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Dear lovely Nina
I finally understand enjoying quiet solitude - 13 weeks to go before my third son makes an appearance. As always I love your journeys, your transparency, your heart and your creations. It is a joy to be here visiting you today. I have been off the radar too for lots of good reasons, namely taking care of myself. You are a wonderful soul.


beautiful photos and sharing, nina. you know, because we talked about how i too hated camp for the same reasons you did - a shy wallflower was i as well. isn't it amazing the change that decades can make? it's like the wallflowers take just a bit longer to fully bloom. look forward to seeing you soon!

Cindy Ericsson

It's funny, isn't it, being a shy person who loves people, who joys in connection, who is gifted with the ability and the desire to teach?


Oh Nina, Nina, Nina Bagley.
I will always be your friend. The way I deal and always dealt with that same bump in my internal road was before anyone had a chance to realize I was shy and vulnerable, I ran right up to folks and made sure I was NOT SHY... but I was. I was NOT SCARED... but I was. I was THE QUEEN... I was a pretender to the throne I so loved.

What wonderful photos and here in Athens, Ma'am, I bow back to you (GREAT PHOTO!) My Own Self. Hope to see you one day. As always,
Thank you for sharing.


How reflective, serene and peaceful your thoughts, and your photographs. I think there are some experiences, like camp, that we cannot truly appreciate until we reach a "specific" age...we bloom and grow into ourselves & when we are "ready" the experience teaches us so much.


That's how I feel at Artfest. It is so far out of my comfort zone, but it rewards the angst and the journey. Squam just sounds amazing. I am going to try a smaller retreat in my beloved Nova Scotia next year. The nature, the people, the art - they all make it worth it, don't they?

Tina in McLeansville

(sigh)...well done, dearie. i'm beginning to think you're not really stepping out of the box....i think maybe your box is just getting bigger! :) xoxo

liz elayne

love these beautiful photos. i am so very glad you push yourself to experience what life is waiting to give you...i am so glad i got to spend bits of time with you my dear friend. and each morning i put my new necklace on and own how much this experience moved me and changed me and pushed me to begin to own who i am. (thanks for pushing me to see me.)

much love,


my bff! always.
more good times. mmmm.
beautiful photos...sigh. xoxoox
love you.


ooh to be at camp again and be silly nilly and stay up late and eat junkfood with all your girlfriends and make beautiful art and most of all~laugh my big girl a$$ off 24 -7....ooh to do it all again, lets go!! noreen will drive!


Missed you.....welcome back


I cried.

Elizabeth Parsons

how wonderful...I first looked at the pictures before reading your posting...and I was thinking how much the place looked like a summer camp I used to attend as a child in NH- same lake, same lodge, same dock, same canoes, same fireplace...and then when I read your thoughts about camp...well it really took me back in time. I so enjoyed your hearfelt posting and thanks for sharing it!


I love to go and then I love to come home...and I feel the same about you, nina...glad you went and had a lovely time and oh so glad you're back home!

gina armfield

looks like a magical trip in magical surroundings - dig those baby fat cowgirl boots - always have coveted a pair myself in bright red ;)

Erin Gergen Halls

ah yes...i know too well what you are describing. i can easily recall going to horse camp, age 11, for two weeks -in another state! i arrived to a place where most girls had gone before, so they knew each other. i was an outsider. homesick. i cried in the bathroom at night, looking at baby pictures of my mom. why had i even brought them? crazy.i befriended a stick, a big stick, in the woods, and on departure day i was forced to leave her behind...
and yet i grew up to travel the country doing renaissance festivals, a new place every 6 or so weeks, facing my fears and loneliness and homesickness. and loving it.

because that is who i always wanted to be.

i am glad you are back.
i was feeling a little homesick for this place.


This was a lovely post, Nina. I hope I get to meet you some day.


oh i so wanted to be there
never heard them in real time
just knew i would stare out the window
wanted to learn new stuff from you
knew i would drift away.......go outside be pulled
by forest voices

but i was meant to be here in my garden
and have a miracle
a lizard egg i found and held in the palm
of my hand decided that it was time to be born

sometimes things are just meant to be
still in awe
of you
and a baby lizard


As a fellow wallflower I share your thoughts, fears and jitters!! BUT the connections between people are sooo worth it - as you well know. Do you think that some of us are shy because we know just how truly important those connections are and it hard to take that chance, throw yourself out there, not worry about rejection. When the connections are made they are treasures to be held close and nurtured. Thank you for the lovely pictures and sharing your thoughts and yourself with all of us once again.


i loved meeting you in person. finally.

and i do know how to say your name, i just got nervous meeting you, having you know who i was! wink.

Deborah Guthrie

What a beautiful journal entry. I was all misted up reading it. You are a beautiful person Nina. I grew up very isolated as a child. No electricity, telephone, sisters too old to play with me. (I'm doing a piece of art about my big sisters right now). I was though, a very happy kid and learned to amuse myself and to this day all I ever want is to be home with all my projects to amuse me. When I have to leave to go to my work which is self employment teaching art to adults with developmental disabilities and I also work casual for an organization where I assist at a Day Away Program for seniors with dementia, I know that it is good for me that I have these demands on my time as otherwise I could stay at home forever. I realized just yesterday something more about myself (Deep down I knew it already). While travelling yesterday to work with a young man with Down Syndrome who is in the hospital with leukemia I watched government workers going by on their lunch. Most of them were well dress, the latest fashion while I stood there in my bohemian array ready for art. One group walked by discussing the fact that it was only 4 more years till so and so could retire. I felt a pang of regret for not having had better work in my life. Better being equal to money and retirement security now. At the end of my afternoon with the young man I had the cure for my pang of regret. He had spent a couple of hours riddled with interruptions, drawing a hockey jersey again and again in order to get it perfect. He had no cares, no pain. Art took him away. And this work I do is valuable enough to me to take me away from my castle where work for money and retirement would not be of that value. I truly could stay home safe and sound all the time but then my heart wouldn't swell like it did to see the artist at his work yesterday. I am however glad to be home today to read your blog and have it also make my heart swell. I'm jealous of everyone who has met you already but I also know that we do truly get the things we need and want in life and so I may very well meet you and get to know you at a workshop someday. Bloom we do despite it all. I talk too long. All the very best to shy wonderful you. Deborah


oh oh oh! It looks like heaven. And you were so close by to me... I wish I could have gone - I think that's the nearest you'll get to Massachusetts!
I have the lifelong thing of being a natural hermit (woods fairy!), but longing for a community. I'm not sure how to balance that.


Tell me one thing, where did you get those boots!! love them...

M. Leray

As usual I loved reading your post, and viewing your beautiful photos...More importantly though, (to quote Pam, above) Where did you get those boots?!?!? I'm in love.

Cindy In Carolina

Glad you are back. Missed your posts soooo much. Thank you for sharing your trip.

Chris Meissner

Dearest Nina, Welcome back! I missed you. Missed reading those lovely posts. Missed seeing pictures of your world. xo


Sitting here in my office under flourescent lights, sipping a cup of chamomile tea, I seemed to have been transported to a lovely lake lodge in New england. How lovely ! I have always anjoyed paddling around in canoes, but not done it in forever. That classroom looks as if I could play there forever..and those happy faces.

Art does wash away from our sould the dust of everyday life. You have proved Picasso's quote .


nina...i didn't meet you at the camp, but i did see you. this is a deep reflection of pushing ourselves outside the box of comfort. your images proof of what went on in those woods.

gorgeous memories.


sue pieper

You know, I never went to camp as a kid for the very same reasons, it was easier to be the wallflower. See, you weren't as far off as you thought when you dubbed me as the quiet & demure one, and I still can fit that description, not often anymore, but sometimes, and never around you:) Looks & sounds like a magical place that you went to this time, thanks for sharing it all.


love the photos! One of my goals is to one day attend some kind of art retreat, even though I HATE to be where I do not know anyone-it's ok online, but in real life, it's so hard for me to open up. Thanks for the look into your experience, it was wonderful:)


I am a wallflower too. So glad you had such positive experiences in and out of the classroom. I've missed reading you here...


what a beautiful post Nina
and how beautiful it was - at Squam
this place and time now nestled
sweetly in my heart
thank you for sharing your wisdom
and your self
I will always be your friend

xox - eb.

Carol Weiler

All I can think of is a word from "Sleepless in Seattle"-"Magic"-sigh


We've all been waiting for this post...knew it would be wonderful...lovely...And it was. Oh what a beautiful, magical place you all had to meet and create beautiful things. This post and these photos took me back to the summer of 2000 and the mountains in Northern New Mexico. I attended Philmont Scout Center with my husband. While he was in training workshops I was hiking and riding horses and...and Crafting. I took sooooo many pictures there. My favorite place to be during unorganized downtime was in the Handicraft Lodge. I made beaded necklaces and small leather pouches and a leather belt. I took so many pictures. Did I already say that? Just as you described here, the shyness, the fear of not knowing was inside me. But the beauty of the surroundings and the wonderful, friendly people shoo'ed that shy fear away. We returned in 2002, Now I wanna go again! Well, What I really want is to be someplace just like you've pictured here to craft and make art with you and Misty and dj and Katie and all of the other wonderfully magically artist's whose blogs I have so come to love visiting. You help widen my world, my view and I thank you for that.
Love, Tess


What a wonderful post. You are ROCKIN' those Fatbabys, girl! :-)


thanks for the trip back to the little piece of new hampshire heavan we were lucky enough to stumble upon...i have so many great memories from the week swirling around in my head looking for a resting place and you seem to be a central theme in a lot of them...most of all i will remember all the you, j


Thank you for your words. They fill me with hope.


Hi Nina,

I'm happy to hear that you had yet another successful and fulfilling workshop. And I'm happy that you're back to grace us all with your gorgeous photos and words.

My boyfriend offered to pay for me to attend SAW but my parents were visiting us here in Maine the same week (from Florida), so alas...I couldn't make it. Hopefully you will be there next year. It looks beyond fabulous.

Funny you should mention your aversion to large gatherings. I, too consider myself to be somewhat of a solitary soul and last weekend, we had a "lobster boil" in honor of my parents' arrival and it rained (ALL DAY). So we had to stuff 14 people (2 small children included) in my not-so-spacious home, replete with steaming pots of lobster and corn. I had to sneak up to my bedroom several times throughout the afternoon to gather myself and as my wonderful boyfriend puts it, try to "embrace the chaos". It was quite trying for me. But we made it through and everyone had a great time.

As an aside, my parents left yesterday and as I stood in my driveway with my dog at my side and watched them pull away in their little RV, my eyes filled with tears. I walked back into the house, so quiet and empty, still filled with their spirit, it almost didn't feel like my house.

I'm back to normal today and they are at Niagra Falls having a wonderful time. I probably will not see them for another year. Sigh. I never realize how much I love them until they leave. :-)

Anyway, welcome back.


Graciel @ Evenstar Art

Your words and images always fill me with such delicious peace. Beautifully done, shy girl...

Heather Bradley

nina, nina, i've been nothing but quick to tear up and cry this week, a ball of sadness and joy, questions and answers...i so miss ambling to that cozy 'family room' and being surrounded by creativity and love and something so genuine, which i've never had before...thank you, thank you for being an encourager on a journey that started the moment i got on the plane here, but certainly didn't end when we parted there. missing you!
xoxo heather


Oh're the best !!! I did what I did, being spontaneous, only because of you !! You get all the credit on this one honey !!!

So many people talked about SQUAM feeling like "dirty dancing" to them as far as our cottages and the overall feeling..

so from that movie..."I had the time of my life" is ringing in my head...

and also in your post when you talked about the one being in the corner , once again from that movie, "nobody puts baby in the corner"...

I really did have the best time...the laughs, the tears, the hugs and now, SO many memories....sigh !!...sitting on the dock under the moon filled sky with you and some of the really was beautiful, wasn't it ?

And the morning rush to the airport...that was ALL me with the rushing....little miss paranoid, scared of getting lost, or being late or a flat tire...I've always been, "let's get there early"...another trait of mine I need to calm down a bit !!!

But watching you and the gang all getting, ummm...."handled" while going through the security check point....what was I thinking??? where was my camera ???

I was thrilled to be able to take you and misty to the, the little wisconsin girl, with you two rock stars in my car....who would have ever thought???

and once again....where was my camera for that photo???

Next year !!!


n-you appeared a graceful and put together lady, i would have never known you felt butterflies. wine always helps with that, though! thank you for sharing yourself with us and inspiring me. i can't stop wrapping wire around everything! touching metal, stone and wood is so satisfying-i'm so grateful to have been introduced to this medium by you, whom i admire so much.

xoxo pixie


I think you keep your 'nervous butterflies' deeply cocooned in your pocket. One would never know you felt that way.

Love, just love the boots ( and the leggings)

Elizabeth MacCrellish

how you have captured EVERYTHING!! the beauty, the light, the magic (the BOAT PEOPLE-- ha ha haha) and what a surprise it was to us all that it wsa going to unite us in this way-- so so lovely-- thank YOU!!

Vicki in Michigan

Love what you and your camera see. The moon over the lake. The front of the canoe. That final image. Wow.

I'm another who doesn't like crowds. I, too, am always surprised when I enjoy a large gathering.... So glad it was good.

Andra Hepler

One word describes how i felt at Squam Art...Happy. smiles! Andra


Dag Gon It if I don't get to take one of your Amazing Class's one day. You all, always look so Peaceful and Happy.. I was a Shy Wallflower too as a child although my kids will tell you now that I will make friends and talk to anyone who will listen. I even talk to those who don't listen!! Jamie


Its so nice having you back ;)

You have a delicious eye for photography and a gentle graceful voice that you share with all of us here who come to "sit by your feet" to hear your stories. Me, who sees all those wonderful little things but has a harder time finding words with which to mouth awe at you, at your stories. They are a blessing. I believe you may never understand just how big a blessing they (you) are....


oh p.s. You have such a cool style, love love the tights and boots!! At artfest I said to misty that I loved they way you all put together your clothes, that we should go shopping! hahaha. she said...lets go! that stuff is so boring here in rural ND. and you are rockin' in those boots :)


Dearest Nina~

Welcome home! It's been sooooooooo long. Since you've been home And since I've had a chance to visit you.(from here in Brooklyn). Coming here always feels like a safe place. I see those gorgeous boots, your & Misty's smiling faces, among others I don't 'know', the tip of the canoe , the classrooms, and Nature. Wow and wow again...

I too was/am a wall flower though there are people in my life who would dispute that. Yet despite what others think, You know what you know...shy girl, always was and always will be but...don't get me wrong. I love coming to this gathering at Nina's where I can be myself, drink tea and hear all the voices of the others who congregate here. So,
hats off to you, girlie, you may have been in the corner once, but you're center stage (in fat red boots--WHERE did you get them!!). And we like that.

Thanks for sharing your world with us.


Oh Nina, bless your heart! The workshop was all I could have asked for and more. Being a loner myself, your generosity of spirit and talent leaves me in awe. My head is spinning with ideas from everything I learned, but the real world keeps getting in the way of finishing my book. Maybe next year I can find it in me to stay at the camp and Toots La Rue can come out to play with Noreen et al at one of the midnight soirees. From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU! p.s. am getting a pair of fatbabies as soon as I can decide the color!


sigh, i have had my ''Nina fill''reading so many after being away on the mainland and becoming a first time Nanna and now looking forward to the ''land of Nina'' you truly are a wonderful Goddess with Love Carole xxoo

Patricia Eaton

Nina, I never went to camp. I don't know if I would have had I been presented with the opportunity. I was busy from age ten taking care of my siblings because my mother couldn't. Perhaps that is why I now (and at this age!!!) LOVE being out in my "nest" acting silly, making a mess, creating my needlework, reading your blog and living vicariously through you. Thanks for sharing your latest experiences...touching and beautiful, as always. We love reading your blog out here!!! Pat


It was wonderful to meet you in person. This post is so beautiful and you captured so much of what made SAW extraordinary! Love the boots. I learned a lot about myself and jumping despite being afraid to talk to new people. SAW seemed like the ideal place for me to grow in that way because everyone I got up the courage to talk to was warm and lovely, including you of course.
Warmly, Jess


i have always been shy and even more shy with crowded rooms and places.

your blog nina give me joy and hope, when my heart feels worn out.


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