Monday, September 28, 2009

Vacation Catch-up, Part 2: Squam Art Workshop

Ahhhhh... Squam Lake! Could there be a more beautiful setting for an artist retreat? Located in Holderness, New Hampshire, the Squam Art Workshops were held at the Rockywold-Deephaven Camps. My accommodations were on the second floor of the Longhouse Lodge...
A rustic building only feet from the lake. Here's the view from my 2nd floor room, overlooking the lake...
Not too shabby! Although, the lodges (other than a fireplace downstairs) were not heated, and New Hampshire temperatures were down into the 40's overnight... it all added to the charm and atmosphere of being "at camp"! And that down comforter sure did help!
The "path" to the Dining Hall was not what I expected! It was a path! In the woods! Ten minutes long! And I brought my dress boots! I figured, who has time for hiking? Well, 6 times a day... I did! But, hey... I didn't gain one pound from the all-you-can eat breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets because of it. Too cool. The path was also strewn with tributes to the late, great dirty dancer himself... Patrick Swayze. Our camp looked much like the one in the movie and the staff was very amused.
And... as a pleasant surprise... I "found my courage" on this path! Good thing too... because I had been looking for it for quite some time. The "Rock Fairy", a.k.a. Kim Mailhot had left it on the trail (along with many other rocks with perfect sayings for the finders-keepers) for a soul like me to find. Thanks, Kim!
On the first night, after dinner and an inspirational welcome speech by Stampington & Company's Editor-in-Chief Jenny Doh, we got to sit around a giant bonfire and listen to the amazingly delightful voice of Jonatha Brooke. She's very talented.
Classes the next day were a hike... literally! I had a giant suitcase, and two smaller cases filled with goodies for my class... Step Into The Story with Nina Bagley. A 3-day jewelry intensive on how to incorporate your precious mementos and treasures into a magnificent jewelry piece. We did lots of wire wrapping, collaged art to put into bezels and filled them with resin...
Wrapped unique vintage items and made these cool "cocoon" beads...
And got personalized attention from Nina on how to "build" our own personal story... and some tips for when we got stuck. [Note that I "accidentally" put my watch face on upside down! I just kept it that way... part of my new philosophy of letting go!]
It was a really different experience, being with the same people for 3 days. By the end, I felt like I had known these people for years. Everyone was so caring and sharing with ideas... supplies... thoughtful creative advice... personal stories... and wine!

And Nina taught us more than how to make a necklace... she made us all remember how special we are... and how we can do anything we set our minds to... and even some things we don't! She taught us how to see through her eyes and then to see through our own.
It was a fantastic experience. All around. The camp and it's staff, the accommodations, the scenery, the woods of New Hampshire, the food, the "hiking", the teachers, the people, the bonding, the laughs... and tears (good ones!), and a big shout out to Elizabeth MacCrellish for putting this whole thing on! I might just have to do this again next year...

Thanks for the love! Riding high on Squam...

© indoor classroom and "luggage" photos by Carol Belliveau. All others by me!


  1. I'm so glad you had a good vacation. Couple of comments here. 1- So pretty!
    2- Jonatha Brooke?! I love her music!
    3- I love the upside down watch face. After all, you are the one who will need to read the time.

  2. wow Michelle....just fantastic...and one day I want YOU to teach ME how to wire wrap!

  3. was so wonderful being in class (and the lodge!) with you...find courage, indeed! you are a very courageous & talented person...Linda


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michelle renee bernard