Thursday, March 31, 2011


They don't intersect but they brush close by and before you know it your off on one. There's the vintage tablecloth I found that I've been distracted by, making me think of sewing projects and household needs.

Then there's the new felting machine I bought. I've been experimenting with it to get a feel for what I can create. First finished piece is a clutch style bag made from a recycled coat. I'm trying to stick to the stuff in my wool stash while I'm getting the hang of things. The temptation to go buy silk fabric may overtake me though.

And there was the little recycling project of a different kind. The coolest candy store in town had some leftover boxes from Wonka nerds so I had to weave a little basket. The "owner" of the basket will be revealed soon.

 Tangents! They are always taking me off the path. Luckily it's usually a straight line to get back.

Oh, and there's the thoughts of gardening running through my head all the time now. I can't wait for these to return...

Ah spring, the season of distraction!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Work in Progress

These two little baskets are woven from the same section of bark but the color is quite different.

The mauve basket is from bark layers just under the white outside bark and then the next layers produced the darker sand color.  The tiny glass beads are from the same mixture and went well with both shades of wax linen. Now to finish the rims and handles. What's on your workbench today?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Weaving Materials from the Woods

I headed for the woodpile to get some bark before the birch logs get chopped up. Birch bark is certainly beautiful on the outside but I'm always amazed at the colors in the layers underneath.

The coppers, browns and soft pinks that show up are wonderful and make weaving with bark such a pleasure. I've been working on more little bark baskets and will have fun matching the colors of the new bark I collected with the wax linen.

The weather has been feeling spring like. I hesitate to use the word spring for what happens here in the Maritime provinces. Just when you think the nice weather is here to stay it snows again. In all of my years of gardening it has been a rare one that doesn't produce a bit more snow just after Mother's day. I kid you not! Here's a good sign of things to come I found today though.

Monday, March 14, 2011

A Bit of March Madness

This week marks spring break for a lot of people and a time when us Northerners have dreams of throwing off the heavy outer layers of winter. Although it's only slightly above freezing the young at heart toss the parkas aside at the first rays of warm sun and stroll out in short sleeves. There is a little madness in March. I went there myself.

                               "Yes, it really is three carrots!"

It's been a sad and defeating week around the world so I would not begrudge anyone the lightness of spring break. Here's looking forward....

Saturday, March 12, 2011

A Local Gem

In the heart of downtown Sydney the Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design is an amazing little engine for the promotion of handcraft and visual art on our island. It is the host of both professional development programs and a craft school for hobbyists. The artwork created and represented there spans the gap from culturally significant traditional crafts to contemporary design.

The gallery at the Centre is a beautiful space filled with the best that Cape Breton has to offer. I'm always delighted to have my work represented there and am in awe of the gorgeous handcraft from fellow members.

It's the place where I have met some of my dearest friends and had some of my greatest inspiration for new and exciting projects. The centre itself has gone through many changes since it opened and it's biggest achievement in recent years has to be the state of the art building that it now calls home.

If you visit Sydney this year make it your first destination and enjoy all it has to offer. Maybe you can even be persuaded to stay long enough to take a class!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Little Things

I've been thinking about production for the summer season and making lists. Lots of lists. It got a bit overwhelming so I decided to start with the smallest project.

I love weaving these little birch bark baskets and forget about them sometimes when all of the BIG baskets are on the go. I'm pretty crazy about wax linen too so I have experiemented with some paper weaving. I used the back cover of magazines and got some nice colors from the various ads.

The mauve basket in progress is an olay lotion ad. Think I'll add some glass beads to the next one. A little bling to go with the bark!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Big Day Out

We had a perfect day in the great outdoors yesterday! It was windy but once we hit the woods on our snowshoes it was lovely. A bright sunny day with just enough fresh snow to see lots of animal tracks in it. The snow in the woods is really deep but with a hard crust so it was easy going. We trekked along the dry branch of the Barrachois River until we got to the main part and it was open water.

    There were lots of rabbit tracks and one canine set. Uh oh. Then back to the pond that drains out to St. Ann's Bay and a view of Englishtown.

 Down at the pond we saw lots of evidence of the beavers that built the dam in the fall. We were a bit worried about them as we had a bad storm in November when part of the dam was washed out. Looks like they are thriving and you guessed it........busy.

My fellow snowshoer was always ahead because I had to stop for some artsy shots you know. Not much left of the rose hips after the moose eat them all. 

One last stop under the biggest birch tree on the property. Me this time. Cheers!

Well maybe one more picture of my favorite thing....

Friday, March 4, 2011

Happy Friday!

It's been a fun filled day. Great way to end the week.

 It started with an early arrival of the mailman delivering copies of the new April issue of Cabin Life magazine. It's beautiful. Did I mention my antler basket is in it? They choose one of my favorite pieces to feature and Fran Sigurdsson put me in amongst some top notch company. You need to check it out!

Then to my surprise and delight I get a Friday feature on Cathryn Peters website Weavin'Wicker Woman. I consider Cathryn to be a guru and have admired her work for many years. She does amazing chair restorations and dedicates a lot of time to a chair caning forum and creates fantastic antler baskets. A big thank you is in order!

So I wanted to share my good news with the folks at CBCCD and a copy of the magazine. The staff loved Cabin Life and agreed it is a great magazine. This issue even has twig furniture in it! Perfect. I dropped off a few of my newly minted eyeglass cases to the gallery while I was there too.

Then to end on a high note, I swung by the Time Machine for a red velvet cupcake fix. I can highly recommend cupcake Fridays! The peanut butter and chocolate ones are so delicious looking I have to felt one before I eat it. Now if I can just keep the momentum going next Friday should be fantastic! Happy weekend everybody...

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Anatomy: Felt Rabbit

Tonight is the last critters class at CBCCD so while I was preparing body parts I took some pictures of the process. Not my best pictures. Rotten gray light of March 1st. Even with all of the snow on the ground it's a drab day. The gray rabbits, or as I like to call them "my grey hares" are a lovely shade though. The best part is putting on their little pink noses. Hope my students will have fun with them!

My little teachers pet has a periwinkle blue vest and his school bag for notes!
He's good company while I work. ;)

Older pictures of rabbits and sheep here !