Oh Christmas Tree!

On Friday night, with school work done an the Captain home from the sea, we had our Christmas Tree Party at home.

I’m not much of a cook, and I’m pretty contrary when spoken to while cooking, but I have to say that I was really pleased with my work this time! Guinness stew on mashed potatoes with a side of broccoli…

After supper came time to decorate the tree. Our tree decorations are a mixture of old, new, and hand-made. And the tinsel is the finishing glimmer.

Later, Fred asked a round of Christmas Trivia questions, and then we put together a set of gingerbread houses…

This is one of my favourite Christmas events of the year! What do you do with your family that feels special each year?

Lamp Light

I carved a new printing plate this evening as a new card/mini-print to add to the 2020 line-up of Norton’s Cove products. It isn’t a new image though- and it comes with a bit of history.

Carving the new printing plate.
The first proof, printed as a card.
The second proof, after some minor adjustment to the carving.

Waaaay back around 2004 or 2005 maybe, my new business was not doing so well. I had not been able to pay the power bill for the studio for three months in a row. Newfoundland Power cut me off. It was winter. I was desperate to keep my business going, but it was a long few months before I’d see the return of summer visitors. What to do?

My design instructor at the Textile Studies program, J Barry, had suggested to me several years earlier to make note cards with my little lino images. I remembered that advice, and decided to run with it.

My mother gave me some money from her income tax return, and Duke installed the least expensive wood stove he could find in the studio. I had heat. I had inherited a number of oil lamps from my Uncle Donald & Aunt Geraldine’s place a while before, and they had been used solely as decorative pieces in the shop until then. Now they were useful tools, as the dark of winter did not allow me many hours of working time with daylight alone.

With my family’s support, I made five card designs to bring to that year’s Provincial Wholesale Trade Show, and I took enough orders to pay the bills and get my power turned back on. I even brought home a ‘Best New Product’ award.

These small products have been my bread and butter ever since, and I still enjoy making them. My mother does most of the packaging, my son has been cutting all the paper, and my hustband has been doing the ‘clean hands’ work for all production for the second year now. I still wouldn’t be able to do it without the support of my family. And that little oil lamp is a keen reminder of that.

Lamp Light will be available as a card and as a mini-print this spring in the online shop, and beautiful stores around Atlantic Canada.