Friday, April 30, 2010


children in newfoundland and labrador grow up knowing how to build a bough wolfen or bough whiffen. it's a small lean-to made out of spruce boughs - a quick shelter for hunters and trappers, a perfect fort for children. here's a photo of the one my son-law built for the children when they first moved into their new downtown st. john's home a couple of years ago. it's changed location but is still standing..

Thursday, April 29, 2010

change - it don't come easy

a few of my friends are going through big changes right now. the end of a long relationship, a move, a new job. these changes have hit me hard.i turn 60 next month and am looking at my own life. how many more changes will i make? what will i never do? where will i never go? it takes such courage to make big changes. and self-knowledge. and lots of energy and optomism.
i'm fortunate in my life right now. i'm doing what i want to do with the person i want to be with. my changes will need to be internal. a slowing down. a growing contentment.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

the colour of birdsong

every morning now i lie in bed and listen to birdsong. the robins before dawn - their hopeful clear sound. and then by 7:00 the warblers and finches. bright and melodic. the colour of this crocus. the colours in this yarn...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


because we had such a mild winter with so little snow, we all thought that spring would be early. but april weather has been cool and the garden - the crocus, the budding daffodils and tulips - are all coming along at their normal times.
my tomatoes have all sprouted but not yet my peppers - they're under lights in the house and will be moved out into the greenhouse in about a month. and yesterday i planted a flat of lettuce that i'll try keeping in the greenhouse during the day and bring in at night while the nights are still so cold.

Monday, April 26, 2010


when i was 4 i was given a toy covered wagan. from that moment on i've felt that that was the perfect home - self-contained but mobile. yesterday we moved barb's boler trailer down to our land in the blomidons. she's moving from her house this week and needed a place to park it. we now have the use of the trailer. it has everything you need already inside and i'd love to spend the summer in it! whenever we go to dark cove i head straight for the cabin on the beach. now i look forward to getting to know this land (which is above the beach). build a little deck out front and watch the moon rise over the mountains.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

button. button...

i've been helping my friend the past couple of days with her yard sale in preparation for her move. as a thank-you gift, she presented me with a basket of buttons. barb knows exactly what i need - large vintage buttons that i use with my scarflettes. often the button is the inspiration for the yarn choices i make. a whole lot more inspiration here...

Friday, April 23, 2010

barb's yard sale

if you are in the corner brook area, drop in saturday morning beginning at 9:00 for barb's yard sale at 1 pleasant st (go along broadway past the emporium. turn right on valley rd., then take the first left on anstey`s hill, then left on pleasant). barb`s is the big pink house. lots of neat stuff - like these 1930`s chairs and couch, some vintage suitcase and an old mill lunch basket...

after so much rain...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

because it sings

there's always a reason why a classic is a classic. when i read fiction i want to be enchanted by not only the story but how it is told. i want to hear the music in the prose. i got harper lee's "to kill a mockingbird" out of the library over a month ago and kept renewing it, always picking up other books to read instead. last night i started it and i'm once again captivated (i read it first when i was about 15). this is what holds me and carries me along:
"Maycomb was an old town, but it was a tired old town when I first knew it. In rainy weather the streets turned to red slop; grass grew on the sidewalks, the courthouse sagged in the square. Somehow, it was hotter then: a black dog suffered on a summer's day; bony mules hitched to Hoover carts flicked flies in the sweltering shade of the live oaks on the square. Men's stiff collars wilted by nine in the morning. Ladies bathed before noon, after their three - o'clock naps, and by nightfuall were like soft teacakes with frostings of sweat and sweet talcum".

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

two, and two, and...

i have a big order of yarn from the devon house craft council shop in st. john's so this week i'm back into full-time spinning. i'm making my "william morris wallpaper" inspired yarn - and spinning 2 of each - 1 for the craft council order and the other for my etsy shop.
it's been cool rain for a week now. i'm listening to margaret atwood's "the year of the flood". fitting.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

more morris

i spun up my second william morris inspired skein yesterday and i received a comment on my blog from mosie. her blog is a tribute to morris and the influence his thought and work has on everyday contemporary life.

Monday, April 19, 2010

and what i learned

i've totally enjoyed and benefitted from my self-imposed 3 day "home-holiday" and woke up this morning excited about getting back to work.
on saturday morning abigail and i took our morning walk in the rain. i love my william morris umbrella (that i picked up at the met in n.y.c years ago).
i was again struck by his colours - the soft but strong juxtoposition. the strength of those "in-between colours". william morris has always been one of my heroes - his support of craft. his desire to surround oneself with beauty.
so this is my new inspiration. i'll be working for the next little while on yarn and shawl/scarves that are inspired by william morris.
it's so important to sometimes step back and wait for inspiration to come to you.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

what i did on my holiday

this is day 3 of my self-imposed "holiday at home". and i'm loving it! i've thrown myself into house cleaning - not the once a week vacuum every surface kind of cleaning - but the deep sorting - the cupboards and closets. the windows and the ledges. today the plan is to tackle the filing cabinet (it's probably been 10 years since i really weeded it out). the weather has either been snowy or rainy so i'm not tempted into the garden. i've spent an hour or so each afternoon on the couch reading (have almost finished azar nafisi's "reading lolita in tehran. last night i started knitting a sweater for my youngest grandchild. finn is over a year now and i have only knit him a blanket (at his birth) and a couple of hats. because i spin and knit for a living, i don't have time to knit for my grandchildren. so this is a simple pullover using golden bamboo that was given to me a few years ago. and it's a pleasure to work out a new pattern with yarn that isn't mine!
yesterday i was talking with my friend barb. she is also an artist and knows how hard it is to ever stop working. she suggested i take 1 day off a week. and i will...

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Friday, April 16, 2010

a holiday at home

there are alot of advantages to being self-employed and working at home. one draw-back though is that it's hard to not be working all the time. i realized yesterday that my only "holiday" away from work is when i leave home. so i've decided to give myself a holiday this weekend and stay home. mostly to clean the house. and sort. but also to take walks, to visit with some friends, read. do normal things that most 9-5 workers would do on a weekend. the goal is to not feel pressure to make work.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


you need enormous amounts of energy to prepare for and carry out a show. especially if you're travelling. especially a show as big as the toronto one of a kind. for the past few days i've been feeling low. i've used up my energy. being a full-time crafts person (or artist, or musician etc.) requires that you get up with excitement and optimism every day. you need to be creative. you need to be excited about what you're doing. financially it's not an easy way to make a living and those financial concerns are always there. the rewards have to be that you love what you do.
i know i have to give myself time to regroup. to settle back in. to take long walks. to spring clean this poor neglected home. to get my seedlings started. to remember who i am, what i am, and what i love about it...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

water st., duckworth st., and coronation st.

my daughter and the family live right downtown st. john's, so when we get there we park the car and walk (except when we need to take a cab to the avalon mall to see the movie "how to train your dragon"). st. john's is a lively energetic little city. it seems to rolic - the colour, the sounds, the smells. we always get to georgetown bakery and auntie crae's. a new little downtown yarn shop, a good yarn, opened up on saturday (that's lucy indulging in their wonderful yarn cake).one of our favourite walks is through the graveyard to quidi vidi lake (where the regatta takes place is july). and as a bonus for this trip, we got tickets to meet a couple of the actors from coronation st. - (our two favourite sean and becky). a hilarious evening spent with about 600 other coronation st. fans.
after months of preparing for the toronto ooak, after a week at the show, after another week with the grandchildren, i slept most of the way back across the island on monday...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

trinity/ bonavista

we got home from our little holiday last evening. after working so hard i love having a "transition" time with my family before heading back into the studio.
we spent night and 2 days in the trinity/bonavista bay area. we stayed at erin house. the family had rented it for 5 days and were well settled in when we arrived. the film director barb doran (among other things she produced "random passage") owns 3 homes that can be rented in the area. i've never stayed in a more beautiful and comfortable vacation home! we visited the historical towns of trinity (pop. 47 off-season, thousands during the summer) and bonavista. from erin house, the children had the open meadows looking out to the ocean to play in. and lots of walking trails to explore. toronto seemed very far away....

Thursday, April 8, 2010

a whole lot of comin' and goin'

i've only been home for 2 days but this morning we're heading off for a little holiday - to join my daughter and her family in trinity bay for an over-night (they've rented an ocean-view house for a week) and then follow them back to st. john's for a few days.
it's hard to leave again so soon. the weather has been wonderful. and while i was away the garden began to come to life. the grass is greening. the crocus are blooming. the garlic is sprouting. and my spinning wheel is calling...

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

what i knew then

i grew up in north toronto and moved into the city when i was 17. my first full-time job was in the music library at the university of toronto. it was, and still is, situated behind the royal ontario museum. i had a student pass, and every lunch hour, when the weather was bad, i would take my sandwich to the museum. my two favourite places in the museum were the textile section and the rooms of buddhist statues and murals. it took me most of my adult life to come back to textiles and buddhism.
on my one free day in toronto i went back to the museum. the spectacular new wing. and my old haunts.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

what just happened?

so here i am. at my computer. my morning coffee (in a wonderful new mug from blackbird pottery), in my housecoat. abigail at my feet. wondering what just happened.
i returned last night. wobbly with fatigue. a good long sleep but i see that my fingers are still stumbling over the keys. it always takes a few days to recover. process what has happened and how that will effect what i do next.
a very positive expererience. i didn't "sell out" as i did at christmas, but sales were good. alot of repeat customers coming back for more yarn ( i love that - it makes me feel i'm doing it right!), some wonderful new customers that i know will become repeat. thanks to all of you who let me know that you are following my blog. i have faces now - especially for those who leave comments.
i'm developing a family of other vendors that i'm looking forward to seeing again.
and a couple of interesting possibilities have presented themselves - i'll talk of them as they develop.
all-in-all a good show and i've already signed on for the full 11 day show in november - so back at it tomorrow!