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


In This Issue: This month we are off to visit Susan Levesque in Elliot Lake, Ontario. Susan is an old friend and for many years now we have been admiring her fine art gourds. Carving and wood burning are predominately used by Susan in her gourd art but being forever creative, she also dabbles in paint and with other mediums. 
With nature being her first love Susan has spent her life canoeing the rivers and swamps in the wild wilderness of Northern Ontario. This has resulted in many interactions with the wildlife and it is these images that Susan is mostly known for. Please welcome Susan Levesque to this November issue of Gourd Fever.
(The art in the above featured photos and the following photo were created by Susan Levesque.) 
We are getting into a festive mood here at Northern Dipper partly due to the fact that we are getting ready for the Christmas craft shows. It is quite the trip making sure that we will have enough inventory for all the shows while concentrating on booth displays, travel plans, hotels...all those behind the scene things that happen to us and the hundreds of vendors that are presenting their goods at the seasonal shows. Please support these artisans whether they are soap makers, candy makers or gourd artists! Their work is unique, beautiful
and their livelihood depends on it.
Enough of that now. It is time to call our featured artist in from the wings and onto the main stage. Let us introduce Susan Levesque. 

Susan Levesque: The Images of the Land

Up in Northern Ontario, located between Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie, is a small community called Elliot Lake. It is here, surrounded by rock, forest, water and wildlife, that this month's featured artist Susan Levesque lives. It is here, amid this stark beauty, where Susan Levesque gets her inspiration for her art.
As a young child Susan was always doodling and as she got older would draw horses; only horses, until her mother encouraged her to try sketching other subjects. She turned to wildlife and still stays with that theme today. Of course she has not forsaken the majestic horse and as you can see in the photo above, it is still part of her artistic repertoire.
At school Art and Drafting were her favorite subjects and years later her drafting pens found a new purpose; to create wonderful images on gourds. Susan also carves antlers and old cedar rails but she is quick to point out that gourds are by far her favorite art medium.
One question we asked is how did someone like Susan; who lives in a northern town, discover gourds? Well, way back when, a few years ago in fact, Susan had purchased some small ornamental gourds for Thanksgiving. Curiosity aroused she decided to Google the word gourd. She came across a web site called The Gourd Patch where a group of people from the US, Canada and Australia used gourds as their art canvas. After this her curiosity was really aroused.  
She had always loved the American Southwest and was impressed with the art of Robert Rivera, Bonnie Gibson and Gary Devine. It was their art that convinced her to order her first box of gourds to see what she could do with them. 
In the beginning she started with ink pens on transfer paper and then moved to using them directly on gourds. She then added a bit of simple carving. Now the carvings have become more elaborate and often Susan will incorporate paint to brighten things up.
Susan Levesque is well known throughout Canada
and the US. She was featured in The Complete Book of Gourd Carving by Jim Widess and Ginger Summit, a book that is a staple in the gourd and art world. She has also been published in Our Home magazine in the 2011 Fall issue and in The Country Connection magazine. 
Trade shows and exhibits also keep her busy. She has taken part in the Muskoka Arts Festival in Barrie, Ontario, The Carmel Fine Art and Music Festival in Niagara Falls where she received an honorable mention for a piece titled Africa and the Sylvan Circle in Echo Bay.
She has participated in the Deer Trail Studio Tour in Elliot Lake and sat on that committee for eight years. Art At The Dock at Hilton Beach was a fun show to be an artist/vendor not to mention the International Gourd Show.
Susan now has her own show; a collaboration with two other artists called Art Among Friends. Eleven other artists will join Susan at the Laurentian Lodge just north of Elliot Lake the last week of September.
Susan stated that she loves where she lives and is inspired every day by the images that surround her. She enjoys canoeing, hiking and camping regardless of the season. 
In closing it should be said that art runs in Susan's blood as her family history shows. Her mother was an artist as was her Grandmother. 'Grandma was very adventuresome in her art...she would try everything; even taxidermy, and she did a wonderful job of it.'
Both Susan and her husband John have motorcycles and can often be found exploring new paths through the wonders of Northern Ontario. And who knows; right around that next corner may be the image that Susan has been seeking for that  perfect gourd sitting in her studio just waiting.
To learn more about Art Among Friends Exhibition and Sale, a show hosted by Susan Levesque and friends, click here:

Out Of The Mailbag

Hello everyone,
Here is a photo of Linda (second from the right), along with her co-workers after their Mud Hero Run. Not only is it a heck of a lot of fun, it is team-building and a fund raiser. The money raised by this group went to Camp Oochigeas, a camp for kids with cancer and to the Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto. To learn more about the Mud Hero Run click here:
Hi Carolyn,
It is me Catherine, a budding gourd artist. I am progressing in leaps and bounds thanks to the many Northern Dipper workshops I have attended. I have quite a stressful job and find that working with gourds is the ultimate de-stressor. Here is my pink garden flamingo which has received many compliments by passer-byers.   
                        Thanks for everything, Catherine 
Hello there Carolyn and Linda, 
I attended your Fall Beauty workshop and loved the project. I decided to try a red version at home.
I prefer the black bottom but I thought the red was reminiscent of the red fury of leaves surrounding my house. I do love fall...the colours, the smoky scent in the autumn air, the warm days and cool nights...definitely my favorite season.
                              See you again soon...Kathy
And now...the latest member of the Northern Dipper family! 
Hello again, 
Lastly we would like to introduce the latest addition to the Northern Dipper family. The little pup on the right is Hannah, 8 weeks old and weighing in at 2.8 pounds. A sister for Poquito (on the left) who has been with us for a few years now. Hannah is funny, charming and a real cuddly pet. We love her to bits!    
                                            Carolyn and Linda 

"Other Stuff"

The Blue Dot Movement is sweeping across Canada ranging from B.C to Newfoundland. Created by David Suzuki, this movement states that every Canadian deserves the right to a healthy environment - fresh air, clean water and healthy food. There is also participation in government decisions that will affect the environment.
This movement has already been taken up by more than 110 nations who recognize the right to live in a healthy environment. So stand up, join your friends, neighbours and communities and get involved. Become a Blue Dot volunteer. Make a difference.
For more information check out this website and the video at: 

The Last Word...
"Don't worry if you are making waves by being yourself. The moon does it all the time." 
                                       S. Stabile

"Looking Ahead" - January 2016 

We are honoured to have with us Claudia Joseph, a multi-media artist who delves into the world of gourds, stone, ceramics and paper. Born in Switzerland, Claudia grew up surrounded by paint and sculpture; her love of artistic expression is built into her genetic profile. 
In her early 20's she moved to Israel, a country which could not be more different than Switzerland. Here her creativity flourished and now; a few years later, Claudia is the owner of Holyland Art and is making her mark in the international art scene. Please welcome Claudia Joseph, a vibrant and personable woman who is guaranteed to fascinate you.
It is hard to believe that we will be beginning a new year in a couple of months. January is a wonderful time to cozy up at the kitchen table or in your studio and begin those art projects that you have been thinking about for awhile.
There are lots of tutorials on the Internet that will give you ideas and for a hands - on approach and personalized attention, take advantage of any workshops being offered in your area. They are always a lot of fun and opens the door for making new friends and acquaintances. 
As you can see we have a heavy craft show schedule coming up and we are busy. Make sure to stop by and say hello if you do attend the shows...we love meeting new people. So until next time, have a safe peaceful holiday season and we'll see you all again in the grand new year of 2016!
                        Carolyn Cooper and Linda Bond 






Volume 11, Number 117 


In this issue:

Susan Levesque: The Images of the Land

The Bulletin Board: News From Northern Dipper

Christmas Ideas!
Out Of The Mailbag,
Gourd Sightings & Trivia

   The Bulletin Board

It's Showtime At Northern Dipper!

Christmas Arts and Craft Show
November 6 - 8 
Barrie Molson Centre
555 Bayview Drive
Barrie, Ont. 
(Friday 12:00 - 8:00, Sat 9:00 - 8:00, Sunday 10:00 - 4:00)
Sugar Plum Fair
November 14 & 15 
Nottawasaga Inn Resort & Conference Centre
6015 Hwy 89
Alliston, Ontario 
(Sat 9:00 - 5:00, Sunday 10:00 - 4:00)
Fair November 
November 19 - 22 
University Centre of Guelph
50 Stone Road E. Guelph, Ont.(Thurs & Fri 10:00 - 9:00, Sat 10:00 - 6:00, Sunday 10:00 - 5:00)
Originals Ottawa Craft Show
December 10 - 20
(We are there Dec 10-13.) 
EY Centre, Hall 3
4899 Uplands Drive, Ottawa (Weekdays11:00 - 9:00,
Sat 11:00 - 6:00, Sunday 11:00 - 5:00)

 Susan Levesque

"I am inspired by our natural surroundings; I paddle our local rivers and swamps and take a lot of pictures of the animals and the plant life. Autumn is a great inspiration with all the vibrant colours."

 "Painting challenges me: I'm much more comfortable with my drafting pens using a stippling/pointillism technique and this is my preferred medium."

"I do force myself to use paint however. I feel it is important to work with new mediums and  techniques. I like to learn by experimenting but often think I should take a painting class in order to become more skilled."  

"I always thought this sounded corny when I first heard gourd artists say 'the gourd tells me what to put on it' but I've come to realize this is true."
"I'll start drawing an image on a gourd only to erase it over and over again until all of a sudden the gourd seems to lead you to what will fit its shape. So I guess in some cases I let the gourd tell me what to do."  
Words of Advice For New Artists
"Have fun, be open to new ideas and do not be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Most importantly explore and experiment with anything and everything!"

 "I believe art is an important part of our society. It brings us together in a way; we all show a part of our culture plus the beauty and sometimes devastation in our part of the world."
"We can use it to fight for something we believe in, something that affects everyone on this earth like endangered species and our environment."

 "I have a full time job and do my art purely for the enjoyment I get from it. I find it very relaxing but it is nice to be able to sell it as well. I sold my first piece at a trading post and this gave me the confidence to take part in local art shows and then on to bigger events."
"I would like to have my art shown in a gallery out west and would love to do a solo show in Prince Edward County but I have not pursued this yet. I think once I retire, which I can do in three years, I will take my artistic goals to a higher level." 

Christmas Ideas

We know how much you love buying craft-ready gourds just in time for your Christmas creativity.
For beautiful Christmas decorations or place card holders we are offering
pre-cleaned mini bottle and banana gourds.  
Check out our finishes as well as our Christmas Penguin workshop scheduled on November 28. See you there! 
For the Northern Dipper website with links click here:

Out Of The Mailbag

Hello there Carolyn and Linda,
Here are some Christmas themed gourd art that were fun to do. I am giving them to various members of my family.
Have a Merry Christmas and may every day of the New Year be filled with happiness and joy.
See you soon, Angel 

It's A Dog's Life

This is Ozzie, a small "low to the ground" terrier with beautiful soft curls and a face that would charm even those who are not fond of dogs. Ozzie has a natural aroma which seems to increase day by day which has made Ozzie the perfect candidate for a weekly bath.
We are lucky that Ozzie loves his bath and prefers being clean. He also likes all the nice comments he gets from the ladies when he is out on his three times a day walk.
Here are a few tips if you are a first time dog bather.
1.) Brush your dog before the bath. With Ozzie, and other long haired dogs, they will get "dreadlocks." Cut them out as they will only get worse.
2.) Do not use human shampoo as the Ph is different than dog shampoo. Choose a shampoo that is will be good for your pup's skin as well as his coat.
3.) Put a piece of cotton in his ears before beginning. Water in the ears can lead to nasty business...don't forget to take it out after the bath! 
4.) Use warm water if possible. Little Ozzie is lucky; he gets to bath in the tub but Mickey, the Lab, gets the rare bath outside with a cold water garden hose. (For a dog that swims in the ocean in February he doesn't seem to mind much.)
For more information on dog bathing click here:

Music Pick Of The Month

The Artist: Howlin' Wolf
The Songs:
Smokestack Lightnin'
 Back Door Man
To learn more about Howlin' Wolf click here:

Remembrance Day - November 11

Remembrance Day - a time to remember all of the members of the armed forces who have died in the line of duty in order to secure our freedom.
Also known as Armistice Day, Poppy Day and Veterans Day, the red poppy is worn as an emblem of Remembrance Day due to the poem 'In Flanders Fields.' To learn more 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  
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Northern Dipper Farm - 5376 County Road 56, RR2, Cookstown, Ontario, L0L 1L0, Canada