Friday, February 27, 2009

a "large" day

yesterday was what's referred to here as "a large day". the dark blue sky seemed to go on forever. strong sun all day. early in the morning brenda and i walked around tipples pond. in the afternoon i stayed home and gathered together everything i need to take to the craft sale this weekend. and keith went for his first walk since his injury - along the snowmobile tracks at 3 mile dam. abigail had a good workout...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

ecma craft fair

this weekend the east coast music awards are being held in corner brook. to be part of the celebration, in conjunction with l.a.w.n. (the local art group) our craft group will be holding a craft sale at the pepsi centre studio lobby from 11-5 on saturday and 11-2 on sunday. about 12 of us are taking part - there will be a range of fibre products - (knitting, spinning, weaving, silk, felt), glass, pottery , prints and more. everyone is welcome, so if you are in the area come and meet us.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

keeping on top?

the plan for today is that i'll finish all the decision making. finish cutting out all the fabric. tidy the studio of fabric and get down to sewing. i figure 4 days will do it. but plans are not always in our control. i was also going to head off to the bank with the money i've saved and pay into my rrsp. but this morning we woke to a roof leak. there's so much snow on the roof. normally keith would have been up there a couple of times during the winter to clear it off but hasn't been able to this year because of his back injury and we got lazy and didn't hire someone to come and do it for us. now we're in trouble. that's where my money will be going...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

isn't this enough?

it's late february. the temperatures have warmed up but the snow continues to fall. yesterday we had one of the season's biggest storms. high winds that whipped up the snow that was on the ground, the snow that was falling. there is nowhere left to put the snow in town. i'm in charge of snow shovelling this year (because of keith's back injury he's still not able to shovel snow). i get wonderful help with the steps from harry next door and colin across the street has a snowblower, so digs out our parking spot. these photos show the snow on our back deck and in front of the house... enough already!

Monday, February 23, 2009

self-imposed exile

i have a big sewing order for the NL craft council shop. children's clothes made from recycled chenille bedspreads and vintage cotton. all i want to do these days is spin yarn. i've forced myself into the studio and have to stay there until the sewing is done. at the end of it i'll reward myself with time at my wheel. i wonder what this says about my life - that i'll reward myself for finishing my work with more work!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

i can knit you a scarf

this past week one of my wonderful repeat etsy customers bought a skein of yarn from my shop and asked if i could knit a scarf for her with it. so for those of you who like my yarn but can't knit, choose and purchase a skein of yarn (any yarn over 75 yards in length) and for an extra $20.00 i'll knit you up a scarf.

Friday, February 20, 2009

what i am missing

who is this big boy!!! finn is 7 weeks old now. i wouldn't recognize him! i had toyed with the idea of going to st. john's this coming week. it's mid-term break at the university so i won't have another class until next friday. but my work is piling up (a couple of large yarn orders) and the cost of flying has become pretty prohibitive (it costs me as much to travel to st. john's as to toronto). driving this time of year is treacherous (an 8 hour drive). so i'll stay put and have my daughter continue to send lots of photos until the spring...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


at our cabin in dark cove (on the south shore of the bay of islands) we often see minke whales. they're the smallest whales (about 30 feet in length). they're usually far out in the bay and we watch them with binoculars. but sometimes they're in close to shore and we can see their colours glinting in the sunlight as they breach and dive. i once took a boat trip to harbour deep in white bay (an outport that has now been left behind). from the boat, on either side, we watched humpback whales. sometimes 3 or 4 at a time would be visible. this yarn is about humpback whales. it's what their song would look like if we could see it.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

beauty day

yesterday morning brenda and i snowshoed around tipples pond with the dogs. a spectacular winter day - crackling blue sky, mild temperatures, no wind so the snow from the weekend was still piled high on every surface. now - if we could have a few more like that. please.

Monday, February 16, 2009

to dye for

i've fallen in love with tin. i haven't done much dyeing yet (experimented some last summer and have been doing more in the past couple of weeks). using only natural dyes, i need to add a mordant (a mineral) to help "fix" the dye to the fleece. i've only used alum which tends to brighten the colour but have now discovered tin which is said to "sadden" the colour. this pot of dye is made from onion skins and tin. a wonderful dark pea green. i used some of this yarn in "where the wild things are" - now listed in my etsy shop.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

snow. again

it snowed all day yesterday. and last night. and the forcast today is for another 20-30 cm. we were planning on going out to the opening of urve's new studio at "a stone's throw glass works" in gillams yesterday but the roads were treacherous. so we stayed home. a good day for spinning and dyeing and napping.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Friday, February 13, 2009


there may still be 3 feet of snow out there, but any of us who support ourselves on making craft are already well into filling orders for the upcoming spring/summer season. here are some "twirly skirts" i made yesterday - part of my children's line of clothing made from vintage chenille bedspreads and retro cotton - skirts, jackets, pants, overalls and jumpers.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

new light

when we finally get a sunny day, it's amazing how strong the light is. it shines into the bedroom and kitchen in the late afternoon the way it does in the summer. flora moves around the house seeking out it's warmth. i'd be doing the same thing if i wasn't so busy.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


i know all about sisters. in my family there were 4 girls born within 5 years of each other (and then a brother 5 years later). i had a son and a daughter. so i don't know much about the relationship of brothers. eamon and finn are 9 years apart but already it's possible to see a very special bond. they belong to each other...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

european dreamin'

in my youth i travelled and lived in europe off and on for almost 2 years. in 1971 my brand-new husband and i hitchhiked around europe (youth hostels, sardines and baguettes and oranges). we returned in 1981 with 2 young children - lived 9 months on the greek island of naxos and then travelled in italy and france. in those days all things seemed possible. we had the courage to just cast off. i don't have money for big travel now (i've made other choices in my life). i still do alot of dreaming though... my 2 new skeins are tuscany and provence - both listed in my etsy shop.

Monday, February 9, 2009

something new

late last week a customer, through etsy, asked if i could make her arm warmers and a matching scarf. she chose a skein of yarn that i had listed (shy violet) and i was able to spin up enough similar yarn for the project. i've made fingerless gloves but not armwarmers before a new product.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

stretching my brain

i'm afraid of technology. any new task i need to attempt on the computer makes me feel physically ill. when i try to do it myself, my brain actually hurts. i was guilted into signing up for an internet marketing workshop yesterday. it was put together by the newfoundland and labrador craft council and the newfoundland government and designed for people just like me. for me. and of course it was wonderful. and of course i learned all sorts of new things. now i need to take a few days to implement them...

Friday, February 6, 2009

february is a soft month

february, in newfoundland, is a gentle month. we still get storms. but the days are longer, the temperatures warmer. even saying february makes you feel warm. it's a short month. and then there is the crazy month of march where everything is changing and wild. so, this is the calm...

Thursday, February 5, 2009

a teaching job from heaven

every winter i teach a course with the local university. it's for 3rd year stage craft students. it's designed (by me) to give them a smattering of art experiences in drawing, painting, print-making and sculpture. i've also added a craft's 2 afternoons/week for 12 weeks and the pay is excellent. the classes are minuscule - anywhere from 1 to 6 students. this year i have 2. yesterday they came to my home. i talked to them about fibre. we dyed up some fleece (kool-aid, onion skins). then i showed them how to use the spindle. tomorrow they'll come back, make up some batts from the fleece they've dyed and from what they've chosen from my stash, and then they'll knit a scarf, scarflette or hat. so it's 3 classes of bliss for me...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

the palace theatre

in its heyday, the palace theatre in corner brook, newfoundland was a hot spot. not only could you go to the daily matinee for 10 cents, live entertainment was a regular occurance. when i moved here in 1975 the palace was no longer showing movies. it had become a bingo hall. almost every evening in the summer when you walk along broadway, doors open to let in the fresh air and out the smoke, and look in from the dark street at the noise and colour inside, you can still get the feeling of what it must have been like 60 years ago... this yarn is called "bingo night" and is listed in my etsy store.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

catching up

we had a gathering of our craft group at barb's on sunday. the first since december so it was a good chance to chat and see what everyone has been working on since then. a few in the group got grants from the newfoundland and labrador craft council to help build studios so we heard how progress was going. brenda (brendastrattontextiles.blogspot)is taking a break from felting and has been working with shibori. rilla (marshallarts.blogspot)has a show of woven "graphs" opening in halifax at the end of the month and showed us some of the pieces she'll include. most of the women at the meeting are interested in opening up etsy shops (rilla's is up and running at so i gave a talk on etsy and how to navigate around the site. as always - just getting together. talking with other's who are spending their days as i am. invaluable.

Monday, February 2, 2009


this is my entry for the etsy fibre arts team monthly challenge of "emotions". i chose "serene". these are the colours that make me feel calm. as i spun the yarn i really concentrated on doing it calmly and thoughtfully. i posted it on etsy. a friend dropped in yesterday afternoon and bought it (along with "pompeii"). fortunately i had spun up two skeins so posted the 2nd.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

sometimes it's perfect

keith's father don is almost 80. he's full of energy. part of his daily routine is shopping for bargains. during the week it's the thrift stores. on the weekends it's flea markets and yard sales. florence has banished his purchases to their basement. we can't leave his house without being given a "gift". mostly it's nic-nacs. friday it was a plaque reading "a house is not a home without a dog". i try explaining that my house is full. i have no more wall space. no more shelves. i find it oppressive. keith has sentimental attachment to all the items because they are given with a big heart. and don notices when things are not displayed. my solution is to have an area of the house for don's items. as one comes in, another goes (to the basement - i can't even give the items to yard sales because it's a small town and don hits every one of them!) sometimes we do need something and i let don know (chenille bedspreads for my children's clothing line, used windows that i hope to use for the greenhouse i want to build this spring). and this weekend it was a magazine rack for the bathroom. we've never had one and just put the newspapers and magazines on the radiator. yesterday don showed up with this one. it is absolutely perfect. i had been scouting on ebay and hadn't seen one i wanted. this was $2.00 at salvation army. don took it home and sanded off the rusty parts. i love the 1950's feel to it. i couldn't imagine a better fit. way to go don!