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.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

100 Posts!

This is my 100th post - pretty crazy, hey? That means some of you have read 100 updates on our lives. Thanks!

It's been a little while since I last posted. We had another wave of company come through, and I was trying not to hog the computer TOO much (I'm a bit of a computer hog - must be control issues!) Lots of stuff has happened...

Jai's parents were out visiting for the last eight days. That was really nice, they're very easy people to spend time with. We took them over to the South Shore the day after they arrived so we could catch the Mahone Bay Scarecrow Festival, and see the Bluenose 2 docked in Lunenburg. We've had beautiful summery weather for the last while, so it was a very pleasant day.

We also got lots of things done around the house while they were here. Including stacking all the firewood, reorganizing my wood pile, and some gardening, among other things. I picked up three fruit trees at the nursery - a Macintosh apple tree, a Honeycrisp apple tree (my new favourite kind of apple) and a Peach tree. We planted them at the back of the property where they can grow large and stately.

Anita (Jai's Mom) bought us a holly tree for beside the front door, where I had planted a hydrangea originally. My poor hydrangea was not happy there, and only managed to produce a few scraggly leaves this year, so I moved it to a sunnier spot and fed it lots of lobster manure. Yeah, they actually sell lobster manure here.
Anyway, I think the holly will do well there, and it looks very pretty!
We went out to Windhorse Farms as well. You can check them out at It is a large eco-logging property, which also has organic gardens and meditation retreats. They had a lot of great wood there, so I picked some stuff out, and Jim (the owner) gave me some more pieces, as he saw our stuff at the Market, and would like me to design a simple tray they can make to use up the guitar blanks that don't make the grade. That will be a very fun little winter project.

It was a really great spot, and an amazing business, so I am glad to be able to support it, and hope to do so more in the future.

We also took them to Frenchy's, of course, and Jai's Dad ended up with a whole pile of new clothes. It was fun to introduce someone to Frenchy's who really appreciated it they way we do. What would Nove Scotia be without Frenchy's????
And we took them out to Hall's Harbour for lobster dinner at The Lobster Pound, where you order your dinner in the gift shop, and then go across to the restaurant in the next building. It was a bit confusing at first, but the food was good, and we weren't the only ones who got confused by their system - just about everyone got it wrong on the first try!

See all the things you can do on a trip to Nova Scotia (that's a hint, for all those who haven't been out to visit yet!)

And we had the Last Market of the season. It was a nice day, but we didn't sell as much as we had hoped. Still, there are worse ways to spend a day - we hung out with all our friends, and just tried to enjoy ourselves.
My cousin Christie took a detour from her PEI trip to visit for a couple of days, so that was nice, although we didn't get as much visiting in as I would have liked. She is 4 and a bit months pregnant, so this will probably be the last time I see her without a little one in tow. We have a link to her blog in our links, she's got some pretty cute ultrasound pics posted there.

We had a great big turkey dinner for thanksgiving, which was delicious! Jai is making a soup with the carcase as I type. It smells fabulous! He got the recipe off - here:

Mom bought us a deep freeze, and it arrived at the Sears depot in town a few days ago, so Anita and I chopped up and froze a lot of the garden tomatoes. That was a BIG job, as there seemed to be hundreds of tomatoes still. Also I tried freezing some of the jalapeno peppers, so we'll see how that turns out. I also strung some and hung them in the pantry. I'm hoping they'll dry.
My tea turned out really well! I got some jars at the dollar store, and crumbled up the dried leaves, and it is super tasty! Plus it looks really pretty on the shelf:

What else? I put in an order for 250 bf of wood, which will arrive from Halifax tomorrow. Just like Christmas!!
We've had a couple of exciting promotional boosts:

Check out my ravens available for sale at:
Very cool pictures, and I love the write-up he gave them.

And check out Jai's tops at:
then click on Trends: Toys Accessorize the Modern Nursery at the top.
Again, very cool!