Note: If using Outlook click the above bar where it says “Click to download photos”  This Issue has many photos so it may take a couple of extra minutes to download. 

Annie Boquist picked up a 1st Place Ribbon in the Intermediate category “Gourd Using A Weaving Technique”  Annie lives on Vancouver Island and the weaving material used to close the ends of this gourd is sea bull kelp.
In This Issue: This month we are celebrating the success of the CGS (Canadian Gourd Society) Gourd Fest. There are many photos and an overview of the weekend. As promised, our featured artist is Mi-Shell Jessen, a healer, shaman and gourd artist. I am certain you will find both her and her art very enticing. Our new column Dear Carolyn, the monthly “Help Me" gal, will be answering all your gourding questions. Keep those questions coming in. If we don't know the answer, we will try to find someone who does.
 Gourd Fest 2006


 An Impressive Winning Gourd by Barbara Bellchambers
The vibrant colours of the bird set off the waxed linen coiled rim.
Gourd Fest 2006 was a roaring success. The weather was precarious with rain all day Saturday and a flash flood late in the day on Sunday but many people came out to celebrate the world of gourds. There was lots to see and to do and there were some incredible display gourds featured from around the world. The Competition gourds awed the audience with their originality and beauty.
Bonnie MacLeod placed 1st with this elegant lace-cut bowl
in the category” Gourd Using A Combination of 2 or More Techniques”  It is hard to believe that Bonnie has only been working with gourds for a couple of years. This piece also won “Best of Division”

The all day demos and the Make and Take room converted more than one person into a gourd lover. It was great watching both children and adults, who had not touched a gourd before, walk out with necklaces, pins and flower vases. Barbara Bellchambers and Janet Bissett organized this area and they both did an outstanding job.

 Noel Potts of Toronto won the CGS Charm String Raffle.
Individual artists created each gourd on this string.
Northern Dipper was busy all weekend meeting people, answering questions and introducing new products. Popular were the beautiful, cleaned Guatemalan gourds. They are thick-shelled and have wonderful tan shells that are perfect for wood burning and carving. Gilder’s Paste was a hot item inspired by the all day project that Carolyn worked on when she had time. The basket and rim artists scooped up the soft, pliable, rich brown pine needles, and books, of course, are necessary in everyone’s gourd library.
 The CGS Box Raffle was very popular and helped raise funds for next years Gourd Fest.
We, Carolyn and Linda (the new owners of Northern Dipper) would like to thank everyone for making us
feel so welcome at Gourd Fest 2006. A special thanks
is extended to Glen, Madeline and Patty, who helped at
the Northern Dipper booth throughout the weekend.

The kids had fun getting their faces painted.

We will have more Gourd Fest photos in next
months Issue of Gourd Fever.
              For information about the CGS - 
 (Canadian Gourd Society) click here.
Jewellery In the Intermediate Jewellery Category
L - R: Barbara Bellchambers, Rhoda Forbes, Annie Boquist and a very cool gourd ring by Gaston Touchette.
 August Specials at Northern Dipper
Northern Dipper Arrives At Gourd Fest
Next month Gourd Fever will be presenting a Tutorial by Carolyn Cooper on How To Make Gourd Rattles. This Tutorial will be using Dipper gourds so stock up to get ready. Gourd dyes are on sale this month. Buy 8 and get the 9th bottle free. Details to follow.
 Dipper Gourds - 15% off
For details click here.
Gourd Dyes - Buy 8, get the 9th bottle for free! 
Permanent dyes in 1 oz bottles that absorb easily, providing a beautiful, translucent finish. Apply with a foam brush sponge or a soft piece of sheep skin.
Available colours in the set: Red, Mahogany, Blue, Yellow, Oxblood, Russet, Green, Black and British Tan
Sorry no substitutions.
Price - $ 20.00
To view click here.
(Please scroll down - the dyes are below the Gilders Paste.) 
Specials must be shipped in the month of August. Applicable for both farm visits and Internet orders.

     DIRECTIONS To Northern Dipper
 5376 County Rd 56, RR # 2
Cookstown, Ont, L0L 1L0
Directions From Cookstown To Northern Dipper:
 Go west on Hwy 89 for 6km. Go north on County Rd 56 for 1.5 km.  Our house is on the west side just after "Eileen's Flowers Galore Greenhouse".
To view a map of the location of Northern Dipper 
Just look for the hills of beautiful Guatemalan gourds
and you will know you have found Northern Dipper.
These gourds are available at the farm and through the
Northern Dipper website.
Monday to Thursday
  Please call ahead at 705/435-3307 or email at to set up a time.
Friday, Saturday & Sunday  
Friday - 10 AM - 7 PM
Saturday - 10 AM - 5 PM
Sunday - 10 AM - 5 PM
To print out our map click here. 
We have a retail shop that carry many different items. Outside we have many varieties of dried gourds including a large selection of Guatemalan gourds.

Mi-Shell -
Shaman, Healer, Gourd Artist

Mi-Shell at Summer Solstice Celebration

Mi-Shell works as a shaman / healer in Muskoka, Ontario, Canada and beyond. She is a registered nurse and a Jungian therapist. But first and foremost she is following in the footsteps of her Grandmother, the healer-shaman of her tribe in Siberia. Mi-Shell has practiced, taught and used shamanism and shamanic healing pathways with her patients, clients, in schools and the health care system. She leads circles and gatherings that focus on teaching, healing, ritual, drums and drumming, human growth and well being. Following is an interview with Mi-Shell.
   Grade 8 & 9 Students Participate in Drumming Circle 
 1.)     When I think of a shaman I think of Aboriginal culture. Was your Grandmother native?
I am not Native American but half Native Siberian, a quarter Gypsy and a quarter Danish. My great grandmother was the Healer-shaman - or Kham in our language of our tribe, the Urianshai - sometimes called Soyot by the Russians. Her youngest daughter, Aniani, my grandmother, was a healer/ herbalist/ midwife. She had 13 children, 12 girls and my father, born in 1900.
My mother was the daughter of a Gypsy Shuvihana -shaman/ healer of the Manish clan of the Roma people.
  Gourd Rattle 
I grew up pagan, within a shamanistic world view - EVERYTHING is alive and communicating! I went to University and there met First Nations People - Apache, Navajo, Lakota, that were also studying to become MDs. I, being very different from my compatriots, was invited to their meetings and gatherings for worship counselling. For a while I became a member of their Peyote worship circle. I learned the language - Inde' - Apache, which is very similar to Urianshai with some words being almost the same.
Turtle / Wolf Pin
Mi-Shell & partner Peter are the owners and designers
of Bearpaw Jewellery
2.) You are very well qualified as a registered nurse, Jungian therapist and Shaman. Do you find that there is overlap between these different disciplines? 
If a soul is suffering a person gets ill. As a shaman I treat the whole person, his or her family and their social surroundings, to restore the harmony, health and balance on all levels. The modern health care system compartmentalizes and separates the body and symptoms from the mind. Psychiatric problems, social and spiritual problems are often not considered. Modern doctors are in such demand and try to take as little time as possible to "Fix" a problem or its symptoms. 
I however work with our local MD's here. I refer people to them -- for example if I find a tumour; they get into the office pretty quickly. The Doctors know that if I do send someone it is something serious. Also they sometimes send a person to me or give them my number, if they feel I can do something that would help.
 Wiccawand and Crystal Beads
3.) Many of your drums and rattles are made from gourds? Is this because it is a natural material which has been used in ceremonies for centuries?
I really enjoy using gourds to make drums and rattles. Each gourd, due to its shape and the thickness of its shell, becomes an individual one of a kind instrument with a sound and resonance all its own. More so than that - to my eyes everything is alive and therefore has a Spirit inside.
It is an adventure - and sometimes a challenge, to work with that Spirit, to express its character and its voice. Some will be excited to be filled with turquoise and garnet pebbles to be used as a joyful rattle for the drum circle; others insist on being filled with 409 fine anthill crystals to bring out its voice as healing rattle.
Right now in my basement there is one large Kettle gourd caked with black mold and scruffy stuff. I had intended it to become a drum, but it says " I am a bead box". So now I am wracking my brain as to how to make that happen!
If you wish to contact Mi-Shell and Peter or
Bearpaw Jewellery here are the particulars:
Mi-Shell Jessen, P.O.Box 555
Bracebridge, Ont, P1L 1T8, Canada
Phone: 705-645-4167
To learn more about Shamanism click here.
Thank you Mi-Shell for contributing this article. The next time we are up in your area we will stop by to say hello!
(All photos for this article were provided by Mi-Shell Jessen)

                  Gourd Growing in August
    The gourd field is peaceful in the evening.
At this time of year you should be walking your gourd patch. Pollination will end in a couple of weeks and in the first week or two of August cut back on the watering.  

Trellised gourds: The vines of the gourd plant are very strong & can support heavy gourds. If you are growing on chicken wire, check that your gourds are not growing into the wires. Gently move them out using 2 hands... the vines will be able to support them. If they do need extra support use pantihose. Place the gourd in the "top" of the pantihose and tie it up using the legs.


Ground grown gourds: Go through your gourd patch and place your gourds in an upright position. This will ensure that you will have no flat spots on the sides of the gourd but on the bottom so they will sit well when drying in the fall and winter.


There are diseases that flourish at this time of year. Powdery Mildew is a fungus caused by a spore, which is carried by the wind. It starts with small yellow spots on the leaves and once established will appear as small grayish white spots. Once it gets hold it will cover the plant and eventually kill it. Some gourd varieties are more susceptible than others. Planting too close togeather can magnify the problem.
Powdery Mildew is a hard one to get a handle on. In Ginger Summit's book "Gourds In Your Garden" she recommends 2 Teaspoons of baking soda
& 2 Teaspoons of lightweight horticultural spray oil mixed with 1 gallon of water. Spray both sides of the leaves well. For more drastic measures go to your local Garden Center. They will be able to recommend an appropriate solution to fight powdery mildew.
For more information click here.


Cucumber Beetles: Watch your population and do not let it get too high. They will start eating into your fruit and will badly scar the shell.
For more information click here.

 Dear Carolyn!
I love my Gilders Paste and how easy it is to blend the colours. One colour seems to be much drier than the rest and so it is difficult to use.  Is there anything I can do to fix this or do I need to buy a replacement?
Judy C.
Dear Judy,
Gilders Paste is a beeswax based pigment which is easy to use. It has lasting colour and can be used on gourds, wood, metal and ceramic.
To answer your question on how to soften up a dry tin of Gilders Paste: Gilders Paste is doing what it is intended to do, dry and get hard. If a tin is as hard as a hockey puck, everything is good. To soften just add a couple of drops of mineral spirits or turpentine to the tin, mix and you are read to start again. You can also add a few drops of the Mineral Spirits / Turpentine, close the tin and let it sit overnight. In the morning it will be soft and ready to use.
Other Tips:
Use your finger, sponge, toothbrush, paintbrush, stencil brush or cloth in a rubbing motion to produce a unique finish.

Layer colours on top of one another or mix to create different finishes or an endless color palette.
A small 27 ml container covers over 30 square feet.
Have fun!
Carolyn - Northern Dipper
To view the extensive Gilders Paste colour palette click here. 
To send in questions to Dear Carolyn! click here.

Carolyn and Peter relax with Jade and Royal.
They are all tired but happy after the weekend of Gourd Fest.

Carolyn Cooper won a 1st Place Ribbon for this didgeridoo
in the category “Functional Gourd Instrument” Beginners.
This Australian instrument is made up of 5 Snake gourds.
 To learn more about this unique instrument click here.
In the upcoming September Issue of Gourd Fever, we are pleased to present Featured Artist June Snook. June is an accomplished gourd artist who also happens to breed McCurdy Plantation horses on her ranch in Oregon,USA.
We will also have a Tutorial on “How To Make A Gourd Rattle” by Carolyn Cooper. There are a couple of tricks Carolyn learned from an aboriginal artist on making rattles so make sure you stock up on those Dippers. (See Monthly Specials) We will be profiling the newly imported Guatemalan gourds and we will have another gourding question for our Dear Carolyn!
“How Time Flies” by Debby Russell
This working clock won 1st place in the category
“Gourd Animals” Beginners.
Until then, enjoy the rest of your summer...
                                    Carolyn Cooper and Linda Bond

Back issues of our newsletter Gourd Fever are on our Website. If you have missed any issues there are some interesting tutorials and grow information you may want to check out.


PS If you have any stories or ideas that you would like to contribute to this newsletter please send to


Volume 2, Number 18 


In this issue:
Gourd Fest 2006
August Monthly Specials 
Featured Artist: Mi-Shell Jessen - Healer, Shaman and Gourd Artist
August Gourd Growing Report  
Dear Carolyn!
Gourd Sightings & Trivia

 Gourd Fest 2006  
   Rhoda Forbe's 1st Place Winner in the category "Gourd Using A Weaving Technique Advanced"  This full pine needle rim was amazing and the face in the centre was such a lovely surprise!
Dan MacDougall placed 1st in the category "Gourd with a Weaving Technique Beginners"
This was an interesting rim as it was made with several natural materials.
Earth, Air, Fire, Water - a fabulous piece by Brenda Chalifoux-Luscombe .
 Brenda's  gourd won a 1st Place Ribbon in "Combination of Techniques", the Best of Division Ribbon and The People’s Choice Award.
Tiny green gourd with a woven rim
by Barbara Bellchambers.
A happy gourder in the
Make & Take room.
Barbara Bellchambers won a 1st Place Ribbon, Best of Division and Best of Show for her magnificent Algonquian petroglyphs. This was a large piece and it had a strong presence in the category "Gourd Hand Chipped or Hand Carved (Cut or Uncut)"
Close-up of Barbara’s waxed linen rim.
It is tight & professional looking. It is
easy to say it is absolutely perfect.
Debbie Russell's Feather Bowl
There is a Tenerife design in the
back of the bowl.
The wonderful green of Orit Isehayek’s
lizards set off the rest of this gourd.
France Benoit’s doll won 1st Place in
the Intermediate "Doll or Toy Category". This doll had a beautiful
flow to her and France's choice of colours were striking.
 Gail & Dana made sure everyone
was well fed all weekend.
Northern Dipper attracts a crowd
 everywhere they go!
Hats Off to Catherine Devine who
pulled the CGS Gourd Fest together.
Here she is doing a demo on
powdered pigments.

How the Healing Drum Works
Gourd Guardian Drum
(Designed by Mi-Shell) 
One of the most powerful aspects of drumming is that it changes people's consciousness. Through rhythmic repetition of ritual sounds, the body, brain and the nervous system are energized and transformed. When a group of people play a rhythm for an extended period of time, their brain waves become entrained to the rhythm and they have a shared brain wave state. The longer the drumming goes on, the more powerful the entrainment becomes.  All of the oldest known religious rites used drumming as part of the shared sacred experience.
Double -Sided Gourd Drum
 Story Telling
Oral history is passed along with full costume and masks. The audience participate with drums and rattles.
Bear Rattle
Siberian Ongon Gourd Rattle

Shaman’s Pouch made with wolf fur


Mi-Shell cleaning gourds while in Germany.

Georgian Bay Island pin designed by Peter Jessen of Bearpaw Jewellery 
Tree of Life Rune
designed by Bearpaw Jewelley
Dancers – 5 Sisters designed by Peter 
Jessen - Bearpaw Jewellery

    Gourd Growing  
 Look under your vines for gourds lying on their sides. Stand upright - you do not want a flat spot on the side. 
 If you planted Bushels be prepared for some lovely large speciments in your gourd patch.
So many shades of green
in a gourd patch.

Gilders Paste

After 12 hours of drying, lightly buff
the rich metallic colours. It will produce
a classic gilded finish. Gilders Paste does not fade in sunlight.

Gourd Sightings -
Birds & Blooms
  In the August/September 2006 Issue
of Birds & Blooms are the Winners
of the National Birdhouse & Feeder Contest. (Page 36-39) There
are 2 nicely painted gourd birdhouses.
For the gourd growers there is an amusing article titled Vine Wars
(Page 18) We all know Jack's vine
wasn't really a beanstock but
a gourd vine!

Now this is interesting...
Julian Beever has made 3-D pavement drawings for over ten years. He has worked in the U.K., Belgium, France, The Netherlands, Germany, the USA and Australia.
 Doesn't that water look refreshing?
 Look out! You might fall in
that big hole.
 Here you can see Julian kneeling
on his Spiderman chalk drawing.
It really is extraordinary isn't it.

To see more of Julian Beever’s 3-D sidewalk art click here. 
Thank you Willo Treschow for
sending this in!

Designed & Published by
Pam Grossi
1666 Villa Nova Rd, RR # 2
Wilsonville, Ont., N0E 1Z0
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 Northern Dipper Farm
5376 County Rd 56, RR # 2
Cookstown, Ont, L0L 1L0
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Northern Dipper Farm - 1666 Villa Nova Road RR1, Wilsonville, Ontario, N0E1Z0, Canada