Despite the fact that it is winter, and very quiet here on Mount Desert Island, the past few weeks have been pretty full for us. The busiest and most eventful few days were spent in New York City. This was the third year that Michelle and I have attended the New York International Gift Fair in January.


The lobby of the Javits Center. Too bad they couldn’t put a few of these windows in the showrooms.

This is a huge trade show, held at the Javits Center. There is a big section of handmade goods, with booths often manned by the actual makers of the products. This is our favorite section, of course. We also enjoy the sections that highlight design and studio work. And then there are miles of junk. I’m not exaggerating. Much. It definitely feels like miles.

We’re excited to get some new styles from Whimsy Lighting, including these pendant lights.

We love Cate & Levi’s upcycled style, and can’t wait to get in their new people puppets.

While both Michelle and I very much enjoy this trip, it tends to be completely exhausting. Working in this man-made environment (dry air, no windows, intense artificial light) is draining. After spending four 8 hour days walking, appraising, making decisions, and carrying heavy bags, we are pretty done for.

Meet Adam. He’s a cool little metal man that you can find at Spruce & Gussy come summer.

But it is very exciting to find great new products for the store, to meet some of the people that make the fun items we sell, and to be in the city. It is exhilarating to walk the city streets after months in our remote island home.

Nighttime in the city.

This year we had a fabulously unstressful dinner at Cookshop with our friend, Susan Fleming, and an equally lovely dinner with our hosts, my brother-in-law and his fiancée, at Chez Lucienne. Unfortunately, our other meals aren’t usually so delightful, as we tend to eat energy bars and coffee for breakfast while walking to or from the subway, and lunch in the uninspired Javits Center food court. But the dinners, and accompanying cocktails, definitely alleviate most of our pain.

It took us both a few days to recover after we returned home, which happily coincided with finally getting some great skating ice on the ponds.

Ice fishing palace. 

I absolutely love to skate. I’ve been skating on Maine pond ice since I was about 5 years old, and nothing makes me feel so young again as gliding over the ice in cold, clear air. And as you can imagine, Mount Desert Island makes a lovely setting.


Now that’s some fantastic skating ice.

These photos were taken one afternoon on Eagle Lake, and I also skated there the next morning. And one day after school until the moon rose on Hamilton Pond. And a few times on our own little tiny pond. It hasn’t been a very wintry winter here this year, so I feel very grateful to have had these few days on the ice. 

One of the other things keeping us busy this winter are instructional workshops here at the shop. We’re halfway through the first, a beginning knitting workshop for kids, and have another beginning soon for adults. I’ll tell you more about this bit of winter fun in the next post.