Archive for the ‘Seek Your Course’ Category

Took a trip a couple hours east to the coast for the last couple days. Saw a bunch of friends and spent some quality time with my brother Aaron and his wife Lauren. Lovely time.

My first stop was catching up with Lucy, who is a month old. She was born a month early but is growing strong now.

first stop: lucia

I decided to make the trip because Beth Nicholls of Do What You Love was in Boston from England. If was wonderful to catch up with her and hear about her latest projects as we shopped Newbury Street. I had forgotten my suitcase at home (pissed me off at the time, but not really a big deal) so we had reason to shop. We then enjoyed some great pizza at Scoozi. She mentored me through the spring as I designed and launched Seek Your Course and remains a wonderful source of ideas and insight.

Impetus for the trip: Beth Nicholls; Dinner with Michele in full costume after a day of tours

I then linked up with my teacher friend Michele who is running tours on the Freedom Trail all summer. We had dinner at the Green Dragon. Lobster #1.

Then headed to the North Shore and got to spend some time on the coast.

Beach time with Lauren and Poppy pup...struck by the colors and patterns there.

Poppy loves to run up to seagulls and watch them fly away, but one seagull she found could not fly away. This seagull had a giant hook through the nose holes of its upper beak! It was so sad. Lauren held the seagull by the base of its wings while I pulled it out. We had no tools so it cut him a little to pull it out but we figured it was better than leaving him. I pray it was okay.

Even though it was only a common gull it was life and life is worth caring for. It pained me to hurt it.

It felt almost like fate to be holding another wild bird so soon after holding the hummingbird in Oregon. I felt like it was waiting for me. I felt like I had to help it. I only hope I did the right thing.

The hooked gull and the weight that was holding it down.

My friend Mary Aarons saw I was up on the North Shore and invited me up for a visit. I met Mary also at Squam Art Workshops. She does e-Marketing for Quayside Publishing and talking with her was a real encouragement. People who do the things that baffle me for a living always have a way of sparking new life in my work. We chatted a bit about my upcoming residency too. And I just loved her house!

An inspiring visit with Mary Aarons in Gloucester

Ended my time there with more lobster (#2&3) at Tides¬†restaurant¬†in Nahant. Whirlwind of friends and business chatting…got me set to tackle some stuff come Monday!

I know this long of a post really doesn’t count as August Break…it is supposed to be a break after all. Oh well! ūüôā


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The hummingbird I rescued...a truly magical moment.

EncaustiCamp has ended and I am now back in Portland staying with friends. It was a fantastic art retreat. I learned so much and have so many new ideas. A big part of me just wants to go straight home and paint…but I have more exploring to do before then! I am in Portland for a couple more days and then onto Colorado. Excited to see the studios of two artist friends in the next two days. More on that later.

I posted about EncaustiCamp over on the SYC Blog, but I wanted to share a little more here about what I did there and what I did today.

making paper in Michelle Belto's class

hanging (encaustic on handmade paper)

I am leaving EncaustiCamp with ideas and confidence. I received a warm welcome from Trish and was invited to share with the attendees a summary of Seek Your Course on the first night. She also let me put SYC postcards in everyone’s welcome bags. It was great to start the retreat like this because it sparked a lot of conversations throughout the week and gave me plenty of opportunities to talk about Seek Your Course.¬†I also got lots of great feedback on my work. It feels so good and right to sense things moving forward and to see opportunities emerging before my eyes.

It was really encouraging to be noticed and known. I usually feel like I know everyone but I’m not sure they know me. This time it was the other way around. Everyone knew my name and I kept forgetting some of theirs. It was different. It felt good to be known and a part of me embraces this as success. And then a part of me is very wary of playing the attention game and wanting so badly still to be “cool.” Do these feelings ever go away? The need to be accepted seems eternally strong.

So I am cherishing these encouraging experiences and sealing them inside for times of doubt. While doing this I am also trying to meditate on being strengthened and firm in my convictions, but not tainted by thoughts of superiority or popularity. I am trying to just be true to myself and the path I have before me. I am uplifted and it makes me smile.

Me and Bridgette Guerzon Mills, Instructor Extraordinaire

On my way to Portland today I stopped in Aurora, Oregon. I found some scrumptious shops including a salvage place! I walked around wide-eyed and giddy like a child.

Shopping in Aurora: Aurora Mills Architectural Salvage and Tarte!

Here at Erik and Katie’s house they have chickens and bees in their beautiful in-the-city backyard homestead. I am inspired once again!

Life with Erik and Katie: bees, chickens, dogs and a potluck

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a painting I did today in Judy's class

I arrived at EncaustiCamp last night after my lovely tour of the state. I posted a lot more about the retreat itself on the Seek Your Course blog.

Inspiration in Portland

EncaustiCamp is in wine country...so pretty

On a personal note, I am really enjoying myself and feeling so uplifted by the presence of so many positive people. Encouragement can be hard to find, but retreats are catalysts for taking work to the next level.

These two sure make me smile! Mary Beth Shaw and Judy Wise


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Most of my friends are having babies. Two in the last month. I have been surrounded by birthing stories, sleep-deprived women, cute little lives, and much joy along with a good dose of anxiety.



In no way do I wish to diminish their labor, struggles, and sleep-deprived zombie-like states, but I do kind of feel like I have slipped sideways into a similar postpartum alternate universe. I am beyond ecstatic to have Seek Your Course launched and looking so beautiful. I am so tired I could cry. I am overwhelmed by what is still left to do, although it is mostly stuff only I notice. I am filled with so much gratitude for all who believed in the project, sent encouraging notes, mentored me, jumped in with me, and submitted stuff in the last month. I feel all this all at the same time.



Well, I will send out an announcement. I will get more posts on the blog. I will approve all the listing that came in yesterday. For now I think I need to go get a pastry in town. Or maybe I just need to shed some happy tears. Not really sure.


This just seems to be a common theme with my friends and I right now. Birthing mayhem.

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I figured after my last post I should focus on something a little more positive. And I have plenty to be postive about right now!

My big project for the last few months has been to create an online application called Seek Your Course. I have been working with some lovely people to get it off the ground and last night we launched the Listings Manager back-end so that the database can be filled during the month of June. The public launch will be July 1! You can follow the twitter here and like the facebook page here.

Seek Your Course is a listing service for instructors and coordinators of creative ecourses and retreats/conferences. The goal is to better organize and promote all the wonderful learning opportunities out there. SYC will also include a blog that features our sponsors, people’s stories of life-changing experiences with creative learning, interviews with people living creative lives and book¬†recommendations.

I first had the idea in January and right away emailed three people: Beth Nicholls, Dan Bercht, and Cheryl Burke. I had met Beth at Squam Art Workshops in September and she had just announced her Do What You Love site, retreat, and ecourse. Since she was focusing on creative entrepreneurship I knew she would be a great person to bounce the idea off of. She emailed back to say she would love to do some consulting via Skype as I worked on putting it together. I was thrilled! Dan Bercht is an engineering student at UMass that my dad recommended. Dan responded that he would love to work on the project. Cheryl Burke is a friend and graphic designer. She emailed back and said she would love to help with the design. Three positive responses to my three initial inquiries. I was jumping for joy and took it as a sign to go for it!

Less that five months later we launched the Listings Manager and are on track for the public launch in a month. It has been a great journey and I am looking forward to sharing the rest of our plans with you all. I just hope to inspire others in the same way that I have been inspired by all the creative people out there!

While loosely on the subject of hope, we have had fun watching the baby birds outside our door grow up and fly away. They were amazing to watch as they changed a little every day.

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