I recently had the pleasure of spending 4 days with Colleen Attara in her beautiful cottage studio on a farm in rural Pennsylvania. Myself and five other beautiful souls spent our time creating, eating, sharing and laughing against the backdrop of a corn and pumpkin fields.
On the first evening we got to know each other over dinner in the studio then returned early the next morning for a full day of creativity. Using materials from Colleen’s amazing stash of vintage treasures, we worked on altered books exploring the theme of letting go. We took breaks for coffee, tea and walks on the farm. Each lunchtime we wrapped up warmly and ate a picnic of soup and salad while watching the farmers gather the last dried corn stalks.
Our second morning found us treasure hunting at The Golden Nugget Antique Flea Market in Lambertville and after a quick look around the beautiful river town, we headed to the studio for another afternoon of creativity. Some evenings we went out to dinner and other times we carried on working into the night, snacking on cheese, crackers and wine.
We ended our final day with more creativity, food and laughter. We told stories about ourselves and our families, some serious and hilarious, and shed some tears of both sorrow and joy. I didn’t know anyone, aside from Colleen, before I came on the retreat but I’ve come home with 5 delightful new friends that I hope I will see again soon.
I will treasure this gift of time and space for creativity, reflection and friendship – it will keep me going in the busy holiday months ahead. I encourage everyone to try to take some time away from their regular routine to connect with themselves, what’s important to them and then express it in whatever form feels comfortable. Mine just happens to be books and paper 🙂
Photos of my book will follow, but here’s a sneak peek: