Jammin’ at the Cottage

DSC_0451What a summer we’re having!  The weather (at least here in Ontario cottage country) has been great and we’ve been busy with all things cottage…like making Strawberry Jam and Red Current Jelly. The strawberries were local and delicious…who could resist!  And, my mom and I just happened to be in the city to discover the red current bush in my garden was dense with juicy ripeness…we couldn’t bare to see them go to waste!   Making jam, to me, is all about sharing.  Sharing the fruits of your labour with friends, because who doesn’t love a gift of homemade goodness like jam or jelly…no matter what time of year.  Sharing time with my mom, chatting about life while learning her tried and true jam making secrets (though we always use the recipe on the box, jam can be fickle)….well, of course that tops it all!

Now, I really must get back to sewing!


Dirty Laundry


Who knew dirty laundry would be so good for business!.  Turns out people really don’t like using plastic hotel bags for their laundry…nor do they like throwing their ‘worn’ unmentionables back in the suitcase with the ‘unworn’ unmentionables.   I’ve always found it a little creepy when dirty mixed with clean in my luggage too…hence the birth of our travel laundry bag….I love it when necessity breeds creativity!

Welcome to my blog!


Business Card logo 2016

So, here I go…joining the masses and starting my blog.  I’m nervous, yet excited.  Will I say something ridiculous?…Or share something of interest?…Will anyone happen upon my ramblings?

Like most, I have a crazy, busy life. My husband and I live in Toronto, Canada and have three incredible boys (now young men!) who leave us feeling very proud and blessed. Holmesmith Handmade, my business and passion, offers handcrafted and personalized textile goods that are timeless, practical and skillfully crafted!   Unique, thoughtful gifts for friends and family.

While beauty and quality are paramount, it is important that my goods are hard working, practical and improve with age.  Holmesmith Handmade was inspired by my love of natural fibres, simpler times and my family roots.  As a child visiting my grandmother, I was surrounded by textures, sounds and smells that would never leave me.  A talented seamstress she was, handcrafting so many of the items she used in everyday life…aprons, tea towels, table linens, bread bags, clothing and shoe bags.  Sometimes re-purposing grain and flour sacks, but always using strong, natural fabrics like linen and natural cotton.

With many of the traditions originating from her farming days, I recall the earthy, organic smelling ‘root cellar’ with its heavy trap door, dirt floor and burlap bags storing the latest harvest of potatoes, rutabaga and onions.  The shelving was lined with canning and preserves…everything from peaches to pickles.

An avid baker, most mornings Grandma was busy baking homemade goodness for her hungry family and farmhands.  Mmmm…the smell of warm fresh baked bread, which of course was stored in handmade linen bags.

Inspired by this lifestyle, and my own mother who passed down so many of these traditions, my goal is to bring a touch of this organic, timeless quality to life’s daily chores.  And if it makes you smile just a bit I will have achieved that goal!

Thank you for stopping by and welcome to my blog… I hope that you will consider visiting my web shop (Holmesmith Handmade or my Etsy Shop) and sign up to receive future posts about my work, my inspiration and the latest projects from my workroom (referred to lovingly by my family as “the sweatshop”)!