March Gardening

Starting a little bit early this year since last year we had many green tomatoes ripening in the spare bedroom!

H I   F R I E N D S

It’s the last day of M A R C H!  You guys, I am so excited.  Right now, it’s blowing snow, minus 10 with that wind chill and just down right unpleasant.  I love winter, but this slow rebirth honestly tears at my soul.  I’m confused and feel like I’ve been swallowed up by some eternal grey and cold void.  But it’s never as bad as all that, since it’s so temporary and it won’t be long before we are outside in the sunshine smelling the damp earth.

I am currently sitting by a drafty window with my big headphones on blasting the band QUILT (self titled album) and drinking caffeinated beverages interspersed with water and trying to figure out how I am going to write about the almost non-existent March gardening season (PHEW long sentence!).  But I can’t stop thinking about how I need to play guitar and mandolin more and just change my life completely?  Throw away my phone, read more books and just work on becoming telepathic with plants and how can I start writing music (sounds reasonable)?

A N Y W A Y . . .

If there is one thing that lets me feel a never ending sense of life and excitement during this time of year, it’s SEEDS!  Yes, seeds. This year, I ordered some from the Incredible Seed Company and Hope Seeds (both heritage seed companies in Nova Scotia).  I have a few packets from Heritage Harvest Seed (now 2 years old) and Veseys,  an Island company about half hour drive from our place. I also have quite a few collected from the garden.  My ultimate goal is to become self sufficient and not have to buy seeds, but this is only our 2nd year on our acre, so not quite there.

Seed Packets – flowers, tomatoes and peppers
Poppy Pods
Poppy Pods, collected last year 2016

I started …

Tomatoes (many different types: Bloody Butcher, Alaska Tomatoes, Acadian Cherry Tomatoes, German Johnson, Black Prince, Black Krim, Orange Mennonite Beefsteak, Amish Canning Tomatoes, Early Rouge… Okay I have an addiction to buying seeds), peppers, F L O W E R S & H E R B S (lavender, rosemary, basil, sage, catnip, hollyhock, echinacea, black eyed daisies, bergamot, strawflower, poppies, zinnias and I know I’m forgetting quite a few).

I also planted a giant pumpkin seed which is slow going and a couple of pine tree seeds that I collected in the fall.  Last year, I planted Oak and Horse Chestnut so hopefully this year, I can add some pine to the property.

Last week, I’ve now added quite a bit more!

S T A R T I N G   E A R L Y

For the past couple of years, I have followed the instructions on seed packets.  6-8 weeks indoors before the last frost in your area.  Last year, many of our flowers bloomed around (or didn’t bloom for that matter) the first frost of the season.  Our tomatoes had to ripen inside and our pumpkins were definitely not orange or big enough to carve.  I don’t know if this is going to be WAY too early to start a lot of our tomatoes and flowers, but my rationale is that when I go to the nurseries in late May and Early June to buy perennials, they are WAY older than 8 weeks and they do swell.



Echinacea is sprouting!  I am so excited, last year I planted a lot of it hoping that we would forever have echinacea in the summer.  Nothing happened at all.  I was disappointed, my visions of an everlasting supply of the cold busting flower destroyed.  I blamed it on the seeds not being viable and bought new seeds from a different company, without actually doing research on growing the flower.  When it came to starting it again… I did the sensible thing and looked it up on the internet.  Apparently, you should stratify the seeds, so I put them in a damp paper towel, sealed in a plastic bag for a week or two and placed it in a cupboard in the kitchen.  Lo and behold, they sprouted! I was SO excited and immediately went to the recycling and found a home for them.

In the plastic container – ECHINACEA!!! And yes a very snowy and grey exterior


I dream of a house being surrounded by the fairy tale flower, and will do my absolute best to grow these.  The past two years, I have failed terribly.  I bought seeds from Heritage Harvest Seed Company (I think out of Manitoba) and I could not start the hollyhock seeds at all.  This year, I ordered from a company much closer to PEI (Hope Seeds in Nova Scotia) and have about 5 little plants growing!  I am going to baby these in the hopes that they will grow and grow and grow and live on for the centuries to come on our little farmstead.

They are black jet Hollyhocks and I dream about them at night. They are growing into beautiful wee plants and this is the reason why I am planning to document plant growth.  I can’t wait to show you in August or September.

Beautiful little plant, I promise you the sun will shine

W A X I N G  R E P O T T I N G

 And, when the new moon graced the skies, my Mom (visiting for the week <3) and I repotted many of the house companion plants: Aloe Vera, Jade, Hoya Wax Plant, Peperomia, Spider plant, English Ivy, Haworthia.  You have bigger homes now for the summer and I hope you will be happy!

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Pots and plants and plants and pots
Mom and I repotting
Roots of a Haworthia – yep just messing up the floor – thankfully I do have a broom 😛
Plant World ❤

F A C I N G  the C O L D

During my Mom and Merlin’s visit this week  – we still braved the cold, heading out through the fields to visit the hundreds upon hundreds of Canadian Geese on the river.

Canadian Geese
Resting on the river 
Shell of a nest
Snowy Woods
Heading toward the woods to visit the river and the geese

T H A N K  Y O U

And I just want to thank you for reading and joining me on this absolutely magical journey of starting plants from seeds.  I almost feel like I need to apologize for the total lack of colour from my posts lately, the glimpses of green though – life and more life in this grey and stark winter world.  It won’t be long I hope before our world is bursting with colour.  Before, winter feels like a distant dream and summer a sweet, buggy reality.


Planting seeds is E A S Y and honestly so incredibly vital to life on this planet.  Evolution before your eyes.  Vesey Seeds is currently giving away free packets of wildflower seeds in an effort to bring the extremely concerning issue of vanishing bee populations to the public as well as obviously providing more food for the bees.  If you would like your own packet to help out, simply fill out a form by clicking  H E R E

Preparing Shop Orders & More Snow


Back Yard
Henry among the snow

And it’s back.  A foot of snow, freezing temperatures… the chickens refuse to leave the coop and boots full of snow.  We can at least take heart that it is technically *spring* and this won’t last.  But for now, my nose is running and my feet are damp.  I feel like watching The Ken Burn’s documentary about the Civil War and not leaving the couch… eating brownies and drinking peppermint tea. But first, before I succumb to these whims, I thought I would be somewhat productive and share some photos I took the other day while I was preparing for Etsy shipments.

This week, I prepared the folkloric Lopapeysa, A Fairisle pull over  and some hand-pressed cards.  I have been feeling SO lethargic and just “blah” this past week (I think a combination of the blizzard and monthly times), such little drive to do anything at all.  Last week, I baked like 5 different types of bread (2 loaves of french bread, 2 loaves of whole grain, 2 peasant loaves, 12 buns and some naan bread!) and was just on a wild spree of being a productive human being.  I even read one of my favourite books, The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath and picked out some new books to pick up at the library.  I felt SO good and happy and this week has just been the exact opposite.  I have just been down in the pits or as my girl Anne says, in the depths of despair.  Winter melancholia.

But alas, it is sunny and sometimes, it’s so difficult to feel anything but hope and happiness when you are basking in the sun.

Folding the Fairisle


To get out of a funk, I enjoy the creative process of simply packaging up orders.  I wanted to share a couple photos with you since I am much better at that than descriptive writing!

I make wrapping paper for the cards, using hand-carved stamps.  Last weekend, I bought some red ink for a different look (what do you think?).  I really enjoy wrapping up cards and tying them up with string. Simple pleasures that I hope bring a wee bit of happiness to the person that receives them! I stamp the brown paper based on what type of artwork has been purchased, for instance if it is a botanical or fungi print, I make sure it is plant based wrapping paper.

E T S Y   O R D E R S

Pressed Paper for wrapping cards! I just bought some red ink and love it!
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Cards to be shipped out!
Snow on March 24th
The view from my workspace  – snow and wind (and some flies that have taken refuge)
Ways of Wood Folk
Choosing a tag
Wrapped up with a handmade card
Details of a sweater – lettlopi wool
Bound up with some extra wool for any potential mending and a hand-pressed card
a tag with some wool


Saturday Hike with Henry and Jamie to Strathgartney, PEI
Beautiful Pine tree, one of my favourite trees ❤
Snowy Woodland at Strathgartney

N A T U R A L   W O R L D

Jamie and I went on a really beautiful walk in Strathgertney Provincial Park yesterday.  Luckily, there was a path to follow made by snow shoes rather than us struggling in our winter boots in the snow.  The park is beautiful, with a range of different woodlands, walks along the West River.  We only met two other people and were free deep in the woods from the sounds of cars on the nearby highway.  I can not wait for the snow to melt and the mud to dry up so we can freely walk in the different beautiful spots on this island.


This week, I am hopeful that the temperatures will rise, that the sun will come out, that we will be free of blizzards and impending storms. My Mom has graciously agreed to come stay with me for the week since Jamie will be going to Ontario for work and I would love company living out in the country during my bluest time of year.  For some reason, the “Winter Blues” descends upon me in the beginning of “spring” rather than the winter.  I feel very alive and happy in the winter months but March often sees me down.

I see the light though, because April, April is next Saturday!  Praise the Gods!

I hope you all enjoy your last week of M A R C H! Bye Legions!

Bye Friends!  I’ll be out here for the week (Song of the Sea, 2015)


Links to our Shops:

KNIT WEAR ETSY SHOP : Ways of Wood Folk

ART WORK ETSY SHOP : Wood Folk Prints



Last of Winter

North Shore
The Beach is no longer mud!

S P R I N G 🌿

Rejoice, rejoice!  It’s cold outside with a north wind.  I’m sitting on a cushion on the floor while the animals sprawl out on the couch.  I felt like just doing a quick post, to share a few pictures of our last weekend of winter.

Despite the cold and the wind, I still feel spring in the air.  This past weekend, we didn’t just hear the crows cawing but all kinds of birds and geese honking overheard. The bluejays have returned to our compost pile and the tips of the maples have buds.  Spring is a late bloomer here and we likely will be in an in between state for another month.  We are all itching to get outside.

The sun was so strong this Saturday and the temperature so pleasant.  Jamie and I had a busy weekend going for walks with Henry, working outside and going on aimless country drives.  It was a really beautiful end to this winter and I wanted to share with you little bits and pieces.

The outdoor work on this little piece of land seems endless!  This weekend, we focused on picking up sticks that have fallen during the winter gales. We had a bonfire and let the chickens and Henry free (Henry is pretty good with the chickens, although she occasionally runs as fast as she can at them to scatter them to the wind :\ ).

Chickens Free
The chickens had free range on Saturday!
Bon Fire
First bonfire of the year, many, many more to come!
Garden Shed
The Garden Shed, so much cleaning up to do!
Henry scared Dorothy and she came running to me for protection ❤
Driving along the north shore this weekend with Jamie ❤
My boyfriend and girlfriend ❤ First Beach walk of the year
It won’t be long before we can use the sun room…
Morning Light
The morning sunlight and a pair of angora mitts I’m working on
More Lighthouses, this one is at Wood Islands ❤
South Shore
Beyond the Lighthouse
The Strait
The Sweater, we drove to the strait to get a photo of the sweater and say fare well to winter!
Brilliant sunset for the last full day of Winter 2017


The end of winter!  I can barely believe it!  It does go by so quickly.  I would like to do more posts about gardening and despite the cold, I have started quite a few seeds already indoors.  But the extent of our gardening this month is cleaning up the yard and starting a few seeds.  I am ecstatic for the growing season!

Wishing you all a beautiful new season!



Carving Botanical Stamps

Carving away
Carving Away with the Fairies

Goodmorning Earthlings!

This March morning, the sun is shining and the birds are singing in the trees!  I went out to feed the chickens in my pajamas and a touque, trusting that the bright sun would warm me despite the dusting of snow on the ground.  It was glorious and I can’t wait to get out there today! But first, I wanted to share with you something I worked on this week, carving stamps.

Anyone can carve their own stamps, it’s fun and really rewarding!  If you wanted, you could even make a template with a leaf or a dried flower, there are so many options!  The only material you need is a linoleum cutter  and whatever block you choose to carve (I am using the rubber from Speedball – available at most craft stores and extremely easy to work with). I started this week, knowing that I wanted to make a very simple dandelion stamp for my tinctures (in my previous post!).  That small stamp, launched me into a morning obsession.  I decided to make a series of three of my favourite flowers that bloomed here on this land last year: marigold, tulips and poppies.

I am forever and ever inspired by the medieval woodcuts of plants.  I can’t explain why, I simply love the blocky, linear designs (Perhaps, I’ll do a whole post on woodcuts someday – or a series of them).  I hope my work will help shed some light on why I love this style so much and perhaps inspire you to look into the botanists and printmakers of the past ;).

I also made a small set of cards, available on my Art Etsy Shop: Wood Folk Prints

Thank you so much for reading and I hope you enjoy the pictures of my process and work.

Merry March Saturday!


Collecting information about dandelion – I am inspired ❤ The small book with the beautiful red block print is Old Wives’ Lore for Gardeners by Maureen and Bridget Boland, featuring block prints from Gerard’s 1597 Herball. One of my favourite collections of plant illustrations (completely available on


Shortcut to what? MUSHROOMS!
Small Stamp
A small Flower head based on these dried flowers
Looking back at some of my old drawings as well for inspiration – this poppy illustration was based on a 16th century German drawing (I found it in a library book and can’t remember any other details!)
completed! Pressed with black ink
Starting a marigold cuts – using a drawing from last year
Taking shape
Studio Companion &lt;3 Oh Pangur!
Studio Companion ❤ Oh Pangur!
A print!
plant inspiration
Inspiration for my last carving of the week ❤ I was torn between a tulip or a peony – peonies next!
Van Gogh Inspired Tulips ❤
Making Cards!
Using Red Ink – little remnants of the black in there
The Poppy is now a resident of my inspiration wall!
The stamps 🙂
Botanical Cards!
Botanical hand pressed cards!





Making Magical Tinctures ☽ 🌕 ☾

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Army of Tincture Jars


Since I was a little girl, nothing seemed so appealing to me than living deep in the woods, immersed with the plants, the cycle of the moon, the animals.  The dirt swept clean with my broom and the leaves entangled in my hair.  I wanted to be a witch. In fact, most children I knew wanted to be witches or let’s face it – felt like we were witches.  I remember at around 7, speaking to the sky for it to rain and feeling the most awesome power when a drop, then another and another fell on my skin.

In the very back of our property, there was a large vegetable and herb garden as well as a large brick fire pit conveniently located beside “the witches’ fort.” This was an enclosure of twisted apple trees that not only formed 4 “walls” and a door, but a roof! My Dad laid the ground within the trees with red brick. I can’t really express how perfect this spot was, we had wooden shelves and stump tables and seats.  My Mom actually let us have an old broom out there as well as an ancestral cooking pot (I think she regretted it later), some wooden salad bowls and wooden spoons.  I didn’t really know what else you could want in life!

I remember walking barefoot to the garden, picking herbs and placing them in the pot with some puddle water while munching away on chives. Now, as an adult, I am essentially doing the exact same thing – still barefoot in the summer but making tinctures and infusions!

M A K I N G  T I N C T U R E S

During the waxing Snow Moon, I combined our homemade Apple Cider Vinegar with all of our dried dandelion leaves and roots to make a super tonic!   According to Mountain Rose Herbs, using a vinegar to extract and preserve a plant is an “extract” rather than a tincture (which uses alcohol) – but tinctures just sound so much more fun ;).

I simply combined dried dandelion leaves and roots in a large mason jar and covered with Apple Cider Vinegar.  I stored it in a cool, dry spot out of direct sunlight (a cupboard) and shook it every once in a while, to make sure the plant parts were completely covered with the liquid.  It sat in the cupboard for around 5 weeks (I mark it on my calendar so I know for sure). The vinegar extracts and preserves the potent healing elements of the plant as well as adding some super beneficial bacteria and enzymes (I’m not a health professional so don’t quote me on anything! I simply like old folk methods).

I decided to name them SAP MOON since I bottled them on the Full Moon in March.  My calendar calls this the WORM MOON but that really doesn’t make any sense for where we live in the North East.  Sap makes so much more sense since this is the time we tap our maple trees to make the most delicious sweetener on the planet, Maple Syrup :D. I also love the idea of working by the cycles of the moon for making concoctions as well as gardening and tending to plants!

I also love the idea of naming now all my infusions or herbal remedies the name of whatever full moon it is – that way I know the rough date (you can always check back online to see if you need the exact date) to know the age of your remedies.  I added a little “2017” on the label in the case that it somehow gets shoved to the back of my cupboard and makes an appearance in 10 years ;).

A P P L E  C I D E R  V I N E G A R

One of the apple trees

For years now, I have been reading about the amazing benefits of natural Apple Cider Vinegar.  I decided to try to make our own and now after learning how simple it is, I don’t think I’ll ever buy it again (or I hope not to!).  We have one very old, large apple tree that produce hundreds of large, yellow, sweet apples (not pictured above, the above has the most delicious, crisp apples).   I have no idea what type they are but I made several batches using this type.  They are a soft, sweet apple ideal for baking so our cider is light and sort of sweet tasting!

Behold the Living Mother!
The vinegar on the left is the dandelion extract and on the right is just plain old apple cider vinegar

D a n d e l i o n  L E A F & R O O T 

Henry among some of our dandelions last spring
Henry among some of the dandelions last spring

Dandelions are such bountiful and healthful herbs!  Last spring, I watched the chickens go wild over the leaves and congregate around the plants.  I began to collect the leaves and even dig up some of the roots to dry indoors. We tried to eat them in salad but I found them too bitter to eat fresh.  And so, last spring I was determined to make an overall tonic with them in the form of a tincture.

B E N E F I T S (Information below taken from: Lust, John ” The Herb Book”1974):

” Aperient, cholagogue, diuretic, stomachic, tonic.  Dandelion has two particularly important uses: to promote the formation of bile and to remove excess water from the body in edemous conditions resulting from liver problems.” Lust, J. 171.

Aperient – mild laxative

cholagogue – agent used to increase the flow of bile into the intestines

diuretic – agent that increases the expulsion of urine

stomachic – agent that strengthens, tones and stimulates the stomach

tonic – agent that strengthens the organs of the entire organism


My little tincture
My little tincture ❤


And so, my first ever REAL LIFE magical concoctions (that isn’t tea or just food).  My childhood self would definitely approve.   I have a batch of 10 of these little gems and thinking in the future, perhaps after the next trip around the sun, I will put some of my remedies in an online shop or just sell at markets, etc.   Simply add a few drops to your morning water or herbal tea and you are golden 😉  (as long as you don’t have an allergy to ragweed..)!


Some of our poppies last June!  I can not WAIT, I can hardly contain my excitement >.<

(On one other side note, I am trying very hard to have regular social media ‘detoxes’.  I have simply decided to not go on instagram (my only social media really) during the weekdays. I could write a whole other post about this because I think it’s actually really important but maybe for another day!  I just wanted to shout out if you have noticed me absent… which I doubt anyone has…  it’s because I am just choosing to be offline and seek balance in my everyday life. This is something that has sorely been lacking since I have a compulsion to check social media throughout my day. Thank you <3)

Knitting a Folkloric Lopapeysa

My Sketchbook :)
Sketching away to keep the winter blues at bay

 M A K I N G   A   L O P A P E Y S A

March!  Oh March!  The month I feel the most conflicted over.  Here on the East Coast, it is a time balanced between spring and winter with winter as her favourite.  This winter has been inconsistent – a constant tantrum between freeze and thaw.  I am so ready for spring, eternal spring.  A lasting thaw.  March has left me unmotivated, uninspired and lethargic.  My fingers are itching to work with plants, with the soil so I have been re-potting the indoor plants and starting some lavender and pumpkin seeds… because I am desperate.  My creative world is only now slowly beginning to peak above the sleeping soil, I am ready.

I thought I would start by sharing with you my latest Lopapeysa sweater.  I quite honestly made this one blindly without any idea of what would emerge.  It’s a result of a deep winter longing for spring.  It began during a snow storm in early February.  I just wanted to knit and not think about anything, let myself rest with the earth. I started with the sleeves since they are so quick and I enjoy finishing them first.  I made just a basic design at the cuffs and used the oatmeal heather since I didn’t think I had enough of the main colour for a whole sweater (planning ahead ;))!

The sleeves took I think about a week to finish, maybe even a little less. It’s strange remembering time frames in the winter, my memory gets hazy and often all I can think is either “that went by so quickly” or obviously, the opposite.

I started the body during a week of storm after storm after storm.  We were house bound for around a week and I accomplished a lot during this time!  The white landscape inspired me to make a flower based design (perfect sense, right?).  I actually had some difficulty with some of my wool – it kept on tearing which drives me absolutely crazy.  I was splicing again and again (what are you doing to your wool Istex?).

This sweater went on a small trip with us as well.  I made sure the sleeves were attached to the body before we drove to Nova Scotia.  We rented a cabin in Cape Breton and then I stayed an extra week at my parents house since my sister was visiting from Toronto. There, I made much of the main design in the yoke – a flower reaching toward the sun. During this time, we had such mild weather.  Lisa and I sat on our front steps having our morning tea, basking in the sun and feeling the warm wind from the sea.

Below are some photographs I took of the process.  Including my colour inspiration, blocking and my sketchbook!  I am planning to put this sweater up on our Etsy shop; however, it won’t be until I have my vlog post ready (if that works out) and get some photographs of it out in the big wide open world rather than just my house.  This weekend, the wind is cutting right through our windows and I have no intention of going outside except to check on the chickens (it’s around minus 20).  My skin is chapped and I have a chill right in my bones.  I’ll be spending the full moon day right by the fire, chapping my skin more but at least my bones will thaw ;).

First Sleeve
In the beginning, a sleeve
Lopi Sleeves
And then there were 2
Closer Look
Snow, tea and knitting
One ball of this lett lopi kept on tearing so splicing away!
Spliced wool
These stitches have been spliced together, can you tell?
Storms Witch
A lot can be accomplished when you’re working with a storm
Joined before setting off to Nova Scotia
February driving
Starting the colour work
In Nova Scotia, I started the yoke. This is the only early photo I took!
Knitting outside during a thaw
During late February, the temperature reached plus 10 degrees! Here, I was knitting on the clothes line platform in the morning.
The river is breaking up
Walks along the river during the thaw
Shelf Fungi
Pretty pretty pretty Shelf Fungi
At home on PEI
Finishing up!
All the weaving and grafting left
a Simple finish to this flower power inspired sweater
Loose ends
Weaving in those ends – so close to being finished!
Kitchener stitch
Kitchener Stitch
Underarms grafted together!
Colour Inspiration
Colour inspiration – Tangerine Quartz found near my parents home in Nova Scotia – The colours of the quartz match so perfectly!
Tangerine Quartz
Close up with wool pieces in the background!
To be blocked
Working location
Sleeping Baby
A helper
Washed and blocked – now to dry
All blocked ❤
After a long day of work on the thistle farm
My sketchbook detail – a gnome walking home after a long day at work on the Thistle Farm
Details from my sketch book – a guardian and her plants
The final sweater and Pangur
Pangur and the finished sweater – now to be tucked away until someone claims it.
Just put it on to share with you the fit! and of course my mug 😉

F I N A L  T H O U G H T S

In my head, I was imagining floral designs based loosely on old world Scandinavian embroidery.  I didn’t have anything really to model it on so just began to sketch away and make a thistle like design (influenced by my Scottish ancestry and the thistles that abound in the East Coast).  I wanted it both delicate and blocky in the yoke.  The simplicity actually came from not having enough black wool to make a full detailed yoke!  Meaghan gifted me with the rust heather which I am so very grateful for – I love the contrasting colours!

All in all, I am really happy with the final design of this folkloric lopapeysa!  It really for me encapsulates this winter – frigid temperatures interspersed with warm thaws  – extremities free of stiff wool to flirt with the wind!  The promise of spring dangled before us on a string.

T H A N K  Y O U & B L E S S E D  B E

Thank you so much for taking the time to read and look at the pictures of my latest sweater.  It has been around a month and a half in the making.

This morning our clocks sprung forward while the moon waxes for the last time of her cycle.  Another turn of the wheel, this time hopefully for a change in season (despite a warning for a blizzard this Wednesday!).

A birch
Beautiful birch bark