Thursday, December 10, 2009

Busy Hands Christmas Craft Show - This Weekend!!

This should be another excellent craft show since I know a few people that are bringing their wares to this show. Tim has been working hard on all his concrete sculptures so he has lots for the show. I have been knitting like a mad woman so that I have my crazy hats and some very funky scarves made from this new funky yarn with pompoms and also a few pairs of fingerless gloves. I even pulled out my sewing machine and started playing with some bright and cheerful polar fleece to make fingerless gloves that seems to be the new hot fashion accessory this year.
I'm also whipping up some yummy chocolate bark with cranberries and nuts for a little treat to pop in some lucky person's stocking.

Hope to see you there!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

And the Winner is...

Knit and Purl!
Congratulations to Leslie Hetherington who submitted the winning names!

Thanks to all that participated.

Here they are, actually in this photo Knit is on the right and Purl is on the left.

In truth Leslie suggested Kit and Purl, as knit could be seen as a rather buggy or pest-like name. However, if you enter their pen and stand there for any length of time, Knit (or Kit) will start nibbling on your pants or shirt tail or whatever else happens to look tasty to her. Therefore a pesty name isn't quite so far off the mark.

We already have a small bag of their mohair in the house, and will soon begin the process of washing, carding and spinning it. Look for it in Lesley's hats in the spring!

In the meantime the goats will be proudly hosting their first December sale. December is our annual 'no tax' month, so come on over and say 'Hello' to Knit and Purl offer them an oak leaf from the lawn, and browse the shop. We're open Thursday to Sunday and our last day open this year is December 19th, so don't delay!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Let the Voting Begin!

We are all very excited to find out the names of our goats! We've gotten a great response and have a big list to choose from, so let the let's get voting!

Here is the link to vote for your favorite goat names:
You can only vote once, so make it count!

And no, I can't tell them apart either...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

2 Days Left to Name Our Goats!

The deadline for submissions is Friday Nov 20th at midnight, then the voting begins!

Get your name suggestions in today!! They are too cute to go nameless for much longer. How else will Santa put them on his list??

(See the next post for details)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Name the Galloping Goats' Goats Contest!

Our girls are here!!! Yay!! They are so small and cute but fairly timid so far. Everyday we have gone out and talked to them and petted them as much as they will allow.
I think they are slowly getting more comfortable and even are starting to play a bit with each other. They will also follow Leah around when she is in the pen with them. I'm hoping that by spring they will be as easy going and tame as our old dog Belle.

They are a Pygmy and Angora goat cross, so they have the short stature of a pygmy goat and the curly long hair of an Angora goat. Their coats will be routinely sheared and then I will hopefully get my mom, aka. the Crafty Crone, to spin up some mohair yarn and then I'll be able to knit it right into my hats!


So we are having trouble naming the sister goats, and need your help! You can enter your clever name ideas, then everyone will have a chance to vote, and the creator of the winning entry will win a fabulous prize!

How to enter:

You can enter your suggestions starting at 7PM Nov 4th by emailing us, leaving a note at the friends of the Galloping Goat facebook group, by commenting on this blog entry, or by visiting the Galloping Goat and dropping a note in the box on the barn. We will take submissions of names up until Nov. 20th midnight. There are just a couple of things to consider...

They are beautiful girls and deserve girly names, no boy names allowed!
You must include 2 names, one for each goat.
The names must be cute, but not too cute!
You must include your name and either a phone number or email address so we can reach you if you win. Your contact info will not be published, unless you publish it yourself by submitting in one of the more public venues. (Like on the comments on this blog.)
No vulgar names will be permitted. :P
Sorry, but no entries from our own family will be accepted! This means you Snyder/Morris'
All entries will be posted on this blog and on the facebook group.


Voting will take place from November 21st to midnight November 27th. We will put the names on this blog and facebook group so that everyone has a chance to vote.


On November 28th the person with the most popular names for our goats will get a $25 gift certificate for the Galloping Goat Gallery, bragging rights, and will be able to come and visit the girls anytime they like! AND, the goats will finally have names we can put up on their little house. They likely still won't come when we call though.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Scarecrow Festival Success!!

We had an amazing and fantastic Scarecrow Festival this year!! Thank you again to all of the people that came out and made a scarecrow and for those that just gave a donation. We raised the most $ ever and gave a cheque for $1300 to the Reverend Jean Wilson for the church's trust fund that is set up for Joseph Stoness and his family.
This year we were lucky enough to have Terry from the Picton Fire Department come and set up his tent and show people the importance of fire safety in their homes, barns and garages.

I have to say the goats were probably the biggest hit of the day. Children and adults loved petting and feeding them and the goats thoroughly enjoyed all the attention. They had enough corn and treats from the garden that they didn't even want their dinner that night!

The popcorn crew of ladies were also alot of help though I'm not sure if they ate more popcorn then they sold or not!

We also decided this year that we would give a prize for the most unusual scarecrow of the Festival and Lucy and Hannah's creative use of the clothes and a lace curtain to create a bride and groom were the definite winners!

I also have to give a shout out and a huge thank you to our amazing Picton businesses that donated all the items to make our day possible and give us a low enough overhead that we could give 100% of the money donated straight to Joseph and his family.
Home Hardware for creating all our scarecrow sticks and delivering them to us!
George Emlaw for that very important bale of straw for stuffing!
County Farm Centre for all the hotdogs.
The Co-op for the feed bags that we use for scarecrow heads and the corn for the goats.
Giant Tiger for their gift certificate
No Frills for their gift certificate
Metro for their gift certificate
Black River Cheese for the free ice and ice cream cones for all our volunteers that helped us that day! Nothing like getting paid in ice cream!
Sobeys for all the hotdog buns we could handle!
2nd Time Round for all the times I went in begging for used clothes and letting me dig through all the bags looking for items we could use. You ladies are awesome!
Picton Gazette and Wellington Times for the articles and photos of our event that helped us in promoting a good cause.
And last but definitely not least the ladies that came and helped out during the day and tried not to freeze in that brisk wind off the river. Aynsley Emlaw, Lucy Mee, Lori Farrington, Kirstie Ross, Heather Zantingh, Pat Dubyk, Sheila, Leah Snyder, Annette, Bri-Anne & Hannah Brummell, Rosemary Morris and Valery Phillip. Also thank you to Barb Guernsey of Black River Tree Service for ferrying me around all over the County delivering flyers to promote the day and requesting donations for the event. I can't thank you all enough and feel very blessed to live in this amazing community. These kinds of things just can't be done without people willing to step up and help out! You all are awesome! Can't wait to see all of you again next year!

Monday, October 5, 2009

3rd Annual Scarecrow Festival

Wow, does time fly by or what!!! It's Thanksgiving weekend already and the trees are all dressed out in their prettiest colours for the season. Where did the time go, it has been a bit of a blur this year that's for sure.

So since it's fall and Thanksgiving you know what that means? Right? Scarecrow time is here!! We have been gathering up all the makings for our annual fundraiser and as always the local businesses have gladly pitched in with donations. This year the funds we raise are going to Joseph Stoness and his family. Joseph was the boy that was so terribly burned this past May and was a good buddy of my son Quinn's. His family is really struggling under a financial strain that we are hoping we can help to relieve a bit. They are actually working on having Joseph home soon but he is in a wheelchair so they need to have ramps put in and some other alterations to the house in order to make this happen.

It is going to be a fun Scarecrow Festival this year with hotdogs and drinks, facepainting and popcorn as well! It is this Saturday October the 10th from 10 am to 4 pm. Also our goats, are looking forward to visiting with everyone as well. Coco and her sister Smores (she is the one that looks like the colour of marshmallows) love to play with my kids and their mom Nana Aggie is always just looking for something to eat. This is a fun event for kids of all ages and it's for a really good cause.

Don't forget it is also the last weekend for ice cream at Black River Cheese Factory so don't miss out, it's along time until April!

The store, of course, is full of some new cool things I found in Montreal like my crazy purses. I've been carrying the silver magic bus purse and it has been getting tonnes of comments from people. There are also purses of volkswagon bugs cars, pug dogs, trains, cinderella carriages, high heel shoes, a red snail wearing a rhinstone necklace and many more.

Also I just got another big order of our funny old signs and there are some new ones I've never had before. So don't forget to come and read the walls and have a good laugh and giggle.

We are now open Thursdays and Fridays 11 am to 5 pm and Saturday and Sunday 10 am to 5pm. We can also ship things out to you if you can't make it in to the store. Just send me an email at and let me know what you are trying to get a hold of and I'll do my best to help you out. Someday maybe our website will get fancy enough to shop online but I doubt it. I am constantly picking up new fun things so I don't think we could keep up with the changing stock in the barn and on a website.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family and hope to see you in the barn real soon!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Turtles, Turtles Every Where Turtles!

Well these are not goats but they are baby snapping turtles that were born on the shores of the Galloping Goat Gallery.

We have a mother snapping turtle that comes every June to climb the hill surrounding our house and lay eggs all over our lawn in front of picture window. This turtle is huge, bigger than a dinner plate and fairly scary looking so we don't bother her while she goes about her business. This year about a week ago we noticed there were holes torn up all over the front lawn. Little round sections as if someone was digging all over the place in small sections. No egg shells anywhere to give us any clues but as I was walking from the barn to the house I saw one tiny turtle just plodding along. These guys are about the size of a looney. I went and got Tim and then we started wandering around with our eyes peeled on the ground. We found about 8 of these guys all over our property, going every which way and obviously no idea where the water was. We put them into the bottom of the wheelbarrow and took them to the river shore. We plopped them into the grasses on the shore and left them to do what turtles are supposed to do.

We stepped gingerly for a few days with hopes that the turtles all made their way to the water. It's funny how you like these guys when they are cute little babies but when they are adults they are kind of creepy and a bit evil! We saw a baby swan get eaten by a turtle and they will take a full sized Canadian goose down as well. I think next time I might not be so helpful getting these guys to the river. We did find another area of lawn holes from another nest of turtles so just on our property alone there must have been more than 60 small holes dug up so that means 60 or so turtles heading to the river. I sure hope they don't all make it or there won't be much else living on the river with these guys taking down anything they can get their jaws on!!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Labour Day SALE!!!

We are cleaning up and clearing some stuff out so that means it's time for a SALE!!

50% off Christmas items,

50% off bits for the kitchen, like wine charms, pate knives, dip bowls and such.

25% to 45% off some of our garden statuary

and more!!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Still Shopping and More to Come!!

I got to go to Montreal to the Gift show there. My girlfriend Charlene is expanding her store that is in Deseronto into a gift store so she came with me and we also brought our guys along. Not always the smartest idea to bring men on a serious shopping trip but they actually did well without too much hovering or reminders of "are you on a shopping frenzy or is this something we really need?" What kind of a question is that??

I shopped for the store for 2 days and the last day I shopped for myself and for once picked up some treats just for me! I of course did get the kids there token souvenirs and Tim found a really nice jacket. The clothes I saw in all the shops were amazing and all had a funky style to them that I love!! I don't clothes shop much, since everything is all so boring and the same. Montreal is so the opposite it rocks!! I'm doing the trip more often, the prices were even reasonable and the ladies in the shops were helpful and really nice. My french unfortunately is so old and rusty that it is pretty much useless to me. I hate that when I went backpacking back in my early twenties I could actually manage to converse and understand french when I was in France but now, forget it.

Anyway I did find some new artists and wholesalers and have a fairly decent amount of things I asked to have delivered ASAP so hopefully over the next week it will start arriving. I'm probably crazy to fill up the barn at this point with the season slowing down but I have a feeling there are going to be alot of visitors this fall coming to see the fabulous foliage colours. Plus lots of people will be looking for Christmas gifts and such. I found some really cool and funky new metal wall art that I'm going to put in the upstairs of the barn and on the outside as well. This company had some really neat pieces and good prices.

Also we will be at the Milford Fair again this year and it's always a really fun day. It's on Saturday September 19th with a parade at the beginning and lots of fun activities for the kids and lots of local vendors with fun things to check out. It's a real old fashioned country fair with contests for everything from the best cake, cookies or muffins to best knitted hat (which I won 1st prize for last year! - I've never won 1st prize for anything before!!), lego sculpture to best photograph. Everyone puts things into the competition, including all the kids so everyone has fun getting ribbons.

On the fall agenda is the Scarecrow Festival Fundraiser as well. It is happening on the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend, unless we get rained out. I need to find volunteers to help me pull this off this year. It's not that much to set up but more people make a big difference to making it run smoothly and easily. We need donations of hats and clothes so email or phone me to drop off any donations. We actually ran out of pants last year and had to run to town once and then when they were gone I raided my husbands trunk of his old jeans that are fitting a bit too snuggly for more donations! Any loud coloured shirts, scarves, paints or overalls would be welcome.

Almost time to open so that's it for now! See you in the barn!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

New Hattitude Hats Added to the Mix

Ok I have to say this hat is now my favourite and might even be worth repeating the combination of colours and yarn. Assuming of course I can find it all again!

I named this hat "Limesicle" for it's tangy green-ness and cool icy blue. I wish the photo was a bit better lighted but I shot this in the barn on the counter before I put it on display. This hat fits me so size wise it's for an average adult-sized head.

I also made another of my glow-in-the-dark skull hats that were so popular with the men in my family at Christmas last year.

This picture is the best I could come up with of the skull glowing in the dark. It actually glows quite brightly.
I have to start working on a special hat that someone ordered for a gift. It is a earflap hat with the batman logo on it. Should be a challenge but a fun one. I do love a challenge.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Garden Show

Well we had a great time at the Edith Fox Life and Loss Garden show "A Bench and a Few Good Chairs". We met lots of new people and a few old friends and put out the word about the Galloping Goat Gallery.

This is the booth we set up at the Crystal Palace in Picton. What a gorgeous building this is, I've never really been in it before for more than a walk through. It really is fabulous even when the sun is tucked behind cloud cover.

I did a little talk about hypertufa and handed out our workshop schedule and seemed to have converted a few people to all the cool things you can make with the stuff.

We are going to be in the Picton Curling Club Saturday June 13th for the Horticultural Garden Tea to set up another booth. I think this time we will take a little less stuff. Tim and I took 2 hours to box it all up and leave after the show at the Crystal Palace. It's so hard to figure out what to bring and what to leave, I hate to leave my favourite things behind. I just need more practice I guess!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Workshop Schedule 2009

Well finally I think I have all the workshop dates figured out so here they are. Also I should add that I'm not going to put the word out in an email until next week that I've put up the schedule since the next 2 days I'm going to be at the Bench and a Few Good Chairs show so don't call to register until at least Sunday. My dear husband Tim isn't up to speed on all the details and I'll have the sign up book with me. Next week I'll be going full force into putting the word out with the classes so once Monday comes don't delay signing up most of the classes only have room for 8 or 9 people.

Hope you are all out enjoying this awesome week of sunshine and warmer temps. Of course I've been trapped inside but at least I get to watch the ducks enjoy the weather in our backyard while I slave at the computer!

Hpertufa Birdbath Class - evenings 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm - (cost $28) - (Taught by Lesley Snyder)
Dates: Wed. May 27th, Thurs. June 25th, Fri. July 10th, Saturday August15th, Saturday September 12th.

Dichroic Glass Jewellery Workshop- Monday evenings 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm - (cost $30) - taught by Marg Seaton
Dates: May 11th, June 8th, July 13th, August 10th, September 14th.

Fused Glass Window Workshop - All Day Saturdays - 9:30 am to 4:00 pm - taught by Marg Seaton or Wilma Kropla - (cost $80)
Dates: May 23rd, June 20th, July 11th, August 15th, September 19th.

Wood Carving Workshops - taught by Diane Irwin
Saturday May 16th - 9:00 am to 12:00 pm - carve a musical frog (cost $38 )
- 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm carve a shelf elf (cost $38 )
Sunday May 17th - 9:30 am to 4:30 pm - carve & paint a fish decoy (cost $55)
Sunday June 21st - 9:30 am to 4:30 pm - carve a bark house (cost $65)
Saturday July 18th - 9:00 am to 12:00 pm - carve a shelf elf (cost $38)
Sunday August 23rd - 9:00 am to 12:00pm - carve and create a medieval shield (cost $38)
- Kids -ages 7 and up can do this class too.
- 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm - carve a musical frog (cost $38 )

Wood Relief Carving - taught by Terry - (cost $40 ?)
Thursday June 11th - 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm & Friday August 21st 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

All Natural Lip Balm or Ointment Workshop - taught by Bay Woodyard - (cost $30?)
Wednesday May 20th - 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm

All Natural Soapmaking Workshop - taught by Bay Woodyard - (cost $30?)
Sunday June 28th - 9:30 am to 3:00 pm

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

News Flash!!

Ok so we had our neighbour tree guy come and check out Great Grandmother Willow and it looks like we can do some drastic trimming so that she won't be carrying so much weight and also when she does decide to actually drop to the ground she won't hit our barn/shop! So now we just need to get Glen to come and do the trimming, which hopefully will now be next week since the 2 days we were closed this week have past and he didn't show up.

Anyways so busy, busy, busy at the Goat. I decided to take on another thing and now we are going to have a booth at the Bench and a Few Good Chairs Garden show at the Crystal Palace in Picton. I must be nuts! All this packing of merchandise and stressing as to how to set up a booth that looks good from a couple of folding tables and some crates seems impossible at this point. The good thing is my shipment from B.C. came and it's all this really awesome iron work grills, trellis' and obelisks and stuff so I'll be able to show it off at least. I've been told it's a good show, though I've never been but then I don't go anywhere since I'm always in the shop on weekends. At least everyone comes to visit me and keep me up on the gossip!

For an update to the Good Friday excitement with the by-law officer, here is how it went down. Apparently the by-law officer went to the stores in Bloomfield and later in Picton and told each of them that they had to close their businesses since it was a statuary holiday. Which they did to avoid the fines. Now this by-law is in place mostly these days to protect employees being forced to work on holidays. If Prince Edward County had a "Designated Tourist Season" than we could be exempt from this by-law. The paper work for this must be done at the municipality level and it's arduous work according to the person who was telling me what must be done. Hopefully the local business groups of Bloomfield and Picton will jump on this so it gets sorted out soon.

At the Galloping Goat we are exempt from the by-law since we don't have any employees currently and even then we are smaller then the minimum square footage, plus we sell handicrafts. Hopefully I never have to deal with this problem and I can continue to enjoy the freedom of being open for all the holidays so I can keep trying to make a living!

Othery gossipy news I'm receiving by next weekend a load of brand new hilariously funny signs from a new company I found. Be prepared for serious guffawing, my new favourite one that I'm going to seriously keep for my very own is the sign with a cute little girl with golden curls smiling in the corner of the sign and it reads "All unattended children will be given an expresso and a free kitten!" Hee hee! That made me laugh hard! Luckily, so far I've never had any trouble with unattended kids at my shop, I think it might have to do with the fact we are sitting on a riverbank so most parents are pretty conscientious with their kids around water. Or maybe it's Godzilla coming up out of the river that makes them keep their kids close!!!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Great Grandmother Willow Tree, sad news

Well, thanks to Baxter and his fascination with a squirrel that lives in our favourite tree Great Grandmother Willow beside our little shop we discovered a very large and deep crack in that tree.

She is a fabulous, unique and gigantic willow tree. I think, quite possibly one of the oldest trees in the County because of her mammoth circumference. It takes 4 adults with their arms outstretched to go around her trunk. As far as willows go they usually fall down around 60 yrs old or so. We had 2 willow trees in the back of our house fall down, one week a part. We have been cutting them up slowly over the year and counted the rings to find they were both around 60 yrs old. Those trees are about a quarter of the size of our dear Great Grandmother Willow.

This old dame always gets lots of oohs and aahs from our visitors and everyone seems to be unable to resist pressing a hand on her in wonder. She also gets probably as many photos taken of her as our dear little godzilla rising from the riverbank.

I've taken to tucking in all the little elves, fairies and such that have been damaged, mostly by me moving stuff around, since her bark looks like a magicial wonderland where elves would happily live.

So here it is, the sad news, while Baxter was starring so fixedly on the tree we walked around to see what was so fascinating that he wouldn't even blink. When we looked there was a giant crack running from the base of the trunk up about 15 feet. It was so deep you could actually peer into the tree and see snow hiding in the crevice and it was deep enough I could have put my arm in up to my shoulder. This crack wasn't there before the winter and now that it is there we can see that the tree is practically hollow. This is very scary since the weight of the top of the tree is massive so without some intervention she will fall. Considering how close she is to our barn there is a good chance she will knock the corner as she drops and do serious damage to the building.

We have put in the call to the tree service and are hoping that if we can just take the top off we may still be able to keep a large portion of her. It's bad timing since the number of critters that have made their spring homes in all her lovely nooks and crannies are going to be very upset.

I'll keep you posted as to how this plays out but I'm going to be shedding alot of tears if she really does need to be cut down. Even if we manage to keep 15 or 20 feet of her so the animals and woodpeckers can still use her for homes it is going to be very sad. I know willows don't ever normally get this big and she has lived a grand life but I really, really don't want to loose her.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

It's that time, at last!!! Maple In The County! Sugarbushes are in full gear and smoke and steam is pumping out of the different sites boiling down all that sap. Yum! The Black River Cheese Factory has their maple cheddar cheese at the ready and extra curds and even better... ICE CREAM!! Yes you heard me correctly. They are scooping ice cream starting this weekend. Apparently they are showcasing the maple walnut flavour, of course!
We are also doing our bit of maple in the barn too. The great and talented Crafty Crone has created a maple pecan biscotti for the occasion of this weekend and it tastes awesome! I couldn't resist a nibble.

Also Scott Switzer is coming for a visit and bringing more of his wares to show off on in the garden outside the barn this weekend. He is an incredibly talented rock carver. I can't wait until I see what else he is bringing to sell. He makes some fabulous birdbaths, benches and even solar granite lights. To see lots more photos of Scott's work click here.

Hope to see you all soon and get out there and enjoy this gorgeous weather and eat some maple sugar for me since I'll be in the barn I'm missing out on those treats, though I probably will sneak across the street for a ice cream before closing on Sunday, hee hee.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Our Spring Opening is Almost Here!!

Well only a week to go! March 19th is our opening for the 2009 season and the snow has finally melted, just in time.

I've been doing some more fixing up inside the barn, mostly painting, cleaning really but Tim did put some new lights upstairs so now, even on the cloudy days, it's bright and sunny feeling up there.

The delivery truck has been stopping by just about every other day and my house is filling up with boxes of goodies while I go through them and input everything to inventory. I couldn't take any of the boxes out to the barn today thanks to the insane wind! Another big branch fell of Grandma Willow beside the barn but luckily it missed me and the barn. It's crazy how big those branches are when they are finally on the ground. They don't look that big when you look up at them still attached to the tree!

Anyways I've completely turned the barn inside out and now I have only 7 days to put it back together as well as bring in all the new fun stuff that keeps landing on my doorstep. Luckily my friend Laurie, display creator extraordinaire, is coming to help me on Friday and will hopefully fix some of the mess I've made. I've found some new, old furnishings at a few auctions that I've refinished and painted up and put in the barn so now I've got some new ways to display. I really love auctions but I'm bad with always seeing the gem in the rough that anyone else sees as complete junk. I've been refinishing furniture since I was 16 and always loved bringing wood back to life or painting it into something pretty. I haven't really bought any real lemons at the auctions and occasionally under all the grim, wax or thick paint I've found a real beauty that ends up being worth a lot more than I paid. It's a good thing I don't mind the work of getting to the good stuff under all the gunk. These days I avoid items that need stripping because of the chemicals and the mess, so I usually stick with items that a good sanding, some TSP and a coat of paint or clear coat can fix up easily.This is one of my painted side tables that I did a couple of years ago. This furniture I bought from an old mennonite furniture maker whose farm is near my in-laws. The furniture is always pine and absolutely beautifully made. Dovetailed drawers, hand hewn knobs and perfect finishing. Then I get to paint on the fresh new pine. I love the new wood and I like to let the wood grain show through so I use acrylic paints like a wash or stain and follow the pattern of the natural knots in the wood to help decide the design and placement. I have been buying furniture from Mr. Martin for 8 years and he has always made excellent pieces. I just wish I was able to do more of this work for clients, it's so fun to create a painting on a functional piece of furniture.

Well I must go and finish some orders I forgot about or I won't have any of those pretty spring flags to fly from the barn!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

When we say that the barn is on the banks of the Black River in some of our ads, we mean it quite literally since we are about 5 feet from the bank of the river during the dry season. Springtime though the bank of the river sneaks alot closer to the barn and the grassy section disappears under water.

April last year for instance we had a lot of snow and rain so the river rose and was basically over the bank & across the narrow patch of grass and under the barn. Not to worry though the brilliant builders of our barn knew what they were doing 200 years ago (or around that we have no clear dates of when it was built). The barn was built about 2 feet above the ground on the river side with big stacks of rocks under the joists holding it up high and dry. Along with a deep ditch or cavity under the barn keeps all the wood dry no matter how high the river rises.

In the early spring when you look out this favourite window of all our camera carrying customers you won't see the bullrushes just water. It literally feels as if you are floating on the river, not beside it.

These window pictures were taken in the spring out the window and the barn shot was in the fall and since I'm absolutely sick of cold, wet sloppy snow I'm refusing to post anymore wintery shots!! Come on Spring!

Don't forget when you come to visit us in the cooler weather we use our little side door for entering the barn. Just don't forget to duck your head that doorway is only for people 5'6" or under!! We'll have the furnace going so it will be nice and toasty inside.

I can't wait to start getting the shipments of goodies that I found! Hee hee! There were so many new things at the shows I went to and some really cool things. Also found another person to buy more of those funny metal signs from so I have a whole new bunch coming with some truly hilarious sayings. I'm thinking seriously about creating a wall in the upstairs to just put all those signs, I have a lot coming and I can't figure out where I'm going to put them all!

I also found a few new artists to add to the mix so the barn is going to be switched around a bit to fit all the new things that are coming in. I have also been finding more crafts to create in our workshops and new people to teach them so keep checking back for the schedule of classes that will be coming.
There will also be a kids Art Camp this summer for probably 2 weeks, with each week having different activities. It's going to be a very busy summer!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Brrrr.... it's chilly and silent.

Well it's minus 19 here (that's zero fahrenheit) or at least it was when the kids hopped on the bus this morning. It might have gotten warmer but it sure doesn't feel warmer.
It's snowing again, lightly so hopefully I won't have to shovel out the driveway before I go off to teach my after school art club at Pinecrest in Bloomfield. Isn't it amazing how quiet the snow makes it outside? It muffles all the sound so it's completely still. I love that moment after the bus drives away with the kids and it is out of ear shot, it is the time when I do the wander around to the barn and down along the riverbank. It is utterly still and so silent. The squirrel family in our willow tree gets a little irriated with my wandering but soon scurry off to different trees to avoid me.
I went for a walk on the frozen river last week when it was minus 25 or so and bitterly cold with my mom. We walked right in the centre of the river where the snowmobile tracks were and then our feet starting breaking through a couple of inches into slushy stuff. Well that surprised and unnerved us enough for us to hightail it to the shoreline! There was a fairly thick blanket of snow on the ice so I guess it acted as an insulating blanket for the ice. When the snowmobiles go over the river they are moving quickly and therefore aren't as heavy as if they were standing still. We were apparently too heavy with our slower walking.

I love walking on the river since you see the land from such a different perspective and plus there is no cars or people so you are completely in nature. I have to say though everytime I walk on the ice of the river I am very nervous since you never know how thick it really is. We know in the shallow part of the off shoot of the river in our backyard there are definitely warm springs that are underground there since you can see almost a polka dot effect when the ice is beginning to form. Our two cats always get way too bold when they see the ice on the river and can't resist the new hunting grounds on the other side and are always trying to get across by zigzagging across the ice to the thicker spots so they can cross. Insane! I call them back when I see them but one time Smudge came into the house with the entire back end of him soaked from what I assume was a dip in the river off of the ice.

So it's all quiet and I have to leave on Saturday for the opposite side of quiet and drive to Toronto. My kids are both coming since I sneakily called their old Toronto friends and set up play dates for them while I go to a Canadian Artist wholesale show in hopes of finding more handcrafts for the Galloping Goat shop. I'm not sure it was a good idea to take the kids or not for this visit. They are still moaning about leaving our home in the downtown Toronto core and all of their friends. I'm hoping they'll gain a bit of perspective when they see the crazy small houses we all were crammed into and the no backyard. Plus the restrictions we all placed on our kids when it came to playing outside or going anywhere off the front porch. Probably not, and maybe they'll start moaning all the more loudly and longer after the visit...sigh. I like the idea of visiting the city since I think the multi cultural area we lived in was great for keeping them open to different ways of life and people. Not to mention they may end up back there for college or university (a mother can only hope!) and in that case it's better to see Toronto as not the "big bad city" but a large grouping of small villages that are pushed up next to each other. It's not so overwhelming that way. I do miss Toronto and our friends. We had a lot of fun during the 4 yrs we lived in the core and oh, the awesome food from all over the world was truly fabulous!
Maybe I'll be able to grab some singapore noodles from my fav spot in Chinatown to bring home! Yum!