Saturday, December 31, 2011

Friday, December 30, 2011

i have a web site!

for some time now i've known that i've needed a web site for my business. somewhere potential wholesale customers can go and see my product. the task seemed daunting and expensive. i didn't want a site that i couldn't control myself. that couldn't easily be updating.
i've recently discovered vistaprint
(i made brochures through them recently to take to my upcoming trade shows) and yesterday learned that i could make a web site through them. sooo... all last evening and all morning. and it's done. for now. please check it out at

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

you make me feel loved

when my spinning is finished for the day, i spend my evenings working on my new passion. beginning with old textiles. some given to me. some i've bought online. most of them i've picked up in my recent travels. preferably hand stitched and worn. then i embellish them - embroidery and applique. this one i finished up over the holidays.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

down the bay

we spent yesterday at the cabin. a sprinkle of snow iced weebald and the blomidon mountains.

with the strong winds lately, with the freezing and thawing, we had ice jammed up right to the steps.

as always, the beach was a source of inspiration.

before i even got to the cabin, keith had the fire going and brought the temperature from below freezing to 20 degrees c. in less than an hour.
i brought down some work. drank green tea and ate christmas cake and indulged myself with quiet. the only sounds - the crackling fire, the pounding waves and the snoring dogs.

Monday, December 26, 2011


christmas now is slower. with no family home to share it with, keith and i set our own pace. the excess of christmas is a thing of the past. fewer and less expensive gift giving and receiving. abigail and blackie (who we're looking after) helped open the gifts christmas morning.

an early morning walk in the new snow.

and spending the day savouring some wonderfully thoughtful gifts.

hope you're all enjoying the quiet of this day...

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Thursday, December 22, 2011

pushing back the darkness

winter solstice. and the celebration of light returning. this year i'm bringing more light into the house. we haven't had a christmas tree for the past few years but i decided i wanted one this year.

with more lights on it than ever before. i turn them on when i get up in the morning. and spin in their glow until the house brightens up.

i've decided to take a holiday today. one of the perks of being self-employed. i'll spend the day finishing up a gift for keith. and reading. i gave myself a liesurely candlelit breakfast. happy winter solstice everyone.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

now that's cold

yesterday morning we woke to minus 17 degrees celcius (with a windchill of minus 23). that's cold for the west coast of newfoundland even in the dead of winter. a good day for catching up on business and for spinning by the fire. in the late afternoon, the sun already sinking below the hills, abigail and i ventured out for a most beautiful walk.
the air itself frozen still.

Monday, December 19, 2011

christmas came early

keith's parents live in corner brook. so that's where we spend christmas. for the last few years we've gone out to st. john's the week end before christmas to spend with my daughter and son-in-law and the grandchildren. i love this time together. to witness and take part in their pre-christmas traditions. setting up the christmas village and decorating their own little trees for their bedrooms.

the obligatory school christmas concert.
going out into the woods and finding the perfect tree. and then decorating it. the littlest one always puts the star on last.

this year we brought our skates with us and all had a family skate.
and decided to exchange our gifts together.
and on the morning we left - a little musical send-off.
this was my christmas.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

big and little

this week i've been spinning up the biggest skeins ever. each of them weighing over 6 oz. and then yesterday i got a wholesale order from fully wooly primitives , a rug hooking company in quebec, for tiny 1 oz. skeins. so, for each big skein, i'll spin up a little one. side by side.

Monday, December 12, 2011

like large chubby animals

one of the things i most loved about doing the toronto one of a kind show was the friends and contacts i made. although we stay in touch online, i missed not seeing them this year. so i was especially pleased this past week to get an email from jane at "knit twits" from calgary suggesting a collaboration. jane and jackie knit large wonderfully chunky cowls and scarflettes. i got this one last year in a trade. they have been using "ozark handspun" for the biggest pieces but find it a little scratchy. (ozark handspun was the yarn that inspired me to start spinning 5 years agao).jane asked if i could spin fat yarn.
this is how i spent my weekend. i just love this fat yarn!

the first one i spun, made with lots of natural undyed fibres, was over 7 oz and when i lifted it, it felt like a warm chubby animal. they seem to have a life of their own.

i have a dozen to spin up before i head off to st. john's on thursday.

Friday, December 9, 2011

what happened last night

the weather was wild yesterday. warm south westerly winds blew in with heavy rains bringing frequent power outages all day. i would stop whatever i was doing and move to the couch in front of the big front window and knit. it made for rather a relaxing day. in the evening the wind picked up to gale force (gusts of 130 km/hr). during a wind storm i usually worry about the big old trees (birch and maple and poplar) that surround our house. but last night it was the house itself that took the damage. a storm window in the front room worked loose and blew off. the big tarp that keith tied down over the greenhouse for winter protection lifted and ended up down the hill. and late at night keith was standing in the back porch watching the wind and suddenly the lattice from the porch came off and blew past him. this morning we'll pick up the pieces...

Thursday, December 8, 2011

slush. and the business of doing business.

i've been flat out the past couple of days finishing off some last minute little orders (to take into st. john's next week) and knitting commissions. and also taking care of the business. i'm still amazed that i ended up running my own business... yesterday i finally designed and ordered brochures (something i know i've needed at the trade shows). that took all day and abigail and i didn't get a walk.
my planned big walk with abigail this morning turned into my bundling up in rain/winter gear and dashing alone to the post office to get an express order off. abigail hates rain. and particularly hates slush. and wind. the forecast for later today is gusts of up to 130 km/hr. so i'm home. the fire on. the dye pots going. and alot of knitting to do today. now... what movie shall i watch on netflix?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

how it starts

i've finished up all my yarn orders for now. one of the reasons i so badly needed to clear out my studio was that i wanted a space to work on my textile art pieces. and i wanted to rediscover some of the materials i'd brought home from my travels this past year.
what immediately caught my attention this time was this piece of vintage embroidered and crocheted linen that i found in annapolis royal in september.
i have a title. i know the feeling i want to create on this piece of fabric. so then i went through my bags of old lace. my chiffon from san fransisco. my glass beads. and in my mind, the work is beginning to form. i spent the evening in my studio and started to work...

Monday, December 5, 2011

clearing out

i'm not sure how my studio got to be so disorganised this year. my annual clean-out usually takes place after the holidays. after the rush and the chaos of the christmas craft fairs. somehow it had reached the point that i couldn't think straight and was avoiding the studio (except to card my batts). so yesterday i attacked. hoping that a re-arrangement of the larger furniture with give me more room

now i have 3 "work stations" and i'll try to keep them seperate. one for working on my textile art - the sewing and felting and applique and embroidery work.

one for planning and making my batts.

and the 3rd for finishing the skeins and dealing with the business end of production. the spinning still happens in the living room.
i'm not knitting commercially anymore so i'm de-stashing my yarn and passing bags-full off to i can see what i have. it helps me make decisions.