This Week at Norton’s Cove Café

This month, there is a sale on at Norton’s Cove Café’s Gift-Shop for eNewsletter subscribers! ☘ Discount code Shamrock gets you 30% off all products in the Norton’s Cove Café Collection, which includes pretty well everything on the walls and on shelves at the Café! The sale is on in the online shop only, and you can pick up your order in store instead of having it shipped.



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Café opens for the season!

And while you’re waiting, you can close your eyes, listen to our playlist, and pretend you’re there already!


Printapalooza starts the new week with blue.

I’ve been listening to a podcast made just for retailers while going about my physical work cutting paper and printing and the like, and I’ve been really focused on planning for my business to grow this year like never before. Really spending a lot of time fine tuning things like work schedules, hours of operation, how to keep employees happy (including this CEO) and away from burnout. Every year I learn a bit more by reading and listening and making all the mistakes I can. Listening to this podcast, Creative Shop Talk with Wendy Batten, is kind of reaffirming much of what I already know, but really convincing me that I CAN have a successful business if I just apply all these things I’ve picked up over the years, really building on my self-confidence like I’ve never felt before.

One of those things that I’m very slow to learn is that I need to take better care of myself. In the past, I have let myself get so burnt out I didn’t think life was worth living. Then even when I thought I was doing really great personally last year, instead of taking the time off that I needed to deal with the death of one of my best friends, I worked myself into a panic attack, ruining an event for myself that I had looked forward to for weeks.

So… after 19 years of doing it all wrong, I’m going to correct myself. I’ve decided that while the Café will have the same hours as last year, my studio will change to match the Café, giving me two days a week when I can destress, enjoy the summer weather, sail, visit with friends, garden, just sit on the deck, and keep myself energized all through the busy season. 🤞

Back in Black

Printing black cards, mini-prints, and bookmarks took two days, as there was a power outage on the 2nd day of #printapalooza, and while I did get some printing done in daylight, after a couple of hours without heat I could feel a chill creeping in, so I went home and parked myself next to the wood burning fireplace in my kitchen. Toasty…

Did you know that it takes about 3 seconds to make a perfect piece of toast by holding a piece of buttered bread inside the wood-stove on a big steel fork? 😋

Seeing Red

It’s time for #Printapalooza again! I’ll be printing a new colour each day until my current print list is done. I’ve got two brand new images: Shamrock, and Saltbox House, and I’ve also changed up a bunch of the oldies, cutting borders off and making them look fresh and new. I’m quite happy with my next generation dory too, which includes a bowline in the painter against a little lop.


We didn’t have any snow at the beginning February. Not a single snowflake. But for about two weeks, we’ve been making up for lost time. And for anyone who likes outdoor winter activities, the snow conditions are amazing.

It has been a glorious winter day here in the Greater Norton’s Cove Area. Duke and I took a snowmobile ride today (we’re very new to this activity) on the old woods roads, and wanted to share some snaps…

Such a beautiful day, without wind!- or very little anyways, for our wind standards.
I did the driving for about 35% of the trip, which is a very new experience for me. Never thought I’d ever be driving a snowmobile, much less enjoying it! This photo was taken on Brookfield Marsh, almost home: you can see our house, studio, and café in the left side of the frame.

And now, with the local pandemic regulations back to alert level 4, I’m back in my studio, continuing with my early spring cleaning (similar plan to “if you build it, it will come”?) and enjoying a spectacular sunset.

Throw Back Thursday

This photo is not dated. But we have some clues. My house still had the original house (servants quarters after 1884) attached, although the third floor is already removed (which happened in 1930). Someone told me years ago that that portion of the house was cut down to its present state the spring of Come Home Year (1966). The tiny building to the right of the shop was apparently a telegraph office, but there is a pole of some sort on the shop, which might be a transmitting tower making me think that the telegraph equipment was actually in the office? I’ll have to look up the dates of the telegraph receipts…

I once met an elderly lady in my shop who told me that when she was having her first child, she was brought to Norton’s Cove by boat, and she sent a telegraph home to Newtown to say that she had arrived safely. Job Kean then gave her a ride to Brookfield Cottage Hospital in his truck to deliver her baby under the care of the doctor. How times have changed! What an incredible range of technology that woman witnessed in her lifetime! And, I LOVE the fact that people tell me these stories when visiting my shop! The building itself is a conversation piece.

This Week at Norton’s Cove Café

Lockdown continues at Norton’s Cove, with the province at the highest level in the COVID-19 Alert Level System. I am working away as usual at the studio & café, as I always do during the winter months. In January, while we were open to the public, I had 6 visitors in store- so no great loss for me by not having to shovel the front steps! I am thankful every day for how lucky I am to be able to continue on with life as usual while others are really struggling with loneliness and fear of contracting the awful disease. I feel very privileged.

We’re still working away at the Lower Deck, and I took this picture on Saturday while upstairs for a coffee break. I’m so impressed with the way Norton’s Cove Café turned out- so many craftspeople are involved to create this kind of space, from my own inspiration and choices in fixtures, to the designer’s expertise, the carpenter’s skills, the furniture makers, the upholsterers, not to mention actually running the place as a business! It has been a lot of hard work and a sharp learning curve for me to be the owner of a restaurant, but I feel like all that is paying off and I think that Team Norton’s Cove has created one of the best restaurants in the province. It’s certainly my favourite!

Did you know that many of the Café Gift-shop’s products are available through our online shop? During this lockdown period, and always, you can pick up your jams and relish and thump mats at the studio- contactless- or have them delivered to you via Canada Post.