New Year

A Very Blessed New Year to you!

As normal when I’m writing, I have a hot cup of milky honey tea beside me. Petey is rubbing his head against my leg for the odd pet and Henry is curled up staring out the window. In Nova Scotia, this past week has felt like the beginning of spring rather than January. Overcast, mild and muddy. Water dripping consistently from spruce boughs. Chickadees and bluejays peeking in our windows from the trees. My heart soars when I see chickadees. They are one of the few birds that stick around in the winter to make us feel a little less alone during the dark, cold times.

My family came to visit and stay with us this Holiday. It was so nice to just stay in and be cozy together. Night walks, good food and old movies (and The Office which my Mom has never seen). We drove to rural Nova Scotia for Christmas Day and Boxing Day where my Mom made a traditional Christmas dinner. In the evening, my family, Henry and Louie (my mom’s new dog) and I marched up the hill in complete darkness (with the exception of a flashlight) singing. I held my nephew’s hand and he kept declaring “We’re not scared!”

My mom gifted Jamie and I a beautiful handmade quilt this year! It is a reimagined quilt from my childhood. My Mom hand quilts the entire thing and it takes her around 6 months to complete. She is currently teaching me as well and I’m beginning to really love the meditative state of quilting. I’m no where near as good as she is but regardless, I enjoy the process! We also went on a few adventures this Holiday – Lisa, Jamie and I set out to find a waterfall. We drove the winding road on the way to Canso. Canso is right on the tip of the mainland. There is a Coastal Barren wilderness area out there which is just so beautiful. Back in the HRM, we drove to Peggy’s Cove along with a very large number of people who had the same idea as us! It’s a really busy spot but really worth it. The landscape is so unique and inspiring.

Bottle Collection in rural NS
Home for the Holidays
Queensport lighthouse – the best photo I could take with my phone πŸ˜›

This year has been so challenging in different ways for so many of us. I really am happy to see a new year. 2021 saw us selling our old PEI farm house, moving to Nova Scotia and buying a new home during intense restrictions and lockdowns. Even though I’ve known for years that I wanted to return to Nova Scotia to make our life here, I wasn’t prepared for the grief I would feel leaving our island home. 2 Beloved family pets left us, Merlin and Charlie. When Merlin came to us, he was only 6 months old and found wandering the streets of the tiny town. We took him from the pound where he was due to be euthanized. He had 10 years living the best dog life wandering the hills and forests of Eastern Nova Scotia. Chasing coyotes and bears πŸ˜› I loved him so much and still have a hard time accepting his passing. I brought dear Charlie brought home before starting University. He was a part of our family for 13 years. I genuinely thought he has many more years. He is the first cat that I’ve lost and I miss him dearly. I still hear him meowing when I go to my moms.

Alas, it’s hard. Life can be frustrating, painful and difficult but without those experiences and emotions we wouldn’t know all the wonderfulness that accompanies our existence. I would much rather experience the full spectrum of human emotion than nothing. It’s obviously impossible to say if on the world stage, this year will be any better. I hope it will be. I hang on to the fact that in the future, things will be better. Count our blessings and hope for those that are suffering.

Yes, it was difficult but at the same time it was wonderful. We are back in beautiful Nova Scotia! I see my family much more frequently now. We go hiking to waterfalls and the Atlantic ocean. Massive boulders and stones and lakes galore. I’m so ready for this whole new trip around the sun. I have so many ideas and plans. This year I have no intention of going on a hiatus from blogging or the shop. My plan is to be consistent and create. For whatever reason, I’m much more motivated and feel a lot more capable living here. To be honest, I think it speaks to one of the major reasons that I wanted to leave the island despite missing it after the fact, and that is that I was generally experiencing depression. It’s difficult to say because especially looking back I only remember all the good things and times I had (which there were many). Since moving, I feel like myself again. I wonder if anyone else has felt depression linked to where they live? It can be very isolating living on an Island and not being an “islander” But anyway, this year I feel – so so much better despite experiencing a wide range of emotions. I sincerely hope that it will be a good year for you too and if you are struggling just know sometimes we go through bad times to get to the good.

Winter Holly!! I took some cuttings of this beautiful plant and hope to grow some at our house – wish me luck!
A sacred place
My sister working on our Christmas Eve Chacuterie! We watched “It’s a Wonderful Life”
My latest piece, it is very imperfect so I am debating putting it up in the shop. I feel like that is part the imperfect nature of working with your hands so do let me know!

Well, there is a whole Sunday before us! Jamie and I are going to take Henry to a lake hike (likely very muddy). I’m trying to share more stories etc. and using social media again. I just have started turning off like counts etc. so that I don’t bother thinking about that kind of thing anymore. I find it easier to use! I have quite a few things to put up in the store in the coming weeks. New artwork, Knits and pattern so I will have a few blogposts to go up soon. Generally am just happy and content with my small cottage shop πŸ™‚ I also want to thank you guys for reading and generally supporting my work. Even leaving a comment is a form of support so thank you!! Thank you to everyone who has bought something from the shop, donated and has asked for illustrations THANK YOU!! Sending you all blessings for the New Year from our rocky coastlines! May your best days be before you <3

Atlantic Ocean greeting time for the new year – strangely Henry is with me but I guess my body is completely blocking her!

HAPPY NEW YEAR DEAR READER!! I hope you’ll join me in 2022!

29 thoughts on “New Year

  1. Happy new year to you too, beautiful “internet friend” and fellow Canadian.
    Thank you for your beautiful words and pictures, they always light up my days when they appear 😊
    Peace and joy.

  2. Happy New Year from Prince Rupert BC! I love reading your emails, so beautiful and inspiring! The weather here that last few weeks/days has been awful and reading this today has perked up my day! Thank you! I would absolutely love to visit Nova Scotia one day, it is a dream of mine! What a beautiful gift to receive from your mother, absolutely stunning quilt!

    1. Penny, sending you blessings to Prince Rupert BC! I hope it isn’t too cold there! It looks very intense when I’ve checked up on the weather out there. Thanks so much for your kind words <3 <3 I hope some day, you're able to make it out here! Just like how I really hope to make it out to BC perhaps this year (cross fingers!!) <3

    1. Thank you Amanda!

      I feel right now that I have a lot and feel very motivated. It’s hard to be independently creative sometimes but lately, things have just been settling into place for me to be able to continue to share and create <3

      Many blessings to you!

  3. Blessed New Year to you and Jamie, dear Julia! The photos of Nova Scotia are breathtaking! My parents (both long passed away) honeymooned in Nova Scotia in 1950, driving from Buffalo NY to Maine and then up into Canada πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦. I always loved looking at their old photos taken of the landscape and silently vowed one day I would travel there too. It hasn’t happened yet, but you are reawakening that dream for me. The hand knit gifts you show, once again, are a beautiful reminder of the love one can show for another. It is why I am still knitting after learning 53 years ago – to share love, to keep warm, and it was a great comfort while grieving John’s passing 2 years ago. And the quilt is stunning!

    I sense deeply that 2022, though still will be challenging, is also the beginning of a new chapter for us all. The energies now are for planting our best intentions and dreams for the world 🌎 that we all wish to envision – one of peace πŸ•Š and love ❀️. It won’t happen for us, rather we must create and co-create this together. I look forward to your future posts her and in your shop (especially the Pangur Ban pattern).

    1. Blessed New Year to you and your dear kitty Bonnie!! I hope you’re settling in nicely to your new home in frigid Minnesota. Sometimes, when it is so incredibly cold in the winter here, I find it a bit comforting because I rarely have excuses to stay inside all the time! A fireplace also really helps and hot drinks and being able to knit by the fire <3 I'm so glad you find comfort in creating and knitting.

      That is so neat that your parents went to Nova Scotia for a honeymoon, I love that!! And it would be when Maud Lewis was selling her paintings outside her home in Digby! So cool. I do hope you can make it out someday. I hope we can have the freedom to travel again.

      I so hope you're right about the new year! I do feel a lot of hope for the year. I don't really anticipate a momentous year but rather a slow and steady year of simple hard-work and working to build our homes <3

      Sending you many many good blessings this year! I believe it will be a good cycle around the sun <3

  4. Happy New Year! I love reading your stories.

    What a beautiful quilt that your Mom gifted you!

    I’m sorry to hear of the loss of your beloved pets. I lost my dog in 2019 and I rescued two black kittens in August 2020. Animals have been part of my life since I can’t remember.

    When you mentioned depression coming from where you live, it resonated with me. I miss the country and always wished I could live near the ocean. I trail walk often and travel to the ocean every summer.

    I didn’t know you had left PEI. I’m happy that you feel better after your move.

    I look forward to reading your blog this year!

    Wishing you a happy creative year!

    Kim

    1. Happy New Year to you too Kim! Thanks for the well wishes, it always means a lot!

      I’m so happy you have 2 beautiful black kittens in your life, that must be an adventure on its own! I’m sorry about your dog passing… they stay with us forever. I am so attached to my dog Henry, we are so close I honestly just can’t imagine but it’s so much better to spend her life with her! I’m sure your dog had a beautiful life <3

      Yes! We moved last May now (hard to believe it's been that long). It's so complicated really. People ask me why and it's really hard to articulate but essentially it didn't resonate with me. However, now that I'm gone I miss it dearly. But life is good here too and I'm excited and up for a new adventure! My partner is from PEI so it'll always be part of us. We have the ocean still and forests and lots of hiking at our doorstep.

      I hope so much you can make it back to the country or to live by the ocean! I'm one of those people too that nature is a huge part of feeling at home. Missing aspects of the natural landscape - it really does shape us and influence our everyday life.

      Many blessings to you!

  5. I feel a deep peace reading your blog. It inspires me and feeds me to make my own life a little slower are more intentional. Thank you. I hope you receive some energy back to fill you. Happy New Year!

    1. Thanks so much Jessica, that’s really kind of you to say about receiving the energy back! You’re right too, I always feel brimmed with creativity and motivation when I receive a comment like yours so thank you very much <3

      Happy New Year to you as well!! May it be peaceful and intentional πŸ™‚

  6. I’m in Ontario and older than you are, but I enjoy your meanderings about art and craft, and photos of nature especially. Happy New Year from a fellow knitter and maker and lover of the woods. All the best for a creative and fulfilling new year. PS I am particularly drawn to the socks in the photo with the mug of tea! The quilts are lovely, too.

    1. Welcome Stephanie! Fellow Ontarian and lover of all things handmade and especially the woods. I love that you wrote you especially enjoy the photos of nature because this is what I love best as well πŸ™‚ Thank you about the socks! I made those last year actually and had them sitting in the chest for my shop but decided recently to keep them because I was in need of new socks :)!

      Happy New Year to you!

  7. Thank you for sharing a bit of your lovely life in Nova Scotia with all of us. Wishing you a very happy new year.

  8. Happy and Wonderful New Year! I look forward to following your blog and shopping at your store. ❀

  9. I can’t wait to see your most recent piece, imperfection is what gives beauty. I do hope you put it in the shop. πŸ™‚

    So glad to hear that the move lifted your depression. I fully agree that where you live can heavily influence your mood. I have lived in many different places, and I did find that 2 places were not right for me. It’s funny now though because envisioning moving back to the USA is just impossible to me, no matter where I moved to.. even the places I enjoyed. BC has definitely become my permanent home. My family isn’t too happy about me leaving, but I just don’t feel at home in the USA anymore. It isn’t the place I grew up in any longer.

    The quilt is incredible, your Mom has stunning talent and color choices. I’m looking forward to seeing your quilting adventures with her πŸ™‚

    Take care!

    1. Thank you!! I agree that the imperfection is unique and interesting but I have a spot that the hem has come off so I need to do some sewing that will be visible – erlack! But I hope you’re right and I’ll tackle the mending this week πŸ™‚

      I’m glad you feel at home in BC. I hope someday to travel there, it looks very beautiful. It’s a struggle, for those of us that are always searching for the place that feels like home! But we need to have those experiences of it just not feeling right to find the place that will fill us to the brim! Hopefully you can visit or perhaps your family can come visit you and see why you have chosen it as your home πŸ™‚

      Thanks so much for your comment! A Very happy New Year to you on the West Coast!

    2. Prince Rupert BC is my home! I grew up here, lived here till I was 48 and then lived in the Vancouver area and Vancouver Island for 17 years, moved several times but just never felt settled… I retired May 31/21 and moved β€œhome”, I will be honest, it hasn’t been easy but I feel settled now. Glad to be home, my heart is here.

  10. What a tender sweet communication. I don’t know how I found you but I’m glad I did. I want you to know I relate to so much of what you are sharing, mostly the determination to focus on peaceful creating. Be blessed and carry on! Sincerely, Cori Lovejoy from Fort Fairfield Maine

    1. Thank you Cori on the East Coast! I looked up your town and wow, you are RIGHT by New Brunswick, that’s very cool.

      Hope you can focus on peaceful creating in your beautiful natural environment <3

  11. Happy New Year Julia! Yes of course IΒ΄m with you 2022! IΒ΄m actually figuring out whether I need to move back home to childhood town or if I just need to go there more regularly. I totally relate to the depression part. Happy it all worked out so well for you! Blessings for you and for 2022.

    1. Happy New Year Sara!

      It’s so challenging to know! One kind of mental exercise I do to think if a move is a good idea is I imagine myself in the future (because the immediate impact of a move just sucks – it can be traumatic and you may have immediate regrets etc. there is so much to be done blah) So I picture myself in 3,4,5 years in the future and really ask myself where I’d be happier – staying or living elsewhere. And trust yourself too that you know what’s best for you! If you lived in a place with that steady unease that you don’t belong, I’d ask myself if that will likely still be the case in 3-5 years. Anyway, I believe you will make the right choice for you! Change is good, even if that change is returning to a place you have lived before!

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