But friends and community can make you do funny things. In this case I put on my "big girl pants", as my friend Laura likes to say, ventured into the abandoned dusty corner at Above Elite that I call my studio and pulled out all of my little treasures to display at the midsummer Stonington Village Fair (one of my most favorite hometown events.)
Our Booth at the Stonington Village Fair 2011
When I moved to this area I made my very first friends at the Stonington COMO. My children participated in the various community center offerings from preschool to karate and dance. I am proud to say that my children and I helped install the children's garden at the COMO and spent every other afternoon weeding and watering the beautiful little garden. "Mother Nature" even left a few thoughtful notes in the mailbox at the garden for my imaginative 4 year old to find and enjoy.
For all of these moments I am eternally GRATEFUL. The COMO provided a sense of belonging for my family. In turn I have been able to volunteer from time to time. These activities have always filled my heart and I continue to look forward to them every year.
This year I was happy to share my love of the Village Fair with the LOVELY Laura Gaffke. I stole moments away from the not-so-lazy days of summer to dream and plan with Laura. Our display came together rather beautifully with ransacked items from our studios: little teacups held business cards, an old planter showcased gicleé prints, and a vintage tackle box displayed small watercolors. Laura's work was prettily laid out using old wooden spools, an antique soap box and scattered sea stars. We managed to pull off a cohesive display that was well attended and we received very generous compliments throughout the day.
It's all in the details.
It was NICE ... really nice to see people enjoying what we had to share. Friends and neighbors stopped by to give their support. I met new people and enjoyed getting caught up with an old acquaintance I had lost touch with for several years. She excitedly came up behind me and announced..."Wow, I knew it! I saw your booth and was showing my husband your work when I noticed that I recognized the name." She said one of the kindest things I had ever heard about my work..."you are obviously a successful painter!" I was speechless for a moment and then I agreed... Yes, I am successful because I have friends and a community with which to share what I love to do the most.
So here is to the kind words of an old friend, the excited participation (check out her blog post of the event) of Miss Laura Gaffke and the encouragement of "Mother Nature" who showed up at the fair with hugs and well wishes and said, "get your head out of the sand and enjoy."