Sunday, December 30, 2012

i haven't had the stillness and quiet that i like to make into my blog writing time.  it's been full the past couple of weeks.  couple of months, even.  with my mind scattered and without too many blog worthy thoughts.  i'm keeping to the basics of late.  keeping edgar healthy and comfortable.  and making quilts.  and even the quilts have been on the back burner a bit.  
i've been in the kitchen alot.  and loving it.  my aunt brought my grandmother's box of recipes for me when she came for christmas.  i've been loving thumbing through them, recognizing some and finding a few of the old family favorites like her fudge and my grandfather's bannock. 
and the snow is piling up.  we had to shovel the backyard so edgar could maneuver through the depths of it.  
i miss my blog time and i'm working to get it back.  the early mornings sure make it easier.  with cats curled around the fire and the kettle on the stove.  but now the day is calling and more specifically, the kitchen, with last nights dishes!!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

i am up when it is still night again.  i don't mind it really.  i love the silence and the sense that i have a couple of hours to think before the real business of the day begins.  edgar seems to need me most often at around 4.30 a.m. and once i'm up, i might as well make it my starting off point.  today my mind is full of christmas things.  thinking i might suggest that we host instead of my parents this year, because it will be easier on edgar, and ultimately on us. and there are presents to get wrapped.  and still plenty of gifts to decide on.  although we are pulling back and having a christmas that is over the top in love, but with just a sprinkling of presents. books, and locally made gifts are what we're giving this year.  an anxiety free holiday is the goal.  so far, it's a success.  
the studio is still abuzz.  but there is alot going on, so i'm not there exclusively.  however, if you were hoping to find a gift among our rooms, please contact me.....when i'm not there, i'm usually just next door and ready to run across the yard and help find the perfect gift.  there are still several crib and lap sized quilts and a few full/queen sized ones as well. as well as wonderful hand made jewelry and vintage books.  and stocking stuffers too.        

Sunday, December 16, 2012

this morning the living room is lit by the christmas tree.  the blush of little lights and the added bounce of light as it reflects off all the glass and windows.  and the library/dining room where i'm writing, is lit by the fire.  it sends a warm glimmery square of light onto the cats that sprawl before it.  the only other light is added by the computer screen.  this is the time of year when everything glows a little. i'm enjoying a few early morning moments of quiet before the day fully begins. 
today we're having the last sunday open house before christmas.  the little white house is bursting with holiday warmth and joy.  we'll be inviting you in from 10 until 5 today. 
sterling and hammered steel jewelry. 
vintage and collectible books.
cozy quilts and colorful napkins.  
goats milk soap and all sorts of other surprise treasures await.
drop by the little white house at 55 mowat ave in portsmouth village where you'll find gifts that will be cherished. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

4 a.m.   winter is beginning to really claim us now.  a neighbor's garage light is on.  and a sprinkle of snow is tumbling and twisting in the circle of brightness it makes.  yesterday we bundled into the truck to bring home a christmas tree.  and now it's standing in front of the living room window, creating the air of christmas for us. 60 years of love is balanced on it's branches. delicate inherited glass balls mingled with handmade paper decorations.  the fireplace burns often now.  and evenings seldom pass without my making a cup of tea. i will get snuggled into the holidays over the next weeks and settle in for the next few months of winter.  

i listed stockings and literary lap quilts on etsy last night, filling my online shop with bits of what makes the little white house so special. and we're having another open house this coming sunday, december 16th from 10 - 5.  we are welcoming you into the the little white house to browse the quilts and vintage books and sterling jewelry, the art and gifts and dreamy little treasures.  so stop by 55 mowat ave in portsmouth village and maybe you'll find a special cherished gift.    

Sunday, December 9, 2012

i was in the grocery store the other day.  i was looking for organic peanut butter.  my eye landed on apple jelly.  and i felt such a surge of emotions that i started to cry a little.  just a little because i got it under control.  but the actual urge was to put my head in my hands and sob.  and it was absolutely the apple jelly.  i was rushed back to breakfast in the 70s and 80s.  hotels.  diners.  those little plastic individual containers of jams and jellies.  sometimes honey too.  but for some reason the apple jelly held all the emotion for me. like a physical reminder of a simpler time.  a time when there was less to worry about.  when other's still took care of me.  when all i needed to decide was what i wanted on my toast.  i'm not sure it was sadness making me cry, just raw emotion.  the love of a childhood and youth and a carefree young twenty-something.  i'm not even sure why i'm writing about this, except that as soon as it happened, i thought, 'i'll have to put this in my blog'.  

today, we are once again having an open house.  the little white house at 55 mowat ave in portsmouth village, filled to the brim with goodness.  quilts and napkins, vintage books and sterling jewelry.  lovely gifts for the people dear to you.  come by today, december 9th.  we'll be there from 10 am until 5 pm.  

Friday, December 7, 2012

the morning is early.  the fire is glowing across the room.  everything is dark except that little square of flame.  even the windows are still dark.  edgar has been out, but is sleeping deeply again, sprawled on the wide feathery couch and covered in a wool blanket.  telulah has stared at me with her huge eyes and performed her morning sneezes.  ellsworth has come inside and floyd has dashed out.  and stella has not left the warm nest of a bed upstairs with tom.  this is my morning house.  it is settled and quiet.  with a few subtle floor creaks when tom shifts in bed in the room above. i'll make coffee soon.  but i'm loathe to break the stillness.  ellsworth has come purring to me, pressing and curling into the side of my leg.  his fur is still cold from being outside most of the night.  but underneath, he's fat and warm.  i've had a delightful beginning to my day.    

i will be sewing today, preparing for our sale on sunday.  once more we will open at 10 on sunday morning.  and be there until 5.  at the little white house at 55 mowat ave in portsmouth village.  i will have the main room filled with quilts and christmas stockings and napkins and journals, while krista's books and denise's sterling jewelry and a little room of paintings and mixed media pieces fill the sloped rooms upstairs. come visit our little lake splashed village and explore the handmade goodness of our little studio.  

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

 today i was able to sew.  i was anxious and nervous leaving edgar for too long, so i'd run home to check on him every 1/2 hour or so.  but i was able to get a good start on a little pile of quilts.  and i've finally listed the newest farmhouse quilt.  this is the lucky quilt that was professionally quilted a week or so ago.  my friend megan lives on a dairy farm 20 or 30 kilometres outside of the city.  she has 2 kids under 3.  and she has a sewing room with a quilting frame and machine that she guides ever so skillfully by hand, creating charming stitched patterns as she connects the three layers that comprise a quilt.  the farmhouse quilts really needed her touch.  i quite love the new, more finished quality her work gives the quilts.  it does raise the prices, but the added value completely supports the price hike. i find myself going upstairs throughout the day, just to admire this quilt.  it is a great piece of handcrafted goodness, and the collaborative element makes it even more special      
tonight i'm tired.  there are sleepy cats curled up around me, and that may add to my fatigue.  but it will be good to sleep hard tonight.

Monday, December 3, 2012

this is the first farmhouse quilt i ever made.  it was may of 2011.  i had an idea.  i had scraps.  i worked away certain i could turn my idea into something lovely.  but wondered if other people would love my vision like i did. and somehow, just a few weeks after i listed it on etsy, it sold.  i was excited.  i felt like my idea, and my way of making this scrappy quilt, was valid.  i would keep at it.  and then, the woman who purchased the quilt emailed me.  she told me that after hours of poring through etsy, she kept coming back to this quilt.  and when she saw i was from kingston it seemed certainly meant to be.  for she was looking for a wedding gift for a family doctor who lived in kingston.  she mentioned her name and i recognized her as my grandfather's family doctor.  he had died a few years before just a couple months shy of 105. i was thrilled that the quilt was going to her.  really thrilled.  
and yesterday, a year and a half later, this little story continued.  we had our sale at the studio.  a sale i didn't feel very prepared for because of the past couple weeks with edgar.  but i had been able to finish edging the latest farmhouse quilt that has been professionally quilted and it was spread on the bed upstairs being admired.  i felt like yesterday was the launch of this latest incarnation of the farmhouse quilts.  the birth of a new direction.  a woman and her husband came in, talked with me about this and that, and looked around.  eventually she turned to me and asked, 'are you elmer willis' granddaughter?'  i nodded, and asked how she knew my grandfather.  she told me her name and as she was adding that she was my grandfather's family doctor, i was already tearing up.  she related little stories about him.  she remembered him.  and remembered him well.  and then she mentioned the quilt.  and that it is beloved in her home.  that it travels from room to room.  her daughter had snuggled under it with her boyfriend, watching a movie the night before.  and she herself had been wrapped up in it that morning.  i couldn't stop the tears welling up.  i hugged her and thanked her for telling me all this.  i often think about that firstborn farmhouse quilt that went off on it's own quite early, to someone who felt a bit like family because of their association with my grampa, but who i didn't know and never expected to meet.  and learning that it is truly loved by someone who cared for my grandfather, is just so special.  it was a good day.  

Sunday, December 2, 2012

first things first......our boy is on the mend.  the vet feels that the stones flushed successfully out of his urethra.  he seems back to his wonderful self.  we went for a walk yesterday and he seemed great.  the next hurdle will be removing the catheter and hoping he can resume normal peeing on his own.  i can't say enough how special it was having all your warm and caring thoughts and wishes for edgar.  we really felt the love and i know that made a difference in his strong recovery.  thank you!

although i've had my focus only on getting edgar through this ordeal, life marches on and it is december.  and i have a business to think about.  our first studio sale is today!!! i have the first of my new revamped farmhouse quilts ready to go.  and by revamped i mean, professionally quilted.  it is phenomenal and i'm excited about the direction we're heading with these.  there is also 'the storybook robin', a room full of krista's carefully selected and delightful vintage books that make the perfect little treasured gift.  and denise arsenault has joined us today with her line of lovely sterling jewelry.  

so the studio is open from 10 - 5 today, sunday december 2nd.  we are located in the little white house at 55 mowat avenue in portsmouth village.