Monday, December 31, 2007

Christmas tidings

Hello Again! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! We had a nice quiet week around here, visiting with friends, eating treats, and watching snow fall. It was lovely!

I don't really have much to say, so I thought I'd just post a couple of pictures, and you could pretend they are all worth 1000 words. :)

We didn't get our wreath for outside until Christmas Eve, so it was FREE! Sometimes it pays to be late! I decorated it with some Christmas decorations we ordered off Ebay last year, that were sent to Yo Video instead. They arrived this year just in time. And some holly that Jai was given for Christmas by a woman he drives.

I made this tray as a custom job for a local woman who saw our work at the Christmas show. She liked it so much, she ordered another one on the spot! (that was a pretty nice feeling!) I like it, too, and think I might make one for myself as well :)

There's Jai in the kitchen with the wreath that Errol's sister, Cynthia, made us for Christmas. Nice job Cynthia!

The most popular Christmas present this year is definitely the hand-knit Catnip Mice that we picked up for the cats. They couldn't wait until Christmas, though, and dug them out of their hiding places several times before I wisened up and stuck them in a drawer. Emma likes to snuggle hers, and Jane has already ripped the guts out of hers.

Brandon and Jo had us over to their house for Christmas Dinner, with Philip and Angela. Their house was very festive, and the food was amazing! The next best thing to Grandma's.

Our apple firewood is pretty fun to look at. I couldn't resist these amazing fungus things, and took about twenty different pictures of them. The whole log was covered in them, all different shapes and sizes. Anyway, I had to use at least one of them, since I took so many!

And outside the house is lots and lots of snow. I love going out in the backyard, and seeing who has been visiting. And it really makes the house bright when everything outside is white. It's great during the day, but a little bit annoying at night, because I like it to be really dark when I'm sleeping. We might have to get heavier curtains! I would have thought it would be brighter in the summer, but it really isn't. No wonder people suffer from light deficiency when they move to Victoria!

And finally, Santa! We made it up to the Goulden Christmas party, and got to sit on Santa's lap and everything. It was pretty fun, and, as Jai says, he was a very PG-13 kind of Santa.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

How to know you're a Local...

Hello! Time is flying this week! We've just about caught up on our Christmas orders. The last two days have been a bit of a struggle for me, as I have been bitten by the Lazy Bug, and haven't felt like doing anything but sitting in front of the fire. But, alas, I can't slack off just yet.
We're in the middle of a totally beautiful snow storm right now. It's like something from a Christmas card out there. Unfortunately I leant our camera to Sarah, to get some good shots in her Etsy store. So you'll just have to take a moment and picture it in your head...a heavy white blanket of snow covering the empty streets, and big lazy white flakes floating down over everything. Lovely!!!

We did take a bit of time to get our tree up. We got the biggest tree they had this year - hooray for high ceilings! And the reflections on the tin are just gorgeous! So far, we have put only unbreakable ornaments on the tree, just because we aren't sure about the cats, but it's been a couple of days, and so far there has been no interest shown by either one. I think I'll give it a couple more days!

We've also had time to fit in some visiting. Our friend Andre organized a texas hold'em poker tournament, where all the money went to the charity of the winner's choice. That was pretty fun, it came down to Brandon and I on the last hand, but the blinds were so high, that we both had to go "all in" and he won. Oh well, he donated the money to the families the local school is sponsoring, so it was a good cause.
And we had a delicious dinner and excellent company at Philip and Angela's house the other night. Last year, Christmas was so relaxed because we didn't know anyone yet, and neither one of us had jobs yet. This year we're all over the place! I guess that's what happens. It certainly has been a very busy year. But an excellent one!
The other day I knew I was officially a "local" when the fellow who runs the grocery store let me come in after hours and just take a bag of cat food. "Pay for it tomorrow," he said. Home sweet home.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Season's Greetings


It's that time of year...the Bridgetown Christmas tree is lit again!
Last weekend we had our final show of the year in Annapolis Royal, which is about 20 minutes from our house. It was my favourite show. It was really fun, because we shared a corner with our friends Carolyn and Sarah, and because we knew a lot of the people that were coming through, and it was really relaxed and social. There is such a large number of really talented Craftspeople in the area, considering how many people actually live here. It's exciting to be a part of it. Here's a pic of our booth, with a little bit of Carolyn's beautiful work peeking in at the corner. She's got her own web-site at

Since then we have been busy trying to keep up with work. Aside from working for other people, we have been kept hopping with orders off of Etsy. I don't know now how we could live without it, it truly is such an amazing resource.

The weather has been very snowy all week. The roads in Nova Scotia are kept really well, around here at least, so we don't have to worry about that, which is nice. And the snow is breathtakingly beautiful. The road I take to Cottage Woodworkers brings me up over the North Mountain to the Bay of Fundy. It's about a 12 minute drive, but on the way there, I get amazing views of the Bay, and on the way home I get incredible valley views. I could hardly believe it on the way home today, as I came around the corner to see a view through the park, across the snow-laden picnic tables, through the snow-covered birch trees, to a panorama of the snow-covered Valley. I almost forgot how incredible the view was, when all the trees have lost their leaves. Too bad I didn't have my camera!

Yesterday we took the day to head to Halifax with our friends Brandon and Jo. We got a bunch of errands done, I spent an obscene amount of money at Lee Valley, and we just relaxed and had fun. Brandon and Jo took us to Pete's Frootique, which is this super fun specialty grocery store. They have all sorts of different things from all over the world, so we bought some treats for under the tree. Couldn't resist trying a couple of the chip flavours first, though. How about Turkey and Stuffing, Cheese and Pickle, or Ham and Mustard? All three ended up with two (somewhat greasy) thumbs up.

Today is the anniversary of the Halifax Explosion, and there have been some amazing stories on the CBC. I was just listening to a 103 yr.old man who was 13 and living in Halifax at the time. He had an incredible memory, and an almost unbelievable story. Although this particular piece of history is extremely tragic, I love living in a place that is so full of history and stories. It makes me feel like a small piece of a very large timeline.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Home again, home again

Ahhh, it's good to be home again.

The Moncton show went all right, but it wasn't great. We came out ahead, which is more than a lot of the craftspeople were saying. Yikes!!! There was an awful lot of booths selling snowmen on sticks which were imported from China. Not exactly our target market. But now we know. I took some shots of our booth.

My side:

Sarah's side:

It was nice hanging out a bit with Sarah, and her in-laws definitely put us up in comfort. Lori even made me a birthday cake. And now I'm another year older. And when I got home, there was some birthday presents waiting for me, so that was kind of fun!

I also have some pics of our booth at the Acadia show. This is our full set-up:

We have our last show of the season this weekend in Annapolis Royal, and then we'll have to figure out what's going to happen next.

We had some snow a couple of weeks ago, but it is nice and warm again now. I got some nice shots of apples in the snow, while it lasted.

And we've started curling again. Yay! We lost the first two games, but we won the last two, so now we just have to keep it up. I curled really badly last night, but no one seemed to mind. Our team is so great. And it's nice to have scheduled exercise! It's followed generally by beer, but it still counts!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Hello out there! I just wanted to write a quick note, to say that I'm not ignoring you! If you've written to me and not gotten a response, it's not because I haven't wanted to write!
Here's a quick update:
We did the Acadia show last weekend. It was good but not great. Sarah and Dereck had the same kind of weekend, so we started talking about trying to fit in another show. Sarah called Moncton, and they had a cancellation, so Sarah and I are off to Moncton this weekend for the biggest show in the Maritimes. Jai has to work :(
Anyway, things have been a little hectic around here for the last two weeks. Hopefully after this weekend, we can start to relax a little, and I'll have time to give you a fuller account, plus pictures. Next weekend is the Annapolis Royal show, but that will be pretty relaxed.
Anyway, we're off to New Brunswick this morning - wish us luck!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Blustery Day

Just completed, Songbird Marquetry Cabinets:

Hello again,
I'm writing now, because by all accounts it's about to be a very blustery day here in the Valley. They're calling for "Tropical Storm Noel" to hit here later this afternoon. We were just out helping our neighbour pull in her canoe, and Jai patched the leak in the shop roof yesterday. We're very glad we got our woodstove before any big power outages!! We'll be nice and cozy here now, as long as the roof doesn't blow off! I don't actually think it's going to be all that bad, but you should hear the way they're talking on the CBC!

We had a very nice Halloween here this year. We had our friends Brandon and Jo over for some Nachos and pumpking carving. And Jai dressed up very spookily, but wasn't quite able to make any kids cry this year. We could never beat our friend Jim anyway, he has kids so terrified, some of them won't even go near his house. The kid count was up this year, but still much lower that it is on "the main drag" where they get easily 150 kids. We were at about 20.

We're still busy trying to get ready for the Christmas show. Anyone who reads this and lives in Nova Scotia - we are fully expecting you to show up! You don't have to shop, but we'd love to see you out - Nov 16-18 at Acadia University.

We got our postcards delivered yesterday, and they came out really nice. I'm so glad I was able to get that done before the show. It's been on my "To Do" list for about four months now - it feels good to check it off!

If anyone wants one mailed to them, just send me a note, and I'll be happy to send you as many as you want.
Jai's been turning tops every spare second, and I think we're starting to get a handle on the booth set-up. My friend Carolyn called us up the other day - she is doing the Dalplex show in Halifax the weekend after Acadia, and we were laughing because somehow, completely independantly of each other, we have come up with the exact same booth layout.

Anyway, I think that's pretty much all of our news for now. We'll keep you posted!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

After I wrote last week, I brought my camera with me to work, and took some tree pics on the way home. The colours are amazing, and kind of hard to capture with my little point and shoot digital, but you get the idea. The last pic is of one of the trees at the side of our house.

It doesn't even feel like a week has gone by, because I really don't have that much news. We're both still just working really hard, trying to get some stuff together that people might buy as Christmas presents. It's incredibly difficult to know what types of things we should be making, as neither of us has ever done this before, but it will at the very least be a good learning experience. Of course, it would be great if we could actually make some money, too!!

Our bookbinding workshop was really fun, and went pretty well. We both made books that don't look like we made them!

Then I came home and tried to teach myself coptic binding with wood boards. It's a little different, I still haven't got it perfected, but it's getting there. I think I will make some smaller books this way, in addition to the larger books with bolts and hinges. We'll see what people like better.

Got some new marquetry designs:

But mostly I've spent the week buiding some meditation benches. I should have one or two listed on Etsy by the end of the week.

The garden is doing well. We finally harvested all the pumpkins that we grew!

Soon it will be time to put the garden away for the winter. I'd like to get some bulbs so they will come up in the spring, but I'm not sure when/if i will have time/resources to do that. I did snag some of the bulbs that came up on the abondoned property behind us last year, as they were talking about bulldozing it and putting in condos, and I just thought they would get lost in the mess. So we will have a couple of daffodils next spring, if nothing else. Our little fruit trees are doing great, we've been trying to keep them wet. The weather for the last week has been amazing - we even had a day that was 27 degrees - almost too hot!! Today, however, it is kind of chilly again.

Luckily.... we finally got our wood stove installed!!!!!!!!!!!!!

They had to use a hedgehog to get onto the roof, so of course I brought the camera outside and snagged a couple of shots.

And here's one of the wood stove in place!

We already pulled those shiny plastic bumpers off the corners, and have lit two test fires. One more to go, and then we can really build up some heat in here. I think it looks great, and can't wait to have a nice cozy room to spend the winter in. Jane agrees!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Hello again! It's been a while, but we have both been so busy working hard.

Hmmm... I guess I will update you on the shop activity first. We've been lucky enough to be featured on the front page of Etsy a couple of times now, so we've gotten some good attention. Plus our friend Rachel added us as her first "interesting folk" on a new section to the web-site of her journal (it's at: Thanks Rachel!
Here's some pics of what I've been up to:

A couple of marquetry pictures, that I think will end up as box lids.

Plus I got my huge order of wood. Birch and Walnut. It's so beautiful, I do a little happy dance whenever I think about it.

The last couple of days I have been busy making meditation benches en masse. Today I was having fun using the wedge jig I built. It was super simple, but I've never done it before, and it was pretty exciting to see all the wedges come out exactly the same! (Little joys, I know.)

Anyway, that's a lot of work stuff, but it's pretty much all I've been doing. Jai's been doing a lot of driving. And theatreing.
Our woodstove was supposed to get installed this week, but no one has a ladder that will safely get a man onto our incredibly high roof, so they have to rent a crane or something, and they're coming back next week. So that was pretty disappointing, since Jai spent most of Monday night building a tile pad for the stove to sit on. Luckily the days have been really warm here. Today was sunny and 18 degrees. The nights are cold, though, and it is resulting in an amazing show from all the trees. My friend Jo and I were talking about it and both agreed that this is the most spectacular fall that either of us has ever witnessed. We both had had moments of being moved almost to tears by how amazing the colours are. Unfortunately, I haven't managed to take the camera out and document it yet, but we did get this picture of the South Mountain, from the Bridgetown Bridge:

And today after lunch at Dee's Chicken, Jai and I took a little time out to walk along the old rail line. It was super pretty, and there was all sorts of different apple trees lining the path. We tried three different kinds, but there were lots more that we couldn't reach. We walked back through the old cemetary and visited all the amazing trees. It was a wonderful break.