No ‘masking’ this talent

Community COVID-19 Featured Shine On

Diana Spurvey has boxes of body parts in her shop.

But it’s not what you think, she laughs.

Spurvey used to make porcelain dolls, from beginning to completion, when she lived in Ottawa — she would fire the porcelain, paint it and dress the dolls.

Now living in Central West River, she no longer makes the dolls but has a lot of extra parts, along with a lot of other handcrafts.

These days, the owner/operator of The Enchanted Door Gifts and Crafts is using the downtime created by the health pandemic to ramp up production of non-medical face masks.

The masks, made with 100 per cent cotton fabric with a filter pocket, are so popular that Spurvey can hardly keep up with the orders.

It started off simply enough. “I started off just making them for friends and family,” Spurvey said.

But news of her creations began to spread so she began filling orders.

Now she has produced literally hundreds of the fabric masks.

New Glasgow resident Angela Boudreau was very enthusiastic about her masks. “Love my face masks,” she said. “We have purchased a few from different suppliers and (Spurvey’s) masks are the best.” She has now ordered more.

Pickup of the masks that are ordered is contactless, thus reducing health risks. Once ordered, Spurvey places the completed mask orders in a bag and hangs them from a nail on the outside of her shop door.

In addition to handmade creations, Spurvey’s shop also boasts fabric, notions and other craft items for purchase. She is using her own fabric supply to create the masks — some masks are polka dots, some are animal patterns, some have beer bottles on them — you name it and she’s made it.

Spurvey, who is currently the president of the Pictou County Art & Crafts Association, has been operating The Enchanted Door Gifts and Crafts for about six years, having re-located back to Pictou County from Ottawa. It’s not that often someone moves to Pictou County from a big city and out-migration is usually apropos for the area, but Spurvey explains it was a natural migration for her.

“I was born in Westville. My dad joined the military, and when he retired my mother and he and three of my siblings who weren’t married moved to back here to this house that I’m I now.”

When Spurvey and her husband retired, they purchased the house and property and made it their home and shop.

The Enchanted Door Gifts and Crafts is truly a family affair for Spurvey as most of the handmade good that are in it are made by her and two sisters. She laughs, “It’s Deb, Dawn and Di. We do all the stuff in here and it ranges from wood working to knitting, crocheting, sewing to home décor.” All three sisters have a specific talent that shines in the items they make and then can be found at the shop.

Spurvey also enjoys teaching craft classes at her shop and art classes at the Pictou Library; she was scheduled to lead a craft class at the Pictou Library during the March Break but it was cancelled due to the health pandemic.

Happily retired for a number of years, Spurvey is rarely idle.

She laughs that she’s so busy with her mask making that she’s just switched from one job to another.

“I’ve been doing these crafts for probably for 40 years.”

From the left are sisters Dawn Westhaver, Diana Spurvey and Debbie Palmer… also known as the “Palmer Girls.”