The 2016 Creative Soul Weekend was our second retreat and it went off really, really well. We all had a wonderful time, and Emily got some fantastic photos, which we're going to share here!
Friday was the kickoff day. Everyone arrived around 5 PM, and got a little gift bag each. Inside was a chocolate from Jill's Chocolates, a talisman and a nail polish specially picked for them, and a little note card with some words of welcome. We ate dinner out on the deck, as the weather was gorgeous.
Then Michelle and Nastascha arrived, and set up for the Sound Essence Bath. We lay on mats on the floor as Nastascha played the Tibetan Singing Bowls, gongs, chimes and drums, and Michelle showered us with Sound Essence misters. It was definitely 'out there' but it was relaxing and grounding as well. After they left, we went for a moonlit dip in the ocean - the water was warm!
Saturday morning we put together a breakfast of berries, yogurt, eggs, bacon and coffee or tea, and dined together at the long table in the cabin. Soon after, Lindsay arrived and we set up for yoga on the deck. The cabin has a sound system with speakers out on the deck so Lindsay was able to play a soothing soundtrack to our asanas. Looking out over the ocean while we did our poses was extra relaxing.
After lunch we went for a walk down to the beach. We had asked everyone to bring an article of clothing that was purple, and Emily's talented husband Steve took some shots of us by the water.
That afternoon was open time. Some of us journalled. Some of us walked the beach or swam.
For dessert later on, Krista made Summery Italian Olive Oil Cake, which we had read about on her blog and which we insisted she make before we would let her sign up. (Haha, not really, but we were very enthusiastic.)
Dinner for Saturday was chili in bread bowls with other assorted sides, and we gathered around the table again.
This table got a lot of use! After dinner we cleared it off and Melinda MacDonald set up for her Paint Night session.
We followed along with her while she made a scenic painting of a lighthouse. Well, some of us did; a few others did their own thing.
After Melinda had gone home, Aleena busted out her henna and offered everyone free henna tattoos!
(From the next day, here is a shot of her work, surrounding her:)
After mimosas, french toast and leftover Olive Oil cake, we packed up our things and left the cabin in Port Hood. We headed over to Mabou, to the studio and home of Ann Schroeder and Charlotte Miller, where we shared lunch with them, and then split into two groups of three.
The first group headed downstairs into the studio to dye a silk scarf, and the second group stayed upstairs with Charlotte to do what Leah called an "art derby".
Then the two groups switched and each did what the other had just done, but without seeing what it was the others had just made.
(The Art Derby, in case you're curious, went like this: four people sat around the table. Everyone had a sheet of paper. Charlotte set the timer for a minute and everyone created something on their piece of paper with the materials provided. Then the timer went off and everyone passed the paper to the person on their left. The timer was set again for one minute. This continued until the papers made their way back to the people who had started them.)
After both groups had dyed their scarves, it was time for the Big Reveal. We all went back into Ann's studio and rinsed out and then opened up the scarves. Each of us had actually made a scarf for another of the women, which was Ann's riff on collaboration and creativity, our themes. So when we opened up the scarves, the woman who made the scarf and the woman it was for were both seeing it for the first time. Emotions were high!
Then we took the still-wet scarves outside on the hill and let them fly in the breeze to dry.
After that we went back inside and looked at the pieces we had all made together in the Art Derby, and picked our favorites to take home.
Then in Ann's driveway we shared a group hug and said our goodbyes! The group dispersed: some to Halifax, some to Sydney, North Sydney and Boularderie. (Emily, of course, stayed in Port Hood, the lucky lady.)
So what's next?
We've set the date for next year's Creative Soul Weekend: it's going to be September 14-17, 2017. Yup, we're adding one extra day for even more goodness and relaxation. It will be our third year and we want to make it extra special!
Now: you won't hear too much from us for the next few months, except for a survey we'll ask you to help us with, in a month or so. Why, you ask? Well, we want to do some inward-work on the Creative Soul Weekend: we want to create a mission, dream big, make a few small changes to our brand, and write and design some good stuff for down the road. But then, starting February 1st, 2017, you'll hear from us every month with stories, articles, ideas, and inspiration. The reason is, we love the way women connect with each other, recharge and create at the Creative Soul Weekend, and we want to help you do that during the rest of the year, too! But putting our best feet forward is going to take a bit of preparation and discussion.
SO: If you want to come to Port Hood next year and experience the magic that is the Creative Soul Weekend, or if you just want CSW vibes in your inbox, the best way to stay in the loop is to sign up for the newsletter, below. And we'll chat with you soon!