abigail was also invited. (blackie, barb's dog, is abigail's boyfriend). so abigail dressed up. barb's grandmother lived on a farm and every afternoon at 4:00 work stopped and she served a british high tea. barb incorporated all she could of her grandmother's into our afternoon. it was a lovely time on a frigid dark newfoundland day.
coincidently i'm in an etsy treasury today that captures the spirit of the afternoon!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

a weekend spent indoors

the big freeze is continuing and won't let up until early next week. minus 20's C with the windchill. i'm going to a "tea party" at barb's late this afternoon, but other than that i don't see leaving the house. no snow-shoeing this weekend. the outside looks beautiful with all the deep fresh snow, but i'm taking my photos from indoors these days...

Friday, January 16, 2009

just so friggin' cold

like much of canada, corner brook has been hit with extreme cold. the birds are puffed up high in the trees and won't come down to the feeders. abigail rushes out to do her pee and in a bee-line is back to the door in seconds. the sun is weak and pale and brings little light into the house. i have to teach this afternoon but just want to burrow in till spring...
i finished the commissioned scarf made from non-wool scraps and am pleased with how it turned out.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

the mother of invention

i got a commission yesterday. a customer wants a scarf. she wants it to look like one of my scarves knit from handspun (green tomatoes on etsy) but doesn't want animal fibre. to knit with natural fibres - bamboo, hemp etc. would be too expensive. so what i've tried is cutting up alot of my commercial synthetic yarn in orange and green and spinning it together. today i'll see how it knits up...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


january always seems to me to be the longest month of the year. at the end of it i can hardly remember the beginning. but this year it's flying by. i think because i was away and missed new years. missed the days of quiet contemplation. and since i've been home it's been catch-up. today i start teaching (a course i teach every winter - a couple of afternoons/week)and i know once i'm teaching the weeks of winter go by quickly. my goal this year is to slow down. to take more in. already this seems like such a challenge...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


as much as i love spinning (and oh yes i do love spinning...) the most creative part of making yarn for me is "building" a batt. laying down a base colour. deciding what accents to add. what novelty yarns for texture and added colour. a little angelina glitter or not. clumps of mohair fibre locks for excitement. so today i've listed my first batts on etsy and will continue to add more (along with my handspun yarn and knitwear). this way i'll have something for the spinners, for the knitters and for those who just love handknit.

Monday, January 12, 2009


each month my etsy fibre arts group has a challenge. this month it was to work with a colour you wouldn't normally use. there is no colour that i wouldn't use. i love them all, and all combinations. so i chose to spin up white. "snow angel" is listed in my shop.

we have lots of snow in corner brook now. my world is white. yesterday morning marileee and i walked the dogs. we ran into brenda and her dog blackie. it was lovely to catch up after the holidays.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Thursday, January 8, 2009


my daughter and her family live in a wonderful old house in downtown st. john's, newfoundland. they bought it a year ago and have renovated. most of the overhead light fixtures and sconces are from the original 1914 house but they have put dimmer switches on them. in the middle of the night now, in the long wide hallways, in the bathroom and finn's room where he has his diapers changed, the lights are left on low because of all the night-time traffic. there is a magical delicate glow to the house. i feel my life has been like that these past two weeks since i arrived. the pace slow and soft and delicate. the skies outside are grey with snow. the days and nights blur. eamon and lucy go off to daycare and school and the rest of us slip in and out of bed. rarely out of our flannel p.j's. tomorrow i leave here to go back home. i'll be turning up my dimmer switch...

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

and life goes on...

with such a momentous occassion as a new birth, other parts of one's life come to a standstill. i'm self-employed (with my spinning and knitting), so even when my attention is elsewhere, i need to be keeping tabs on my "business". that's what yesterday morning was about. a craft council board meeting (about changes to next year's craft fair - some exciting ideas) - then making the rounds of my st. john's shops to check on inventory and get new orders in place. i kept my etsy shop open while i've been away. last week i sold a scarflette and yesterday 2 skeins of yarn to a woman in amsterdam! it's good to know that i can maintain the "shop" even when i'm away from hom. i'm anxious now to get home and restock it.
it's a tired family now. finn is doing great but it's the frequent night-time feedings that are beginning to wear the rest of us down...

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

phatfiber video

jessie at phatfiber has put together a video on her blog that gives a sample of what she'll be putting in her january phatfiber knitting boxes.
(click on the phatfiber link to view it).
ps keith is feeling better thanks to the acupuncture treatments so i'll be staying put here until friday.

Monday, January 5, 2009

when roots and tendrils get tangled

or why my core has to be strong. my daughter and finn are gratefully home and doing well. he's a good feeder and so far is satisfied when his needs are met. but on the homefront keith is not doing well. he injured his back just before i left corner brook and now has sciatica. terrible pain and unhappiness. on sunday i called marilee - my dear dear friend - who arrived on the doorstep, stormed the house, worked out a shopping list and took keith to the hospital where he got some pain-relief and anti-inflamatory medication. no sleep last night so this morning our neighbour dug out the jeep (there's been alot of snow) and keith got an acupuncture treatment that really helped for now and is seeing his regular doctor this afternoon for stronger meds. so now i'm just waiting to see who needs me more - my daughter or my mate...

Sunday, January 4, 2009

finn's first full day

i've been present at the birth of each of my three grandchildren. this was the most emotional. the most miraculous. with the other two there were concerns, so during the whole birthing we were guarded. yesterday i was completely open and the whole expeience poured in. watching your daughter give birth is hard. you can't do her pain for her. but this birth was fast and strong. we went back to the hospital at 3:00 and he was born at 6:00. she carried most of her labour kneeling on the floor and standing - supported by her husband. at the end they put her on the bed to try to reposition his head. i held one leg, her husband the other. her sounds were animal-like. finn came out peaceful and alert. we're hoping they come home today. so my job is to ready the house. take down "christmas" and make room for baby.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

baby finn

finn alexander was born at 6:o8 pm. 8 pounds 10 oz. perfect. my daughter was amazing.

some slow baby

11:00 am. we all went to bed really early last night and again were up around 3:30. hard and frequent contractions. so at 5:00 we headed into the hospital to check what was going on. she was 4cm and 80% effaced. after 2 hours there was no change so they sent us home. so more sleep, a little food, the sun is out brightly (a big storm forcast for later today). after each contraction the baby moves about alot - trying to get comfortable again. protesting at what is going on.

Friday, January 2, 2009

we think the baby is coming

today, in st. john's, the sun is shining. juncos and flickers are at the feeders and suet. last night at 2:00 my daughter started getting soft but regular contractions. at 3:30 we'd showered, had coffee and cereal into us and were watching an episode of rome. at 5:00 we all went back to bed. the contractions are further apart right now but much stronger. my daughter is back in bed trying to get more rest. nanny is taking the day off work and she'll stay with the other children at home until the birth is imminent. i'll go to the hospital with my daughter and son-in-law when the time is right.'s exciting.

3:00 pm baby update.(i know friends and family are checking in). still at home. things are moving slowly along. i'm thinking it could be a middle of the night baby. so everyone just resting up. my daughter bathing and napping and drinking lots of fluids.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

new year

a new year. no baby yet. this household is moving softly and quietly in slow motion. it's almost like sleep walking. late rising. shuffled meal prep and eating. walks are at a 3 year old pace that is slightly faster than her very pregnant mum's pace. lots of stories read in muffled tones. everyone waiting. my daughter shifts her body or groans or gets up quickly in the middle of the night and we all become alert and expectant. a household on hold...