Muzzies Country Lane Woodshop is located in Forest
Glade, in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley. Sue and Murray Skaling have
enjoyed crafting beautiful things from wood for a number of years, for
their own use and as gifts for their family.
Sue’s redesign of the adirondack chair, dubbed “senior friendly” has
been especially well received. It has all the charming beauty of the
classic but is much easier to enter and exit, and more comfortable for
many folk, whether senior or not.
Crates of their Kubb (an ancient Viking outdoor game) have been shipped
half way across the country.
Crokinole boards have become the most popular Muzzies' product and crokinole has become a big part of their lives - building boards, researching ways to improve methods and materials, communicating with
customers and potential customers all over the world, and keeping up
with news of what others are doing in crokinole circles. They have
shipped boards throughout North America, Europe and across Asia, and
Muzzies' boards are exclusively available in Australia as well, through
crokinole boards can be purchased online at muzzies.ca, and also
locally at their workshop in the Annapolis Valley, and in Halifax at
Jennifer's of Nova Scotia on Spring Garden Road.
Sue and Murray say: "It is great to be able to work together at
something we both enjoy. The first crokinole board we made was a gift
for our daughter and her husband. We heard so many comments and
compliments on it that we made a dozen to take to a local Christmas
craft fair. Before we even finished setting up our booth other vendors
were coming by to look and chat about crokinole, and as the weekend
progressed it became obvious we'd struck a cord with many. People young
and old stopped to look, play a round, and share stories about
crokinole. The stories were memories- of family, and friends, of multi
generations gathered around a crokinole board at the summer cottage, at
Christmas gatherings, at community tournaments, of late night marathon
games in college dorms. By the time the weekend was over we knew that
there was a market for our boards and that this was going to be fun!"
One of the great rewards they've enjoyed has been hearing many more stories people have shared over the years since then:
The man who'd left
home in his youth to study and work in another part of the country, and
returned only years later to attend the funeral of his beloved
grandfather and claim the crokinole board they'd spent so many hours
around during his childhood. With tears in his eyes he revealed that he
never got the board. He had stayed away too long and it disappeared in
the meant time.
The family who have
enjoyed a big family tournament every Christmas season for years
-elaborate trophy and all - and now needed more boards for their
The lady who came
with her daughter to buy a new board to surprise her sister. They had
grown up playing crokinole in their home, next door to the family
business, almost below Blomidon's red bluff. Generations of their
family were coopers, making wooden barrels for shipping Annapolis
Valley apples and Bay of Fundy fish to consumers all around the world.
She and her sister, who is in her nineties, still "play a few rounds"
almost every day of the week. Often, their brother is able to join them
as they compete, laugh, and talk of the old days.
guy who grew up on a northern prairie farm, who had fond memories of
competitive play in the one room school house during long cold winter
lunch breaks, when it was way too cold to stick their noses outside.
The retired farmer
who spoke fondly of the community highlight of the year in his eastern
Ontario home- the spring maple syrup "sugar off" celebration, and the
crokinole boards lined up in the community hall for the tournament that
was a big part of the special weekend.
The fellow who'd
honed his impressive skills playing solitary crokinole for endless
hours one winter, while living alone on an island in the Bay of Fundy,
tending a lighthouse.
The grandfather who
wanted the nicest board he could find to teach his grandson to play on
- he had grown up in a home where money was scarce. His father drilled
holes in the kitchen table for the "croke" hole and to place nails in
for pegs, and each evening would draw circles with chalk before the
Some of Murray's best crokinole memories are of
playing with his own grandfather, who had his own unique "thumb" shot.
(He had lost all the fingers on his right hand many years before in a
sawmill accident - but was almost unbeatable!) and of teaching Sue to
play, then their children, and now grandchildren.
great times, great memories. Too many to share here. But they love
hearing them, and love being part of new memories they are hearing
about all the time. Parties, tournaments, gameclub nights, new
traditions started with family and friends in locations all over the
world, gathered around a Muzzies' crokinole board.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. Why Muzzies'? Its just a combo of nicknames the two of us have been called over the years.
2. What is the meaning of the board names?
When we used the names of the stains people were sometimes confused and
thought that our boards were cherry or mahogany woods, rather than all
maple as our site states. We chose Annapolis, Fundy, and Blomidon because we live near the Bay of Fundy,
on the mountain that forms the northern boundary of the Annapolis
Valley. At the eastern end of our mountain, Blomidon, a clay bluff,
juts out into the Bay, separating it from the Minas Basin. It is a
beautiful part of God's creation that we get to call home.
Telephone:1-888-620-3377 (toll free)