artists, growtips, info & more

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 Birdhouses by Vera Mordue
In This Issue: This month we are pleased to introduce Vera Mordue, a woman whom I would describe as a real free-spirit. Vera's gourd art reflects the lightness and joy she experiences in her everyday life. Her choice in colour is fresh and happy, and once you meet Vera, you will be left with a smile on your face, and with an urge to go grab a gourd, a brush, and the brightest colours you have!

Catherine Devine signing her new book at the CGS Gourd Fest

If you will remember the Canadian Gourd Society had their annual Gourd Fest last month at the Black Creek Pioneer Village in Toronto, Ontario. The turnout was good and everyone had a fine time. We will include a few photos for those who could not attend and also for those who would like to have a walk down memory lane. 

                               Wild Volunteer Gourd Vines 
This will be fun to clean up, best to wait once the vines die off.
Northern Dipper has been very busy with workshops this past month. The "Book Your Own Workshop" concept has been very popular as you will see from  our Reader's Corner letters. Keep in mind that Northern Dipper has gift certificates available for the upcoming Christmas season. A certificate for the above mentioned workshop would be a perfect gift or stocking stuffer for those gourders and crafters (or even for yourself) on your list. For details click here:

          Vera Mordue 
   Bright Colours and A
Happy Heart!

I love doing all types of crafts but the thing I love doing the most is painting. Many years ago my sister Florence introduced me to painting and I took to it like a dog to water. I have painted everything - canvas, T-shirts, interesting stones and tin cans. In a nutshell you name it and my paintbrush has probably found it.

Now I am not certain, at this stage of the game, whether the gourds found me or I found the gourds. I was taking a painting was about 3 years ago now...and I noticed these strange objects in the corner. Great shapes but they looked dirty and covered with a waxy substance. I asked my instructor about them and she pulled out a couple of boxes of them. She explained that they were gourds, and once washed, were the perfect medium for painting. She then showed me a couple of books, gave me a gourd and told me to have fun. As you can well imagine I did!

                                   Loon on a Paddle

Now I am, like many of you, hooked. I love gourds because they are so versatile. I have, in the past, tried different techniques but the truth is I love painting. The brighter the colours, the better it is for me.

Better for my pocketbook too. I have sold many over the past couple of years. It seems as though once a person sees them they too become intriqued and just seem to need a birdhouse or art object for their home. I am not complaining. As a matter of fact I am honoured that people love my work and that I get to be a bit of an ambassador in spreading the gourd glow.

                                 Tiger on a Wall

I do get help at home with my gourd art as well. My husband Wayne, who is my best friend and love of my life, cuts the holes in the birdhouse for me. Our son Jason gets his hands dirty in helping me too. It makes the projects fun and they are so generous - they do not want any of the money I make from the gourds. I guess my love and appreciation is enough for them!

Apart from gourds I stay very busy. I have, in addition to my son, a daughter Loretta and five grandchildren which I love spending time with. My husband Wayne and I like tripping around on our Harley motorcycle and in our 1970 Mustang with our dog, who also happens to be called Harley! I work full time as a dietary aide in a private nursing home where many of the residents and their families are also now 'gourd crazy.' It is contagious!  

To close I just want to say happy gourding to everyone. Remember a smile a day keeps a happy heart, and that my friends, is what life is all about.

Thank you Vera. We'll see you soon once again at Northern are always a most welcome visitor! Carolyn and Linda

The Canadian Gourd Society Gourd Fest .
Large banners greet the public from near and far.

Day 1 started off a little rainy but that did not dampen the spirits of the organizers and volunteers of the annual CGS Gourd Fest. They were all up early putting the finishing touches on the displays, competition pieces and workship spaces.
     Day 2 was bright and sunny and everyone was         delighted with the turnout and response.
Here is John (in the orange T-shirt) helping the participants of a drum-making workshop.  
 The 'Make and Take' table, organized by Barbara
Bell-Chambers, is always a popular destination.
 There were many ribbon winners at Canadian Gourd Society Gourd Festival

For info on the Canadian Gourd Society click here: 

 Readers Corner

         Gold Leafing and Gilders Paste Workshop

Dear Northern Dipper
My friends and I want to thank you for the workshop we participated in at Northern Dipper Farm. We have wanted to do this for some time now but between the four of us we have jobs, kids and husbands and could not manage to get there on a weekend. Your 'Book Your Own Workshop' experience was perfect as far as timing was concerned.

We had a great time. You and Linda are perfect hosts and instructors and even though we had very little gourd experience between the four of us by the end we all felt as though we were professionals. Plus it was fun going through your books, tools and other supplies and seeing all the samples of art that other people have done.

                        Weaving Class

Overall it was very positive and I am certain that you will see the four of us again!

Once again thank you,
Ellen Greenway - Toronto

NEXT ISSUE:  Next month we are honoured to present Jessey LaFontaine, a young artist from Vancouver Island who has already created quite a stir in the art world. Jessey's gourd art is impressive, drawing images from nature that will inspire even the most seasoned gourd artist.  

   A bag of minis and the book 'Making Gourd Ornaments' by    Angela Mohr would be a lovely gift. It would also be the   perfect project for a kid's get together over the holidays. 

It is difficult to believe that next month will be December; the end of another year. Gift giving will be on everyone's mind and for the gourd artists on your list a combination of supplies from Northern Dipper may just be the answer you need.

Carolyn and Linda have added many new products to their already extensive product line so if you need help just drop them a line. There are also hundreds of thick walled gourds just waiting to be picked through so make an appointment and drive up or check out the website. You will not be disappointed.


Autumn makes one very productive with all the little jobs to get done before winter hits. Raking up the last of the leaves is always fun, especially if you have kids. For the gourd growers in the crowd, the time is quickly approaching where you will be able to get out in the gourd patch one last time (after the first hard frost) and harvest the crop. It has been a long wait hasn't it! Until next month take care everyone....
                            Carolyn Cooper and Linda Bond 

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


     Volume 4, Issue 46 


In this issue
Vera Mordue- A Personality Who Is One In A Million!

The CGS Gourd Fest - A Weekend In Review

Dear Carolyn PLUS Readers Corner 
Gourd Sightings & Trivia


Finally...a sealer that works! Fabulous for vases, bowls or whatever your imagination dictates.

This FDA approved sealer can easily be applied to the inside of gourds to provide a water-proof seal.

To view the details click here -

Coiled Designs for Gourd Art
by Catherine Devine

Inspiration is at your fingertips with this beautiful resource book full of photos, patterns & instructions. A must for any artist who loves embellishment & rims.

Making Gourd Ornaments
by Angela Mohr

This is a super cool book just in time for holiday decorating and gift giving.  

To view these books click here -
 Vera Mordue
"With gourds you get your money's worth as you can do so many things with the gourds. I love that idea."

"I also do many other crafts such as cross-stitching, wood working and working with candles."

"Anyone interested in getting into gourds just make sure you have the right tools. It really will help your job with the gourds much easier."

"I do some sketching on gourds but mostly it is just free-hand. That way I can do my own ideas and patterns."


      Gourd Fest! 

Adrienne of the HOG's
(Happy Ontario Gourders) hamming
it up in her gourd vest. 

Display gourds
Make and Take Participants

An neatly cut gourd. 

Samples of gourd art for the public
to enjoy.

The above photos were taken by
Bonnie McLeod. Thanks Bonnie!

There are many ideas to chose from when booking your own workshops. 
The Cat's Meow!
Tenriffe Weaving

 Make Your Own Drum

Beginning to End
For details on the workshops click here:

         Gourd Sightings
Jackie Chan and Jet Li team up in a new movie "The Forbidden Kingdom". Full of action and humour this flick should not be missed. Gourd sightings were frequent throughout the movie as a container holding wine. For details click here:

 Published by:
 Pam Grossi
1535 Myrtle Ave
Victoria, BC, V8R 2Z7
Northern Dipper Farm
5376 County Rd 56, RR # 2
Cookstown, Ontario
L0L 1L0, Canada
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Northern Dipper Farm - 5376 County Road 56, RR2, Cookstown, Ontario, L0L 1L0, Canada