Early April

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Grow my pretties!

Happy Friday and Weekend Otherworldlies!

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 🙂

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North Shore of PEI in April, beautiful but really cold.  There were already tourists out as well hoping to see the Teacup Rocks but being deterred by the deep and infinite red mud.
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Begin somewhere – Drawing dried strawflower with local Kombucha ❤
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StrawFower – Collected and dried last summer/fall.  I l o v e these flowers and definitely suggest growing them!!  They are really fragile seedlings but grow to be extremely strong plants (the stems are massive).
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The cutest dream cottage on the dunes in Northern PEI.  All of the cottages are boarded up to protect them from the strong winds coming off of the ocean.  The road to these cottages is essentially impassable due to the mud but it won’t be long before they are inhabited again!
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Red Clover drawing in a brown paper sketch book
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Dog Violet – drawing from my Medieval Flower Book ❤
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Yarrow and Sedum!
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Petey ❤ as much as I love you, I’m not sure about you hanging out here, he ate two of my seabuckthorn plants 😦  Life tip – keep Seabuckthorn away from felines.
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Drawn Last year – a collection of my plants pressed in books.
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Another drawing of Straw Flower – can’t suggest it enough!!
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Beautiful Island ❤
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Viola Canina – Dog Violet 🙂  Love Latin botanical names ❤
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Current Works!  This Pachyphytum is blooming as well! (Succulent native to Mexico)

 

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!**

Parcels, Love & Changing Seasons

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Pangur & Petey – brothers

G o o d m o r n i n g!

This morning was so incredibly special – Henry and I went out for a walk as the sun was rising in the hopes of walking on still frozen ground rather than sinking in the mud!  There was a dusting of snow and the sun actually rose, higher and higher still!  I was walking with the sun filtering through the trees, illuminating the fluffy blanket of snow and reflecting off of the ever growing river.  The geese honking, spiralling down to rest on the river.

I wish I brought my phone with me! I was just wishing I could bring you along on that special walk, share how beautiful it was.  I kept telling myself *I’m meant to experience this not through a screen.*  Especially because at present – it’s snowing and there is very little visibility.  Weather is so changeable on islands.

A flock of cedar waxwings greeted us in the Pine by the front door, so beautiful.  When I got inside, I had a missed call from the library to work today.  By the time I called them back, they had found someone else so now I am happy to be sitting with a smoothie, espresso and a full denim outfit with wool socks.  No one judges here 😉

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A surprise package from Rhode Island! Lovely stamp and writing! 

I wanted to share with you some very exciting packages that I received this week.  I am just amazed at the absolute happiness and joy that comes in the form of a brown envelope and full of thoughtful musings  from a distant kindred.  It brightens a day and really just stirs a sense of love and appreciation!  Renewing stagnant energy – thank you, thank you!

A certain Fairy soul named Jen from Rhode Island sent me this very unexpected package.  A definite kindred with a love for the natural world and disconnecting from the sway of the screen.  It was so lovely, I thought I’d share little pieces from it…

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A certain kitty was very interested – as was I!  Look at how beautiful this is and if you can imagine the smell ❤

 

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A Turmeric Milk Mixture – This is so amazingly good – I will probably finish this today and hoping to concoct my own at home.  Often when I make Turmeric milk at home, I make a one off cup simmered on the stove – but this was so easy to make – just add to hot water and froth whatever milk you choose.
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Handmade and handpressed cards!  This is so cute – the mittens are based on the flying geese pattern which is an East Coast Tradition (be it along the north-eastern seaboard of the States and in Canada)
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Turmeric Milk in my favourite cup – and a beeswax herbal candle for Spring Equinox ❤
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SEEDS!!  You can never have enough seeds and funny enough, I was kicking myself for not ordering any Sweet Pea this year and well in my opinion you can never have enough Chamomile – ever.  I have never grown stock before so that will be fun!   

How sweet are all of these things?? I feel very blessed and happy to receive such gifts!  I am so hopeful that over the years I can really build up my gardens so to give seeds as gifts.

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An interlude – my latest stamps and some succulents and some not yet woven fingerless mitts!

From the West of Ireland, the very talented Floriane Blancke sent to me her CD, Kaleidoscope. Floriane is a Celtic Musician who we *met* through Etsy – she has 2 of our original Icelandic sweaters!  I absolutely love traditional inspired Celtic music, so I can’t even really describe how amazing this is for me to receive.   There was a time I would shut myself in my room learning to play guitar because I desperately wanted to play The Butterfly and the Kesh Jig – among so many other tunes.  I’m now adding Floriane’s album to my love for the ever changing world of traditional Celtic Music.

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Floriane Blancke – French / Irish Harpist and overall Celtic Musician Extraordinaire – I wanted to share the stamp too ,>.<
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Beautiful Artwork as well!

I wanted to share a video of her playing the first song off of her album “Trip to Achill/Dooagh Bay” just casually in a pub! Do check out her music, she is on Spotify and she has a website at Floriane Blancke

 

** And the sun is out again – the river is a deep blue and I can actually see the land on the other side!

I have some Etsy work to do and knitting, packages to put together!  I am so inspired right now by these souls that have shared with you above, I hope you are too!

Blessings!!

Julia xo

 

 

A little seal, knits by my mom and the feeling of revival

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Our Corner of the world – to watch the trees and birds and write to you!

Hello!!! How are you all this Winter’s end?

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.

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A cable knit cardigan my mom made for the shop – using MacAuslands Wool (A Woollen Mill on Prince Edward Island)

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.

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Winter Wood – beauty in the small things
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New socks for the shop
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My Mom in the woods – we take walks after dinner to these places

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!

 

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A liz Knit – Flower Mittens.  She made me a pair of these for Christmas many moons ago when I still lived in the city – they are my absolute favourite mittens. Now a pair for the shop!
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Ever green
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Back on PEI for a short while – photographing some knits when Jamie and I walked Henry on the North Shore in the National Park – So cold
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Late February wander in the woods – the moss, oh the moss ❤ For the short time being – covered in snow now.
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A fairisle knit – handmade by my mom – photographed in front of the frozen ocean. Can you tell I am absolutely frozen?  It was 10 below and probably more with the wind – BRR!
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Eastern Nova Scotia – a rock decorated by the mustard yellow Lichen – Hiking with these two!
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The Ocean of the North Shore, PEI – Early March

 

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.

 

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Birthday cake Birch Leaf Socks – knit by my mom!

 

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Spruce Burls
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New Mitts – knit by my mom for the shop

 

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…

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Is anything better?
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Moss ❤

 

**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 ❤ ❤

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Ronan Len Wilson – Meaghan and Reg’s newborn son – my nephew and the reason for a recent absence from the world of being absorbed by a screen
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Welcome little one ❤ The whole world awaits

 

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.

**

Snowdrop Fingerless Mitts

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Fingerless Mittens indoor on a very cold day – so much more pleasant to share from the indoor world, free of the wind and cold.

A very happy Imbolc to you!

I am very excited to share this little post with you!  I finally wrote out a wee pattern in my notebook and decided to snap some photographs and share it with you.  If you are interested in attempting to follow my wonky instructions, then please by all means do! I decided to simply photograph my notebook and tried to be as clear as possible but just send me a comment on this post and I’ll see if I can sort anything out or provide any help.

Before I launch into knitting – I wanted to share a little more about what we have been up to.  I have been working part-time in town, starting seeds, thinking about seeds.. watching videos about seeds.  Really, plants have taken up most of my brain power.  I am thinking of starting a new instagram account just to share plants and this beautiful earth rather than making it *me* focused.

This winter weather wise has been bizarre.  There has just been a dance between freeze and thaw.  Yesterday it was above 0, huge puddles formed in the yard, blue jays and starlings everywhere!  Today, it is minus 27 with the wind that whips up from the river.  The yard is a solid sheet of ice, we could probably skate if it was more pleasant outside.  Jamie and I ran to the back to take a couple of photos this morning of these mittens but it was SO difficult because of the wind and cold.   I think I generally look a little uncomfortable and poor Jamie, clicking away!  As you can imagine, we could only stay out for about 5 minutes.

Regardless of the strange winter weather, the path of the sun and moon remain the same!  The days are growing longer and I feel a definitely revival.  With that little bit of extra light, I made these colourwork mittens.

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From the Stash!  Alpaca from We are Knitters and  Rowan Tweed that I found tucked away many moons ago in my Mom’s closet (she doesn’t miss it..).

My attempt at a pattern – I hope you like it!  If you do try it, please proceed with caution – everyone knits differently and I am not a very technical person in anyway – I think of myself as a very intuitive person in most of what I do.

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My notebook, a sleepy dog and some finished snowdrop fingerless mittens
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The Ribbing and attaching COLOUR B which for me was the alpaca – knitting in the round can be deceiving in the beginning – trust Aslan that they will indeed fit a human hand once a couple more rows have been completed.

 

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After a couple of rows – The Rowan wool I chose to use has varying thicknesses which is why it appears a little bit bumpy – it was really lovely to work with though.

 

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Painting some mittens!  I actually switched this room around today and once it is completely completed (not redundant at all, no sir) I will share a post with you!
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The first pair!  Just using forgotten stash wool
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Placing the thumb on the double pointed needles and attaching the 2 colours without tying any knots

 

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All the weaving left to do

 

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A bath in a chipped bread bowl – using No-Rinse Wool Soap
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Painting ❤
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A little Chichadee – I spotted a couple in the pine trees outside of our house and made sure to greet them, hello!

 

My notes!  I don’t really anticipate anyone trying to make these but in the case that someone is brave and wants to feel that satisfaction of using abandoned, forgotten wool – please take heed of a couple of things!

  1. This is one size, if you would like to make a larger size cast on 44 stitches.  The only issue with this is that the bottom pattern is composed of 8 stitches so it will not be completed properly.  However, if you only make Pattern 1 using one of the 4 stitch designs, you will be good to go!  The size entirely depends on what size of needles and the weight of your wool – so bigger needles will make a larger size, etc.
  2. I didn’t include pattern 2 on the thumb – this is because it was different for each thumb and I trust that you can intuitively look at your knitting and decide where the Colour B stitches can go.  I am not even a slight perfectionist as you can probably guess.  Life is too short! Too many seeds to plant, books to read, cats to pet… 😛
  3. I didn’t post anything about the thumb…. because it’s so easy!  Just divide the 11 stitches on 2 needles, pick up 5 stitches on a 3rd needle at the gusset and attach the 2 colours.  Knit 7 S E V E N 7 rounds in Pat. 2 and cast off with Colour B.

 

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To have a red roof… sigh.
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Brrrrrr….
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Tea outside with below 27 weather?  Let’s just imagine it’s not so cold and ideal for fingerless mittens (hello tomorrow and above 0 temperatures A G A I N!)
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Studio window sill – Completed and now on Etsy!

There you have it ❤

I work today and tomorrow so am a little rushed to get this out to you!  I do hope you enjoy the process and my photographs.  I will have more up tomorrow on the etsy and have a plan to make a blog post about my latest Lopi Sweater (just needs buttons and a button band… so will probably be ready in a couple of weeks!).

Welcome February 😀

As I have enjoyed doing, leaving you with a favourite tune, yes it’s from a children animated movie and yes, the theme is probably one of my favourite tunes.  I actually enjoy the version with the child singing even more but this is just a taste for you 😉

 

 

January Dreams

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Sprouted Oak – this acorn sprouted in the cold room so it will be planted in a cup for now!

J A N U A R Y

January is like the deepest sleep.

“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

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Seabuckthorn – planted in early December in this pot – hopeful for it to establish itself outside this spring.

 

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.

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Seeds Collected over 2017

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!)

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Mostly Holly Hock – collected from one beauty plant in the back!
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Seed Packets for 2018 – collected in 2017!  Among the Foxglove to be packaged up and a pack of poppies filled to the brim – I use old window frames to house the seeds throughout late summer and fall
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The tiniest echinacea beginning to germinate – to plant in the spring – the last seed that I have as well.  Echinacea or coneflower does not flower the first year of planting (like so many others!) and are difficult to germinate so I like to give them a little bit of a head start.
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Milkweed in a David’s Tea tin – I will have to move these quickly – I wasn’t expecting this many to germinate!
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Hollyhock in a yogurt container and a very dirty window – taking these photos makes me realize how badly they need cleaning 😛
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Peperomia – I actually gave this beauty a ‘hair cut’ yesterday
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January Yard – Today it is 5 C and there is no snow – the river is melting – such a strange up and down winter
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A small seed order – I have one more to place for the final veggies, flowers and herbs –

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.”

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Mountain Ash

 

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

 

 

Weekend of fairisle, painting, walks

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A tiny arctic fox painting with Pangur and some freshly finished fingerless mittens

Happy Mid January!

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

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A little Arctic Fox and northern flowers
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Some sweet fairisle fingerless mitts i dreamt up – they are made using random stash wool and an image in my head.
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The Mitts that I have completed over the past month and a half, for our Etsy shop and finally to be posted
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The Rain clouds are drawing closer casting dark shadows in this room ❤
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Early Sunday Morning – Latte, a nearly finished novel and a long abandoned but not forgotten knit
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Jamie, Henry and I ventured out today!  We only met birds and the earth was completely frozen which was a joy to walk on (no sinking in the mud!)
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We captured many of my knits for the little Etsy Shop!  So excited to finally share these small, humble items
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Witches’ Butter?  
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It was a little bit cold – Pine Green Fingerless Mitts for the shop
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Taken with my phone – The mossy path
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Lilac Fingerless Mitts up in the shop!
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SinEater Illustration Hoodie!  In all honesty, I do prefer to wear hoodies at home and absolutely love love love this artist’s work!
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Black Lopi Fingerless with Linden Tea on the forest Bridge
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Sweet Little Pangur Paws

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 🙂 🙂 🙂

 

 

A New Year

 

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From my studio window on The Winter Solstice,

Happy New Year!!

Hope you are all well and enjoying the rising of the sun.  I have been feeling very content with a general good feeling about times to come.  2017 was a very big year for ourselves and my family and I am so excited and honestly just motivated this year!

This winter has been strange as anything.  We have been bombarded with frigid temperatures that keep you inside for days.  Breathing is difficult, my lungs grasping for air in the face of arctic winds!  The river was completely frozen.  Just the other day, as I was walking Henry through the fields to the river, I saw snowmobiles in the middle of the river, darting all over the ice like flies on south-facing windows.  We even saw some seals hanging out, lazing on the ice in the sun.

Today – today was 13 degrees Celsius… fog rolling up the river that has completely melted.  My boots sink in the mud and the animals need to be wiped down with a towel when they come inside.  We took advantage of the lack of ice and mild temperatures to bring wood in today.  Tonight we are expecting freezing temperatures again and for the foreseeable future. I would love a good snow storm…

I just wanted to share with you a couple of photographs from the past couple of weeks!  I have been totally absent from social media and strangely excited to get back into the swing of things.  I will have to ‘upgrade’ this website soon and hope to just be more active with getting my art available again.  I have been busy working at the central library branch in town and just other things that I don’t even know really!  I feel like I’ve been saying this for months but I honestly sense a change.

 

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Henry’s Spot ❤ ❤ – watching the sunset on the Winter Solstice
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Working away on little stash mittens
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Before the frigid temperatures – we were going out for wonderful walks – sadly the temperatures have been around -30 C with the wind chill and it’s difficult to breath
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Just around 0 C!
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working by the bridge for an afternoon
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home ❤
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A small island journey
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Up West to this Gem
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Loom Machines when you enter the door!  Not running for the Holidays but the store was still open
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lichen pink
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Home – MacAusland 2 ply for some Maritime inspired folk mittens – time to rearrange my wool!
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All of my wool – slowly getting down there!  I LOVE using up things that I have – part of my frugal spirit
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New Colours to be put away !!!

STILL LIFE…

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Botanical “Knowledge” cards – this being ST JOHN’s WART (and now I’m looking for a St. JOhn’s Wart – Hypericum perforatum – seed supplier in Canada) One step closer to the Harry Potter Universe if I can learn all of the latin names 😉
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Christmas at home this year – my mom made some crochet ornaments for us (hardened with sugar water:)
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The steps down to the basement
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Sent home early due to storm the other week
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Up on my list of happiest moments just the quiet snow, setting sun
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New Sin Eater, one of my favourite contemporary artists hoodie (thankyee, i will try my best to keep it from animal hair)
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Stash Mitts!!  I made this little sweet pair up using two different types of wool that I found in my stash!  ALSO “The Good People” by Hannah Kent, I think she and I are somehow connected, ha.
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Mild Day by the frozen river
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My heart literally melts
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tiny simple paintings just to clear my mind – meditative for me
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One more view ❤

And I apologize for the overload of Photographs!!  Tomorrow I plan to post again so I can keep up with having more trimmed and neat posts that consist of one central topic (like this weekend – oops might be a little broad but less so than pictures from the last 3 weeks).  The Etsy shop will be updated tomorrow along with this little blog here of mine).

Thank you everyone so much for your time and positive thoughts.  I wish you all a very blessed New Year, full of creativity, joy and peace!!  I’m so excited to share more with you and hope you enjoy one of my favourite renditions of favourite medieval song : )

Julia ❤

Snow, Coffee & Living in the Country Side

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Morning!  Our house from the road , we have a long driveway and I have been planting trees and shrubs to hopefully create a tiny woodland – all asleep now.

This morning was so beautiful!  I woke before the sun to light a fire and finish reading my book (Sea Road finished, now on to Galway Bay). The snow that fell last evening enveloped the land and I was giddy to go out for a walk as soon as the sun rose.  Jamie and I had oatmeal and I made a thermos of Coffee to bring out with me.

 

 

Such a cold morning, but crisp and clean without any wind!  Henry and I walked down to the river, marvelling at the freshly fallen snow, the clouds, the low but bright sun.

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Following Fox Tracks, through the field to the river – fox/coyote tracks are usually perfectly straight unlike dogs which go to and fro!
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pathway to the river
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An attempt at Panorama – The Salt water river we live by,  so many bald eagles live in this spot
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Water mimics the sky

Henry and I continued, after visiting the river to walk a small woodland trail that leads us to a tree that I love – a towering white pine.

 

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Coffee with this Pine – The forest before this tree has been decimated – cut for lumber/Firewood (who knows).  If you see the space on satellite google maps – the land looks scarred and damaged.  I am so thankful this tree was left standing although I sometimes wonder how he must feel standing before a decimated forest
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Home to a homemade Yuletide Card

So, I sat here for a little bit with Henry, having a morning coffee and thinking about the trees.  I feel uneasy sometimes here because it is privately owned.  Farmland that is rented and used year after year for the same crop.   Hurting soils.  When I returned home, feeling very much at peace having spent some time by the water, with the pine and watching Henry frolic around, a man knocked on my door.  He told me that he saw my tracks and was wondering if it was me who walks in the fields.  He is a trapper and told me that Henry’s tracks were close to his snares and I should keep her on a leash (I do keep her on a leash along a certain stretch of my walk down there because I was unsure if there were traps – now I know for certain).  She would likely be killed if she was caught in one.  Obviously I am extremely grateful for this knowledge – I feel sick thinking of something happening to her.  He was very apologetic and nice as well and he really needn’t be, I am the one just walking unknowingly on someone’s land.   I just feel sad thinking that this is the reality of living in the country side.  People will continue to hunt, to trap the beautiful red fox and eastern coyote for their furs.  I wish we could buy more land to create safe environments for wildlife.  For soil to flourish.  It is a life goal to buy a plot of land outside our acre in order to create these environments – to allow life to flourish, to humanely harvest firewood through selective cutting – all while planting trees.   To see the fox tracks and not worry about her well being and her kits.

It frustrates me beyond anything else thinking of how we treat the planet.  We clear cut and poison the land for 100’s of acres of mono agriculture – all while pushing wildlife to live on the fringes.  Then we allow hundreds of creatures to be culled every year (Okay much more than hundreds, but I am referring to just the small province where I live).  My sister told me that she saw a Coyote Pelt blanket for sale at Hudson Bay.  It was 4000 Canadian dollars – trappers make 50 CAD dollars for a pelt.  50 Dollars for a life, all while the consumer is fooled into thinking it’s worth much more than that.

I know this is part of our cultural heritage – Prince Edward Island actually was heavily involved in fox farming at the turn of the 20th century.  If you have been to PEI, you certainly would have noticed the red fox methodically trotting along the road.  In Charlottetown, they walk the sidewalks. Just the other day, I saw one sitting by the Tim Horton’s drive through window, cautiously approaching the cars that were stopped to pick up their coffees.  Despite the healthy population, I wish they could live freely in our dwindling woodlands.  I wish I could walk through the vacant winter fields without fear for my dog.  Luckily, we do have many trails so we can do just this, where hunting is prohibited.   Where towering white pines still stand and trout swim upstream.  Basalm Firs stop erosion of hillsides.  Places where I imagine the earth feels like her old self.  I’ll continue to walk these trails rather than the dormant farmland and fringe woods.

I do think that there are so many incredibly small things we can do, like planting a single tree, a plant solely for the bees.   Deciding to pay attention to the natural world in any way, whether it’s noting the cycle of the moon or the changing leaves.  We just need to give a little bit more attention to this beautiful planet, good things will follow ❤

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Early Morning and high clouds

Our little shop

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Home in the fog

Good Evening Kindreds!

It’s so dark!  I am sitting by the fire, the room lit with fairy lights and a cup of black tea piping hot beside me.  A friend of mine gave us some lavender sugar and I find it so delicious in a strong cup of black tea ❤  It is so late for me to be drinking caffeine but I am oh so tired and I very much felt like sharing a couple of things with you.

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shaking hands, blurry picture but our forest cat is beginning to embrace his nature

The weather continues to promise snow but only to cruelly trick us with rain.  I guess that is life living in a maritime climate.  Today has been a wet day and we have chosen to stay home, only to take Henry out in the trees behind our house.  The cats are venturing outside each day.  They stick right around the front door, guarding the entrance to their domain (or perhaps waiting for us to let them back in?).  A day inside finally means I can sort the latest knits for our shop!

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Latest Knits to make listings for : ) My work desk a wee bit disorganized 

I have been having a lot of fun lately, working with my stash of lett lopi.  I have a very strong desire to actually use all of my wool stash before continuing to buy new wool.  I love using everything that I have and don’t really like buying anything without a real purpose behind it.  I currently have enough wool to make 3 sweaters and several pairs of fingerless mitts/mittens what have you.  This winter I will focus on the small bits, some of which have been set aside for several years!  I first knit an Icelandic Sweater with Lett Lopi in 2013 and believe I may still have some from this time.

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I have three small bags full of bits and bobs of lett lopi – I love using them and seeing this stash dwindle
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New work space – Jamie put the shelves up and painted the room ❤ I absolutely love it in all it’s simplicity.  Current Wool Stash – I would love to free up the top shelf for only plants.
Decisions.
Decisions, Decisions!
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Handknit stripped socks
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Fingerless Mittens in Heaven Blue and Hazel Heather
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Woodland trail
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Maritime Folk Mittens – Prince Edward Island Wool and Flying Geese pattern, knit by my very special Mama
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“New” Cedar Chest for all the woollens and a beauty kitty
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a couple of tags for our handknits
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Another pair knit by my Mom
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New knits, a cozy chair, Arthur Rackham Fairy and my little fairy cat, Pangur.

 

Only a couple of pictures that I have captured over the last couple of days.  I am currently looking at 2 weeks before my next shift in the library (unless I am called in) and Jamie gets 10 days off from his work for the holidays! I am definitely feeling like hibernating while simultaneously desperately wishing for snow to play in.  Jamie and I are getting snow shoes for eachother for Yule so we can continue to walk our favourite trails despite the amount of snow we usually receive in the deep winter.

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I have a lot of tiny knitting projects planned.  My wordpress account is almost at the full capacity for storage space so I will be changing my account to a ‘business account’ soon (unlimited space) so I hope to raise the funds to support this little website with my knits.  I hope i can come up with some wee special mitts, etc. I will be busy sitting by this fire, thinking up colour combinations with the remaining lopi 🙂

Hope you are all well, we are nearly at the solstice to welcome the lighter half of the year!  So much hope.

As a farewell parting gift, A beautiful Scandinavian Folk song for you:

Gjallarhorn – Ye Ride so Carefully

Blessings to you ❤

Julia

Flu and Herbs

 

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Herbal teas for ailing grey days: Ginger, lemon and Honey (repeat)

How do you do 🙂

I am recovering from what we think must have been the flu, but doing much better!  I feel like I am back to my old self and will return to the world of making, using my hands and senses, I can’t wait!

But I did just spend several days with the sole purpose of expelling a flu, thinking about plants but mostly sleeping.  But I’m ready to move on…

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Companions in ill health – notice Henry’s foot over Pangur!

I strangely enjoy the challenge of being sick.  I like to see how I can expel the sickness with old remedies (on top of lots of rest).  This week, after a shift in the library and a meeting with the spinners guild (yes, I joined the spinner’s guild and have a wheel on loan!) I felt the slow creeping sickness in my chest.  After Jamie’s company Christmas party on Saturday, I knew I was definitely sick…

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My view for the past several days!  Today, I was under the sun during a lunch break and got to breath in the salty air ❤

And so, I made a huge pot of broth using the hardy plants in the garden: Kale, loads of parsley, thyme, sage, rosemary. etc. with rutabaga, beet root and the habanero peppers I picked and dried this summer.  Luckily, I didn’t have to go into town for work until today so had 3 solid days to dedicate to my well being ❤

I wanted to share a wee bit with you about one of these wonderful sunlight consuming greens…

P L A N T  A L L Y

S A G E

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A woman collecting sage from a waddled garden bed with a beautifully woven basket (I like how the earth looks like it has been severed in the foreground), Tacuinum Sanitatis, c. 1400

Sage (Salveo) meaning, ‘I am well.’

Such a beautiful herb!  When I am feeling unwell, I add sage to everything! The medieval era loved sage and saw it as a plant of immortality.  I’ve always been interested in the medieval plant world.  What did their gardens look like?  How did they use their plants? How did they interact with them?  Sage is one herb that always stood out in this era as an optimum health tonic. In the 12th century poem, Regimen Sanitatis Salernitanum the author proclaims, “Why should a man die in whose garden sage grows?  Against the power of death there is no medicine in our gardens; but sage calms the nerves, takes away hand tremors, and helps cure acute fever… O sage! The saviour! of nature the conciliator!”

Aside from the fun historical perspective that stretches back well before the 11th-15th century (Much herbal and plant knowledge was derived from rewritten texts from the ancient world), Sage is known to be an ANTI INFLAMMATORY agent –  It also suppresses perspiration, aids memory and digestion!  I have three plants growing right by our front door, for a woman is said to rule where sage grows 😉

** Sage is toxic in large quantities, so do take precaution! **

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S A N G E (sage) on the right, from “The Tudor Pattern Book”

 

Anywho!  I best get some rest so I can start tomorrow anew, refreshed and well after 3 solid days of dedicating myself to consuming herbal broths and teas curled by the fire (Also watched the new Planet Earth – it’s superb!).  Currently reading The Sea Road by Margaret Elphinstone while I wait for The Good People by Hannah Kent to come into the library (So very excited!!).

Hope you’re well and escaping the flu season this year! Onward!

Slán!

Julia

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Fairisle Mitts in Single Ply – flu type project that seems never ending