saw - squam art workshops - nirvana

saw - squam art workshops - nirvana


how to even start about this amazing experience. i may need to just share the pictures because the words still have not come after being home for over a week. when i keep starting most of what i say sounds very cliche.

i added a little wine to the mix and here comes the share+++ who cares how cliche it sounds, it was a life changing experience and i made so many incredible friends and enjoyed myself so much i want to share it!

Photo 1

this was my first look at squam in the light of the morning.

i can tell you when we decided that i was going to attend i had so much anxiety about what classes i should take. there were so many that i wanted to take and so little time. i had no idea how many people were going to be trying to register and how many spots there were, i thought i would be lucky if i could get in, let alone get the classes that i wanted. oh the joy to get the note from elizabeth that i was confirmed and had my first choices! yippee!!!

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nirvana - the camp

i feel so fortunate that elizabeth, the creator of this event, put me in the cabin appropriately named nirvana with so many talented and creative women. i loved being in the "vault". i feel so nourished by my nirvana family. i was living with the women that were teaching my classes this was so incredible. they were so fun and so honest and shared so much of themselves as did all of my other wonderful housemates. so many late nights.

i was anxious about attending this workshop. i had no idea what to expect. the photos from the previous retreat can't begin to describe what it was like there. the campus is really expansive and all tucked into the woods and surrounded by water. beautiful everywhere you look.

when i first started college i went in as a studio art major. i had terrible creative anxiety and lack of self-confidence. i can appreciate creativity but it does not come freely to me. i know what i like but cannot readily express what i would like to.

it was extremely overwhelming how talented and creative the attendees were. i knew already that the teachers were but this was very intimidating. that did not last long though because everyone was really so supportive. they would share ideas for my projects and ask for input on their projects. also we were all so happy to be there. everyone was smiling all the time and chatting with everyone else. even if you were not in class with them you said hello to them and chatted in line or when you were looking at all the production on display at the end of the day. it was so exciting to be in such a positive mutually supportive group.

the product that came out at the end of the day was so overwhelming. that these beautiful pieces could be taught and created in such little time was amazing. i wanted to take so many home with me. also wished that i could have taken so many other classes in addition to what i took.

Photo 4

painting a day with my new sweet friend marisa haedike one of the many great classes that i could not fit in my schedule

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printing with botanical designs with another new sweet friend maya donenfeld and another wonderful class i did not attend

Photo 16

one more wonderful maya class. coffee sack hack, repurposing with burlap missed this one too.

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lauren smith and derek fagerstrom taught wallpaper projects. I couldn't fit this class in either but I bought their book of the same title.


most of the ladies from nirvana. we are missing three. not sure how they escaped. photo from laura nelkin

i need to let you know who all of my new friends are here. i will also add the nirvana ladies that are missing from the photo.

alexandra almeyda, me, kellen meyer, lizzy house, laura nelkin, maggie hollinbeck, betz white, marisa haedike, maya donenfeld, missing - donna collins, andrea mckeen and kristin bonner

missing you all!

i did have some ideas about what i would like to accomplish while i was away from home. i really thought that this would be a time that i could learn about some ways to repurpose material and find new activities that i could share with my daughter.

i had planned on having the evenings to myself to rest and create having quiet time away from the calls of family and house work. i enjoyed my new friends so much that i only slept between 5 and 6 hours a night and enjoyed every minute that i could. i also had plans to set up my blog while i was there so that i could better record the experience and not have to try to remember when i returned home. again there was no time for that.

the time went so quickly. we had three yummy healthy (if you chose) meals each day. you didn't want to miss a meal not because you were necessarily hungry, but it was such a great time to catch up about the classes and visit with your new friends. also at afternoon and evening meals most of the classes would display what they were working for everyone to see.

we were also working off those great meals walking to all of our events and classes. all of my classes were a 15 to 20 minute walk through the woods . i never knew how heavy my sewing machine was until i started carrying it through the woods to class. where else would you go and see someone walking in the woods with a sewing machine. to think that a little over a month ago i didn't even know how to use this machine. you could say that i had a crash course. my mother-in-law actually gave me a lesson almost 2 months ago now. she helped me make some napkins and showed me how to use the machine.

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nirvana dock - finally made it down here on the last day as i was leaving. how can we fit more hours in the day!

the next post is the classes that i did take. i think that i may be blogging about this workshop forever...

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