A Day at Long Lake

Our house was a short walk from this lake. It’s my dream to one day own a house right on the water of a lake like this, even if it’s a run-down old shack. Even if it’s just a pop-up trailer. Even if it’s just a tent. I’d be content. For as long as the water moccasins didn’t bite me.














75 responses to “A Day at Long Lake”

  1. Michael Cargill Avatar

    Nifty stuff.

    After reading so many Stephen King books, I always imagine that all of the lakes and summer houses in the US are in Maine.

    Was this in Maine?

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      Close enough– Massachusetts :)

      1. Michael Cargill Avatar

        See, I have no idea if you’re telling me fibs or not.

        Are you telling me fibs?

        Can anyone confirm if my favourite member of the Smeltzer family is telling fibs…?

        1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

          No lie– you can even see the lake on google maps. Long Lake in Littleton, MA.

      2. Emily Avatar

        Wait, was this at your real house, or your summer house?

        1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

          Our real house :)

  2. SocietyRed Avatar

    Love your work! Always makes me smile!

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      Thank you! That’s so nice to hear!

  3. julia Avatar

    amazingly lovely. as always!!!
    <3 from berlin*

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      Thanks! I hope to keep making it prettier and prettier.

  4. JackieP Avatar

    Ah reminds me of my summers in my youth. Like you I want a hut on a lake, but with woods in the back. That’s how it was when I was a kid. I lived in the city except for summer vacation. Me and the siblings spent them ‘up north’ in northern Wisconsin. Fun times. :-) It was as amazing as your strip!

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      Definitely feeling nostalgic for those days… only wearing slightly rosy-tinted glasses… :D

  5. Jeanne (NanaBread) Avatar

    Every post is like reliving my childhood with my four sisters. All our family vacations were either camping trips or family reunions. I just love everything about this one, Nicole!

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      Aww, I’m glad! I love to make them. It’s like time traveling a bit.

  6. cece Avatar

    I am always delighted to see your work….how is your book coming along. I am also trying to translate my visual blog into a graphic novel, and it is not so easy.

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      Thanks! It’s coming along nicely, I think. It’s quite a process, though. It looks almost nothing like it did when it started! Good luck with your GN– I’ve followed your blog so I can see what it’s all about!

      1. cecetalks Avatar

        Likewise, it is nothing like the blog, as I am hand making the pages now. The photoshop blog has been dashed off in hospitals and sister’s house as we care for our aging parents. I am only now getting back to my home and studio….thanks and best of luck to you

  7. hebe in dc Avatar

    Brilliant as always. Love the colours in the sunset.

  8. muddledmom Avatar

    Glad to see you back! Love this. Ready for summer and memory making.

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      Glad to be back! Trying to return to the blogosphere now that the great move is over. I’m ready for summer, too!

  9. bhbkidstyle Avatar

    Aww! Fabulous!

  10. easycraftsforchildren Avatar

    Amazing work, wonderful !!

  11. sj Avatar

    Aw, I have MISSED YOU! Are you guys all settled and everything?

    Should I talk about the post?

    This reminds me of summers when I was younger, too. I had a friend who lived nearby and we’d walk across the trestle to the swimming hole and spend the whole day there.

    I know I don’t want to live where I grew up, but I’d love for my kids to be able to have freewheeling (unsupervised) summers like I did, where you could run around without worrying.

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      I have missed all my blog-friends! I’m trying to return now that we’re getting settled and adjusted to the new normal.

      I’d love that, too, for my daughter. I wonder if she’ll ever get it, though.

  12. This Sydney Life Avatar

    I feel the same way about Lake Wanaka in NZ. :-)

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      What an evocative name! I had to look it up immediately. What a gorgeous, gorgeous place!

  13. on thehomefrontandbeyond Avatar

    you are so talented–I always look forward to your work!

  14. The Bumble Files Avatar

    Oh, I want to go fishing now and I don’t even like fishing. Amazing work!

  15. She's a Maineiac Avatar

    Ahhh…loved this. The sunset you made was spectacular! Reminds me of the last time I went fishing with my husband about 15 years ago. I refused to leave camp until I caught a fish. I was about to give up after waiting for hours when I felt a tug and caught the smallest fish in history.

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      Haha! Great story!

  16. Rae Avatar

    Love how you made the lake! I always try to convince my husband to go fishing and he says he’s not that into fishing and I have to remind him, “But it’s not about fishing! It’s about getting to sit next to a river/lake all day and do nothing!”

  17. whatimeant2say Avatar

    This makes me miss my childhood, even though we never had days on the lake like that!

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      I miss mine, too, which I guess is what makes it so easy to spend all these long hours recreating it :)

  18. The Waiting Avatar

    The way you got the light on the first and last frames is just magical. Also, I love their little chewing cheeks!

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      Thanks! I’ve been trying to brush up on my photoshop skills to get the lighting just right.

  19.  Avatar

    This is beautiful work – and like many, also look forward to new posts from you.. In this one, I particularly love how the colours of the sky and the sunset is reflected on the lake waters (and through the cut-outs too!!)… such clever work!!.. Thanks for this Blog laboured with so much love for the craft as well as the story-telling…. Keep it up!! (Carol from Singapore)

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      Thank you! That means so much to me!

  20. Emily Avatar

    1. Nicki, how did you make the light in the middle of the sun? Did you stick a white Christmas light into your finished collage, or something?

    2. I was expecting “what a wasted day” to be the punch line–I mean, I saw you and Ashley fishing, having a picnic, swimming, and enjoying some really good sister bonding. That’s not “wasted” at all.

    3. Did Chrissy and Charlotte catch any fish with those poles?

    4. Where was Tess in all of this?

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      Hi Emily,

      1. Nothing so complicated, just a photoshop filter I’m afraid.

      2. It was an obvious punchline, but I went with it since it was so truthful.

      3. None of us caught anything with those– they were homemade and terrible :)

      4. Not even born yet. I’m trying out a new thing where the girls’ ages are a bit more defined.

      1. Emily Avatar

        Wow, I had no idea that there was such a big age gap between Charlotte and Tess, to the point that Charlotte would be old enough to go to the lake with just Chrissy and no adults, before Tess was even born. As for the punch line, I wasn’t saying that your punch line was too obvious; I was saying that I thought “what a wasted day” WAS the punch line, until I saw you and Ashley handing your homemade fishing poles over to Chrissy and Charlotte in the last frame, which was actually the punch line. By the way, did you ever ask your parents to buy you proper fishing poles?

  21. claurodri Avatar

    Lovely! Now that I am away from home and my two sisters…feel homesick! Thanks for your amazing creative mind. :-)

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      Thank you for reading!

  22. Go Jules Go Avatar

    Tee hee hee. I LOVE the cheeks stuffed with sandwiches. Your attention to detail is just mind-boggingly awesome, Nicki!

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      Thanks, I try! :D

  23. Tin Roof Press Avatar

    love the sunrise sunset effect. so good

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      Thank you! I just love your artwork, so that means a lot coming from you.

      1. Tin Roof Press Avatar

        :) aw thanks Nicole. Ditto

  24. iRuniBreathe Avatar

    Another masterpiece! Love those sandwiches.

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      Thanks! If there were still alt-texts, it would have been revealed that those were peanut butter and mint jelly sandwiches.

        1. Emily Avatar

          Really? Peanut butter and mint together? That sounds either really good, or really gross. I think chocolate spread and mint jelly would be a better combination. Just curious–was this a regular thing, or were you just out of fruit jelly that day?

          1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

            Regular. Introduced to us by the best babysitter of all time, whom I imagine is due for an introduction.

            1. Emily Avatar

              Ooh…….can that be the next story? Please?!?!?!

  25. Wendy Tomlinson Avatar

    Love the facial expressions.

  26. morristownmemos by Ronnie Hammer Avatar

    A wonderful welcome to summer…

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      I hoped it would be! For once, I am ready to welcome summer with open arms.

  27. talesfromthemotherland Avatar

    A jolt of joy, each time you post. :-)

  28. xtina99 Avatar

    Love the colours, you can feel the time of the day :)

  29. russelllindsey Avatar

    Reblogged this on Ramblings of a Misguided Blonde and commented:
    There are worse ways to waste a day.

  30. shimonafromthepalace Avatar

    I loved this. I see I am not alone in particularly enjoying the sunrise/sunset pictures. I wish I could do something even half as creative…

  31. pegoleg Avatar

    Love your sunset!
    Do you have a revolving header, or am I hallucinating again, Nicki?

    (I stopped by to add to the comment I thought I left the other day, but it, apparently, never made it here. I reaaaalllly don’t like using a phone for anything but phone calls. New Smart Phone + Old Dumb Me = Frustration.)

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      Oh my goodness, I am lost with a smart phone. It’s embarrassing. I do everything at my laptop only. I know some day I’ll have to get with the program, but that day is not very near.

      I just added the revolving header yesterday. I intend to add more headers to the mix, little by little :D

  32. longhornsandcamels Avatar

    absolutely love the colors in this one! and as usual, the little details are so much fun. Your posts always leave me smiling, thinking of my four sisters. :)

  33. EllaTheAwesome Avatar

    How long does it take you to make those pictures? They’re beautiful.

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      Thank you! It really depends on the panel. Some panels take 15 minutes, others take a good 4 hours or more! Generally, it takes a day to make a comic, but I cut paper illustrations that don’t appear online for 8 hours a day, so it’s getting easier :) Thanks for reading!

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