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Get Your Own Sealskin Slippers at www.gnpcraft.com

I am the proud owner of two pairs of sealskin moccasins or slippers as well as other sealskin products. Some people have seen me wearing the slippers at the Confederation Building over the past number of weeks. Santa did bring me a pair.

If you would like to get your own pair, GNP Craft Producers in Shoal Cove East on the Great Northern Peninsula can take your order over the telephone and ship your product. Visit their site at http://www.gnpcraft.com. Their prices range from $115-130 a pair depending on size. They also have children’s sizes and a variety of other products.

All items are locally made, by local people. This social enterprise continues to train and pass on the long-lived traditional skills of making sealskin clothing and boots. They have their own tannery, workshop and storefront.

Support local business, local traditions – let’s create larger local demand for sealskin products!

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North
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Treasures and Rare Finds at Dr. Henry N. Payne Community Museum

The Dr. Henry N. Payne Community Museum & Craft Shop at Cow Head, NL is within walking distance of the Shallow Bay Motel and the home of Gros Morne Theatre Festival.

On August 4, 2011 I visited this Community Museum. It brought me back nearly a decade ago when I first started Flower’s Island Museum in Nameless Cove in July 2002. The old homestead similarly was filled with items of the 19th century and had stories adorning the walls highlighting baking bread, domestic life and past residents that were pillars of the community.

Dr. Henry Payne was a dedicated teacher for 45 years, Justice of the Peace and a field worker for the Co-operative Movement.

Since the 1950s the co-operative movement has continued to grow. Today, it consists of related organizations with significant influence in the agriculture, finance, insurance, fishing, retail and housing industries. Retail co-operatives play significant roles on the Prairies and in Atlantic Canada, according to Canadian Encyclopedia.

Rural Communities were built around the cooperation of its residents. It led to development. We may have to re-visit the co-operative model and consider it for craft retail, tourism marketing, fishery and agricultural sectors on the Great Northern Peninsula.

The Museum has a wealth of artifacts from the past. Entrance is just $3.00 and if under 12 there is no admission fee. The kitchen has the old stove, with flat irons ready to be heated for ironing clothes. In the pantry there was an old water pump in the basin and many old tins and cans, which were former homes for tea, spice, flour and other foodstuffs.

The rocking chair below is a rarity. It certainly is one of a kind and a symbol of the times. This appears to be an old hooping barrel converted into a rocking chair. You may also notice the hinges on the seat. It was also good for storage – maybe the wife’s knitting and wool would be neatly stowed away. Nevertheless, this piece illustrates the ingenuity of a rural Newfoundlander & Labradorian.

Rug Hooking has begun to see a revival on the Great Northern Peninsula. I have seen rug hooking kits for sale at many outlets, the Grenfell Interpretation Centre sells a variety of hooked rugs, the College of the North Atlantic had delivered a Mat Hooking course (which, I enrolled), many rugs were hooked in Englee and Main Brook. This is an excellent opportunity to place your images of Rural Life in an art form. Community-members could come together to form a rug hooking cooperative as was in the past with the Grenfell Foundation. People would send their stockings to the women of Labrador and the Great Northern Peninsula to hook Grenfell Rugs.

The Dr. Henry Payne Museum offers Rug Hooking classes on-site, taught by the multi-talented Glenda Bavis. If you are interested in learning this trade make contact at: 709 243-2466 or
g.bavis@nf.sympatico.ca.

The museum is a rare find with photos, period furniture, artifacts, geology and more. Additionally, a visit to their gift shop is a treasure hunt. They have a little bit of everything from candles, postcards, hand-knit sweaters, pottery, pewter bowls, Dark Tickle products, books, antler buttons, pet rocks, jewellery, music and more. (http://www.cowhead.ca/heritage/)

If you have the time, drop by this museum. They are open until 8:00 PM! The two staffers working we able to answer my questions, as I can be very inquisitive at times. I like playing the role of a tourist even on the Great Northern Peninsula, as it is nice to see the product and service offering others experience when they visit local sites. Great job!

Live Rural NL –

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

Twitter/LiveRuralNL

 

GNP Craft Producers Launches Website – Shoal Cove East, NL

NEW WEBSITE: www.gnpcrafts.ca

GNP Craft Producers Launch New Website: www.gnpcraft.com

Visit them for a unique offering as they specialize in sealskin products.

Products are locally made. The pleated sealskin boots are made by a local resident in her early 80’s. She has been producing the boots for 7 decades. Seal skin boots protected us from the harsh winter conditions and damp weather.

You may want to pick up the “Out of Necessity – The Story of Sealskin Boots in the Strait of Belle Isle“.

I proudly wear my sealskin boots during winter. I turned a few heads at Memorial University on days walking across campus wearing sealskin prepared by my father.

Take some time to learn about our culture – the seal hunt, the impact on our economy and the art of sealskin boot making. You may be amazed with what your find out.

Live Rural NL –

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

Twitter/LiveRuralNL

My Kitchen Spa – Handmade Newfoundland Soap

The owner of My Kitchen Spa has a tremendous opportunity – she makes a natural product from items found around the kitchen. I have had the opportunity to purchase several bars of the soap.

The “Perk Me UpCoffee Soap may be just the cure for those heading to work on Monday morning. The ingredients are listed as lard, olive oil, caster oil, sodium hydroxide, ground coffee, coffee beans and fragrance.

Fun at the Beach” is a pleasant bar that is nice and refreshing.

Peppermint Pattieboasts a scent that can almost be eaten. I love the mixture of chocolate and vanilla coming together to produce something truly delicious.

Oatmeal, Milk & Honey” is full of relaxation. One can only imagine the good these products can do to moisturize the skin.

Who knew that I would be critiquing soap?

My Kitchen Spa has prepared a good product that is well-packaged. It is environmentally friendly, with a small paper strip that is big on branding. The playful soap name, business name, location and ingredients are clearly listed. As the business develops it may wish to list a website and email for questions, comments or to re-order.

When considering a product, I look so see if it is locally made! I crave these items for myself and gifts for friends and family members. The Dark Tickle Company’s products have been delivered as far as Ireland, Switzerland and Edmonton to date. Those visiting our region will also be looking to see if an item is locally made and most likely will factor in their decision-making process.

The gift shop at Norstead – A Viking Port of Trade, is ideal for finding local products. This stems from jewellery, painting, Norse games, Dark Tickle products, pottery and of course, My Kitchen Spa. One can purchase a small bar for $4 and a large bar for $7!

Find your niche in business! There is lots of opportunity to grow our rural economies…

Live Rural NL|

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

GNP Craft Producers Has Unique Offering

GNP Crafts - Product Offering

GNP Craft Producers of Shoal Cove East, NL has a unique offering. They are situated just minutes north of the Town of Flower’s Cove in a beautifully maintained yellow building, surrounded by an array of outer buildings, one of which includes a replica fishing room with wharf.

This venture produces 100% locally made traditional crafts, specializing in sealskin product. They sell a line of hats, boots, mittens, vests, coats, slippers and more to local and tourist market. Some former politicians have sported sealskin jackets at public events in the province.

This organization has a workshop, where they have trained artisans to keep the tradition of sealskin boot making alive. They purchase sealskin from local sealers, they have their own tannery and avail of local labour. Once the seal skin is ready they can employ skilled locals to produce quality pieces for retail. They have a selection of other local craft goods for sale in addition to seal skin product.

If you have the opportunity to visit their site, they have a series of panels that depict the process involved with seal skin boot making and a brief history of the sealing industry.

One can visit their store front, or inquire about products by emailing straitsgnpcraft@live.ca or by telephone at 709-456-2122.

GNP Craft Producers is an authentic heritage shop, where the products are not imported from other countries. It is a storefront where you can buy local. Show your support, pass on a rural tradition.

Live Rural NL –

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

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