A Good Home, Jessica Charnock's Hooked Rugs, Myrtle The Purple Turtle, Rug-Hooking Show

Myrtle Goes to Ottawa

That Myrtle!

Our favourite purple turtle is set for another excellent adventure.

Blog Photo - Myrtle1

Myrtle the Purple Turtle will be on display this Spring at the Annual Conference of the OHCG (Ontario Hooking Craft Guild) in our nation’s capital.

That’s both Myrtle-the-book and Myrtle-the-star of a wonderful hooked rug. 

Myrtle Book Cover

Blog Photo - Myrtle Rug 2

The creator of the rug is Jessica Charnock. If her name sounds familiar, that’s because she and Jean Long are the couple who are translating Myrtle into French. (Coming this spring.)

“There will be a show of rugs from all over the province and our group, as usual, will be represented,” says Jessica.  “And that’s where Myrtle will be, together with the book.  Our Area Representative loved the idea.”

Blog Photo - Jessica making rug

Jessica started hooking rugs in 1996. Myrtle is # 69 in a journey of beautiful creations. 

“I fell in love with an old Grenfell rug that belonged to a friend and which she later gave to me.  I knew then that I had to learn this craft.  I found out about a group of hookers in Cobourg and they were happy to introduce me to the craft which I picked up right away and learned very quickly. 

Lac Baker

“Of course, the fact that my home is a century + old log house, I chose to hook my rugs in a more primitive style. 

“At first, of course, I was hooking them for ourselves, then when I realized that friends and family liked them, I made some for family and friends. Some were also given as wedding presents and some were made on commission.” 

Blog Photo - Jessica Charnock Hooked Rug -Portage

The piece below captures part of family history:

Blog Photo - Jessica Phillip Long Homestead

“My husband’s ancestor Philip Long — a Scottish soldier, a King’s mail courrier — built this establishment at the mouth of Madawaska river on Temiscouata-sur-le-Lac in Cabano, Quebec. This was an inn where travellers would stop overnight on their long trip from Quebec  to Fredericton, New Brunswick.”

Every rug has a story.

“I hooked this rug (below) from a photograph which was taken when we first purchased our canoe in 1969 from Chief Dan Sarrazin of the Golden Lake Reserve, the builder of canoes.  It is an authentic Algonquin birch bark canoe which is still in our possession. 

Blog Photo - Jessica Man and Boy in Canoe

“About three years ago, we became curious and decided to go back to Golden Lake Reserve with the photograph and see if we could locate the little boy, the Chief’s son, who was about 10 at the time.  We did meet with a few people and it finally was the librarian who identified the boy.  We were lucky to meet with him and as soon as we showed him the photograph he recognized himself and we had a lovely visit with him.  He was then 45 years old.” 

As you can imagine, Myrtle’s illustrator Jo Robinson and I are doubly-honoured with both Jessica’s rendition of Myrtle and its inclusion in the OHCG’s annual conference.

 

Blog Photo - Myrtle Rug 2

Jo’s reaction:

“Fabulous, fabulous, fabulous! That is the most brilliant thing! A bit over-excited here, but that really is the most amazing feeling that someone did that.”

Ditto!

Myrtle and other gorgeous hooked rugs from across Ontario will be displayed at the Ottawa Conference & Event Centre, May 4 to 6.    

Huge thanks to my dear friend Jessica and the OHCG.

~~

Photos by Jessica Charnock

(Loghouse photo by Hamlin Grange)

 

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A Good Home, Children's Books, Illustrated Books, Myrtle The Purple Turtle, New Children's Books

Purple Toenails and … Myrtle Becomes French?

 

I’m moving at the speed of turtles this week (to quote Oscar at Hermit’s Door), but it’s been a turtally wonderful time for Myrtle (to quote Gallivanta).

~~

First: Is this not the sweetest face?  

Blog Photo - Myrtle book held by Aggeliki - 6 yrs old - mother Theano takes photo

Meet Aggiliki, 6, whose photo was taken by mom Theano, of Whitby, Ontario. Thank you, Theano and Aggiliki, for this delightful photo, and for loving Myrtle the Purple Turtle! 

~~

Second: Myrtle has been translated into French, thanks to Jean Long and Jessica Charnock.

When they first read Myrtle the Purple Turtle, Jessica noticed that Jean was translating the words into French as he read.  They quickly offered to do a written translation for publication, and of course I said, “Yes, thank you very much!”

Blog Photo - Jean and Jessica

You may remember Jean and Jessica. A French-Canadian couple, he’s a former teacher and vice-principal, and she’s a former high fashion model, secretary and wine importer. Both are extremely creative (see my blog posts about their remarkable creations). 

Myrtle will also get a French name! More on that later.

~~

Blog Photo - St Thomas' Church Ext New and Old

Third: At my family church, St. Thomas’ Anglican in the village of Brooklin (northeast of Toronto),  7 year old Makayla marched up to me this morning.  She clearly and politely requested her very own copy of Myrtle, paid for it, and waited as I signed it.

Blog Photo - Myrtle fan at St Thomas church

It was part of a successful fundraising book-sale at St. Thomas’ today. Money raised will benefit the parish’s good works. 

blog-photo-st-thomas-church-stained-glass-trio.jpg

Fellow author Paul Mason also kindly contributed books to the sale. We both feel privileged to do this.  Our families have both experienced the loving kindness for which this church is known.

Blog Photo - St Thomas' Church LOVE stained glass
Above 4 photos by Hamlin Grange

Fourth, Myrtle has been blessed with more positive reviews.  I’m over the moon with gratitude to these terrific bloggers who took the time to read Myrtle the Purple Turtle recently and review it. This is a magnificent gift and I thank you all:

Sally Cronin

Wendy Macdonald

Gallivanta 

Sheryl Normandeau

Oscar Larson

~~

And finally, an elegant, well-known friend of mine, who — to protect the guilty — shall only be identified as Rita D, decided to one-up my friend Mandy and me after we painted our fingernails purple. Yes, she had her toenails painted purple.

Blog Photo - Myrtle and Rita Purple Nails

Having recently recovered from injuring her leg, Rita decided to celebrate by  getting a pedicure, and she chose purple to honour Myrtle.

Mandy and I are pleased to be one-upped by you, Rita. Thank you!

So there we go. A series of events that have a certain purple turtle — and tons of loving kindness — in common.

Be well, my friends! Thanks always for being there.

 

 

 

A Good Home, Art, Artesans, Artists, Authors, Birdfeeders, Birdhouses, Books, Handmade porducts

“The Blog Shop”: Great Gifts by Creative People

My blogging community is brimming with ultra-creative people.

They’re remarkable. They make beautiful things with their hands, hearts and minds.

Or support projects that help talented artisans to make a living.

Blog Photo - Lotus Wonders Clutch

So today I’m celebrating these creative types and highlighting some of their products/projects that would make great gifts for loved ones.

  1. LOTUS WONDERS, made by women in a Cambodian village, in partnership with other women in Canada.  Order products and read their story at: http://www.lotuswonders.com/collections/all

Blog Photo - Great Gifts Lotus Wonders Products

Thanks to consultant Stephanie MacKendrick,  former head of Canadian Women in Communications, for bringing Lotus Wonders to my attention.

   2. MICHAEL’S WOODCRAFT. Michael lives on a mountainside in S. Carolina. He carefully chooses the wood and makes each beautiful object himself: cutting boards, ice cream scoops, and other useful items.  

Blog Photo - Great Gifts Michaels birdseye-maple-cheese-boardgif

 Visit his blog and online shop at:  http://michaelswoodcraft.wordpress.com/shop/

Blog Photo - Great Gifts Michaels wood-cheese-boards

 3. JEAN LONG AND JESSICA CHARNOCK’S CREATIONS.  In their gorgeous log cabin east of Toronto, this couple is always creating beautiful objects.

The Log House - Photo by H. Grange
The Log House – Photo by H. Grange

Jessica hooks original wall-hangings using recycled wool, and makes large teddy bears using recycled fur. 

Blog Photo - The Red Barn copy

Grey Bear made of recycled Persian lamb

Jean works with wood. He creates large pieces of furniture and unusual birdhouses and feeders.  

See: https://cynthiasreyes.com/2014/01/11/youve-never-seen-birdhouses-like-jean-longs/ – or email: jenjes@mac.com

Blog Photo - Birdfeeder 2

4. SIMPLY SPLENDID VICTORIAN AFTERNOON TEAS by Marilyn Mirabelli. Check out the gift packages including the Tea and Cookie of the Month Club.

Blog Photo - Great Gifts Simply Splendid Tea and Book

http://www.splendidafternoonteas.com/services/TeaAndCookie.html

Blog Photo - Great Gifts Simply Spldendid Bespoke Tea Tray

 5. SARAH VERNON’S FIRST NIGHT DESIGN. Blogger Sarah produces beautiful art prints.

Blog Photo - Great Gifts Sarah Vernon Pears

See Sarah’s website at: http://www.firstnightdesign.co.uk/

Blog Photo - Great gifts Sarah Vernon 1

  6. BOOKS BY GIFTED AUTHORS:

  • MT McGUIRE’s award-winning K’Barthan Trilogy series isn’t just for young people. She’s a very good writer,  with a wicked sense of humour. Who else would write a trilogy made up four books?  For more about her new release and the series, visit her blog: http://mtmcguire.co.uk/

Blog Photo - KBarthan Trilogy 2

You can also read about MT at:  https://cynthiasreyes.com/2014/04/02/author-mt-mcguire-at-home/

  • SK NICHOLLS’ writing has also been highly praised. Her new novel, a roman-a-clef, is titled Red Clay and Roses. 

Blog Photo - Great Gifts SKNicolls

Visit her blog for more: http://redclayandroses1.wordpress.com/redclayandrose/

  • WHEN CONCHI BLOWS, by Omar Sheriffe Vernon El Halawani. It’s an interesting book, based on the author’s own interracial family history in Jamaica.  He died before the book was published, and asked that proceeds from it be used for a worthy cause.  His cousin Robert Vernon carried out his wishes.

Blog Photo - Great Gifts When Conchi Blows

http://www.amazon.ca/Conchi-Blows-Sheriffe-Vernon-Halawani/dp/1463712235/ref=pd_sim_b_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=1382PA7Z0Y7T30Z9AWZ3

Blog Photo - Great Gifts Tumbledowns cottage

 7. And, finally, from New Zealand, Quarter Acre Lifestyle has just launched their online store of handmade soaps and other products. I know this couple is still setting up some payment options, but thought I’d give their products a mention now. Visit:   http://www.tumbledowns.co.nz/for-sale
Blog Photo - Great gifts tumble downs1

As my blogger friend Gallivanta (whom I’ve never met in person) did for my book, A Good Home, I’m shining a little light on the good work of others.

**Dedicated to everyone who creates something, hoping that someone else will value it.**

A Good Home, Birdfeeders, Birdhouses, Birds, Life in canada, Lifestyle, Renovating, Restoration, Restoring old houses

Men Who Build Stuff

I promised to follow up with two different men who both work on houses.  

One – John – has been working on a BIG house, restoring it by himself.

The other – Jean – creates tiny houses – for birds. When last we heard from Jean, he was working on his Xtreme Birdhouse.  While I was impatiently waiting for the photos of the finished product, Jean sent me these other ones, made from the corks of wine bottles and said:

“I can assure you that I was totally sober when I worked on those…. lol…..”

Jean Long's Wine cork Birdhouse
Jean Long’s Wine cork Birdhouse

I promised to believe him.  Which doesn’t mean YOU have to.

Jean Long's Creation
Jean Long’s Creation

As for his Xtreme Birdhouse, it’s complete, and it’s even larger than it looks in these photos:

Bird Cathedral by Jean Long
Bird Cathedral by Jean Long

 Which may explain why Jean calls it “The Bird Cathedral”.  Congrats, Jean, on one heck of a birdhouse! Here’s another view:

Jean Long's Bird Cathedral
Jean Long’s Bird Cathedral

So let’s go over now to Prince Edward County and check in with John, our intrepid house-restorer, and his wife Ann. When last we heard, they were about to move into the beautiful old house. Here are some photos, starting with Ann sitting on the step waiting for the truck:

Blog Photo - John's House Waiting for Movers

Blog Photo - John's House Moving Truck

John says: “The Move went as smooth as SILK!!  No surprises, no grief, and very good weather!”

Blog Photo - John's Hosue Ann unrolls carpetThe couple had spent the days prior cleaning the house,  and now it was time to roll out the rugs and put things in their places:

Blog Photo - John unrolls carpet

Blog Photo - John's living room with sofa

Blog Photo - Ann in Dining Room

Within a day or two, the dining room, living room, master bedroom and third floor den were partially set up.

Blog Photo - John's third Floor Partly set up

John’s office, meanwhile,  looks like it’s always been there….

Blog Photo - John at Office desk

Of course, there’s a lot of work left to do. They’re also keeping an eye on the garden, to determine how much work it will require. But one thing you and I know about John: he has a plan for getting it all done perfectly, and on time. 

Ann and John, congratulations.

Top 4 photos by Jean Long, remainder by John Garside.