Friday, December 31, 2010

What makes you smile?

Happy New Year All!
May 2011 bring you happiness, excellent health and a joie de vivre.
May all your dreams be realized and may you find opportunities that will bring success in all you endeavour.

2010 was a life changing year for me and I greet 2011 with gusto and optimism.

What makes me smile....

my wool my passion

my two nephews who make me laugh and remind me of the joy of youth

oh la la a front stoop that does not sag or creak or move when you step on it!

two sweet little devils!
Something new has to be explored and given approval by those that rule the roost

my lovely PEI - French River

French River, PEI

A favourite rug with a much loved subject

Thunder Cove - the other face of PEI

The boss of the cats - Noogs

A favourite old ornament

Love those Krinkles!

Mom, William (nephew) and sister, Lorraine

Brother, Roanld and nephew, Kyle


Roby :)

My sweet father-in-law now at peace.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Roby's Lamp

I met this wonderful artist at the Hudson, Quebec artisan show this past fall. Her name is Nancy Jane Farnum. I just loved her papier mache figures and the way she made them come to life in a very comical way. Adding practicality by making her pieces into lamps was a huge bonus.

I sent her a couple of pictures of Roby (the spoiled one) and asked that a lamp be made from them. This was a birthday present to myself. Of course it had to reflect his keen herding abilities as a sheep herder (only in his dreams) The cats have become his sheep in this life. I love it! Thank you Nancy....

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Cinnamon Rose - a favourite colour

Red Island Wool thread
 Today the big soup pots come out and the wool fabric goes in for a large dyeing session. On the menu - the colour is cinnamon rose. It's a splash of cinnamon on a background of rose mixed with a reddish brown. I have been dyeing this colour for 5 years now and never get tired of the moment when the colour saturates the fibers. This cinnamon rose is a darker version that I use for my Red Island wool threads.

Working on a new cross stitch pattern release for Island Cottage Needlearts (my other name) and this newly dyed wool will be used for the newest release - the theme being hearts, roses and Victorian. So thinking of roses and hearts - brought to mind other items I have made in the past.

Tudor Rose Wool pincushion

Rose soap

Seaside Rose hand dyed wool strips

 Of course one of the flowers I love - Seaside Roses which can be found along many an ocean path. Certainly helps that it is a flower that grows at my favourite place. What more can one ask but ocean on one side and these gorgeous bushes on the other that just seem to pop out of nowhere with such a sweet fragrance permeating the salty sea air. Heaven on earth!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Waiting for Santa

Cream cheese pastries with pistachio nuts
We are waiting for you Santa. Last I heard you were in South America and soon to be here..........Merry Christmas to all. Have a wonderful holiday with family and friends.
g'nite... Joni

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Fond Memories

 You can tell in our house when the Christmas season is upon us by the cookies that are being baked in the kitchen. This one is only made at Christmas time and comes down through my husband's family in a cookbook that I now own from 1946. I am not fond of coloured cherries and prefer my shortbread plain jane but once a year I make them like this for Peter....They do look pretty though! They bring fond memories of those now gone sitting around the kitchen table decorating these little cookies.
You can print the recipe from my website under "In the Pantry".


1 cup butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 cups flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt


1/3 cup butter
3 cups icing sugar
1-1/2 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp milk

Mixing Instructions:
Cream butter and add sugar gradually. Add the sifted flour,baking powder and salt slowly to the creamed mixture.
Roll 1/3 inch thick then use a cookie cutter of your choice. I like to keep it simple with a round one (1-1/4"). Prick with fork and decorate if desired. I do the decorating after they are baked. Bake 15-20 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Watch the time carefully as it will vary depending upon the size of the cookie cutter you chose. Or bake until lightly browned. Makes a minimum of 24 cookies.

To Make Butter Icing:
Blend butter and icing sugar. Combine milk and vanilla and gradually add to butter and icing sugar. You can add flavourings, like almond, lemon etc.
Decorate the cookies with the icing and a piece of coloured cherry. I am not a candied cherry person but there are some in the family who love them. You can sub with an almond or any other nut.


Monday, December 20, 2010


Hoar frost, white frost or rime is the tiny solid deposition of water vapor from saturated air which occurs when the temperature of the surfaces is below freezing point. It occurs generally with clear skies.

Our first morning walk in this new chapter of our lives..... what a glorious morning it was. everything covered with this dainty white frost glistening in the sunlight against a deep blue sky. Have a great day!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Life Changes

Life changes constantly - like the ocean waves you never know what it brings. These past two weeks have brought changes to my life. A dear gentle man who was a most important part of my life has gone and
will be terribly missed. Very fond loving memories live on.

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft starlight at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.

one of my favourite flowers - soon to bloom again!

As one chapter closes another opens. My 27 years of working 9-5 has ended. It is time to move on to new adventures and to do some of the things I have always wanted to do. Better to do it while you can as it was brought home how short and swift our lives are. How did I spend my first day of "freedom" as I call it. Baking! The mixer was humming along with me and the songs on the radio (Christmas of course) were playing in the background. The day's baking schedule was banana bread, chicken noodle soup, cream cheese pastries with hazelnut praline filling, gingie christmas trees and chocolate-cappucino cookies. Pictures to follow :). Today was a non-baking day but tomorrow will bring a new regime of baking - some more cream cheese pastries - a family favourite much in demand along with a cranberry cheesecake -shortbread torte. 
alas this is the only pic I have of this one - they were dug up by mistake by the gardener - 20 year old plants - ahhhh!
All this baking is going to require an addition to our regime - I will be getting out with Roby and walking more often - now that we have the whole day! What oh what will i fill my days with -   ha no problem there :)
and I have not even gotten into the rug hooking, the pattern making, the doll making and the long list of 101 other things I want to do...
Have a great nite.. Joni

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Yum - Holiday Baking

A holiday season favourite!

1-1/2 cups flour
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 egg yolk beaten
1/2 tsp vanilla
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp clementine zest
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tbsp clementine juice
1/2 cup chocolate melted (semisweet)
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
silver sanding sugar (optional)

Mixing Instructions:

Combine flour, baking powder, salt and zest and set aside.
Cream the butter with the sugar until well blended. Stir in egg yolk, clementine juice and vanilla. Add in dry ingredients andmix to make a soft dough. Chill until dough is firm.
On a lightly floured board, roll out cold dough to about a 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into fancy cookie shapes. The size of the cookie cutter will determine the amount of cookies you will get.

When cookies have cooled you can dip them in the melted chocolate. Chocolate should be melted in a double boiler to avoid scorching from direct heat. Once dipped you can then sprinkle some sanding sugar on them while chocolate is still soft.
Let chocolate cool throughly. Enjoy!

Cooking Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake 8-10 minutes on cookie sheets that have been lightly greased or lined with parchment paper.

Cool on racks.


You can find the recipe on my website under IN THE PANTRY where you can print the recipe. I'll be adding some more in the upcoming days. It is the start of Holiday baking!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Keeping in Touch

Copyright Deanne Fizpatrick

What a perfect way to keep in touch with friends and family. I know we are all hitech with e-mail etc. I won't even list the ways because I can't keep up with it all. Sometimes it is nice to just write a card in your handwriting and send it off to someone dear. I love receiving mail - I always ask "anything in the mail" when I call from my day job. So I have a stash of different notecards tucked away in the antique desk. Seems appropriate.

copyright Deanne Fitzpatrick

These are blank notecards that are listed on my website - FullyWooly Primitives. I just love them! Beautiful quality prints of Deanne Fitzpatrick's gorgeous rugs.  

Off to do some cookie making. Have a cookie exchange on Friday evening - wine, gabbing and eating. Going to make my Clementine Cookies dipped in semisweet chocolate. I'll get a pic and recipe on here in the next few days.
Have a great evening... Joni

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Santa Rug Giveaway by Star Rug Company

Maria is giving this rug away so head over to her blog Star Rug Company Blog and sign up for a chance to win. Though I plan on having it hang on my wall :) She is also having a Cyber Monday sale on her website which I plan on heading over to right now.

Today was a good day for the mail. I received my custom drawn Deanna Fitzgerald rug. It is huge and daunting, Peter's comment was - that's a big one you better get to it. This is one that I am carefully gathering wool for and it will have roving and fabric too. She even drew a border which I absolutely love. So i will probably be posting to my blog as I get it done  - like a work in progress :)

Oh by the way Gail Wilson is having a Christmas sale and you have to check out her website. I have to admit that I did treat  myself to a Hitty doll. Even if you are not into doll making I can guarantee you will drool over her creations!

Have a great evening - off to do some shopping.

copyright Gail Wilson Designs


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Scrappy Star

I used all my left over wools from Market Day to do this scrappy star chair rug. I love chair rugs. Nothing more homey looking on a rocking chair!

Some little mats I  just finished -

The Pear

The Leaf

And a larger doodle purse....

It has been a creative two weeks.. off to dye some wool threads. Have a great evening.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Perfect Fall Weekend

Saturday was glorious. Crisp air, leaves filled with colour and the scent of wood smoke in the air. I just love this time of the year. I get all these creative urges that just have to be put to fabric and they drift through my mind at all times  - when I can be doing the most mundane things. Helps to carry a notepad in your purse and more recently an IPhone (yes, I of no cell phone for 4 years have caved in). I call it my security blanket for winter driving up here. It definitely came in handy when I was in PEI as I had no internet access and did you know that you can use it as a server for the internet. OK I am not the most computer adept person but hey that just boggled my mind! The biggest plus - the pictures I can take!

A perfect fall day
So Roby and I made our monthly trek to the vet along with some errands that had to be done and we then treated ourselves to a walk by the lake. It was so beautiful. We met some other furries and it was a big social gab. What is it about animals and kids - it brings out the best in people.

My furry beast!
This weekend was "Let's get this show on the road for the November Artisan Show". You always think you have enough time and you prepare a year in advance and yet it is always the last month that is a frenzy of activity with new ideas and do I have enough time to fit it in. I'll be posting some of my pieces over the next couple of weeks. Here is one of several clutch purses that I purchased from Nepal (fair trade) and did some doodling with wool over the weekend. I had so much fun with these. I call them my doodle purses. Have a great evening!

Wool Doodle Purse