Monday, September 26, 2011

Squam Withdrawal

Yep. It’s hit. It was bound to happen though. When something that special makes such an impression on you, how could you not go through a wee bit of withdrawal?! And yet the Squam Art Workshops experience evokes such a deep feeling that it’s actually difficult to articulate. I may never truly be able to do that, but what I do know is that I have more little mental treasures to reminisce over than I did before. And that’s certainly something to celebrate. So here’s my last ditch effort to highlight the joys of Squam:  

*Real laughter. Silly laughter. Full on laughter from the belly. 

*New friends [smile]. My ladies of Bell Tower. 

*Cookie sandwiches for lunch

 *You just never know who you are sitting next to in class. Women from literally around the world. Women who create. Raise families. Sing in operas. The list goes on.

*Eyes wide open.

*Sitting on the dock of the bay…teacher prescribed. Thank you Jen.

*Feeling the world once again. Feeling and seeing what is truly in front of you in all its glory.

*The gift of sharing. Christine’s time, words of encouragement, wisdom and willingness to teach her craft is a gift that lasts. 

*Sleeping in a charming cottage nestled in the woods. Room sized screened in porches.

*More smiling faces than one can remember seeing.

*Sharing stories by the fire.  

*Bonding over burlap in the Sugar House with Maya. Her careful and caring ways of teaching and being were touching.


*Giving myself wings to fly back out into the world.

To think, I headed to Squam doubting and wondering why I was going, if I would make friends and I left knowing exactly why the universe put me there. Squam is such a sacred gathering place for modern day women striving to make a homemade life of some sort; trying to re-center and give back to themselves as much as they give to others in their everyday life.

Squam fulfills the soul and sustains a creative life. My dearest thanks to Elizabeth.  

*Until I meet the magic of Squam again, may this happiness thrive. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011


It’s been a whirlwind of activity this past week or so. Squam was all it’s cracked up to be and more. It wasn’t one of those trips that you daydream about for months on end, only to get there and to be a little let down. When fellow Squamies say that it’s a magical experience, they truly mean it. And to experience magic as an adult is something to behold. 

This magic, swirling around from the minute I pulled in, grounded me faster than I knew possible. I simply can’t recall the last time I was surrounded by that many pure, smiling faces filled with intentions to help, learn, grow, create and meet new friends. Any fear I had about attending, without knowing anyone, was quickly washed away by what my spirit quickly recognized as a deeply meaningful place to be.

I was so grounded, especially, that first day that I barely took any pictures. There was an intense desire to be in the moment, to not let it slip away. And when I did pick up the camera I found myself taking pictures of my feet. I now know, it was to capture how grounded I had become. To be able to reflect on it for those post-Squam days, when it becomes easy to question if it really happened at all.

I’ll post more pictures and stories from my time there in the coming week as I process and reflect on finding magic tucked away in the woods and the shores of Squam Lake. 

Monday, September 12, 2011


That long to-do and things-to-pack list is almost squared away as I get ready to head out to Squam Art Workshops on Wednesday [through Sunday]. I’m having a hard time believing how many bags I’ve packed: layers of clothes for chilly fall weather by the lake, mixed media art supplies, snacks and food, notebooks and a general catch all bag. It’s a good thing I’m not flying! Now I know why on their website they have instructions on shipping your things.

[My poor little guy must think he's coming along with me.]

Last week, prior to packing, I was starting to feel a bit anxious about going. Anxious about being in the car by myself for six hours [I max out around four to five hours and that’s when I'm traveling with someone], meeting new friends, would I meet people I like?, who will I sit with at lunch?….it was starting to feel like I was going back to school with all these thoughts just spinning round and round. I was basically overwhelmed by needless, self-concocted worries.

But something happened yesterday on the 10th anniversary of 9/11. I felt a rebirth of patriotism. A belonging to something much larger. Through this common thread of humanity, I was quickly grounded in less selfish thoughts and worries. Being able to travel and live freely is a gift from those who fought to save the victims of 9/11 and those who still fight for our freedoms. 

This gift is not forgotten. I’m forever grateful. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

My Fairy Sea

It doesn’t matter the time of year, the sea holds a deep and meaningful place in my heart. It’s what my daydreams are made of. Its strength, mesmerizing charisma, endless gifts and the creatures it holds make it awe inspiring and even a bit mystical. It’s a charmer for sure!

I discovered this poem by D.K. Stevens a couple of years ago, while staying in Sweet Dreams Cottage at Cabot Cove Cottages in Kennebunkport, Maine. It was hanging on the wall designed with a mermaid background and I was beside myself that it wasn’t for sale. Years later I’m still thinking about it and decided to create my own mixed media collage piece to hang beside a printout of ‘My Fairy Sea’ poem.

I know a deep and boundless sea
That takes three fairy days to reach;
And if you’ll come along with me,
We’ll play forever on the beach.

My sea is splendid to behold:
Its top is all shimmering light,
Just like the narrow path of gold
The moon makes on your sea at night.

Its waves are never blue or green,
But just a lovely kind of pink;
The shore is sugar, white and clean.
Which makes the water good to drink.

And if you want your fortune told;
To know what’s coming in a year,
You only have to find and hold
One of my shells to your ear.

Of course it is a distant sea,
And takes three fairy days to reach;
But if you’ll go along with me,
We’ll play forever on the beach. 

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Survival Kit

Aaah. It’s good to be back on here. Power is on and the mess in the yard that Irene left behind has been cleaned up. I’m feeling very fortunate that there were only branches and some trees to clean up. No flood waters and the house is still standing. Hope all of you fared okay as well.

While August was ending and September was creeping up on me, so was something else. Nesting. It happens every year, right around this time. We may still have 80 degree days, but the air is different, a bit cooler, the sun less intense and the days a bit shorter. For me, there is no escaping the nesting that comes with the change in the air. One of the things I find myself doing, much like a chipmunk gathering acorns, is pulling together simple things around the house to sit and enjoy. And that’s exactly what I did when Irene hit.

My storm survival kit consisted of:

-          Be Well Red Tea …when a brand takes the time to write up the essence of each product and put it on the packaging, it’s bound to capture my attention.

-          Mollie Makes magazine ….I’m like a dog with a bone when the new issue comes out each month. I run and hide so no one can find me and when I’m done I carry it around with me everywhere I go. It’s out of the U.K., so for some it may not have much appeal, but for me, that’s a huge part of the attraction. Every month I can get my U.K. fix. I adore the way they speak, write, stylize things, dress, etc.

-       Savory Baking cookbook by Mary Cech …hands down, my new favorite cookbook for the fall. Plenty of baked goods and meals all in one. How is that not perfect fall food?!

-         Lemon Lavender candles ...surprised ;)?