can i get some gravy with that poetry?

i like having things to look forward to.

i spend my winter looking forward to summer.

in spring i look forward to fresh asparagus. fiddleheads. the first strawberries.

juicy peaches. corn. mmm corn.

i’m impatient for a good yard sale. the first bbq. a good cup of tea.

i get excited for birthdays. and thanksgiving. and any meal that has stuffing and gravy.

i count the days till christmas.

but on this second day of june,

first snow and turkey dinners and sweet corn are still too far away.

strawberries are close, but not quite here.

the last day of school doesn’t mean much anymore.

and fiddleheads have come and gone for another year.


sometimes in the pauses between the annual anticipations

we have to make up new reasons to get excited.

like a small concert with a stunning songwriter on a summer evening

at a sweet cafe by the river.

what’s not to love about that?

or a poetry writing workshop for kids on a saturday afternoon with an award-winning poet…

or a sunday morning cup of coffee in a charming small town, listening to an inspiring artist share her work, her ideas, her songs…

who knew june had so much to offer?

i did.

so go ahead and mark June 12th and 13th on your calendar.

come and listen to Tanya Davis perform at the Silver Bean Cafe on Saturday June 12th at 7:30pm.

sign up your young poet for our afternoon workshop with Tanya from 3 – 4:30pm that same day.

and then come for coffee and warm croissants by the shores of the great lake in Cobourg on Sunday morning, June 13th, and listen to Tanya share more about her creative process, her ideas, and her work.

what more could you ask from a  weekend?

throw in some gravy and a few cobs of corn and it sounds pretty much like heaven.


Writing Brave: a workshop for kids age 9-13

Saturday June 12 // 3 – 4:30pm

Blackbird Studio



Tanya Davis in concert

Saturday June 12 // doors 7pm / show 7:30pm

The Silver Bean Cafe



Morning Words: poetry for breakfast with Tanya Davis

Sunday June 13 // doors 9:30am /show 10 – 12am

Harden & Huyse Chocolate Cafe, Cobourg


email to find out more information.

rae and tanya

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.


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 To find out more about Tanya Davis check out

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: // 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 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


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 to register for this, or any of our other upcoming workshops.

spend some peaceful time before i get too old

About a year and a half ago, on a snowy snowy night,

I wandered down to a little cafe here in town

to listen to some songs,

some poetry,

by some girl from the east coast who I’d never met.

And as I sat there that night

watching the world turn white,

sipping some hot drink to warm my cold hands,

I started to hear this stranger-singer-poet

tell the stories from my head and my heart

through her microphone

with a wisdom and an honesty and an eloquence

that left me


That east coast stranger has since become a sweet friend,

and her words and her music still leave me speechless.

Which is why I am so excited and honored to tell you that on Saturday June 12th, the ever inspiring Tanya Davis is bringing her music and her poetry all the way from Halifax to Peterborough for an intimate show at the Silverbean Cafe.

But wait…there’s more…

That afternoon Blackbird Studio is hosting a workshop with Tanya for girls ages 9-13…a chance for young poets and writers and art makers to spend time in conversation and hands on creating …a sweet opportunity to learn from a woman who uses her voice so honestly and courageously…

And on Sunday June 13th, in Cobourg, ON, there will be a poetry breakfast…a songwriters brunch…a Sunday morning smorgasbord of music and poetry and conversation with Tanya  at Harden & Huyse cafe.

More details and ticket buying info will be coming your way very soon.  In the meantime, mark it on your calendar.

This is something you won’t want to miss.




Keep it on my fridge

I could stretch more, complain less
be more dependable and stress less
i could confess my love to all the ones i’ve always wanted to
tell them what i’m thinking if they ever ask, be honest to myself
let my hard feelings pass
if the people that i love don’t pass my feelings back

i could become that person who always looks serene
the traffic doesn’t bother me and neither do the bees
i could do more favours
help more old ladies cross the street
savour my chocolate and behave more neighborly
i could do lots of things

engage strangers in conversations make more offerings
donate portions of my wages to poor places that are more worse off than me
i could do all of this and then some
write a list
keep it on my fridge
to keep my attention
but what are my intentions with this
is it about ethics
or having my name mentioned
a frame of reference
to guide my efforts
or a game that i am in
and if i became that magnanimous person, maybe i would win?

Or maybe it’s just a means to ease my conscience
make a list and cross things off of it
so that in this messed-up world i could feel content
well, i’d like to think that peace of mind is a selfless goal
but i guess it depends on how you get there, which way you go
and i would like to get there
spend some peaceful time before i get too old
i might be walking in the right direction but often
it’s hard to know
am i being too hard on myself or not hard enough at all
do i have enough goals
the right mix of big and small
realistic hopes or idealistic flaws

i don’t know all this
it’s why i question it i guess
make commitments to improve
lists of goals i should pursue
and then self-reflect
to hold myself in check
and do the best that i could do

Tanya Davis 2006


A few weeks ago, here at Blackbird Studio, we spent a Sunday afternoon with soapy, fuzzy hands, learning how to wet felt with wool.

There were some incredible wool hats that were created (and a tea cozy too!).

Stay tuned for more felting workshops coming up in the next few months.

Felting really is an amazing, delightful – and addictive! –  adventure…






…one of the finished pieces…


felt the afternoon away


Spring is here, and the warm weather is coming…but I’ve decided to try to squeeze in one more felting workshop before the flowers are up and the grass is green. Think of it as a chance to revel in the best parts of winter; to wrap yourself in cozy wool one more time before you put it in hibernation for the summer months.

On Sunday April 11th, from 2 – 4 pm, we are going to have a laid back felting session where you will have the chance to learn some of the basic wet felting techniques (which is very different from the shrunken recycled felting that we have done in the past), and work on creating your own felted hat or scarf (or other creative variation on those things).

The process is really fun – the colors, the textures – it’s like sculpting with wool.

My friend, Beth Sheffield, who is a new but fervent felter, will be coming to help walk us through the wet felting process. It will be an afternoon of learning together, figuring things out, and having fun with this yummy (and forgiving) fibre.

The cost for the workshop is $25 (or pay- what-you-can).
This cost includes all of your materials.

Space is limited, so sign up right away at to reserve yourself a spot.

photos from a day

There was art underfoot this past Saturday here at Blackbird Studio, as  participants in our Painted Floorcloth workshop created one-of-a-kind works that anyone would be proud to stand on.

It was a good day of learning and creating and connecting, and once again, the ideas that emerged were as diverse as the individuals who attended. There is, it seems, no end to the possibilities of what can be done with a blank canvas and a willing imagination…







and really, do i dare?

really, this is the perfect song for your

saturday, sunday, monday, tuesday, wednesday, thursday AND friday.

but i chose it for today, in honor of my sweet friend tanya davis

and her words and courage and ever-inspiring art making,

and because today here at Blackbird Studio

we will be elbow deep in the art of making Painted Floorcloths

(one of our great workshops that you should check out!).

you’ll want to play this one a few times over.

and the video is a masterpiece all on its own.

if you haven’t heard tanya’s music before, wander over and explore her work.

your life will be better for it.


go create something good today. something honest. something wonder-filled.

something that gives thanks for another day, another breath, another mystery.

may this day bring exactly what you need.

tanya feet

Winter Offerings

I seem to always be writing these letters to you in the dark of the night when my toes are cold. I suppose I should either become more productive in the mornings, or find myself some warmer slippers.

But winter won’t be here forever. I caught my first whiff of a soon-to-burst hyacinth the other day (albeit in the grocery store, not the garden), and I knew that spring was (slowly) on its way.

Over here at Blackbird Studio I’m trying to make the most of these cold, snowy days by spending hours wrapped in blankets scheming up new workshops for YOU to come and explore. Yes! You!

Check out the smattering of juicy workshops that are coming up in the next couple of months. It’s a cozy mix of favorite familiars ( March Break camp for girls, the Painted Floorcloth workshop for adults) and some brand new ones that are fresh off the press (i.e. my ever swirling head).

I’m really excited about what’s in store here in the studio over the next little while. But it will only happen if you come along ( trust me, workshops aren’t that fun if I’m the only one who shows up). So wander over to the Up and Coming section of the site and peruse the workshop offerings. Then go clear your calendar and put your cap of creativity and courage firmly on your head. It’s going to be great. You’ll see.

If you have any questions or want to sign up for a workshop, you can reach me at:

Thanks for your interest and support and willingness to foster a little more creativity in this sweet old world.


(“Flower Invasion” by  Kiersten Essenpreis. )

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

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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