Thursday, December 30, 2010

Little Presents from the Sea

Ah, December beach combing! Frozen fingers, wind burned cheeks and a dog covered in sticky burrs and bits of dry seaweed, but it was completely worth it. To read the rest of this post, please click to my new blog here

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


We’ve just returned from a stay in Cape Breton, lots of rain (but enough sun for rainbows), lots of good food, and beautiful autumn colours. The leaves are at their peak during Thanksgiving weekend in Canada, a gorgeous sight in the Cape Breton Highlands. To see rest of post, please visit our new blog here.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Cape Cod visit

We’ve just returned from a blissful (sans children) week in Cape Cod. Keith was there on business and I was along for the ride. We stayed in Buzzard’s Bay, so named because the early settlers mistook the larger sea birds for buzzards. Its funny to think your town was named by mistake :)  To read the rest of the post, please visit our new blog at

Monday, August 9, 2010

I Believe in Local

Hooray for the opening of the Halifax Seaport Farmer’s Market on Saturday! It was a fabulous day, with a great turnout to celebrate the market’s first day at its new location. There were so many positive comments on the lovely open atmosphere. Finishing touches are still underway on the eco friendly building, which will be completely finished in the fall. Much of the building material was reclaimed, including timber from Hurricane Juan.  To read the rest of the post, please visit our new location at

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Beach Lovelies

Our annual summer pilgrimage to Cape Breton.
Quiet beaches.
Lobster three days in a row...

To see full post, please visit our new blog site at:

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Dear Thoughtful Dog Loving Stranger,

Thank you for finding Shyloh's lost dog tags somewhere in downtown Dartmouth last week. Thank you for taking the time to read the tags and notice that they belonged to a well loved dog. Thank you for noting our address and spending your money and time to put them in the mail, addressed to Shyloh. Its the first time she has ever received mail :) She was very impressed.  I wish you had included your name or a return address, so we could thank you properly, but this will have to do.

Rita and Shyloh

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Grand Manan Island

Grand Manan was absolutely beautiful. Part of New Brunswick, the island is located just off the tip of Maine, and is accessible by an hour and a half ferry ride. The hiking and scenery were stunning, and everyone was so laid back and friendly. Its almost like escaping to another world with a whole different set of rules. We asked the locals for a recommendation for dinner, which they were happy to provide, with the caution that we should call ahead first to make sure they would be open that night. I called, thinking I had reached the wrong number when an elderly lady answered the phone with a drawling "hello" and nothing else. "No dear, sorry, don't think we're going to be opening tonight." I want to live in a word where I decide whether my business will be open or not, depending on my life and whims. But I guess that wouldn't work so well in the city.

We stayed at The Compass Rose Bed and Breakfast, which was lovely. This is their dining room, where we started each morning with  yougurt with fresh blueberries and strawberries, along with eggs, toast made from homemade bread, and local fresh jams. Yum.

And of course we scoured every beach on the island. There is plenty of sea glass, and much of it is quite old, but very little is finished to the point where it is suitable for jewelry. These are some of our best finds. The red piece is from a tail light of a vintage car. The large piece is pinwheel crystal, and although the camera hasn't captured it, it has a faint lavender hue.

Grand Manan photo courtesy of   Grand Manan Island Arts

Friday, July 9, 2010

Nova Scotia Graffiti

Country grafitti?
A well meaning mom who likes to tag?

The picture was taken in Black's Harbour, New Brunswick, this week. We had a great trip to Grand Manan Island, so beautiful, and made some really good sea glass finds, which I'll post in a few days. 

Be a rebel and eat your beans.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Etsy Storque Feature

I was excited to be featured in the etsy storque yesterday as they celebrated Canada Day by visiting earth friendly etsy sellers from across Canada! You can read the article by clicking the pic below:

Thank you to Jen from SewnNatural for putting this together :)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Sea Glass Wedding Rings

A set of wedding  rings for a local couple who are planning an earth friendly wedding in the fall. The bride chose the piece of sea glass, a lovely teal blue from Cape Breton. The groom opted for a wide silver band. The wedding bands will cover the Something old, something new, and something blue , they will just have the cover the something borrowed part, which shouldn't be too hard when a focus of the wedding is minimizing its environmental impact. Here's to happily ever after.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Handmade in Canada Party

Happy Canada Day!!!!  The TransCanada Etsy team is hosting the Handmade in Canada Party, which runs from June 24-July 1. TWO great prizes are up for grabs.

First, is a handwoven rug crafted by team member, fiveforty. The rug is fashioned from recycled t-shirts, sent in by team members from all over the country. Simply make any purchase from team members'  shops, and for every $10 spent (excluding shipping) you will earn a ballot for the draw.

The second prize is a very generous goodie bag. To win, find a hidden Canadian symbol in one of my shop listings. In the same listing, you will find a clue leading you to the next shop.

Please visit the team blog for full details on how to win and to see photos of the prizes:

Good luck everyone!!

Monday, June 21, 2010


How do I get through winter? If there was a hibernation option, I would take it. I can't tell you how good it feels to be back on the beaches, warm sun on my skin, hair whipping about my face, icey cold saltwater on my toes.

And sea glass hunting.  Spring is always the best time, gathering the baubles that winter storms have laid bare. My kitchen counter is spread with my favourite finds over the last two weeks. I want to admire them for as long as possible before they are added to the collection or made into jewelry. But I guess its time to clear the counter. Keith was away for work this week, and made the comment that the glass thats there now looks like the same glass that was there when he left, only more of it. Um, well, yeah. But I fed the kids when you were gone. Really, I did.

A few of my favourite pieces. The smallest red piece has the markings characteristic of a tail light from an antique car. The pottery piece with "Nordic blue" on it is patterned on both sides, here's the other side:

Beautiful, isn't it? I will have a good week creating.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

What I'm working on...

I broke open my jar of sea glass marbles this week.  I'm a little stingy with  my marbles, such a find, but they aren't doing anybody any good sitting in a jar in my studio. So I liberated a few to find new homes in Mermaid Me necklaces. The marble in the pic above is made from clay, and it likely quite old. Its beautifully worn and pitted from the salt water leaching the minerals from the surface.

Aqua Cats Eye Marble

Cobalt Blue Marble Sea Glass Necklace

Monday, June 7, 2010

June showers bring...

 Its been cool and dreary, lots of rain, which is great for growing things but not so great for enjoying them. We finally had a little break from the showers this afternoon, so I headed out with my shears to cut some flowers for the house. Above is some Lady's Mantle on the kitchen table.

Sweet Rocket for the family room.

And some allium for the living room.

I won't show you the 'after' pictures, which I could take in the morning if I didn't have a mess to clean up. Our cat is pretty sure we put out flowers as special salads, just for him. Sometimes he delicately nibbles, and other times, he shreds the flowers, leaving only the stalks. Aren't cats supposed to be carnivores?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Maritime Artisan Lynne Bowland

This stunning lampwork bead almost looks like it could be living.

The artisan is Lynne Bowland, owner and artist in residence at Fireball Beeds and Fireball Gallery and Studio in Deer Island, Western New Brunswick. Lynne's work has an ethereal quality about it, often reflecting themes of nature. Her Spring Snow Bead, below, was inspired by the view from her studio and encases enamels and fine silver wire.

Lynne's gallery features her lampwork beads, glass art, finished jewelry, and  fibre arts, along with fine craft from 30 to 40 other Canadian women, including pottery, handmade soaps, woodworking, and textiles.

And on top of all that, she still has time to look glamorous. Isn't this a great shot? She calls it her Wicked Lady Pose. We should all have a Wicked Lady pose. Hats off to Lynne for making a living doing what she loves and for providing that same opportunity to fellow Canadian artisans!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Amelie Bangs and Eco Friendly Clothing

So I cut my own bangs.
Think Amelie but without the beautiful actress and Parisienne chic.
My daughter laughed out loud.
But they will grow, and with perfect timing to distract me from my worse than usual hair, my dresses arrived from  Concious Clothing and they are absolutely perfect.

I got this Organic Cotton Lotus Dress without the sleeves:

And this Everyday Racerback Dress in cobalt:

Rose at Concious Clothing believes in making fashions that have a low environmental impact. I bought a wrap dress from her last year and have become a faithful customer.  Her dresses are soft, beautiful, comfortable, and fit perfectly. Add to that the eco friendliness of it all and who will notice the bangs? Thanks Rose!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Sea Glass Wedding Jewelry

I just finished these pieces for the wedding party of a local couple who will be married in June. The cornflower blue necklaces above are made with smaller pieces of glass for the juniour bridesmaids. The aqua/seafoam pieces below are matching sets for the bridesmaids. The bride picked out her necklace from our table at the Farmer's Market on the Saturday I was at Saltscapes, so I didn't get to see what she chose. I did ask my husband if her remembered, but he just said "I think it was blue maybe." Oh well, at least he was there for me, not every husband would get up at 5:00 am on a Saturday morning to go to the market. I always love to do wedding jewelry. Here's wishing the bride and groom a long and happy marriage!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Rationing- not something most of us have to think too much about in this part of the world, as far as food goes. In fact, many of us struggle with the opposite, too much food, overindulging, waste. My father in law recently gave me this ration ticket  used in Canada during the second world war. The coupons were issued by the government for necessities like meat and sugar, based on how many people were in your family. The purpose was to ensure that everyone got enough, and no one took too much. Families were expected to grow their own vegetables and to reuse everything that could possibly be reused. Good rules to live by. I wonder how we would cope today, if rationing was deemed necessary?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Whats New...

We did the Saltscapes Expo on the weekend, and it was a blast. Local foods, wines and beers (with samples mmmmmmmmmmm), travel information, local musicians and of course great maritime products. It was the most fun show we've ever done, can't wait til next year. I've been busy since then, finally beginning to restock my sadly neglected etsy shop with lots of colourful baubles like the blue crackle glass sea creature above. Crackle glass is usually formed when sea glass is heated, like in a bonfire, and then cooled quickly by being quenched in the sea.

Spice sea pottery- this is the second piece of pottery we have found with this pattern. This piece is quite large, a couple of inches in length.

Reflections- a drop of cornflower blue dangles against a sterling silver disc, stamped with Ocean Beach Sea. I do have a one track mind.

And finally, a fun pair of earrings, little lime green jellybeans on sterling silver earwires. Have a good week everyone!

Friday, April 23, 2010

By The Shore

Thank you to The Angry Weather for curating this beautiful treasury inspired by her walks along the Saint-Laurent River in Quebec. It makes me want to run to the seaside right now. Instead I will be  a responsible adult and get some work done.  And its misty out and I don't have the car, which  makes it easier to be responsible :)

The Angry Weather's etsy shop is new this month. Check out her Rainy Cloud Brooch, its brilliant:

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Saltscapes Expo April 30 to May 2- Buy Local!

Come and join us at the annual Saltscapes Expo at Exhibition Park in Halifax, NS on April 30 to May 2. We've got coupons for $3.00 off admission at our farmer's market booth this weekend if you'd like to have them.

Exclusive Sneak Peek at Saltscapes East Coast Expo 2010

Plan ahead for the weekend of April 30, May 1 and 2 to attend Atlantic Canada's ultimate BUY LOCAL event - the 6th annual Saltscapes East Coast Expo at Exhibition Park in Halifax.

More than 350 quality exhibitors welcome 20,000 attendees to the best of Atlantic Canada under one roof for one spectacular weekend.

100+  demonstrations and presentations with something for everyone.

-    Savour the Flavour 
-    Culture, Music and Travel
-    Home, Cottage and Garden
-    Living Healthy in Atlantic Canada
-    Unique Retail Marketplace
-    Live Entertainment
-    Experience the Subaru Off-Road Test Drive Rally
-    Be entertained and amazed by the Taste of Nova Scotia's Cutting Edge Culinary competition showcasing talented local Chefs competing in a black box challenge
-    Action packed Family Fun Night Friday April 30

Sample Atlantic Canada Food & Drink all weekend long, hear the sounds of talented local musicians, plan a vacation - VISIT! SHOP! BUY! ENJOY!

Visit to purchase advance tickets.
Click here to view a video about the show.

Friday, April 30         Noon - 9 pm
Saturday, May 1      10 am - 6 pm
Sunday, May 2        10 am - 5 pm

Exhibition Park, Halifax

Let us help you plan your summer travel
Visit our booth at Saltscapes
Expo or call to book your
hotel accommodations
today at 1-877-680-7666

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Halifax Farmer's Market

The Halifax Farmer's Market has been a favourite Saturday morning destination for more than 150 years. Its the oldest continually running market in North America, established in 1850. Thats a lot of Saturdays. Currently located at the Brewery Market, its fun to stroll through the maze of rooms, taking in the beautiful sights, the wonderful smells, and the local music. Its great to see so many people dedicated to buying local and supporting farmers and small business.

The musicians above are fairly new to the market. I don't know their names, but I've never seen musicians draw a larger market crowd than they did; vendors abandoned their booths to watch and listen.

The market will be moving to its new location, the Seaport Market at Pier 20 on the Halifax waterfront in July. The building is eco friendly in design, with reclaimed building materials, recycling of rain water, and a roof garden. The larger space will foster accessibility and community. Full markets will run on the weekends and on Wednesdays, with some vendors being open 7 days a week. Click on the picture below for an architectural concept video.

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