Note: If using Outlook click the above bar where it says “Click to download photos” The photos are the best part!



In This Issue: Gloria Crane is a Californian artist with a large following. She is an expert carver with a deep understanding of colour - a combination that results in award-winning art. In addition to her art, Gloria teaches. Her workshops are inviting  providing an environment that is both delightful and stimulating. Please welcome Gloria Crane to this August issue of Gourd Fever
                     Palm Leaves by Gloria Crane

Ken Carlson is here and this month he is talking about how the best-laid plans can go awry with just a slight turn of events. In this essay we meet his 96 year old mother-in-law who, after so many years,  still offers Ken advice which will hopefully "improve him as a person."

In "The Gourd Jungle" the August topics are bugs and fungus. All bases are covered - how to identify and then act. As far as the gourd garden work, there is not much to do apart from watching your gourds grow and mature.
In "Out Of The Mailbag" we have some photos from Sue Pickwell who lives in High River, Alberta. A few weeks ago extreme flooding hit and Sue was one of the lucky ones; she only had 5 feet of water in her basement. Sue had many gourds growing and this is the story of the one which survived, a martin named Martin.
Lots to read this month so grab an icy glass of lemonade, get comfortable and dive in.

Gloria Crane: Defining Style On Her Own Terms
Gloria Crane grew up in Norwalk, CA, a suburb of Los Angeles, and has lived in the high desert community of Hesperia, CA for more than 20 years. Her first exposure to gourd art was a visit to the 2004 Welburn Gourd Festival where she was immediately drawn to the art and the unlimited possibilities this unusual canvas offered. Shortly after attending the festival she took her first class and was hooked.

Now, many years later, her goal is to produce 'one of a kind' gourd art that represents her individual style. Gloria's approach to design is not always "planned out." Sometimes ideas are formulated in the still of the night when her thoughts are free flowing; other times it is something she sees during the day that will pique her interest. 

Once the seed is planted Gloria will take her idea to the sketch pad. A design idea may take minutes or sometimes days to complete.
Sometimes she will just pick up a gourd and the design will evolve as she is working.



When first starting out she took lessons from some of the finest teachers around. She took what she learned and tried to make it "her own." When bored with a carving technique, Gloria finds ways to change it up and make it different from what everyone else is doing.
When talking about style, Gloria claims that her style hasn't changed much over the years. When starting out she struggled trying to find her niche. She didn't do southwest and really didn't have one particular style or technique that she was drawn to. Instead she has learned to incorporate many techniques into one piece and the end result makes Gloria Crane's work distinct.

Many of Gloria's vessels have beautiful pine needle rims and she attributes this to the number of hours she spends traveling. Her husband does most of the driving while Gloria works on her rims. Pine needles and thread are easy to pack and doesn't take up much space, although adding beads to the stitching can be somewhat challenging while driving down the road.

In addition to creating art, Gloria has an excellent reputation in the gourd community for her workshops. They are always full and she states that she is happy that more men are taking an interest in the art. Like many gourd art teachers, she has students who she can count on being in her classes. She fondly calls them her "groupies." Some joke that they are pass the groupie stage and now consider themselves stalkers.

Gloria has written numerous detailed tutorials and some day may compile them into a book. She has also made five instructional DVD's with plans on doing more in the future. Annual exhibits include 
the Wuertz Gourd Festival in Casa Grande, AZ in February and the Davis Ranch Gourd Festival in Sloughhouse, CA every September.

For the past forty-three years Gloria has been married to her high-school sweetheart. She has a son and a daughter who married their high-school sweethearts. (It is now a family tradition.) She has eight grandchildren with a ninth on the way. They range in ages from two to sixteen years. 

Every year Gloria and her husband vacation in Northern California where her husband prospects for gold. She takes her gourds, carvers, wood burners, paints, dyes, pine needles and anything else she can squeeze in. Sitting under the pine and oak trees she is happy doing what she loves.

As you can expect, Gloria is interrupted with questions from curious campers about what she is doing. Of course Gloria loves to tell them all about gourds and hopes that maybe...just maybe...she will be able to bring a few newbies into her ever-growing gourd family! 

To view more of Gloria's art click here:
To purchase Gloria's 'DVD's click here:

Ken Carlson: Even The Best Laid Plans Can Go Awry!

Dear readers,
The purpose of my articles is to share some of my joy of growing gourds, and possibly provide some helpful hints that may make your gourd growing process easier. However, in my haste to provide you with timely information, as the growing season goes on, I may have chosen some of my words, ah, poorly.

In preparing to write my article this month, I printed out a copy of the last article I wrote, just to be familiar with what I had said. In the article I tried to say that in my opinion the common weed is more of an enemy to the gourd plant than the cucumber beetle. I don't usually print them out but this month I did, and when I went back to my office, I accidently left the article laying on the kitchen counter.

For this month I started to write about the best way to tie a knot in the handle of a dipper gourd. Suddenly I thought I heard a noise in the kitchen. It sounded like a bunch of geese in a cornfield. I started walking out there and quickly recognized the sound as giggling.

It was my English major wife, Paula and her 96 year old retired school teacher mother. They were obviously enjoying each others opinion on some topic I wasn't yet privy to. They got quiet as I entered the area. Okay, I admit I'm not the brightest guy in Aberdeen...and I proved it once not going back to my office immediately. Instead I asked them what they found so funny.

"Oh, Paula may have read me something that I giggled at," said the one who was still trying to catch her 96 year old breath.

My wife, standing at the counter, was trying to hide something under the paper. It was the article I had written last month. I figured they were laughing because they were going to circle my mistakes and make me write the thing all over again.

"Give me that," I said as I reached out to take it. My wife covered it with her entire torso across the counter.

"We're not done yet," she laughed.

"Say Ken," my mother-in-law starts. She calls me Ken whenever she is about to tell me something that will improve me as a person. I wait with breathless anticipation. "You might want to apologize to some of your readers," she continues, "after what you just insinuated about them in your article."

A smarter man would have just said Okay and run for his office, but noooo, not me. I stood there long enough for my wife to read the sentence from my article they were cackling about earlier. I might mention that I was just trying to be cute when I wrote, in my own way, that the cucumber beetle would be easy to get rid of with spray. They had another take on it.

"The little guys aren't smart enough to be sneaky," she read, "Are you inferring that any living thing that isn't smart enough is a guy, or is it only the little guys that aren't smart?"

"Does that mean that women are smart, but they're sneaky?" my mother-in-law added, "or is it just the little women that are sneaky?"

"Well, he leaves the door open for big guys," my wife adds when she catches her breath, "but I think you should say how tall a guy should be before he is considered smart?"

"Obviously," my mother-in-law jumps back in,
"average is just average, but he's right about those big guys, they're sneaky." 

I picked up my article and quietly walked back to my office. I hope everyone got as much enjoyment out of the article as they did.

Now I've got writer's block. I'm too afraid I might insult some other group.

They're still laughing out in the kitchen. I heard my wife asking her mother that if a little guy marries a little woman and they have a big child...

To heck with it, if anyone needs help tying a knot in the handle of a dipper gourd they can call my mother. She is an expert too.

PS They are still giggling in the kitchen....
Out Of The Mailbag 
Hi Carolyn and Linda,
Still gourding. This is the latest member of our garden family.

Hi Annemarie,
Your family is really growing. Thanks for sending this in; hope to see you soon.


Martin is going to survive

Earlier this year I purchased 2 packets of gourd seeds. I couldn't wait to sow them and some came up, some didn't. You win some, you lose some.

I nurtured them, repotted them and finally set them in big pots in the garden. They were well established and looking good along my chain link fence. Then...Mother Nature came to visit. I live in High River, Alberta.

I have one gourd plant left, the others are all over the golf course. Who knows where they might grow!

Looking forward to next year's growing season. I was looking forward to having dried gourds in the spring...guess I'll be buying from you this year. I
will keep you posted on my one baby gourd. (I think
it is a Martin.)
Have a nice day - Sue Pickwell
PS Here is my blog describing the day's events:
Hi Sue,
Oh my gosh Sue, what happened in High River is a tragedy. For you readers who don't know; on June 20th after a record-breaking rain storm, High River and Calgary, Alberta flooded. In High River 13,000 people were evacuated; many lost their homes. On the right are some photos that Sue sent along with her blog.
Wishing Martin lots of luck.
                                                  Carolyn and Linda
Hello there Northern Dipper,
I have received your newsletter for a couple of years now and really enjoy it. I have been out to your place for a workshop (drum-making) and to buy gourds. I think you two are great.
My sisters and mother are coming to Ontario for a visit in early September and thought it would be fun to come to a workshop out at your place. If we wanted to have a beginner's workshop (none of them have ever worked on gourds before) could that be arranged? There will be 5, possibly 6 of us.
                                  Thanks, Janet Tyrer
Hi Janet,
We remember you! A workshop for you and your family could be easily arranged. Just email me what dates you are looking at. I would like to add that if anyone else has an idea for a workshop they would like to see us hold let us know. We are always open to new ideas.

"Other Stuff"




I recently read an article about first aid remedies right at your fingertips namely remedies right out of your kitchen cupboard. They are from Joe and Terry Graedon, famous for The People's Pharmacy which is a syndicated column and National Public Radio show. As Joe likes to put it, these home remedies "Might help. Won't hurt. Doesn't cost very much."

Burns: If you burn yourself just grab the yellow mustard out of the fridge. Pour it on and let it dry. The mustard will take away all of the pain and should prevent blisters. Make sure to run the burn under cold water first.

Stings: If a wasp or bee stings you grab an onion, cut it in half, and hold the cut half on the sting. 

Cramps: Back to the mustard. If you get a muscle cramp swallow a teaspoon of mustard.  A couple of small restaurant packets will get rid of the cramp in less than a minute.

Minor cuts: To stop bleeding from minor scrapes and cuts pull out the finely ground pepper. Pour it on and the bleeding will stop within seconds.

Nosebleeds: Put something really cold such as an ice cube or a key on the back of the neck. If someone in your household gets nosebleeds keep a couple of keys in the freezer. Be prepared for any or all of the hazards of summer with these home remedies.


Looking Ahead: September 2013 




Gloria Christian has always had an urge to create and for many years worked as a free-lance photographer. She then discovered gourds and loved the simplicity of them. Her art is inspiring and is found in collections throughout North America and internationally. It is our great pleasure to feature Gloria Christian in the September issue of Gourd Fever.
Ken Carlson will be here much to our delight even though we do not know yet what he will be writing about. We do know however that this popular essay about the trials, tribulations and joy one experiences in their gourd garden will always be enlightening.

To finish we would just like to add that if you are planning to come to Northern Dipper Farm please call to set
 up a day. August is the month we take some time off so the farm may not be open for business.
Once a day is arranged do not rely on your GPS as it does not send you directly to the farm. Best to print directions from our website.
Have a  splendid August; we'll see you next month.
                          Carolyn Cooper and Linda Bond

PS Send your stories, ideas or photos to







































 Volume 9, Number 101 

In this issue:

Gloria Crane: Defining Style On Her Own Terms
The Bulletin Board: News From Northern Dipper
Ken Carlson: Even The Best Laid Plans Can Go Awry!
The Gourd Jungle: Tips For The Home Gourd Gardener
Out Of The Mailbag, Gourd Sightings & Trivia

 The Bulletin Board
It's Show Time!
Cabbagetown Arts & Crafts Show
Held in Toronto this is a great show held in a park-like setting. Northern Dipper will have only finished art at this venue. 
When: September 6-8, 2013
For more info click here:
The Canadian Gourd Society (CGS) Gourd & Creative Art Show 
This is a well attended annual event held at the Buckhorn Community Centre in Buckhorn, Ontario.
Northern Dipper will have dried gourds, supplies and finished product at this show.
They will also have hourly mini tutorials using different gourd products. Tutorials and times will be posted on the Northern Dipper website as well as on the CGS website.  
Dates: September 21 - 22, 2013
For more info click here:
The CGS:

 August Workshops
Introduction To Power Carving
Sat, Aug 10 & Sat, Aug 24
Power Carving
Dimensional Ripples
Sun, Aug 11 & Sat, Aug 17
Drum Making
Sunday, August 18
Stained Glass
Sunday, August 25
For course descriptions and details click here:

Gloria Crane
 "Through out a lifetime
artistic expression can come in many different forms."
"As a child I loved to draw
and paint. In high school
 I had an art teacher who quickly became a mentor. I am still grateful to Mr Mummert for helping to instill self-confidence in a young, introverted teenage girl."
"If I had to choose a
 "favorite technique" it would be carving because you can really make an object come
 to life with dimension and paint which is right up my
 alley with my attention to detail."
"I especially love to do
 wildlife, although my teaching schedule has not allowed
 me the luxury to do as much lately as I would like to."
Advice To New Artists
"I encourage new artists to seek out good teachers and learn multiple techniques. I encourage my students to be true to themselves and to
not be afraid to try new
things. Do not be intimidated by new techniques."
"All of us had a beginning and our skill levels improved with each piece we created. The most important thing of all is to practice, practice, practice. Prima ballerinas didn't get where they are by sitting on the sidelines watching."
"As an artist I feel
 it is my role to represent gourd art in a manner that
 is positive and uplifting to
 the viewer. It should bring a sense of nature and tranquility to the home or office or wherever it is displayed." 
"I just want to continue to do what I love. I love to both create and teach and get so much joy out of seeing students refine their art and win ribbons in competitions."
"I have made many good friends and have established some email pen pals through the on-line classes I've done. One of my long-term goals is to travel outside of
AZ and CA to teach and
meet some of those pen
pals in person." 

The Gourd Jungle: Tips For The Home Gourd Gardener
In August the work load is
cut down. Retire those brushes! No more pollination even though there are still lots of flowers. At
 this time of year there is
 not enough time left for the
gourds to mature so don't waste your time when you could be doing something else.
Powdery Mildew
This is a fungus which is carried by the wind. Once it gets hold of a gourd plant, it will eventually kill it.
It appears as small, grayish-white spots on the leaves. It is widely believed that some gourd varieties are more susceptible than others. Moderate to hot, humid conditions allow it to thrive.
If you do get this mildew cut
 off the infected leaves & destroy.
One remedy is to spray the rest of the plant with 2 teaspoons of baking soda & 2 teaspoons of a lightweight horticultural oil mixed with 1 gallon of water. Spray both sides of the leaves well.
Once again we have a fungus which travels with the wind. Anthracnose presents itself as brown holes in the leaves; some refer to it as a shotgun appearance.
 It is prevalent during wet rainy weather and if not dealt with, will eventually kill the leaves, the stem and then the fruit.
As soon as symptoms appear remove the affected leaves and destroy. Spray the plants well with Need Oil, found at your local nursery. Copper, a natural mineral, is another option and can be used as a spray or dust. Keep in mind that anthracnose can be spread by your hands going from plant  to plant. 
For prevention keep a clean garden, water using a drip hose and rotate your gourd garden every 2 years.
You don't want hoards of 
stinkbugs in your garden
as they feed on a wide
range of fruits and vegetables.
They range in color from brown to bright green.
Stinkbugs are, like most
things in nature, fascinating. They have tiny holes in their abdomen from which a foul-smelling liquid is emitted.
 The purpose: to ward off predators. They lay clusters
 of bronze colored eggs
 under the leaves so if you
see them, crush them. 
Note: For all of these go to your local garden centre and ask questions or Google them for more information. 

Out Of The Mailbag
Photos by Sue of High River during the June 20 flood.
The front of my house before the flood. 
Alberta Rose
The water is approaching the house.
Martin's garden after the flood.

Gourd Sighting
A few months ago we went to look at drill press for sale at someone's house. It was located in the workshop. I happened to look up and
what did I spot - a gourd! Naturally I just had to take a picture and send it in.
Sent in by Julie Pope
Thunder Bay, Ontario 

It's A Dog's Life
Did you know?
Dogs have a visual range of 250 degrees. Humans have
 a range of 180 degrees.
Dogs can hear sounds
from 250 yards or 228.6 meters away. Most people can't hear beyond 25 yards or 22.86 meters. 
Dogs sweat through the pads of their feet.
In the US there are 68,000,000 dogs owned by people.
The Labrador Retriever is the # 1 type of dog breed in Canada, the US and the UK.
The most popular name for a dog is Max. 

Music Pick of the Month
The Band:
 Deep Dark Woods 
The Music:
The Birds On The Bridge
The Place I Left Behind
To learn more about this band click here:

 Published by:
 Pam Grossi
Victoria, BC, V8R 2Z7

Northern Dipper
PO Box 1145 
5376 County Road 56,
Cookstown, Ontario
L0L 1L0, Canada
(705) 435-3307

© Northern Dipper 2013. All rights reserved. No portion of this newsletter may be used in any form without prior written permission from the authors.
























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Northern Dipper Farm - 5376 County Road 56, RR2, Cookstown, Ontario, L0L 1L0, Canada