Wednesday, October 14, 2009

My Squam Experience ...

From September 16 - 20th I was one of over 100 people that made their way to Squam Lake in New Hampshire for the Squam Art Workshops. There is alot written about the location, food and beauty of Squam Lake so I will not cover that here. My little view of that time is about my classes.

My first class was in a large room with a huge fireplace along one wall complete with a crackling fire. There were twinkle lights wrapped around posts and a long wall of windows that looked out over the lake. The class was 'Book in a Day' taught by Marisa and Christine.

Everyone was greeted with the statement 'We believe in hugs' and arms opened and folded until everyone had received their hugs. I could not have felt more welcome. We watched demos of various bookmaking techniques by Marisa and Christine and then spent the day cutting chip board, poking holes with awls, cutting and folding paper, playing with glue and embellishing with paints, photos and just about anything else imaginable. The supply of material was endless and inspiring. I left the class with the book shown below and another still in process. I also left with a new passion for bookmaking. Thanks so much to Marisa and Christine for sharing their knowledge and providing a supportive and fun environment.

This is a collage of the first book I made. It was so much fun to make and I love the result.

My second class was 'Creating a Painting in a Day' a class also taught by Marisa. I knew Marisa through her e-course and was familiar with her paintings. She is very generous with her knowledge, a skilled artist and is sincere in her desire to see everyone succeed. I just knew it was going to be a great class.

We were in the same lovely room with the crackling fire, twinkle lights, hugs and beautiful views of the lake. I felt very much at home and comfortable. I listened to Marisa speak about her process and I began to feel encouraged and brave enough to just pick up a brush, dip it in paint and well - paint! Then a wonderful thing happened. Something sparked inside me like a connection that had long been lost and then suddenly repaired. I could not wait to dive into the paints. When I finally put my brush down and looked around me everyone was smiling and to me it appeared as if they were very proud of what they had accomplished - just like me. This class will remain with me and inspire me for a very long time. Thank you Marisa.

Unfortunately, I was not able to stay at Squam beyond the first 2 days due to personal reasons. Sometimes life just takes these twists and turns that we can neither predict nor control. All that is to be done is to hang on and go for the ride.

As a result I could not attend my third class, provide my book for 'show and tell' or say good-bye to some of the really wonderful people I met. It is disappointing but I have been a Red Sox fan my whole life and as we sox fans say 'There is always next year'.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Good Choices ...

It all began when I found Marisa Haedike's blog Creative Thursday. Marisa's colorful paintings and delightful characters along with her podcasts made me a frequent visitor. When she offered her first e-course 'life in the fish bowl' I signed up! This was the first in a series of Good Choices.

By taking Marisa Haedike's e-course, I learned more about the on-line world than I ever would have on my own. The class consists of weekly podcasts with a follow-up video that together provide advice, questions to ponder, her own experiences and lots of encouragement. Marisa is a successful artist and a natural teacher with a unique viewpoint and a desire to inspire others to follow their dreams.

Everyone has the option to share their own personal experiences in a safe and supportive environment. AND if they choose to share, you have the opportunity to get to know other bloggers and peek into their unique on-line world. It is all so exciting and supportive.

Yup, a Good Choice. Check in later this week for another Good Choice. Thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Beautiful Days ...

Fall has to be one of my favorite times of the year. The beautiful clean crisp air and warm sun combine to make the days like heaven on earth. When I checked my blog today I could not believe how long it had been since my last post, so here are just a few things that have been grabbing my time and attention.

The wonderful butterflys that are visiting the last of the flowers in my garden. They literally flit all over the yard which makes watching them so much fun. They are also not always willing to 'sit' for a photo and that makes it even more fun.

I am still completely enchanted by the zinnias in my yard. I must have at least a hundred or more pictures of them as they change constantly so there is always something new to see. This is a gold zinnia and one of only 2 or 3 that made an appearance this year.

This little gold zinnia also has a kiss of pink. Just beautiful!

Our shed was just about ready to collapse so a new shed was in order. It is in a new location just to the right of the original. Today was a gorgeous day and we stained three sides of it with a redwood stain. Prepping the space and building the raised beds took alot of time this fall. I am glad this project is just about over.

This is the book I made at Squam in September. I really enjoyed that class and will add a post about it soon. The class inspired me to plan several other books and I am slowly gathering the supplies needed. I cannot wait to get going on them.

I hope you are all enjoying the fall also. Thanks for visiting.