December 12, 2012


Alex in Queen of Hearts

Fifty vendors setting up on Friday...

All the 'Busy Hands' fun is over until next year, but what a great weekend it was!  So nice to see old and new friends and experience the excitement of this outstanding show and sale one more time.  I think the highlight for me each year is the true appreciation people express for the sellers and the fruits of their creative endeavors.  It's very nice to have all your hard work recognized and to see happy shoppers milling about with their bags full of special treasures.

I really enjoy watching the never ending trying on of hats, especially the flamboyant ones!  Even the dogs get in on this action.  I love to do a bit of shopping myself and each year I find unique and special things for gifts along with varied and delectable food items including bread, baking, preserves, veggies and even vegan chocolate! 

So's time for a rest and a think about what's sold and what to make next...hmmm!

Alex in Airie Fairie

Issie is a hat girl...with boots to match!

A 1920's Kato

Cath...not sure about this one!

Kate...very sure about this one

Diane in Gray Owl

Kate in Shakespeare

Mimi in a pill box

Lucy who simply loves hats

Sage...ready for Valentine's Day!

Sharon finding just the right hat

Alex really suiting this hat

Helen and her happy new hat

Cath...sure about this one

Lovely Lucy

Carol Ann in Pink Me Up

From the back!

Cake~Tin Hats display

Cake~Tin Hats at Busy Hands 2012

Hats do grow on trees!

December 2, 2012


'Gray Owl' ~ wet felted

'Gray Owl' ~ top

This beautiful Barred Owl appeared in my backyard
 and was the inspiration for 'Gray Owl' above

Just now I am madly getting ready for 'Busy Hands' which takes place next weekend  on December 8th and 9th, in Picton.  This is where I sell all things Cake~Tin.  This means a last minute flurry of finishing, tagging and cataloguing all items along with packing up display items...and remembering not to forget anything!  I really look forward to this Christmas Gift and Craft sale every December. 

'Busy Hands', presented by Vicki's Veggies and Honey Pie Hives and Herbals at our local Books & Co. store, is a riot of colour and joyful people featuring 50 local artisans all making a fabulous variety of hand made things. As Vicki says...having so many  people all living and creating together in Prince Edward Couny doesn't happen on such a local scale in very many places. It's like a giant party where everything is for sale! 

I think this is because there is such an appreciation in our community for fair trade, hand made goods which is a reflection of the changing nature of production and consumption.  I see this as part of the emerging 'slow' culture movement that began with food and has extended itself to the art of making things. Many of the sellers at 'Busy Hands' are people who make their living with their craft and it's very evident that they love what they do.  Here you can buy someone special a meaningful, hand crafted gift that will last and be remembered instead of twelve cheap, mass produced items from Walmart that will soon be forgotten. 

See you at 'Busy Hands'!

'Dr. Suess' ~ kid size hand knit

Single colourful wrist cuffs ~ hand knit merino & silk

Accordion' wristlets ~ hand knit and edged
with sari silk ribbon

Blue pairs of ruffled wristlets ~ hand knit merino & silk

Ruffled wristlets ~ hand knit

'Fair Isle & Feathers' ~ kid size hand knit

Patch work scarf ~ made from up-cycled,
felted sweaters

Patch work scarf ~ made from up-cycled,
felted cashmere sweaters

Sheila's wristlets ~ hand knit alpaca and wool

Wrist cuff

November 16, 2012


'Butter Rose' ~ wet felted with merino wool, hand
stitched & embellished with sari silk rose bud

'Butter Rose' ~ top 

I love working with natural fibres because they feel so beautiful to the touch. Wool, alpaca, silk and soy are a few of my favorite raw materials. They are renewable, reusable and sustainable and good for our planet.  They breath when we wear them, repel water and keep us warm.  Wool is one of the most versatile fibres because it can be dyed, spun, knitted, woven and felted into wonderful, wearable fabric creations. 

These lovely little spring lambs (all grown up by now!) are from Prince Edward County's Nyman Farms.  This photo was taken before these pristine little creatures started running and jumping all over the place, getting just as dirty as the Mum standing behind them. Wool is actually quite filthy when sheared and requires a thorough washing before combing, carding and dyeing.

Because of time constraints I buy my fibres for felting already prepared and ready to work with. My preference is merino for felting with a fairly fine micron count (19 to 22). Blue Face Leicester and Border Leicester have felted very nicely for me as well.  Gotland is much less fine but it makes very sturdy bags. I find corriedale felts well but because it has a higher micron count than merino the finished product can appear to be 'hairy' which is not a good outcome if you are expecting lovely smooth felt.

When it comes to knitting, it's true, natural fibres are more expensive than man made but the outcome is so much nicer....especially after all the effort that goes into the hand making.  Man made fibres just don't feel, wear or look the same as wool and they definitely do not felt!  I know they have a the laundry hampers of those who must jam every wearable garment they own into the washing machine and (god forbid) the dryer!...but how sad to never experience the joys of hand soaking, shaping, blocking and slow drying a beautiful, pure wool thing...ever.

On the bright side, it's the washing machine people who drop off all those lovely pure wool sweaters that do felt... ("oops, it's four sizes smaller") at the thrift shop that I and many other fibre fanatics like to cut and sew into new, up-cycled, pretty things.

Leslie in 'Butter Rose'

Spring lambs ~ Nyman Farms

'Blue Skies' ~ wet felted in 2 pieces and stitched

'Acorn Brown' ~ wet felted in 2 pieces and stitched

Leslie in 'Acorn Brown'

'Acorn Brown' ~ top

Purple pairs of ruffled wristlets ~ hand knit merino & silk

Fall colours fingerless gloves ~ hand knit

Water & sky fingerless gloves ~ knitted

'Puck' pleated cloche ~ hand knit & felted
& embriodered


'Puck' ~ top

Amanda's fingerless gloves ~ hand knit Noro yarn


'French Country' beanie ~ hand knit
extra fine merino