In on the Gander

We had an appointment in Gander today for a recall concerning faulty headlights on our vehicle. So after dropping off the truck, we had a couple of hours to kill.

I had heard that some interesting improvements had been made at the Gander airport, where I haven’t been for quite some years, and Duke was willing, so we went for a visit.

This is the new giftshop, Gander Goods, at the airport. What a beautiful shop!
The Gander Goods store has a ton of fine craft and wonderful things made right here in Newfoundland, including my cards and minis! I absolutely love the design of the store- very bright and appealing, with lovely friendly staff too!
This is the International lounge at the airport, which had always been closed to the general public. It is now open, with a welcoming entryway, museum displays of relics from the history of the airport, an era appropriate playlist, and a bar. I am thoroughly impressed! Hats off to whoever is behind the refurbishment of YQX.

Life’s A Beach

I’m taking a little time off this week, and I started my holidays with a walk on the beach with my favourite cousin at Cape Island.

We found these interesting balls on the beach, and with a little investigation, we deducted that they are balls of seaweed type grasses that have rolled on the beach to form balls.

A grey and beautiful walk with a treasured friend. A great way to spend some time away from the studio & office!

Happy Canada Day!

What a wonderful day it has been! This has been our busiest day of the year so far, with 30 visitors at the studio, and 64 people served at the Café. I’ve been hearing wonderful feedback from customers, and all feels right with the world.

I spent a wonderful couple of hours at The REACH today where there were so many happy faces- people genuinely pleased with the progress of the museum, archives, artisan marketplace, and the new exhibit by Tracy Blackwood in the art gallery… such a beautiful space made even better by beautiful smiles. So much positivity!

And then, to top it all off, the Town of New-Wes-Valley put off an impressive fireworks display right in Norton’s Cove, from the floating docks that were installed late last year by the province right where the old Brookfield wharf was.

Oh Canada! I know we’re not rated as the best country in the world, but man, it’s a pretty wonderful place that we’re living in. My little part of this country seems pretty hard to beat. And I’m very thankful every day to have been born just up the road at Brookfield Hospital as a Canadian citizen and a Newfoundlander.

Museum Spotlight — The REACH

For those of you who follow my blog, you might be interested in the blog over at The REACH as well! There’s lots happening at the old museum, the art gallery, and coming soon, artisan showcases! I’m really looking forward to seeing The REACH reopened this summer, and hope to see some of you there at events! Take a trip over to http://www.thereachweb.wordpress.com.

We are pleased to start showing you around our newly designed space! Our three room schoolhouse, built in 1930 as Memorial School, now uses those three rooms a little differently. One of those large rooms now houses four display areas for museum artefacts, plus two ends which make shelving displays, and the walls are filled […]

Museum Spotlight — the REACH

Excursions

We went for a hike out behind our house yesterday. The landscape is barren and striking, and I think the huge blobs of granite that make up most of the landscape are simply gorgeous with our recent dusting of snow. What do you think?

Today I’m doing a few chores at home and at work, including printing up a few cards to complete an online order…

The studio is in a bit of chaos while I’m counting cards and picking out some older stock to add to our 50% discount table. I’ve also got several new canvases painted with background colours to become the next few Smudge Herring pieces. I’d like to get to #100 in the smudge herring series-seems like it’s a good number. The door you see leaning on the steel pole used to lead to the pantry in our home which we removed years ago and has just been taken out of storage. I’m looking for a good place to reuse it.

Christmas Parade

Who knew that being a part of a Christmas Parade could be so much fun? Waving at people for a couple of hours and yelling “merry Christmas” out the window of the FJ Cruiser made us feel so ridiculously happy!

Fred’s vehicle, a Toyota FJ Cruiser, with our Christmas tree on top and the back tire made into a Christmas wreath. This is Norton’s Cove’s 1st ever Christmas Parade float, and I hope there will be many more to come! Of course, you’ll notice that this design is in keeping with Norton’s Cove Studio’s 2021 Christmas Cruiser card.

Craft Fair Report

I had a great Christmas Craft Fair week in St. John’s! The fair was my most successful ever, I spent time with friends, ate good food, and am now very happy to be back at Norton’s Cove, unpacking my boxes and putting things away. I’m in the studio and ready for your visit or your online order!

My booth at the Craft Council of NL’s Christmas Craft Fair which ran from noon on November 11th to 5pm on the 14th. I would like to send out a huge THANK YOU to all the people who came and bought artwork- I can’t express how much it means to me. I’m really grateful. Really.
We ate at lots of nice places while we were away, but I think this restaurant is my favourite: Bad Bones Ramen. I love the style of the place, my beef curry ramen bowl was sooooo flavourful and delicious, and the service was excellent. Great food and artistry without being at all pretentious, nor expensive. Love it! Looking forward to dining there again next time!
Mick Davis & Thin Love played at the Bull & Barrell while I was in town, and I was very happy to sneak in an hour or so of listening pleasure- I absolutely love hearing professional musicians play live; I’m completely dazzled by drummers and guitarists, watching them work their magic. And can I just mention how great it is to see my little brother wailing out a guitar solo with a big ol’ grin on his face? And how has Jill Porter not aged a teeny little bit in 25 years? It was a bit of a time warp of an evening, as Mick looks about 19, and he’s just 5 years younger than me. Maybe I should have my eyes examined? What’s on the go?

Excursions

11 degrees celcius on October 19th at Newtown. Calm with a gentle fog on the water, and the sun starting to set. Amazing, considering that a week or so ago we took the same little trail and had our breath taken away with a cold and fierce wind on this same little walking trail. I can’t even imagine what it’s like to live in a place where the weather doesn’t change drastically from day to day. Winds, tides, and whether or not we see the sun is a topic for discussion all the time here in Newfoundland.

Excursions & Decisions

Duke and I had a lovely little getaway night aboard our sailing vessel Virtue which is tied up at Terra Nova National Park’s wharf. Such a beautiful spot! We had a gorgeous moonlit night and spent our morning on a little hike on one of the trails…

Along this boardwalk, we saw gulls, crows, a bald eagle, and some greater yellowlegs bobbing their beaks into the kelp.
And this Spruce Grouse, or Partridge, stood perfectly still as a defence mechanism, which made for an easy photo target! Hunters must have a real easy time with these birds.
The forest is unfamiliar territory for me, who lives on a granite outcropping next to the Atlantic Ocean. The trees were creaking in the little gusts of wind, and as I made my way through the floor of tree roots, I was imagining how spooky the hike would have been in the moonlight last night!

While I enjoyed this little excursion very much, there was the stress of wondering what’s going to happen with our business this coming week always hanging a shadow over me. Last week we saw such a significant dip in business at the studio and café that I had to dip into personal debt in order to pay the weekly bills. I can’t afford to do that much more, and we have four weeks left in the season yet. What to do? Do I risk personal debt in order to keep 8 valued staff-members employed for the next four weeks? Do I disappoint the few customers who have made reservations for special occasions? We really do need to be going full tilt to pay the bills. This week I will keep going, run the risk, and reassess on Saturday. Fingers toes and eyes crossed that I can keep going until Thanksgiving as planned!