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Saturday, 15 August 2015

On the Lookout for Lighthouses

Lighthouse at Peggy's Cove
Peggy's Point Lighthouse, Nova Scotia
I discovered on a first trip through the Canadian Maritimes four years ago that I have a particular fondness for lighthouses. Being landlocked most of my life, I had never given them much thought before. After encountering the first one on those travels, however, I was fascinated by everything about them.

When we ventured out east again this past June, I was determined to do two things: first, visit Peggy's Cove to see one of the world's most famous lighthouses and second, find myself a lighthouse souvenir.

Lighthouse souvenir from Prince Edward Island
My lighthouse from Cavendish, Prince Edward Island
Now, I'm not talking about one of those kitschy ceramic things that you can find throughout the North American maritime areas. Even on my first trip, I avoided those to come away with this rather unique looking lighthouse.

This one is full of imperfections and looks vaguely handmade; it's what drew me to it. Built out of wire mesh, it has a removable base at the bottom that can be used to accommodate a votive light.

The blue fishing net that drapes over one side of it is decorated with small seashells (the orange bit that you see is actually a miniature crab claw that I found on a beach). On this recent trip, I saw nothing even remotely similar to this lighthouse.


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Not looking to acquire knick knacks that serve merely to collect dust, all I wanted as a souvenir this time was a small lighthouse charm that I could perhaps turn into a zipper pull for a future purse project.

Lighthouse charm
Lighthouse charm from an earring...
And did you think I could find one?

Ultimately, I did, but it was no easy task.

Maybe it was the fact that we didn't shop a whole lot to begin with, but it seemed to me that it was a case of one store after another telling me that no, they didn't have any lighthouse charms. I soon encountered some lighthouse earrings and one shopkeeper — after searching through her entire inventory — offered to sell me just the charm off one earring, saying that the crafter was her daughter and she wouldn't mind as long as she could make a sale.

I wasn't particularly keen on it, but the fact that this woman was being so accommodating to me, I felt like I owed her a sale. I'm pretty sure these charms are mass produced in China, but I could see it being turned into a zipper pull, so I contributed to the economy of Charlottetown that day.

With the help of a beaded bracelet kit (that I will post about in a couple of weeks), it has become a zippy zipper pull...

Lighthouse zipper pull crafted by eSheep Designs
A lighthouse zipper pull!

A day or two later, we had just finished having dinner in North Rustico, PEI when I thought to browse through the gift shop that was attached to the restaurant. I found this little gem with a 50% off tag on it (which reduced it to a measly $2.99).

Lighthouse necklace
Surprise, surprise... this one's actually made in Canada!

For now, it's a necklace that I'll wear, but eventually — given that I don't get around to wearing many of my necklaces — it may end up as a zipper pull.

It was perhaps fortunate that I did not encounter any fabric shops, as I'm sure I would have found some with lighthouses on them!

Speaking of fabric, during my research and preparation for this trip, I finally found out the name of the lighthouse that's featured on my Spoonflower fabric. I took the picture four years ago during one of those "whirlwind drive everywhere" days and since we were taking what is known as the Lighthouse Route, it was impossible for me to remember which one it was, although I had a vague idea of where it was located.

Lighthouse on Grey fabric by eSheep Designs
My Spoonflower fabric features a lighthouse from Shelburne, Nova Scotia...

I discovered that it's the Sandy Point Lighthouse in Shelburne Harbour, NS. Noteworthy for the fact that at low tide, you can walk out to it.

Now I have a question for all you fabric hoarders out there... do you have a favourite "theme" that you just cannot pass up when you see it featured in a fabric?




1 comment:

  1. I love to see lighthouses too Rochelle. My friend really loves lighthouses a lot and collects a few things. She lives in Oregon where there are a lot of great lighthouses. She made a wall quilt using the 6" square batik lighthouses found here: https://indobatiks.com/Batik-Paintings/lighthouse-Batik-Art-Paintings-for-quilting-crafts-fashion-art
    You might like those batik lighthouses in other sizes to frame if you don't want to make a quilt.

    As for your question about fabric. I mainly am drawn to beautiful colorful batik fabrics. It doesn't have to be a theme motif fabric for me. I am more drawn to the color.

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