Want to bring your honey along

for a soak in the natural HOT SPRING Pools?

We now have our ‘SPOUSAL’ room rates confirmed!

SPOUSAL RATE: when based on double occupancy…. and when only one person is attending the Art Retreat… that one Art Retreat Attendee is to pay the SINGLE room rate and then their spouse/friend can stay in the same room, but the spouse will have no meals or retreat events included in their stay. Please include your spouses/friends name at time of booking.

CLICK HERE for Student registration formCreative-Finds-Poster-sqrd

Today in the land of Steampunk

 we are spending a little time with Clarissa….

promopic-ccallesen-2I love to teach because: I love the energy of being in a room full of people creating it is infectious. I also love to see what 15 different people will do with the same technique and materials. The variety and ingenuity is incredible.

Attending an Art Retreat is like: like hot yoga. Intense, invigorating and stretches you in ways you didn’t think were possible. For me it is also like a really good dinner made with love. It feeds my creative hunger and wets my appetite for more and more.

When I attended my first Art Retreat, I felt like I had came home. There were people that “spoke” the same language as me. People that loved creepy baby dolls and art made from everything and the kitchen sink.


Steampunk Sally by Clarissa Callesen

Steampunk Sally by Clarissa Callesen

Who do you creatively relate with? I am in love with folk artists and outsider artists especially those that create entire environments. Such as Leonard Knight that created Salvation Mtn, a crazy monument to love in the middle of a wasteland. Isaiah Zagar covering 50,000 sq feet of Philadelphia. I relate to their resilience and tenacity to create no matter what and to create out of what materials are at hand.

The best part of living a creative life is: losing myself into a peaceful timeless zone where nothing exists besides the fire of creation.

What is the worst part of living a creative life? Having to pay the mortgage. In making a living as an artist sometime you have to make the work that sells as appose to the work that is currently making you heart sing.

What advice would you like to share? If you want to be an artist you must make art! That may seem obvious, but to get good you have to return to the studio daily and make and FINISH art pieces. Then get that art out there in the world whether it is for sale or gifts or donations. Move the art along so there is room physically and emotionally to make more

The best advice I have ever received is : Don’t give up and don’t listen to other people’s opinion about you or your arts worth.

Friday WORKSHOP: Steampunk Sally

Friday WORKSHOP: Steampunk Sally

‘Being creative’ means : being authentic and making decisions with gusto and passion.

Which Artist inspires you the most & why? This is always changing and evolving right now I am really inspired by Judy Pfaff because she creates big beautiful chaos in fancy galleries.

What are your favorite tools, instruments, materials to use and why? My gesso and my crème brulee torch, I can make anything look ancient in a few moments.

What would you love to try next, creatively? Welding large found object sculptures and making concrete sculpture to mosaic both for my art house and garden of the future.

Where do you find your muse/inspiration? Everywhere: Museums, Pintrest! Art Retreats, Burning Man

Saturday WORKSHOP: Our Sacred Heart

Saturday WORKSHOP: Our Sacred Heart

Do you sell your work? If so, where can your fans seek you out? I vend at the conferences where I teach. I do art festival in the Pacific Northwest, and I do have an etsy site .

Name one of your favorite food, song, poem, book and/or movie of all time? Mary Oliver’s poem Summer Day and in particular the line “Tell Me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? Jody Foster quote “Normal is not something to aspire to, it is something to get away from.”   Favorite movie.. Frida for so many reasons!

What was your scariest creative adventure? I think each new one I embark on is at that time the scariest. I have been really pushing myself to work bigger. So my most recent “scary” was a 20ft x 8ft installation that I had two weeks to prepare for and then two days to install at Burning Man.

The thing I love most about my life is : freedom

What makes your heart swell with joy? People bravely speaking, creating, or writing about their passion whatever that may be.Clarissa-Sacred-Heart-3

Three words to describe my work are: Strange, surreal, and wonderful

What creative tool can you not live without (so-to-speak)? Walnut Ink

My favorite ‘pretend’ curse word is : I have to admit it if I can’t say the real ones then I don’t say them at all.


CLICK HERE to register!

Meet the lovely Joyelle….

 Workshop: Monster In Me (Saturday May 24, 2014)

Joyelle Brandt ~ Artist/Instructor

 I love to teach because:  I feel that art should be a conversation, a relationship. And teaching is part of that conversation for me.

Attending an Art Retreat is like: Meeting the best friends you never knew you had, and having a party together that lasts several days!

When I attended my first Art Retreat, I :  Felt like I had just joined the most amazing tribe of creative soul sisters.

Who do you creatively relate with?  I could list a ton of artists here, but I’ll just choose one. My friend Kathleen Tennant makes beautiful mixed media paintings. I love what she makes, and love even more the spirit she puts into her life. She is just an awesome human!

The best part of living a creative life is:  You get to make it whatever you want it to be. You get to be a little crazy, and everyone is ok with that, because artists are supposed to be crazy

What is the worst part of living a creative life?  Sometimes it’s hard to find other creative people like you. That is why art retreats are so great!

What advice would you like to share?  Find a way to do something that makes you happy every day. This sounds simple, but often it is not.

The best advice I have ever received is :  Breathe into the pain.

Photo credit: Robert Brandt.

Photo credit: Robert Brandt.

‘Being creative’ means :  I think painter Flora Bowley said it best: “…human aliveness is inseparable from creativity. We are all artists already… each and every one of us.” I strongly believe that living artfully doesn’t just apply to creating art, but also to creating the life we want to live. Living mindfully, according to our own values, that’s creativity too.

Which Artist inspires you the most & why?  Kelly Rae Roberts. Her commitment to living authentically shines through everything that she creates. I love her willingness to be open and vulnerable, her ongoing personal development and community building. She represents artful living to me.

What are your favorite tools, instruments, materials to use and why?  My fingers! I love painting with my hands. Just getting in there and working intuitively is when I feel the most flow in my painting.

What would you love to try next, creatively?  Painting really BIG abstract paintings! I saw Pierre Coupey‘s exhibit at the Evergreen Cultural Centre and I just love the energy of his large scale works. Sadly I do not have the space to do this currently, so this dream will have to wait for now.

Where do you find your muse/inspiration? Quotes, music, my kids, nature, my struggles. Everything is fodder for art to me.

Do you sell your work? If so, where can your fans seek you out? Yep! I have an Etsy store and a Society Six shop. You can find links to both at www.joyellebrandt.com

Name one of your favorite food, song, poem, book and/or movie of all time?

  • Food: chocolate
  • Song: Steamroller Blues, James Taylor
  • Poem: anything by Brian Andreas
  • Book: Onion Girl by Charles DeLint
  • Movie: Clerks

    Saturday WORKSHOP: Monster in Me

    Saturday WORKSHOP: Monster in Me

What was your scariest creative adventure?  Sending my art to Somerset Studio magazine.

The thing I love most about my life is :  The people in it. I have been married for 16 years to a wonderful man. We have two little boys who I love more than anything. And I have a circle of family and friends who love and support me unconditionally. I am so grateful to be in this place in my life, surrounded by loving, accepting peeps.

What makes your heart swell with joy?  Hearing my boys laugh.

Three words to describe my work are:  Odd, cute, ugly.

What creative tool can you not live without (so-to-speak)?  Gel medium for layering and adding texture!

My favorite ‘pretend’ curse word is : I prefer the real ones. Which means I have had several conversations with my six year old about which words are “grown up” words and which are not.

CLICK HERE for Student registration


On-line Art Retreat REGISTRATION update!

Hi Everyone, workshops-FRI

It turns out that the online registration form we were planning on using does not support my Canadian paypal account and the other online reg company will charge over $30 per student registering….YIKES!   That is just too much to be adding to anyone’s fees in my book.

We thought we had that online convenience sorted out for you, but alas we will now be asking you to support your local mail service.

For this reason, we will not begin processing your registrations until October 3rd, as we want the timeline workshops-SATto be fair to all. Besides the first mailed in forms will have only been posted yesterday at the earliest.

So fill them out tonight, slap that stamp on and pop it on in your local postal outlet…. let the FUN BEGIN!!!!

FYI: If you are paying your deposit via paypal, please add in your 4% and a little note stating what name will be showing on your mailed in registration form so that I can easily match them up.

Please note that if you are concerned about the speed of postal mail, you can also scan your paperwork, place the originals in the postal mail now and then email in your scanned paperwork on Oct 3rd to creativefinds[at]gmail[dot]com . Please save your scans out as pdf files no larger than 315KB (if possible). This way I will know to keep an eye out for it, however it still cannot be processed until payment of deposit has been received. (This note was added at 7:08pm PST Sep 23, 2013)

Cheers and our apologies,

Nicci & the CFE Team

It is TIME!


WORKSHOPS available for all skill levels


Unveiling some SWEET TREATS for all you ART JOURNAL JUNKIES !

#13:  WORKSHOP “Creativity, Inspiration & Journaling Kick Start”

with Megan Anderson

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I love writing, I love the idea of writing, I love pens and pencils, crisp white paper and the crackle as I open up a brand new journal…. but sometimes I find journalling and writing, heck even creating, daunting and over whelming. How to start? What to write? What to draw? Where or where is my inspiration?

These cards can help inspire, prompt, push, spark and to document the artistic voyage . They can be shared, traded, displayed or kept intimate and private, like a personal tarot deck taking you and your art in new directions.

 Creativity cards can be used to prompt any type of creative process, from journalling to drawing , painting and anything in between.

 We will start with a base deck of cards and begin the process of creating a highly personal deck (think imagery and quotes not deep dark secrets…phew). We will look at how to begin developing these decks so that you can continue to build and develop your deck and draw on it in the future.

 In this class I also encourage participants to trade a few cards with others in the class…so be prepared (and remember I said encourage). This can really help to push one out of their comfort zone and further push your art in new directions.

A jump start kit will be included with this class. Also the base for your deck.

 We will also have a “share” table set up in class. Feel free to add to take to or from it.

 Supply Kit Fee: $5

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#14: WORKSHOP“Mythical ‘Eye’ See You Journal” with Megan Anderson

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Mythical creatures have always intrigued me. Secretly, I always wanted a pet dragon. He (yes, mine is a he) would look over me, urge me on as I journeyed through the creative process and be the guardian of my journaled thoughts and secrets. He would help inspire my imagination and he and his travels would be my muse. I had a little trouble finding a dragon to fit the bill so, so I decided to create one.

Whatever or whomever your mythical beast, creature or muse may be, together we will bring yours to life.

Create a unique relief style journal cover using eyes, clay, paint, ephemera and a wee bit of whimsy.

Some of the techniques we will cover: design & execution of design, use of apoxie clay, problem shooting to attach objects to journal cover, use of Kroma crackle, general glazing techniques and paint techniques to create depth and impact.

Interference and metallic colors. Optional gold leafing.

Student registration BEGINS Sept 21, 2013


Annual Winter ARTISAN MARKET update

Hi All,
For those of you that have sent in your MARKET applications this week,2013-Poster-girl MARKET I just wanted to let you know that I will be going over your applications this weekend or this Monday by the latest.

I am launching registration for our Spring ‘Into the heART’ Art Retreat this week and it has been crazy busy for me. I am the Web Team, The Accountant, the everything pretty much at this point for it…lol. Take a peak…. we would love to have you join us this Spring!

Have a great week/weekend and I will get back to you early next week.
Keep smiling and creating … and thank you for your patience.


Time to ruffle your feathers with WORKSHOP #12 !

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 WORKSHOP ‘Fit To Be Tied’ with Michelle Purcell

This class is for the inner you! Create a personalized apron that brings out your own personality. I will show you how to design without a pattern and then embellish it to accomplish a one of a kind fashion statement. Learn new shortcuts which make sewing SEW much easier.

With Aprons being all the rage, one must have one of their own! Be it retro, fun, sassy, frilly or just plain functional, Michelle will show you some tricks and guide you along on this wonderfully fun journey!   For even more fun fabric combination ideas to inspire you for this workshop, check out the Apronology magazines & Pinterest boards!

BIO: Michelle has been an avid sewing, quilting and embroidery enthusiast for over 30 years. Any medium that uses fabric excites her and with all the new methods for machine embroidery and embellishments Michelle can’t get enough. Sharing her expertise at various quilt guilds, teaching classes in her home and running a home business allow her many hours of creativity.

Teacher will supply:

  • Assorted laces trims and edgings
  • Misc fabrics to use as accent pieces
  • Beads, buttons & bows
  • Embroidery machine if you want to personalize or add names
  • Surprise package for all!

Supply list:

  • Sewing machine with bobbins, regular sewing foot
  • a ruffled or gathering foot (if you have them)
  • Pins
  • Thread
  • scissors
  • 2 m cotton fabric (Choose something you like)
  • Sharp rotary cutter
  • cutting mat
  • Tape measure
  • construction thread to match fabric

PACKAGE Pricing will be uploaded at 8pm (P.S.T.) September 18th!

Student registration BEGINS Sept 21, 2013

Show a lil’ love…..workshop # 11 is here!

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WORKSHOP “Our Sacred Heart” with Clarissa Callesen

Each and every one of us has a heart that is sacred. A heart that loves, cherishes, protects, and hurts. Join me in creating an assemblage shrine to our beautiful and perfectly flawed hearts. We will be covering lots of techniques to alter and age new wood. We will cover the myriad of different ways to connect objects for assemblages. Through sculpting, painting, and distressing you will take everyday objects and turn them into a beautiful reliquary to your heart. I believe in embracing the grunge and cherishing the haphazard. This is both a project and technique based class which you will leave witha unique piece of art as well as skills useful for many different projects.

BIO: Clarissa is the creator of Strange and Wonderful Things, which is truly the best description of her work. She is the rescuer of tacky dolls and forgotten trash, with lots of laughter, hard work, and magic those items are reborn. Through her eclectic, mysterious, and surreal work she tells stories about the joy and tribulations that is the human experience. Clarissa teaching style is down to earth and fun, believing there is always more than one solution to a problem. Embracing the grunge and cherishing the mistakes are two of her primary philosophies. Clarissa brings her diverse experiences as a tattoo artist, functional potter, and gallery owner to teaching and sharing her true love the world of Mixed Media art. She exhibits throughout the Pacific Northwest at art festivals and selective galleries. She has been published in Linda and Opie O’Brien’s book, Who’s Your DADA? Written several feature articles for Art Doll Quarterly, and has been published multiple times in Somerset Studio. For more information, check out her blog at  http://clarissacallesen.blogspot.com/

Supply List:

  • Heart shaped found objects: beads, frames, charms, valentines, etc
  • A backing board for your heart: and old piece of wood, a book cover, a shallow box, etc
  • Small amount of collage materials (text and patterns are my favorite)
  • Small tube of E6000
  • An assortment of Acrylic paints (reds, browns, oranges, pinks, black, and white)
  • Paint brushes make sure to include a detail brush.
  • A palette for paints and a water container
  • Extra buttons, charms, old jewelry, and misc found objects for embellishing your heart

Optional Supplies:

  • Dremel and extension cord if you own one
  • Extra or different sized wooden heart blanks
  • Heat gun and extension cord

Kit fee $10 includes:

  • One 5”x 5” wooden heart blank
  • 2 small wooden heart blanks
  • Apoxie sculpt
  • Walnut ink,
  • Gesso
  • Construction adhesive
  • Tools to share

  Student registration BEGINS Sept 21, 2013