Class Schedule - Fall 2018 Art & Faith Creative Retreat

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Class Schedule - Fall 2018 Art & Faith Creative Retreat

Hello! It’s been a busy month with everything going on, but I wanted to make sure I came on here before I left for Italy in a little over a week from now. We are busy getting things all pretty and packed up as well as preparing for our classes, and I wanted to share with you a glimpse into our week in Bellagio.

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It will be such a blessing to step away from our busy “home building” life and enjoy some time to sit. You will definitely find me sipping my cappuccino from this spot the moment I arrive…

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This is a little SNEAK PEEK into some of the little ephemera packs I put together for my classes.

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At this time of year the lake is quiet and still. This will be the perfect spot to take some moments to be refreshed…


Below are two of the classes that will be taught by Sheila Atchley in Bellagio, Italy for our October Art & Faith Creative Retreat. All the classes are available to register for on the SIGN UP PAGE, under REGISTRATION now!

Here’s a preview:


  1. The first class for Sheila Atchley will be her Altered Tin Class. This will be taught on October 8 starting at 9:30am. Cost is 50 Euro’s and you need to be local to Bellagio, Italy because this is not an online class. We will have a break for lunch, and then continue afterwards to finish this beautiful art tin class. Class will end by 4pm.

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2. The second class with Sheila will be held on Wednesday, October 10 at 9:00am. We will meet in San Giovanni to enjoy a Plein Air class as we walk and enjoy the surrounding beauty of Bellagio. Cost is 35 Euro’s & Class will be over at 12:30pm.

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3. I will be teaching classes during the week as well, and they will start with a class on Sunday, October 7th with Bible Journaling 101. This will go into detail about the heart behind this new “art form” as well as share with you the art products that you can use in your bible safely and delve into the worship aspect of Bible Journaling. Cost for this class will be 30Euro. (and again, you need to be in Bellagio, Italy to attend) This class will begin at 10:30am but you are welcome to join us at 9:00am for a time of worship and devotionals to start the day! Please Note: Picture below is just an example of Bible Journaling, not the actual pages we will be working on.

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4. On Wednesday, October 10th, after Sheila’s Plein Air class, I will be continuing to teach Bible Journaling. This class will be more in depth and if you have done Bible Journaling before and want to have time to delve into more techniques and just have time to devote a few hours to it, please join us! This class will just be a fun time of listening to the Lord’s promptings in His Word and journaling in our bibles. Cost will be 10 Euro.

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5. On Friday, October 12th I will be teaching the last class & it will be a Traveler’s Notebook Class. This is a FUN way to journal and keep notes on ANY subject in one place. (Just check out the hashtag #traverlersnotebook on IG and you will see a whole new world! :) This class will come with a Brand New, HANDMADE… ITALIAN LEATHER Traveler’s Notebook!! Yes, I am having them made by hand by our favorite leather maker in Bellagio! It will come with the inserts to go with it and a fun package of ephemera to get your started! I will teach the basics on how to use this system and we will be creating ART and documenting LIFE in our BEAUTIFUL new notebooks. Cost is 85 Euro’s as you will be given a handmade leather TN along with the class. NOTE: For this class & afterwards, I will have some extra Traveler’s Notebooks and will be selling them online after I get back from our time in Italy. I will give a SNEAK PEEK on the actual TN’s tomorrow!

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Ok, that’s a FULL load of classes and I know everyone joining us is super excited about them. We hope if are you local to Lake Como you know you are very welcome to join us in one or all of the classes! It has always been my heart to open these retreats to the local woman to join in our time together and to encourage community through these retreats. It has been a huge blessing to see the relationships that have started through this with women all over the world!

We can’t wait to meet you soon!

Hugs,

Laura


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Planning, planning and then their's God's planning...

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Planning, planning and then their's God's planning...

So much going on these days... that is all I feel like I am doing lately.

We are getting granuliar on the home and "Gathering Place" plans for our land and have been in meetings every day this week!  Who knew every little door hinge, drawer pull and "can or not to can" on your lighting were things we would have to decide?

I'll share a few photos of the things we have picked this week here:

First is the fireplace area in the great room.  Trying to decide between black, white or red brick for the fireplace area and we decided on white!  With the black windows and French doors on either side we think this look will be best.

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These doors will be on both sides of the fireplace... if we can find the space!  The dimensions were a little off for the fireplace and doors in this space so we are hoping they come up with a solution that doesn't add $$$ to the equation!

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We had a door and window meeting... YES, that's a thing.  (rolling my eyes, but it is important) BECAUSE we changed about every single door and window from the plan!  Did NOT want square windows so we changed every window (except little square ones up high) to a rectangle size with 3 side by side with space in between.  So this is actually what our Master Bath will look like as far as the windows. Not sure of the black tub yet...

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The picture below is the alcove where the bath tub and some shelving will be in the Master.  It will be much more casual with black and white and wood tones... and lots of greenery. I LOVE plants!  But the question is?  Do I want a fancy chandelier to "chi chi" up the space or go with a wood round chandelier like the picture below this?? (kinda like the wood one)

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Next was picking doors, door handles, drawer pulls and front door handles... etc, etc.  So fun.  NOT.

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The last two days were meetings with the home builders Interior Design Team that they use in town, Quail & Blu.  LOVE THEM!  I think I want a job there...  This reminds me of my Interior Design days in Newport Beach many moons ago.  But this part is FUN.  Picking out the elements of the Kitchen, Master, Mud Room and Pantry are things we have Pinned for many months and we finally get to DESIGN the spaces! We have a huge Mud Room and a Pantry that I got to have a field day designing!  The pictures below are the Mud Room.  We have one end that will have black built ins, then the flooring we picked is below this photo.  isn't this tile a DREAM?!?  I'm having "Tiny" build out the sink below in the mud room. (I can't wait to meet Tiny... don't you think he's not going to be TINY? lol) I will give tiny a BIG hug when I meet him! Since the Mud Room will also be my Art Space until the Barn is done, I made sure there was room for my art supplies and a desk and art easiel.  

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I LOVE this old barn sink!!

Yes, I have to do laundry in there too... So this laundry storage was a fun idea I found on Pinterest and sure enough... we had room!  We even put in a DOG SHOWER!  Yes, I know that's over the top... but we plan on getting a big dog and with the two of them, we figured we'd rather bath them in the Mud Room instead of one of the bathroom showers!  lol

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Next up was the Pantry!  We had a pantry and "butler's pantry" in the last house.  They weren't a room you could walk into, but this we get to have that!  WOW, I still can't believe this is happening...

So we will put some of the applicanes we don't want in the kitchen in the Pantry.  Since this is literally one step behind the kitchen and I don't use a microwave very often, it makes sense to us.  I found this photo of a pantry and we pretty much planned our space around it.  Now you KNOW I love PARIS and was just there... so coming back from that trip where I was so inspired by all the cafes, I had to incorporate some of that into the house.  My idea for the Pantry is to have this little hexagon flooring with white and black (Like the picture below of a cafe in Paris) and then have them put the black edging around the room with maybe the word "Market" or EAT"  What do you think? We also are having a little "coffee station built into the kitchen! More on that later...

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So bringing my brain back to reality...

This is a LOT of planning.  a LOT.  I have a love/hate relationship with this and I know that's probably normal.  What I don't want to get distracted by is the overwhelming sense that you could get so drawn into THIS that there isn't time for JESUS.  That this unbeliveable DREAM HOME He is allowing us to plan for is INCREDIBLE... is an understatement.  I am in tears every time I sit and ponder that.  (like right now as I'm writing this... ugh) I just don't want all of THIS to become more important than the PURPOSE of this land He has given us.  It's a fine line and I just don't want to be on the wrong side of that... Please Lord.

Last night I was PLANNING another thing... the Itinerary for our Art & Faith Creative Retreat next month in Italy!  Like I said... there is a LOT on my plate right now.  And in the middle of that planning I just felt like I needed to STOP.  The Lord literally put it on my heart to put my pen down and stop.  Take some time to step away from planning and PRAY about it instead.  

You see yesterday was so hard... and I cried a lot. (that's kind of normal lately... I turn 50 next week, YIKES)  

I am SO grateful for what I GET to do, please don't get me wrong!  I have 1st world problems and I know that!  So in that though, sometimes I question why I can't just have a house picked out for me and I'd be happy to LIVE in it! (Yes, I know we could have just bought a house on some land and called it good)  BUT... God.  I know the WHY.  He has combined ALL. MY. LOVES. into a life I can't believe I am blessed with.  BEYOND Measure... and it's BECAUSE of the desires HE puts on our hearts that we are BLESSED with those amazing paths He puts in front of us... AND in that, they are also a responsbility... to be used for His purposes.

"You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore." Psalm 16:11

"Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known." Jeremiah 33:3

I was having coffee with an "online friend" who became a REAL "in-person" friend this week!  She lives in Colorado Springs and we met for coffee!!  It was so fun and it made me realize that the Lord has given us SO many connections here for a PURPOSE.  

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He is weaving it all together.  I was telling her all that God is doing and planning and that it IS AMAZING.  I am in AWE of it all!  From the outside lookng in (aka Social Media) it isn't always the whole picture though.  FB and IG have a way of making us think life is SO easy for people??  I want to be as open as possible here.  I am CONFIDENT that the LORD has moved us here for a REASON and my retreats are for a PURPOSE... and I think He is blending ALL OF MY LOVES into this PURPOSE.   But with that... comes the enemy wanting to tear that down, right?!  It's just the honest truth.  Stress, doubt, health issues, etc... are things that try to block us on that path.

So what I cling to is PRAYER, the WORD OF GOD and our godly friends who I know are praying for us! I am SO thanful for all of that.  To fullful God's will in our lives is my utmost desire.  Last night, with the Lord putting it on my heart to put things down for a while and just praying for His will to be done, He spoke CLEARLY to me when I woke up this morning to this "VERSE OF THE DAY" that the YouVersion Bible App sent me:

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Ok God... I hear you!  :)

We can, AND SHOULD, plan things!  It's not BAD to plan and have wisdom and prepare... Those are all biblical.  What we/I need to be reminded of is that we can plan, but ultimately whatever the Lord purposes in our lives... THAT will stand.  That will take place and be RIGHT. 

Having our focus on the Lord 1st and all the other stuff next... that is what I pray for, for everyone.  To SEE the reason and/or goal of our lives is to be living for His Glory.  

I can't WAIT until all this is done and I get to invite YOU to come and GATHER... That is something I will be in tears for on that day for sure!  Thank you for being a part of this vision and ministry the Lord has given our family.  We LOVE that we get to serve on people and draw them closer to Jesus in Italy, France and here in the U.S...

I will update you soon on next years Creative Retreats because we are very excited about 2019!!

Hugs to all,

Laura

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Italy Retreat this October... One spot opened up!

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Italy Retreat this October... One spot opened up!

Good morning!  

I had to come back on here and announce an exciting chance to join us THIS October in Italy...

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One last spot has opened up for our Art & Faith Creative Retreat this October 6-13! If you’ve been thinking about joining us... it’s not too late! This is an incredible opportunity and such a gorgeous time of year to visit Lake Como. You can message me for pricing and details via the contact page at the top.

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Here's what Sheila Atchley wrote about this opportunity:

I’ve just heard from Laura Hogue McCollough, and you guys...there is ONE spot left for the Art and Faith Creative Retreat in beautiful Bellagio, Italy this October 6-13!

As in...one. “1”. One spot left.  🤓

I want to tag everyone I love. If this spot is for you, get yourself over to this link:  http://www.akissonthechic.com/italy-retreat-fall-2018/

And sign up!

If you do, the Preacher and I (yes! Did you know he’s going too? He won’t be bugging us ladies...he will be off photographing Lake Como and making small talk with every English-speaking Italian old guy within walking distance of our lakeside hotel. And he will also be preaching in Milan.  🔥🔥🙌🏻🙌🏻)

If you sign up, the Preacher and I will see you in less than two months!  #Idie#butGod #whoamI #lookwhattheLordhasdone

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Just imagine yourself sitting here and taking time to Be Still...

We hope you will prayerfully consider if the Lord is calling you to join us this October in Italy.  I promise if He is, you will be blessed by this week away to be refreshed and renewed in your faith.

Hugs to all,

Laura

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Love, Tuesday... Moving in day!

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Love, Tuesday... Moving in day!

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It's MOVE-IN DAY... (One week ago... I had planned on posting this and didn't get around to it!)

But here's a little peek into the last week in our life:

We have called the PODS to come bring our stuff on over... and tonight we get to sleep in our own beds!!! We have been "glamping" in our new rental home for the last week.   It has been nice to be settled and getting familiar with this new home and city, but BOY oh BOY will it be nice to have a sofa to sit on and beds to sleep on! 

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We love Colorado and have already seen a lot as we drove through the state to get here and as we've explored the surrounding cities this past week.

Yesterday we had a meeting with our home builders, Adamo Homes, and we are getting VERY close to breaking ground on our land!  It's been an amazing journey the Lord has taken us on.  Just seeing my FB feed pop up photos from our trip here last year AT THIS EXACT TIME, not even knowing that only a YEAR later we would be MOVING HERE!  (Yes, I'm using ALL CAPS too much... but GOD is AMAZING!!) 

To think and reflect on this past year, even though there is not much time for that right now, I treasure the time I took to journal this whole process.  Looking back on what the Lord has shown us and spoken to us and moved us to do... is BEYOND my wildest dreams.  We had NO intention of moving to Colorado people... We were just finished putting SOLAR on our beautful home! lol  BUT... the Lord had other plans for us and I link that back to when we started a 40 day prayer circle at the beginning of last year.  It opened our hears and minds to what is possible WITH GOD, when you allow your lives to be open and used for His Glory.  

So here we are... unpacking for this new adventure the Lord has us on.

It has been so clearly evident that we are supposed to be here.  So now it's just a matter of waiting on God's perfect timing for the loan of this new home and Gathering Place, and trusting that He will continue to open the doors when He wants us to walk through them.

This past week has been FILLED with so much...

We had friends come over with breakfast, and then again bringing Ice Cream! 

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We've checked out several antique stores in the area and some GREAT restaurants as well!

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We've walked and walked and walked at Farmer's Markets, in Denver, in our town and on a beautiful path right outside our doors!

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We've had friends over for our first get together in our home for the next year and walked with them to their old house, which is in our neighborhood!

And now we are settling in to our work on the new home and have meetings upon meetings upon meetings.  It's a LOT to build a home and we are praying for wisdom and discernment in the process...  because there are SO many decisions!

So today we meet again and go over all the tiny details on the floor plan to make sure we understand it all.

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Then we will enjoy some time with Rebecca before she goes back to college!  This is weird... we lived only 15 mintues from her college and now we are shipping her off on an airplane to college!

I have LOTS more to share and will be posting later this week about the details on our home build, BUT...

I wanted to end with a VERY exciting piece of news:

These two are MOVING to Colorado AND... are expecting their first BABY!

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Yes, we get to be grandparents!  We are so blessed to have them moving here and starting a life here!

Have a GREAT day everyone!

Hugs,

Laura

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Paris Creative Retreat...

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Paris Creative Retreat...

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We are 6 days into our Paris & Bruges 10 day Art & Faith Creative Retreat!  It has gone by SO fast, I can't believe we all arrived last weekend and it's already almost the weekend again.

Each day has been full of adventure and new things and these ladies have been so much fun to share Paris with!  Most of the ladies have been to my Bellagio, Italy Creative Retreats so it's been fun to show them a new city.  Paris is completely different than Bellagio though... so getting used to a big city takes some getting used to.  With a group of 18 in Paris I have found some interesting challenges.   Why do Parisian stores and restaurants not like groups of people?  Isn't is more money for them?  hahaha  

Well anyways, I've realized that the next retreat here (in 2020) will have to be a bit smaller because they just don't like to accomodate that many people.  I'd share a story about Ralph Lauren's hostess at his restaurant... but I won't.  YIKES.   Thankfully these ladies have been so great and have really showed so much kindness and love everywhere we go!  In fact, they totally turned the situation around at Ralph's and even the people at Ralph's were won over and ended up accommodating us in their beautiful terrace!

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On Monday we had a beautiful Photography Tour with a Paris photographer who took Rebecca's Senior photos last year.  He did a wonderful tour of the Montemartre area of Paris and at the end gave us a SD Card full of photos!  Here's just a little sampling...

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Other things we have been doing are Art Classes,  a picnic of the Seine, a Cooking Class and today they are all on a Fat Tire Bike Tour!  (You can see photo's of these things on our IG account:  @Creativeretreats

Yesterday I did something that moved me to tears... a devotional in front of Notre Dame.  I can't explain how moving it was to stand in the shadows of this beautiful Cathedral in the literal center of Paris, with such history, and talk about HOPE in Jesus Christ!  Then we all went inside for about 10 mintues and took some time to pray on our own or just sit and feel the Lord's presence.  It was something I will never forget.

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Saturday we are onto Bruges, Belgium for the last 3 days of our retreat.  We are already sad just thinking about having to say goodbye to all these women!  What a JOY it has been to do another Art & Faith Creative Retreat.  We are so blessed to share our lives with so many wonderful people each time. This group is already family to us.

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Thank YOU for believing in us.  That you come along with us and travel far to get here means so much to us!  We love what the Lord has given us to do and we are so thankful for the people we cross paths with. 

This summer the theme of both retreats has been HOPE.  I can't believe the connection each woman has had with that one little word!   It's amazing to see how we have bonded over our faith and gained strength from each of our experiences in life.   What the Lord is weaving together through these retreats is just incredible.

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So in AWE of our God!

I'm a little sad to say that we don't do Paris Art & Faith Creative Retreats every year... but we are excited about our Venice and Bellagio, Italy one next June.  If you are interested in finding out more details on our retreats, please don't hesitate to contact us!  We are more than happy to answer your questions, and we look forward to meeting you some day at one of our retreats.

Hugs to all,

Laura

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P.S.   Art class in Luxembourg Gardens??  YES!  What a great class with Stacy Stultz in this beautiful location, learning about Rodin and sketching in our sketch books.  NO, you don't need to know anything about art, the artists we study or how to hold a paint brush!  We have every level of artist join us on our retreats.  It's a beautiful thing to watch the process in each person as their Creative spirit comes out! (yes, I believe we are ALL creative... because we have been CREATED by THE CREATOR!) So don't feel intimidated to join us at one of these retreats, we are just wanting you to prayerfully consider joining us and the Lord will put that on your heart if you are supposed to be here.

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Creative Retreat in Italy - June 2019

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Creative Retreat in Italy - June 2019

We are so excited to announce the news about next years Creative Retreat! For 2019 we have added a NEW location and some exciting things for everyone.  It will be in:

 

Venice AND Bellagio, Italy! 
 

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Come join our Summer 2019 Art & Faith Creative in Italy!  We invite you to enjoy a week away... to step away from life and be RENEWED and INSPIRED.  To relax and enjoy time being creative in beautiful Italy.  

Jeremiah 31:25 says: "For I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish."

Our prayer for everyone who joins us on our Art & Faith Creative Reteats is to seek out that time to be renewed in your faith and refreshed in your spirit.

This retreat will start off in Venice, Italy where we will explore this incredible city of canals and bridges.  We will enjoy all the important historical sites, but we will also share with you the hidden parts of Venice that capture the true heart of the city.

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Then we will be transported to Bellgio, Italy "The Pearl of Lake Como" where we will spend a week feeling like we've stepped back in time to the Italy we dream about.  We will wander down cobblestone paths that lead to lakefront gardens.  We will create ART in beautiful settings that INSPIRE us.  We will enjoy delicious meals with new friends, and draw closer to the Lord through Art & Faith.

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This is where we will meet by the lakefront upon arrival,  enjoy our classes taught by inspiring teachers, spend time exploring incredible villages around the lake and find time to relax, be refreshed and leave renewed.

Here's a preview of what the 10 night / 11 Day Art & Faith Retreat in Italy will include:

- 3 nights at an Apartment or Hotel in Venice, Italy by St. Marco Square

- 7 nights at an Apartment or Hotel in Bellagio, Italy

- 2 Dinners in Beautiful Venitian Restaurants

- 2 Lunches in and around Venice

- 1 Group Breakfast in Venice

- 1 Gondola Ride through the incredible Canals of Venice 

- 2 Tours through the hidden areas as well as the historical sites

- Private Transfer from Venice to Bellagio

- Welcome Receptions in Venice & Bellagio

- Tour of Bellagio, including the history of this region by a local tour guide

- Day trip to a beautiful Monastery or Historic sight on Lake Como

- Classes in the beautiful event room by amazing Artists!

- Gifts and Surprises throughout our time together

- Exploring Lake Como's little villages and Villas on a Boat Tour

- Ferry's to and from surprise locations for exploring 

- Tours of Famous Villa's and Gardens on Lake Como

- Cooking Class with a Local Chef - OR - an Outdoor Adventure such as Kayaking or Hiking

- 6 Dinners in gorgeous locations around Lake Como

- 4 Lunches together in Bellagio

- 3 Breakfasts together during our time in Bellagio

- Taxi's and/or Ferry’s to and from dinners and excursions

- Hotel and room taxes included

- Free Make-n-Takes

- FUN SURPRISES I can't reveal yet…but they are AWESOME!

- Grand Finale last night in Bellagio

- Plus time to relax, stroll the cobblestone streets and enjoy LOTS of Gelato in Italy!

- Live music in the music room each night

- And…an unforgettable experience in Italy you will treasure forever!!

** This price does not include airfare

Price for the 10 Night/11 Day Venice & Bellagio, Italy Creative Retreat:

$4895 Per Person/Double Occupancy

$5950 Per Person/Single Occupancy

REGISTRATION WILL OPEN THIS SUNDAY, JULY 1ST, 2018!  

PLEASE CHECK BACK ON SUNDAY TO SIGN UP.  You can sign up BELOW, or it will be under the SIGN UP button at the top of the website.  Simply click on SIGN UP and the drop down menu will appear. Click on REGISTRATION and it will take you to the page to sign up.

REGISTER NOW

*If you are interested in the 7 Night Bellagio portion only, the price will be:

$3595 Per Person/Double Occupancy

$4495 Per Person/Single Occupancy

You can let us know in the comments section of the SIGN UPS if you plan on joining us for just the 7 Nights in Bellagio.

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Here are some testimonials from past students:

Attention to detail, people focused, life long friends made... The ONLY way to see Italy is with Laura.  No other time spent will you make friends, feel the cobblestone streets, meet the butcher, the baker and the leather shop owner, all friends of Laura’s, and sip Prosecco under the stars as you thank God for every Italian moment... ~ Lora-Lori Rutt

If you are even thinking about attending one of these retreats, do it! I just returned from the Art and Faith Retreat with Laura, and her two fabulous teachers for the event this past month, Jeanne Oliver and Stephanie Ackerman. Every detail of the retreat was so well thought out. It was an amazing mix of art classes and opportunities to fall in love with the people and the sights of Bellagio and surrounding area through the varied experiences that Laura planned for us. We were thrilled with the teachers in our retreat--we had sooooo much fun----and the teacher's she has lined up for this coming year also promise to be a real treat! The friendships we developed with the other women attending proved to be authentic and meaningful, and will last well beyond the actual calendar days we were together. Laura and her daughters, Victoria, Rebecca and Isabella, were constantly working to make sure that all details were attended to, and that everything ran smoothly. Their teamwork and genuine care for the women and the goals of the retreat was a lovely thing to witness. Bellagio is a hidden treasure! It is worth the effort to see it, and worth the money and effort to be a part of one of Laura's amazing retreats. ~ Cindy Taylor

I took a chance and decided to take my 14 year old daughter to Laura’s Creative Retreat in Italy this last May.  She was an unbelievable hostess and all her custom and personal touches made this a trip of a lifetime that we will never forget!! Thank you Laura! ~ Jolie Jessie

This retreat was a dream come true for me.....Italy & scrapbooking. Laura shares a once in a life time week of fun, creativity, adventures, unbelievable sights & food. Lake Como is beautiful. I just had to come back again for another, once in a life time week! Thank you Laura for this amazing opportunity. I highly recommend A Kiss on the Chic Creative Retreats. ~ Priscilla Taylor

Being an instructor for Laura’s “A Kiss On The Chic Creative Retreat” was truly amazing. Each and every detail was thought out perfectly and Laura’s knowledge of Bellagio and the surrounding Lake Como area is astonishing. Laura’s event was the perfect blend of creating art, making lifelong friendships and sightseeing. ~ Lisa Pace

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Please feel free to email me with any questions you may have or contact me via the Contact Page above.

We hope to see you at the next Creative Retreat!

Hugs,

Laura

 

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Love, Tuesday...

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Love, Tuesday...

Well, we are back in Italy and enjoying beautiful weather on Lake Como!

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This is the week of our Art & Faith Creative Retreat here, and we have welcomed another group of people here for a beautiful gathering in Italy.  I am still amazed at how the Lord orchestrates each person who is here and how there is a reason for each and every person to be here.  The theme this year the Lord gave me is on HOPE and it is already evident that God's divine wisdom is in this and that HE truly does get all the glory for ALL of it.  I am blown away at how just in a couple days we can see Him working in the lives of the people here and how this place is truly a place that gives rest and peace.  

Just look at this gorgeous sunset at dinner the other night and see what beauty He has for us here...

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On the first day we welcomed everyone lakefront on the pergola of the hotel and enjoyed the perfect weather before we showed them to their apartments.  

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Then it was PIZZA time that evening at our favorite place for a casual dinner the first night.  Off to bed for most of them, but those who wanted to experience the San Giovanni Torchlight Procession (and were awake enough) gathered at the front of the hotel for the walk through town with actual TORCHES... yes that is real fire... and a truly Italian experience that would NEVER go over in America.  hahaha  

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Sunday is usually a very relaxed day with a tour of Bellagio with Rita, our dear friend and tour guide of Lake Como, in the morning.  Then it's time to REALLY relax and enjoy this amazing pool and lake all afternoon.  

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While everyone was enjoying all of this, Rebecca and I got into the event room and prepared it for our classes that start on Monday.  I still LOVE this room and it's views out all the windows of the amazing lake.  I know it may seem hard to stay inside when that view is beckoning us, but the classes are always so much fun the ladies don't mind it at all.  Plus we really try to balance the week with classes, free time and exploring all the beauty around the lake.

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Here's a little sneak peek at one of the classes we started today! 

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Tomorrow is a day for getting on the lake and exploring another village.  One of our favorite places to visit is Varenna and we will be walking through the town to the Monastery there and then enjoying a beautiful afternoon lunch before heading back to Bellagio for a Cooking Class.

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I still pinch myself that I get to share this place with a new group of people each year... and sometimes TWICE a YEAR!  (There is another retreat this October with a couple spots left if you are interested in joining us with the beautiful fall colors on the lake.)

We also have a retreat NEXT YEAR and all the details & pricing we be on the blog in a few days.  We'd love to have you come with us as we host another ART & Faith Creative Retreat next June.  Our plans are all set and we are excited to announce some exciting new things!  Our retreat next summer will have the option to start out in VENICE!  We will be exploring one of the most unqiue and inspiring cities in the world, Venice, Italy for 3 days before we head north to Bellagio for the weeklong event here.  

Registration will be open this coming Sunday, July 1st for next years retreat!

If you want to join us, you can come back here on Sunday and click on the SIGN UP button at the top of the website and you will see the image for next summers retreat and once you pay the DEPOSIT, you will be sent an email confirmation.  

You can follow along to see what we are doing THIS week on Instagram at:

Creativeretreats  or Lauramccolloughcreative

Or feel free to email me via the Contact page at the top of this website if you have any questions. I will try to answer them as soon as possible, but the time change may make it a bit delayed.

We truly pray each year that the Lord will let this be part of YOUR story.  We hear such incredible stories of how each person came and what reasons behind this trip made them come.   So prayerfully consider joining us and we look forward to meeting YOU in Italy next summer!

Hugs,

Laura

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Art and Faith Creative Retreats...

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Art and Faith Creative Retreats...

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If you are here because of our mutual friend Jeanne Oliver, thank you for coming.

Jeanne is one of the most creative and generous people I've ever known and I am blessed to call her friend. We met many years ago while teaching at an event in L.A. that Kim Caldwell put on.  It was one laugh after another that weekend and our friendship has grown from there.  I asked Jeanne to teach with me in Italy the following summer and she has now been back 4 times to Bellagio for our Art & Faith Creative Retreats.

Last summer when she brought her whole family with her, we had such a special time together that we planned up dreams for another one some day!  But she also opened up her heart to share a friend of hers with me, and she connected Sheila Atchley and I last summer while in Bellagio.  

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We casually started getting to know each other via FB and IG, but what I saw was such a deep love of the Lord in Sheila that I had to get to know this woman more.  She not only has a connection with God that you don't find very often, but she has such an amazing way of speaking His truths in ways that are so beautiful and raw, that go WAY beyond me.  You THINK when you listen to her... in ways that really stretch you.  I know I want to learn from her and grow in my faith through her insight into God's Word, and so I invited her to teach THIS October with us in Italy!

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This time of year is so beautiful watching the leaves change on Lake Como.  Not only will you be surrounded by beauty everywhere you look, this week together with Sheila will be a time to step away from life and draw closer to the Lord.  Through Art, through time in the Word of God and also just through strolling the cobblestone streets and taking in the beauty of God's creative world!

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I hope you will ask the Lord what He has for you here.  I always pray that He will bring the women who need to be there... and He does.  Maybe you need to step away for a week to be RENEWED.  Maybe you need to be there to meet someone that will forever be in your life.  Maybe you need to be encouraged and given HOPE again.  I am telling you there is a reason the Lord brings EACH person, and it's so humbling to watch each and every time how He knows you need this gift of TIME.

There are a few spots left for this October and I know if the Lord is calling you to this, He will make a spot available for you, even if it's a decision you make at the last minute.

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I can't wait to share this beautiful place in Italy with you... and I know Sheila is ready to meet you here as well.

Hugs,

Laura

P.S.  I am leaving for Italy THIS week for our Art & Faith Creative Retreat in a couple weeks!  If you have any questions, I will be checking my email daily.   If want to follow along to see what it's all about, you can follow our Instagram at:

lauramccolloughcreative  or creativeretreats

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A month is a long time...

Well, the last month just FLEW by... BOXING UP A WHOLE HOUSE!  Sorry I haven't been blogging and filling you in on the process.  It's just been a month of packing and working non-stop.

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Isn't it amazing how much "STUFF" we accumulate over the years.  At least in our case... I realized it's WAY too much!

I've also been thinking how this move affects each one of our family members.  It's been interesting how we have all dealt with this big move.  We ALL are excited about this next chapter, but it comes with so many emotions.  Happy to leave California.  Sad to leave friends and family...(we leave behind Victoria and Dany, and Rebecca while in college) and we can't forget our church "FRAMILY."  Scared for the unseen.  BLESSED beyond imagination that THIS is our path.  Tired beyond tired.  The list could go on and on...  But I don't think I've had time yet to process it all since there just isn't time to sit and reflect.  It will hit me when I pull out of the driveway for the LAST time, and hit the road to Colorado.  Then the waterworks will definately be flowing. 

Yesterday the loaders came to load the Pods and ALL I wanted to do was sit in my backyard and enjoy the beautiful roses that finally bloomed!

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But alas, it was time to get this show on the road... and leave us with an empty house for the next week...

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Came up with a creative way to still watch TV though! (and give Sophie a place to nap) 

I have to say that this has been one of the hardest things I've ever done.  Not necessarily the hardest thing I've GONE through, but definately the hardest work I've had to put in over months and months.  To pack up a house takes SO much time and effort and back-breaking muscle.  And then on top of that to be planning a new home build in a different state and having to go back and forth the last few months.  On top of all of that, having 2 retreats this summer in Europe...  and planning for next years. WOW.  

But through it all, I have experienced the most amazing GRACE and PEACE.  It's so amazing for US to sit back a little and watch the Lord moving.  I feel like WE are bystanders in this in some way.  I know so many people are praying for us, following our move and encouraging us in so many ways.  So THANK YOU.  But truly we feel like God is driving this whole thing and He has given us so much through it all.  He truly does supply all our needs.  The night before the move I was just DEAD.  Like I could not do another thing.  But I just layed on the floor and cried out to the Lord for help.  There was so much more I had to do, and I just couldn't.  

But God.  He got me through.

The next morning...

While I was admiring the roses that finally bloomed, I got out my "Coffee for your Heart" devotional and quickly read it before the movers came and what was the topic for this chapter...

"SUPPORTED"

"God also supports who we are and who He has designed us to BECOME."

That's IT!  I feel supported... I know this move is Him moving us closer to who He has designed us to become.  What He wants us to do.  So I feel that support from the Lord and ALL of you... and THAT is how we can do this!

I'll leave you with the verse at the end of that devotional because it is a beautiful verse to memorize and remember and soak in:

Deuteronomy 33:27 "The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms."

I wish I had time to journal that verse in my bible, but some day I will when this is over and it will remind me of this time I FELT those everlasting arms.

Have a GREAT weekend everyone!

I'll leave you with one little exciting TID BIT of news:

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You heard it FIRST!  I'll share more details next week... but 2019 is going to be a GREAT summer!

Hugs to all,

Laura

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Email problems...

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Hi everyone.  I wanted to let you know my email that is connected to this blog has been giving me issues.  I have had people tell me that when they email me it says my "inbox is full" and their emails are not going through.

I feel terrible because last week I offered a GREAT last minute opportunity to come to Italy this June and most likely some of you sent me an email to ask about the special price and I didn't respond because I'm not getting the emails!  ugh...

So I'm trying to get it fixed, but in the meantime if you were interested in this discounted pricing for the retreat this June or any other questions you may have, please use my other email account through Google:  artandfaithcreative@gmail.com

Today we are showing our house and need to be out of the house most of the day, but I will respond as soon as I can with any emails I recieve.

Have a GREAT day,

Laura

 

 

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