Apr 24, 2018

Spring's New Arrivals

On April 21st between 10am - 4pm, Wellington Fibres Mill had their annual open house and we were lucky enough to attend!  Wellington Fibres is a small business owned by Donna Hancock and she has on her farm about 30 breeding Angora goats, which produce mohair. Amazingly the goats produce enough fibre to be shorn twice a year and the mohair is processed right there in their own mill.  Not only did we get to see the new kids but we also enjoyed a tour of the mill.

First, of course, we saw the goats!

On this gorgeous Spring day, the barn was airy and bright with the light scent of straw, and animals of course.  The ladies with their 3 week old offspring were in 1 large pen, the yearlings in another, the 3 males were all separately penned and the moms with very new kids were also separate.  

Here are the moms with their 3 week old kids and above is a proud papa.

And then there were the babies!  To say everyone was enamoured with these little darlings would be an understatement!  

The wee little ones were adorable to watch.  Kids don't walk, they bounce, like grasshoppers!

Take a look at these two videos!  

And here are some pictures of them standing still... it happened occasionally!

When we had our fill of Springtime newborn joy, we headed for the mill and shop.  There, Donna gave us a tour of the operations, which were complex and required a lot of calculations, know-how and experience!  

After washing and turning the raw fibre into rovings, this machine (once set-up for the desired weight, twist, and other features beyond my understanding!) turned the rovings into thread...  

...and here the threads are combined into what you buy as yarn.

From beginning to end, the art of creating a workable product from the raw fibre was fascinating.  

While the goat barn and mill were only open for this special annual occasion, if you're a fibre enthusiast and indulge in knitting, weaving, needle-felting or other fibre arts, the shop is open year-round and you'll be treated to some of the nicest fibres on the market, locally produced!   Check their website for hours and go indulge your senses!  

Feb 18, 2018

First Impressions

When we first purchased this historic house, we knew the front entrance (into the sun room) needed work but other, more pressing issues had to be dealt with first... so for 3 years we endured snow blowing into the sun room and swarms of flies and ladybugs!  In the Spring of 2017 we finally found the people, the time and the finances to rejuvenate the house's main entrance.  From neglected to magnificent!

The entire rejuvenation consisted of four projects:  new steps, a new front door with frame and surrounding panels, scraping/reglazing/repainting the outside of the whole sun room and finally a wired doorbell (the wireless was completely unreliable). 

Project #1:  The Steps.  Our old steps were narrow and there was no landing outside the door, making it very awkward to stand, luggage in hand, and ring the bell.   

So this was the old door and stairs....  

And here are the new steps:

Each step is significantly wider, especially the top landing.  It's Sienna treated planks and hopefully will be easy care.

So once the steps were installed, the door project began!
We were fortunate enough to find a carpenter up to the task!  Rob Dupree took this part of the renovation in hand and masterfully replaced our old door and the plywood panels that framed it.  

Notice the lovely lever handle:  no more scrapping your knuckles on the door frame!
A major issue for us was the desire to keep the concrete sill that runs all around the sun room.  Most of the workmen who came to give us estimates wanted to cut these off, flush with the door opening.  While we were willing to change the door, we were not willing to alter the concrete, especially as this "permanent" feature of the home is in photos of school children from the 1940s (click here to see one).  As you can see in the photo, the sun room at that time was not enclosed, with no door at all.

While the door was being installed, Natalie Simpson and her crew worked on the stripping, reglazing and painting.

Obviously, this part of our home had been neglected for some time and was in dire need of protection!  Especially as this was the front of the house, it desperately needed to be taken care of properly and Natalie did a wonderful job of reglazing the windows and applying protective paint.

And project #4:  the new doorbell!  
When Rob rebuilt the door framing, our electrician Brock from Fergus Electric had already drilled into the basement and left us an electrical line to run all along the outside of the room and hide behind the quarter rounds.  Rob therefore had everything he needed to include the doorbell in his part of the project, with Brock finishing this detail. 

And finally, it was all done!  

And Willow loves being able to see outside!  

Thanks to all our great professionals:  Rob Dupree, Natalie Simpson and her crew and Brock Richardson from Fergus Electric!  If you want contact information, simply send me an email and I'd be very happy to share.

Nov 19, 2017

Circles of Giving

Last year the spirit of community was celebrated with a Silent Wreath Auction, where all proceeds went to the Elora Centre for the Arts.  It was a glorious display of creativity and cheer with all sorts of folks donating their time and efforts to making one-of-a-kind, stunning wreaths to support our very special Centre.
This year I'm thrilled to announce it will be happening again!  And I found out early enough to do more than bid:  I actually made 2 wreaths!   Not only will there be a wreath auction, but take a look at this poster and the week full of wonderful events!

So, what does a wreath auction look like?  Here are photos of last year's entries:

And let us not neglect the stunning area prepared for Santa!  On Sunday bring your own camera and get photos with Santa Claus, comfortably seated in a beautiful, magical wonderland.

So what will be on the walls this year?  Come and see and bid to bring home a completely unique, handmade piece of art that will help our Arts Centre continue to thrive!

Oct 25, 2017

Getting spooky!

It's almost Hallowe'en!  We have to hurry up and get ready!  

While our pumpkin lights have been on since October 1st, I really wanted to add something special to our decorations this year.  I wanted a ghost to hover over our front door over the trick-or-treaters and so the hunt was on for the necessary pieces.

First, we luckily found a great female ghost!  

She needed hands, though, and the Dollarama had just what we needed, while the Canadian Tire had the clips, tape and hardware we'd need to hang her up securely.  

These two lanterns from HomeSense that I bought in the Spring now finally had a purpose, along with an old dog chain and leaves from Dollarama.

And she's up!  It took a while, but our ghost is on a pulley system so that we can lower her to turn on/off her glowing head.


Oct 23, 2017

The Spirit is Loose in Elora!

In the Afterword to Ray Bradbury's book From the Dust Returned he wrote "Halloween is the time of year for story-telling... I believe in this more than I have believed in anything in my writing career."  And Elora takes this statement to its still-beating, blood red heart!  There are so many great spooky stories being told this month, take a look at these offerings!  

Of course there are more sombre offerings as well, with the films from Alberta Nye and a talk with Shelley Carter about her "Death Perceptions" exhibit from 2016.  

And a handmade market!

So many options!  And there's also a Haunted Woods Walk just a hop outside of Elora that runs from 6:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 28!  Read about it by clicking here.

October is just spook-tacular in Elora!!

Sep 16, 2017

Garden in bloom

Our Summer was amazing!  Where did it go?!?!  Here we are deep into September already and I see I never got around to posting our garden in bloom.

Compared to last year's drought, it was a wet season but almost all the plants loved it, growing lush and thick.  Of course, then the bugs came out in force, slugs in particular poking holes in all the hostas.

It was a Summer of dramatic clouds!  We've never witnessed so many unusual textures and colors in the clouds as we did this year.  Here's a view from our balcony in late June.

Our Adam's Needles did very well, and for once no thieving hands snatched away the lovely flowers!  Thank you for letting them stand tall!

Elora, however, looked like it was invaded by rabid groundhogs as everywhere Wightman fiber optic cables were laid into the ground.  We lost our front sidewalk for a while, and they didn't do a very nice job of restoring it, buggers.

Our boulevard on David Street finally got a good cleaning out and a few new plants.  The creeping bell flower bloomed beautifully as did the lilies.

Thanks to a free-standing "mini garden" from Lee Valley, we grew our own herbs and mini tomatoes to grace our breakfast dishes.  This was a wonderful idea, keeping the herbs out of bugs' reach!

And growing more than 8 feet tall, the Cup Plants on the boulevard were magnificent!  It was a thrill to see all the bees that came to enjoy the flowers, and now the birds are coming for the seeds.  

Hope your Summer was Grand too!