Saturday, January 17, 2015

The Spurtle Times

I have just finished an upgrade to the leaflet that comes with my spurtles. The Spurtle Times has lots of historical information gleaned from old newspapers  and books, dating back as far as 1829.

Friday, March 21, 2014

The mystery of lumpy porridge

The Telegraph have just published an article about porridge by Clarissa Dickson Wright. Clarissa, the co-chef of the TV show 'Two Fat Ladies', sadly passed away recently.

She tells how her grandfather witnessed the use of the porridge drawer in tenements in Glasgow. She goes on to tell how the porridge would be reheated, and the lumps broken down with the spurtle. Now, I have always read that the spurtle is good for dealing with lumpy porridge, but it has always been a mystery to me how anyone could cook lumpy porridge. Maybe the use of the porridge drawer is where this legend comes from?
Don't forget that you can purchase spurtles from my website,, or in person most Saturdays at Halifax Seaport Farmers Market. You can also learn more about spurtles, oats and porridge on my Facebook page dedicated to the subject.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Dibbling in the garden

If you are planting a really big garden, the tractor towed dibbler these folks are using may be the way you need to go:

If your gardening ambitions aren't quite so large, one of my handcrafted wooden dibblers will probably get the job done.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Winter wonderland

Winter seems to be largely passing us by here at Seafoam. Ok, we have had some cold snaps, and a few snow storms, but by and large this winter has been quite kind to us. In the workshop, this is a season to regroup and prepare for busier times in the year ahead, so there are no big stories to post about, just a lot of bits and pieces.

We will get the bad news over and done with right away. After many years of no price increases, I have had to put my flat-rate shipping charge up to $8.00. Canada Post have been pushing their prices up a little every year, so now I have had to follow suit. Don't forget that this is a flat rate, and no matter how many spurtles or wine stoppers you buy, you only pay $8.00, so it pays to buy multiple items in one order - many of my most popular products make great gifts and you will be sure to find a home for them sooner or later.

I have also had to push up the price on the wedding favours. This is largely due to using a better grade of cork. The quality I was getting from my previous supplier was becoming very poor, with lots of splits and voids, so I am now using FLOR grade cork. This is the highest grade of cork when inspected visually for the amount and size of pores (lenticels), bark, belly and cracks found on its surface.[1]    However, I currently have a sale on, and you can save 10% by placing your order before April 30. I hope that this will encourage early orders, since I often have to turn down orders during the busy summer wedding season.

The Google car toured Pictou County last summer and Seafoam Woodturning Studio is now on Google Street View. You can find us at 45.788618,-62.999807. It looks like Pat and I were outside enjoying a cup of tea when they went by.

(For those that haven't used Street View, zoom in on the map as far as it will let you, then drag the little orange man until his green circle is over the green arrow. That will show you a picture which you can pan around and zoom in.)

It isn't often that I take on commissions, but when I was asked to make a mock ceremonial mace that would be used in anti-prorogation efforts, I decided to have a go. The mace is in two parts. It started off as one piece in Halifax, and went on to Yellowknife. It was then divided, one piece going to Fredericton and the other to Vancouver. Its amazing to see that they have daffodils in flower out on the west coast.

Tomorrow (Saturday, 20 February 2010) I will be at Dartmouth Farmer's Market in Alderney Landing, so if you happen to be in Metro, do come and say hi. I shall probably be back there occasionally for the next few months. Now that I go to so many markets, I usually post them to twitter to avoid filling this blog up with posts about markets.

On Tuesday I have a TV crew coming to tape a little piece for Eastlink. I shall probably be turning a bowl. Guess I had better go and tidy up the workshop!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

2009 Craft Shows

I have two shows lined up this month;

This coming Saturday and Sunday, November 14–15, 2009, the 21st Annual Festive Craft Market at the NSAC, Bible Hill, Nova Scotia.

The following weekend, Friday - Sunday, November 20-22, 2009, the Christmas Craft Expo at Acadia University in Wolfville. I have a few customer appreciation tickets to give away, to save you the $5.00 admission fee. If you would like one or two, drop me an email with your mailing address and I will pop them in the post.