Thursday, April 30, 2009

winter's icey grip

i moved to newfoundland (from southern ontario)in may 1975. there was still snow in the woods and i cried. spring comes late here. it starts and stumbles. it's slow and awkward and then it's summer. yesterday we had snow. the crocus were like pursed lips.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

saying good-bye

rilla and her partner damien are moving away tomorrow. last night barb gave a going away party. rilla is a core part of our craft group. she's been here less than 2 years. although she is the youngest member of the group, she brought to us a level of maturity and seriousness in the way she approaches her craft (weaving) and her life. she has a clear path. and to reach her goals, halifax is the place for her to be now. so we're happy for her, and sad for us. fortunately she's a faithful blogger so we'll always feel in touch.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

sea. sand. plants.

i've mentioned before how much i like "creative" challenges. the suggestion of a theme, a colour combination - can lead me in directions i wouldn't have taken on my own. last week a woman from nova scotia contacted me through my etsy shop. she is a needle felter and was wondering if i could spin up some yarn for her with the colours of the landscape near her cottage - the blues and purples of the sea, the dark and pale greens of the trees and grass, the reddish sand of the beach. this is what i came up with and sent it off to her yesterday...

Monday, April 27, 2009

a day of lovely things

a day of lovely things:
1. a warm sunny morning in the garden
2. an afternoon at niki's in summerside.
3. spinning
4. good friends
5. good food
6. trades of batts and skeins and hand dyed roving.
7. late afternoon rain to green up the garden and a nap...

Sunday, April 26, 2009

spring came

yesterday spring came to corner brook. sunny skies and the temperature got up to almost 20 celcius. i spent the day moving from garden to dye pot. warm wind. the robins singing late into the evening.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

emily carr's forest

i was a young "budding" artist in the late 1960's. as a woman, i knew i could only be successful as a painter if i was the daughter or the wife of an already famous artist or if i stayed single and childless. the only female artists i knew of were georgia o'keefe (married to alfred stieglitz), joyce wieland (married to tony snow) and emily carr who was an eccentric woman who lived alone (except when she ran a boarding house) and surrounded herself with animals. i thought that emily carr had invented her green palette until i first went to british columbia in the late '60's and saw her forest everywhere.

Friday, April 24, 2009

the whitest white

every spring i marvel at how white these crocus are. they seem to capture and soak in light. on a sunny day it hurts to look at them. on a rainy day like today, they bring hope.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


after a couple of days of warm rain the grass is greening up. the crocus are in full bloom. newfoundland is overall grey, so my painter's soul welcomes this return of colour.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

early days in the garden

the past couple of days have been beautiful. the snow in the yard is gone. i've spent the afternoons in the garden. raking. removing the burlap covering from the bushes (i always feel like i'm taking off a cast - revealing vulnerable pink flesh). i'm converting my large sun filled garden patch in the back to vegetables (from roses and perennials) so have been doing alot of digging and shifting of plants. we brought out the garden furniture and yesterday sat on the deck for a coffee for the first time this season.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


all summer long i spend 2-3 days at a time each week at the cabin. it's in dark cove in the bay of islands. the cabin is small and primitive. no plumbing, no electricity. it's right on the beach. it brings me back to what is essential. i carry this feeling back into town. i also bring back photos and inspiration. "seaweed" yarn is inspired by the the seaweed that clings to the rocks at the point in front of the cabin - glistening in the sun and dancing in the waves.

Monday, April 20, 2009

spring day at the cabin

i got down to the cabin yesterday for the first time this season. still very cold. strong northernly wind. but the ice in the bay is gone. the cabin was 0 degrees when we first went in but within an hour keith got it up to 20 degrees. lovely to be back. this is where i go to get away...

Saturday, April 18, 2009

the robins are back

the robins returned this past week - just in time for more snow! flocks of 40 at a time on the lawn, lifting large clumps of leaves with their beaks and discovering food underneath. eating the last remaining berries from the bushes. this morning is cold. they're all up in the trees. sitting still. bright and puffed up like christmas bulbs. waiting for spring...
my "robin" yarn will be listed in my etsy shop today.

Friday, April 17, 2009

a creative collaboration

camille from virginia is not a spinner or a knitter, but she has a passion for handspun yarn. she recently bought 4 skeins of yarn from me and wants me to knit her 2 shawls. each shawl will include 2 skeins of my yarn and together we've discussed what other colours of commercial novelty yarn to include in each. she's part of the creative process. the cost for each shawl (1 triangular, 1 rectangular) is $130.00 (american). if you'd like a "custom made" shawl (or scarf), contact me through my etsy shop.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

being given the finger

tuesday was mild. all the snow was gone. i spent part of the morning raking the winter's debris off of the gardens and revealing the little shoots of crocus and tulip. wednesday it snowed. keith says it looks like all the new shoots, pointing out of the snow, are giving us the finger for removing their covers. here is my "late snow" yarn.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

the barrens

the drive across newfoundland from corner brook to st. john's takes about 7 hours. when i first moved to newfoundland (from "lush" southern ontario) over 30 years ago i found the drive monotonous. mile after mile of scrubby bush. i didn't know what to look for. now i find the scenery fascinating. i love it in every season (well - not winter - i hate winter driving). the snow is only in the woods here now. the leaves have not begun to come out. driving across now is like looking at the skeleton of the province. the bare bones. on the bogs and barrens the dominant colour is dark purple. dotted throughout is pale green caribou moss. this was the inspiration for yesterday's yarn.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

a short little trip

we returned last evening from a short little trip into st. john's. it was a low-key visit. eamon and my son-in-law had a wicked flu so there weren't many outings. the weather was cold and bright on saturday but sunday wet, so lots of movies and stories and games instead of hikes. finn is "blooming" like a spring flower.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

what 60 looks like

i'll turn 60 next year. so as i was completing my yarn order for the korean craft biennial (of 60 skeins) i was thinking that each one represents a year of my life. it looks like alot.
we're heading into st. john's tomorrow for the easter weekend. to spend time with the children and grand children. for keith to meet finn for the first time. so this order (and 25 of the 40 scarves) is going in with us.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


a couple of weeks ago dawn from auntiedawn.etsy purchased my "fruit bowl" yarn. yesterday she let me know that she had made it into a scarf and that it was for sale in her etsy shop. i'd never seen my yarn crocheted before and love the effect. i love working with my own yarn but equally love seeing what other people do with it. dawn has crocheted scarves and baby blankets in her shop but also gorgeous photographs and some jewelry. right now she has a major fundraising project on the go for the canadian cancer society and all proceeds for some items go directly to cancer research. so check out her shop.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

gimme shelter

for almost 10 years i've been involved with my local animal shelter bay of islands spca both as a volunteer and a worker. in all that time they've been fund raising for a new shelter (they've been in the basement of an old building for over 30 years). they now have purchased land and will begin construction this spring. they'll need to have revenue to maintain the new shelter so fund raising will continue. they've asked me for a new design for their t-shirts to promote the new shelter.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Sunday, April 5, 2009


i'm facing a lot of deadlines right now (where did march go?). but no matter how productive i am, at the end of each day, my income tax return is still staring me in the face and clouding my sleep. so yesterday, i cleared off the kitchen table, turned my back on my spinning wheel and organized my tax information. i don't do my own taxes anymore - it's all become too complicated and keeps changing - but, as a "small business" it still takes a day to go through all my receipts etc, organize them into categories and try to make some sense of it all for my accountant. it's done and i slept well last night.

Saturday, April 4, 2009


every month my etsy fibre group chooses a theme for a challenge (a challenge to come out of your box and make a theme related item that you wouldn't have thought of on your own). this month's theme is "just ducky". in newfoundland a very common term for endearment is "my ducky". "duckish" is the time of day between day and night - when light and bright turns to dull and dark. but my choice was "jemima puddle-duck" from beatrix potter's "tale of tom kitten" which was my daughter's favourite potter story when she was little. she referred to the book as "wa-wa-wa" before she could speak because she loved the picture of the ducks waddling down the path in the kitten's clothes. this skein is now listed in my etsy shop.

Friday, April 3, 2009

pin-up girl

when i see white with a little red, i know i should think of the canadian flag. but what it brings to mind is red and white gingham 2-piece bathing suits and bandanas. or white with red polk-dots. definitely 1940's pin-up girls. this skein will be listed in my etsy shop today.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

urve's etsy shop

there are alot of wonderful crafts being produced on the west coast of newfoundland. we still don't have a local shop where we can sell our work,
so etsy, for many of us, is a good solution. urve at a stone's throw glassworks now has a shop aturve she makes and sells exquisite fused glass - panels as well as functional objects such as plates and bowls. we're quite the little community on etsy now too!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

canadian gardening

sometimes i buy fashion magazines (such as vogue) to look for inspiration for new colour combinations for my yarn and scarves. this time of year, when the snow is still on the ground and nothing is growing, i buy gardening magazines...