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Beechwood Pottery Christmas Show & Sale

19 Nov

IMG_4476by Diva Trista Russell

This past weekend I had the pleasure of checking out Beechwood Pottery, which is just outside St. Columban in Huron East. I have to admit it’s in an area of Huron County that I rarely visit, but I am very glad that I made the trip!

Each year Beechwood Pottery holds their Christmas Show and Sale, which is a studio open house featuring pottery by Robert Tetu and Cora De Vries. I had the pleasure of meeting both Robert and Cora, and Robert told me the story of how he got into pottery. He previously attended art school in Toronto, but later decided it wasn’t for him. After some unfulfilling jobs, he decided to attend a pottery class with a friend, where he discovered his passion for pottery. He now runs Beechwood Pottery along with his partner Cora, which is displayed in a historic general store at the corner of Beechwood Line and Bridge Road.

When I arrived, I was greeted with some hot mulled wine while I pursued the pottery collection. There was a mix of functional pottery and beautiful decorative items. There was also some gorgeous porcelain earrings made by Cora.

beautiful and functional pottery 1

beautiful and functional pottery 1

Since Christmas is quickly approaching, I starting thinking about Christmas gifts. I think the oil and vinegar dispensers would be a great gift for a “foodie” in your life! What is great about the pottery is that all of it is ovenproof, dishwasher safe, microwave safe, and lead free. I ended up purchasing some small wine mugs, which I’m going to wrap up with a bottle of wine as a unique Christmas gift!

With its one-of-kind pieces, Beechwood Pottery is definitely a hidden gem in Huron County


Beechwood Pottery
44004 Bridge Road (4 km. north of St. Columban)
Phone: 519-345-2184

porcelain earrings - another great Christmas gift idea

porcelain earrings – another great Christmas gift idea

wine mugs that I purchased for a Christmas gift

wine mugs that I purchased for a Christmas gift

Sundays in the Bend

2 Sep

IMG_3824By Diva Trista Russell

I remember going to the Pinery Antique Flea Market at least once a year when I was growing up. It was the perfect excuse to go for a Sunday drive and see what treasures could be found. I went back again this year, and 2013 marks their 46th season!

The Pinery Antique Flea Market is an indoor and outdoor market with over 200 vendors. Aside from antiques, they have an incredible variety of items for sale: direct sale products (Pampered Chef, Avon, etc.), bulk candy and nuts, books, clothes, baking, plants, garden decor, furniture, purses, jewellery, cosmetics, local produce, meats, fresh coffee, organic skin care products…and more. I ended up purchasing some metal flower stakes for my flower beds that were priced at 3 for $10.

If you like antiques, you can walk down memory lane as you browse through their 7,000 square foot building. What is unique about this market is that the outdoor vendors are shaded by huge mature trees. This makes it quite comfortable to browse through on a hot summer day.

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Admission is only $1 per person (children 12 years old and under are free), and there is plenty of parking. There is also a beer garden and live entertainment beside the 1930’s vintage gas station. I ended up sleeping in on Sunday (one of my favourite past times on the weekend), so I missed the hot breakfast they offered from 8 to 10am.

IMG_3832Tip: If you are looking for some food, try Woody’s fresh cut fries. Woody’s is located in the chip truck on the path closest to Bluewater Highway. I got the small size for $2.75, and it was huge (see photo)!

The Pinery Antique Flea Market is open Sundays, rain or shine, from 8am to 4pm all summer long until Thanksgiving.

For more information, phone 519-238-8382 or send them an email.

Directions: Located on Bluewater Highway (Highway 21), 3 miles south of Grand Bend on the east side of the road, halfway between the Pinery Provincial Park and Grand Bend.

IMG_3833 IMG_3834

Shopping at the Old Mill

14 Aug

OldMillby Diva Nicole Olson

September is a big month for birthdays in our family, so I thought I would get a head start on my shopping and check out the Old Mill’s Annual Sell-abration, celebrating 53 years in business. Right now, they have a tent set up outside with major deals, up to 70 percent off regular prices. They have clothing as well as leather goods, sheepskins, toys and accessories.  Inside the store, they have deals on their summer stock. They also have a huge selection of fall and back to school items.

OldMill3 OldMill4The winter mittens they have are the warmest around, and I have sheepskins that I used to keep my mini Divas cozy when they were small.

The Old Mill is huge! There is a lot of ground to cover.

Whether you are looking for outerwear, jewelry  purses, footwear, men’s, ladies and children’s wear or specialty items- the Old Mill is literally one stop shopping.

The sale started June 24 and will be on until September 8.

The Old Mill
82790 London Road, Blyth, ON, N0M 1H0
(519) 523-4595

Nicole's mini-Diva snug as a bug in a sheepskin!

Nicole’s mini-Diva snug as a bug in a sheepskin!

Inukshuk’s and New Shoes

18 Jul


By Diva Jenna Ujiye

Last month my friend Adrienne invited me to take part in an Inukshuk building workshop at Lakewood Garden Centre. All I thought was, who wouldn’t want to do this? The workshop was on a Saturday morning and a whole crew of us ended up going. Brenda, Mickey, Jan, Laurie, Hannah, Cathy Ader and I, made for quite the bunch to deal with! I really didn’t know what to expect. I had only been to Lakewood one other time.

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I expected the typical garden centre items; flowers, rocks, some garden décor. What I didn’t expect was jewelery, clothing and shoes, a large store full of my favourite things! Before I even started the workshop I had spent $80 on store items including some awesome fancy looking Croc sandals.

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The workshop cost $25.00 and it was well worth it. Our instructor showed us some examples of inukshuks and gave us some background on the garden centre itself. Then it was up to each of us to decide what we wanted to do. There were piles of rocks and we all started picking out what we wanted. We all had a blast and helped each other lift and pick out rocks and watched as our inukshuks all turned into unique pieces of art. Hannah, who is 12, got to make a miniature inukshuk which ended up looking like the ones you see on TV!

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Lakewood Garden Centre  runs a variety of workshops each year including: preparing your lawn for success, self-watering patio containers, living log, fairy garden building, painting and others.  If you are looking for more information about Lakewood Garden Centre, visit:

Lakewood Garden Centre
72856 Bluewater Hwy. (Hwy 21 at St. Joseph)
ZURICH, Ontario  N0M 2T0

Great foodstuffs, unique giftware at Rader’s new location in Goderich

12 Jul


P1020055  Jerry Rader Homestyle Catering & Market has a new location in Goderich at 56 Stanley Street.  They continue to offer a collection of Jerry Rader’s famous homemade summer deli salads which are always a great addition to any meal and make summer-time menu planning quick and easy.

Pick up salad for a potluck, picnic or family meal! You’ll have lots of choices:  4-Bean Salad; 7-Bean Salad; Baked Beans; Carrot Salad; Greek Salad; Mac&Tuna; Creamy Coleslaw; Oil Vinegar Coleslaw Pasta Salad; Potato Salad; Strawberry Mello Salad; Pistachio Salad and green leaf caesar or garden Salads.  All are priced per pound (lb).

Bearington Baby Collection

Bearington Baby Collection

This unique market also carries Rader’s famous meat pies, homemade pies and other sweets, Tasty Nu breads,  Amish sausage, Metzger’s Meats, Hayter’s Turkey products, jam, relishes, and dipping sauces.

You’re apt to find something unique in the crafts and giftware selection offered at this site like Bearington Baby Collection (Goderich’s only location for this designer quality baby wear), Crossroads Reed Diffusers, Beanpod Soy Candles, funky jewellery and kitchen wares.

RaderGoderichJerry Rader Homestyle Catering & Market
56 Stanley Street

ph  519-440-5151

Art in the Bend

8 May
Hand carved boxes by Wayne Smith

Hand carved boxes by Wayne Smith

by Diva Trista Russell

Art lover? Then check out Sunset Arts Gallery in Grand Bend this summer! The first weekend in May was the grand opening for their 2013 season. Sunset Arts Gallery was also part of the annual Grand Bend Area Studio Tour called “Arts, Eats, & Beats” that was held on the same weekend. This tour had three different routes, and Sunset Arts was part of the Grand Bend Central route. The gallery is located at 63 River Road, which is right beside the Grand Bend marina. At the grand opening, Sunset offered an opportunity to meet the artists and enjoy refreshments and art demonstrations.

The gallery features the work of a dozen different artists, with a variety of paintings of landscapes and abstract art, as well as pottery, hand carved wooden boxes, and handmade jewellery.

Catherine Weber, an artist from South Huron, is the founder of Sunset Arts. It’s great to see local artists at work. Local art is unique, and you can be one of a select few to have these art pieces in your home!

Pottery on display by Nancy Marshall

Pottery on display by Nancy Marshall

Sunset Arts Gallery Hours:
May 4 to June 16: Saturday 11 – 6pm, Sunday 12 – 6pm
June 17 to September 3: Monday – Saturday 11 – 6pm, Sunday 12 – 6pm
September 7 to October 14: Saturday 11 – 6pm, Sunday 12 – 6pm

Sunset Arts Gallery
63 River Road
Grand Bend, Ontario
N0M 1T0

Telephone: 519-238-6914

View of the Grand Bend Marina behind Sunset Arts

View of the Grand Bend Marina behind Sunset Arts

Rear entrance to Sunset Arts Gallery

Rear entrance to Sunset Arts Gallery

Beach landscapes on canvas by Martina Bruggerman

Beach landscapes on canvas by Martina Bruggerman

Artwork by Mary Lynn Smith

Artwork by Mary Lynn Smith

Live art demo at Sunset Arts Gallery

Live art demo at Sunset Arts Gallery

Good, Fresh Food at a Great Price!

28 Mar
The Good Food Boxes ready for Delivery

The Good Food Boxes ready for Delivery

By Diva Trista Russell

Like most people, I buy the majority of my food at the grocery store. During the summer, I like to stop by the Exeter Farmer’s Market, but in the winter I find it hard to source locally grown produce. The local food movement is growing in popularity, and has attracted some attention in the news lately as the provincial government is reintroducing the Local Food Act.
Purchasing the Good Food Box is one way I can get local, fresh produce year-round. The Good Food Box is a community-based project which provides Huron County residents with local vegetables and fruits monthly. The best part is the Good Food Box is only $15. According to their website, buying a Good Food Box means you can save up to 40% off grocery store prices!
Fresh food items in this month's Good Food Box

Fresh food items in this month’s Good Food Box

Here’s what I got in my Good Food Box for the month of March: a bag of green beans, a cucumber, 2 heads of garlic, 3 pound bag of carrots, hearty bean chili mix (with recipe), 5 pounds of potatoes, a whole cabbage, 2 peppers (red/yellow), 4 oranges, and a bag of brussel sprouts. Included in the box is a handy newsletter with recipes using the box’s contents as well as nutritional information and tips.

I used a recipe from one of my favourite cookbooks (The Looneyspoons Collection) to make a healthy crustless quiche for dinner using the peppers, potatoes, and garlic from my box.
Delicious & Nutritious dinner made from items in my Good Food Box this month.

Delicious & Nutritious dinner made from items in my Good Food Box this month.

You can place an order at a neighbourhood host site by the first Friday of each month. The nearest host site for me is the Exeter Library. All orders must be pre-paid in cash at the time they are placed and orders can be picked up on the third Thursday of each month at the host site.

Check out the Good Food Box’s website or visit them on Facebook. Join the local food movement!

Village Bookshop had their Grand Opening last Saturday

20 Mar
Jan 23 Book Brigade.  Photo from Village Bookshop Facebook page

Jan 23 Book Brigade. Photo from Village Bookshop Facebook page

by Diva Karen

Back in January a corps of volunteers known as the Book Brigade helped move books from the former location on Catherine Street by forming a human chain for passing the boxes along to their new home at 24 Main Street, in the Village of Bayfield.

Mary Brown, owner of the Village Bookshop, held the grand opening Saturday night to thank the volunteers who so generously assisted with the move.

Music by Harpist Sharon Johnston and sweets made by the Happy Baker Chick added special touches to this special evening of fellowship at the Book Shop.    I was delighted to meet Miranda Hill, author of a short story collection Sleeping Funny as well as old friends Peter & Joan Karstens of Brentwood on the Beach.

Miranda Hill author of Sleeping Funny

Miranda Hill author of Sleeping Funny

Joan Karstens, Tony Eyamie of Patina Studio, Peter Karstens

Joan Karstens, Tony Eyamie of Patina Studio, Peter Karstens

Erin Bolger, the Happy Baker Chick ... watch for the grand opening of her new Bayfield Baker "Pink Flamingo"

Erin Bolger, the Happy Baker Chick … watch for the grand opening of her new Bayfield Baker “Pink Flamingo”

The  Village Bookshop still offers best sellers, new releases, children’s and regional titles. They also carry an excellent collection of Canadian Author books and hold Meet the author and book reading/signing events throughout the year.

Do drop in next time you’re in Bayfield.

Village Bookshop
24 Main Street
Bayfield, ON   N0M 1G0

on Facebook

Owner & Host Mary Brown

Owner & Host Mary Brown

A unique market experience at Old 86 didn’t disappoint!

15 Mar
Welcome to Old 86 Farmer's Market

Welcome to Old 86 Farmer’s Market

by Diva Karen
Last Saturday was a beautiful day to go for a tour, so I loaded up the Torrent and set out to visit the Old 86 Farmer’s Market near Molesworth and see just what all the fuss was about.  I was delighted to find an impressive collection of local preserves and products including

  • relishes and salsas from MacGougan Manor in Seaforth
  • local maple syrup from the Drudge Family* next door
  • Green Meat Market & Abbatoir’s frozen meat products
  • Hayter Farm frozen turkey products
  • jams and vinegars from Glenn Farms of Listowel
  • goat cheese of Wroxeter and
  • packaged gluten free mixes and bean products from Full of Beans in Bornholm.
MacGougan Manors Zucchini Relish

MacGougan Manors’ Zucchini Relish

Kountry Kitchen's Garlic Dills

Kountry Kitchen’s Garlic Dills

I couldn’t resist buying some delicious local hand-made goat cheese and settled on a mild Gouda Chili from Gordon’s Goat Dairy operated by Gordon & Bethany Edgar of Wroxeter.  Their website indicates they are makers of hard-to-find unique cheeses which include nineteen unique flavourful brands of harvarti, gouda, cheddar and goatserella.

I had heard about Full of Beans from the owner who I met at a Food Symposium in Stratford last fall.  I try to stick with a gluten free diet so was delighted to find these products so close to home.    I’ll let you know in a future column how the Spicey Carrot Cake and the maple baked beans turned out.

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There were rooms full of Murals in Metal and Wall Art to explore

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hardware and everyday tools

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books for children and adults; toys and more

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water toys .. including a double seated float to tow behind your boat

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locally sourced soy candles

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giftware including hand-bags, jewellery, garden stakes and gnomes

These local farm fresh products were just a small part of the unique market experience at Old 86.  Bargain hunters beware … your trip to this Liquidation warehouse will delight all your senses.  Packed with a wide variety of new products including furniture, appliances, home decor, tools, clothing, sporting goods, giftware, bedding, seasonal goods, hunting accessories, toys and more.  There is, truly, something for everyone!

The variety is endless…drop in and see for yourself!

Old 86 Farmer’s Market

44229 Amberley Road
Wroxeter Ontario
N0G 2X0

*I visited the Drudge Family to purchase my maple syrup right from the source.  I’ll let you know more about that in an upcoming post too.

Making the garden pretty

6 Jun

By Diva: Jenna Ujiye

While I was out last week I stopped in to Stonefield Garden Centre and Market LTD. (previously Te-Em Farms). I haven’t been in to a garden centre for quite a while, as my gardening abilities are quite lacking! I really wanted to grow some herbs and a couple of vegetables, so it made sense to take the quick trek to Bayfield and see what they had, especially since they had just opened!

This place has a huge variety of annuals, perennials, grasses, vegetable, herbs, water plants and of course nursery stock. The signage was really great, being a basic gardener I need the signs to tell me what plant it what! Now since I was looking for basil and dill I didn’t have any trouble finding it. I picked out what I wanted and started to leave, then I noticed some cool spikey grasses, so I picked them up as well!

If you are looking for a great garden centre with lots of options, friendly staff and gardening supplies, Stonefield Garden Centre is perfect for you! Oh and I forgot to mention… the fresh local produce part of their business! They sell Asparagus, Rhubarb, Strawberries, Raspberries, Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Peppers, Sweet Corn, Gourds, Beans, Pumpkins and more. They had asparagus when I was there and mentioned that they will have strawberries, which is a huge delight as I had heard that many of the strawberry crops were almost wiped out due to the frost this spring!

More information:

Stonefield Garden Centre & Market Ltd.
77688 Orchard Line
Bayfield, Ontario
N0M 1G0

Spring Hours: Through to the start of Strawberry Season
Monday – Tuesday: 9:00am – 6:00pm
Wednesday – Friday: 9:00am – 800pm
Saturday & Sunday: 9:00am – 5:00pm

T: 519 482 3020
F: 519 482 1496


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