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

Ahhhhhh..... Warm, sunny days have once again returned to Kingston. The leaves are back on the trees providing some welcoming shade, and the gardens are once again blooming with fragrant, colourful flowers. This is June Splendor. (Also the name of the discontinued china pattern I had many moons ago that remind me of my grandmother's garden when I was little..) People are re-discovering the Kingston downtown after the long winter. Any irritation with the cold has been replaced with warmth and friendliness, a trait that the many tourists who come to Kingston each year rely on and appreciate.

I will do a quick re-wind of last months events. The pre Mother's Day Great Cycle Search was a hit with lots of people coming out to find the cycles and to shop for Mother's Day gifts! A basket with gifts worth over $500.00 was won by Randy Turner. Peter Allan Rice was here and as usual was a big hit with everyone. In spite of the rainy day, lots of people came out to check out how he creates his beautiful pieces and to hear some of his great stories!. The Art After Dark event took place on Friday May 25 from 7-10 pm. Featured artist, Franc Van Oort (and his lovely wife) were on hand to get the low down on Franc's work. We were blessed to have Lynn on guitar & doing vocals and Allison on clarinet, performing duets and entertaining all the lovely folks that came out for the event. All in all we had over 235 people visit us that night. We always get a kick when we hear people say "I've never been here before but I will definitely be back!". Congratulations to all the staff who did an amazing job getting the store looking so beautiful for the event. A special thanks to manager Lisa for organizing all the details (and me) for the event(s)!

So let's talk about what's happening for June! Traditionally, June is a wedding month so whether you are getting married, know someone who is getting married or celebrating your wedding anniversary in June, we have lovely gifts for each one of those occasions! Our friendly staffers will help you pick out a great Canadian made gift and because they know the artists like the back of their hands, if you give them a price point they will help you pick out something that is beautiful and keeps you on budget!

Father's day is Sunday June 17th, and while people don't generally think of us when it comes to "manly things" we have lovely ceramic mugs, glassware, sculptures and prints that many Dad's would love to have.

Our featured artist for June is Sable Dog Paddles. A kingston artist who refurbishes wooden paddles for decor as well as creating new ones for the water.

One of the goals of our store that is near and dear to our hearts, is supporting artists, who, as a result of being able to sell their work on our store are able to, in turn, support their families and their communities. While this applies to all Canadian artists, we are especially pleased that we are slowly but surely developing our aboriginal group of artists from across Canada. While many are familiar with the Inuit carvings that have been at the store for many years, since purchasing the store in 2014, we have expanded to include artwork from the Six Nations. June 21st is Aboriginal Day in Canada, and we will be celebrating the art & culture of our native people on Saturday June 23, by having celebrated Cayuga Nation's carver extraordinaire, Joe Greene Jr. visit us for the day.

June has also been dedicated as PRIDE month in Kingston. The pedestrian courtesy crosswalk in front of Kingston City Hall will have a new vibrant look Wednesday morning: the signature Pride colours were painted in support of the LGBTQ+ community. The new look marks the beginning of Pride month that gets underway on June 1.

And as the temperatures begin to rise, remember we will be a part of the No Hot Pets program again this year. 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 long weekends. The last thing you want is to be searching for a pet that's bolted outside at night because it's afraid.

From our heart you yours,
Penny & the wonderful staff at Cornerstone
Mikasa China pattern June Splendor.....
ZIA piece
Sable Dog Paddles
Veronica Lloyd
Sable Dog Paddles is a Kingston based project by local artist Veronica Lloyd. Growing up on the water, Veronica started restoring old paddles for friends and family. As she progressed she began salvaging and reclaiming paddles from nearby marinas, canoe clubs and antique shops to paint and restore. New paddles were soon sourced from local makers using Ontario poplar for use in the water.

Each paddle is hand painted and designed with practical use in mind. Sealed with a marine spar varnish to maintain its integrity throughout canoeing adventures, these paddles may be torched or stained to bring out the natural grain of the wood.
Either way you will want one! Sable Dog Paddles is our featured artist of the month of June so we invite you to come down and view them on our feature wall!  
Joe Greene Jr. - Aboriginal Day Event June 23
Joe Greene Jr. was born in 1983 and began carving at age 9. Joe is a member of the Iroquois band, specifically Cayuga Nation and the Wolf Clan located at Grand River Reserve. Joe Jr. learned his carving skills from his father and grandfather. Joe Sr.'s works can be seen in the Smithsonian Institute and National Gallery collections.Up until now, most of Joe Greene Jr.'s work has gone into private collections. Joe has recently decided to sell his work through galleries so that more people have the opportunity to enjoy his work. Joe carves primarily from soapstone and antler, with each major piece taking 5-6 weeks from concept to completion. When a carving is completed the stone is coloured with a walnut dye that he creates from trees on his own land. Joe Jr. is a self confessed"fishing and hunting junkie"! He is very spiritually connected to the land and he shared with me that he doesn't carve anything that he hasn't personally seen with his own eyes. He is a fabulous story teller - when he was showing me his beautiful carvings he shared a little of his people's history and lore, connecting him to the beautiful pieces he carved. At that moment both he and his pieces came to life. We are excited to have Joe Jr. share this very important occasion with us and more importantly allowing us the opportunity to connect him and his work to more people.
(as an aside... I have not seen such incredible detail and nuances in any carving I have previously seen. His pieces are a tapestry of skill and beauty and I was very delighted he took the time to meet with me!)
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.
Tolerance and respect for everyone is what we believe here at Cornerstone. As always when there are festivities happening we wish everyone a safe and fun time! Check out the courtesy cross walk in front of city hall just down the street from the store!
Cycle Search Winner
Peter Allan Rice - May 19
Art After Dark May 25
One of DT Kingston's favourite events happened Friday May 25, from 7-10 pm. The official kickoff to summer (in my opinion!). The store was full from 6:30 until 11:00pm! and I think much fun was had by all who participated. We always look forward to this twice a year event (Along with the Artsy Afternoon during FebFest). Mark your calendars for Friday September 28th from 7-10 pm.
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