Friday, December 2, 2011

On The Tracks


SDC17444 I am in transit…well not yet, but I will be when this is published on Friday.  I on a train homeward bound to Nova Scotia for a craft market in Halifax (details below) followed by a mini vacation in Cape Breton. While I love Nova Scotia and traveling, this is my business blog for The Silver Hook, and I wanted to share why I decided to travel for a craft market. Note: all the pictures in this post are from past events hosted by Halifax Crafters Society.


Halifax is the capital of Nova Scotia, a East Coast province of Nova Scotia with is mostly surrounded by salt water. It is also where I started The Silver Hook. My first reason to return for a craft show is that I have an amazing collection of clients in the area. I have been attending this event for 3 years. Second, the craft show I am attending, Yuletide Cheer hosted by Halifax Crafters, is a great opportunity. The vendors are so creative and inspire my own creativity. It is a seriously juried event (the vendors sample products are screened before being admitted) and brings in great crowds. I suppose it doesn’t hurt that admission is free. Finally, I have been absent from the Nova Scotia crafting scene since the Spring, and craft markets increase my visibility.


Before making the final decision to attend, was whether it would make financial sense and to set a financial goal for this event. I need to overcome roughly $400 overhead for this trip and sales are never guaranteed. I am reaping so many benefits, including the personal benefits of visiting friends at the market. I’ve set my goal for this show to cover the expenses/overhead along with some Christmas shopping while I’m there.


If you are in the Halifax area (HRM) this weekend, come stop by. It is located at the Olympic Centre (sort of the corner of Cunard and Windsor near the Halifax Commons) and runs Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 6pm. Most vendors accept cash only and the ATM has run out of money at previous shows, so come prepared :) Parking is available behind the building and around the multitude of side streets in the area.

SDC17468 Halifax Crafters (1) Halifax Crafters (6)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Ottawa Waldorf School Christmas Fair


waldorfHave you ever heard of Waldorf schooling? I recommend checking out this wikipedia entry. Basically, it is school, but with a different structure than many public schools. The learning experience focuses on using creativity and imagination for problem solving. If you are in Stittsville on Sunday, stop in and support their school craft show on November 20, 10am-3pm.


I was recently tracked down – no small feat when The Silver Hook had an old phone number on the website, and invited to participate in the Ottawa Waldorf School Christmas Fair. The timing didn’t quite work out this year, but I asked to be added to the contact list for next year. I was really happy to donate three toys to their silent auction: an ostrich, a ladybug, and an elephant rattle. I included lots of business cards, so I hope to see a few more fans join me on Facebook.

SDC16640 SDC17914 SDC18666

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

First Ottawa Hallowe’en


SDC19291       In the three years in my Halifax townhouse, we never once received visitors on Hallowe’en (yup, I prefer the more rare spelling with an apostrophe). This is our first year in our new home and we were encouraged after seeing our neighbours’ decorated yards that we would be receiving kids in costume. We decided to carve pumpkins and multipurpose our shower curtain (bought recently here on Etsy) as a window decoration.


The day before Hallowe’en, my husband picked up two local pumpkins ($3 each) from the ByWard Market on his way home from work. I had frustrating pumpkin carving attempts in my childhood, and my husband had never tried it, so I was a sceptical about how well it would go. My husband researched carving pumpkins online, and I found every sharp and scooping utensil in the kitchen. He brilliantly suggested the tools from my dissecting kit (a remnant from my university days). The pumpkins were great for carving. My ice cream scoop made fast work of the innards, which I saved to cook. I think the pumpkins turned out great. I hope that we have started a new tradition!


The tally? We had 110 children stop by our home. From my days of trick-or-treating, I understood that the kids want efficiency (in order to cover as much ground as possible). We were giving out chocolate and candy, and had divided our portions into coffee mugs, so it would be easier to dole out the treats. This was especially helpful when groups of 10 came knocking. Between visitors, we began playing Agricola, but given all the distractions, we didn’t end up playing a full game. While Hallowe’en trick-or-treating technically ends at 8pm, we kept our pumpkins lit until a bit after 9pm.  And we still had some candy left over for ourselves while we watched the horror movie,Triangle.


Monday, October 24, 2011

Ottawa OktoberFest


Ottawa Oktoberfest PumpkinSaturday, October 21 my husband and I decided take the public transit downtown Ottawa for the 2nd Annual OktoberFest at the Byward Market. There was live music, pumpkins, apples, wagon rides, dancing, and, of course, sausages, schnitzel, and beer. 


The day began overcast and damp, but the forecast was optimistic. While the temperature was a bit cool, walking around and enjoying the sights, sounds, and smells we quickly warmed up!

ottawa oktoberfest wagonottawa oktoberfest accordianbyward market 2011

We even managed to see, from left to right in the picture the German Ambassador, Ottawa MP (member of Parliament), and Ottawa Mayor at the kick off ceremony. The three guests participated in a stein (but in this case they didn’t have any steins available so they used pitchers) holding competition, where they competed to see who would outlast the others while holding out a pitcher of beer. The German ambassador later told us that we were doing it wrong. In Germany, they drink the beer, then hold up the steins.

ottawa oktoberfest german ambassador

I adore Autumn colors, and was sure to bring my camera to inspire future amigurumi color palettes. I love the purple iris, pumpkin orange, apple red.

applesautumn flowersbyward pumpkins

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Return to Halifax in December


SDC11879 I was definitely on the fence. Trying to decide whether or not to participate in any metro Halifax craft shows this holiday season. I was born Nova Scotian, but lived away from my home province from 2000-2006, and I am again living in Ontario (specifically Ottawa). For this alone I wanted to return.


Another strong argument for coming home for a craft show: Halifax (HRM) is where I began The Silver Hook, and I have been fortunate to meet so many great and wonderful people that have supported me tremendously as I figured out my crochet style. The downside? I traveled a lot this past summer, and in traveling, there is added cost.


There were two shows I was considering: Hal-Con and Halifax Crafters. I decided to apply for Halifax Crafters (although if you like sci-fi, I highly checking out Hal-Con. I had so much fun there last year).  I applied to Halifax Crafters as it is later in the season, I have been attending their craft shows for 3 years, I can predict roughly how much I will make to cover the cost of travel, and it has free admission. I figure more of my friends and customers will have an easier time attending this event. This show is very competitive and there are more and more applicants each year. I am always nervous that I will not be accepted. Each year there are more and more applicants. I have known many artisans who have attended previous shows, but were not accepted in others. I sent in my application and crossed my fingers…


Happily I was accepted! So I am inviting everyone to the Halifax Crafters Craft Show December 3-4 at the Olympic Centre. Here are a few pictures from their spring show:

Mi kMaq quill art The Silver Hook Lou Lou Bell Halifax Crafters Pottery

Monday, October 10, 2011

Two Custom Orders: Thomas Turtle & Grell


Thomas Turtle

Most of my work is done in acrylic yarn, but every once in a while I receive a request for a different yarn. I was so happy to work on this little turtle made from cotton yarn for a special, new born baby boy. He even rattles :)

Turtle AmigurumiTurtle Amigurmi packaging 



I love requests for new designs. This one is for an anime character, Grell, from Black Butler. I spent weeks thinking of the logistics of making him, and I absolutely adore how he turned out. The bright red jacket is removable and he is about 8 inches tall.

Grell Grell Doll


Custom Orders

For new designs, I usually need a picture and either a price range or a size range. For items that I make on a regular basis, I can customize the colors and materials. However, different materials may change the cost.  To find out more about placing a custom order, send me an email:

Sunday, September 25, 2011

What’s Going on in Store This Week


SDC18701 Oh my! Where did the summer go? This week market the end of Summer and the beginning of Autumn (I could say Fall, but I like words that have m and n together). I’ve been working on mermaids and monkeys this week for orders, and I started to work on a new design, but you’ll have to keep reading to find out more about it along with what is currently on sale. I also recently made an Etsy purchase. It should arrive this week and once I get it set up, I’ll share it with you in a blog post.

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Silver Hook in Ottawa

Farewell to Nova Scotia?

Where did Summer go? Personally, I’m still wondering what happened to January! September marks a new beginning for most people: kids are back in school, change of seasons, end of the lazy days. For The Silver Hook, September marks the return to routines after a few very busy summer months.

I’ve moved! Yup! Well, mostly moved. I have yet to finish unpacking. Different sized rooms and different layouts. I feel like I’m playing a 3D Tetris! I’ve carried the same chair up and down the stairs so many times! I haven’t even unpacked my yarn or set up my new crochet space – but I’m working on it!

Parliament Canada OttawaMy husband and I enjoy moving and the opportunity came along for my husband to have a lateral transfer at work and move to Ottawa, the capitol of Canada. Jason and I visited here last summer as part of our honeymoon. While I will always be a Cape Bretoner, this is our second time living in Ontario. We lived in Guelph (near Toronto) for two years. We still maintain a few friendships from Guelph, and I hope we will have the change to meet up with them at some point (it’s still a 6 hour drive).
I am not currently attend any craft markets or shows. I haven’t had the time to research any (if you know of any, please leave a comment). My Etsy shop is again open, and ready for business. The Silver Hook on Etsy

Let Your Mountains Dark and Dreary Be

First off, I have to say how much I absolutely love the title of this treasury! Makes me want to sing (for those readers who do not know the song, it is a famous Nova Scotian song, Farewell to Nova Scotia). Second, it is a very fitting treasury considering my recent move.

Normally when I post a treasury, I highlight my favourite item: Peggy’s Cover Fine Art Print by Paula Lafontaine Photography. This artist is new to Etsy and lives in Halifax (I was surprised to see that Nova Scotia has inspired so many artists from the United States in the treasury – I guess it makes a lasting impression!). I highly recommend checking out the rest of her pictures. The colors are amazing. I’ve added this shop to my favourites. I think it will come in handy at Christmas time. I know many displaced Nova Scotians.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I’m Geeky but Reject Technology


SDC16748 I know this comes as no surprise to anyone who has had more than one conversation with me. I love learning. I read fantasy books, I watch sci-fi, I constantly follow the news, I love CBC radio, and I love finance, biology, meteorology (Jason, is a meteorologist). When I get excited and I am trying to explain something, I often slip into relating it to science.


LOL! I’ve even compared using different sizes of yarn and crochet hooks to pixels and resolution! I did learn yesterday while listening to The Spark that I also reject technology by being capable of having a cell phone but not having one when at least half of my country uses them.  I am completely cell phone illiterate.


But I don’t mind. I’m an introvert, and I enjoy my quiet times to come up with new designs and ponder the questions of life. I’m very friendly and I like people, but I really enjoy my quiet time. Perhaps my personality makes working from home and alone ideal for me.


They’re Here

With thanks to Hal-Con, this past year my love of sci-fi merged with my crocheting. I never thought my Grey Alien would so popular. He was featured yesterday in a treasury (the nerd in me tries not to cringe at the grammar), There Here!!!!!! BeepbeepbeepBOOPbeep

I think that the Alien Coasters by Blyth House Creations would make a great gift. They are very subtle, but the design is obvious to science fiction fans.