Whiteshell Business: South Moon Studio

After years of being a gypsy studio, travelling within the Whiteshell and South Eastern Manitoba, South Moon Studio has planted its roots in East Braintree. A unique and cozy studio nestled along the Boggy River is now home for a variety of classes and workshops, celebrating the visual and healing arts.

IMG_1715Built with love and a fiery passion for the arts Chrissy Sie-Merritt and Colin Sie designed and constructed a barn style studio with a small store, treatment room, and a large open space on the second floor.

Classes for all ages in yoga, dance, pilates, and a variety of art styles are offered by Chrissy Sie-Merritt and many other great instructors from all over Manitoba. Treatments for massage, reflexology, and reiki are available by appointment.

IMG_1870A dreamer that wishes to transform how we navigate our way through this world, Chrissy Sie-Merritt, dives into the subtle details of life. Inspired by the textures of all living things, Chrissy is drawn to explore the wonders of nature with paint on canvas. Gracefully dancing between the visual and healing arts world she has tapped into a sacred balance that lies within the healing powers of colour, creation, breath, and movement.

beach yogaAlthough roots have been planted, South Moon still travels throughout the Whiteshell hosting classes in Falcon, West Hawk, Caddy Lake, and Ingolf, Ontario. Regular summer yoga classes on the beach make for a beautiful and refreshing way to greet a summer day. Custom retreats or classes are available at your own cabin with your own family and friends for an intimate experience designed to your desire. Chrissy also runs an annual yoga retreat hosted by Falcon Trails Resort that fills up every year with guests from all over Canada. Plans are in the works for South Moon’s first yoga retreat in Costa Rica.

021Chrissy’s vision for South Moon Studio is to continue to grow a sacred place in which to promote artists all over Manitoba, to empower people to feel good in their own bodies and celebrate the unique creative spirit and expression of children and adults of all ages.

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For more information on South Moon Studio visit southmoonarts.com, e-mail southmoonarts@gmail.com, or call (204)-918-5359

You can huff and puff… But you won’t blow this straw bale house down.

Story by Caleigh Christie.

One year ago, my friends, family, and I set down the first of 200 straw bales that would soon become the walls of my new straw bale cabin. Today, the cabin (which is now known as ‘Whiskey Jack’) sits on the beautiful shore of High Lake ready to be rented as the latest addition to the Falcon Trails Resort Eco Cabin rental fleet.

558490_380758438661308_666270687_nWhen my parents (journey-WOman carpenter Barb Hamilton and Craig Christie) first approached me asking if I wanted to lead this construction project, I jumped at the opportunity. Under one condition… that we would step outside the box and try our hand at building with straw bales, an unconventional but extremely smart and environmentally friendly form of construction. Straw bale buildings are best known for their efficient insulation. Compared to a conventional home, which typically has around an R20 insulation rating, straw bale homes can have anywhere from an R35-50 rating. Often, people will be concerned with pest and fire problems when they first learn about these buildings. Studies conducted at the University of Manitoba have shown that straw bale buildings are less prone to these types of issues as mice tend to prefer the less dense fiberglass insulation of conventional homes and fires have a hard time catching on bales that are so tightly packed. The cement/lime stucco, which is applied to either side of the bale, both protects the bales from rain and water damage and acts as a type of desiccant, wicking up unwanted interior wall moisture and allowing it to flow to the outside of the building.

3700_380758381994647_2057800286_n3730_389412861129199_1054137917_n527255_380758865327932_686394917_nPresented with these facts, my parents became excited to take on the project with me. The building kicked off on the September long weekend of 2012 where we hosted a straw bale building workshop lead by Paul Reimer, my former high school english teacher. Twenty course participants, a lot of whom were friends, showed up to try their hand at straw bale building.

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The crew was quite eclectic; carpenters, blacksmiths, musicians, beekeepers, forest fire fighters, documentary film-makers, farmers, and even a falconer! We had a diverse skill set to say the least. Once the course was completed the “Straw bale Crew” (Brooke Christie, Kristine Askholm, Kurtis Ulrich, Benita Cleaver, Jesse Matas and I) camped out at the High Lake boat house and continued to work on the walls through the months of September and October to finish them up. The memories of working on Whiskey Jack for those two fall months last year are some that I will never forget. It doesn’t get much better than sharing meals, music, learning, and fun in such a beautiful setting with some of your closest friends.

578435_10152116928960567_1858546653_nMany months later, with the immense help from my parents and countless other friends, we now have a beautiful low-impact straw bale cabin for rent. I can’t wait to show the guests of Falcon Trails Resort how this unconventional building technique can offer efficiency, beauty, and comfort within the cabin setting.

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Wildlife of the Month: White-tailed Deer (Part I)

Whether it’s grazing does, spotted fawns, or a massive buck, white-tailed deer are the most commonly sited animal in the Whiteshell and they’re also the November Animal of the Month. November is rutting season, so right now large bucks are feverishly searching for a mate. Take a look at  Part I of the Wildlife of the Month photo series, including some adorable spring-time fawn photos, captured by wildlife photographer Anne Klassen:

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