Viewing entries tagged
Italy Retreat

Art & Faith Creative Retreat... Fall 2018

Comment

Art & Faith Creative Retreat... Fall 2018

Yes... it's happening!

 

I am very excited to announce our 2nd Art & Faith Creative Retreat in Bellagio, Italy next year!  

 

Mark your calendars and plan to join us:

October 6 - 13, 2018

 We are very excited to have this special teacher joining us...

image1.jpeg

 

This beautiful lady is Sheila Atchley and if you don't know her... you need to!!

Here's a little bit of information on this talented, funny, honest & open gorgeous lady:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hi, I'm Sheila Atchley:  artist-author, wisdom-chaser, silver-haired ordinary mystic.  

I'm a celebrant, a congregant, and a flagrant creative.

I have a semi-empty nest, a pet husband, and five adorable grand-wildlings.

And I over-use the hyphen.  

While I am equally drawn to words and art, words are my defining first love, and a big part of my art form.  I'm here to encourage you with paint, prose, and poetry.  I'm here to unleash an army of women whose metric is grace.

One of my passions is the middle age woman.  This beautiful season of life is under-celebrated and under-valued.  Middle aged women do not get enough support, by and large.  I aim to change that, when and where I can.  I believe that, just like Abraham in the bible, “everywhere the soles of your feet tread shall be yours…the Lord will extend your boundaries…”.  

Middle age is a vast and gracious land, a land where many of us now find ourselves walking, a land where the potential fruit is enormous if you are willing to slay some giants.  I’m busy doing just that, in my personal life, in my art, and in my writing and speaking ministry.  I want to help you extend your boundaries, and to inherit what’s yours, in every season.  

After all, if I encourage the women, I encourage the world.

So sit down, relax, and please overlook my hair (it is its own light source, my apologies.).  Let's talk about the things that really matter, and laugh about the things that really don't.  

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ok, don't you love her already?

I didn't even know this lady 4 months ago!  Our dear mutual friend Jeanne Oliver mentioned her to me when we were in Italy together this past summer and she told me it was someone I needed to know.  Well, a few hours later I got a Facebook message that was Jeanne connecting us.  THANK YOU JEANNE!  I truly am in Awe of the Lord's PERFECT timing and the way He brings people into our lives.  I already love and adore Sheila and the conversations we have had just confirm it over and over.  You do NOT want to miss this special, special lady having a BLAST in Italy with us next FALL!

You can check out more of Sheila's life and art at: Sheilaatchley.art

So let me share with you the WHY we decided to add this retreat next year.  I know... I already have a retreat in Italy in 2018!  And if you want to join that one... Please feel free to join us!  I think I have a few more spots open if the Summer 2018 retreat works better for your schedule.  I know for some people it's easier to get away when the kids have their summer break and that would be a great time to actually BRING the family!  This past summer we had our biggest group EVER and it was because we said YES to hubby's or families and it was a BLAST!

Getting back to the FALL 2018 Retreat...

fall2018.jpg

My daughter and I just got back from a work trip to France & Italy for our retreats and we really didn’t expect what happened.  We knew it would be beautiful in the fall (and it WAS) and it would be so great to see new things and discover new places we want to take YOU in the future… and it WAS.  But we didn’t think we would be coming back… NEXT Fall!  It was just SO beautiful and SO inspiring and we could feel the Lord stirring something in us to come back with YOU next fall… so we are.  

Each year that we have done these retreats I am just in awe of how God is moving and knitting people together through these times together.  We are so thankful the Lord has blessed us with this opportunity to serve and love and come along side the women that come to our retreats! Our prayer is always that the people who the Lord is calling to be there COME, and that throughout the week they are able to draw closer to Him and hear and experience what God is wanting them learn from this time in Italy.  

It is so evident that He places us in the right place at exactly the right time because He has something to show us.  Mostly, because the Lord wants so show us how much He LOVES US but ALSO to show us how BIG of a God He is and that He does have a PLAN for each one of us and He wants us to see that!  He also brings others into our lives for a reason and I get SO excited to see that each year… the people who come into a group of strangers and leave a week later with a FAMILY of friends.  He is so good to bring us together and bring people into our lives who we need to know… who we may need to help us through hard times, or to share our joys or simply to share laughs with and beautiful art with… and that it ultimately is His gift to bring us together.  I am so unbelievably sure of that... and it's why I always cry at these retreats...

because of the STORIES.

I could go on and on with stories... one about a woman telling me she "needed to hear those exact words" or another lady saying she doesn't have very many women in her life and she now has a whole group of ladies!  Or that one lady was so down on herself and how she felt she was "weird or didn't fit it in her world" until another lady who came was JUST LIKE HER... and she realized it was OK to be who she is!  Or how one has struggled with a certain problem and two other ladies were going through the SAME THING.  The stories go on and on.  So as we pray each year for the people to come, I am in AWE of how the Lord orchestrates it... 

PERFECTLY.

I say all this because I want that for YOU.  I'm not trying to sell you on a week in Italy.  You could go by yourself and see Italy.  What I am wanting is for you to come spend a week getting to know what the Lord has for you here at one of our retreats.  Because if you are feeling it on your heart to come... than He does have something here for you.  And trust me... you will go back changed.  I hear it all the time... "This was LIFE CHANGING"  

So please pray about it, seek the Lord's will, and if you feel the Lord prompting you to come next year, then come.  There WILL be room for you.  If you sign up NOW... OR if you can't sign up for a while.  I truly believe if you are meant to come, there will be a space for you.  

Registration will OPEN THIS FRIDAY, November 10, 2017 at 9am PST/Noon EST

You will click on the SIGN UP button at the top of this website and then the drop down menu will show three different retreats.  Click on the "Italy Retreat - Fall 2018" if that is the retreat you want to join and then it will take you to another page.  On that page you will click on the retreat you want to SIGN UP for and it will take you through the prompts to pay the deposit.

Oh, I hope to meet you in Italy next year!

Hugs,

Laura

P.S.  I am always available if you have ANY questions.  You can contact me via the CONTACT button at the top of the page as well.

 

Comment

Love, Tuesday... Work & Italy

Comment

Love, Tuesday... Work & Italy

I know... that sounds like an oxymoron.  Work and Italy together.

It's rough.  ;)

But seriously... we DID work, and even though it is the most incredible, inspiring and enjoyable place TO work, we want to make sure that when you come to Italy WITH us, we are showing YOU the most incredible, inspiring and enjoyable places while you are there!

Here is a snapshot of some of the places we saw while we were working:

IMG_2482.JPG
IMG_0999.jpg
IMG_1062.jpg
IMG_3341.JPG
IMG_3396.jpg
IMG_3374.jpg
IMG_2796.jpg
IMG_2473.JPG

We have been to Lake Como many times, (I think this was my 16th time) but this was the first time we were there so late in the fall.  It was STUNNING.  I just didn't realize you would see so much COLOR.  Someone told me while we were there that on the lake they have about 40% of their trees that change color.  Wow, was it gorgeous!

IMG_3164.JPG
IMG_3077.JPG

This little hamlet of Bellagio is one of my favorites.  It's very hidden and most people never explore it, but it has some amazing views of the other side of the lake and this building is one of my favorite buildings in all of Bellagio.  As we were walking here I had an inkling that this house would be beautiful, because in the summer it is covered in these green leaves.  Well, I have to say that at this time of year it is just showing off!  hahaha

I couldn't get enough of it... I think I took photos from every angle I could get.  :)

IMG_2439.JPG

We both just couldn't stop taking pictures!  And that is why I could kick myself for not taking the good camera!  I know the iPhone has a great camera, but it just doesn't have the capabilities of a good digital camera.  So remind me next time... take your good camera Laura!

IMG_3249.JPG

This is another angle of the photo I posted yesterday on "What path are you taking?" blog post.  This door and path is on the way to that same hamlet in the photo above.  I walk past this door every time I'm there and I had such a urge to open it and see what was "behind that door"   :)

IMG_3217.JPG

And of course I always find a "heart" rock.  Ok, they might not be perfectly shaped like a heart, but I'm ok with that.  To me it's just a "God wink" that I always find one.  It's like my little sign that I'm where I am supposed to be and the Lord is IN THIS.  This job, this dream, this mission... He has it all in His plans and we are just a tiny little part of the equation.  We have been praying over this place and what the Lord is calling Rebecca and I to do here and we know He is showing us some amazing plans! 

IMG_2519.jpg

And this lady right here, Rita, she is a BIG part of that!  The Lord brought her into our lives for a reason and we are so blessed by her.  She has such JOY and PASSION for her Bellagio.  I am so grateful we have been able to "team up" with her and that she WANTS to show us her lake!  It was such a fun WORK WEEK with her and we have lots to show YOU now.  

IMG_2763.jpg

Rita also introduced us to an amazing artist, right there in Bellagio!  We were so honored that he would take the time to meet with us in his studio and talk to us about his art, his plans for a studio he is building and how we can work together in the future.  Exciting things happening and I will be sharing more very soon!

IMG_3180.JPG

So there you have it!  We have some new things on the horizon for our Art & Faith Creative Retreats!  We look forward to what God is doing and what He has in store for those who come.

We are looking forward to meeting the next group right here in June of 2018!  If you are still interested in joining that group, there are a few spots available and I always, always say this... if the Lord is putting it on your heart to come, then listen to Him and trust that He will make a way.  

I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that He brings the people to our retreats that He has already planned to be there... for a reason.  There are way too many examples of this to tell you right now, but the ladies who have come can tell you.  They needed to be there and it changed their lives in some little or big way...  For that reason we will continue to do these retreats as long as the Lord allows.  

Which brings me to the reason why we went in October... (although we didn't know it at the time... but the Lord is ever patient with us and guiding us to what He wants...)

We are going to do TWO retreats in Bellagio next year!!

Yes, we are!  We will be sharing the details of the next one VERY SOON.  We are so blessed by the lady who will be teaching with me and I still can't believe it!  We are praying about what this will look like and the exact dates, but it will most likely be the last week in September or the first week in October.  

If you are at all interested in coming to Lake Como, Italy with us next fall then please send me an email via the CONTACT page up at the top.  I will put you on the email list when we announce it... very soon!

IMG_2949.JPG

The Lord is gathering people.  He WANTS us to meet together.  I pray you consider joining us in that and seeing what He has in store for you.

Hugs,

Laura

IMG_3508.JPG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comment

Art & Faith in Italy... Part 5

2 Comments

Art & Faith in Italy... Part 5

Buongiorno!  

We have been home for a few days now and I'm finally getting around to posting about the retreat!  We were in Italy for almost a month and all at the same time it feels like we were there forever and also like it went by so fast.  The week before the retreat we always arrive to start preparing for our group and getting everything ready.  Then the week of the retreat goes by so fast it seems like as soon as we are welcoming everyone, we are turning around and hugging them goodbye.  Then all of a sudden we are there by ourselves and it's so quiet and we don't know what to do with ourselves...  I guess it's a pattern we should get used to.

This year was so special and I hope I can convey that in the photos... but it was unique in a couple ways.  First, my Art & Faith Creative Retreats have mostly been all women, but this year we invited families and husbands to come!  It was such a different dynamic but so wonderful.  Some of the families we knew at least one person but to get to know the hubbies or children as well was so much fun.  My hubby also was there the whole time, which isn't usually the case.  Usually he comes for part of the time we are in Italy but then needs to get back to work.  But this year he stayed the whole month with us and was a part of the retreat as well!  I have to say that the guys had a GREAT time exploring and chatting and just getting time to be guys while we were having fun in our classes... I wish we would have taken a photo of all the guys.

Next year will also be open to families and I think a few of our own family friends are going to join in on the fun!  So if you are thinking of coming and want to bring your husband or family... I hope you will prayerfully consider joining us.  We are exited to see what the Lord is going to do NEXT summer as well.

But here is a photo tour of THIS year and what fun we had.  This is Part 5 in a series of blog posts, so I encourage you to look through the other posts that I shared during the week.  The previous posts also share my Pray. Wait. Trust devotional that I gave each student at the retreat.

 

Villa Melzi is a beautiful home and garden that is open to the public and rich in history.  We enjoyed many days wandering the gardens and sitting on the benches right under these magnificent Sycamore trees.  Sunday "church" for us was right here some times reading the Word of God and doing our own devotions and bible journaling.

Oh I already miss this group!  We become like a little family and I know we will all be connected because of the time we spent together... but I always wish we could have a little "reunion" again and I hope to see all of these people again some day.

Here's my space in the event room with some of our projects that we worked on during the week.  A beautiful art/junk journal by Jeanne Oliver, a prayer journal by Stephanie Ackerman and a mixed-media canvas that I taught. 

Here's Jeanne teaching and doing a devotional one morning.   I had asked each teacher to do a devotional on our theme of Prayer and it was beautiful to see their hearts and what the Lord put on their hearts to speak to everyone.  I love these ladies and am so beautifully inspired by them.  

The architecture on Lake Como is also so inspiring.  Art is everywhere here, everywhere you turn you can see the beauty of God's creation and how He has inspired people all through history to create beauty as well.

One of my favorite towns on the lake is Varenna.  It's got one of the most beautiful walking paths by the lake and it was so wonderful so spend some time with a friend of ours in his beloved home town.  He showed us things about his town and the history of his own family here on a beautiful afternoon last week.  Thank you Roberto for your time and friendship.

Here's a place I know you've seen me post many times.  Part of the reason we love the Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni and why I always host my retreats here is this lakefront pool.  It's so refreshing after a day out exploring to come back here and relax.  They don't have enough apartments for all the people who come with me so I do use other locations, but if you plan to come some day to one of my retreats and you REALLY want to enjoy this pool (some people are not pool people) then let me know when you sign up that this is important and I will try my best to get you in this location. 

Another JOY of mine is to offer a cooking class with these two ladies!  This is Silvana and Elisabetta.  They are mother daughter and Silvana has a cooking class in town that her daughter helps her with.  It's such a fun time to learn from them and believe me when I tell you... the ladies LOVE this class!  It's most definitely a highlight of the trip!

IMG_5186.jpg

Here's one of the groups at the end of their class and meal with their Diploma's!

A day on the lake is alway a very special day during out week.  We have so much fun seeing the lake from the water and visiting some of the beautiful villas on the lake.

My friend Rita was our tour guide for this day and it was a GREAT day with her!

If Villa Balbianello is familiar to you... it may be because several movies were filmed here including Star Wars, James Bond and A Month on the Lake.

This girl... Stephanie Ackerman lights up a room with her humor.  I wish I had her sense of humor,  I just don't have that quick witted of a brain... But I LOVE to laugh and I am thankful for people like her and Jeanne that can make my stomach hurt from laughing so much!  Thankful she said YES to teaching with me again and thankful for her heart and what she so opening and honestly shared with us that I know touched lives in such a real way.  

Here we are peeking through some of the beautiful architecture at Villa Balbianello.  Isn't this just the cutest group ever??  Look at those cute kiddos we had!  Love, love, love all of them... especially "slim squeezy"  :)

Some of my favorite memories are shared over dinners together.  This can be said for most people I'm sure.. but when you have beauty and ambiance like this and such great people to share it with... it's as perfect as it can get I think!

This little cutie loves these retreats and loves helping set up and going on all the excursions with everyone.

My guy.  Words can't really explain how I feel about him.  He's always been my greatest "cheerleader" and supports what I am doing 100%.  He really got to see what it is we are doing here this time and I'm so thankful he was a part of it.

Oh, and he's just a tad bit excited about this peach sorbet... so much so that they know how much he loves it and he always tends to get the biggest bowl of it when we go here.  Don't they know I'm the one in charge... and I LOVE their peach sorbet too...  hahaha :)

On the last day we had a fun little picnic at the hotel in their gardens.  The weather did not cooperate this week very well, but we managed to make the best of it and enjoy so special times like these by getting outside and experiencing the beauty of this place.

Oh my heart.  To finally meet all of Jeanne's family this time was such a great joy!  She has an amazing family and we just adore each one.  Then I also got to have our dear friends Tom & Erin DeRusha come this year and help me with everything.  We had some special times with these people that I will treasure forever.  Thank you Jeanne and Erin so much for all that you are.  I can't believe I didn't take a "selfie" with my girl Jeanne... but I'm excited to say that I get to see her in a few days and I will make SURE that it happens!

This pasta... oh how we long for it when we are home!  My hubby asks for the recipe each year... and they don't share it with him.  (lol)  I guess it's just a thing we have to wait for when we go back each year and sometimes, if we're lucky, it pops up in our dreams when we are not there...

These cuties!  Mia is a "regular" at our retreats.  Funny, but true!  Her first time here was when she was 5 and then she came to my retreat in Paris a couple years ago.  Then we got so lucky to have her and her dad and mom this year!  The sweet connections my girls have made with the people who have come over the years is really life changing.  I'm so grateful for these connections and to have friends all over the world that we have made through these retreats.

My friend Rita.  I really love this lady and my retreats would NOT be the same without her.  If you've been before with me then you know why.  If you haven't been and will some day... then you will instantly know why she is so beloved!  Come for the art, come for the faith... come for the gelato... but you will leave with a friend in this lady, someone who is so passionate about her "lake" and believe me... it's contagious!

Gelato.  Yes we consumed a LOT of gelato!  But you walk everywhere so it's all good...  In all honestly there are so many aspects of enjoying a week in Italy that you will LOVE.  You can go with your family, you can go by yourself... or you can go on another tour.  There are many choices for you.  But I hope you will see that this choice, our Art & Faith Creative Retreat, is pretty special.  

The classes are special too!  Here's a little snapshot of Stephanie's classes.  We had so much fun making our OWN stamps! And her prayer journal is something I am using now on a daily basis.  I love this part of our time together.  To learn new techniques and really  make that connection between Art & Faith.  I will share with you on another post about how the Lord showed me how deeply He cares and how connected things are...

Here's a page I finished while I was there.  It's a page I started back at home and actually posted on Shanna Noels' Illustrated Faith Bible Journaling page on FB.  But I knew I needed to paint it with the colors of Italy, here in Italy.  I went back to Villa Melzi's gardens to sit and ponder these verses and what they actually mean for me, here in a place that I feel so called to.  To share the LOVE of Jesus with everyone who comes here and everyone we have been blessed to know here. I am in AWE of the Lords love for us and how amazing He is that His gift of love is for EVERYONE.  

I can't believe I got to spend a month in Italy with these people.  No it wasn't perfect 100% of the time.  But 100% of the time I love these people and am so thankful for them.  I think traveling far from home helps us to remember that we are here for a purpose.  Life is about people and the connections we make, not the things we attain.  I have always rather had a small home and less things so that we could travel and share those special times with our family.  It's never ever easy to do that and we have made sacrifices along the way, but it is so worth it in the end.  How many people have we heard that at the end of their life the only regret they have is that they didn't spend enough time with the ones they love.  We missed Victoria and Dany on this trip and are hoping they can come next summer... But what a JOY it is to do something you KNOW you are meant to do and be able to do it with the people you love!

And I have to give a big SHOUT OUT to this lady!  Erin is not only a friend... but was the 3rd grade teacher to Rebecca AND Isabella and she taught them how to swim as well.  She has seen my retreats from day one.  She has heard me talk about them, she has given me ideas for them and she was the first person to ask if I needed any help with them! (hahaha)  Well this year was the biggest year ever and YES, it was time to ask for more help.  She was fantastic and stepped right in and didn't get bothered by my "attention to detail"  in everything!  Thank you Erin, it was a trip I won't ever forget with you and Tom by our side!!  

I guess I'll end this long, photo heavy post with this girl.  She's now not only my helper but my business partner!  She has a heart for what I am doing and now what WE are doing here and all over the world, Lord willing.  I know we are praying BIG prayers together for what this is supposed to look like going forward.  Where the Lord is calling us to... What is should look like... and how often we should do these retreats.  So I'm blessed to see her heart for others come out so beautifully and I am looking forward to what the Lord is going to do through her in the future.

And if your noticing she is on a gondola in Venice, Italy... that's because we took a couple days and rented a car and stayed in Venice.  It was a GREAT little side trip and there may be some planning taking place for a future retreat here... but I will share more pictures from our two days in Venice next blog post, so stay tuned!

Hugs to all,

Laura

P.S.  Next years Art & Faith Creative Retreat in Bellagio, Italy is OPEN for Registration!  You can SIGN UP right here under the SIGN UP page at the top of the page.

2 Comments

Class Schedule -  2017 Art & Faith Creative Retreat

Comment

Class Schedule - 2017 Art & Faith Creative Retreat

We are getting so close to another Art & Faith Creative Retreat in Italy!!  

I am amazed at how the year goes by so quickly as I announce a new retreat and we get the sign ups, then we get to know each person through Facebook and our email correspondence, and then we start planning for our time together.  Then it's here before we know it and we are sooooo excited to go an this amazing adventure together!  

Italy2015-4126-2.jpg

What they don't know (if they haven't gone on one before)  is that it is going to be such a transforming trip for them and that is what I look forward to the most!  The time spent in Italy is such a beautiful time of restoring our souls, meeting new people, and experiencing amazing places... each person comes away with a new set of friends, life long memories and Lord willing a new sense of closeness to Him.  Oh... I can't WAIT for June!

So for those of you who ARE joining us this summer in Italy, here are the classes you will be taking!  

For those who live close enough to come for a day trip... these are the classes YOU can sign up for right now, under the SIGN UP page at the top of the website!  I have always welcomed the local community to be a part of my retreats and that's what I think makes it extra special.  So if you would like to join us for a class, or 2 or 3... please go check them out and see if a time will work with your schedule and we would love to meet you and spend this time together!  I have about 10 spots I make available for local sign ups, so you will find out all the details under SIGN UP and then click on the REGISTRATION button to find each class.

Here is a sneak peek at each class we are teaching this June in Bellagio, Italy:

Class One | Creating a Junk Journal | June 26 - 9:00am

I am a huge believer that carrying a journal and a few supplies with us everywhere we go changes how we see the world. We will be creating in one of the most gorgeous locations in the world and I want to share some techniques that you can use as you explore and then also later when you return home. We will start by creating a handmade art journal full of watercolor paper, mixed media paper, vintage ephemera, fabrics and more. Each journal will have a hand stitched vintage French linen spine and will close with a leather strap.

Class Two | Stamp Carving | June 26 - 1:30pm

In this class Stephanie will show us how to create our OWN one-of-a-kind stamps!  She has been doing this for a while and will share her tips and techniques on making these fun stamps and using them in our classes during the week.  I don't know about you, but I'm excited to learn how to do this and I hope you will join us in this unique class!

Class Three | Mixed-Media Canvas | June 28 - 9:00am

During the week I will be teaching you some Bible Journaling techniques and we will be enjoying this time of art in our bibles!  But I also wanted to have something you could take home with you and hang or display in your home.  So this class will be on a thin canvas board and I will be teaching you some of the basic techniques of mixed-media.  We were learn how to create a collage base on our canvas and then we will be adding layers of dimension to the canvas.  In keeping with our theme for the week, you can add some wording with stamps and hand lettering or add your own saying to the canvas

Class Four | Prayer Journal Midori | June 28 - 1:30pm

In this class we will learn from Stephanie how to make a beautiful Prayer Journal.  She will share with us her insight on how to bring our prayer requests before the Lord and to remember to journal those answered prayers as well!  We will have fun putting this Midori styled journal together with all her colorful paints and stamps!

Class Five | Altered Journal Pages | Friday June 30 - 9:00am

We will then explore fun and easy contour sketching so you can learn to capture the beauty around you in landscapes, architecture and even people.  We will then create a two page spread in our journals as we practice mark making, collage and stitching to create beautiful works of art. My hope is that your journal will become full and well worn as you explore and create in Bellagio and back in your own towns.

So that is all the classes for this summer.  Again, feel free to sign up if you are local to the area and can be there for any of the classes listed.  You can go to the SIGN UP button and the click on the drop down menu on REGISTRATION and you will see all the classes and can pay as well.

If you have any questions you can email me via the contact page at the top of this website.

For those interested in joining one of these trips to Bellagio, Italy there will be another Art & Faith Creative Retreat NEXT SUMMER!  I will have all the details about that in the next month or so.  The dates for that will be most likely the last week in June of 2018.  If you want to be on an Interest List for next year you can also send an email via the Contact page at the top.

Have a GREAT day,

Laura

 

 

Comment

Love, Tuesday...

Comment

Love, Tuesday...

Hi everyone!  

Loving THIS Tuesday and I really want to say THANK YOU to all the new people who have come to my website to check out my Creative Retreats!  I started these destination retreats in 2012 and this year marks my 5th year bringing people to beautiful Bellagio, Italy and Paris, France.  There may be more locations in the future but this DREAM JOB really started from a passion for Italy and wanting to bring my love of CREATIVE ART and ITALY together.

2016 is going to be another incredible year and will actually be TWICE as great because I am hosting TWO Creative Retreats in Italy this year!

Most of you have come to check out the Creative Retreat this June with Cori Spieker - The Reset Girl.  If you are new here, then check out the blog post below this, you will find out all the information (and NEW PRICE) on our retreat this June.  Thank you for being excited about this week and signing up!  For those who are still thinking about this weeklong event, there are two apartments left so send me an email soon if you are trying to get together a group to go!  I've had a LOT of interest in this retreat so I have emailed another accommodation in town that I use, to see if they have any extra apartments.  I can only have a certain amount of people each week because of the space limitations in a small Italian village like Bellagio.  But... I have always said that I will make it work if you are feeling lead to join us, so just give me a heads up if you are still thinking about this so I can plan on how many extra apartments I may need to reserve. (you can email me or leave a message under the contact page above.

For those who ARE signed up and coming to the retreat in June, Cori and I have added a faith element to the retreat and I know her life story will inspire all of you!  I will be teaching a travel journal class as well as sharing some bible journaling with everyone.  Cori will be teaching three classes based off of her Planner business.  I'm so excited about all 3 of her classes, but  "The Faithful Planner Girl" workshop looks like such an inspirational class... I can't WAIT to take it!

I also wanted to let you know about the Art & Faith Creative Retreat in September!  This is in the same beautiful location of Bellagio, but with a faith element to the week that is really life changing.  Last year was the first year that I started this kind of Creative Retreat and it was such a blessing to share a week in Italy with people of faith!  All different people from around the world came and not only did we enjoy ART together,  it was an open and honest setting where we were able to share in a deeper way because of our faith connection.  It truly was an incredible week talking about the GIFTS God gives us and how He wants us to use them (and gifts is plural... as in we are given more then one gift!)  It made me realize going forward that I want my retreats to be more then just a beautiful week in a beautiful setting... I want you to enjoy a week that you've learned more about yourself, you've grown deeper in your relationship with the Lord and you leave with the motivation to bring these knew truths to your life back home!  

So please check out the Art & Faith Creative Retreat this September in Bellagio!  The teachers for this week with me are Shanna Noel of Illustrated Faith and Junelle Jacobsen from Yes and Amen. If you don't already know these two talented ladies, I really think you should click on their names above and go check them out.  They are true gifts from God and have such a love for people and the Lord, it shows in everything they do.  This year Shanna will be sharing her testimony and how she got into Bible Journaling.  I know her classes will be life changing as she shows us how to grow deeper in the Word through this art form.  Junelle is an amazing artist in so many ways!  I can't wait for her classes as well and for her to share her heart with us as well!  She is an incredible water color artist and her beautiful artwork is something I aspire to learn!  I am SO honored to have both of them teaching with me and I can tell you, this week is going to be really AMAZING!  

September is also the perfect time to come to Bellagio and Lake Como!  The weather is still warm but starting to change into the beautiful Fall colors on the lake.  The crowds have gone home and you get to experience this place like a local.  And since I know most of the locals... you will really feel like you've stepped back in time to the Italy in your dreams!  

Again, this retreat is almost sold out and I have checked to see how many other apartments I can get for this week as well.  I know with all my heart that the Lord is in this week and I want anyone and everyone who is feeling called to be there, to come!  So please email me or message me above and let me know if you are thinking of joining us.  I want to make sure I have enough room for everyone who wants to be there and I know the Lord will work it all out for you to come!

I hope you enjoyed all the fun photo collages I put together.  Most of these dreamy photos were taken by the talented Cathy Walters who joined me on my 1st Art & Faith Creative Retreat this past summer.  I am SO thankful to her for capturing a glimpse into my retreats in such a beautiful way!  This is just a sampling of the week we spend together and the fun I have sharing this gorgeous place with every person who comes on my retreats.  It truly is a JOY to show you all the places and the people I have fallen in love with on Lake Como!  

I hope to see you in Italy this summer!

Hugs to all,

Laura McCollough

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comment