Canadian Hand Made Gifts & Souvenirs From Coast to Coast
Jessica Lin
Greetings! :

And just like that...summer is almost officially over. As we make our way, (somewhat reluctantly), back to work and to school, we get to reflect back on all the awesome things that we did this summer. For some people that was doing some globe-trotting, while for others it was spending time camping or at the cottage (a personal favourite of mine). For other people it meant doing some 'chillaxin' at home in their own back yards. For some of us, summer means buckling down and working harder than ever, but for a few people, it meant spending time being creative. Whether you are a writer, a painter, a potter, a weaver, a jeweller or any of the other amazing ways to be creative, if summer was your season to create, I am truly happy for you! (and somewhat jealous but in a very good way!) Sometimes from September to June, life, with all it's demands and schedules, takes precedent with no time spent just for us and the expression of creativity. But with the heat of the summer and perhaps some overdue vacation, time somehow manages to slow a little bit, and we get to do whatever it is we love the most. It's such an amazing feeling and I encourage everyone to take some time out from September to June, to keep up the practice. Maybe it's by taking a class (we have an amazing class on September 23 with a fantastic teacher) or maybe it's taking some time at the end of the day when the kids are tucked in, to sit down with some knitting or crochet in front of the TV. Maybe for you men, you get to sneak down to the workshop to tinker away... Whatever brings you joy, just do it! (I love this Nike phrase so much I have it tattooed on my arm for when I make excuses to create or when I let fear take a hold of me it reminds me to ... just Do It!).

Today is a very special day for me. 4 years ago I purchased Cornerstone Canadian Art & Craft, and this day was my first day on the job. I was full of ideas and enthusiasm. Four years later, I am still full of ideas and enthusiasm! (sometimes to the dismay of my lovely staff!) So I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my friends and family whom have taken the time to come here and support me. There have been challenges and there will continue to be challenges as the retail and political world changes around us. I simply could not do this without manager Lisa scales. Her love of Cornerstone, Canada and her commitment to a a mutual vision, is what keeps the store a favourite amongst locals and travellers. The staff is amazing. I dislike referring to them as staff because to me they are family. Gillian, Sue, Lynn and Lise work hard at delivering outstanding customer service and all are equally invested in the Cornerstone philosophy. I urge you next time you are in, to please let the ladies know how much you appreciate their assistance, their level of customer service and commitment in helping you choose just the right gift for yourself or for another lucky recipient. Lastly I want to thank all of Cornerstone's customers. We very much appreciate local peeps who make it their store of choice when looking for gifts all year round and for travellers, who make it their mission to come to the store each and every time they come to visit. Some of these people come from very far away and it is an honour to be held as a favourite in their hearts. We have set some lofty goals - some we have met (creating an indigenous room), and some we have not (launching our on line store). As we move forward in expanding our Indigenous room and launching our on line store ( I promise it will happen this year!), we do so in keeping with our goal, "Support Canadian artists, who in turn can support their communities". We feel that Cornerstone is a small piece of a much bigger picture - to celebrate all the men, women and children who make this country so great. If you have friends and family who have not yet made it to Cornerstone, I encourage you to bring them with you, so they can see for themselves this magikal place we call home.

In other news... Our featured artist (or in this case artists) for the month of September are glass artist Ruth Pugh & mixed media artist, Deborah Macnab. Their lovely works will be up on the feature wall throughout September.

We have been inundated with lovely pieces from all of our favourite artists! Too numerous to mention, I will simply show in photos!!! However, I will say, that if you are looking for ways to organize your life, we have amazingly beautiful calendars from Oladesign, Dorset Fine Art and Canadian Art Prints.

If you are looking to try something new to express your creativity then look no further! Try a scratchboard art class with Lori Dunn on Sunday September 23, from 10:00 AM - 5 PM. Lori is the premier scratchboard artist. Her work is sought after by collectors everywhere. The materials are included in the course fee, as is lunch and some light refreshments (tea/coffee & cookies!). Lunch will be at Score Pizza where you can build your pizza EXACTLY the way you like it! Thanks Joel at Score Pizza for agreeing to host our hungry artists! The fee for the class is $135.00 and there are only 8 spots available so call in and sign up!!!

There is still time to vote for us for the Attractions Ontario award. Voting is daily until September 30th. Show your love by making Cornerstone your favourite Top Small Museum, Art Gallery/Historic Site.

The fall ontinues to be HOT! Remember we are a part of the No Hot Pets program again this year. Please DO NOT leave animals (or CHILDREN) in the car. We allow you to bring your leashed pet (or a pet in a stroller) into the store instead of leaving them in a hot car. We are also a partner of the water bottle refill program so we will refill water bottles and pet bowls too! Animals are afraid of fireworks so please be mindful of pets when you are celebrating. The last thing you want is to be searching for a pet that's bolted outside at night because it's afraid. Be mindful too that fireworks frighten our natural wildlife as well.

From our heart you yours,
Penny & the wonderful staff at Cornerstone

.... We've already ordered mitts.... YIKES!!!!
ZIA piece
Featured Artists - Ruth Pugh & Deborah Macnab
Glass Artist: Ruth Pugh
I grew up in Markham, Ontario when it was a very small town in the 50ties. However, most of my life has been spent in the Kingston area. My interest in the art of stained glass began when I was at home with young children. At that time I was using the copper foil technique. For many years I was unable to find time to continue this hobby. Upon retirement as a registered nurse I became interested in learning a new art form called glass mosaic. I found this to be a very exciting medium. I was particularly glad to stop using lead and solder since ventilation is extremely important for safety reasons. Our family lived on a lake for many years and that experience may be reflected in many of my windows with cabins on lakefront.

Mixed Media Artist: Deborah Macnab My training started at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, under the direction of Dr.Arthur Lismer. My tutelage was cut short due to the rapid illness and passing of Dr Lismer. I quickly found another art school, the Canadian Art Academy, still located in Montreal. I attended classes for approximately 2 years learning the basics in line drawing, prospective and art history. At the time a great opportunity presented itself in a way of a permanent position as an electrical draftsman with Bell Canada. I continued on my journey of learning for the next 11 years and completed my career as a Senior Graphic Artist. Primarily completing assignments for 35mm slide presentation to be used as internal training and as a communication tool. Most of the artwork consisted of cartooning, illustrations and graphics on art board. After making a decision to find new challenges I decided to move to Calgary, Alberta. I then found a similar position as a Senior Graphic Artist at Alberta Gas Trunk line, later known as Nova Corporation. As I continued in my technical on the job training I found opportunities in management. To keep my hand in the graphic art world I started my own contract company, (9th Hour Graphics). Many of the contracts included business logos, brochures, 35 mm slide presentation, illustrations for internal advertising. After completing 23 years with Nova (later merged with Trans Canada Pipeline) as a Human Resource leader. Now in retirement, I decided to move to Kingston which I call home. To continue in the graphic design/drafting discipline, I needed a new method to tie the two together. I found the right fit in the Mixed-Media program at StLawrence College. In the last few years, I have showcased my work at several venues and art shows. I am now having a wonderful time discovering new art techniques.

New Class Sunday September 23
Do you know what scratchboard art is? Until recently I didn't either! That was until I ran into the most amazing and talented Lori Dunn. In a past life, Lori was a zookeeper and her love of animals shows in the amazing and highly detailed pieces she creates using scratchboard.

What is Scratchboard?
Scratchboard art is a form of direct engraving on a specially prepared board. The boards consists of three layers of material. The base is hardboard that has a layer of white kaolin clay applied to it. The clay is then sanded smooth and a layer of black ink is applied over top. The image is etched one “scratch” at a time using an extremely fine tool such as a scalpel or exacto blade. The black is removed to reveal the white clay beneath.

It is one of the only forms of two dimensional media that is subtractive, as material is removed rather than added. Artists must work in reverse of classical artistic training in that they are rendering highlighted areas only. Tonal variations are achieved by the depth of etching as well as how much surface area is removed.

Many hours are spent on each scratchboard artwork and they may take months to complete. Lori Dunn uses professional grade clayboards that are completely archival, of museum quality and highly resistant to fading from sunlight. Finished works are sprayed with a UV resistant varnish to further protect the image.

Scratchboard produces unique works of art with a level of realism and detail that is unsurpassed by many other media. The absorbent clay can be colored afterwards using specialized inks or paints but many people prefer the simplicity and beauty of the black and white image. 

The Fee for this all day class is $135.00 and will include materials and lunch at a Score Pizza! The class will run from 10:00 AM sharp to 4:00 pm (be prepared to go a little over and stay until 5:00 PM if we need some extra time) There are only 8 spaces available for this amazing class. To register please call the store at 613-546-7967 and have your credit card handy or come to the store and pay in cash or debit. I already know that I will be participating in this event so that leaves 7 openings!!! I expect this class to fill up quickly as Lori is in demand at many places to teach her techniques. Don't miss out!!!
Just In!
We are sharing some tantalizing pics of some of the beautiful New arrivals. Shopping Canadian has never been more important, more necessary and more BEAUTIFUL!!!
Jessica Lin
Ontario Choice Awards

Once again, we are honoured to be a finalist in the Attractions Ontario Choice Awards 2018 (small museum/art gallery/historic site) category. Voting happens from April 27 - September 30, 2018. You can vote for us once every 24 hour period so please make sure that you place us on your list of things to do daily! I cannot tell you how honoured we would be to win this award! Not only would it be good for us, but it would also be another great reason to come and experience Kingston with all it's fabulous shopping and wonderful restaurants.
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