The Wild World of Betty Finch
The Bulletin Board: News From Northern Dipper
A Sneak Preview of the 2016 Workshops
Out Of The Mailbag, Gourd Sightings & Trivia
The Bulletin Board
"Bring A Friend" Special
(Available March 1 - May 31)
Do you enjoy gourd workshops and have a friend who would like to try one? This special is for you. Bring a friend and receive one workshop for 1/2 price.
(Available March 1 - Oct 31)
Want to get a gourd workshop for free? It's easy, just become the organizer! Get together 4 friends and as the organizer, you will get your workshop for free.
Scroll down to see photos of the hot workshops offered this year. You may just have to sign up for more than one.
If you would like to receive an email notice on our upcoming classes just send us your email address with the heading Priority List. It's as simple as 1-2-3 and makes planning very easy.
New At Northern Dipper
Filigree Bur - $6.00
For creating filigree designs this bur is the cadilliac. It is used for removing the second soft layer of gourd in order to do the fine lacy work.
5mm Wheel Bur - $6.00
For carving those straight lines this bur should be a staple in your toolbox.
Various colors available
These glass beads (without holes) are used to create beautiful, unique gourd lamps. For ideas check out Issue 86 in our Gourd Fever - Back Issues section on our website. Featured is world-class artist Calabarte and his award winning lamps.
We are shipping now with the exception of the Chinese gourd seeds.
(Links can be found at the bottom of this newsletter.)
"My mission statement is 'I work in partnership with nature to transform compelling visions into reality.' That is what I do. I work WITH nature coaxing it to participate in the process."
"During my career in law enforcement I moved from doing thumbprints sketches of the attorneys on the court list (I could not remember names so this was my cheat sheet) to drawing suspect sketches for the sheriff's department. This led to the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) sending me to the National Academy facial reconstruction course in Quantico, Virginia."
"When it comes to gourds I sometimes dream up ideas in my sleep. More often than not however, ideas are sparked while rummaging through a pile."
"I become so driven when working that I go without eating and get very little sleep. I fear I may lose momentum and it will join the mountain of unfinished projects in my garage."
"I don't create art to sell. There isn't really any artwork for sale on my website. Some of the larger pieces take years to complete and contain 40 gourds or more. With that investment of time and materials it is not realistic to expect to sell them for a profit."
"Instead I look for opportunities to exhibit pieces to appreciative audiences. I am out to have fun and nothing is more enjoyable than watching people whip out their cameras as they admire the gourd creations."
Words of Advice For New Artists
"Find your own unique style. An easy way to do this is to combine as many of your interests into your work as you can. This will add passion to your art."
"Here is how; list everything you are interested in on a piece of paper. Then brainstorm with a friend on ways to combine more than one of those interests into your work."
"For example, if you are good at painting, enjoy growing plants and love cats, make gourd planters and paint cats on them. Try several combinations."
"Concentrate on what you do best and enjoy most, then work to perfect it. If you excel at carving, then carve. Just consistently work to improve your craftsmanship and push yourself to do more challenging pieces."
"When working I ask myself 'How can I top this? My gourd sculptures were limited to what I could fit in my car until I challenged myself to build a sculpture that could be taken apart. The ballerina on the galloping horse (pictured above) is 9 feet tall and can be assembled from a box in 3 minutes."
"The first large sculptures I built had springs, hooks, hidden pulls and other complicated methods of attachment. I thought about it, experimented and devised simpler methods using only gravity to make them easier and faster to assemble."
Betty raises Appaloosas horses. Pictured above is Betty's colt Tux. These horses are known for their colourful coats and intelligence, gentle dispositions and abilities. Easily trained they are used in driving, jumping, trail riding, cattle events and reining. They are great in a race and are even seen at the circus!
It is believed that the Appaloosas have been around for thousands of years. In the ancient cave paintings found in Lascaux and Pech Merle, France, spotted horses have a home.
- Vertically striped hooves.
- The manes and tails are normally thin and fine in texture. This was valued as it helped the horse escape the entanglement of briers.
Out of the Mailbag
Hi Carolyn, Here is a photo of the planter I made for a friend. Nothing exciting but it did look great. Almost done my crochet and knitting containers...pics to follow. Thanks for all your help. Val AKA Michelle
Hi Michelle, We love this planter. It is very original and has a lovely sense of design. Thanks for writing.
Carolyn and Linda
Good morning, I thought I would send a photo of the drum with the cow hide I made. Hope you two had a wonderful Christmas and blessings for the New Year. Miigwtch
Hi Miigwetch, Thanks for the photos. Love your drum. There is something special about connecting with a drum that you have crafted yourself.
The other night we caught the last half of an old 1959 movie "Our Man In Havana" It was set in Cuba and throughout the movie gourd marakas were spotted.
It's A Dog's Life
Does your pup have bad breath or problems eating? Does he ever paw at his mouth? These could be signs of tooth decay, broken or chipped teeth or dental disease.
Many professionals now encourage dog owners to brush their pet's teeth to avoid future problems. Here is a breakdown of the types of teeth your dog has and the best way to care for them.
Starting from the front:
1.) The incisors are those 12 little single rooted teeth right in the front. They are used for grooming and gentle snipping.(biting off the tips of grass) These teeth are easy to keep clean with a brush.
2.) Canines (or fangs) - These large pointy teeth in the front are used for grabbing hold of objects i.e. a bone or toys These too are easy to brush.
3.) The premolars are located directly behind the canines. They are multi-rooted and are used for cutting large food items. There are 8 in all and brushing works as does the occasional chewie.
4.) The 10 flat teeth right in the back are the molars. They are used for grinding and are almost impossible to clean. With these teeth, dental biscuits or Greenies will help keep them clean.
There is lots on the Internet on cleaning your dog's teeth so check it out. It may not be your dog's favorite pastime but it will save the agony of bad teeth and gums in the future not to mention what can be staggering vet bills.