this and that and the stuff in between.

i realized today that i’ve been pretty quiet over here in the blackbird nest. i blame summer for that. fresh air, warm sun, gardens, patios, campfires, books begging to be read…all these beautiful distractions.

i thought i’d try to channel all of those bits and pieces into a little package for you. a collection of some of the stuff that’s been catching my eye and filling my time.

just for fun.

……

by Fred Eaglesmith

by Fred Eaglesmith

in a couple of days i am going to plant myself in a field and immerse myself in good music and art and people at one of the most charming festivals i have ever known.

this guy is gonna be there too, which is pretty great.

……

despite the lack of rain and the sweltering sun, and although a bad case of blight took hold of a chunk of my plants, i have been swimming in a bounty of tomatoes this summer. i can’t pick them fast enough. i am eating them three meals a day in whatever creative ways i can come up with. today it was roasted over rye toast and old cheddar; pureed into a cold summer soup; and sliced up in a salad with fresh greens and roasted chocolate peppers (also from the garden!). i have started pawning them off on neighbours and  am running out of containers to fill for my freezer.

i am in heaven.

IMG_2432

……

i just finished reading this book. it broke my heart and then stitched it back together again.

……

camping

friends that welcome me like family

food over the fire

good music

sleeping outside

trampoline

kites.

...just before the rain came...

...just before the rain came...

……

0000017_Oma(1)

i met up with the guy behind this brilliant project at our local folk festival this past weekend. the whole concept got me pretty excited. ordinary people wearing ordinary people’s faces on their shirts, over their hearts, telling their stories. i picked out Anna. she likes eating gouda and watching wrestling. i’m actually wearing the shirt as i type this. i wonder if she has any idea that someone is writing about her an ocean away…

……

this last week has been rich with many things, not the least of which has been incredible music. the list of favorite artists that i have had the chance to see live in the last few days feels a bit surreal. songs are best when shared, so here’s a little taste of what has been the soundtrack to my week:

Mary Margaret O\’Hara

Royal Wood

Jenn Grant

the fan is buzzing. my skin is getting sticky. let’s enjoy these last sweet days of summer. they, like so many things, are gone too soon…

the best in us.

Ex-Libris-4

human beings can be messy and mean.

but sometimes they are brilliant and creative and delightful

and they make sweet surprises

like these folks

and their art made of old books and photographs and found treasures.

sometimes art brings out the best in us.

Ex-Libris-

Ex-Libris_5x7_021

once in a house on egypt street

edward_tulane_cross_illustration

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

“The heart breaks and breaks

and lives by breaking.

It is necessary to go

through dark and deeper dark

and not to turn.”

– Stanley Kunitz

(from the inscription at the start of this most incredible book by Kate DiCamillo)

wind blown barns and good things to look forward to.

Isn’t this weather glorious? Sun-kissed skin in spring, gardens growing lush, open windows, dirty toes from the garden…I have no complaints. These days are good for the soul.

Right now I’m feeling thankful for wireless internet and wind-blown barns, as the two have worked harmoniously together to give me a new backyard shelter where I’m sitting right now, writing you from. Desk work just got a whole lot better.

IMG_2165

I am still working on finalizing details on workshops for July and August – kid’s open studio sessions, art camps for girls, felting workshops on a beautiful farm, and lots more!

But to tie you over till then, there are a few opportunities here at Blackbird Studio in June to get your hands busy and your creative juices flowing.

Below you’ll find information about an Open Studio Session (this Thursday!), an expanded book-making workshop, and a re-offering of our Art of Preserving workshop, this time in an evening slot.

Also, something that we are very, very excited about…on Saturday June 12th, Tanya Davis, east coast musician/poet extraordinaire, will be coming to town to perform an intimate show at the Silver Bean Cafe. But first, she’s coming to Blackbird Studio to participate in a fun, hands-on writing workshop for girls ages 9-13 that afternoon from 3:00 – 4:30 pm. If you’re over 13 but would love the chance to learn more about Tanya’s writing process and perspective, or are looking for an inspiring way to spend a Sunday morning, then you’re in luck. On Sunday June 13th, at Harden & Huyse Cafe in Cobourg, there will be a Morning Words workshop with Tanya from 10-12am.

Tickets for Tanya’s show will be available at the Silver Bean Cafe. For more information or to register for the Writing Brave workshop for girls, contact info@blackbirdstudio.ca. To find out more about Tanya Davis check out www.tanyadavis.ca

Tanya Davis_promo

Keep checking in here for updates on these and other Blackbird Studio events (go to the Workshop tab at the top of the page and click on “Upcoming“)

I hope this spring has found you well. May these warm days come with lots of breathing room and renewed energy to focus on the things that matter most in this life.

Come and create with us soon.

……

The following workshops are taking place at Blackbird Studio – 485 Park St, Peterborough.

To register for a workshop, or for more information, contact Raechelle: email: info@blackbirdstudio.ca // phone: 750-0214


Open Studio Session
Thursday May 27
7:00 – 9:00 pm
$20.00 (or pay what you can)

Open Studio Sessions are your chance to come and create in your own way, at your own pace. Come and explore different art materials, make the most of having access to space and tools that you may not have at home. Treat it as time, just for you, to let yourself unwind and play; bring along your half-finished projects, your list of ideas, your blank canvas, and see what happens! Or challenge yourself to come without expectation or agenda…trusting that it will be time well spent, no matter what you have to show for it at the end.

(* Note: There is opportunity to schedule private studio sessions – email Raechelle at info@blackbirdstudio.ca for more info)

……

The Art of Preserving –
an experiment in self care.

Monday June 7 – Monday June 21 (3 weeks)
7:00pm – 9:00pm
$60.00 – all materials included

The Art of Preserving is an experiment in self care; an exploration of things that we can do, stories we can tell, pictures we can paint, rhythms we can dance, that will help us journey through our days feeling alive and awake. We will spend our time creating with words and color and movement. We’ll try out different materials, take time for self-reflection, feed off the energy of community, and all the while, feel good that we took this time to care for ourselves.

……

Writing Brave: a workshop with Tanya Davis (for girls ages 9-13)

Saturday June 12th

3:00 -4:30 pm

$10.00 (or pay what you can)

This interactive workshop will be a great chance for young writers and art makers to spend time in conversation and hands on creating with poet and songwriter Tanya Davis. In a small group environment, the girls will have opportunity to learn from a writer who uses her voice honestly and courageously...and will be given lots of space for their own voice and ideas to flourish and grow. This is a unique event that your young writer won’t want to miss.

…..

Found Treasures and Handmade Tales

Wed. June 16 – Wed. June 30th (3 weeks)

7:00 -9:00pm

$75.00 (includes all materials)

Over the course of this 3 week workshop, we will explore simple ways of playing with words and color and found objects; ways to collect the stories from your days; ways to weave those treasures  into hand-bound books that will tell the small stories and tall tales of who you are and what you love…

For those of you that have come to our one-night Found Treasures workshop in the past, this is a chance for you to delve deeper into the book-making process. There will be some new techniques and a lot more time (one evening was never enough!). For anyone who has never played with book forms, this is a wonderful place to start. Books are the form we will work within, but the journey there is always full of playful surprises

Found Treasures and Handmade Tales

danny

Over the course of this 3 week workshop, we will explore simple ways of playing with words and color and found objects; ways to collect the stories from your days; ways to weave those treasures  into hand-bound books that will tell the small stories and tall tales of who you are and what you love…

For those of you that have come to our one-night Found Treasures workshop in the past, this is a chance for you to delve deeper into the book-making process. There will be some new techniques and a lot more time (one evening was never enough!). For anyone who has never played with book forms, this is a wonderful place to start. Books are the form we will work within, but the journey there is always full of playful surprises.

……

Found Treasures and Handmade Tales

Wed. June 16 – Wed June 30th (3 weeks)

7:00 – 9:00pm

$75.00 (includes all materials)

Email info@blackbirdstudio.ca to register for this, or any of our other upcoming workshops.

where it all rises from

“This is the most profound spiritual truth I know:

that even when we’re most sure that love can’t conquer all, it seems to anyway. It goes down into the rat hole with us, in the guise of our friends, and there it swells and comforts. It gives us second winds, third winds, hundredth winds.

It struck me that I have spent so much time trying to pump my way into feeling the solace I used to feel in my parents’ arms. But pumping always fails you in the end.

The truth is that your spirits don’t rise until you get way down. Maybe it’s because this – the mud, the bottom – is where it all rises from. Maybe without it, whatever rises would fly off or evaporate before you could even be with it for a moment. But when someone enters that valley with you, that mud, it somehow saves you again.

At the marsh, all that mud and one old friend worked like a tenderizing mallet. Where before there had been tough fibers, hardness, and held breath, now there were mud, dirt, water, air, mess – and I felt soft and clean.”

~ Anne Lamott

from Traveling Mercies

rae art 080

found treasures

bits of paper. scraps of words. string. thread. needles. paints and brushes. folding. measuring. stitching. binding.

telling quiet stories. whispering loud tales. empty pages. possibilities. colourful covers, full of surprises.

these are the books we write on a thursday night with eager hands and humble  imaginations.

arts 008

Previous Posts

Words + Photos + Credit

Unless otherwise noted, all original photography and text are property of Raechelle Kennedy. If you see or read something here and feel inspired to share it somehow, please be considerate and give the artist (me!) credit, or even better, drop me a note and make sure I don’t mind.
Thank you!

Here + There

Secondhand Sainthood and the gift of losing it all – Topology Magazine, December 2015

Ten Things Made – Topology Magazine, December 2015

Subscribe!