Sunday, September 28, 2008

Girls Night!!

Mom and Dad ventured out of town with some friends this weekend and I was in charge of watching their dog, Bailey. So the sisters and I figured this would be a great time to host a girls night. We had actually been planning to have a girls night for a while... Erin and I had made up a basket for Dawn for Christmas with a girls night coupon inside.
We started out with a shopping trip to Joanne Fabrics so Dawn and Erin could get materials for Halloween costumes. Dawn ASKS her 3 and 4 year old boys what they want to be. Just like with the birthday cakes (May '08), she always gets an interesting answer. And she always goes with it. So this year she is making a blue lobster and a red crab outfit. If I were her, I would offer choices, but she's always been braver than me. Erin is keeping her costume a secret for now. I'm thinking of posting some of our Costumes of Halloweens Past in an upcoming post. People really amaze me with their creativity.
Our next activity was making a grape pie with grapes from the backyard. This is kind of labor intensive- you have to skin and seed the grapes. But it makes a good pie.
Then we headed over to the Bonefish Grill for dinner. And a quick dip in Mom and Dad's hot tub before watching "Made of Honor"- I couldn't tell you how it was, I fell asleep through most of it. Here's to girlfriends!

Monday, September 22, 2008

More Squam!

I have to say thank you to all you Squam ladies for warning me about the downward emotional spiral that often comes after one of these wonderful art retreats. I went home fully prepared for it and I think I'm doing ok. Granted, the "snow-day" the day after I came home (see post from 9/16) definitely gave me the upper hand, but I hadn't realized that I've had this emotional crash you all speak of many times (right after Christmas, usually!) - I just never associated it with the emotional high that preceded it. Being aware of it makes a huge difference.
Anyhow... as my new friend Linda said , "I'm not even going to try to put Squam into words". I did the best I could in the last post. Now I'm just going to show you pictures!
I had the privilege of taking Judy Wise's Art Journaling class. What an incredible teacher and delightful person! I got so much out of this class. Take a look at the studio we worked in... Even if Judy's class hadn't been completely inspiring, the room by itself would've been enough to make me happy.
Ice cream sundae on the dock...

On my second day of classes, I got to meet Penelope... she has been inspiring me with her writing for years and I was so completely excited to meet her. I took her Travel Journaling class and her Editorial Illustration class. Both were fantastic. Here I am with Beth checking out an interesting contraption on the dock during the Travel Journal class...

Then in the second part of the Travel Journal class, we all piled into Penelope's rental car (and a few other cars!) and headed to Meredith, NH, a little south of the RD Camps. Three of the girls in the class and I went looking for a coffee shop to do some sketching in. Along the way we found a cute antique shop that we walked around in for a while. I thought I smelled a funny burning smell while we were in there. Then we found a bead shop in the back of the same building. While we were in there, a lady from another shop within the building came in and told the clerk that she smelled something in her jewelry shop. About 15 minutes later, fire trucks and police cars were showing up to put out an electrical fire in the basement! Now, only true artists (and probably scrapbookers) can appreciate what happened next... two of the girls I was with went running up to the fire trucks and started posing in front of them! This was when I decided I wanted to spend the rest of my life at Squam. I had found my soul mates.

After all the excitement was over, we settled into a beautiful little coffee shop and sketched and painted for about an hour.

Now, my next pictures are of my blogging hero who pulled my out of a three year artist block. Judy Wise, in a recent post, dared anyone to get a serious picture of Penelope... I am apparently not up for the challenge.
and she's FAST. This picture I just whipped around and snapped without even looking while we were all waiting for the professional photographer to take our group shot. I didn't even know Penelope was in this shot until I got back to the cabin that night!! So yes, Judy, I'm with you. I dare you all.

Now this lovely lady is my new motivational kick-in-the-pants. Theresa asked for the mic one night at one of our evening gatherings and wanted to know (I'm paraphrasing because sadly, I did not write this down. ) what was wrong with all of us (artists). "Your work is fantastic. You are so talented and yet I hear you all saying that you're afraid you're not good enough... where is this coming from?" She went on and I just don't remember exactly what she said because frankly, I was stunned. You know what Theresa? You're totally right. And I'm going to do my best to try to remember that the next time I feel that way- which is a lot. This picture is going up in my studio. Rock on, Theresa.

One day I finally got brave enough to go swimming. It wasn't bad, but I don't think any of us ever really got warm while we were at the camp, so this wasn't easy!! One night I even had a dream that it was snowing. Of course, it hit 90 on my drive home. I'm not kidding.
Here is Cat's cat quilt (I love her name). Cat was one of my cabin mates and she runs Bad Cat Graphics. Cat and I found common ground pretty quickly.

My favorite thing was hanging out in the living room with the fire and all the girls creating art. These ladies were full of creativity all the way to the tips of their toes. I will not show you my boring white socks. I will be going shopping for artist socks very soon.

And I will leave you with this poem that I found in the Rockywold Deephaven history book. This pretty much says it all.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Still Soaring

I went back to work today. Everyone wanted to know how the workshop went. Every time anyone asked I would almost tear up. How do you describe the indescribable? It was, I finally decided, like being in a little corner of heaven. I spent every day surrounded by beauty and love and creativity. People were kind and accepting and genuinely friendly. I think I was hugged about five or six times a day, usually by E (I forgot who said I could and couldn't use their real names, so I'll be using initials for everyone until I am told otherwise!) My biggest fear in going to Squam was would I really be able to make a friend in five days? Well, let me tell you...these were some of the nicest people I have ever met and I felt like I made a friend every five minutes. Here are some of my closest friends from Squam, my cabin mates, The Ladies of Easterlieigh. I am so grateful to have met each one of you!
And yes, if you caught that in the beginning, I went back to work TODAY, not yesterday. We had quite the wind storm in upstate NY on Monday morning about 2 a.m.ish (and elsewhere, I imagine). Power was knocked out all over and schools were closed!! So to top off my beautiful weekend, I got a "snow" day in September. God is smiling on me this week. Except that He didn't let me have internet access on my snow day, and after Squam, that was almost like taking away the air! That's my excuse for not having a more detailed post up by now. I would have blogged, but instead I spent the day making more tomato sauce. So for now, I will leave you with some more dock pictures (that's what seems to be on all the other Squam blogs!) and I will tell you more this weekend!

Saturday, September 6, 2008


I should be getting ready for Squam. That's what I told myself I would do today. But instead, I cooked. All day. The tomatoes finally ripened and I figured I should really do something with them. So last night I made sauce. Today I made roasted tomatoes and salsa. Then I got out the dehydrator that Dan got me for Christmas (No- I really did ASK him for a dehydrator for Christmas) and I got to work drying a small part of the endless cherry tomato crop. And last weekend we picked apples and I don't want those going to waste either, so I also made apple sauce and this really delicious apple upside down cake (I will post the recipe later if anyone is interested).
I'm really looking forward to Squam... I think I'm just really nervous about going. It's kind of like what everyone else is saying in their blogs- it really does feel like the first day of kindergarten (except I think it will be a lot more fun). I don't know. I guess it won't be any fun at all if I don't start packing! Thank goodness one of you other bloggers mentioned a flashlight because I had completely forgotten to add that to my list! All right... I'm really going to start packing now.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

During a 5 minute break...

Every now and then I think about changing the studio name... And then I am reprimanded.

Posting some work

Ok... I'm finally posting some artwork. I don't know why this makes me so nervous, but here it is. This is what I did with what was left of my summer vacation after all the vacationing was over:
This is a box I painted for my neighbor's baby shower. It's her dog when he was a puppy. All I have is Christmas wrapping paper and I was about to go buy some plain wrapping paper, but then I thought of this and thought she might like it.
Here it is all wrapped up, waiting to be opened...
And here is a painting of our beach in Plymouth (in progress)...
And at long last, we finally got the kiln going, and I'm really happy with the way these turned out. Now I have to get some blades for the grinder so I can put groves in them and get them all wired for wearing!