artists, growtips, info & more

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

These wacky sculptures, created by Glen McLean, were spotted at Kempenfest in Barrie, Ontario. The fellow in the middle had a bandage on his nose...nothing a little white glue won't fix!
In This Issue: First off we would like to apologize to those subscribers who have had problems receiving this newsletter for the past couple of months. It took a bit of experimentation to figure out exactly what the problem was and now we are confident everything is fine. To see the issues you may have missed go to our website at 

Please welcome Katie Lewis, student and practitioner of the ancient Chinese art of Feng Shui. Feng shui dates back 3000 years, and is the balance in the energy forces of yin and yang. To learn who uses feng shui and how gourds play a part, read on. Our conversations with the lovely Katie Lewis are both enlightening and educational.
Last month we received a couple of letters from people who are anxious to harvest their crops...they can't wait to get their paint brushes and wood burners on them! Get the scoop on September happenings out in the gourd patch in this month's issue of Gourd Fever.
Last and not least we have a few gourd sightings from the arts and craft fair Kempenfest. It just goes to prove that when you least expect it, gourds just seem to pop up everywhere.
And now please welcome our featured guest Katie Lewis...

Katie Lewis
"Living In Harmony" 
In Chinese philosophy, yin and yang are the two cosmic forces that shape and balance all life. Yin, which is feminine and fluid, is present in the moon, rain and floods. Yang, which is masculine and solid, is the force that is the sun, the stars and the earth. Feng shui is the way of dividing yin and yang in the landscape. In other words the term feng shui represents the power of the natural environment, which is alive with hidden forces.
Many years ago a friend lent Katie Lewis a book about feng shui. She was immediately enthralled and soon one book led to twenty. Soon Katie's journey led her to search out a feng shui master. She became a student of Master Joseph Yu and has been studying with him for the past four years. Katie has studied feng shui, business feng shui, The Four Pillars of Destiny (astrology) and Date Selection. Looking back Katie says what began as a good book has turned into an amazing career.
Katie explains "Feng shui is a way of living harmoniously with the natural world. It is a study of energy from Heaven (time) and earth (space) and how it affects our lives. It is space relative to time... a mathematical science that is used to balance the energy flow around us. The Chinese have long known that choosing a beautiful and fortunate dwelling leads to a more prosperous life. When a building is constructed, an exact compass degree reading that it faces produces an energy map. This map shows what energies reside in the different areas of the home or building. I can then tell a client how best they can utilize the energy of their home to improve their quality of life."
"Clients hire me for a variety of reasons. Some already own their home or business and would like me to improve upon what they have. Some clients hire me prior to buying a new location so that I may confirm that the location will be auspicious before they buy. Other clients want to implement feng shui before they begin building."
"The calabash or Chinese bottle gourd is an important feng shui cure. The round figure eight shape and the golden yellow colour of the gourd represent the element of metal. Metal is what we use to pacify or redirect sickness energy associated with the element of earth. A feng shui audit will determine where the sickness energy is located. The client will then place a calabash in this location and the sickness energy is removed."
"The gourd needs to be cleaned and a hole is drilled into the top of the gourd. The center of the gourd is cleaned out and the gourd can be painted either golden yellow or can be varnished. Then the calabash is ready to use."
Katie is busy on the home front as well. She married her childhood sweetheart and is the mother of two children; Jack, age 6 and Emily, age 4. Four years ago Katie and her husband left Toronto seeking a more peaceful lifestyle in Innisfil, Ontario. She and her family are now just minutes from beautiful Lake Simcoe. In her off time from her Feng Shui work Katie can be found in the kitchen baking up a storm. She claims she has a tireless sweet tooth and enjoys spending time with good friends over a glass of red wine and great food.
Katie provides many feng shui services including residential and business feng shui audits, real estate audits and sun and moon ceremonies. She also teaches so be sure to check out her schedule and the testimonials at
Thank you Katie, feng shui is a fascinating subject and you are a fascinating guest. We have already talked to you about having a feng shui audit and we do look forward to seeing you again. All the best, Carolyn and Linda

The Canadian Gourd Society presents Gourd Fest 2008!

Karen Cheeseman's Relief Work

The CGS is excited to announce that their annual festival has been relocated to Black Creek Pioneer Village, an interesting and beautiful historical setting in Toronto, Ontario. This festival will bring together many of Canada's best gourd artists under one roof for a fun-filled weekend.

WHAT will you see:
*Competitions - The competition gourds are always amazing. To the right are some of the CGS festival's past entries.
*Make and Take - This event is extremely popular with both kids and adults alike.
*Demos - Watch the experts carve, woodburn and coil. Ask lots of questions - these artists are both knowledgeable and friendly.
*Workshops - For details check out the CGS website.
*Guest appearance - Catherine Devine will be signing her new book "Coiled Designs for Gourd Art." This book contains gourd prep, coiling materials, projects and a gallery of gourds from talented artists from the gourd and basketry world. There are also included instructions for both lefties and righties which is super cool!
(We at Northern Dipper love this book and will be doing a review in the very near future.)

Northern Dipper will also be at Gourd Fest with hundreds of dried gourds and supplies.
WHEN: Sept. 27 - 28, 2008 
WHERE: Black Creek Pioneer Village
It is located one set of lights east of Jane St, on the south side of Steeles Ave (follow the Village signs). It is accessible from Highway 400, 401 & 407. 
For more details including a map click here:

  September: Watching Those Gourds Ripen!

September can be one of the nicest months of the year. Warm days, cool nights, and out in the gourd field, the vines are green and lush. By month end your gourds may be showing the beginning signs of the drying process. In Canada do not harvest in September under any circumstance. Harvest will happen at the end of October once the first hard frost hits and kills all the vines. 

Go through your gourd patch one last time to check  that all the gourds are sitting upright. Check under the umbrella sized leaves too. There are always a few surprises just waiting to be discovered.

If you have trellissed tie up any heavy gourds with pantihose. Keep in mind that you can keep those gourds on the trellis over winter. They will dry beautifully. (Sorry ground growers - you will have to harvest yours!)

Minis: Mini vines may be dry by the end of September but the gourds are still very much green. Minis will be the first thing you will be able to harvest. Keep 1" - 2" of stem attached when cutting the gourds from the vine.

Next month there will be lots to do so take the time to enjoy the magic during this last month of summer out in your gardens.

Reader's Corner
Dear Linda and Carolyn,
Arrived home safely to Nova Scotia. Just wanted to say ' thanks' for your guidance and suggestions when we visited you on Monday.

We had a great time and are still amazed at all the different shapes and sizes of gourds. Bob has cleaned a couple but I haven't started yet.

Once again thanks again for your assistance.

Hello Northern Dipper,
A few weeks ago, while in Toronto for a visit, I attended the Kempenfest Arts and Craft venue in Barrie, Ont. It is a weekend-long annual event and is very well attended.

There is a huge section filled with artists, antique dealers and other equally fascinating vendors. As I was walking along my eye caught these gourd drums. I just loved the way the tops were angled...and they had a great feel and sound to them as well.

As it turned out the maker of these drums was Glen McLean, an old aquaintance that I met in the gourd world a few years ago. Glen and his wife Madeleine do very well with their gourd art, hand-made brooms and wooden spoons. They are perfectionists in their art and it was a thrill to see them again.

Under Gourd Sightings in this newsletter, there are more photos of some of the gourd art I saw both at Glen's and at a neighbouring booth.
Pam Grossi 
PS Thanks Glen for the spoon. Peter liked it too!

 " Summer at Aunties "
Nicholas and Amanda are Carolyn's nephew and niece and they always enjoy it when they have their yearly one week visit at Northern Dipper Farm. This year they had the chance
to make lined water bottles. They made corded netting and 
will be able to carry their enviromentally-friendly water bottles over their shoulder.

We are thrilled to present Jan Rollenhagen, an artist whose work has been found in numerous galleries, and in private collections, around the world. Jan started off as a professional Fashion Designer and then took an interest in cast paper sculpture. As with many artists her sense of adventure led her to gourds and as you will discover, Jan's gourd designs will astound our most seasoned gourders. 

      ' Happy Fish ' Cast paper sculpture by Jan Rollenhagen

We will also have some exciting photographs of the CGS Gourd Festival. Remember to mark your calenders - Sept 27 and 28th at Black Creek Historical Village. We at Northern Dipper are really looking forward to this weekend. As you know we   love all things gourdly and can't wait to see what everyone has been up to the past year.

Next month will be the last month of the Gourd Grow Report. Harvesting will be the main topic along with the storage of your green gourds over the winter. A sad and joyous experience all at once - summers over but look at the art supplies at your fingertips! Yippee...can't wait to get to them in the spring!

Keep well, have fun, see you next month,
                             Carolyn Cooper and Linda Bond

PS We welcome contributions to this newsletter. Please send ideas, articles, tutorials or letters to


Volume 4, Number 44


In this issue:
Katie Lewis: Living In Harmony With Feng Shui

Coming Soon! The Canadian Gourd Society Gourd Fest 2008
Patience In The Gourd Patch

Dear Carolyn! PLUS Reader's Corner

Gourd Sightings & Trivia

 September Specials
10% off all gourds
 Everything from Minis to Bushels!
 Farm Visits only

15% Off Dyes
Permanent dyes that are absorbed easily. Available
in 9 gorgeous colors in convenient 1 oz bottles.
To view dye selection click here.

Katie Lewis
"Feng Shui will help all areas of your life. I have had clients with improved health, better relationships, more energy and more money. Some have had fertility issues and with feng shui, have been able to conceive. Feng shui can and does dramatically improve a person's life."

The wu lou or the bottle gourd is a powerful symbol of longevity, good fortune and an abundance of blessings!

The God of Longevity, Sau, carries a staff with a bottle gourd that is said to contain the elixir of Immortality hanging at the end.

The shape of the wu lou is also a represention of heaven and earth united in miniature; the top half is heaven and the bottom, earth.

Placing a wu lou by the bedside is especially beneficial for those who are ill or generally under the weather.

This is a small wooden feng shui bottle gourd.

Feng Shui Luopan Compass

"Birth dates are an important consideration in feng shui. A person's birth date helps us ensure that each individual's energy is balanced in his or her space"

For more info on feng shui calenders and books click here.

"Energy comes to our home from
eight different directions; east, northeast, north, etc. It comes from the outside in. So it is important to look at the structure of the home: its doors, windows and pathways to see how the qi (energy) enters and circulates through the home."

"Once we know how the qi enters we can determine the functionality of each room. The qi tells us how each room should be used and if the room is suitable for each occupant. As a  practitioner I try to match the people
to the rooms they use."

The healing properties of crystals have been known throughout history & are used in the practice of feng shui.

Jade brings good luck, cleanses, protects and reduces stress.

Pink rose quartz crystals promotes love and self-worth. It restores balance and promotes emotional healing.

Fun & ease on that special day...
Want to celebrate a birthday, family reunion or that special day with something different?
Northern Dipper is now offering workshops of your choice of date and time. Just email us at with your date and workshop request and leave the rest up to us!

Listings of these workshops will be
up on our site soon.
(Must be two or more participants)

For ideas on workshops click here.

The CGS Gourd Fest: 
Past Entries
Annie Boquist's birdhouse using seaweed
as an embellishment.

Shekere created by Debbie Russell 

Gaston Touchette's sculpture is fun,
clean and professional. 

Lois Dean's sculpture and dragon received lots of attention at the 2006 Gourd Fest. The dragon won many ribbons!

Mary Druiss-Yaber's work is impressive. 

Brigette Thompson's Woodburned Frog
Bonnie McLeod's Hummingbird. This was a beautiful piece in its simplicity. 
Gourd Sightings - Kempenfest! 

These arrangements were spotted in a booth that sold wreaths and dried flowers.

These gourds were spotted in Glen's booth.

Published by: 
Pam Grossi
1535 Myrtle Ave
Victoria, BC, V8R 2Z7
(250) 598-9674

  Northern Dipper Farm
5376 County Road 56
RR2, 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