Note: If using Outlook click the above bar where it says “Click to download photos” The photos are the best part!
Northern Dipper Is Up For Sale!
After 11 years of owning Northern Dipper Carolyn and Linda have made the decision to sell Northern Dipper. The business has been very good to them and they are now taking this opportunity to retire.
What does Northern Dipper have to offer?
- It is Canada's # 1 Gourd Supplier.
- An established customer base.
- A secure website with a history of good traffic.
- An on-line newsletter that has been published for 12 years and has a readership in the thousands from around the world.
- An established vendor at the best trade-shows in Ontario.
- A good following of workshop participants.
- Goodwill and the potential for growth.
Northern Dipper is a marketing network that is easily transferable. For information call Carolyn at 1-705-435-3307 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Now onto this month's issue of Gourd Fever...
In This Issue: We are thrilled to have with us featured artist Carole Sheftic. Carole is quite the gal and has a lifetime of experience in the arts. At age eight she was painting pictures of her neighbour's houses and selling them for .50 each. Since that time Carole has painted, exhibited, taught, authored books and more. Extremely creative and intelligent Carole Sheftic is sure to inspire even the armchair artists in the crowd.
We also have lots of mail ranging from photos of the lovely gourds people grew this year to Jamie's gourd instruments. Also the usual trivia and fun facts so let's get going. Carole Sheftic, you are up!
Carole Sheftic: Fine Art Rooted In Realism
Carole started out in the small town of Boswell, PA not far Johnstown, nestled in the SW Appalachia Mountain Area of Pennsylvania. Twenty-three years ago she and her husband of 53 years moved from PA to Dunnellon, Florida. Three years ago, while teaching, one of her students introduced her to gourds and since that time she has become what we have seen many times before..."a gourd addict!"
Carole fell into the arts quite honestly. Her mother was an elementary school teacher and there was always construction paper, glue and tempera paint to play with. Both parents were supportive and as Carole reached adulthood she studied art education at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
At this time she met her husband, fell in love, married and started a family. One day her husband told her that she had enough art and craft supplies to start a store...so she did! In 1975 she opened Carole's Craft Corner. It was a full range arts and craft (and stain glass) supply store with classes going on day and night.
Despite the fact that Carole has been an established artist for many years, the one area where she still pushes herself to this day is the art of design. She has concluded that art is all about composition; be it form, color/value or perspective. Furthermore she states, she wishes she could sit down and plan her projects out but that is not usually the case.
Carole is the type of artist where once an idea gets in her head, she has to just dive in and get it started. This means that as she goes along changes happen. She has learned the hard way that you either plan it out and work the ideas out before you start or fix them as you go along. You can end up doing a second or third project to get it right when you just dive in.
To quote Carole she explains, 'I have found that in my older years I am going slower and planning a little more. I have found that carving and watercolor in particular are two art forms that deserve a little extra pre-thought."
Art, in every form, has been Carole's interest as long as she can remember. Now living in Florida the early morning hours in her air conditioned studio or doing some outdoor painting is her favorite place to be. A good book, visits to historical sites and getting lost in her flower beds also bring Carole joy.
One year ago she came home (on her birthday) to find that her entire studio had burned to the ground. She lost everything but quickly realized that it was just stuff and no animals or humans were taken. She learned that in times like that you accept your friend's support, take one day at a time and good things will happen in the end.
Despite that set-back Carole realizes that she has been fortunate. She has been able to live her life as she wanted, doing the things that she loved. She has a wonderful family and lots of friends. She is energetic and will continue to be busy. Kind-hearted and generous, we at Northern Dipper are grateful that Carole Sheftic stopped by to share her art and her thoughts with us. Thank you Carole, you are a delight; keep in touch!
Out Of The Mailbag: The Reader's Voices
Hi Carolyn and Linda,
This is what can be grown to Oro, Ontario. These only cost time, gas to drive to water them, fertilizer and annoying you for advice. I used Epsom salts which is a form of magnesium. I should get 7-8 in this first year.
Thanks for all your help during the summer. Now I am off to do my first "wool/yarn" basket. (Photo of basket to follow.)
This year I thought a display of long handled dipper gourds in the front flower bed would be an awesome welcome for my clients. These are extra long handled dipper seeds which I started indoors and then transplanted outside. It is hard to believe that all this growth was from just 3 plants. Carolyn
Hi Northern Dipper,
I have a lot of nice gourds growing in a greenhouse in High River, Alberta. I do not want to lose them so after reading your newsletter and answers to Keefe in Ontario (last issue) I wondered if it would be best to leave them on the vine in the greenhouse (unheated) or cut them and put them on pallets in an unheated but covered shed. Please let me know what I should do so I can dry as many as possible. Thanks in advance, Fiona
Thank you for your photos and email...very nice crop! You can do either/or. We were commercial growers in Ontario and with our trellised gourds we would leave them outside up on the trellis all winter. In an unheated greenhouse they will dry beautifully. Contrary to what one may think, the ice, snow and wind will not damage them at all.
If you want to cut them from the vine wait until the vines dye off after the first hard frost. Leave a bit of stem. If it were me however I would tend to leave them on the vine over winter. This way you are only handling them once.
It looks like you have a few immature (really small) gourds hanging there. You may want to keep your eyes on those. If they look like they are rotting cut those from the vines - rotting gourds turn slimy and are ugly to deal with. Hope this helps, Carolyn
Pontypool Workshop Participants
Hi Carolyn and Linda,
I was over at a friend's house the other day who is a real gourd addict. Not only does she produce some pretty incredible art she also has a large collection of books and magazines. Flipping through the magazines I came across this old Better Homes and Garden which seemed fitting for this time of year. I thought you would appreciate it and maybe want to use it in your newsletter. That is a green gourd they are using for a vase. I couldn't help but wonder if it would sweat.
Take it easy, Josh Foster
I realize I am jumping ahead but since I will not be seeing you in December I thought I would share a few New Year's traditions celebrated around the world. Let's travel around the globe beginning with Spain and Portugal.
1.) In Spain and Portugal people celebrate New Year's by eating 12 grapes at midnight, one for each toll of the bell. It is believed it will keep evil away.
2.) In the Netherlands, doughnuts and ring cakes represent prosperity in the New Year.
3.) In Poland, poppy seeds, which are used in many Christmas sweets, are symbols of fertility and wealth.
4.) In Germany, pigs made from marzipan are good luck and given as gifts at Christmas or New Year. Why a pig? Well, if you have a farm and you have a pig, you were considered lucky.
5.) Honey, used in desserts it invites sweetness into the New Year around the world, including India, Egypt, Greece, China and the Middle East.
6.) Pomegranates represent the many merits of the coming year in Middle Eastern countries.
To learn more about New Year's customs click here: http://www.almanac.com/content/new-year-traditions-around-world
Looking Ahead: January 2017
So here we are once again; closing out an old year and beginning a new one. It has been quite the year for us here at Northern Dipper. We were busy and our life has become richer because of it. We have made many new friends and have experienced many new things. And now we have made the decision to sell Northern Dipper in order to turn the page and start a new chapter. It is bitter-sweet for us but for a new owner it will be an exciting time full of possibilities.
We will be back in January 2017 with two amazing artists and much more. We would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a wonderful holiday season. All the best in the upcoming year. Remember to take some time for yourself over the holidays and relax. A nice hot cup of tea with a good book; that's our idea of winter relaxation! Take care everyone...see you in 2017!
Carolyn Cooper and Linda Bond