A Good Home

This Writer Makes Special Gifts

I’m always curious about people who work in one profession but, late in the day, decide to act on their talent at making things. 

Blog Photo - Darcy booties

This time, I’m introducing you to Darcy McRae, who made these tiny booties — special order —  for my new grandchild.

Her items are modestly-priced, custom-ordered, handmade — what could be better?

Blog Photo - Darcy's green bears

An American who writes books under a different name, Darcy says:

“I’m always trying to hone my craft. I made my first completed scarf in the 6th grade and wore it everywhere.  By the time I was in high school, I was reading patterns. People have always commented, but I never believed in myself. I never expected to be selling my craft.

Blog Photo - Darcy hat and scarf grey

“When my online friends started telling me how they loved my work, it began to fill me with confidence.”

Blog Photo - Darcy and son

Darcy, a mother of six, learned to crochet in childhood.

“My Mom taught me to crochet. This is how she supported our family. My parents divorced, so she was raising six kids alone. I’ve always been a talker. I would interrupt her stitch count, so she taught me to crochet to keep me quiet.”

Much later, Darcy learned knitting to broaden her range of offerings.

“I learned to knit by watching a YouTube video. Lol!  I understand yarn, so learning to knit took about 10 minutes.” 

Blog Photo - Darcy holding yarn

As demand grew, Darcy recently decided to introduce her creations more widely via her brand new Etsy online store, Timeless by McRae. 

“I opened an Etsy Store to create an environment of integrity, so that those who were buying items could have a safe place to purchase the items. Many people don’t have Paypal or Cashapp, and I wanted to make it as easy as possible for people to purchase items.”

Blog Photo - Darcy Crocheted Angel

The results have been gratifying. That’s not surprising. Darcy takes a personal approach to every item, because each gift is usually ordered for someone who is special to the buyer.  She also prays as she creates, and she prays for each person she is knitting or crocheting for.

Blog Photo - Darcy Christmas Bear red

Knowing that each piece is an original, beautifully created for them, buyers shower Darcy with compliments. Karin left this message on her Etsy store:

“I’m delighted with this Teddy and I know my granddaughter will be too. In this day and age of mass produced junk it’s nice to be able to give a quality gift that is handmade to your specifications at such a reasonable price.”

Darcy says: “It’s always amazing how much a kind word or gesture can affect you. It made me love crocheting, and it made me want to reach further into designing my own patterns.”

Blog Photo - Darcy hat

Darcy still writes and hopes to publish books under her own name one day. She says she wants to create books that uplift and encourage.  Right now, the crocheted and knitted products are a passion that’s taking up a lot of her time and she loves it. And she has another dream:

“My dream is to be able to create fashion with a brand name of Timeless. I’d love to have a line of each medium, wool, cotton, and even silk and cashmere.” 

To reach Darcy via Twitter: @darcy_mcrae

Her Etsy store: https://etsy.me/2pofzbb




A Good Home, Humour - Kinda

The Art of Clutter

It’s been a hectic time in our family, and a bout of decluttering hasn’t helped. So, early this morning, husband, older daughter, son-in-law and I mused about Marie Kondo and the current decluttering fad she’s part of. 

We concluded that there’s another way to see this, so we created a system. Useful? I’m not sure. But it should make you smile, perhaps in recognition. We call it:


Blog Photo - Afternoon Tea pink cup and saucer

1) Acquire a space. Any space will do.

2) Location, location, location. The space must be located where you will visit it often.

3) Don’t block your path to success — er, excess. Easy access is essential to collecting stuff that nobody needs. Remember, your plan is to fill the space with stuff. And remember also that you’re playing a long game — over-accumulation takes time. 

Blog Photo - Old Blanket

4) Identify things you like. It could be everything. But be sure to identify them. You don’t want to forget and miss an opportunity to acquire more stuff that you don’t need.

5) Identify sources of stuff. The Shopping Network, eBay, Etsy, Kijiji, Costco, Homesense, Dollarama, garage sales, antiques shops and auctions are great sources of stuff.  So are friends, by the way. When they declutter their homes, it’s an opportunity to further clutter yours. Cultivate and nurture these relationships.

6) Start collecting stuff NOW. It’s important to take that first step. As we’re heading into Christmas, surely you need some more Christmas plates to add to the several sets you already have. 


7) Think bigger. You may think because the horizontal spaces — shelves, floors, and surfaces of furniture — are full, that you’ve run out of space. Do not be fooled! Think vertical. Pile things on top of things, boxes on top of boxes. Look for bare spots too. A bare spot is an exciting new opportunity. 

8) Do not give away your stuff. Treasure your treasures. You never know when you — or your children or grandchildren or great-grands, or friends — will need them.

9) Defend your stash. Fend off all comers and detractors. People who want your stuff or criticize your accumulative instincts are the enemy. And remember #4: you are collecting what you like. It’s your shield and your sword.

10) Recognize that this is an important part of your legacy, and the bigger the legacy to your loved ones, the better.  So, when the current space is verifiably, absolutely, full and cannot take another sliver of anything, be sure to acquire more space and fill it with stuff. It’s your gift to your heirs and to the world.

Of course, if I followed all that advice above, my own family would kill me! Happy Sunday, everyone. Hope we made you smile.

A Good Home, First snowfall

An Early Winter

Nobody I know was ready for this year’s first snowfall.

Yes, we are Canadians, but recent years have spoiled us: we got used to first snowfall in December — even late December. 

Blog Photo - autumn - trees on N Road

So we were cruising along, still high on the beautiful late autumn weather when – wham! Last Monday, we got several inches of the white stuff.

Pretty, unless you have to drive in it.  And therein lay the rub: most drivers I know had not replaced summer tires with winter ones. I plead guilty.

Blog Photo - Garden in winter - snowy walls and trees

These are wintry garden scenes from much of last week. 

Blog Photo - Garden in Winter - Snowy branch

Blog Photo - Garden in Winter - snowy tree and walls

It’s not that I hate winter. I know we need it. It’s just that I don’t like driving or walking on snow and ice. 

And that sounds unCanadian, I know.


A Good Home

#ShareAReviewDay Tuesday – Twigs in my Hair by Cynthia Reyes

Thank you for sharing this truly lovely review by Hermit’s Door, Marcia!

The Write Stuff

This afternoon, I’d like to welcome Cynthia Reyes to The Write Stuff,  with a lovely review/article about her gardening book, Twigs in my Hair. As a gardener, myself, I’m definitely going to be checking this one out. Hope you’ll enjoy this wonderful and thoughtful review, and will remember to share this on all your favorite social media sites. Thanks! 


A common Post-Enlightenment concept is that occupations have an art and science to them.  As a therapist, sometimes I approach an intervention from the science side, using the concept of evidence-based practice to guide the rehabilitation process.  Biological, neurological, or psychological theories set the pace of therapy.  At other times, I rely on the art of practice, usually when it comes to engaging and motivating a client to utilize the science.  I view gardening much the same way.  Ask me about soil health and I’ll give your two hour lecture…

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