Monday, May 31, 2010

much help

i am blessed to be a craft producer in newfoundland. living costs are low so it is actually possible to make a living from your craft here. and also, i think we have the very best craft council in the country. the involvement, support and guidance is huge - coming from "the captain" anne manuel and her staff, and all the hard-working, dedicated volunteers. this is the first year in many that i haven't been on the board so at this weekend's agm (which took place on the west coast this year) i only attended the last day of meetings. as well as the potluck supper and evening slide shows - isabella from her "pottery" trip to korea and barb from her recent "textile" trip to poland, germany and england. i was so inspired i felt like i was coming out of my skin. it re-instated my need and desire to travel to new places. somehow.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Saturday, May 29, 2010

good company

the newfoundland and labrador craft council is holding it's agm in corner brook this weekend. a large group of board members came out from st. john's yesterday. most of them are staying at a b&b but one of my oldest friends is staying with me. we were married to brothers at one time (our children are cousins) and although the marriages didn't last, our friendship did. this is the first year in many that i haven't been on the craft council board so i'll just be attending the social events. but it will be lovely spending evenings and mornings catching up with my good friend.

Friday, May 28, 2010


there was a time, a few years ago, when my major fibre activity was rug hooking. this is what i sold in my studio and in the shops. i had exhibitions of hooked mats in st. john's and toronto. my studio was filled with piles of cut-up jersey t-shirts (which i preferred to wool because of the brilliant colours). i haven't hooked a mat since i started spinning 2 1/2 years ago. my studio now holds only yarn and fleece and bottles of dye.
so, a couple of days ago, when i received an order for 2 cod mats, i had to pause and think "how did i do this?" it's like riding a bycicle. map out the image on burlap. choose colours and cut out the strips of fabric. the familiar feel of the hook. i'm actually excited to watch my hands remember.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


keith and his brother stayed down to the cabin tuesday night. this is what they woke to yesterday morning...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

light and laughter

last week my friend urve at a stones throw glass posted a blog entry that included this photo of a solar mason jar light in her window and commented that it looked like it held fireflies. i had coincidently spun a skein that day called fireflies. i told urve how much i loved the lamp and yesterday she dropped it off to me as a belated birthday gift. thank-you, thank-you urve!
yesterday i also spun up a couple of skeins of a wonderfully happy yarn called "laughter" - one to sell as a skein and one to knit up into a matching hat and pair of mittens.
isn't that what summer is all about? light and laughter.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

the shape of this summer

i'm beginning to see the shape of this summer. our first guests arrived yesterday (keith's brother and sister-in-law) for a short visit. they're the first of alot of company this summer. my challenge is to enjoy each of these wonderful visits and at the same time get work done. it's hard for people to see what i do as work because it just looks like fun. which it is.
yesterday i finished off an order to go up to "hunky dory" in woody point in gros morne national park. i made some skeins of yarn inspired by the natural beauty of that place. this skein is called "tablelands" (i made an extra skein to put in my etsy shop).

Monday, May 24, 2010

Saturday, May 22, 2010

my 60th birthday

tomorrow is my 60th birthday. i woke early this morning. the sun is shining. a clear blue sky. i lay in bed and thought "this decade i need to do everything i haven't done yet." what has stopped me in my life is fear. lack of confidence. that can't be a factor anymore.
we're going to dark cove today. a few friends will be joining us for a bbq and sleep-over. i want to turn 60 looking at the ocean, the mountains behind.

Friday, May 21, 2010

all done

for the past 6 weeks i've been working on a big yarn order for the newlfoundland and labrador craft council shop at devon house in st. john's. they have a new room in their shop dedicated to "knitting" and will have a large selection of yarns and knitwear for the coming tourist season. if you're in st. john's, check it out.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

right now, it's perfect

late yesterday afternoon, the sun warm. i took my book, my sunhat and sat out on the back deck. instead of reading, i leaned back and looked up into the trees. the new leaves on the birch crisp and lime green.
i turn 60 on sunday. there has been alot of reflecting around this birthday. i do feel it's the beginning of a new stage. but yesterday, at that moment all i could think of was "right now this is perfect". that's all i need. that's all there is. the rest sorts itself out.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

sun spotters

for weeks and weeks we've had grey skies. it's all people here in newfoundland are talking about. it's what they're blogging and twittering about. occassionally there will be the comment: "i think i saw the sun trying to break through". or my friends on the north shore will have seen the sun while it was still cloudy on the south shore. it reminds me of storm chasers. well, yesterday, here on the west coast of newfoundland, and again today, it is sunny. yesterday i followed the sun around with my camera. as it first entered my house in the morning. on my walk. hanging out the laundry and in the afternoon in the greenhouse. here, in newfoundland, we are rejoicing.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

this time of year

this time of year crafts people are filling orders for the local seasonal shops that open in the next few weeks. more of my orders now are for yarn, but a few are still looking for my painted works - boxes and key holders and fridge magnets. so on the weekend i dragged up my drawing table from the basement (the one my father used in the 60's when he was a landscape architect) and got out the paints. i'd also been asked to decorate a donated dog bowl stand for the spca dog walk (mid-june), so i tackled that first.

Monday, May 17, 2010

cold rain

we've had terrible weather this past week. cold rain. no sunshine. spring continues on at it's slow pace.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

a warm feeling like nasturtiums

i love fiction written by poets. i love the attention to every word.
as i spin these days, i'm listening to margaret atwood's "the year of the flood". i hold her sentences in my mouth like good wine. i write down words and sentences for inspiration. "a warm feeling like nasturtiums" is an example.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

will she ever feel this pretty again?

my grandchildren have 4 sets of grandparents. one of the grandmothers (antje) bought lucy a wedding dress (and thanks for the photo antje). lucy is all about weddings right now. lucy will be 5 next month. her world is wrapped like a cocoon of love. in september she starts kindergarten. i wonder if she will ever feel this pretty again...

Friday, May 14, 2010

a very special request

when you mention "rughooking" in eastern canada, you think of deanne fitzpatrick.
deanne was originally from placentia bay, newfoundland but has lived most of her adult life in nova scotia. from her home studio she hooks her incredible rugs, writes her books, teaches her classes to rughookers from around the world and displays and sells her work.
so i was absolutely thrilled a couple of days ago when deanne contacted me and asked for a special order of yarn to use in her rugs- yarn of sea and sky and forest and meadow and garden.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


this week i watched the movie "coco avant chanel". soft and clear. like chanel.just loved it.
when i think of chanel i always first think of the little pink tweed jacket. that was my inspiration for this skein. i'll be posting it in my etsy shop this morning.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

green mist

every spring, there is one morning when i get up and look out over the town and the trees are enveloped in a pale green mist. that happened this morning. all the leaves have sprouted. the spaces between the trees, between the limbs and branches and twigs is filling in with green.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

a sweet exchange

a few weeks ago i was spinning yarn that was influenced by the muted but exquisite colour combinations found in william morris wallpaper. rachel found my yarn on etsy and suggested we do a trade. rachel (from illinois) also has a fine art background (you can see it in the sophistication of her colour choices) and has made "william morris" yarn also. she chose my "marigolds and chrysanthemums" and i chose her "clover flower". i received it yesterday. it's just gorgeous. i think i'll use it sparingly - incorporating it into a few spring shawls. another reason why i love etsy!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

a reunion of mind and body

i'm on my own this weekend so i decided to turn it into a mini-retreat. the past 2 weeks have been hectic and stressful. i need quiet time. so yesterday abigail and i went for a good walk early in the morning. i came home and made some great wholewheat/oatmeal/seed bread. a pot of miso soup to last the weekend. and a batch of hummus. i've been experimenting with hummus lately (since i'm not eating eggs or cheese) - trying to keep things interesting. yesterday i went to the garden and brought in chives and garlic tops to add to it - lovely being able to use fresh produce already. this batch also has grated carrot and red pepper in it. and a little salsa to moisten the chickpeas and give it that beautiful colour.
and as i spun yesterday i listened to a couple of dharma talks by thich nhat hanh. to make the whole experience more authentic, the furnace broke down yesterday morning (we desperately need a new one) so there's no hot water and the house is cold (except in the living room where we have a propane stove). it definitely feels like a retreat...

Saturday, May 8, 2010


this morning keith and his parents flew up to toronto to be with his brother. paul was in hospital almost 2 weeks but is now home. he has a bacterial lung infection. it wasn't lung cancer and it wasn't tb (there were spots on his lungs). he has been given a 3 month treatment of anti-biotics and told to stop smoking and rest.
lungwort is one of the earliest flowers to bloom in the garden. it has always seemed so dainty and old-fashioned to me. in medieval times, the leaves were boiled up and used to treat lung ailments - infections, tb and cancer. this skein of yarn is for paul.

Friday, May 7, 2010

blue skies from now on

well - not exactly. today is dull and the forcast for the coming week is rain every day. but yesterday, although cool, was clear. a perfect day for dyeing and drying fleece. and keith's brother, who has been in hospital for a week, got a good diagnosis and is home now. so today our spirits are soaring...