Wednesday, April 30, 2008

spring orders

this is a busy time of year for craft producers. all the tourist shops are gearing up to open and need new stock. essentialknits in new hampshire is having it's grand opening tomorrow. kim bought some long scarves from me a few months back (from etsy) and i sent off this order of scarflettes yesterday. now my days are devoted to painting - mailboxes, birdhouses, small boxes, magnets - to get to hunky dory in woody point (newfoundland) by may 10th.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


i've written about noticingproject before . every day alicia and heather (from 2 different parts of the usa) post photos of the small things that they notice in their day. i check out their blog every morning with my first cup of coffee. it gives me a moment of reflection and a reminder not to let this day fly past. this week they're calling for others to submit photos of what they've noticed. i submitted this photo of seaweed stretched across the rocks on the beach at dark cove last weekend (my first trip to the cabin this spring), and it was posted yesterday.

Monday, April 28, 2008

what next?

on friday i packed up my hooked mats for the "honest beauty" exhibition and sent them off to st. john's on saturday morning. there's always a pile of mixed emotions when i complete a big project. definitely relief. a feeling of freedom. but also a little anxiety. this is my livelihood. there's always, lurking underneath, a fear that the demand for my work will dry up. or i will. but this time, before "the feeling" set in, i got an email from my new shop in new hampshire requesting an order of 6 more funky scarflettes and to get them to her as soon as i can. "essential knits" (kim discovered my work on etsy) has it's grand opening next weekend. so my work this week is straightforward!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

spring day at the cabin

a cool but sunny spring day at the cabin.

abigail enjoying a romp on the beach

getting drinking water at the nearby brook

making the cabin cosy

a wonderful place to knit

last year's prayer flags

lobster season at frenchman's cove

Saturday, April 26, 2008

spun silk

i'm falling in love with non-animal fibres. bamboo, hemp, and now this silk (mixed with a little merino and bamboo)
beautiful to spin, heavenly to knit

Friday, April 25, 2008

tulip wrap

yesterday i celebrated with colour. i'd finished work for my hooked mat show and decided to ignore my wholesale orders for the day and start on this knitted wrap. it's for my may etsyfast challenge "may flowers". i wanted to knit a wrap that holds all the excessive colours found in tulips. it glows brightly in the sunlight.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

freedom - kind of...

last night i finished my last mat for my last exhibition. as a painter, for years exhibitions were my focus. that's basically how i presented my work. there's a lot of pressure around exhibitions. sending out proposals. lots of rejections. some acceptance. making the work. photographing the work (to send out with the next proposals), shipping the work, doing press coverage, getting people to come to the opening. coming to the opening. the opening. the reviews (or not). the sales (or not).
making "craft" - there's so little of that. i love participating in group shows - it gives me a chance to make something different, maybe something not quite as accessible. but mostly these days i make work to sell - for my studio, for other shops, now for my online shop. and the craft fairs. there's pressure to get orders filled on time. but it's straightforward. i know what i'm going to do when i get up in the morning.
a couple of years ago i decided that maybe if i did exhibitions of my mats, i might not have to work so hard. fewer but more expensive pieces so less work. it didn't turn out that way. sales at the exhibitions were not what i had hoped for. i had 4 shows this year so i was making that work plus all the other work for shops and craft fairs. i remembered that i didn't like that pressure.
so now the work is done. i'll send off these mats tomorrow. and then i'll knit...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

cold sun

we've had wonderful sunshine for days now, but with the northerly winds it's cold. this weather can last now until june...

i've been working on a couple of small (10" square) mats for the show at the end of may. "honest beauty" is a 3 person rug hooking exhibition (with kathleen knowling and catherine mccausland) at the emma butler gallery in st. john's, newfoundland. emma carried my paintings for years but this is the first time she's shown "craft".

i have one more mat to finish off - hopefully today - and then i'll ship the work to emma for photographing.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

well, it doesn't look like a spinning wheel!

yesterday i ordered this baby. it's called an ashford kiwi. from new zealand , but through a newfoundland dealer (linda lewis at baynoddy). when i first started looking i had a set image in mind of what a wheel should look like. many don't anymore. this little one grew on me. it's small - so it's portable. it has a double treadle. both feet are working so it doesn't put as much strain on you. i can buy an attachment to go with it so that it can handle the slubby irregular "art yarn" i want to make. i'll pick it up in st. john's the end of may.

Monday, April 21, 2008

those first flowers

if i wasn't gardening this weekend, i was knitting. the colours flow back and forth...

Sunday, April 20, 2008

drowning rats

as a young wife and mother i had a recurring nightmare. in my dream i would suddenly remember that i was responsible for some rodents - hamsters or mice or rats . when i went to look in their cage they would have multiplied unbelievably and i knew all that they had to eat was each other. i found this absolutely terrifying and i never knew what to do...i always thought the dream was about me somehow neglecting my responsibilities to others. i now know it was about me neglecting myself.

all last summer and into the winter we have had a rat living in our composte bin. when i put orange peel and hunks of bread etc. into it i would think about feeding her. in the winter we would sometimes see her under the bird feeder eating the fallen seeds. she was large and healthy. we knew that there would be a nest in the compost this year. so yesterday we dug in and discovered 8 of the cutest little baby rats. fur covered but still wobbly on their legs. mum rat was nowhere to be seen. what to do? i'm a buddhist and an animal lover so this was very hard. we got a bucket of water and one by one keith put them in the bucket. i put a lid on the bucket because i didn't want to see. for awhile they swam around and then they drowned.

we emptied the compost and spread it over the gardens. then we moved the bins to a more open area (first putting down a sheet of galvanized metal so nothing could get in).

we behaved responsibly...

Saturday, April 19, 2008

she's done

she's done! i finished the mat last evening (while watching juno). it's been a full month of work - well yes, i snuck in some knitting during that time too. this morning i'll sew on the twill tape on the back for hanging and then i'll role her up. i have 2 more smaller mats to complete for the show the end of may. and yesterday i got a good wholesale order (painted objects, small mats and knitting) from hunky dory in woody point. so my work is laid out for me for this month.

Friday, April 18, 2008

pacing down the heart

i practice meditation. it's an intentional act. it slows my thoughts and helps me focus into myself. when i spend time in the garden, it has the same effect. but it happens on it's own.
i woke at 5:30 this morning to robin song...

Thursday, April 17, 2008

just a lovely day

yesterday was a lovely day. clear sky and the temperature got up to 9 degrees. the snow is going quickly now. abigail and i puttered in the garden for a couple of hours this afternoon - raking, pruning. i brought out the wooden table and chairs for the porch and sat outside and knit. once again my studio has expanded to include all out of doors...
check out my "rughooking made simple" article published today on the british online indie magazine mookychick

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

time with friends

yesterday i took a holiday from work and spent time with friends. i finally got to rilla's home/studio for a visit. rilla marshall is a young artist/weaver who moved to newfoundland from pei last fall. she and her artist/student/partner live in one large room above an antique/craft store. with their gorgeous big friendly tabby cat louie. in that room they live, sleep, cook, eat etc. and work. rilla has 2 looms set up - one for her production line of wonderful scarves, the other for her more ambitious art tapestries. she's in production mode right now because she has 2 gallery exhibitions happening early next year and wants to devote the summer months to that work. living and working like this you've got to be motivated and organized and rilla is.
in the evening i met with the west coast craft fair committee for our annual "appreciation" dinner. a wonderful time eating, laughing, commiserating and planning this year's event.
so today - back to work.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

what's tempting me away...

i finished the mat and now have a day's work binding the edges and sewing the back. at the same time - this delivery of yarn and roving arrived yesterday...

Monday, April 14, 2008

not yet finished

i thought i had finished the mat yesterday but something's missing. there isn't enough "dialogue" between the border and the inside. so today i'm going to pull out the centres of the florets and add orange circles. i think that should do it...
yesterday afternoon barb hosted our monthly craft group at her home. tea and sweets and a lovely wood fire. at these gatherings we bring new work or work in progress. some of us have the advantage of being able to work as we participate. i finished knitting a scarf. rilla brought along some woven scarves and with a neat little "fringe twister" finished off the fringe (she'll take the scarves home and felt them). urve has been working on a major glass piece. it will be 100 glass salmon on stands "swimming" upstream. here is a flat salmon before urve "shapes" it into a swimming pose. (in newfoundland there is a foolish tradition for tourists having to "kiss the cod"...)

Sunday, April 13, 2008


overnight winter returned. yesterday morning we spent in the garden. raking the front bank. all winter the snowplough blows snow and salt and gravel up onto the front bank. we've planted tiny daffodils all over the bank so first thing in the spring we need to get rid of what the plough has left. it is beautiful this morning though with the soft wet snow clinging to every surface. but it doesn't feel like spring...

Saturday, April 12, 2008

van gogh's shawl

i finished the shawl yesterday and put it up on etsy. my sister heather sent in the suggestion "van gogh's spring shawl" as the title. i didn't get the connection immediately but went back to the original photo i posted a couple of days ago and there it was - a swirly van gogh night sky! thanks for the inspiration heather. now i think i'll start a monet's waterlilies or an o'keefe's poppies...

Friday, April 11, 2008

spring comes to corner brook

yesterday it felt like spring was finally here. the temperature climbed up to 12 degrees. i hung out laundry for the first time since november. marilee and i took an extra long walk along the old highway with the dogs. in the afternoon i cleaned up dog poop in the backyard (wondering how much of it was skipper's...) and took the burlap protection off of the bushes. where the snow has melted in the garden, shoots are coming up everywhere. in their darkness they have been feeling the light.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

name calling

in the final years of my "art career" (i was a painter) i had more and more difficulty giving names or titles to my pieces. i still have the same trouble with my hooked mats and tend to name them with descriptive words rather than emotive ones. but i love naming my knitting! my scarves and now my shawls, start with a theme. this guides me in my choice of colours and textures. it becomes a challenge to "describe" this idea in yarn. the shawl i started yesterday doesn't have a title yet but it's all about the damp earth- april rain and the snow melting and what's exposed
after a long winter. would you like to name it?

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

a very good sale.

yesterday i listed my first hand knit shawl on my etsy shop. within hours it sold! a wonderful sale. every new product is an experiment. of course you hope that people will like it and that someone will want it, but you can't be sure. responses like this give me permission to keep going...

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

it's a wrap!

i've been working on this wrap for the past few days (a break from my rug hooking) and finished it last night just in time to post it in my etsy shop "mother's day showcase". it's knit with a variety of handspun yarns (including some of my own), commercial yarns and handspun fabric strips.

Monday, April 7, 2008

smashing snow

ok - a confession. on days like yesterday. the first bright sun. hot melting. snowbanks receding hour to hour. i go outside and smash snow. it's a compulsion that many of us newfoundlanders have. up and down the street you can here the shovels. the crunching. the snow hitting the street in scoopfulls. i don't "fling", i just "loosen" and let it slide. it feels so good...

my goal for the weekend (other than getting my taxes done) was to finish the black background of the large mat. not quite but almost...