Goodmorning and a very beautiful Summer Solstice to everyone!
I wanted to take a little bit of time this morning to sit with a candle, freshly cut lilac and share some photos from earlier this morning.
Mid – Summer is one of the most magical times of year. I have such intense feelings about this time, enhanced by the fragrant air and lush growth. The pink horizon well past 9 pm. My birthday is the 23rd of June and coupled with memories of the end of the school year, coming home to bright peonies (albeit, covered with ants) and a hazy eternal summer stretched before me, mid-summer has always been cast in a magical glow.
I feel the very same as an adult, enamoured by the beauty of this earth in the Northern Hemisphere. The fairies are definitely about.
So, I hope you find the time in the next couple of days to go out and experience this beautiful planet, to just acknowledge the growth of the buttercups or smell the curling green ferns (they smell amazing >.<!). I have been making a tea every morning from her, spruce tips, catnip, sage – anything really! Just to become closer to this earth. To meditate and free my mind a little bit. I have so much to share with you as well but I am slow, just like the oak.
Over hill, over dale,
Thorough bush, thorough brier,
Over park, over pale,
Thorough flood, thorough fire!
I do wander everywhere,
Swifter than the moon’s sphere;
And I serve the Fairy Queen,
To dew her orbs upon the green;
The cowslips tall her pensioners be;
In their gold coats spots you see;
Those be rubies, fairy favours;
In those freckles live their savours;
I must go seek some dewdrops here,
And hang a pearl in every cowslip’s ear.
I am curled up on the couch with Henry, a candle lit, fairy lights on and an espresso, green tea and giant glass jar of water with me (Not a bit excessive). It’s grey and cold and rainy out there. I uploaded these pictures of the garden a couple of days ago feeling so happy and optimistic with the growth I was seeing, only to be hit with a solid 5 days of cold and rain. My basil plants turned black and died as well as countless other things. I have been feeling depressed and I think it’s linked to my poor plants that I foolishly put out too early (we had 2 days of 30 degree weather! It was amazing but TRICKERY).
Last night I woke from a deep sleep to quite a shock – what felt like a full on assault to my face. Petey, jumped on my face cutting right under my eye >.< This morning I asked Jamie if my eye was swollen to which he said NO! I thought how strange because I feel like my vision is kind of blurry there but it’s normal? I wonder now if Jamie knows what I look like because my eye is SO swollen! So, today I’ll be taking it so very easy with facemasks and bags of frozen peas, pretending that my eye is better and the sun is shining >.<
The garden though! We were late getting our firewood this year (yes, it’s there… all 6 chords of logs now) so during the month of may when I’m usually splitting wood – I was gardening. I have a small patch this year of kale and spinach – already thinking of planting more because it’s really not a lot! This is doing really well in the cold. I also planted peas, carrots, beets, onions, potatoes, countless flowers and herbs as well as rutabaga. Everything seems to be fine but I am SO worried about the beans that I planted. Black Beans that I collected from my plants last year as well as an old Acadian variety called “Goose Gullet” Bush Beans – they notoriously do not like to be cold and wet while germinating. So… at this point, all I can do is wait and see and then possibly find a new source of black turtle beans (maybe I’ll just order some today from Hopeseed….)
Oh, I know it won’t be long before the weather changes. It feels like winter in a way here – Last night when I stepped outside, there was such a chill in the air and all you could smell was wood smoke from our chimney and our neighbours – not at all a June evening. Tonight, I will have to cover the tomato plants that I put outside with pots – I have dog hair and straw all around them and have already had to put pots over each individual plant to protect them from frost (we already have a frost advisory for tonight and actual “wet flurries” in the forecast for the day).
And so, I’m going to go put on some rubber boots with aloe smothered around my eye and see how those plants are doing (good thing I live in the country 🙂 ) Hoping my end of June Garden update is more upbeat and hopeful, green and exciting for you (I do think I need it for my soul). But I admit, this is the first June that i have seen “flurries” in the forecast 😛 Tomorrow does mark the upturn in the weather SO PRAISE BE!
Hope you’re experiencing a beautiful beginning to the most lovely of months <3<3<3 And may there be no snow in your summer forecast!
The family of raccoons have officially vacated the property! I went to check up on them the other day – and it was completely empty! We were told that they more than likely would move out. I felt actually blessed in a way that they decided our small backyard was a safe place to raise some wee ones.
Home! Home away from home, the home I share with Jamie, 3 cats and a lively dog. It is early but the day is light before 6 am. This morning was so special. We kept our bedroom window open so waking was a dream – light rainfall and singing birds. The scent drifting in of damp, living earth and new, fragrant green. I enjoy mornings most in the spring.
I wanted to write to you to share this past weekend when I was still in the woods in Nova Scotia. It was really special, my whole visit but I take so many photographs of this lovely earth that I thought I would focus on just one day, Sunday. So from my little work room, with the early grey light, candles lit and sage burning, I am writing to you dear friends
Sunday was my last full day spending time with family in Nova Scotia. I fill my days when I visit with walking with dogs, sitting by rivers, visiting the sea and just feeling content in such simple things. I love walking with the dogs (I always bring Henry) because they are so free – my heart soars with a sense of freedom watching dogs run free! I had done everything i had wanted to do during this visit – visit my sister in the city, hunt for crystals, visit the ocean, the waterfalls, lie down in some moss for a while (very important life giving things 😀 ) and had completely forgotten that I wanted to find a legendary spot that i had only heard tell of – a massive brick chimney standing alone in a wood.
Sunday was pouring rain and I thought that I wouldn’t have a chance, so to be content staying indoors
So, you can imagine it was really raining! The house is situated near a river, lake and right by the Atlantic ocean so when it rains, it really rains. After lunch there was a lull and I just decided to trust it and get out on my bike to see if I could find this spot. With Henry and Merlin we biked to the top of the hill and ventured into an old forest path for the cattle that once lived here and forestry. My Mom had given me very vague instructions on how to find it, across the lake was about all I had to go on.
I admit, I got lost and almost gave up – when I realized that i had a cell phone and there was miraculously service! So I called home and got directions based on where I was. Across a marsh (I wore rainboots!), through a field and to my surprise in someones backyard – a massive free standing crumbling chimney. I felt like I was back in Ireland looking at ruins! Although, I was a little apprehensive of the window that looked out right at me!
Many moons ago I worked in a small museum during a summer in rural Nova Scotia. One of my little jobs was to transcribe a diary written by a man who lived in the area in the 18th century – he was prosperous and had grand plans of building mills and lumber yards around the area. He discussed his home which sounded extremely luxurious (the older homes here are simple wooden farm houses) with more than one fireplace! I started to imagine that this chimney was part of his phantom house (the historian who would stop in told me they hadn’t a clue where this spot was but suspected it was close to the area where our house is).
As I was taking a couple of pictures, the woman in the house came out and stood on her porch yelling at me “THOSE BRICKS FALL, BE CAREFUL!” the dogs shot over to her and before I know it, I’m with Louise talking about the house that once stood there. She knew a lot about it because it was her husband’s family home from 200 years earlier. The chimney she told me, became so unstable that a company actually came in to dismantle the old home. She was on her way to a Ceilidh, so we didn’t chat too long but I did enjoy listening to her talk about it and her life in the brief time! I miss studying history and folklore and listening to older people talk about a very different time. It was really for the best that I started my trek back because the rain wasn’t over.
I quickly made my way back to my bike, it seemed a lot quicker on the way home. I wasn’t marvelling at much on the way back, I really sensed the rain. When we get home, the sky opened right up and the rain fell in torrents. I can’t help but think that brief time was allotted to us for our wee adventure. It was very special.
As I resigned to stay indoors for the rest of the day – watching TV with my mom after dinner – the sunset broke right through the clouds! I wonder if you have experienced this? It is spectacular sight. Without thinking, we got up and went for a walk! My Mom said it was the earth’s way of saying goodbye to Henry and I ❤
Now it is past 7 am, the cats are all outside, Jamie and a dog are still sleeping and I am feeling happy and full with recounting this to you. Thank you so much for joining me and I do hope you enjoyed seeing the chimney 🙂 Perhaps it is dull to most, but I love this kind of history especially when it is just a bike ride and forest ramble away!
It’s a lovely, warm Sunday afternoon here on this island. The birds are singing after a couple days of cold, grey rain. The resident red squirrel is running through all the tops of the pine and I am just sitting here with the window wide open, drinking some Kombucha and listening to the chimes! We have been so busy lately, that I have not had the time to dedicate to sharing this lopi sweater. Finally, finally the time is here and I can move ahead with a clear idea of my creative world.
And so, in the bleak mid-winter, I cast on a Charcoal Lopi Sweater with the intention of having it completely finished in January, blog finished – etsy listing and all, my how time flies.
This sweater travelled to Nova Scotia with me, where I knit it accompanying my sister in her last trimester of pregnancy. After spending time with Meaghan, I took the bus to Northern NS. It was here that I finished it, back in February! We did not see very much snow this winter, however I did manage to have a slightly snowy fire in the woods in Nova Scotia. My father built this little setup in the woods with benches and a stone pit. I love this spot, surrounded by the swaying spruce and the thick, squishy moss.
In the warmth of spring, it’s hard to believe winter happened at all. It’s almost strange looking back at these photographs. Winter, summer… I find living with seasons so magical and so much like dream recollection. Despite months of battling arctic winds or basking in summer’s sun, the other feels like a faded dream too strange to truly have happened.
Today, as I post this, the early flowers are blooming and I filled a seashell with sweet water for the bees. I am genuinely happy and if it doesn’t rain, will go out soon to collect some maples and put some plants together for friends and family.
In other parts of my world, my knitting has come to a grinding halt. I don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to knitting the way I use to. The outside world to me is the most important thing and it takes time, time and patience and a lot of love. I also am doing some custom artwork again, reading books, working part-time in town. So my knitting is still happening but the way I use to knit – just a little bit, while watching a show or having a cup of tea. Slow and steady but how can I stay inside when the earth is awakening! My moods ebb and flow so I’m sure I’ll be overcome at some point with an obsessive knitting period 😛
So friends, the thermometer says 16 Degrees C with the possibility of rain so I am going to get outside before the rain comes 🙂 I hope you enjoy your day! I am so happy and excited to see what the next couple of months bring 🙂
Even with the steady grey sky and rain, I feel so full of life and happiness! The buds on the trees are swelling, the squill and and lungwort blooming! I even spotted my kale peaking above the soaking earth. It has been so damp here, so there is a fire on but we have plenty of firewood left over from the winter so it doesn’t bother me so.
The mercury hasn’t dipped below 0 for the past week or two – I have planted our potatoes, kale, onions, rutabaga and all kinds of random flower seeds. I’ve transplated some chives and rhubarb and echinacea. I even broke up the root of a comfrey plant and stuck two pieces of it elsewhere – they are already coming up! My hope this year is to make lots of comfrey fertilizer teas for my plants and young trees.
Oh, there isn’t much to share in way of gardening photographs! Outside, although the smell of damp earth is intoxicating and there is a little bit of green finding it’s way up, up up – it is still mostly shades of brown and grey. I have a feeling that in the next week all of the buds will burst. The surrounding landscape will remain muddy until the fields have been planted but at least the trees will soon breath again.
The life that I’ve spotted gleefully includes, lupins planted last summer, echinacea, poppies, sedum, a thousand maple trees (I think I’ll pick 10-20 to come up), some chestnut, rhubarb, catnip and roses. Some of the garlic has also begun to crest the straw. Inside, I have tomatoes, peppers and flowers galore! Chamomile, Hollyhocks, Marigolds. I imagine an old fashioned garden full of fairy tale flowers. Someday, I hope to have the property completely enclosed by trees and shrubs and inside an oasis of flowers.
Comfrey, planted from a piece of root!
Goodbye and Blessed Bealtaine! The sun is actually here! I watched a really wonderful movie on Netflix Yesterday called “Dare to be Wild” (I may have been crying for most of the film) and then continued to listen to Mary Reynolds speak in a podcast. I highly suggest, she is amazing!
I wish I could leave you with the sound of our chimes! I’m sitting in the sunroom, windows open wide listening to the birds (I wrote burds and it made me laugh) and the gentle chimes. It’s cold and there is a fire on, but I don’t really care. Perhaps I’ll try to post it on my instagram stories, I feel a strange sense of completeness hearing them.
The sun has yet to rise and I am on my 3rd cup of tea. With headphones in and the fairy lights on, I am sending this out to the universe. I wrote this blog post yesterday, but as I sat down and read it over, I felt totally different and just scraped the whole thing. Yesterday was rainy and I had coffee (coffee makes me a little crazy, which is why I tend to stay away from it!). Today, is so full of opportunity! A calmness and herbal tea (okay.. I might be having earl grey at this point, it is not yet 6am!), a fire started from the embers of yesterday (that sounds metaphorical and it can be, but I mean it literally, ha). And so, finally… this Grey sweater that was sold a couple of weeks ago to a lovely artist in B.C.
I Started this sweater in January, with my Lopi Stash. Greys and Ivory, Black and Gold. Similar to the landscape and skies of winter here. Knit in the darker times, helping to illuminate the long nights. The colours reflecting the ever changing sky in January, February even March. Between PEI and Nova Scotia. In the woods, along the river, in a car, over a very long bridge. In a fire lit basement, listening to the wind and a slow yet quick crackle of birch! I chose wooden buttons and used a vintage, strong German made thread that accompanied my sewing machine gifted to me by my aunt.
On a walk in the woods, I brought this sweater to do a little weaving in the moss, weaving in the magic of the woods. You can really see the texture of Lopi here ❤
And Voila! A Simple Grey Lopi Cardigan! I have a feeling this sweater will find a kindred in Northern BC! I think it may be time for me to order some more Lopi wool, I am almost out! I am hoping to make myself an Icelandic Cardigan in Rough Seas with metal buttons. Perhaps my summer project!
I hope you have a lovely weekend! The sky is growing lighter and the birds are singing! I have a busy day of working in the library and going to my favourite store… the hardware store! Gardening things are slowly peaking out and I need more seed trays. We also get to pick out the tiles for the bathroom (eeee, I can not wait to have a shower again!). What are you planning to grow this summer? I’ll post more about that very soon because there is just so so much.
Here is a favourite folk song for you! Planxty’s version of the Blacksmith. This song and actually this video really propelled my love for folk music. Such a vast world of music. Steeleye Span does a version of this song as well, definitely worth checking out as it is SO different and also, awesome. The song is very tragic, telling the tale of a woman who fell in love with a blacksmith only to learn afterwards that he is married. I’m not sure the origins but many of these songs are traced back hundreds of years.
I hope you have all been well! I have been having a nice time with family and planting seeds upon seeds in my studio. It is c o l d here but the long days see us upbeat, light and happy. Finally! Today, we are off on a small weekend adventure to see family and have some *city* time so I thought I would do a quick update before I busy myself watering everyone and packing.
I have had one solid day this week of working outdoors. Picking up sticks, separating fire burning wood from just bonfire wood, sawing and pulling out a very large plant that had begun to climb up the walls of our house. Since, the weather has been really rather unpredictable, I busy myself drawing. I am hoping to start again doing custom art work and hopefully selling my art work this spring. So, I started drawing from my own dried flowers and my medieval flower Book. I just wanted to share a couple photos, hope you enjoy 🙂
Just a couple photos of some recent drawings! We have so much work to do outdoors as well as indoors (a whole new bathroom). Knitting is going to really slow down, however I do have a lot of stock and will begin to update the shop next week! Excited for the future and enjoying having a simple life!
A song for you, the Massachusetts psychedelic rock band Quilt ❤ Perfect for sowing some seeds on a rainy afternoon 🙂
** P.S. I wanted to just let you all know that living in Rural PEI, we have very bad internet. I don’t know if there have been changes made but as of late – but it has been next level slow. I can hardly use instagram (it’s mostly me trying to load when I’m on there) and can rarely see videos or actually anything – I have been having a frustrating morning trying to use it and just felt like sharing that it just hasn’t been working for me lately (I’m wondering if you are seeing my stories? I can’t load videos on there or see anyones and new photos won’t load, blarg!!). Anywho, for everyone living in rural areas with sad internet, hiya!**
It has been so long and I have so much to share. I have really missed sharing little snippets with you all so am excited to start again after what really seemed like to me – a short winter. And so, I am sat in the couch featured in the picture above, a recent Ikea haul during our trip to Halifax – so cozy with Turmeric milk, a candle lit and the pine outside only gently swaying! We are awaiting a wind storm tonight so of course that will change.
I thought I would start with this small post – Just a general overview of what has been going on – why I have been SO absent and to let you in on a few little things for the future.
February is such a short month to begin with, so I guess it’s not surprising that it simply slips from our grasp. I spent some of the month in Nova Scotia – with my Sister and her partner and then in the woods with my family and the dogs.
We walked in the woods – woods for the most part – frozen yet free of snow. The rivers running! One morning I walked in a mossy wood – the moss crunching under foot, nervous about damaging the forest floor. The next day, it was soft and plush as though it was a fresh spring day. Wearing my parka, I just lay down and stared up at the thin spruce trees with a dog occasionally licking my helpless face. I don’t really mind.
During my visit with my mom – she gave me a little stock of knits she has been compiling for the shop. She contributes to the shop as well, making some really beautiful things. I’m so happy she has chosen to do this because others can experience how special it is to receive one of her items! Before she would knit huge stocks for us all for Christmas – I would receive new mittens, hat, socks pretty well every Christmas. While I was in university and High School, I regularly (or in knitting world – regularly – maybe once a year) receive a handknit sweater – all of which I still have of course.
I wanted to just share some photographs of these handknit items – and will update the shop later today 🙂 I also have 2 handknit Lopi sweaters to put up and some fingerless mittens. One still needs buttons so probably within the next two weeks I will update the shop and post blogs about the making process and end result!
The other portion of the month I was covering a leave of absence at the library in town. She has returned to work now and I am only working casually so have so much free time again. I am so excited to have time to walk Henry, knit and plan gardens! My hope for this week is to blog a lot and join you all back on Instagram again. To start sowing a lot of seeds indoors and start a pretty intense spring cleaning. We have a long overdue bathroom renovation that must be tackled…. an infinite to do list.
There are some changes in Ways of Wood Folk for the time being… Meaghan won’t be able to make as much as she once did and we have to cut custom orders for the most part because there is a new member in our family ❤ ❤ <3…
**I saved the best for last **
We are very excited to let you know, the birth of Ronan Len Wilson, Meaghan and Reg’s newborn son! He was born on Saturday, March 3rd at 4 14 in the morning, the tail end of the full moon. I can not wait for the days to come to spend time with my nephew who is also on the East Coast – the first child of one of my sisters. To share a love of moss, bugs and shrubs 😉
Congratulations Meaghan and Reg, we are so happy for you ❤ ❤
And so! I hope you understand why I have taken a break from the social part of the internet – I am back and hoping to contribute a lot more. The shop will be open again today and I just am overwhelmed actually with so much to share. I’m also thinking of starting a new instagram – just for plants, moss, trees and bugs ❤
I hope you have all been well – that the lengthening days are giving you sun drenched energy and a sense of revival!
Be well friends, be well 🙂
Ronan is an Irish name meaning “Little Seal” – the term used for Selkie’s human children in folklore and just a beautiful name!
Len (Short for Lenton) is the name of my Grandfather who emigrated to Montreal in the 1930s from Dunfermline, Scotland. He is much loved.
“Tending my inner garden went splendidly this winter. Suddenly to be healed again and aware that the very ground of my being — my mind and spirit — was given time and space in which to go on growing; and there came from my heart a radiance I had not felt so strongly for a long time… ”
Rainer Maria Rilke, to Heise, 1922
The sun definitely begins to restore that “radiance” in January. The still, bright night sky all a lit with pure silver cast stars! The sun that lingers in the kitchen while I fix dinner, cats wandering on counter tops. I feel like we primarily driven by the sun and the moon, so it makes total sense to me that the longer days have me dabbling with seeds, earth and growth!
I have sensed revival and growth – and maybe I express it through a primeval way – working with new life.
The earth and plants have bewitched me and I feel like I’ve become their faithful, voluntary servant.
And so, early in January I began to take a little bit of action in this realm, despite the seed packet guidelines. My logic is that I have house plants of all kinds, so why shouldn’t I be able to start some perennials as “houseplants” before transplanting outdoors. I have done this for the past 2 years since we have had our own acre and never experienced any problems with starting some early plants! It actually really deepens my bond with the particular plant because they receive so much early care (as opposed to my plants in April because there are hundreds!)
So it begins… I can’t wait for the day in May that we go to the nursery, the greenhouses! But for now, I really don’t mind just the stirring of life, the rising sun and clear night skies.
In other parts of my small world – I am working in the library, knitting a sweater that just needs button bands and buttons and preparing to make a little pattern available on here for the last pair of fingerless mitts. It may be so confusing which is why I am just going to put it up here and state “make at own risk.”
In memoriam of Dolores O’Riordan – she helped me through being a teenager and always, always made me think of spring and life and growth and just moving on. I feel so incredibly sad for her and her family and just wanted to share with you her beautiful voice ❤ May she rest in peace
We have had quite the juxtaposing weekend! Yesterday was the most mild Mid-January day of recent memory and today is well below 0 and snowing lightly. I am so happy today! This weekend has been lovely, with the starlings and crows at our door. I feel rejuvenated to create and just be one with the earth! Painting, knitting and ultimately my favourite, being outside with the trees and light snow flakes. In all the quietness and ultimately achieving nothing that our society places importance on – I feel the happiest and most fulfilled. A full fridge, a fire in the stove, snow flakes dancing out my window and a very tired dog from a long hike. Warm socks, a patient book and unlimited amounts of tea with the possibility of a cat cuddle <3<3<3
And for this evening, Jamie and I will have a nice dinner to celebrate our 8 years together, sit by the fire and I will more than likely start another little knit for the shop and will finish The Good People by Hannah Kent. We started to watch Tales from the Green Valley AGAIN (about once a season we watch this series). It is one of my most soothing and therapeutic shows – I love it! All I need is to hear the opening music and I feel whisked to a very safe place. Jamie and I have developed stories between the historians and archaeologists – for instance, we are certain something happened between Alex and Chloe… but anyway, for another time and place !!
I wonder if you can feel the peace I feel this weekend through the photographs? I forgot to mention that Jamie gifted me with a new camera for Christmas and I am so incredibly excited about the pictures that I have been taking. I do have A LOT to learn because though I have always enjoyed taking pictures – I have never done more than point and shoot. There is a bit more too this one and I am in a wee bit over my head at the moment. All in good time, right?
Love & Light for the last half of January! I am already looking at seed catalogues as the light ascends!
Hope You’re well and DO let me know if you watch the link I provided 🙂 🙂 🙂