Thursday, 17 August 2017

Catch of the Day

I like grinding and polishing and tumbling agate but I LOVE cutting it! You never really know what you're going to get.
This little stone was only about one inch by 2 inches but when I made the first cut, I knew I had to get as much as possible.


There is a beautiful contrast between the peach and dark brown and the last two pieces even have a little area of amethyst at the top.


So after we took this shot, I was able to cut one more section. I ended up with three beautiful sections for "The Boss" and one nice end piece for me that I decided to tumble in my new tumbler.
And speaking of the tumbler, here's a pic of some of the stuff I got in my first batch.


There are some beautiful examples of several types of agate and now I will sort them. Some will no doubt end up in our "free rock" box so if you stop by, you can take home a beautiful piece of the neck!
See you soon!

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

The Natural Beauty of Digby Neck

My surroundings on Digby Neck are truly inspiring in their beauty and the last few days have certainly highlighted this fact. All week we have seen a fisher (mink like mammal) around the house and in the marsh. We often see mink and beaver as well but the fisher was cause for concern because it will kill just about anything- including porcupines!
So I was a little worried about the Great Blue Herons who nest in the marsh next to the house. Turns out my worries were for naught because this morning dawned grey and foggy- the quintessential Nova Scotia morning and as we were having our coffee on the deck, Vickie used her phone to snap this picture of five! herons fishing for their breakfast.


It's a little grainy but take my word for it, we counted five!
But apart from all the wild life, we have so much natural beauty, not only in the topography but in the rocks that make it.
Yesterday I worked on an amazing piece of agate that Vickie found last year. The "neck" in Digby Neck is a basalt massif that runs from New Minas to Brier Island. Cracks form in the basalt (an igneous rock) as it cools and silicate solutions flowing through those cracks (or faults) form seams of various types of agate. Here is a gorgeous example.


These pieces are about 3 inches long and are awesome since they have the same general shape as Digby Neck itself! They are fortification agate so in many spots, they give the appearance of being a topographical map of the area with the basalt beingthe Bay of Fundy and St. Mary's Bay. The red colour is a little band of hematite that frames the agate on both sides.
I now have 4 nice slices that I can turn over to Vickie to make 4 ideal Digby Necklaces that will be available in the shop soon and I have one nice specimen piece for sale. So if you want a souvenir to remind you about the neck- this amazing part of Nova Scotia- this is it! I know it is unlikely that we will ever find another piece like it so these pieces will be truly unique!
Tall ships are here for one more day so we hope to see you soon.
Cheers!

Monday, 14 August 2017

Busy Day in The Rock Shop

Colleen Collins is a new arrival to "The Neck" and has opened a Yoga facility in Freeport. She hosts retreats and individual sessions and if you want to know more, go to www.anybodyyoga.ca

She asked if we could do up some pendants to give to attendees at her upcoming retreat and we were happy to oblige so here is today's output.


All the stones are local and all the wire wrapping and clasps are hand done by Vickie. There is a beautiful selection of porcelain/ crazy lace/ fortification agates and jasper.

We are moving into high gear on the jewelry front and have some absolutely beautiful stones to work with so if this is an area that interests you, come on by. I might even be able to show you how I work the stones in the rock shop.

See you soon.

Sunday, 13 August 2017

The Birds!

With everything else going on around here, we sometimes take the birds for granted. We have our resident "murder" of crows who keep us company all winter as long as we feed them after a blizzard. The gulls, too, are resident and it is wonderful waking up to their cries. The cormorants are fair weather friends but at least when they arrive you know the cold temperatures are finished.
This morning as I went down to make coffee for "She Who MUST Be Obeyed" I noticed that things were a little different. Usually the gulls and cormorants are duking it out for the best spot on what's left of the pier but not today!
The Big Kahuna was in town!


Couldn't get a very good shot of this guy but trust me, it's a bald eagle and it gets to perch wherever it wants.

In the marsh next door, I counted four Great Blue Herons catching their breakfast in the morning fog.



This guy had caught his limit and took off shortly after the picture was taken but the other three were there for some time.

We also have several species of hawks, songbirds and a family of ring necked pheasants who take great delight in scaring the crap out of you when you don't know they are there!

Digby Neck is truly a special place and I hope you get a chance to visit soon.
Cheers!

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Rock Shop Expands!

Had a visit from my friend Vaughn Tidd who used to operate Whale Cove Campground. Vaughn has been finding beautiful rocks and doing lapidary work for years but now he's moving into a beautiful apartment overlooking the harbour in downtown Digby.
Good for him!
Over the years, Vaughn has put together a shop with first rate equipment but it's now time for him to let it go and I appreciate it's not easy.
A while back I bought a trim saw/ grinding wheel and grinding arbor from him and am having a lot of fun turning out some beautiful stones. Now I have added a few missing components.



 This is a Mercury 10 inch slab saw made in the middle of the last century in Edmonton, Alberta. It is a real workhorse and will allow me to cut larger slabs which have proven very popular in the shop. The lower picture shows the motor that causes the stone to move automatically through the blade (important since cutting large rocks is a slow business).


This is a Calway (Lot-O-Tumbler) 4 pound vibrating rock tumbler that is perfect for polishing agate and jasper. As I get older, tumbling 40 pounds at a time becomes a bit of a chore so this baby is going to get a lot of work this winter and with the stones I have ready to go, we will have some beautiful stuff in the shop come spring.

So now I have a pretty complete lapidary shop.


That's the old Mercury Arbor across from the Mercury slab saw and the tumbler on the floor (temporarily). So now I can start with a pretty large stone, cut slabs, trim them, grind them, sand them, polish them and if necessary drill them so if you have ever wanted to see this done, drop on by!
And one last thing- if you see another guy in there, it will be Vaughn because while I bought the equipment, I've told him to come by any time and use it because I know how hard it will be for him to stop.
Look forward to seeing you on "The Neck".

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Shop Closed Tomorrow

Tomorrow, Wednesday, August 9th, our shop will be closed because we will all be in Dartmouth helping our daughter and son-in-law officially kick off their new business.

East Coast Countertops is located at 71 Ilsley Avenue in the Burnside industrial park (902) 468-9452.
They have an amazing array of products to choose from at all price levels so if you are even considering changing your countertops, you owe it to yourself to check them out.


They are a true family company and their service and installation is fast, professional and courteous.
So check them out and if you are coming to the shop, we're back Thursday first  thing.
Cheers.

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Good news for the Knitters!

If you are a knitter, you probably know that we are preparing for Knit City in Vancouver at the end of September. Our daughter Lisa has been dying her ? off and we have just completed a major restock of the shop.




We are overflowing to the point we are using bins!
WE have another exciting bit of news. Lisa and Vickie have developed a special commemorative colour just for the show! It's called KC Commemorative 2017 and here it is!


I am told that if there are any left over after the show, they will be available on Etsy and in the shop. We'll keep you posted.
We have had a lot of visitors to the shop this week but I have been able to restock the rock specimens as well so if you like rocks, come on by!