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Friends

Squam Art Workshops Fall 2011

I spent last weekend in the woods at Squam Art Workshops where I played with paint, dipped my feet in the cool lake, connected with creative souls, and re-energized my spirit.

I attended last year and enjoyed the creativity and connections. It was nice to be back and to enjoy some warm, sunny days for at least part of the retreat – perfect weather for chillaxing on a dock. But don’t get me wrong, I made good use of my waterproof shoes and down parka as well!

I got my hands dirty in Mary Beth Shaw’s Stratilicious, Baby! class where we learned how to create interesting textures and layers using materials such as wood icing, tar (yes, tar!), and beeswax. I’ve played with encaustics before, but this time I got to etch the wax and color it in with oil paints, which created a very cool effect.

On the second day, I did yoga with the wonderfully grounded Michelle Madden Smith in front of a toasty fire. I don’t think I’ve ever practiced yoga wearing as many layers as I did (think Stay Puff Marshmallow Man!), but it was a chilly morning. Once I got my ujjayi breath going, though, I was in the zone. I wish the class had been a full-day. It was so blissful.

I also took a hand-lettering class with Penelope Dullaghan who is a fellow contributor to Christine Mason Miller’s forthcoming book Desire to Inspire.  I really loved the effect in my first piece using the tip of a liquid acrylic ink pipette on top of a wet wash of color. I wasn’t able to recreate the look again, so I was grateful I had my happy accident.

The last class I took was Care and Keeping with “the other Jen Lee.” It was funny how people kept getting us confused.  I spell Jenn with two n’s and live on the west coast – she spells it with one n and lives on the east coast – we joked that we needed to have signs or T-shirts so that people knew which Jen(n) was which!

I appreciated the spaciousness that Jen invited in during the session. We got to spend part of it on our own and I lounged on a dock and refilled my well. It was just what I needed before leading a short talk on the Right-Brain Business Plan after lunch. During my presentation I connected with all sorts of wonderful women who are running creative businesses or who dream of doing so one day. The great thing about being at Squam is it certainly inspires people to live their creative dreams!

One of the highlights was getting to have many belly laughs with my lovely friend Kimberly Wilson. She recently launched a new e-Course about creative and conscious business and I’m on of the featured guests. I can’t wait to see her again when she’s in town next month!

You can see more pics from my trip here on flickr.

And before I headed out to Squam, I had the chance to hang out with my dear friend Leah. This was the third fall I’ve stayed with her – I like this pattern! In 2009  we led a workshop together. In 2010, we went to Squam together, and then this year I got to visit and meet her super sweet little girl Annabelle. Isn’t she a cutie?!

Going on this trip made me realize how much I’m really craving a nice private retreat with my Nurture Huddle. Oh, that just sounds heavenly! I can’t wait for us to start dreaming up some locations for us to gather at next year!

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family

On Saturday my parents threw me a nice party to celebrate the launch of my book The Right-Brain Business Plan and my 5th anniversary of leaving my corporate job to pursue my dreams. My brother, Gregg, even flew up from L.A. for the event (even though he had already visited the week before). That’s us above with my cousin Robert (in the black on the far left). My dad gave a very lovely and thoughtful toast. So nice to know how proud he is! And many thanks to my aunt and uncle who graciously hosted the party on their beautiful patio.

My dear friends Hannah and Kate were there to celebrate. We all met a few years back through Ladies Who Launch and I just adore these talented and creative lovelies. And of course, Kate is the one who did all of the fabulous illustrations in the book!

And here I am with my book club ladies Lily, Francisca, and Kristen (we missed you, Christina!). While we were eating at the party realized we’re going on year 10 of our book club this year and started plotting a milestone celebration.

My friend Linda from my Old Navy HR days joined us as well. Our cubes used to be right next to each other and we sure had fun together!

And here I am with my college roomie Julie and dear friend Julie. She’s the absolute best and has been super supportive all these years.

I’m so grateful to be surrounded by such loving and wonderful friends and family! Thanks everyone! Couldn’t have done it with out your support.

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Celebrating with Kate

by jenn on December 13, 2010

in Creativity,Food,Friends

Kate and Jenn at Kirala

Last night Kate and I enjoyed a celebratory dinner at Kirala (yum!) in honor of finishing my Right-Brain Business Plan book. (Wish we got a better pic. Oh well.) Kate is a fabulous friend plus my ultimate creative cohort – she designed my brochure and my Unfolding Your Life Vision Kit, she designed and illustrated my Right-Brain Business Plan e-Book, and she did all of the darling illustrations in my forthcoming book, hence the celebration.

In 2008-2009, Kate, her sister Molly, and I even did a fun, collaborative project together called Kiss the Paper (and we celebrated the completion of that year-long blog at Kirala as well, at the same table even!). Kate launched a new blog this month called eat 30 where she documents her new habit of eating breakfast daily. It’s been fun to get a glimpse into her mornings.

I feel so fortunate to partner with such a talented, loving, and sweet friend. Thanks so much, Kate! You’re the best. xoxo

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Art Every Day Month Day 23

Emmett’s antics make great fodder for funny AEDM doodles. It’s either that or stay fuming after cleaning up his mess! Last year his trash can escapades made for some other silly sketches.

On Sunday my dear friend from London, Fiona, stayed over. I was thrilled to get to see her a second time this year (we met up in Seattle earlier this year).

Fiona and me hanging out in Rockridge after enjoying some delicious hot cocoa at Bittersweet.

Just playing with fall colors.

I was thirsty when I sat down to do my doodle for today, so I whipped this up and then refilled my glass of water.

Can’t believe there’s less than a week left of Art Every Day Month!

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Art Every Day Month Day 1

It’s November and that means it’s time for Art Every Day Month, hosted by my pal Leah Piken Kolidas. I’ve been participating since 2007. It’s always a blast and I get to connect with cool creative peeps. If you need some extra support and inspiration, check out Leah’s updated Art Every Day Month Survival Guide – it sounds fabulous.

Last year I did daily doodles in a tiny sketch book. I really loved having that small, totally doable structure and will use it again this time around. I also might dabble with the layered lines technique I learned at Squam and with some more photography (Hipstamatic is so addictive!).

Above is a Hipstamtic shot I took on my walk with Emmett.And here’s a sweet one of Jamie and Shannon brunching at Dottie’s True Blue in San Francisco.

It was such a treat to see Jamie and her family during their visit to SF! I had the pleasure of meeting Jamie in person for the first time a couple of years ago when I was visiting the Toronto area. I loved getting to chat with her, her hubby, and her sister Shannon this morning. I’ve definitely had a creatively inspired start to Art Every Day Month 2010!

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Reflections on Squam Art Workshops Part 2

September 25, 2010
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Yesterday I posted about my experience taking classes at Squam. While the courses are absolutely fantastic, what makes Squam so special are all of the Squammies – the delightful creative souls who make the pilgrimage to nourish their souls. While I always find it unnerving to be in new groups (a bit of “first-day of school” […]

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Reflections on Squam Art Workshops Part 1

September 24, 2010
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I’m finally getting my Squam post up! I can’t believe more than a week has past since my trip to Boston and New Hampshire. I’ve been exhausted (travel always does that to me), but I have so many fond memories of the retreat. I connected with inspiring women, I dabbled in some new artistic techniques, […]

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The Bellas in Seattle

May 4, 2010
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At the end of April, I took a short, spontaneous trip up to Seattle to visit with some dear friends from the leadership program I went through in 2004. Fiona was visiting from London for a weekend retreat, so I flew in to stay with her and Lisa for some much needed “beauty” time. These […]

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Wishstudio: Give Your Wishes Wings

April 12, 2010
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My pal Mindy Tsonas just unveiled her newly redesigned wishstudio, a gorgeous online space brimming with creative inspiration. I’m blown away by this beautiful virtual community space that Mindy has created. It’s an inviting place where creative souls can gather and where wishes grow wings. Lovely! In addition to the wishstudio blog (where I’ve been […]

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Tranquilista Goodness

March 9, 2010
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Britt Bravo and I joined Tranquilista Kimberly Wilson and her beau Tim Mooney for dinner at Cafe Gratitude in Berkeley. Kimberly was in town doing her west coast book tour for her fabulous new book Tranquilista: Mastering the Art of Enlightened Work and Mindful Play. We gabbed, we laughed a ton, and we brainstormed about […]

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