Saturday Snapshot invites bloggers to share photos. During our annual trip to visit family, my husband and I bought some nifty souvenirs. To conclude my focus on our July vacation, I’d like to post some photos and explanations of those souvenirs.
Despite knowing nothing about art, Andy and I decided to buy some this year. I purchased some art cards from Grumpy Goat Gallery in Newfoundland. The owners are self-taught, full-time artists who are hugely inspired by Newfoundland. According to their website, “The roly-poly hills, jagged cliffs and and rickety, old dory boats are a constant source of merriment….” The two apparently have a quirky crew of cats and goats at their gallery too. I bought the prints at a crafts shop in King’s Point, but would love getting to visit the gallery itself another year in Upper Island Cove.
Andy bought an attractive piece of pottery made by Karen Gray, whom we actually got to meet. The artist owns The Potter’s Studio & Gallery in Ontario. She offers images carved in clay, hand-painted, and inspired by life on The Canadian Shield. While there, Gray had just finished creating a plate featuring the Northern Lights. We spent well over an hour trying to decide what piece to buy and finally decided on the one in this photo.
After searching in several tourist shops, I finally found my perfect Ontario souvenir, ceramic art produced by Grubby Paws. Each leaf bowl is based on a real maple leaf! No two are the same. According to the company’s website, Berry Bowl sets are in two pieces. The inner one has holes in the bottom for draining freshly washed berries. Water drains through the holes into the outer bowl. All glazes are food safe.
Although Andy and I purchased it on a previous visit to my home province, I can’t neglect mentioning the Mummer art hanging on our wall. Mummering was a popular activity in Newfoundland, particularly during Christmas. People used to dress up in costumes and go from house to house in their community. The Mummer art captures this beloved tradition. Although we bought our Mummer art in my hometown, Tidespoint also offers limited editions. You can also read more about the mummering tradition in The Mummer’s Song by Bud Davidge.
Splurging on art is a rarity for Andy and me. Normally, instead we load up our car with Newfoundland foods. For example, Purity makes candy, cookies, crackers, hard and sweet bread, jam, and syrups. Purity has always been a big part of growing up in Newfoundland. The company began creating food products in 1924. According to its website, three St. John’s businessmen purchased a local confectionery and soft drink company, and began production of what were to become instant classics: candy kisses, Peppermint Nobs, and flavored syrups. It also became the sole producer of hard bread, a staple of the local diet which was used by fishermen as a bread substitute on their long journeys out to sea, and the main ingredient in the traditional “fish and brewis” dish. After bread, the company turned to developing a variety of British-style crackers and biscuits. These products are readily available throughout Newfoundland, as well as some stores elsewhere in Canada.
Most often for others, we also invest in jams, syrups, and chocolates from Dark Tickle. Two years, Andy and I had the unique opportunity to visit the company itself. Dark Tickle is located on the Great Northern Peninsula in my home province. While driving around the town, one can regularly see icebergs. As for the store, the operators manufacture jams, sauces, vinegars, teas, and chocolates from unique wild berries in the province. The hand-picked berries are processed without additives to create tastes unique to Newfoundland. While at the store, one can take an interpretative guided tour of the berries. Visitors can also watch the transformation of wild berries into the company’s various products and watch chocolates being made.
New to our souvenir this year are jams from The Stone Kitchen, located in Ontario. The owners produce Hubers and Stone Kitchen jams, jellies, marmalades, and spreads. According to the website, there are 33 flavors including some savory recipes like chili sauce, pepper relish, hot red pepper jelly. Stone Kitchen is also home to “the famous Toe Jam and Middle Age Spread”. Andy and I had already replenished our stock of jams, but decided to purchase some from Stone Kitchen too, after getting to hear the one of the owners talk about local production. Also, it helped that we could sample products while there!
Thank you to everyone who has been following my posts about Newfoundland 2015. My next snapshots will feature other summer activities. Keep checking back!