* 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

Day One: Sunlight & Singing

July 27, 2009

Sunlight & singing welcome your coming...

What an exciting start! Here's a glimpse at day one in the Mighty Tipi:

After the introductions, we began our opening ceremony - a bestowing of gifts! Rather than the traditional art retreat goodie bag, I decided to present the girls with a special gift each morning that was made by a Mighty Woman. We begin our first day together with a gift created by the talented Pixie Campbell, whom I have the honor to call friend. Pixie is a Native American Indian Medicine Woman, proud mama, and gifted artist. She is strong, yet gentle - playful, yet centered. She made the girls medicine bags of sacred plants to be placed under their pillows at night.

Pixie's message to the Mighty Girls:

Made with LOVE for the creative process, LOVE for the feminine spirit and for those who carry the medicine that heals the world.
  • Red: for maidens and sacredness
  • Mugwort: health, hope, protection, dreams
  • Comfrey: regeneration, wound healing
  • Lavende: calms, soothes, balances
  • Juniper berries: purifies for safe, sacred space

After the gifts were presented, we began the ceremonial "I See You" exercise. I asked the Mighty Girls to write their names on a manila shipping tag. The tags were placed in my hat and shuffled. I asked the girls to pick a tag from the hat and hide it from view. I then asked the girls to secretly observe their chosen Mighty Girl all week and get to know her without being obvious, then make a mental list of all the qualities that she admires. The tag is to be kept at home hidden and the mission will be revealed at the closing ceremony.

Hmmmm a mystery....what fun! You will have to follow along with the Mighty Girls to find out what happens.

In the meantime...let the art making begin!!!!

We began prepping our art journals. The art journal is the foundation for our week long adventure. If you are unfamiliar with art journals, just google it and you'll find loads of information, inspiration and video tutorials. The Mighty Girls lightly sanded some board books before giving them a coat of gesso...

and topping them with Liquitex acrylic paints and water soluble oil pastels from Dick Blick.

While the art journals dried in the sun...we ate our yummy snacks and I introduced the topic for the day: Fitting in vs. belonging.

This is a challenge we have all faced as young girls, yes? I clearly remember feeling like I didn't fit in. There seemed to be distinct groups of kids...the popular, the braniacs, the jocks, the bullies and the nerds. Everyone's worst fear was being a nerd. I didn't feel like there was a place for me. Brené so eloquently wrote about this on her blog, Ordinary Courage. I too clearly remember looking into our enormous, noisy cafeteria hoping to see someone I knew whom I could sit with. Now as an adult, and especially since I became a mom, I think it would take a lot to shake my sense of self, my personal power. Yet, there have been times where I've felt a pang of the adolescent inside occasionally at gatherings wherein a small group of adult friends coagulate, to the exclusion of everyone else and talk and laugh about things of which no one else is privy. When we experience this, we often describe it as, "Oh, it was so high school" and we all know what that means. How can we make it better for this generation of girls? What can we do to help build a foundation of confidence, courage, resilience?

There wasn't much dialog from the girls about the topic so I decided to let it simmer and had the girls pair up with handfuls of body markers from Creativity Inc. to create their own tattoos...

Once sated and inked, we began creating our last project for the morning...patterned papers that will be used in the days ahead.

My Mighty boy stopped by and painted with us.

And I'm not sure which Mighty Girl left this message on the drop cloth, but I love you too...

There will be more fun tomorrow...I promise!


"Fitting in is becoming who you think you need to be in order to be accepted. Belonging is being your authentic self and knowing that no matter what happens, you belong to you."
- Brené Brown



  1. My heart is full looking at these photos and reading about the adventures created by these most mighty girls. Thank you Wendy for helping to create memories for my daughter that I'm sure she'll carry with her for a very long time.

    A Mighty Mom...

  2. i'm so freakin' proud of you.
    wish i could be there.


Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind. - Henry James