Saturday, August 27, 2005

Spurtles aren't just for oatmeal

Joyce, who runs Pictou Weekend Craft Market, bought a spurtle a few weeks ago. This morning she told me that it was an ideal tool for cooking pickles.

This week Joyce has been making a big batch of Sweet Mixed Pickles, with ingredients largely from her own garden. It takes all week to cook, and she says it needs to be stirred and poked every morning. That's where the spurtle comes into use.

Joyce was so pleased with her spurtle that she bought three more for gifts. Be sure to look for her wonderful spurtle-stirred pickles at Pictou Weekend Craft Market.

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Friday, August 19, 2005

It's summer time, OK?

I know I haven't blogged for a while. It's not because I'm spending all day at the beach rather than working in the shop. Quite the contrary in fact. I have just been too busy to sit down, gather my thoughts and write something meaningful and coherent.

Summer is always a busy time for me, when tourists and cottagers are in the area. This year I have taken a booth at the Pictou Weekend Craft Market, which takes away two days that I would otherwise be busy in the workshop. So I have more sales and less time to make new stock, and it is a struggle to keep the shelves filled. But yesterday I did take a day off.

My R&R actually began on Wednesday evening when I took in a ceilidh at Pictou's deCoste Centre, with music by John Spyder MacDonald, John Ferguson and fiddle player Alycia Putnam and family. Yesterday I drove over to Antigonish County and hiked the Fairmont Ridge Trail with my dog Maggie. It was a great walk, some of the slopes made for a great workout, and I feel much better for having done it.

Earlier in the week I made some inlaid weedpots. They have been selling very well this summer, and I only had two left on the shelf. This batch includes inlays of bubinga, ziracote, black ash, cherry burl, spalted elm and the spalted beech which I cut up back in April.

Today I started work on an order of favors for an October wedding. I got forty turned today, so I can take them with me to the craft market and burn the inscriptions while I am not waiting on customers. Woodburning is one of the few jobs I can do out of the shop.