I have this favorite place – a camp where I spent a week every summer as a kid, and then many entire summers as a staff. I grew up here, my friends were here, I have seen this place at all hours of the day and night. This is where I started dating my now-husband, and also where we got married. This place is special.
I recently got to spend a week here with my family, taking in camp with different eyes. I helped in the kitchen (baking all the things!) while my kids played wide games, learned archery, and went kayaking. We all fell sleep exhausted every night. There are things about camp that are different now, but even when places like this change, they stay the same. The feeling here is the same. The bubble of being unattached to regular life, of things being simpler, of a group of people who are in it together. Inside jokes, seaweedy lake, wind through the poplars, sloppy joes, it’s the same.
Any time that I have found myself being asked to picture a favorite place in my mind, it is here, and will continue to be. Thanks for the new memories camp, it was wonderful to reconnect.
Between the new year and spring I took a pottery class. After the first class I thought I might cry – you know, even when you are constantly creative, figuring out the basics of a new craft often has a steep learning curve. I watched you tube videos, I got a little better every week, I vowed to use up every last bit of my clay. By the last throwing class I made two bowls that almost matched, and weren’t too wonky (success!). My favorite part was painting the underglaze (the bright colors like the rainbows and bird above), and then I realized, hey wait, I actually just really love to paint. That process turned my weird little shapes into cute weird little shapes that I started to like. After 10 weeks of an almost completely foreign-to-me process, I brought home all these funny little pots – glazed and shiny. I have no idea what I’ll do with most of them…
Like anything I’ve taken the time to learn, it gave me a new appreciation for ceramics – it is such a long process with so many steps and so much room for error (kind of the opposite of what I do everyday – where things can be finished in relatively short time and mistakes can be undone). A new appreciation for the craft of my ceramic artist friends, and a new appreciation for the pricing of handmade ceramics, for sure. If you’ve ever thought about taking a class, do it. And try not to cry.
My girl E turned 9 last week and we made these keychains with the kids at her party, since crafts are my go-to (I mean, I briefly considered trying to figure out Bingo…but no.) This was a good one for this age, but could be made more or less complex – and the supplies (key rings, letter beads, wooden beads, craft acrylic paint, colored hemp, mod podge) were all from Micheals. The girls each came up with their own idea and some used sharpies for the little details (marker does tend to run on unfinished wood). The only instructions are to loop the cord through the end of the key ring so it is doubled, string on the beads from top to bottom and tie a knot at the bottom. I also sealed the painted wooden beads in Mod Podge. I may have had the most fun…
Here was my inspiration: