Category Archives: shop local


This ad appeared in the local newspaper this morning. It is reminding us all that this is the Saturday dedicated to shopping at locally owned small businesses. Let’s make this apply to any time we shop.

By supporting locally owned businesses and artists and  craftspeople, we keep money in our local area rather than sending it out to a large corporate business somewhere else. It’s called sustainability, because the more prosperous and creative our local economy is, the stronger it is and the better able to support a vibrant and growing population. This results in more jobs, a better maintained infrastructure, and a smaller carbon footprint.

To give an example of this, yesterday I needed to find a small item to donate for a christmas basket draw to be held at a community supper next week. Rather than travelling a 35mile round trip to a large supermarket, I went to the nearest Farm Market and bought a one pound jar of the honey they pack on site. This was win/win – I used less gas, supported the staff working there and helped to insure that this Market will remain open in the future.

I hope all the people who read this will support small local businesses, whether it is mine, here in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia, or another one close to wherever you live! In addition to handcrafted items, I specialize in lovely previously owned vintage items in a wide price range range. Many are priced under $10. All are in immaculate. An example of the items I stock is shown below:

This is a darling early 20th century child’s tea set; all 5 pieces are in as new condition and ready for display. They are small enough to be inexpensive to mail – contact me: 

See you all soon! Janet




I just checked the weather forecast for the weekend and they are calling for blue skies and daytime temperatures of around 8 ot 9 celsius.

That’s hard to believe with it cold and mizzly with a raw west wind while I was carriyng in the day’s supply of wood for my stove! But I AM going to believe it, and encourage you to take a run down to the valley to check out all our local and green shops and boutiques.

Everything from locally sourced and organic fresh fruit, meat and vegetables to a couple of pieces of great Nova Scotia Folk ART.

Above is a picture of my Elmer Killen carving of a “Poor Man’s ” team ploughing. I was with my mother over 25 years ago when she purchased this at a gallery in Blockhouse, Lunenburg County run for a short time by Chris Huntingdon, who was instrumental in the revival of interest in Nova Scotia folk art.

Elmer Killen was one of the foremost artists of that first generation of folk artists artists who numbered Collins Eisenhauer, Eddie Mandaggio, Maud Lewis and Joe Norris among them.

Mom left this carving to me when she died over 20 years ago and now it’s time I passed it on to another collector to love. The carving, complete with farm dog and a couple of foraging gulls is in almost pristine condition – I’ll leave the decision to either touch up the paint where it peeled off the gesso or not to. Contact me to discuss pricing. This will be a pick up only purchase.

Above is a carving I’ve enjoyed owning for several years now. Bought from Houston North Gallery during a featured exhibition of vintage and newer pieces of Nova Scotia folk art, this lovely polychrome  carving of an almost life sized gull on a buoy is the work of Roseville Tanner. It comes with provenance and again is a pick up only purchase. You can take this lovely, guaranteed housebroken, fellow home for $225! Contact me if you wish to put a hold on him.

Below are three paintings I’d like to share with you today. They are oil on canvas board painted in the late 1920’s or early 1930’s by Wilfred Cyr who painted in Amesbury Massachussets, near the old fishing port of Gloucester which at that time was host to the International Fishing Schooner Races. Mr Cyr and his brother were both physically challenged artists who painted and also ran a cartooning school. It would not surprise me if these oils were painted in the studio using MacAskill’s famous photographs. 

The painting above which is 18×20 and nicely framed is of a schooner race.

Above, a group of schooners “ghosting” along in a very light breeze – I can hear the gentle flapping of the sails and the hiss of water passing under their hulls, can you?  Again, nicely framed and 12×16.

And finally, below, a lovely seascape with the rich but muted colours so popular in that period.

You can buy any one of these lovely, ready to hang, oil paintings by a listed artist for $100 each or take all three home for $300. Again, I’m asking for pick up only on these lovely works of art and that you contact me if you want anything put on “Hold”  

I’m looking forward to welcoming you to my home this weekend and would like to remind all you quilters and needleworkers out there that I have fabrics galore, kits, patterns and books at amazing prices.

See You!   Janet


Come down to the Annapolis Valley any weekend between now and Christmas and you’ll have a down to earth experience of locally sourced meat, fruit and vegetables at our Farmers’ Markets, our produce stands and our specialty food shops. You’ll lunch at delicious cafe style or pub style eateries on local and fresh seasonal food in many cases sourced less than 5 kilometers from their doors, and you will be able to select gifts for giving, and treasures for yourself from a variety of handcraft, vintage and artisan shops.

This weekend, I’m featuring a variety of vintage French imports I’ve collected over the years. The first photo – at the top of this post – is a grouping of nine tiny nativity figures. These are the tiny “feves” meant to be wrapped in a twist of waxed paper and stirred into the batter of the ‘King’s Cake” for the feast of the Epiphany. They are made – a different set each year –  by Quimper in Brittany, and are eagerly collected as they are a limited edition and not available as open stock from year to year.

The second photo above, is of a pair of simple and lovely candlesticks, also made by Quimper, under contract to the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, which for a brief space of time in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s commissioned well known manufacturers to make beautiful reproduction furniture, rugs and housewares for sale under their brand. These now vintage items have become very sought after. You will find my prices on these, as on all my items, is well below market value and the items are in excellent condition. Contact me if you can’t come by in person.

Two sweet items above: the first is a darling French vintage sheet for a baby’s bed – it is woven of ‘metis’ – a mix of flax and hemp and has woven blue floral decoration all around. Sized at 46×60 inches, it is practical to use on baby’s bed, as it was intended, or would make a lovely table topper, or even a single curtain – delicate looks belie how very tough this textile is – made to withstand washing after washing in hot water with strong laundry soap – you can’t go wrong!

The little shirt is a toddler’s size 3 or 4 made of 100% cotton sourced in Provence and manufactured by the highly sought after  Les Olivades firm, it is brand new vintage stock – your little girl or boy will look sweet in this!

And below: a stylish and ageless diaper bag – again brand new old stock – made by the loved and respected firm of Pierre Deux (now out of business after a very long and successful run in France and the United States) it opens to function as a changing pad and has all the internal fittings expected in a diaper bag. Timeless, and very casual chic.

SOLD on May 21/13!!

For those of you who love the Pierre Deux fabric handbags I have a small selection of these too at very attractive prices, and in very nice used condition – just ask!

Finally, to pique your interest – I have a set of three books on design and French living put out Pierre Deux – featuring life in Brittany, Normandy, Provence which have for the last 35 years been sourcebooks of design and style for many people who want a traditional and at the same time stylish home. I am pricing these, plus a couple of other books I have on French Country style, at well below the going market price. In looking through online booksellers I am seeing these books at anywhere up to $75 – try $10 each instead at my pop-up shop! They won’t last long.

Now, as a little reward for folks who’ve read all the way through, if you’d like to make a day of it when you come down to the valley and want to plan a pleasant itinerary, here are a few suggestions: I’m assuming you will be using Highway 101.

Get off it at the Avonport exit so that you can include a visit to Just us! Coffee Roasters – I buy all my coffee there and grind beans daily for my coffee press – yum! – there is a fully stocked retail store as well as a small roastery museum, and a busy cafe where you can pick up a light snack and your favourite beverage to eat in or take back to your car.

Carry on into Wolfville, which is a busy University and retirement town with many attractions, including the Saturday morning Farmers Market – where you will find over 40 vendors – artisanal, food and produce – you’re sure to take home some treats!

Check out the many boutiques and specialty shops, and then go over the bridge to Port Williams and take in brunch at the Port Pub – – there is something to please everyone any time of day, but the 11AM to 2PM bruch menu seems like a great idea to me! Again, locally sourced food, fine ambience and value pricing – can’t be beaten! is the website of nearby Fox Hill Cheese shop – if you miss them at the Farmers’ Market, pop in to their Farm Shop near Port Williams – lots of signs to point the way.

If you are a knitter or hand spinner, before youi head to Port Williams  you will want to make a special trip up to Gaspereau Valley Fibres – a different kind of Farm Shop. Straight up Gaspereau Avenue in Wolfville will bring you to where you will find yarns spun from the flock of sheep there and lots of other imported yarns and knitting and spinning supplies. I especially enjoy their Plain and Simple line of knitting leaflets – classics that are clearly written and easy to follow.

I hope you picked up some maple syrup, farm fresh milk and eggs to bring home with you, because a blogger friend of mine, Jenna at Cold Antler Farm in upstate New York posted a ‘don’t miss it’ recipe for pancakes yesterday – is your mouth watering as much as mine? I’m going to add a few frozen blueberries to my batch, but dried cranberries would be good too. Give it a try!

See you this weekend or maybe next, but if you can’t make it in person, contact me at with your wish list.  (I’m sure to have something you’ll love!


Many Nova Scotians are beginning to see the benefits both for themselves and their local community of shopping locally through small businesses that emphasise the practices of environmentally friendly products and and keeping profit in the local area

People are also beginning to heed the buy local, buy handcrafted or vintage promotions we are starting to see everywhere.

In resoonse to the demand for local outlets featuring vintage and handcrafted items suitable for gift giving I have decided to host a “pop-up” shop on Saturdays and Sundays until Christmas – I may be open as well after Christmas, but that would very much depend on weather conditions. (Above is a photo of a rare circa 1920’s children’s book – a very sharpeyed shopper snapped this book up along with it’s companion books on France and Holland not long ago – I found another one – so grab it quickly!) 

Above: A vintage 1972 Holly Hobbie crib quilt kit put out by Paragon – one of the respected quilt kit producers during the last half of the twentieth century.

Shown above are two lovely vintage tablecloths:The first is a block printed large cloth by Charles Demery for Souieleado – a legendary firm in Provence that has given us so many lovely textiles – dates to the late 1960’s or early 1970’s and is most attractively priced.

The second picture shows a beautiful handcrafted at home luncheon cloth – lavishly hand embroidered and embellished with hand crocheted edging – again very reasonably priced for a pristine one of a kind textile. Pefect for give giving!

My standards are exacting when I choose vintage items to make available to my clientele, and I never release for sale any item I wouldn’t proudly own myself – you can be sure of quality and honest statements of condition when you shop with me.

So why not come out to the Annapolis Valley while the weather holds. Make a day of it – shop the local farm markets and meat markets, have lunch at a gastro-pub that specialises in local foods and brews and come out to Hall’s Harbour and view in person the lovely items I have hand picked for you,

Remember, I have a very wide variety of items: quilting fabric, patterns, notions, needlework kits of all kinds, vintage ceramics, vintage textiles, and fine and folk art. A free bonus item every day to the first person to make a purchase!!

If you would like me to make a pre-selection of specific items on your wish list why not contact me in advance and I’ll be sure to hunt up a good selection for you to choose from. Also if you cannot make it in person, I can supply you with pictures and description of items you are considering and will be happy to mail to you.

Contact me:

I am located at 641 West Hall’s Harbour Road

My OPEN banner will guide you – go through the village and climb the hill staying on the paved road – I’m on the right about 2km up the road. A wam welcome awaits you!