flexing my muscles.

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incredibly close

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thanks to strangers and friends, and people with knowledge about things that i still don’t understand, this little site is finally allowing me to upload photographs again. it’s been a glitch in my blackbird world, a glitch that has deterred me from posting too much for a while. it just didn’t feel right without pictures, you know? anyway, gratefully, it’s fixed now. and i’ve got thousands of miles worth of photos and stories that i’ve been saving up to share.

and since today is a recovery day from a nasty flu, and i’ve found myself escaping from the heat of my farm field home to a quiet hideaway with a fan and electricity, it seems like a good time to tip toe back into the land of picture-book storytelling and put some color back into these word scrawled pages.

so today i give you pictures.

a handful of shots i took while staying in the shack at Fig Hill this past January, in the green wonderland that is the Bega Valley, NSW in summertime. D was off making a record on far away shores, and i took residence near the chook pen, at the bottom of a steep hill, with the nearby company of dear friends. i packed sewing needles, a basket of cloth, and a few spools of thread and set about making little stitched studies with no other aim but to create something every day.

there is a beauty in the utility of spool + needle + thread that i never tire of. i love that they are tools and materials that have never really changed. they hold stories. they get the job done. they are fragile and durable all at the same time.

they are materials that make sense to me. and sometimes, that is everything.

 

 

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lost beauties

there’s a little silver caravan that sits at the end of our dirt lane. it’s a rickety tin box with a tarp over the roof. it’s a loaner from good ol’ Sambo, and for the last couple of years it’s rotated between being our bedroom, our kitchen, and our tool shed.
this year, it’s my art studio.
mmmhmmm. lucky me.

it is perched on the edge of the hill that slopes down to the valley, and when the wind blows, the little room rocks and sways. i always keep the door propped open, just in case i need to make a quick escape in a gusty breeze.
the corner window blew out in the winter rains last year. it’s now just a permanent breezeway.

i have a table that hinges to the wall, adorned with pencil scribbles of roof angles, wall measurements, and wiring maps. my chair is a hand-me-down drafting stool from Miss Anne’s shed. there is a clothesline along the wall, cluttered with photos and findings and notes. the ledges are piled with sea urchins, spools of thread, rusty metal, and beach-combed bric-a-brac.

i love it in there.
somedays i sit until the sun has sucked out all of the light, and my strained eyes just can’t see to sew another stitch. even then, sometimes i just linger and sit. and listen. and drift.

the other day i wandered over to open up the caravan doors for the day…let the cool of the morning move in. i saw something move in the corner. i found not one, but two ¬†little butterfly beauties hanging out in my little art home. they found their way in, but somehow couldn’t remember how to get out. or maybe they just liked it there…smile.

i cupped them, one at a time, in my hand, and walked with them outside, and then i opened my hand and waited…delighted, that they didn’t just up and fly away. one in particular seemed quite happy to hang around. she even spread her wings and flaunted her glory for me. i reveled in it.

i love when the days hold tiny surprises.
i’m not sure there’s a better way to have started my day than a visit to a windy tin can art room that fluttered with lost beauties, and a few rare moments of stroking the fine hairs of a butterfly spine while it rested in the sun in the palm of my hand.

goodness + gratitude, indeed.

a list for curing what ails you

Golden Sails by Elly MacKay

Golden Sails by Elly MacKay


1. a bus ride in a snow storm
2. hot water with fresh squeezed orange juice and honey
3. noodles. always noodles.
4. pocket size hand-bound books
5. neighbourhood farmers markets
6. pear and ginger jam spread on homemade bread topped with thin slices of goat gouda
7. waking up to scones
8. 2 year old dance parties
9. foot rubs
10. the way he wonders about everything
11. beautiful music in bakery forts
12. laughter
13. the company of friends who just let you be
14. sleeping in
15. drawing pictures
16. listening to this. on repeat.
17. spending hard earned money on things that people’s hands have worked hard to make.
18. a long walk on rainy streets in another town
19. chocolate + mint
20. getting back up again, even when it feels like the world keeps knocking you down.
21. losing yourself in a story
22. leaving.
23. returning.
24. the tenderness of sleep.

the way these days fall away

lazy mornings and late nights.
the generosity of november sun.
air dry clay and the practice of patience.
hot chocolate with cinnamon.
$4 purple skirt.
audio books and the simple wonder of a public library.
honey crisp apples with old cheddar cheese.
roobios with milk ‘n honey.
baking bread on cold nights.
the journeys that led us here.
letterpress and potato chips.
house-building, home-making. art mimics life, or the other way around.
a vigorous mind.
a content heart.
a friend who feels things.
a dark walk, body full of light…

Tis the season…needle felting workshop time!


On Sunday November 25, from 2 – 4pm, I’ll be teaching another Intro to Needle Felting workshop at the ever-so-lovely Needles In the Hay here in Peterborough. These workshops are always a good time…cozied up around the table in the shop…walls full of wooly eye candy…meeting new people…making beauty with our own hands…perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon in late November.

The workshop is $20.
Contact Bridget at Needles In the Hay :: 705.740.0667 :: to sign up.

p.s. also check out the FELT tab at the top of this page to learn about Blackbird Studio’s Traveling Wool Show…a sweet way for you to host a felting workshop in the comfort of your own home :)

where do their dreams go when they turn the key off at night

i just love this.

Once upon a time there was a little red hen…

(photo courtesy of John Marris)

Last night was the inaugural show of The Little Red Hen Collective at the lovely new Gallery In The Attic.

It felt good to be there – warm room, city lights, big walls full of art, so much history, so much new – and a sweet privilege to be a part of the show.

The show runs until October 13th.
Wander over and check it out.
It’s worth the climb.

Tuesday – Friday // 11 – 5
Saturdays // 12 – 4

Apt. C, 140 1/2 Hunter Street West, Peterborough
705.740.1162

steppin’ out

i’ve been busy this last little while, lost in a flurry of art-making, trying to push myself a little more, stretch out of my comfort zone a little farther, commit to more goals and opportunities to show and share the things that i make.

this past weekend i was invited to be an artist in the Artisan Village at Shelter Valley Folk Festival. it was a good learning experience for me…a chance to meet and connect with a new community of people…another step in clarifying for myself why i do what i do and where i fit in this funny world…it was humbling and affirming and, well, pretty tiring too.

i decided this year to try to put myself and my art out there in the world a little bit more. if i am honest with myself, then i would admit that i have never really pushed myself artistically to see what i am truly made of. i have coasted on “good enough”. i have a lot of ideas i have never acted on. i have spent more creative energy supporting other peoples art-making than i have exploring my own. and i don’t want to keep living that way. i know that my best living, my best art, will happen when i am perched on that growing edge…when i am taking risks and stepping out…my richest creative work AND my bravest people work, will come when i am most alive in myself.
i know this.
so i am trying.

part of this process for me is going after opportunities to show what i do. there is a lot for me to learn about myself and my art that i believe i can only learn by letting it out into the world, facing the vulnerability that comes with that, learning to sit with those fears and insecurities, trusting affirmation and encouragement when it comes my way…

it scares the shit out of me sometimes.
but i’m trying to do it anyway.

so…all that said…

this Friday, September 7, is the launch of Gallery In The Truck ,a very cool week-long initiative as part of Artsweek here in Peterborough. Gallery In The Truck is a mobile gallery running out of the back of a U-Haul, that will be parked in different locations around the city over the course of next week. I am one of 10 artists who will have their work in the truck. Check out the website, or Facebook, to find more info on when and where the truck will be located.

then, on September 18th, there is the opening of the Inaugural Little Red Hen Exhibition at the brand new Gallery In The Attic, located in downtown Peterborough. this new gallery space promises to be home to many inspiring new ventures, and i’m excited to be a part of it (again, you can find out more info by checking out their website or looking it up on Facebook).

this is just a start, i know.
but a beginning is a beginning.
stay tuned for more shows and opportunities to come out and share in the art that i’ve been making. thanks for the cheerleaders that help me believe that my ideas are worth pursuing.

life is fleeting.
let’s live it well.

http://galleryinthetruck.wordpress.com/

http://littleredhengallery.wordpress.com/

photo courtesy of Gallery In The Attic

in the shelter of the valley [ pt. 1]

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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

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