The 2017 Creative Soul Weekend was our third annual retreat and we're really pleased with how it went! We tried some new things, and kept some traditions alive too. Emily got some fantastic photos, which we're going to share here, along with a day-by-day recap of how the retreat went. Stay tuned at the end of the post for what's coming next for Creative Soul Weekend!
Thursday, Sept. 14th - Arrivals
This year we added an extra night to the event. We'd heard in years past that two nights just wasn't enough time, so we experimented this year with three nights. Everyone arrived between 3 PM and 8, and got a little gift "bag" each. This year the bags were actually mugs! We had gone to Value Village and picked out a mug for each gal who had signed up. They were filled with goodies - Epicure samples, fun feminist gum, salves from Fogtree Forest, magnets and phone wallets from Lumiere.
Leah also brought a gorgeous flower arrangement from Lotherington's. It's amazing the impact a few small creative details like flowers can make in a space.
Friday, Sept. 15th - A Day In the Cabin and at the Shore
We are focused on making sure the weekend is inspiring and creative for the everyone but we also need to make time for sleep and relaxing. We had a nice lazy start to the day on our own schedules, grazed on breakfast foods and caught up with each other. Some of the women have been coming to Creative Soul Weekend since the beginning - for others it was their first time. We connected over coffee, mimosas and beachy breezes on the deck.
Artist, online educator and author Gayle Bird came from Glace Bay to lead us in a jewellery making workshop. She spoke about how she makes her stunning pieces while giving us a lesson the basics of wire wrapping beach glass. (And patience!) We finished with our own pieces to take home and while we all technically did the same thing we got different results that made each piece unique. Just like us!
There is a lot we love about the cabin that we stay in but the location is definitely the highlight. We couldn't get any closer to the beach than if we were sleeping directly on it. An incredibly short walk and you are on some of the sandiest beaches with the warmest waters around. There's a reason they call Port Hood the "Beach Capital of Cape Breton". A lot of Friday was spent enjoying the beach and dips in the ocean.
Like other years our meals were potluck style. With the fast pace of life these days, there is something special in stopping, setting the table and actually eating together - enjoying your food and good conversation. And dinner with a view is always a bonus.
Saturday, Sept, 16th - The Day Trip
We spent the afternoon channelling our inner warrior women shooting arrows at Highland Bow and Arrow. Jay, another graphic designer, opened her road side archery range in June of this year and has already welcomed over 500 aspiring and avid archers through her gate. (She also mentioned that most return customers are women. #girlstuff) Our time with Jay was a primal blast and a few of us have been back to visit a few times already.
We travelled further up the Cabot Trail where we had a nice visit with Barb at Sew Inclined and checked out her store which includes her really cool handmade hats. She went around and picked one she thought suited each of us. We think she did great!
To recharge from our big day out we visited Ingonish Beach for a picnic lunch, walk on the trails and another dip in the ocean.
We treated ourselves to a night out at the local hot spot, Clove Hitch Bar and Bistro. Their beach inspired atmosphere blends seamlessly with the Creative Soul vibe and made for a wonderful night on the town before we headed back to the cabin for our last night together.
We left evenings open during the weekend for downtime and creative ideas. It allowed us to feel into what we wanted to do. Like Saturday night we collaged, coloured, puzzled, learned about the Enneagram, read Goddess Oracle Cards and listened to music. We laughed, shared ideas, struggles, dreams, talked business, art, and families. Each Creative Soul Weekend is different and blends the personalities of everyone into something new and special.
Sunday, Sept. 17th - Saying Goodbye (for now)
Sunday's are bittersweet. Although we were all ready to get home after a fantastic weekend, saying goodbye or so long is never fun. We had another easy morning with breakfast on the deck, a little packing up and squeezing in just a few more minutes at the beach. We exchanged contact info, "see you next years" and a good round of hugs. Friendships were formed and memories made. Mornings like these remind us of why we take time every year to disconnect from the day to day and reconnect with ourselves and each others. It just feels so damned good.
So, What's Next?
Plans are underway for 2018! Mark your calendars for September 6th-9th and keep up to date with us on Instagram and Facebook. Or better yet - be the first to hear all our news by signing up for our newsletter here. We keep these weekends small and intimate so spaces fill up fast. Our subscribers are always first to know when registration opens up.
More details will follow in the new year and we are excited to host another stellar weekend. But, we are still in the planning stages and would love to know what you think would add to the whole experience.
Tell us in the comments below what you think would be a great fit for Creative Soul Weekend.