Heading to the island anytime soon? The spirited place with islands within islands, 108 freshwater lakes; the big island surrounded by Lake Huron with sailboats slipping by in the distance. The home of Daphne Odjig and Wikiwemikong, one of the largest First Nation communities in Canada. Skip over Little Current's iron swing bridge to view galleries, take hikes, find antiques and stumble upon on a few of our products, including the Woodland Notepads.
Over the August long weekend we put our stuff (3 pack Woodland Notepads and prints) in the MuchMore Store in Providence Bay and Woodland Notepads (single pack) in Island Home Outfitters! Be sure to visit the stores when you are back on the island!
We also made a nice camping trip out of the excursion, checked out the Cup and Saucer Trail, M'Chigeeng Pow Wow and pitched a tent by the big water. We're going to back to see the island in Fall's bloom. Can't wait to see the colours!
Until next time,
Are you heading to Killarney for a road trip? Hang on, don't forget to stop at the Channel Marina (place with the great ice cream) to pick up one of our 100% recycled Woodland Notepads. Scratch and sketch in it, perform a tally on how many fish you catch or use it for kindling.
Enjoy this beautiful northern ontario summer before it slips away! Have a great weekend Ontarians & Sudburians!
Love the lakes,
Happy 45th year Anniversary to the Northern Lights Festival!
Northern Lights Festival this year showcased many awesome musicians, artists and makers! Thanks for two great days - we spent Saturday night attending the music festivities ourselves and enjoyed two sunny day chatting to passerby and attendees from our booth at the Makers north tent!
We are certainly looking forward to attending another Makers North Makers Market in November - until then, you can find our stuff at Killarney Channel Marina!
Here is a video interview of Cassidy describing the day posted by CKLU 96.7FM - if you would like a glimpse into festivities! Find it on our Facebook Page.
Until next time.
We spent Canada's Day in Espanola this year! Setup our booth at Legions hall with the rest of the folk and enjoyed a quaint and lively setting. There was live country music outside, throwing-games and beer available at the tent, (we used to come to Espanola for our brother's hockey games back in the day). A small town with busy bodies enjoying the day - few patches of rain showers but mostly sun!
We also now have cards, prints and Woodland notepads available to sell - so thats big news for us! We were very excited to get a new display to show a couple of our favourite prints - including some cats (really need to get on drawing dogs). Until next time.
Thanks for a great day!
Greater Sudbury Public Library and Science North got together to launch Sudbury's First Makers Fest! Sudburians had the chance to discover local artists, learn DIY projects, see sculptures and take part in creative maker projects. We brought with us the Woodland Notepad and shared the process with our video; we also brought some of our tools, including the carved lino block.
There were many others there from Clean Air Sudbury holding a bat house workshop, Greater Sudbury Public Library with vinyl cutting and a button making workshop, Science North electronics, a sewing workshop, a coral reef display by Fibre Arts made out of yarn to inspire environmental stewardship - innovative, creative and meaning-making work!
Makers, artisans, artists, scientists, hackers and innovators - until next year!
Block printing is one of the oldest types of printmaking, a 2,000 year old technique which has been done around the world. With roots in China it had remained the most common East Asian method of printing books, texts and images until the 19th century. The technology was first used to duplicate Buddhist texts and then later, books of Chinese origin and in the 1500s, books originally in Japanese began to be printed.
Black and white illustrations were also a part of these early texts. The first coloured prints in Japan were original works of art, which soon led to the publishing of the popular, single-sheet ukiyo-e ("pictures of the floating world"). In India, in the region of Gujarat the use of wooden blocks for printing was most common and records show that as far back as the 12th century, certain areas of India became renowned for their printed cotton.
In essence, one carves a material (there are a number of different materials you can use from wood, linoleum or rubber) and then you transfer your art piece using ink by pressing, stamping or rubbing onto paper, fabric or another material.
Why we love it. We love that this techniques allows for a bold image and leaves a rough texture on our cards and notepads. We also love that we can carve our artworks by hand, using a fine tool and find this process cathartic. Finally, the act of pressing down to stamp is also very definitive. Its a simple way to make your mark. When we have held workshops, we have found that this very simple act of using your hands to press down and and leave a bold mark of permanent ink reflects a subtle movement of what it means to create; precision and intention with a unique print as a result.
Want to Know More About Our Process?
Here is a fun, quirky video to bring the process to light.
To kick off International Women’s Week we were invited to take part in RMG Fridays at the Robert Mclauughlin Art Gallerys in Oshawa for their Wonder Women event. Celebrating women artists, film makers and doers. We screened a short two minute video titled Women of the Lake and held a community art project in the Studio.
The short piece Women of the Lake explored connection to place and intergenerational relationships we have with the women in our family, using a monologue that reflected on our great Mummu, a minnow catcher on Beaver Lake and paddling the river.
The two art projects that we coordinated included sharing our classic hand-printing process used to create all of the Woodland Notepads. Participants were encouraged to make their own mark, whether a windswept tree, black bear or a paddle.
The other project was a contemporary embroidery activity working with ‘domestic materials’ including thread and needles; having participants stitch trees behind a women canoeing using different colours of threads and patchwork to celebrate women on the lake.
Another visual piece we added were photographs of Women of the Lake from history that we were able to dig up in archives and elsewhere, including Marilyn Bell, first person to swim across Lake Ontario, a group of women enjoying summer in a canoe in the 1960s, a Mohawk woman carrying her baby in a cradleboard and a photo of our great Mummu in her later years still canoeing.
The highlights for Cassidy and I was chatting with locals who came to join in the activities. We met some creatives who were exploring art mediums on their own time, oil painter, photographer, art teacher and some others arriving at the gallery to reminisce and get their hands dirty.
Thanks for a great time #wonderwomen!
This weekend we will be taking part in the very first Holiday Market put on by Makers North. Two community artists Tracy Baker and Julieannne Steedman have collobarated to produce a great line up of local artisans, makers and sellers bringing many unique and interesting things to Sudburians!
You can find us at our booth drinking lots of coffee while talking about our newest project The Woodland Notepad ! We are so excited to meet Sudburians and artists alike! Our crazy Gramma will also be visiting our booth, so be sure to say hello to all three of us!
Find more about us at the market here.
Hope to see you there!
At the beginning of October 2016 we participated in a multi-arts festival that explored the theme of 'walking' organized by 4 Elements Living Arts in Kagawong on Manitoulin Island. This festival seeks to explore a world outside traditional gallery and museum spaces by emphasizing land art, performance art, music and riverside installations.
Placing our painting along the Kagawong River trail next to salmon swimming up stream, eagles swooping down from atop trees was an experience on its own. We stumbled across hidden treasures or thoughtful pieces such as Matt Ceolin's flags and trace paths, and Judy Martin's cloth halo path which made us think about the act of walking, a daily ritual, in a much bigger context; playing with introspection and the cultural inscription of humans to the earth, along with our connection to movement and ecology.
Artists including Judy Martin, Chris Turnbul, Matt Ceolin, Nate Nettleton (and ourselves) took part in the Artist Walk and Talk, describing the layers of their work, their inspirations, and meanings within each piece.
Last year, I (Cassidy) traveled to the Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, for an incredible opportunity to work with Eskasoni First Nation.
I met Ashlee Cunsolo-Willox in my last year of University at Laurentian. She came to show a documentary film, collaboratively produced with the five Inuit communities in Nunatsiavut, Labrador, about the impacts of climate change on Inuit culture, livelihoods, and wellbeing (www.lamentfortheland.ca). She was so generous to take me on for my placement and be my mentor. She has strong ties with Eskasoni First Nation on Cape Breton Island and she saw a perfect fit for me to place my Visual Communications skills I was learning in my program into practice.
In 2015 I spent the month of August on the east coast in a small port town called Sydney. It really reminded me of Sudbury, but instead of a Big Nickel there was a Giant Fiddle, and instead of lakes there was the ocean. I would travel to Eskasoni First Nation where I worked with the community to do interviews, capture footage, and piece together the story they wished to share.
Eskasoni has faced many hardships in their community, stemming from Canada’s colonial history and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to be just a small part in telling their story. From here, we continue to hold a shared responsibility in the efforts of decolonization and reconciliation.
You can watch the 3 Part video here:
Sis and I took the big trip (not so big actually - only about 2 hours away) to Manitoulin Island this past weekend to hang our first gallery at 4Elements Living Arts. We brought some watercolour paintings and prints that are now available on site and met with two lovely ladies, Sophie Edwards and Patricia Mader who are doing all kinds of land artwork and community arts initiatives. They even offer a River School partnered with Manitoulin Streams .
The beauty of the Island is really indescribable, Kagawong in particular is a quaint little town that reminds us of the East coast. Wide open spaces, blue skies, crashing waves.
We decided to camp out for the night at Norms Campground and settled into a lot aside the lake, without a campfire (there was a fire ban) but with some vino and snacks. We awoke sleepless, with bags under our eyes, got rained out of our tent, as the wind was babbling on from across the lake. But, in the AM we huddled ourselves over to a cafe, Main Street Cafe where some locals chatted about the weather and we had coffee and warm trail mix cookies. The wallpaper had roosters, there were wildflowers on the tables and a guitar sitting in the corner, very warm. We made our way to the gallery to place the paintings.
Kagawong in particular is a quaint little town that reminds us of the East coast. Wide open spaces, blue skies, crashing waves.
We also visited Bridal Veil Falls which we both remember from childhood, but I recalled it with schools of salmon that filled the creek with pinks, this time it was a rainy green. But nonetheless a nice scenery.
Finally, there will be a Elemental art festival organized by 4Elements Living Arts in October (you can find more information at http://4elementslivingarts.org). It is certainly worth a visit to sift in and out of the lovely galleries and take part in the many art workshops and events that will be taking place.
Sudbury in a Box, have you heard of them yet? No - well, they are filling boxes full of our town's character and advocating for buying LOCAL. We are thrilled. And we were happy to support them by designing a personalized Sudbury-inspired thank you card to go in each box!
Blueberries, black bear, smoke stacks...
What a beautiful day in Memorial park. Rethink Green Sudbury put on an awesome celebration June 04, 2016. They moved the official Earth Day, usually in April, but with the sun shining, sweet fiddle music, the green community, and vibrant Sudburians 'out and about', nothing could be better.
We handed out eco-sketchpads and colouring pages at our booth. We also had these three prints available [shown below]. We are hoping to get out to another festival over the summer and will have prints sold on Manitoulin Island at 4Elements Living with Arts gallery.
Hope to see you around town!
This was almost two summers ago, but we thought we'd reflect. Blueberry picking, herb harvesting, dehydrating and of course blending teas of all sorts. We spent our weekends at the Farmers Market and held a tea workshop at River and Sky festival.
Driving a little red truck, spending too much time in greenhouses, dripping sweat under the hot sun with blueberries between fingers, snipping cool herbs in the morning, and drinking winter savory in the evening. Pretty darn fantastic.
"Sudburians love blueberry picking or well, eating blueberries, or celebrating 'the Blueberry'. One of the three, anyway, or sometimes all three, like us."
Blueberries are a staple of northern ontario. We've grown up having blueberries for breakfast with milk and honey, in hot blueberry pies or eaten by the handful. Don't get us wrong, it is hard picking. You can't go too early or they are still moist and by midday it can be scorching hot - but when you do find that bushel overflowing in blue, your entirely grateful to settle in, spend hours with a basket.
Sudburians love blueberry picking or well, eating blueberries or celebrating the Blueberry (see Sudbury's Blueberry Festival held each summer). One of the three, anyway, or all three, like us. A couple horseflies buzzing, the quiet of the forest, the ripe fruit glistening; at night when we would fall asleep we'd still see blueberries!
As for tea, we infused herbs and leaves for spicy, calm and fruity natural teas. We blended french lavender, lemon balm, mint, sage, dried blueberries, raspberry leaves and had toasty chamomile and fresh mint fill our home.
We began educating ourselves on botanical medicine, we had wild medicine in our own backyard! It is quite a grounding, energizing process, to learn first hand how these rich green plants and blue fruits protect us. And on a grander scale, how we can protect and increase the biodiversity of ecosystems. We were enthused by a local medicine movement and grateful for the opportunity to be farmers for a summer.
All in all, there was something settling about seeing growth,
And by the way, (we still grow a family garden in the backyard), pick blueberries in summer and will surely blog about sustainable farming, teas and other green things.
Thank you for reading.
- Woodland Sisters
Two sisters engaging in social and environmental movement through art &