Jessica Charnock is a stylish, beautiful woman – a former model – whose creativity is prolific.
She and her husband Jean live in the hills overlooking a sprawling lake east of Toronto. “Made in Canada” is alive and well at their home – a house they created by joining two log cabins together. Gardens – bearing an abundance of fruit, vegetables and herbs — grow well here, as do evergreen, oak and birch trees.
I love visiting with Jessica and Jean. They’re gracious hosts whose welcoming home embraces me with warmth. Visiting with them also gives me a chance to practice a few words of French – a language I once worked in, though now my skills are rusty.
A walk through their home reveals a large number of Jessica’s or her husband’s creations. Upstairs, Jean’s studio is filled with intricate wooden birdhouses, benches, and an assortment of other wood furniture, all handmade by Jean. A person could get lost exploring Jean’s creations.
Downstairs, one sees the results of Jessica’s own creativity. I always walk into her domain eagerly, wanting to see what new thing she’s created. A grand armoire that she made by hand decades ago stands in one corner of a room, its pine exterior mellowing with age. On some walls, beautiful hooked rugs hang, “paintings” made from wool.
In this homestead, almost everything is made by hand (there’s even a clay bread oven outside). Materials are recycled. Jean’s birdhouses are made of wood pieces left over from other woodworking projects. And Jessica makes bears out of once glamorous fur coats. Yes, bears.
She has cleverly recycled and re-purposed her old fur and “faux fur” coats – and turned them into bears.
She’s quick to point out that these large stuffed animals are not the usual “Teddy Bears” designed for children to play with (although children will find them irresistibly cuddly, I’m sure).
They’re cuddly, yes, but they are also large (24 inches) and are collectibles. The people who’ve been lucky enough to acquire one so far, are adults who bought them for themselves.
Jessica will also make the bears to order, and owners who want to supply their own fur or faux fur coats for this are welcome to do so. The hooked rugs may also be ordered; same goes for Jean’s birdhouses.
Congratulations to Jessica and Jean, for their exciting creations, all handmade in Canada. If you wish to contact them, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org