Saturday was a long day that left me with swollen feet unwilling to be stood on once I got home and a tired body ready for bed. It was our 37th Annual Kaien Island Craft fair which I organised again this year for the Arts Council. I was so impressed by the amazing talent and diversity showcased at this year’s fair. I have some lovely treasures purchased that I can’t wait to show you. (click on the images to read more about them!)


My day started at 6:30 am when I packed my kids into a borrowed vehicle and dropped them off at a friend’s house for a pancake breakfast where they would hang out for a few hours before meeting me down at the Craft Fair. I had to borrow a vehicle because Cam attended a weekend long solar power workshop. It was poor timing to leave town but important since we hope to use solar power on the house we are planning to build one day soon.

It's here!

A few crafters were already bringing their wares into the gym when I arrived early that morning. Many are so well versed in the craft fair process that they needed very little from me. A few had questions about where their tables were located this year or needing an extra chair or two. There were less fires to put out this year between neighbours thanks to my getting to know many of the participants last year. When it was possible I could help find tables for participants where they would fit well with their neighbours.

Carved Rock Kit

We had something new this year! Participants were able to preorder a hot and healthy lunch to their tables. Preordering a lunch would work particularly well for out of town vendors who can’t leave the fair to get their own lunch and don’t have friends or family to help out. I was excited about getting my own lunch this way but was sorely disappointed when the local business catering made some huge blunders with our order. My kids and I didn’t end up getting any lunch and my friends that ordered received their lunches last so that I could fill the orders for everyone else as quickly as possible. I was so grateful for my friend, Jen Rice, who came to help me with lunch and supported me through the ensuing drama. Apart from a couple late lunches and a couple sandwich mix ups, it ended much better than I expected.

Gumboot Girls

At the time I wasn’t sure it was possible but lunch did eventually end and the rest of the day went by pretty quickly. Leif fell asleep in my arms and napped behind my friend, Shannon’s table. Both my kids made a home here throughout the day which I was also thankful for.

Home made cards

Play dough

One of my favourite purchases from the day was from Coral’s booth. She’s an incredible local artist and she had so many beautiful items offered on her table. These spice mixes not only caught my eye but also my nose! They smell SO good. They come in an envelope that can double as a postcard. Imagine receiving a postcard so beautiful in the mail! It may be your lucky day! I would like to mail one of these packets to one of you! You may want to use these spices as intended or maybe you want to use them on something other than seafood or maybe like me you just want to enjoy the look of this beautiful package. I think I’ll carefully slice open one side to get the spices out and save the packet.

Nom nom nom I'm giving one of these away!

Please let me know in the comments section if you would like to win one of these packets and which one you would prefer? Halibut Chermoula, Shrimp and Crab Boil or Kickin’ Crab Cakes. I’ll draw a winner at the end of the month!

  • Halibut Chermoula- garlic, parsley, smoked paprika, cayenne, cumin, salt
  • Shrimp and Crab Boil- mustard, coriander, allspice, dill, cloves, red pepper, bay leaf
  • Kickin’ Crab Cakes-celery seed, white pepper, cloves, bay leaf, salt, all spice, ginger, cardamon, cinnamon, nutmeg, paprika, baking powder, parsley, mustard
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11 Responses to Breathe Out

  1. elementsofmylife says:

    What lovely works of art! Please count me in for any of them and say hello to your family for us. It sounds like we definitely have some house stuff to catch up on:)

  2. elementsofmylife says:

    Oh, and does Coral have a website to order more from? I think those might be just the thing some family members would consider gold on Christmas morn.

  3. Claire says:

    My husband is working in PR temporarily (we live in Victoria) and visited the craft fair last weekend. He was so impressed by the event and the crafters. I have been a quiet reader for awhile, so it was neat to see this post and have a connection. Those spices sound and look amazing. If I had to choose, it would be the crab cakes!

  4. Annie says:

    elementsofmylife- she does!

    xx In a couple more days Cam will be off and I’ll give you a call. Can’t wait to catch up!

    Claire- What a coincidence! It’s very nice to meet you. I’ll be happy to put your name in for the draw.

  5. erin says:

    i am so glad you are exhaling deeply and i am sure there is a boat-load of gratitude from all involved for all of the time, attention and caring you put into this. it would be no small feat, from what i recall you talking about last year. looking forward to catching up one of these days again xoxo

    congratulations for adding to your multi-dynamic experience and for getting to the other side. halibut spice would be my pick.

  6. Anna says:

    How pretty those packages are! The craft fair sounds like it was a lot of fun, wish I lived close enough to have come (I am in Cranbrook). I would love to win the crab cakes spice mix, it sounds tasty!

  7. Coral says:

    Hi Annie… I’m flattered!!!
    You are always so lovely.
    A special thank you for the Herculean effort of organizing the fair. I was honoured to be a part of it.
    Ps. is a more updated look at me and mine.

  8. Rachel says:

    OH!!! I would love to try the Halibut one!!! What beautiful artwork!!! Sounds like you had a big job and did wonderfully!! Thanks for the giveaway!!!

  9. Sarah says:

    Hi Annie! I have been following your blog for quite some time now and love it:). My family has enjoyed many of your recipes, some of our favorites are the quinoa cakes, black bean and yam burritos and simple curry (just to name a few). I am actually curious where I can find garlic chili paste (so many of your recipes call for it)? Is it the same as garlic chili sauce? I live in a small town in northern Alberta so shopping is limited. I would love to be entered into the draw, any of the spice packages would be wonderful! I truly appreciate your beautiful photography, yummy recipes and insights on living a sensible life. Thanks:)

  10. Annie says:

    Erin- it was a ton of work again. You have to really want to volunteer and/or love organising to do this job. Thankfully, I like both. Let’s catch up soon. xx

    Anna- Oh yes, it’s a ton of fun and the people here take this crafting pretty seriously. I wish I could come back to Cranbrook to visit the farmers markets! They set up after I moved away but they look amazing.

    Thank you, Coral for the update. You have beautiful work!

    I’m so happy to put your name in for the draw, Rachel!

    Sarah- I bet you can find garlic chilli paste in the asian foods section of a Safeway or Overwaitea. It’s easy to pass by it if you don’t know what it is but it’s readily available, at least in my experience. Do you have one of these kinds of stores? I put GCP in almost everything! It adds such a nice flavour. If you can’t find any, I can send you some. Just let me know! Thank you so much for commenting. It’s so nice to meet you. xx

    ps. I took a quick picture of what you’ll be looking for. This is actually Sambal Oelek which isn’t usually the one I buy but they look very similar. I usually buy the one that is literally called Garlic Chilli Paste. You can also find a similar jar of just plain Chilli Paste. Mmmmm…

  11. Sarah says:

    Thanks Annie! We don’t have those stores here but the next time I head into Edmonton I will check it out for sure! Thanks for the image, at least now I have a better idea of what I’m looking for;). We will be enjoying your Chicken Veg Stew for supper tonight, perfect for a cold and snowy Northern Alberta winter evening. Take care and have a great day!

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