April melted into a memory quicker than it ever should. May is following along the same path. We haven’t suffered the dramatic weather that we’ve seen in other parts of the country but I think in 45 days, we’ve had 6 without rain. Cold, gloomy and punishing if you want to get outdoor chores accomplished. A perfect excuse to work in front of the computer and play in the studio if that’s your inclination. Yup, I’ve been more happy than I probably should be considering how much work needs to get done before we open.
Rather than list off our chores, here’s a bit of a photo essay of our days:
Becoming a fiber artist was one of the best things that I’ve ever done in my life! My circle of friends has grown to include people from across the state of Maine and beyond. I never dreamed that life could be so good! When I began walking down this path, I was imbedded in a corporate life, where I knew that if I continued, all I’d ever make in life would be money. My hands (and heart) were itching to create! I’d dabbled in alot of art forms, such as stained glass, pottery and the softer handcrafts like embroidery and sewing. But when I discovered fiber at a great little shop called Portfiber, my world exploded like the Fourth of July fireworks. Being a discontented city dweller, the road to my country life lead me to brilliant colors (that I had never seen before!) and shapes and designs that I never knew existed.
Today I live deliberately and spend my days immersed in my feltwork. Felting is a magical process that leads to all kinds of wonderful results. When people ask what I do, the best explanation that can give them is “I paint with wool”. And one of the most magical things about it is…….anyone can do it! When I am teaching, my students begin the class doubting that they can create a “wool painting” or a cute whimsical 3D figure, but by the time we finish our project, they are amazed with the results.
On August 23rd, I will be at the “Shores” for a wonderful fiber filled week of felting fun. For those families who will be camping that week, we will be making dragons and wizards, frogs, turtles, owls, sheep, hedgehogs and we’ll even make ducks in ponds, just to name a few of the projects that you can choose from! And all from wool!! I will teach you the very easy and satisfying art of needle felting or wet felting, whichever appeals more to you. Or perhaps you’d like to learn both. The choice is yours. Kids will love creating animals that can made in under an hour. For the adults, you may choose to make a wall hanging to bring home with you. Or perhaps you’d like to make felted beads to create a necklace or earrings. Wearable art is unique and can be made by anyone, even children! It will be a wonderful opportunity for families to spend quality time together while creating fun projects that everyone will enjoy.
One of the best things about felting for me is knowing that the possibilities are simply ENDLESS. It’s like a mountain with no top! My list of possible projects grows longer and longer each day and for the first time in my life, that’s a wonderful feeling! I hope it never ends……….
I can’t wait to meet you at the “Shores”. I will be there beginning August 23rd, for a week.
When I was about ten years old I busted my Mom’s sewing machine. My Dad gathered it up and left the house almost immediately. Two hours later he came home with a 1940’s Singer sewing machine. It was classic black with painted gold scrolls. It sewed forward and backward. That beautiful machine was a gift for me, just me. (They replaced my Mom’s machine shortly afterward.) This is how my folks supported my stitching habits from the time I was just a girl, keeping me in fabric and yarn, machines and tools. They enrolled me in lessons, provided space, and most of all, example. I was raised as a maker by a family of do-it-yourselfers. And I was never, ever bored.
Today I live in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire, sewing or knitting every day. I make most of my clothing and I write patterns for knitted items such as sweaters and mittens. While at Searsport Shores, I will sew a complete garment each day. Come learn about patternmaking and garment construction, both sewn and knitted, and the tiny thing that holds it all together: The Humble Stitch. Campers are invited to sew an accessory, fasten a button, hem too-long pants, embellish with embroidery, all with coaching and the company of friends. Stitching is a handy skill that can be learned at any age!
You might think you’re seeing double when the Ober sisters come to Camp and Create! Susan Ober is a quilter from West Haven, Connecticut. Her identical twin sister Nancy “Seasi” Ober is a potter from Kansas City, Mo. Susan’s primary art form is quilts, She has made around 100 to date; Seasi has been throwing pottery for over 30 years, and they both enjoy gardening.
Susan makes her living as a Registered Nurse but remembers her first job as a “field girl” on a vegetable farm when she was 16 yeas old. She drove the tractor and helped out at the farm stand but her favorite part of the job was picking strawberries! Susan began sewing at a young age as well, she has been seriously quilting for 15 years. It’s theraputic to play with color and texture, and she loves seeing how pieces fit together like a big fabric puzzle. When she’s not at the sewing machine you can find Susan at her plot in the community garden coaxing beautiful flowers and vegetables from the soil and sharing with her freinds.
Seasi left for the Mid-West in the 1970’s and never looked back. She attended college in Kansas and received a degree in Art then started her own gardening business which she ran for 20 years. Seasi then headed back to college to receive her Master’s in Education. She teaches English as a Second Language (ESL) Her pottery is utilitarian bowls, cups and vases that she sell at area fairs.
As Artists-in-Residence “The Twins” will explore what’s growing in the garden at Searsport Shores and guide campers through a wide variety of activities.
Cross Patch Farms of Morrill, Maine has begun their 3rd season selling produce at the new and larger farm stand located on Route 1 in Serarsport just across from Searsport Shores Campground.
The new building replaces a much smaller stand origianally built in 1973. Mr. Treat owned the property at that time, he had a big garden and wanted to honor the heritage of the property which had been a working farm from the shore to the top of the mountain since the 1800’s. The little red farm stand was very popular with locals and folks from away for the fresh produce and enjoyed national fame as the setting for a Nutrisweet ad.
Steven and Astrig Tanguay of Searsport Shores Campground now own the property. Last year Steven noticed a sign that read “duck” on the front of the stand, thinking the Cross Patch Farm was expanding their product line he asked to buy some duck for supper only to find the sign refered to the need to “duck” your head to keep from hitting it in the doorway, “The building was starting to lean a bit too much,” said Steven Tanguay, “so I decided to replace it with a new building.”
When you stop in at the farm stand you’ll meet Ann Ambrose smiling behind the counter.
Ann manages the stand for Terry and Roxi Whitney who run Cross Patch Farm. Four generations of the Whitney family work on their 25 acre farm growing produce.
Ann is having a great time decorating the new space. She says the new stand has far exceeded her expetations! It’s much larger, Ann is able to display many more procucts indoors.
The crew at Searsport Shores provided the labor with the help of Larry Dolan of Morrill. The pine siding for the farm stand was milled in Winterport from trees downed in the November storm last year. The cement came from State Sand and Gravel, other building materials were purchased locally from EBS and Viking in Belfast.