* 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

Wintry Workshop: Day Four

"To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose..."

As the sun began to rise, I prepared the studio for the last day of our Wintry Workshop.

When the girls arrived, we sipped hot cocoa and discussed our projects for the day. The girls were excited to see how their mugs from last week turned out.

When we were done sipping, we took our mugs to the kitchen then returned to the studio to begin creating. I noticed a sacred circle, a cocoa ensō left behind on one of the project sheets and it reminded me of Maezen. I smiled thinking of the weekend she spent in my home, her teachings, how hyper my son was that weekend, and the teaching in that also.

The ensō is a symbol for when the mind is free to let the spirit create. The cocoa ensō was a complete ensō not a broken ensō and this just happened to be the completion of our Wintry Workshop.

Our first project was a little felt bird ornament from the book, "Fa La La La Felt" by Amanda Amanda Carestio.

The girls began by cutting their patterns...

Then they stitched...

Between stitches, there was sharing, stories and laughter...and if these little birds that they created could come to life, they would sing such sweet songs.

We also made hand painted Papier-mâché ornaments....

and while the ornaments dried, we savored our S'mores.

I wanted to close the Wintry Workshop with something special. I asked the girls if they would like to have a releasing ceremony and they loved the idea! I learned about releasing ceremonies in the Soulodge of my friend, Pixie Campbell.

I think this ceremony is far more profound, than a traditional New Year's Resolution. When I think of the word resolution, I think of the world resolve, which is to transform by reducing or dissolving. In music it means moving from discord to harmony.

I asked the girls to think about something that they've been keeping to themselves, something that has been a burden to them...a fear, or a hurt. I asked them to consider the possibility that holding on to such heaviness may not serve them, and that they may be lighter or freer without it. I then asked them to write their hurt, anger, grief or fear on a piece of paper and crumble it up.

Then they lined up in front of the fireplace and tossed it into the fire. I found myself saying things like "goodbye, you don't serve this girl, she is stronger without you"...

The girls sat around the fire until each wadded up burden was reduced to ash.

We hugged and said said our goodbyes.

Dear Mighty Girls,

As you know, the Summer session of Mighty Girl Art is a celebration of self, and in that place we discover the power of our creative gifts so that we can move into Autumn with a sense of strength and purpose.

The Wintry session of Mighty Girl Art gathers in late Fall. Here we explore ways to channel our creative gifts in order to bring joy to others in the coming winter holidays. If we look to nature as our guide, we can see that winter reminds us to slow down, to listen. We are so busy during the other seasons and winter invites us to take time to rest and to reflect in order to understand the wisdom we have been given throughout the year.

When I was a little girl, my Great-Aunt had a statue in her den that terrified me. It was a statue of a dancing goddess with a bunch of arms. It was so freaky that I couldn't even look at her. It wasn't until I became a woman that I understood what it meant - that she was a symbol of the creative feminine force. We have a capacity for great things. We give birth, raise families, raise pets, have careers, nurture friendships, we cook, clean, bake, garden, sew, knit, weave, write, paint, draw, dance, sing, run, hoop, climb, swim...we have such full lives and we do so much that it would seem as though we have a multitude of arms. We must remember to save a set of arms for hugging ourselves, for nurturing ourselves, for filling ourselves up so that we have more to give. For the record...I do think that a man should open the door for woman, not because she can't do it herself, but because her arms are so very full.

Thank you for giving me the gift of yourself! I've enjoyed my time with you greatly.

I will be going into winter hibernation to work on my projects, my studies, celebrate the holidays with my family and prepare for a Spring session of Mighty Girl Art. Know that in taking this time to hug and nurture myself, I will return in the Spring with open arms and more to give.

Until we meet again, I offer you an excerpt from an inspiring poem by May Sarton...

Now I become myself.
It's taken
Time, many years and places;
I have been dissolved and shaken,

Worn other people's faces…

Run madly, as if Time were there,
Now to stand still, to be here,

Feel my own weight and density!
All fuses now, falls into place
From wish to action, word to silence,

My work, my love, my time, my face
Gathered into one intense
Gesture of growing like a plant.
Grows in me to become the song,
Made so and rooted by love.

Now there is time and Time is young.
O, in this single hour I live

All of myself and do not move.

See you in the Spring,

Wintry Workshop Day Three

"The rehearsals of milky November...
the clairvoyance of snow." - Patricia Hampl

At dawn, I prepared the studio for the girls.

Once they arrived, we discussed our projects for the day while sipping hot cocoa from thrifted red mugs.

One project for the day was a Snow flurry mobile. My son and I make paper snowflakes each winter...we make garlands, mobiles and even starch them to our windows. When I saw this mobile in Gifted Magazine, I just had to share the love of paper flurries with the Mighty Girls.

They got right to work and snipped...

and snipped...

Then they stitched...

and stitched...

and stitched the snowflakes into strands to hang from their branches!

We also made hand decorated mugs! I first learned of this technique when my favorite designer, Lotta Jansdotter shared it at Pebeo. Since then, it has popped up nearly here, here, and here. These amazing pens can be used on all sorts of pottery and is permanent once baked. The pens were donated by the generous people of Marker Supply!

They were all so imaginative and reflected the personality of each girl. One of them fashioned her mug after a Lotta Jansdotter design.

We ended the morning with our wintry tradition of S'mores...

while I swept up the blizzard in the studio.

Wintry Workshop Day Two

"as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending" - e.e. cummings

This morning at dawn I began setting up the studio for day two of the Wintry Workshop. I thrifted some red mugs for the girls which will be used in a project next week.

Today we'll be working on two new projects...Snowflake Talismans (inspired by these)...

and Winter Bloom Hairpins.

The girls arrived and immediately filled their new mugs with hot cocoa while we chatted about the projects for the day. Then we got right to work on our Snowflake Talismans.

They were lovely!

We tucked them into little organza pouches and created gift cards.

Next we made Winter Bloom Hairpins!

During which, one of the magical sprites accidentally turned herself into a fabulous crow.

And the hairpins were fabulous too!

Lastly, we finished up our felted soaps from last week.

Of course, such gorgeous creativity makes one rather snackish so we made S'mores in the fireplace.

Then we tidied up and went for a walk.

See you next week, girls...Don't forget your branches!