Squam 2011

Oh boy – I wasn’t disappointed.

not one little bit. 
But I was surprised by how I ended up feeling . . . 
my wonderful cabinmates – love them!

Lets just get the details out of the way – Squam Art Workshops is a creative arts retreat located in New Hampshire on Squam Lake.  Three full days of classes with some of the most phenomenal makers in the country.  You really must go some time (okay – every year).
But, before you get all comfy with what you imagine it might be like, it turns out Squam is not all about lolling around a beautiful place making things. . . .Have you ever felt so engaged by the people around you, so ignited by a collective, creative spark, so passionate about what you’re doing that you exhaust yourself?  This is the paradox of Squam– parts a phenomenally relaxing escape AND parts an intense, full and emotionally draining experience.  Squam filled me to the brim and left me unexplainably sapped at the same time. 
For me, Squam meant staying up until 1 a.m. every night because I just didn’t want to put my knitting needles down and say good night to my new friends.  It was about staying in my classroom after all my classmates and even my teachers had left because I wanted take my vision to completion.  It was about stoking a burning desire to build a creative life–and furthering plans to do so.  

Squam was all about this feverish passion, but it was also soothing, utopian and delectably away from the troubles of everyday life.  Squam is truly greater than the sum of its parts. The place elevates the entire experience. Not only are you surrounded by creative energy everywhere, you are captivated and held speechless by your surroundings.  . . .
Squam was hearing a loon’s eerie call echo across the lake.  It was stumbling, flashlightless, across a tiny, winding dirt path as you sought your warm, cabin fire.  It was seeing endless numbers of stars reflected in the lake’s glassy surface. It was diving in to the ice-cold water after a long, hot run.  It was about deep breaths of fresh air and the sound of water lapping against the dock and the whistling of wind through the trees.  Squam was about laughing until you cried and crying because you were moved by music, by creative inspiration or by the warm and understanding people that surrounded you.
I mean, really, can’t you see it? . . .I know I do . . .

Thank you Squam! See you next year!
xo Anne

Special thanks to Maya, who’s warm spirit was contagious–thanks for staying till I finished :).  To Rebecca for opening up a whole new art/craft to me.  To Cal for your trust and warmth.  To Lizzy for everything–you know what I’m talking about.  Thanks to my talented and lovely cabin mates, Nancy (check out her knitting needle jewelry), Lise (killer sock designer), Rani (great roommate – smart and talented to the quick), Tifanie (sweet, hip, open-hearted mama and maker), Amy Lou (funnier than all get out and smart as a whip), Noel (kind, gentle, smart and warm) and Maya (full of light and life).  And, of course, Camille, who’s broad smile and kind spirit welcomed everyone, especially me.  Thanks too to Elizabeth for making it all happen!!

  1. Wow! It looks amazing and sounds amazing too! So glad you had a fabulous time!

  2. Monica

    I can think of no better way to boost your creativity. The setting looks amazing, and being surrounded by so many kindered spirits must be amazing!

  3. Awesome. I wish I had been there. I WILL go someday!!

  4. Anne, this looks wonderful! Your photos are beautiful, too. I’m insanely jealous that I wasn’t there to enjoy Squam; maybe next year …

  5. cal

    anne, you put it beautifully… i am always rather at a loss for words as to describing SAW, but i agree completely with everything you said! and what a group of cabin-mates you had! it was so wonderful meeting you, and i look forward to seeing you there again and again.

  6. There were a lot of ‘best parts’ about coming to Squam, but meeting you was one of the very best of the best. I love these portraits—you’ve really captured everyone’s personality so perfectly (especially Amy’s, haha).

    And I got a shout-out, woo hoo! Right back atcha, dear. xoxox

  7. karyn

    anne, i’m so jealous. next year i gotta make squam happen!

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