Squam Love

Oh, how I’m still basking in the afterglow of Squam, the classes and all the lovely ladies I met and reconnected with along the way. Maya’s story scarves sewing class was as gentle, nurturing and productive as they come. 
From the moment I arrived at class, I knew I was more than welcome….

…and sweet, loving touches filled the room.  

My scarf is a mix of found vintage fabric, handed-down lace from women in the family, fabric remnants from Maya’s stash and a lavender filled sash. 

The next day’s class was ‘Seeing the Everyday’ with Amy. It’s a bit ironic [or perhaps not], that I come home from Squam able to feel more in tune with the every day. 

Things that may ordinarily go unnoticed, capture my attention. This photography class was the perfect reminder on using my camera to now see the every day. 

And of course, there is plenty to see and snap pictures of at Squam. 
My last afternoon was spent with a friend, creating mixed-media collages, something I had been craving to do since I had arrived, but had not had the opportunity to work on. 

There were limited supplies on hand and everyone threw in what they could find in their bag or  cottage and some extras supplied from other classes. It was the perfect challenge to create from a mix of things you’re not used to working with. 

I’m feeling blessed and fortunate to have had the opportunity to attend and to have had so many warm, powerful and magical encounters. 

Squam

This fall session of Squam proved to be magical once again. Different from last year, but  magical nonetheless. Arriving was like entering into a land a bit like Brigadoon, a secret place in time that opens up to those passing by. 

A place that is truly timeless and where ultimately love is found before leaving. Love for oneself. Love for old and new friends.

Mother Nature blessed us with a couple of gorgeous sun kissed days that ended with friends on the dock catching up on the days activities while taking a dip in the cool lake and being mesmerized by the light dancing upon the water.

Squam is a place where one day gracefully flows into the next and time slows down and takes on a new rhythm where you don’t quite know what day it is, but you know exactly where you’re supposed to be.

Stay tuned for more on my Squam classes later in the week. This story doesn’t end here….

Getting Ready

The last couple of weeks have been incredibly tough between being under the weather and wrapping my head around my sweet furry boy going blind. He had a vet appointment this week and we can potentially save his eyesight in one eye, but the catch is the surgery needs to be done ASAP. 

Wouldn’t you know it, the surgery is to be done in Toronto (yes, Toronto as in Canada) and it has to happen during the same week I’m Squamward bound. Talk about stress. The surgery is Tuesday and we should be able to bring him home on Wednesday. That means we roll back into town Wednesday early evening, unload the car, and literally re-pack it with my Squam bags and I hit the road for New Hampshire. This is sure to be a memorable adventure from start to finish. 
You should see the to-do lists I have going and the seemingly endless bags of stuff for each trip. It’s a good thing I’m a bit of a bag lady [wink]. In between packing and laundry, I’m spending some happy time in my studio today puttering around, cleaning up and looking at some of my Squam-made stuff from last year. 

I’ll be back in a week or so, with all sorts of updates and pictures from this adventure. In the meantime, please send some good energy my way. 

Earth Angels

The February issue of Where Women Create, had an advertisement on the back cover for Earth Angels – the art girls’ roadshow shopping event, featuring handmade artful decor and accessories. The event immediately went on my calendar. It was held at the Schuyler Pond Home and Garden. What a setting it was. The property has an old restored barn filled with eclectic things for the home and an attic full of shabby chic furniture vignettes. Do you even need to guess where I spent most of my time [wink]?! 

Brimfield

If you like old stuff, collectibles, walking and people watching, then Brimfield Antiques and Collectibles Show is for you. The show takes place three times and year and for me its a sight to behold with something for everyone. Empty fields in this sleepy New England town come to life with a sea of antiques. For me, it’s worth just poking around, more than it is anything else (things do tend to be over priced) and snapping some fun pictures. Saturday was a perfect sunny day to spent walking the fields, taking it all in. 

Settling In

Maine. It’s was lovely. It always is. It broke a little piece of my heart to leave, but it gives me something to look forward to. The trip got off to a rocky start with me feeling under the weather, but it was quickly remedied with good medicine and sunshine. Most of the trip was spent driving from one small, quaint town to the next checking out the scenic landscapes, rugged beaches, lobster shacks and charming store fronts. 
As I settle into the afterglow of a rejuvenating trip (and do yet another load of laundry), I leave you with a few pictures to enjoy.  

A Sunday Drive

At the first hint of nice weather we run to the nearest body of water. And Sunday was that day. It was a clear, blue sky kind of day. Our Sunday drive to the lake turned into a bittersweet adventure. Being outside and  being able to smell the outdoors and sit by the lake was so close to heaven that it made me breathe that deep breath of relaxation you get on vacation. I even got to spend some time swinging on a swing. If the kids aren’t using them, I am! 
Our route to the lake is one we’ve driven many times. Along the way there are plenty of quaint hotels and resorts, but there are also a couple that seem to have been all but forgotten. It has long been a dream of ours to purchase an old ‘cabin camp’ or ‘cabin court’ as they were once called. So with little traffic on the road and no real place to go, we pulled off and decided to scope out one of these properties. It was heartbreaking to see these once sweet little dutch inspired cottages sitting abandoned, in the truest definition of the term. 

Doors were left ajar giving us a glimpse of beds no longer providing someone a restful night’s sleep. Books lined the shelves waiting to be picked up and read. Curtains still hung in the windows. The porches and roofs were collapsing under the pressure of the elements. 

It was ironic to me that what was once a place of rest and relaxation for those taking their ‘Sunday drive’ into the country, now sit, left uncared for, weathering the years with no tender loving care. The stories they hold, forgotten. 

Although there are many cottages and cabins that have had similar fates, being bypassed by bigger and supposedly better things, there still is a home in my heart for these places. And I believe, that with a little help, there is still a place for them now. Telling their story is one small step in bringing them back to life.

Stark Beauty

Buttermilk Falls Inn and Spa was like walking into a utopia. The property has an abundance of quiet paths showcasing sweet nooks and crannies throughout the 75-acre property. From ponds to waterfalls to grapevines, organic gardens and great architectural structures there was beauty to be found at every turn. And although most of the landscape had lost its color, the stark beauty of it was striking. 

Fall. By the Sea.

A much needed girls trip to Boston was in order this past weekend to see two dear friends, Michele and Tasha. As always, Michele and I had one of those talks that puts the mind at ease. When we talk, we talk. Our parallel paths continue, as they have for a long time, and there is a deep comfort in that. 
The sea beckoned me to Rockport, and that’s exactly where Tash and I headed on Saturday. Autumn by the sea is pretty as a picture. 

The air was quite crisp and the last hints of fall could be found, but the things I adore about summer could still be found too. Flowers, vibrant colors, cloudless blue skies and the wafting smell of the ocean instantly connected me with that summer feeling.

Rockport is a quintessential New England town that doesn’t take long to charm you, calm you and make you feel like you belong right where you are. The charm comes from more than just the architecture; the boutique owners are as charming as they come. 

Captain Steve of Capt. Steve’s Sea Shell Shop offered a warm welcome into his sweet store filled with shells and the stories they carry with them.

8 Bells, shop owner Robin, greeted us as if we were long lost friends and let us make a loud fuss over her wares and her “to die for” storefront mermaid. [It’s not for sale, we asked].

Oh, and the Paper Mermaid, well how can you not like a store with a name like that?!

A Walk in the Orchard

I couldn’t bring myself to do much of anything remotely productive today, but when the sun came out this afternoon and the sun warmed the air, I knew I had to take advantage of it. My rationale: our warm days in these parts are numbered. So with hot apple cider in hand, I walked around our local orchard to capture the season in all its glory. And I’m so glad I did.

I fell in love with this tractor. I kind of, sort of, want one for the yard. How fun would it be to decorate each season?!  

There are a bunch of sweet buildings around the property that just beg for their picture to be taken. 

And lastly, this gentle boy in all his pure beauty.