Tuesday, November 30, 2010

a breather

It's been a very busy last couple of weeks. After finishing the Dalplex show this past weekend, I'm enjoying some time to simply catch my breath. Puttering around my home, getting to some household chores, shopping for a new winter coat. And a little organizing for the Halifax Crafters' Handmade Market this weekend: myself and Laura of Osha Mae Soaps took on the task of organizing the floor plan, and I'm to appear on Breakfast Television Thursday morning with two other crafters to promote the fair.

While I was in St. John's, my Nana gave me a beautiful cup and saucer from her china collection. It arrived yesterday packed in a box of extra cloth and clothes that I had with me while I was in St. John's for the craft fair but couldn't squeeze into my suitcase. I love the orange, the gold trim and the little bluebird perched inside the lip of the cup. So lovely.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Dalplex Christmas Market

Today and tomorrow I will be at the Dalplex Christmas Market here in Halifax with all my scarves. See side bar at right for more details about the show....drop by and say hello and find that perfect scarf!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

thank you St. John's

Well, I made it back home in one piece yesterday. The temperature has dropped dramatically since I left Halifax almost two weeks ago - winter is in the air and it feels cozy. It feels good to be home, in part because I've been fighting swollen tonsils and some kind of sickness since Saturday (maybe strep?). Aside from being under the weather the last two days of the St. John's Christmas Craft Fair, it was a lovely show. A big thank you to everyone who came by my booth to chat or buy a scarf. Here's a smattering of photos to make up for two weeks without any blog posts:

My booth display under the bright lights. Very happy to have my little mannequin along to model....

Since this was my first fair of the season, I had an abundance of scarves. Too many to crowd onto my hanging racks. So, I borrowed a tall shelf from my aunt and uncle's where I was staying and it worked perfectly to house my surplus.

colours, colours.....

....and more colours. And textures.

I had three days off last week between the two four day sections of the fair. I took some walks downtown and finally made it to the Rooms, Newfoundland and Labrador's provincial art gallery and archives. The view from the Rooms is stunning and made vivid through the ginormous plate glass windows: all of St. John's spread out before you with Signal Hill keeping an eye over everything.

In the museum part of the Rooms, they had a display about the Products of Industry in Newfoundland and Labrador, particularly the domestic industries involving women and textiles arts. I stumbled upon this beautiful photo from the archives of a woman weaving at what looks like a home-made loom. I too am a woman of industry....

I noticed while walking the streets of St. John's that garbage bags are always placed under these fishing nets. My guess is that it's to keep out raccoons and other scoundrels who like to eat trash. Whatever the case, I love that in a city that has so relied historically on the fishery, that you see this reflected in the netting used to protect their rubbish...

And lastly, I stopped and took a photo of the first house my mother bought when I was a mere babe in arms. This is 52 Monkstown Road. My first childhood memories are in this house: learning to whistle, eating my lunch in the backyard in the summer sun. I think she bought it for something as little as $28,000. Today, the cost of housing is soaring in St. John's and you'd be hard pressed to find anything under $200,000.

In coming posts I will write more about my experience in St. John's, as well as some insights I had into the direction I would like my production weaving practice to go.....but for now, I need to take care of myself and work on feeling better for the next craft fair this weekend here in Halifax.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

St. John's, here I come!

Tomorrow morning I fly out of Halifax to St. John's for the Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador's Christmas Craft Fair. This is an 8 day fair spread out over two weeks. The first half takes place from November 11 - 14, and the second half from November 18-21 (see side bar at right for hours).
This will be my third year as an exhibitor in this craft fair and it is always a fantastic experience: wonderful atmosphere and community, all exhibitors are juried members of the Craft Council of NL, and I get lots of scarf love from the citizens of St. John's. It also provides me with a great excuse to visit the city where I was born and lived until I was seven years old. I get to visit with my extended family of cousins, aunts, my dear Nana, and craft buddies from my time living in Corner Brook. I love being in St. John's and am always amazed at how many people come out of the craft fair crowds who are old friends of my parents and remember me as a child......Please drop by the fair and say hello!

Monday, November 8, 2010

comfort and joy

So, my second post today - I hardly ever do this - but I wanted to show off this one-of-a-kind scarf I just finished up. I made it especially for the Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador's Comfort and Joy exhibition which opens at Devon House in St. John's on December 4th (it will be for sale!). I'll take it with me when I fly to St. John's this Wednesday for the Christmas Craft Fair and hand it off to Sharon, the gallery coordinator.

The warp is raw silk and the weft is cotton. Before weaving, I wound two separate warps and dip dyed each of them: one warp shifting from pale straw to deep burnt orange, and the other warp shifting from a pale periwinkle grey all the way to a deep teal/blue. When threading the loom, I used a modified twill, alternating stripes of each warp and using a bright fire engine red cotton for the weft. Very very happy with it, love the transition of colours from one end of the scarf to the other with the stripe juxtoposition. I'm a little tempted to keep it for myself.......

my Island home

My dear friend Millefiore Clarkes, a documentarian and film-maker from PEI, has been working on a project about Prince Edward Island for the last couple of years. The Telling is about an ordinary place and its ordinary people, an ode to the stories of an island that has seen many changes and is very dear to those who know it well.

Collecting interviews and many many hours of footage, Mille is finally in the post-production stage. I strongly encourage a visit to see the preview of this film (click on the link above), and if you are so inspired, you can even donate to help with the hard work ahead of editing all the material into a feature-length documentary and web series.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


It's a crisp fall day here in Halifax, but the sun is shining and packing some heat.

My parents brought this beautiful string of hot peppers, some jalepeno (I think), for me when they were here last weekend. The peppers grew in the their garden over the summer. When winter comes, they will will pack lots of heat in stews and sauces....

ps- just been informed in two separate emails by both my parents that the peppers are not jalepeno, but cayenne.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

wednesday loom shot

My last big production push is five batches of Echo scarves. Each day so far this week, I've managed to complete three scarves from start to finish....I love the colours in this one, it reminds me of the bare branches in winter - heather and tan. Hard to believe one week from today I'll be flying to St. John's!

Monday, November 1, 2010


Yesterday we discovered a new little friend living in the maple tree outside our front windows: a little squirrel. The little guy spend ALL day yesterday scurrying back and forth along the branches, collecting whirly-gig maple seed pods and storing them in a hole in the tree trunk. Busy busy! And our cat Luigi spent all afternoon watching him from the window, making little squeaky noises of excitement.

In the evening, we put our carved pumpkin (grown in my parents' backyard in Charlottetown, PEI and brought over on their visit this weekend) out on our front stoop. We probably had about 15 children come by: vampires, princesses, pumpkins, ladybugs and even a gumball machine.