short spring handwarmers

There’s something grounding about wearing even the smallest garment made with my own hands. Knowing how it was made! Where it came from. Connecting with a long history of people making what they need, and a simpler, slower life. Little steps into traditional skills make me courageous and deeply curious about making more and more of the things I wear and use. Here’s one of my small studies that you can take up, short sweet wrist-length handwarmers in springtime colours.

writing with handwarmers

I love handwarmers for all the things you can do while cosily wearing them. I’ve begun making some photographs on the subject.

What do you think? Could you make a pair of cabley fingerless gloves? I learn best by looking over someone’s shoulder, so that’s how I made the tutorial movies. (Watch them in the schoolhouse, in the lefthand column.)


Handwarmers do add a bit of elegance to tapping away on the keyboard. I’m very happy when I get a chance to rattle away on the typewriter, the old technologies give such satisfaction.

short & sweet heather grey handwarmer kit

This heather grey is the original shade you see me working with in the movies.



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through the viewfinder

For the photographers, a tried & true from Janis Nicolay, my lovely friend, a professional photographer who made the images of making apple turnovers at the bakery, and picnicking in the old school deck chairs. I was amazed when I saw her pull out her beautiful old camera and use it in combination with a digital camera, what a brilliant idea. I’m thrilled to have Janis tell us about it.

through the viewfinder © Janis Nicolay 2011

I was so pleased when Elisa asked if I would do a tried & true post about my trusty Kodak Duaflex camera as it’s one of my favourite ways to capture an image. I use the process called “TTV” or “through the viewfinder“. When you shoot TTV, you are also using a DSLR or a SLR (digital or film camera), fitted with a macro lens.


I made a contraption that fits over the camera, as you will need to block out light between the Duaflex viewfinder and your digital or film camera and eliminate glare. I find it easiest to mount the Duaflex onto a tripod to keep it steady, then with your digital or film camera, point your macro lens down into the the contraption getting as close to the bubbled glass, on top of Duaflex, as possible. Focus and shoot. Remember that when you look through a duaflex, you are seeing things in reverse… just so you know. 😉

through the viewfinder © Janis Nicolay 2011

Here are a few samples of what I’ve shot, TTV. Have a lovely day!

through the viewfinder © Janis Nicolay 2011

through the viewfinder © Janis Nicolay 2011

through the viewfinder © Janis Nicolay 2011

You can find Janis over at her delicious Pinecone Camp. Thank you my dear friend!


deck chair

Dating from the mid-1800’s and made popular on steamers and cruise ships, the deck chair evokes the quintessential English seaside. I’ve been fancying this one and that one spotted in London, so I was delighted to encounter the little Vancouver furniture company, Gallant & Jones, who make incredibly beautiful, ecologically responsible versions by hand. When my lovely friend, photographer Janis Nicolay invited me to tag along on a photo shoot featuring Gallant & Jones‘ latest handmade beauties, I was unabashedly keen.


As you can see it took little more than a bowl of cherries to entice me to the other side of the camera. I had the pleasure of joining a merry picnic with my photographer friend, one half of Gallant & Jones, Gwyn, and Tanis of Bao Bei.

©Janis Nicolay

©Janis Nicolay

©Janis Nicolay

Ah, the deck chair. Somehow it is understated and glamorous at once. Easily stored, simply constructed, a design elaborated by infinite variety in prints and fabrics, and perfectly comfortable. A brief history affirms its enduring charm.

©Janis Nicolay

Do look out for Gallant & Jones‘ gorgeous chairs. I will envy you. Thanks Janis for the delightful photographs. You can find more from Janis Nicolay at her fabulous Pinecone Camp and more about our day over at Poppytalk. Janis and I are up to further mischief of an extraordinarily exciting delicious type together tomorrow, I’m bursting to tell you. Soon!