Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Beautiful Days in PEI!

Liam and I at our beach.. It was his first time at the ocean and he loved it. Couldn't wait to see what that rolling water was all about. Time to give mommy a dog lick of appreciation for this great walk in new territory - all those smells.. the tail was a wagging!

Vast blue skies, an ocean breeze and red sand...

There is a great rug hooking show taking place in Summerside at the Eptek art Center until October 19th. If you have not been yet, please do not miss this show. It is absolutely wonderful with so many gorgeous rugs. There are so many talented rug hookers on the island. Sorry no pictures! You have to go see for yourself.

As I was in town I made a trip to a couple more places, Homestead Antiques on Fitzroy Street. I have been meaning to go for a couple of years now and finally got there this time. It is a treasure trove of primitives and reproduction antiques. I walked out with a couple of storage boxes for my sewing room (on sale too) and a Colin's Sheep. I collect them so was happy to get one here and not have to pay shipping. You can see them here.. Colin's Creatures.. these are some of his seasonal sheep - a little whimsical. I have one as an elf from last year.

The next stop was the harbour to pick up some fresh lobster meat. I had a yearning for some lobster rolls. Really they are so easy to make and I paid $9.30 for enough meat to make two. So tonight I made a mixture of lobster, celery, sweet onion and Hellman 's mayonnaise. Seasoned it with salt, pepper and grated rind of lemon. Got my rolls (have to be the ones that can be toasted on each side), layered baby spinach and added the lobster. so yummy! As a side I made fresh island potatoes, boiled with skin on, mashed with skin on, milk, butter, summer savoury and some garlic scape.. oh heaven..

Just so you think I have not been thinking rug hooking - did a new design of a cardinal on dogwood (on the website here) and I also have one on pine cones (not yet on the website) and have lots more ideas to get my own designs out there. Have a great evening....Joni

Friday, September 27, 2013

Amherst - The Electric Street Knitting Room

Beautiful silk - perfect for a shawl

On our way to PEI we had to stop in at Deanne Fitzpatrick's rug hooking studio in Amherst, NS. I wanted to check out the new Knitting Room that she had established in the back studio. I had been hearing about it all summer and was anxious to see what she had done with it. I was not disappointed! It was a blaze of colour. The whole shop was overflowing with colour and creativity! Needless to say I made a few purchases of yarn and some wool fabric bundles.
If you are around the area this Saturday - check the shop out as it is the grand opening and there will be lots of fun things planned along with a discount on the yarn.. have a great day. 

Banana fiber yarn, fleece packages, some lumpy,bumpy black yarn for outlining and a wonderful tweedy looking yarn

some more yarn for rug hooking and a couple of colourful bundles for landscapes

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Summerside Farmer's Market

Went to Summerside Farmer's Market early this morning and I was hoping to see the rug show at Eptek. Found out the exhibition is only open on weekdays and Sunday.. so put off for another day. We did go to the Farmer's Market in the old Holman building. It was down some stairs on the bottom floor and the walls were old stone.. so interesting. The building was built 1857. It was a small venue but had everything you would need. It was doing a bustling business. At least it was not the craziness of the Charlottetown market, which we have sworn off of. 

These were my goodies from the market....
Bluebarb Pie and Grandma's ginger cookies from Shipwright's.
Fresh yellow beans
Blueberry lemon tarts and a mini carrot cake
Fresh smoke cured bacon - highly recommended by Chef Norm.

Then off we went back to Kensington to check out Al Picketts' Eureka Garlic... oh heavenly smell. Such a nice fellow and I'll be visiting again for my black garlic and other garlic buds. Did pick up some powdered garlic green scapes (again highly recommended by Chef Norm) and some garlic sand. The scapes are the top of the immature garlic which are dried and ground.. sweet and fragrant..no bitterness with this product. Here is a great link to find out more about black garlic and Eureka.

Have a great day... more pics of Summerside harbour.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Island Baking

 Have not found a bakery that does cinnamon rolls really well. So decided to make my own. It happens that Michael Smith who is a great Island chef was coming out with his new cookbook "Back to Basics" and I had to get my hands on it. A trip to Charlottetown to the Indigo there and lo and behold there it was but to my surprise this was the only book they had of his? So no cinnamon roll recipe. I had watched his cooking show the other day where he made some and it got me hankering for a pan of them. Off to his website where he has some of his popular recipes and there it was. Yay!

So gathered all my supplies with a trip to Paderno's for a lovely ceramic pan which matches the round one my Mom gave me last year for Christmas, so I was pleased with that purchase. Off to bulk barn for some basics...no King Arthur flour my go to staple nor did I expect any :( I always travel with my own Vietnamese cinnamon but forgot the vanilla.Then to find a rolling pin, of course not to be found and none in the cottage that I could remember. Got back and realized I forgot the yeast, so no baking that day.

So having held off for a day - we were going to the eastern portion of the Island to visit a couple of spots and I thought - Brenda Watts - wonderful woodworker..She is bound to have a rolling pin for me. Called her to find out she was shut down for the season but was happy to have me come to her shop - Islanders are like that. She had the perfect rolling pin. A french one with tapered ends handcrafted by her. Fell in love with the colour and was happy - the last french one which is what I wanted. You can see it in the picture above. So back we went and I went to work the next day on these rolls.

This is the first time I have made cinnamon rolls. I loved making them. They don't need a lot of ingredients and you have to raise them twice but oh my they are glorious. The cinnamon makes the difference and I am sure you could add pecans or raisins if you wanted but I like them just plain old jane. 

The next time I make them I won't ice them right away. I'll just keep the icing in the fridge and warm them up in the oven when I want one and ice at that time. We are only two so we have been having them for breakfast all week.

 Here is the link for the Michael Smith recipe.. worth a try...Cinnamon Roll Recipe.

Have a great day... Joni

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

First Fibre Stop Was...

Wool hand dyed by Lucy Richards and Heidi

Heidi Wulfraat of London-Wul was our first stop. She is located outside of Moncton, NB in Lakeburn. We went there last year for the first time and knew that this was a definite stop this year. Heidi was so helpful and friendly. Her website is www.thewoolworks.com. She advised me on the spinning wheel I should be looking for (at a reasonable price). Her variety of wool is awesome along with her own hand dyed wools and fabrics. It is eye candy for fibre artists for sure. Dare I stop on my way home:)...

While there I met Lucy Richards of The Wooly Mason Jar. She has a wonderful method of gradation dyeing in mason jars. There were quite a few samples of her wool so I bought a couple - oranges and purples. I am going to be using them in my new design for the Creativity class I am taking at Deanne's in October.

Shibui yarn for Stephen West Mystery Shawl Kal

These were some Shibui yarns I picked up for the Stephen West Mystery Shawl KAL that is happening right now on Ravelry. If you are a knitter or crocheter this is the place to be. The challenge is that this is going to be a colourful shawl...out of my normal colouring box. I have no idea of the design so should be interesting.. anyway I love the colours so anything done with them I figure will be good...if not fantastic.. got some apple, honey and raspberry. How yummy is that?
Have a great day...Joni

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Culinary Studio in PEI

Annie's Culinary Studio in New London, PEI

This year I took two classes at Annie's. She bought this old church in New London two years ago and renovated the interior.It contains a professional kitchen with a long, large store counter that divides the space into two. The other part contains a long antique banquet table where we get to sample what we have cooked. There are antiques and memorabilia of the church spread around the walls along with some comfy chairs. It's a beautiful, relaxing place to learn some new cooking skills. Chef Norman is a fountain of knowledge and only too willing to share what he knows. I have had two wonderful lunches as a result of the classes and have enjoyed it so much. 

Last week I took a course on cooking with potatoes. So we made potato bannock (this is going to be my go to quick bread), potato latkes that were topped with Island smoked salmon, capers and a herbed sour cream, chocolate potato cake to die for and lastly potato gnocchi. I never knew it was so easy to make. 

I brought some of the gnocchi home and tonight I made a bechamel sauce with red onions, red peppers, yellow/green zucchini,some island summer savoury and garlic. It was fast - easy and delicious! Definitely will be making more gnocchi at home and freezing it in portions. So much tastier than the store bought kind!

My version of homemade potato gnocchi

Yesterday I took a course on soup making.. it was a potato bacon chowder with smoked island trout and the second one was a Middle Eastern soup called Harira - a traditional Ramadan Soup which was so exotic in flavours and so delicious. It had lentils, chickpeas, rice, tomato and onion with spices I would not normally put in soup - cinnamon, cumin, ginger and tumeric.
Along with that we had 15 minute bread which was a course I took last year and the only bread I make - so easy.

Taking a course at Annie's is always so exciting and can't wait to see what she has planned for next year!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

On The Island

Looking out from the deck to Cabot provincial Park over the dunes....

We have been on the island for a week now and will be celebrating Thanksgiving here. Then off to Amherst, Nova Scotia for the fiber festival.
I'll be posting some pics of my own fiber trail I have been taking...Meeting new friends and old...
I have been flitting between knitting, hooking, reading and baking. I brought lots of stuff to do. I even managed to bring my yarn winder for all those new skeins I happen to find. It's good I did because I signed up for Stephen West's Mystery Shawl KAL and bought some Shibui yarn to knit it. Some out of the box colours for me! These will be short posts and hope to get one done every day. Got a back log right now. Off to get my cinnamon rolls to rise and in the oven. I'll post a pic later if they look presentable. LOL..Meanwhile two sock projects on the go....Talk soon. Enjoy your day. Joni

Some lovely hand dyed wool with sparklies in it - perfect for Hermione pattern from Harry Potter inspired knitting....

A nice solid bright colour called Dutch which will define the stitching oin this sock pattern...

Sunday, June 30, 2013


Just a reminder that tomorrow is the last day to follow blogs with Google Reader. I have changed all the blogs that I read to Bloglovin and love it. So easy to use - much more user friendly. So if you would like to continue following my blog, you can find the button on the right hand side of my blog page near the top, after what is for sale in my etsy shop. If you have already made the change.. thank you!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Blooming Flowers and LIam

Just pictures today.... from a beautiful sunny day last week in between all the clouds and rain we have been getting. My clematis - probably one of my top favourite flowers..some cosmos...and of course the baby of the family, Liam...now almost 18 months old.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

New Basket New on the Frame

Have to show you this wonderful basket that I purchased from Kay Kjeldgaard, which I use for current hooking projects. I just love it. She is a real master at basket weaving and thinks of all the little touches. Well worth the price.

The little clay snippet holder I got at Camp Wool in Maine. They have changed location and their store is a treasure trove... a wool lover's delight! If in the area of Kennebunk, do drop by. You will not be disappointed. I could have spent hours there. 

On my frame is a pattern by Deanne Fitzpatrick... poppies, which I love. I needed something quick and easy to hook while I was mulling a design in my head and on paper. I like doing other people's designs. It contributes to their livelihood of making these wonderful patterns and sometimes you just need something where you don't have to think about it being your design but just an exercise in colour.. I call it playing with colours like when you got a new pack of crayons when you were a kid...

I have been coming to terms with my wool stash..I am a collector of darks and mediums. I am woefully lacking in brights and pales. So my goal is to start gathering, dyeing this colour palette. What I love to hook is changing or rather what I am designing is changing and it calls for a broader spectrum of hues. I am trying to jump out of my comfortable box and start exploring more colours...

Just another little item I picked up at Dorr Mills. I could not resist! It sort of found its way into my basket along with my wools....Beautiful Sheep  - Postcard book of all kinds of sheep by Ivy Press. I think if you are going to use a product you should know more about it. So I am reading up on wool - what with my rug hooking, knitting, dyeing and spinning...it would make sense. 

Isn't this guy wonderful...look at the coat!

Saturday, June 22, 2013


Since Google Reader will no longer be, I have since subscribed to BLOGLOVIN in order to read my favourite blogs. It is very easy to do.. and only takes a few minutes... So if you want to  Follow my blog with Bloglovin... here is the link. have a great day - Joni

Monday, May 20, 2013

At the Beach

We are in Maine for a week. Brother, sister and family...my the water is cold but having a blast at Ocean Park and York Beach - eating lots of fresh fish! Just pictures.....