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.


It has: 

- 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


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 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.)




Hello readers,

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


Hi 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

"Gourd Sighting" 



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


"Other Stuff"

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:

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




Volume 12, Number 123 


In this issue:
Carole Sheftic: Fine Art Rooted In Realism

The Bulletin Board: News From Northern Dipper

Out Of The Mailbag: The Reader's Voices

Gourd Sightings & Trivia

  The Bulletin Board


 20% Off Sale!


Adirondack Alcohol Inks

20% off on stock colors.

Limited amount of some colors available - No back orders.


Memory Superior Inks

Many colors  - No back orders.

For details click here:


Goat Skin Drum Heads

20 % off 

No back orders

For more details click here:



It's Christmas and It's Show Time!



Our Show Schedule...


The Barrie Molson Show

Nov 4, 5, 6

Barrie, Ontario


Sugar Plum

November 12 - 13

Nottawasaga Inn Resort

Alliston, Ontario


London Christmas Craft


December 1,2,3,4

Metroland Media Agriplex,

London, Ontario



Originals Ottawa Christmas Craft Show

December 8,9,10,11

(We are participating in the first half;  the show runs from the 8 - 18.)

EY Centre - Hall 3

Ottawa, Ontario 

Carole Sheftic 

 "I have always been a realist painter and believe that has not changed. I hope that I am getting a little looser and getting more 'feeling & movement' into my art."




"I was mostly self-taught in oils, acrylics, pastels and water-colors and in 1975 I was introduced to the world of Decorative Painting and the Society of Decorative Painters. It encouraged the novice artist to learn techniques, teachable to anyone who wanted to improve their skills."


"I taught classes daily (and nightly) in my store and in the surrounding counties for 18 years. During that time I also wrote an instructional book in Acrylics titled 'Traveling Eastern Bye Ways' and taught painting seminars throughout the United States.



"After closing my PA store in 1993 we moved to Florida, changed careers for 15 years, retired and then started a mural business. We retired from that and then opened

a teaching studio."


"I love all mediums and love to share my talent with others. Right now, if I am not working on gourds,

I would say that my medium of choice would be pastels or watercolors."



Words Of Advice For New Artists

"Art is an expression of you.

Mostly 'JUST DO IT', and never

stop learning. "


"There are reasons why you or your critics like or do not like a completed art project. Learn about composition, color/value and perspective and how they affect a piece of art and then do your own thing with that knowledge."



The Role Of The Artist 

"We all know they have taken most of the art classes out of the schools as we once knew them, but I believe that it is the human instinct to be creative. There will always be those humans who have the need to create as well as those who appreciate that creativity in others."


"The world is constantly changing and we have to change with it. That is sometimes not an easy thing to figure out in this day and age." 


Future Plans 

"To keep doing art for the love of it as long as I am able!"


To view more of Carole's art click here:

Out Of The Mailbag

Paul's Gourds 





Jamie's Banjos & African Drum 



Hi Carolyn, Here is a photo of the banjos and African drum I made from the gourds I bought from you. I am pleased as they sound great. I will bring them out soon so you can hear them. We can have a little jam session. See you soon, Jamie


Fiona's Gourds





 Greetings everyone,

To the left is a photo of the last workshop of the season. I went to Pontypool to teach it and had such a fun time with these very happy gourd lovers. It was a nice way to end the workshop year and now we are moving on to the Christmas shows.  See you there. Carolyn 


Dear Gourd Ladies,

Just a quick email to tell you how much my husband and I enjoy your newsletter. The artists are inspirational and we love "It's A Dog's Life."


My husband's favorite section is the Music Pick of the Month. He suggested that I email you with a suggestion which is Humble and Kind by Tim McGraw.


With so much uncertainty going on right now we find this song to be grounding. It reminds us that kindness can solve so much.

Thanks, Josephine Black, MA

It's A Dog's Life 

Did You Know?

- A dog's mouth can exert 150 - 200 lbs of pressure per square inch - some dogs can exert 450 lbs per square inch.

- 87% of dog owners say their dogs curl up beside them or at their feet while they watch TV.

- Newfoundland dogs are great swimmers because of their webbed feet. Basset hounds cannot swim.

- Greyhounds are the fastest dogs on earth with speeds up to 45 miles per hour.

- Dog's nose prints are as unique as a humans'  finger prints. Nose prints can be used to accurately identify a dog.

- 58% of people include their pets in family portraits and holiday portraits. Do you?

 Music Pick of the Month



The Songs:

Humble and Kind

Tim McGraw


Across The Universe

Rufus Wainwright


The Hobbit: The Last Goodbye The Artist: Billy Boyd

 Published by:

Pam Grossi

 Victoria, B.C., V8R 2Z7


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

 If you have any comments or photos that you would like to send our way here is the email:

 © Northern Dipper 2016. All rights reserved. No portion of this newsletter may be used in any form without prior written permission from the authors.


5376 County Road 56, RR2 • Cookstown, Ontario, L0L 1L0 • Canada • Click here to unsubscribe.