I just enjoyed a couple of vacation days on Nova Scotia’s South Shore with my husband, which was a treat! It’s incredibly hard for us to get time together: our two schedules tend to play hopscotch with one another, a situation only benefiting the cat, as this ensures him unbroken services!
We stayed in a lovely rental cottage right on the beach, truly enjoying the lashing rain and pounding surf of the first night. Torrential rain is a quite wonderful when you are not cowering in a wet tent, trying to keep your sleeping bag dry!
We took some spectacular walks and bike rides. This area is maze of pretty little back-roads, islands connected with causeways, most adorable traditional cottages and loads of amazing artists and crafts-people. I took the chance to visit as many as possible.
I love the town of Lunenburg: its seafaring roots and sense of history permeate each street and building. Its architecture is endearing and unique. (No wonder it has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.) There are a huge number of excellent galleries there now, as well. One of the special ones is Laurie Swim’s quilt art. Her quilts are all pieces of art, complex and fascinating, and each requiring a huge investment of time to make. Since most ordinary mortals can’t easily afford to buy a few, she has made her art accessible to all by reproducing them as beautiful prints that do justice to the originals.
Another interesting enterprise is the Lunenburg Makery. It consists of community studio space for textile creations of all kinds (including knitting). People can work there using studio resources and can also take a variety of classes.
I have an ill-concealed weakness for Nova Scotian folk art, but the real thing is often hard to track down unless you are extremely dedicated. Our artists are scattered in the furthest flung bits of the province and may not always have work available even if you have made the pilgrimage to find them. This new (to me) gallery makes it possible to view lots of exciting pieces under one roof and even allows for on-line ordering.
I happened upon a couple of other delightful studios. One is the newly opened River House Rug Hooking Studio (by the side of the Petite Riviere). This beautiful studio has yarn, hooking supplies and classroom space. Jane, the owner, does beautiful hooked rugs of all sizes. She visited here from the UK a few years ago, became smitten with hooking and Nova Scotia, and now, having done battle with the paperwork gorgons, is here to stay. She doesn’t have a website yet. The other, The Painted Saltbox, is just down the road from Jane’s and is well established and full of gloriously coloured paintings and furniture.
Now I’m going to start buying lottery tickets so that I can shop. I would happily redistribute my winnings to local artists!
Local reading: to get a flavour of the area, here’s an enjoyable mystery by Keith Baker