Santa Comes to Searsport Shores August 2-8

SantaSteveSchruersWe don’t have to wait until winter to visit with Santa at Searsport Shores! He visits every August and again during Fiber College of Maine.

Here’s a note from the “jolly ol’ elf”

Hello Dear Friend,

The cold dark winter here at the North Pole has ended and it is time for me to visit folks around the world. My first stop will be to visit my mid-Atlantic workshop in Olney, Maryland. While in Maryland, I will participate in a few athletic Charity events and run in the Cherry Blossom 10 mile race, the Race for Hope, the Race for the Cure and the Purple Stride race. I will also check-in on Olney Armorers where I am a Master Armorer and teach armor construction and chainmail jewelry. I learned these skills many years ago when some of my elves asked for chainmail shirts as props for their role playing games. At $800 each we could not afford to buy chainmail shirts. This was before the days of the internet, so we used a picture from a museum catalogue and a magnifying glass to teach ourselves how to make chainmail.

In August, I will be visiting Searsport Maine where I will be teaching chainmail, macrame and cartoon character design. As you may remember, I learned my basic knotting (macrame) skills as a Boy Scout and expanded upon that while I worked as a cowboy and a canoe guide. I taught myself cartooning when I needed to create my Santa Claus coins to give to children who were brave enough to talk to Santa. In addition, I expanded my cartooning when I needed to create sports team t-shirts and singlets for my North Pole Endurance Team.

All three arts take time to learn the basics and even more time to broaden your knowledge. Macrame takes the least amount of time to learn and chainmail takes the most time to learn. Cartooning is somewhere in the middle. For chainmail, I teach all three basic types of chainmail: European (what you see in the movies), Persian (what some call Byzantine) and Asian (rarely seen). Most beginners can learn European and Asian weaves in a couple of days. Persian weave is much harder and should wait until a student is more advanced.

The most popular type of macrame today is “Survival Bracelets.” My students have so much fun with them and they are quick to make, we seldom go beyond the survival bracelets. The students end up making bracelets, anklets, dog collars, and leashes. If a student wishes to go beyond survival bracelets, I will have a knot sampler project and resource books with me.

The cartooning I teach is character (or avatar) design. I start with simple characters like “Kilroy was here” dating from World War II. I will have several resource books for character ideas and sketching pointers.

I have a special fondness for these three art forms because I can use them to bring happiness to others. Watching the triumph in a student’s face as they master an art is priceless.

While at Searsport Shores, I will be helping children and adults create many fun projects. The typical chainmail projects are key chains, bracelets, necklaces and pouches. The most common projects for macrame are bracelets, anklets, dog collars, and belts. The cartooning projects are mostly animal avatars. Typically I teach chainmail and macrame at the same time on a walk-in basis. For the cartooning, students should arrange a specific time in advance. I will be available for teaching from 9 am to 5 pm with a 1 hour lunch break.

Take care and I look forward to seeing you at Searsport Shores.



Santa Steve the Marathon Man
Santa Steve the Marathon Man


They’re here!

It’s so much fun to finally arrive at Memorial Day Weekend…we plan, we clean, we prepare…and then the guests arrive in magic numbers to celebrate the beginning of camping season! With the help of friends, family and dedicated staff, we’ve been able to open the park with fanfare because we’ve never looked better so early in the season.  It’s a chilly 45 degrees while I write this but the beach if full of combers, the rec hall behind me is buzzing with families playing ping pong and reading stories by the fire and we’re planning a beach bonfire tonight with fried bread and ghost stories.

Campsites and Souvenirs

The other day Bill Carr and Bob Vermilyea came by to talk to Steve about building a pickle ball court for campers and some of our neighbors…do you play pickle ball? The name made me laugh but the players are very serious and it sounds like a game we could really get into so we’ll keep you updated. In the meantime, since the court is an investment of both $ and space, we’d love to hear if it’s something you think would be an asset to the campground.
Have a marvelous weekend,
Astrig & Steve

Planning for September

This week has been the launch of Fiber College 2010…we’re looking for instructors to teach the approximate40 classes that are always held the second weekend of September…if you’re interested…click here for the invitation…remember that if you can combine teaching (or vending) with your camping trip…it all becomes a tax write off 😉

In my world “call for instructors” means spending a lot of time in front of the computer writing to artists, artist associations, cooperative studios, newspapers and on-line groups…it’s a bit like diving into a Caribbean Coral Reef because everywhere I look there’s something beautiful and someone talking about a passion that I want to share.  It’s so easy to get distracted by the beautiful art work that I forget my mission…and the hours go by.  But I have the Fiber College Committee to keep me grounded and focused…it’s the only way I can keep from drifting off through the day without having anything to show for my time…except more dreams of projects for the campground.

It's not your eyes, the photos a bit blurry because of the slow shuttle speed...but isn't it peaceful?

There’s plenty of snow on the ground so we’ve been skiing every day around the trails and roads of the park.  Because of all the tree trimming Steven and Mike did in November we haven’t had a single tree come down yet…not even a big branch.  This makes Steve very happy but me…I like to feed the goats the pine branches and I haven’t been able to give them a single treat because none have fallen…proof that good deeds never go unpunished 😉

Want to see how peaceful things are…I took these pictures Saturday night at the Belfast Footbridge overlooking the Belfast Harbor…

Maxfield Parrish sky

Gray, soothing skies

It’s the second day of monochromatic winter…everything is in shades of gray from early morning until there’s no more light in the evening…funny how during these days the nighttime sky is brighter than the one we look at all day.  But there’s fresh snow on the ground, now cold winds and we’ve been skiing around the park to keep the chocolate brownies and extra computer time from showing up on our posteriors…a constant consideration these days 😉

Peaceful moments

In a perverse way I’m starting to panic that the winter is flying by too quickly and I haven’t been doing all that I wanted.  Understanding that I loath to be away am content here at the campground I panic cringe when I see too many commitments on the horizon.  Already my calendar is filling with trips to Boston for the big wholesale gift show (I’m not much of a shopper so this event in the Hynes Auditorium is overwhelming), Portland for the New England Products show (overwhelming for a different reason~ so many beautiful things that cost so much more than we can have), Freeport for SPA (OK…no complaints, this is a wonderful weekend filled with knitting, spinning and chatting by the fire with 500+ other women) and Bangor for the accountant and a library affair.

You know, when I list it out things don’t sound so bad…bring it on!  These are some photos of yesterday’s skiing.  If you look closely you’ll see two big ships in the bay waiting out the storm and Steven’s wearing  his Christmas present, a new vest…if you were here this Fall I was just dyeing the wool and spinning the yarn in preparation.  Neeshee is the goat with big horns and the fiber is his…at the moment the vest is the only bright spot of color on the horizon.