Squam Art Workshops in New Hampshire, which has turned out to be a mega-catalyst in so many positive ways. I heard the loons sing from my screen-in porch bedroom each night and taught amazing women how to embroider in the rain or on a dock or next to an ice house every day. Midway through the week it dawned on me....I'm working! It was the best kind of work I can imagine. If you've not heard of Squam, it's worth your attention....so many of the people that were there have already blogged about it, and Elizabeth Macrellish (the founder/director) has organized them all into a list over at the website.
One of the most exciting parts about Squam for me was the sale that was held on Saturday night in Deephaven Lodge. When I first heard of the sale, I was hesitant. I didn't think my embroidered drawings would be big sellers due to their cost, and I wasn't sure I wanted to go into "production mode" to make something specific. In the end, I decided to sew some needle cases for embroidery, some knitting needle cases, hand printed fat quarters and, lastly, some hand printed embroidery samplers. I am so glad that I did! Here is a picture of the sampler that I created in progress- it's a black screen-print on cotton/ linen, and the stitches are "drawn" so to speak directly on the fabric. Instead of following a diagram in a book, you can just stitch right over the top of the drawing as you go. This is the one I stitched up as an example, so it's got my name at the bottom, which is not part of the original print.
I had a lot of fun getting all the things together for the fair, and a great sale itself.....but what followed was even more exciting. Lots of attendees bought a sampler, including two new friends that were also teaching/ lecturing at Squam; Charolotte Lyons and Jenny Doh. Charlotte also purchased one for her friend Pam Garrison, and the three of them began stitching and blogging their progress last month. I am so grateful for their many kind words and inspired mark making, and so tickled that they're having so much fun embroidering the print I created. After an overwhelming response from their blog readers, I opened an etsy shop last week while I was on vacation, and yesterday I mailed out 65 samplers to places as far from Chicago as Puerto Rico and Australia! And, after many suggestions from students, fellow teachers, and new friends, I have decided to start my own blog. To everyone who encouraged me to sell those samplers online and to everyone who bought one- THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!
This is the very first post, but I've got lots more up my sleeve. My plan for the blog is to chronicle my studio practice and all that informs it, including teaching, gardening, cooking, rummaging, and reading. I hope to see you soon!