Women’s Artisan Weekend: Adventure Unlimited Ranches, CO

This weekend was such a treat! I spent 16-20 March out at the 3rd Annual Women’s Artisan Weekend, held at Adventure Unlimited Ranches outside Buena Vista, Colorado. This is such a cool program. Every year, this group gets together to study some type of art or craft. In the past, they have done knitting and quilting. This year was a little different, though. This time the focus was on journaling. I was asked to come teach the art part of journaling, and Tarn Wilson, a high school English teacher from California, was asked to teach the writing. Tarn is just a little bit older than me, and she began her teaching career at The Principia Upper School, when I was still a student. I never had her as a teacher, but have heard lots of good things about her over the years. This was the first time we’d ever worked together, and it was fabulous. The first night, we introduced ourselves, and asked the 20 women what they wanted to get out of the weekend. Over the next three days, we taught several workshops designed to encourage creativity. It was amazing to see the progress in these few short days. The first night, we heard comments about how the participants thought they weren’t very good at writing, or drawing, or how they felt guilty spending personal time doing something creative. Over the next couple days, we talked about how the journal is a place to practice techniques, to record our own histories, and to learn new things. It’s not a performance. As we worked on writing and drawing/painting exercises, it became clear that taking time to renew ourselves creatively and spiritually helps us be better wives, mothers, sisters, grandmothers, teachers and friends. We have more energy and confidence to share with our various communities. And you know, when we each shared some special piece of writing or drawing from our journals on the last night, I didn’t hear one apology. It was totally inspiring. I learned a lot from these amazing women.

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