in not so many words.

this weekend held a lot of things, including two felting workshops, one little girl’s art making birthday party, a whole lot of baking, one cold on the mend, one missed Julie Doiron concert, and not enough sleep.

the stereo played a lot of beyonce (yes, that’s right) and Lucius, oh and Grace because this song never stops being beautiful,and even, um, some of this… because that’s just what you gotta do sometimes, you know?

there were some good reminders given, like:
1. fresh snowfalls under mid-winter night skies are worth bundling up for.
2. hot soup is one of life’s finest offerings.
3. sleep changes everything.
4. art making is good. plain and simple.
5. kitchens were made for dancing.

took a few pictures to prove it all happened. little Claire photo-documented the art birthday party at the Gallery, so credit for the “eyes of a 6 year old awesome shots” go to her.

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sitting here, on the far side of it all, i’m tired as, but i’m also ridiculously grateful. this life is a good life. even when it’s hard, it’s good. remember that, rae.

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 :)

Sunday Blessings.

sunday afternoon goodness

sunday afternoon goodness

Blackbird Studio and Needles in the Hay

joined forces this past Sunday and offered a needle felting workshop in Bridget’s lovely wool shop.

it's like candy. for your eyes.

it's like candy. for your eyes.

it was a good afternoon.

hearts and dolls and sheep and computers and snakes and roses, and best of all, IDEAS!, were born.

simplicity.

simplicity

next time, come and join us.

inspiring spaces.

inspiring spaces.

we crowned her the queen.

slimer.

slimer.

this past sunday a charming group of adventurous art makers congregated here at Blackbird Studio to laze around and learn the addictive art of needlefelting. good things were born. great ideas took shape. beautiful little pouches for carrying secrets and spare change; cowboy boots and personalized badges; mobiles and solar systems and door signs and marshmallow men; boats that sail by moonlight and hearts that welcome you in.

everything she touches turns to art.

everything she touches turns to art.

i love the possibilities of felting. if there are limits, i haven’t found them yet. i’ve only seen ideas come alive. i love that.

eye candy.

eye candy.

on Sunday February 13th, Needles in the Hay is hosting a needlefelting workshop, and they’ve invited me to come along and lead it. if you haven’t been to this lovely little yarn shop, then you really owe it to yourself to drop by. Bridget (the knitting wonder who owns this little needle nook) has created a warm and welcoming space that feels like a candy shop for all things warm and fuzzy. i don’t even know how to knit and i love going in there just to oooh and aahhhh over all the beautiful colors and textures of the wool.

needless to say, it will be the perfect space to spend a Sunday afternoon learning how to needlefelt. in this particular workshop we’re going to focus more on creating 3D objects, which should bring out some neat ideas and surprises. if you’re interested in joining us on the 13th, then wander over to the shop at 385 Water St. or drop Bridget a line and ask her to save you a spot. Space is limited so don’t wait too long. Make it an early valentines day gift to yourself – gifting yourself the time and the space to be inspired.

You’ll fall in love, love, love.

sailing by moonlight.

sailing by moonlight.

side by side.

side by side.

we crowned her the queen of sheep.

we crowned her the queen of sheep.

winter offerings

sun setting on snow, day after christmas
sun setting on snow, day after christmas

I feel like it has been a long time since I’ve written an email like this. And maybe that’s true. For a handful of reasons, I chose to slow things down a bit here at Blackbird Studio this past fall. I am learning – often the hard way – that this work, this life, is a precarious dance. A fine balancing act between putting myself out there and nurturing myself in here. Learning when to stretch and when to rest; how much to give to others, how much to care for self. I know that I want to have the heart and the ambition to be able to create, both for myself and with others, for a long time still. But it is still a journey of learning what that means, what I need, in order to be able to do that well.

foggy first day on a lake of rice in a new year
foggy first day on a lake of rice in a new year

All that to say, this past fall was a season that moved at a bit of a quieter pace. Or maybe more accurately, a more introverted pace (which can be noisy and busy, just in a different way!). I spent a lot of hours getting lost, in the best way, in my own art making – something I haven’t carved enough space for in seasons past. And I was blessed with some great opportunities to create with people outside of the studio walls – through projects like Culture Days, Shelter Valley Folk Festival, and with my gracious friends at Hospice Peterborough.

elbow to elbow art making
elbow to elbow art making

And while the slower season was good and necessary, I am really ready and excited to have the warmth and creative energy of others come and share the studio with me again. And by others, I mean YOU!  I’ve put together some workshops for the next couple of months – you can find all the details by clicking on the Up and Coming link under the Workshops tab at the top of the page. We’ll be offering the always popular Painted Floorcloth workshop again, as well as trying out a new 6 week series called Be Where You Are. I hope you’ll find something in the mix that inspires and intrigues you. I am always open to new ideas and suggestions, so if there is something that you have been aching to learn or try – or if you’ve got a group of friends who would like to come and book a private studio workshop session – then please drop me a line.

art underfoot
art underfoot

If you would like more information, or want to sign-up for a workshop (or two!) contact me at info@blackbirdstudio.ca

One of the most rewarding parts of this work is when I hear from you. I love to hear your feedback and your stories. I am honored when you take an interest in this work; when you tell me that somehow, some part of it has connected with some part of you.

Thank you, as always, for coming along for the journey.

Be well.


come and be.
come and be.

a good day.

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this past saturday we had a full day of painting and creating here at Blackbird Studio, as we played around with the age old art form of Painted Floorcloths. as per usual, it was a fabulous day full of great ideas, fun experiments, new connections, and really really good food.

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if you missed out on it this time around, mark Saturday February 27th in your calendar because that’s when we’ll be offering it again. it is always a delicious day, and the workshop consistently fills up really fast, so if you know you are interested, book yourself a spot nice and early!

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wonder women

group felting piece

group felting piece

a week or so ago i was honored to spend a couple of hours with the wonder women. it’s been a while since we’ve gotten together to create, and it always feels good to be in their company.

this time i came to them, and carted along a big tub of wool roving and enough felting needles to start a small war. i had pre-cut circles out of shrunken sweaters – we used that as our base, and then with sweet creativity and great gusto, we played.

there were a few pricked fingers, a lot of big laughs, and – i’m pretty certain – a wonderful and delighted satisfaction by the end.

i just finished stitching the circles together today, and suspended the finished piece from a branch i picked up on my last visit to the magical beach.

i think it’s quite charming, really. collaborative art-making at its simplest and finest.

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so HeartFELT

Community felting project at Shelter Valley Folk Festival, Sept. 2010

Community felting project at Shelter Valley Folk Festival, Sept. 2010

good things happen when people come together and create.

as part of the Canada wide Culture Days events, Blackbird Studio is setting up a community felting project at the Silver Bean Cafe, on Friday September 24th from 10am till 3pm. wander down to the cafe and try your hand at needle felting – it’s fun, and it’s easy…and the whole event is FREE!

bring a friend, your kids, your grandmother, your neighbour. the more the merrier.  you can stay for a few minutes or a few hours.

come and be part of making art happen…helping culture grow…

Finding a way in…

Maya Stein

Maya Stein

every once and a while a writer comes along who knocks my socks off. Maya Stein is exactly one of those writers. her poetry blesses me, stretches me, reassures me, inspires me.  each time i read her work i have this compulsion to pass it on. to share it around. it feels somehow unfair to keep those words to myself. i love them too much for that.

every once and a while opportunities come along that make my jaw drop. having Maya Stein come here to Blackbird Studio on October 4th to lead a FREE workshop is exactly one of those opportunities. thanks to the just-go-for-it initiative of my friend Deb, Maya will be stopping here on her cross-country Tour de Word project. this is very exciting news.

take a few minutes, if you will, and watch this , to hear Maya explain in her own words why she would drive from San Fransisco to Peterborough to spend an evening writing poetry with us.

check out the workshop details below, then let me know if you want a spot saved with your name on it. space is limited, so don’t wait!

……

FINDING A WAY IN:

A Playful Investigation into Serious Writing

Monday, October 4th, 7 – 9:30 pm

Blackbird Studio, 485 Park St. Peterborough

cost: free!!!! honest.

RSVP: Raechelle Vyn // info@blackbirdstudio.ca

Whether you’re an aspiring writer or a practiced one, one of the persistent challenges of beginning any new piece is locating its entry point. Often, finding that opening is counterintuitive, requiring a less rigorous intellectual searching than a looser, more playful exploration. New writing, in fact, often asks us to look at our subject matter from a “first generation” point of view, with an innocence and curiosity rooted in the physical, tangible, sensorial world.

San Francisco writer and poet Maya Stein will be here as part of her traveling poetry project, “Tour de Word”  to facilitate a no-cost writing workshop that approaches the writing process through an intuitive, unselfconscious, and most of all un-rigorous series of activities.

“Finding a Way In: A Playful Investigation Into Serious Writing,” is open to writers of all genres, and non-writers as well. Activities will include short- and longer-form exercises that will touch on themes of structure, rhythm, language, metaphor, and finding inspiration. Participants will have ample opportunities to share the work they create.

The workshop is approximately two-and-a-half hours in length and is intended for 10-12 participants, but can also accommodate smaller or larger groups. To help set the stage for interaction and sharing, Maya is asking participants to bring the following items (in addition to paper and pen):

• a stack of Post-it notes

• an item of clothing they never – or always – wear (to bring, not to wear)

• a fruit, vegetable, or other food they identify with or feel in complete opposition to

• an item from their purse, wallet or bureau

• a title of a poem, short story, or novel they like

Maya has been sending out original 10-line poems to an email subscriber list every Tuesday since June of 2005. “10-line Tuesday” now reaches more than 600 people across country and around the world. As part of her “Tour de Word” workshops, Maya will be inviting participants to submit 10-line poems of their own for a forthcoming anthology. The deadline for submission is November 30, 2010.

For more information about Tour de Word, visit www.tourdeword.com. To read more of Maya’s work, visit www.papayamaya.blogspot.com.

i like the way you think, i love you

full of anticipation of a weekend full of

good music and poetry and words

and the chance to share all that goodness

with you,

i’m starting this friday morning

with some musical love

…..

Come join us on Saturday June 12th

at the Silver Bean Cafe in Peterborough

to see Tanya Davis in concert.

Doors at 7pm. Show starts 7:30pm.

Tickets $7.

and then wake up Sunday morning

and head down to Harden & Huyse Cafe

in beautiful Cobourg

for a morning workshop/performance with Tanya

as you sip your sunday coffee

and stuff your face with chocolate croissants.

Start time is 10am.

Tickets $10.

Who knew a summer weekend could feel (and sound) so good?

tanya bed

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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

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