At Fair November

Earlier today, I reached the 25K milestone on my NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) journey. To reward myself, I decided to spend some time this afternoon at the 45th Annual Fair November Craft Show.

More than eighty-five of Canada’s most talented artisans and designers display traditional and modern crafts, among them pottery, glass, jewelry, metalwork, knits, natural soaps and lotions, woodworking, and delicious gourmet treats.

This year, I was delighted to discover necknots, Koka-Bora Creations (unique writing instruments and custom cases), and Mariclaro Reclaimed (bags and accessories from repurposed automotive and aviation materials).

Fair November runs until Sunday at the University of Guelph. There is no admission fee, and parking is free on the weekends. Find out more here.


Replenishing My Inner Well

In 1992, I picked up a copy of The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. Hoping to inspire and motivate my inner writer, I spent an entire weekend devouring the book and then decided to incorporate morning pages and artist dates into my life.

That enthusiasm fizzled after only one week.

At the time, I was in the thick of my career and personal life. Busy with course preps, curriculum meetings, extra-curricular activities, and family health issues, I found myself unable to even consider adding one more activity to my schedule.

Continue reading on the Soul Mate Authors blog.

At Fair November

On Friday, I reached the 30K milestone on my NaNoWriMo journey. To reward myself, I visited the 44th Annual Fair November Craft Show at the University of Guelph on Saturday.

Each year, over eighty artisans share the best of traditional and modern Canadian handmade crafts in their temporary home—two floors of the University Centre—over a four-day period in the middle of November. A special treat for Guelphites and all friends of Guelphites: There is no admission fee. And parking is free on the weekend. Find out more here.

Every craft imaginable can be found, among them jewelry, metalwork, pottery, beeswax candles, Alpaca knits, gnomes, pottery, kiln fired glass, leather, and gourmet food products. This year, I was delighted to discover Celtic Stonework, Souper Heroes, Moore Design BirdFeeders, and the Grey Matter Collection.

At the Two of a Kind Craft Vendor Show

For the second year in row, the Multiple Sclerosis Society has held five different craft vendor shows throughout communities in Ontario. I was happy to discover that the Belgian Nursery in Breslau, a short twenty-minute drive west of Guelph, was hosting one of these shows today.

When I visited in early afternoon, I struggled to find a parking spot in the overcrowded lot. One of the artisans informed me that the opening crowd at 10:00 a.m. had been simply overwhelming.

Once inside the large meeting room, I was impressed by the quality and diversity of the products featured by over eighty vendors. In addition to the “usual” holiday fare—tree decorations, knitted and crocheted items, bath products, jewelry, cards, paintings—several unique items caught my attention. I was intrigued by the beaded flatware, wine purses, and ornamental rock wildlife.

Anyone living near London, Ontario, can visit the final craft vendor show on Saturday, November 17. Find out more here.

At A Gathering of Quilts in Aberfoyle

Yesterday, I attended the Royal City Quilters’ show at the Puslinch Community Centre in Aberfoyle, a short ten-minute drive away.

First established in March 1991, the Guild promotes an appreciation of quilting, provides education opportunities related to quilt making, encourages the exchange of ideas, and works to preserve the tradition of quilting. Their first show was held in 2000 and subsequent shows every three years afterward. Find out more here.

I circled the room several times, stopping to read the story cards on each quilt and snap pictures.

Here are my favorites…

At Quilts on the Grand 2018

Yesterday, I headed up to Fergus, a short thirty-minute drive away, to spend the afternoon admiring masterpieces created by the members of the Grand Quilt Guild.

Formed in 1996, the Guild’s main objective is to preserve, promote and expand the heritage of quilting within our community. You can find out more about the Guild here.

Impressed by the variety of styles, I circled the room several times, stopping to snap pictures and read the story cards on each quilt.

Here are my favorites:

At the Creative Spark Winter Market in Guelph

Yesterday, I treated myself to an artist date at the Creative Spark Winter Market. In its fifth year of operation, this annual event showcases the handcrafted goods of thirty-five local artists and artisans.

I was impressed by the wide variety of crafts featured, among them glass art, eco-friendly hair and body products, pottery, woodworking, paintings, and purses.

At Fair November

On Thursday, I reached 30K words on my NaNoWriMo manuscript, No More Secrets. To reward myself, I visited the 43rd Annual Fair November Craft Show at the University of Guelph.

Seventy-five artisans share traditional and modern crafts, among them kiln fired glass, porcelain and stoneware pottery, recycled vintage silver, wood inlayed products, upcycled ecohandbags, wheel-thrown pottery, beeswax candles, yoga accessories, and gourmet food products.

I was pleasantly surprised to discover whiskey infused maple syrup, hand-tooled purses, and a vintage merman print that once belonged to the Lobster Queen of Canada.

At the Waterloo County Quilters’ Guild Exhibit

This past Friday, I attended the Waterloo County Quilters’ Guild Exhibit at the RIM Park in Waterloo, a short thirty-five minute drive away. Comprised of more than 200 members, the Waterloo Guild is one of the largest in the country. Each years, hundreds of their quilts are donated to Grand River Hospital, Vera’s Place, Ronald McDonald House Alzheimer’s Society, New Hamburg Mennonite Relief Sale, and other non-profit organizations.

While the guild has been active for more than three decades, the style of quilting has evolved beyond traditional techniques and fabrics. I was impressed by the variety of styles and circled the room several times, stopping to read the story cards on each quilt and snap pictures.

Here are my favorites from this year’s exhibit:

At the Life Balance Expo

Walking around the large conference room at the Guelph Curling Club, I could feel the positive energy emanating from the over thirty holistic practitioners and vendors, who had set up booths featuring an array of products and services.

Some of the highlights…

• Life Coach Pamela Van Nest asked me to spin the Life Wheel and then proceeded to share her insights. In late October, Pamela will be facilitating a one-day retreat at the Golden Pathways B & B in Otonabee, Ontario.

• Naturopathic doctor Aleksandra Gasinski chatted about the services offered at her Guelph office on Westmount Road.

Arlene Wisser’s enthusiasm was contagious as she discussed ISAGENIX products, solutions for weight, energy, performance and healthy aging.

• Financial coach Lorraine Graham provided a listening ear as I chatted about my retirement journey.

Lee Pryke persuaded me to participate in the VOXX life experiment. Impressed, I purchased a pair of VOXX socks…socks that promote better balance, stability, and range of motion.

Afterward, I went downstairs and listened to Liberated Living, a TED Style talk, delivered by Registered Holistic Nutritionist & Intuitive Counselor, Susan Stephens. During the interactive presentation, we learned all about stomach acid levels, essential vitamins and minerals, and the Sexy Blood Services offered at her office in Hamilton.

Susan ended the session with a tongue analysis of the group assembled. Our tongue colors ranged from white to soft pink to red. The ideal tongue is like that of a baby’s: soft pink with no line down the middle or tooth marks.

Only one woman (not me!) came close to that ideal.