* The purpose of our documentation is to provide a window into the creative process and the interactions within our circle. It keeps the memory of our work together alive and offers a touchstone to revisit later for further reflection by the facilitators, the parents and the children.


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Women are the primary resource of the planet. They give birth, we come from them. They are mothers, they are visionaries, they are the future. If we can figure out how to make women feel safe and honor women, it would be parallel or equal to honoring life itself."

- Eve Ensler

Yes, You Are Wise: Day 5

"Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable." - Mary Oliver

The last day of camp was a day of celebration mostly...

Since the girls are not old enough for champagne, I bought some champagne grapes....

and the girls toasted each other and I think I might have heard some clinking of imaginary fluted glassware.

There were FOUR lovely gifts today. One came from the inspiring author SARK who sent her "Awesome Anytime Adventure" e-course so the girls and their moms can begin a new journey together now that the summer session of Mighty Girl Art has come to a close.

And this gift came from the kind and generous Hay House Publishing who sent positive affirmations cards for the girls.

And from kindred spirits, copy of Wild Sister Magazine! A WebZine created to empower and inspire women.

And my friend, the wild and wise Pixie Campell sent the girls a bag of gemstones. I passed the pouch around the circle and each girl picked the stone that felt right. Then we read about the properties associated with each stone. Many of the girls already knew the names of the stones which completely blew my mind.

The girls surprised me with a gift too! Somehow amidst all the creating they managed to sneak off and make me this beautiful flag, aided and abetted by my assistant Chelsea, and my intern Ann.

And just when I thought my heart couldn't possibly burst open any wider...the Mighty H presented me with a gorgeous mer fish necklace that she made herself. Yes, I spent a good part of the morning on the verge of tears.

We finished up our bird totems...

"These souls were explicitly created to fly through more than one world and to return, ever return, to tell the stories of what can be seen when one is allowed to soar." - Clarissa Pinkola Estes PhD

And made tissue paper flowers for these cool vases.

After the moms arrived we circled and had our closing ceremonies. During the validation ceremony the girls took turns revealing all the wonderful qualities they had witnessed in each other.

In our Belonging Ceremony, I passed around a walking stick that once belonged to my late father. Each girl took a moment to stand in her power, and acknowledge her maternal lineage.

There beneath the prayer flags and hanging vases, we celebrated with a pizza party sponsored by our beloved Ledo Pizza!

Together we took down the tipi and packed up our camp. I removed the flowers from the hanging vases and left them in place of our sacred circle...

It was an honor to hold presence for these girls and I feel so blessed to have spent a week with them. They are wise, they are strong and I will miss them madly...

(At this point you should probably turn of the music player in the sidebar so that you can hear the girls' message)

Until next time...

With gratitude,

"It's one of those magical places wise people
like to talk about.
One of the things they say about it, that is true,

is that, once you've been there,
you're there forever." - Mary Oliver

A heartfelt thank you to the Mighty Moms for giving me the gift of your daughters for a week; to the generous sponsors for the beautiful gifts that you sent to the girls; to Ledo Pizza for providing a delicious celebratory feast; to my assistant Chelsea, my intern Ann, and to my friends and family for their inspiration, encouragement, love & support!

*Postscript: On August 18th I nearly fell off my chair to discover this message in my in-box, delivered to me by the manager of a certain inspiring woman. Though it was sent to me, in truth the message is really for the girls. I think I'll frame it and hang it in the studio:

Congratulations on the work you are doing. Empowering women is vitally important at this time in history.
All the best,

This Brief Moment: Day 4

"How could anyone believe
that anything in this world
is only what it appears to be?" - Mary Oliver

As I hauled the tipi over to the grassy knoll, I discovered an egg shell that dropped from a tree above me. I placed it on top of the heap in the wagon and brought it with me to the campsite where I placed it into a nest that I use as a centerpiece for our circle. The nest was given to me some years ago by my friend Pixie.

After we raised The House of Belonging, we spotted one of the Mighty Girls and her mother in the distance taking the scenic route to the Mighty Girl Campsite.

Once everyone arrived and was in circle, I presented the daily gift...

Sent to the girls by the generous people at Chronicle Books...a mother/daughter journal entitled, "Just Between Us"

*Note the little bird on the cover....hmmmm

Before continuing the work on our art journals, I offered the girls a creativity prompt. Same story from yesterday, but this time I ended with a new question..

You see a bird flying above the tipi. She calls to you saying, "I am you and I have traveled a long distance. Come with me, I have something to show you."

What did she show you?

I asked the girls to consider these words while they embellished their journals. They got right to work adding fibers, and found objects to the journals. There were cicada wings, and wild flowers and all sorts of wonders being incorporated into their work. I showed the girls how to use a hand drill and some of them began drilling holes into the twigs that they found and affixed them to the spines of their journals with fibers.

For our second project of the morning, I passed around some photos of common local birds under which I printed their corresponding animal totem description. I asked the girls to choose the bird that they were most drawn to, and to read about its unique qualities. Then I passed around some paper mache bird forms and asked the girls to look carefully at the photos and paint their chosen bird totem. On the bottom of the bird they will write one word from the totem reading that really resonates with them.

During this project there was a Bluebird flying all around our campsite. I went to the tree where it rested and found a nearly neon Bluebird feather and gave it to one of the girls. The Bluebird seemed to linger around the campsite and it dawned on me that this was our totem animal for the day...and right on cue! One of the girls left the tipi to observe it more closely as it was the bird she chose.

"Bluebird: This is symbolic of a passage, a time of movement into another level of being. Specifically, it is connected to the transformation of a girl into a woman...and a new confidence and happiness in coming into your own." - Ted Andrews (Animal Speak)

While the birds dried in the sun, the girls sewed their prayer flags onto ribbon. They will hang their prayer flags in the tipi tomorrow for our last day...

We will finish up any detailing on our projects, and mostly celebrate. There will be pizza and champagne grapes and our beautiful closing ceremony and their mamas will join us.

See you there....

Wisdom walk: Take a short walk with your mother and look for beauty.

This brief moment

let us take a walk

and see how beautiful

the world is - Cynthia Rylant

Some Days I Feel I Have Wings: Day 3

I am both of the earth and I am of the inexplicable
beauty of heaven
where I fly so easily, so welcome, yes,
and this is why I have been sent, to teach this to your heart. - Mary Oliver

I didn't get to see our morning totem animal because I was in the studio printing plates for transfer images while Chelsea and Ann raised The House of Belonging. I was a bit off kilter as the night before I had accidentally fallen asleep before I finished all the preparations for the day.

The girls reported seeing all sorts of creatures, one of which was a butterfly. I would like to think that butterfly was our totem for the day since yesterday we made some playful butterfly imagery. And unbeknownst to the girls, we were using butterfly imagery for our art panels later.

"The butterfly reminds us that life is a dance of joy. They teach us that growth and transformation does not have to traumatic; it can occur gently, sweetly, joyfully" - Ted Andrews from Animal Speak - This book was given to me by my friend Pixie Campbell.

Today's gift was provided by the generous and thoughtful people of Hay House Publishing. They sent the girls a "Creative Dream Game" by SARK.

An interesting behind the scenes story regarding this game...apparently the game is no longer being made. However, Jacqui, the magical publicity director at Hay House was searching the warehouse for inspiring gifts for the girls when in her search she happened to find some of the games....the exact number of games needed for camp!

"It was meant to be", she said. I agree.

Today I gave the girls an imagery prompt for their journals inspired by "Woman Who Lives Under the Lake" by Clarissa Pinkola Estes PhD

You see a bird flying high above the tipi, she says, "I am you, and I have traveled a long distance. Come with me, there is something I must show you."

What does her wings look like?

I then showed the girls how to make transfer prints and gave them the images that I had printed in the predawn hours of the morn. They got right to work....

This is just a small sample of their beautiful work. Their transfer prints are stunning.

Our next project was to complete the art panel we started the day before. We used a butterfly shaped dye cutter and punched out butterflies from colorful papers. One butterfly for each year of their life thus far. We wrote empowering words on the wings and glued them to the canvas board that they painted earlier. We added black satin ribbon tied in a bow to hang the art panels. This project was inspired by the butterfly collage posted at Crafty Crow.

Before packing up camp, we finished our prayer flags. We will sew them onto ribbon and the girls can hang them in the tipi tomorrow morning.

Wisdom Walk: Take a short walk with your mom. Look for found objects for your twigs, a special rock, flowers, a leaf...something that catches your eye and feels right.

Never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often - Mary Oliver

Mysteries, Yes: Day 2

"Truly, we live with mysteries too marvelous to be understood...
How rivers and stones are forever
in allegiance with gravity
while we ourselves dream of rising.
How two hands touch and the bonds
will never be broken...
Let me keep my distance, always, from those
who think they have the answers.
Let me keep company always with those who say
"Look!" and laugh in astonishment,
and bow their heads." - Mary Oliver (Evidence)

I got up at 4 this morning to share with you some of the beauty that I witnessed yesterday. I was so exhausted after the clean-up and prep-work that I fell asleep beside my son and never made it down to the studio to upload photos.

Dragonfly was at the grassy knoll to greet us in the morning as we raised The House of Belonging.

(Click on photo to enlarge / and read Dragonfly totem)

Chelsea surprised the girls with marvelous signage!

The gift of the day comes from the generous folks at Kiki who sent the girls tote bags and their summer issue!

The day was a whir of activity as we added backgrounds and layers to our journals.

And began the prep work for another project to be revealed later - art panels.

And a few moments to kick back...

And we made talisman necklaces! Talismans date back to antiquity and are believed to bring good luck or protection to the person who wears them.

There were Art Warriors!

And there were Art Goddesses...

There was a brief shower and as promised...a rain dance!

We took flying portraits to be used as imagery in our art journals...

And I was blessed to be in their company...

Wisdom Walk: Take a short walk with your mom and look for birds. Remember the first bird you saw. If you find a feather, take it, say thank you and bring it to camp.