Wednesday, June 30, 2010

yesterday's muse

i have a cat. some of my friends don't even know this - or keep forgetting. because flora is elusive. very shy and skittish. and will run away when people come to the house. she's 13 this summer and slowing down. which is making her friendlier. you still can't pick her up. but occassionally she will come and curl up beside me on the couch while i'm knitting. yesterday's yarn "the calico cat" was inspired by her beautiful colours.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

something new

often people knitting with handspun yarn for the first time are confused with what to do with it. how much do you need to knit up a hat? what size needles should i use? so to make "the first time" a little easier, here is my latest product - a knit kit. it includes a skein of yarn, a pattern of either a scarflette or a pair of fingerles gloves, and a set of hand made knitting needles that have been painted to correspond with the colours in the yarn. they're now being sold ata good yarn in st. john's.

Monday, June 28, 2010


on friday we drive into st. john's to pick up our grandson. that's the beginning of continuous company, craft shows, farmer's market, travel (i'm going to new york, ottawa and hopefully montreal and back to st. john's) that will take up the rest of the summer. all good things, but at the same time i need to be making product for the shops and begin stock-piling for the toronto one of a kind in november.
so this weekend, as i made a few skeins and knit a few hats, i also tried to take care of some of the non-work related things that have been on my list. like making this mail-box as a house warming gift for a friend.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

all summery

the past few days have been wonderful. warm and sunny. so yesterday i finally put away my winter clothes and brought out my summer clothes. light and colourful drying on the clothesline. this morning is bright and cold. i need to dig out something warm to wear...

Saturday, June 26, 2010

early morning light in the garden

on these early summer mornings. the sunlight sweet and fresh. standing in the garden. the bright warmth bathing my face, my toes.

Friday, June 25, 2010

newfoundland and labrador craft council's AME

tomorrow afternoon the newfoundland and labrador craft council will hold an opening reception for their annual member's exhibition at devon house on duckworth st. my "capelin run" hooked mat is included in the show. the exhibition will be up all summer, so if you're visiting the city, drop in.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

after the lights go down low

i wanted to make a steamy sultry little skein of yarn - lots of purple and red and black and sparkly - to go with this song that has been running in my head for the past few days...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

wind and waves

although today promises to be warm, we haven't had much summer weather so far. lately there has been alot of strong wind and heavy rain. at the cabin in dark cove the beach is strewn with kelp. the air heavy with the smell of the sea. at the steps of our cabin, where we normally have sand and little bits of rock jutting out, this past week there was only rock with the sand piled up down the beach.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

a little more ritual please

last night our little book club met to discuss our latest read - lynden macintyre's "the bishop's man" a book set in rural nova scotia that looks at the after-effcts of the catholic church's sexual abuse of children. macintyre (for those non-canadians here) is a well-known and well-respected journalist. and as marilee pointed out - the narrator, the "bishop's man" lived and reported his life with a journalistic, detached, stand-back attitude. this made it easier to read, but also left you wanting way more of the characters in the book. there are 4 of us in the book-club - 2 lapsed protestants, 2 lapsed catholics (one from scotland, one from new brunswick).what we did do was talk about the church in our childhoods and the importance of meaningful ritual (much of which is gone even in the catholic church).
our meetings always centre around a theme related meal and last night catherine chose "nova scotian church basement supper" - baked beans and cheese biscuits and devilled eggs and just baked rubharb pie. yum. yum.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Sunday, June 20, 2010

a perfect kind of day

yesterday was a perfect kind of day. sunny days this time of year seem to go on and on forever. in the morning i moved my "sudio" outdoors for dyeing and spinning with occassional breaks to wander into the greenhouse and around the garden. after lunch keith and i went down to the cabin and finished building "the platform" by the trailer (i imagine sitting there - knitting or spinning - watching the waterfall, listening to the ocean). back home after supper, watched a little soccer and finished knitting up my latest hat "a summer fling". a perfect kind of day.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

the robin family

for the past week we've been watching a family of robins in our backyard. the mumma has one weak wing - it droops down - so she's recognizable to us. but she can still fly. she has 2 babies. one is older - large and speckled and follows her around the garden squawking for food. it can also fly. but the little one can't and seems so incredibly vulnerable. mostly it hides and cheeps but occassionally we see it sitting in the middle of the yard waiting for it's mumma. it's so hard not to interfere.

Friday, June 18, 2010

st. john's row houses

downtown st. john's, newfoundland, is well known for it's unabashed use of colourful paint on it's houses. if you've watched cbc's "republic of doyle" you'll have had a sampling. this is the inspiration for my latest series of yarns.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

a good yarn

"a good yarn" opened it's doors at 4 bates hill in st. john's early april. i just happened to be in town that weekend and was able to attend the opening. i gave jenny my card, thinking she might be interested in carrying my yarn. and she was. so this week i sent off my first order of 12 skeins. just in time for her "knit in public" celebration and sale this saturday.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

"action is character. if you don't do anything, you can't be anybody"

i've never seen or read anything that so much reminded me of my 16 year old self as "an education" did. that feeling that the world is large and yours. that anything is possible. before you discover different...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

what a doll!

i love seeing what people do with my yarn. jayn pretty ordered some yarn from me awhile back - small quantities of specific colours. she sent me these photos yesterday. i love how the hair and wardrobe are colour-co-ordinated! jayn has been selling her dolls on ebay and will take commissions. her email address is so you can get in touch with her if you are interested.

Monday, June 14, 2010

a run of good weather

after weeks of wet weather, this weekend we had glorious sun and warmth. keith and i celebrated our 14th year together anniversary. we'd planned on heading to the cabin friday afternoon but instead planted up the garden and greenhouse. everything in place now.
saturday morning we drove to the cabin early and went for a hike to the blomidon river swimming holes (this is just opposite our cabin). it's a perfect time of year for hikes - everything new and fresh and the black-flies and mosquitoes haven't arrived yet. it clouded over in the afternoon with a little rain (perfect for a small fire and a nap in the cabin) and cleared again for a gorgeous evening of knitting on the deck and watching the sunset. sunday morning we began work building a platform/deck to go beside the trailer. this is keith's birthday gift to me. i picture myself sitting at my spinning wheel, the sound of the waterfall in front of me, the ocean behind me, the sound of birds...

Friday, June 11, 2010

the good with the bad

this past winter the power company cut down a swath of trees along the back of our yard. it was their property so we had no say. it's growing in now. wild strawberries are appearing and the old lilac tree is sprouting all over its stump.
there is a little stream up behind the house at the top of the hill. now with all the trees gone, water trickles down into the yard and into the garden. the slugs are happy but the garden has been too wet to plant. we came up with a solution this week and built a raised bed. yesterday we finished it off with compost and rich soil and i planted out some zucchini and lettuce that i had growing in the greenhouse. today, which finally promises to be a warm sunny day, i'll get my beans in.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

island fusion

although my studio is in disorder, my orders are orderly. that's a photo of part of my order of mats, shawls and yarn that i'll be sending off to clarenville tomorrow. "island fusion" is a brand-new shop opening in clarenville at the end of the month. they don't have a website yet but to see what a classy little shop it will be have a look at the restaurant it will be on top of. kildare restaurant and island fusion are located at 70 memorial drive, clarenville.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

order and disorder

i've been living in chaos these past few weeks trying to get orders filled for the coming tourist season. for the past year or so i've been mainly dyeing and spinnig and knitting, so my studio has been completely yarn focused - all the dyes in one area, the fleece in another. the shelves hold baskets of commercial novelty yarn arranged according to colour. but lately the studio has also held my draughting table and all my paints because some of my shop orders involve my painted boxes and magnets etc. and this past week or so i've been rug hooking so the bags of fabric have come up from the basement and have been strewn over the studio floor so i can make colour choices for the mats. the studio looks like a room in the tv show "hoarders". i hope to finish off the last mat today and get some order back into my studio.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

all grown up

"grown up movie star" is adriana maggs' first feature length movie. it was premiered at sundance in january and the lead actress tatiana maslany won best emerging actor. it was shown in st. john's but never came to corner brook. a couple of weeks ago it came out on video but was only available at block buster which we don't have here. so last week we ordered it on amazon and last night adrianna's mother catherine, and marilee and i watched it together. if you haven't seen it, you must... it's now available for rental on rogers ondemand and is being offered on air canada flights.

Monday, June 7, 2010

capelin weather

today is wet and cool. often in western newfoundland, we don't get good summer weather until after the middle of june. after the "capelin run" when millions of tiny capelin land on the beaches to spawn. and when the tide goes out, the beaches are slick with capelin eggs. i finished this mat yesterday to submit for to the newfoundland and labrador craft council's annual member's show opening june 26th at devon house in st. john's.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

a lovely day

yesterday was a lovely day - our first warm weather sandwiched between last week's rain and this week's rainy forcast. so, with the warm weather, there were no yarn and kntwear sales at the market for me. but i did sell all my plants. my father had a nursery when i was a child and if i hadn't been an artist i always imagined i would run a nursery. with the heat, the soft music, the banks of potted flowers, the friends and neighbours - it was a lovely day.

Friday, June 4, 2010

trop de beaucoup

when the children were little, we would use the expression "trop de beaucoup" when things were just too much. i'm feeling that today. i've finished the first "cod mat" and have another started for an order i'd like to get off next week. i'm also working on a "capelin mat" that i'm submitting for the annual memebers show at the craft council gallery in st. john's. my friend is flying to st. john's early monday morning and has offered to take it in and deliver it (the deadline is june 11th)if it's finished in time. and i'm getting ready for tomorrow's 1st farmer's market of the season. so lots to do. trop de beaucoup.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

all my eggs...

the summer months are slow for yarn and knitwear sales. etsy has gone quiet (most of my customers are american and summer hit early in most of the states). it's a time that i can begin to stockpile for the fall and winter but that doesn't bring in income now. last summer saw corner brook's first farmer's market and each week with the market i was able to make enough income to carry me through the week (you don't need as much money in the summer).
i love these egg baskets for displaying my yarn - especially at the market. emily at kewpiesfarmhouse runs a wonderful vintage shop on etsy and keeps an eye out for these baskets for me. we do trades. she sent me up this basket yesterday and i've been dyeing and spinning yarn to make her a pair of mittens to match a scarf she got from me last year. who needs money!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

lucy's hands

my granddaughter lucy turns 5 this month. this summer she will be coming to corner brook to visit us on her own for the first time. this is very exciting for all of us. a couple of days ago my daughter asked lucy what she was most looking forward to - the cabin, the water park? "no", lucy said "spinning and dyeing with nana. maybe this time i can put my hands on her hands when she puts the wool in the dye". isn't that what being a grandmother is all about? yesterday the sun shone all day and i dyed fleece. i missed lucy's hands.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

corner brook farmer's market

in conjunction with environment week, the farmer's market will take place here in corner brook on the majestic lawn this saturday from 10-2. there will be early produce, plants, crafts, food and environmental information booths. i'll be there with my yarn, shawls, mitts etc. but this time i'll also be selling "island sweet" plants - tomatoes, peppers, zuccinni and sunflowers - all lovingly and organically grown from seed. the weekly farmer's market will start july 17th and run into october.