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Artist’s RetreatReawakening: Creative Mixed Media Art Journalinghosted by Molly Anthony of The Found Art Walk & Joleen Emery of Big Raven YogaJuly 29 – August 1, 2021

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About This Retreat…

The last few years have changed the landscape of the world in which we live, leaving many of us feeling burned out, exhausted and depleted. With limited time and resources, it can be difficult to find the means to refill our own buckets, but it is also one of the most critical things we must do for ourselves. In this retreat, we will slow down and learn simple creative techniques to give our minds a break, restore our sense of wonder in the world, and give ourselves permission to simply play. Although we will be exploring these ideas using art, you do not need to be an artist or even consider yourself creative to benefit from these lessons. Possible projects will include paper folding, art journaling, paper rolling/coiling, and more. We will learn how to work creativity into both your workday and homelife and will also discuss ways art can be helpful to your mental health. (Please note, this retreat is not art therapy and does not replace the care of a trained mental health professional!)

Embark on a rejuvenating journey of creativity, connection, and relaxation with our 4-day, all-inclusive retreats at Big Raven Farm. Nestled in the rolling hills and rugged limestone bluffs of southeast Minnesota, our retreats offer a unique blend of hands-on workshops, self-directed leisure time, and a tranquil environment in which to unwind and reconnect with your inner artist.

No artistic experience is necessary! — Joleen will walk you through your projects, step by step. This is a “choose your own adventure” type of affair — you can tackle as many or as few projects from this list as you have the time and energy for. If you finish 5 projects, great! If you only finish 1 project, also great! If you only start 1 project and want to finish it at home, that’s fine too. Your pace and energy level are entirely your own; We’re just here to help you on your journey!

Most of your art will be made using reclaimed and repurposed supplies such as discarded books, reclaimed picture frames, magazines, fabric, paper scraps, cardboard, and shipping materials. Between projects, Joleen can teach you how to start your own wall of folded books, lead you and the rest of our guests in a yoga practice, or you may choose to simply rest and relax and enjoy your beautiful natural surroundings. This weekend is about you!

What to Expect

Expert-Led Workshops

Our immersive workshops are designed for all skill levels. I will guide you through various techniques such as paper sculpture, folded paper projects, jewelry making, and repurposed craft design (depending on what you choose to make, of course!) Hone your skills, discover new passions, and create one-of-a-kind masterpieces to take home with you!

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Beautiful Accommodations 🌿

Stay in our charming and comfortable home, surrounded by inviting spaces and serene landscapes. Our luxurious and spacious rooms are equipped with all the modern amenities (including great wifi!) to ensure a restful night’s sleep to rejuvenate your spirit.

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🌾 Farm-to-Table Dining

Savor delectable gourmet meals prepared by our in-house chef using fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Our farm-to-table dining experience caters to all dietary preferences and requirements, with a focus on wholesome, nourishing cuisine.

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Relaxation & Self-Care

During your time here, take advantage of our on-site hiking trails, sprawling porches, inviting patios, and yoga studio. Participate in optional activities such guided meditation or yoga, or simply curl up with a good book in one of our many cozy nooks.

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Community & Connection

Forge lasting friendships with fellow retreat-goers as you bond over shared experiences. Our intimate setting allows for meaningful conversations and easy, comfortable relationships both with us and with each other. This will be a weekend you’ll never forget!

Your 4-Day Retreat Package Includes…

  • 4 days (3 nights) at our beautiful country estate.
  • Daily farm-to-table breakfast , lunch, and dinner.
  • Unlimited access to our yoga studio.
  • Complimentary high-speed wifi and free parking.
  • Optional evening social events and entertainment.

Escape the daily grind and immerse yourself in our 4-day, all-inclusive retreat — a tranquil haven where rest and relaxation come together in perfect harmony. Book your spot today and experience an amazing weekend in a truly inspiring setting!

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Supplies & Materials

What’s Included

Reawakening Swag Bag

  • Blank Mixed Media Art Journal
  • Composition Notebook
  • Vintage Book for Art Journaling
  • Stabilo All Pencil
  • Collage Paper Pack
  • Adhesive
  • Paint Scraper
  • Pallet Knife

Supplies We’ll All Share

  • Watercolor Paint
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Adhesives
  • Brushes
  • Scissors
  • Collage papers
  • Stamps & Stamp making materials
  • Rulers
  • Self-healing mats
  • Craft Knives
  • Pencils, Pens, Markers
  • Baby wipes, paper towels, general use cleaning supplies

What To Bring

  • Nothing
  • or
  • Your favorite artsy tools — pens, paints, papers, etc.
  • (You don’t have to bring anything but you sure can!)
  • plus
  • Waterbottle
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Farm shoes
  • Nature trail shoes
  • Personal items
  • Sweatshirt for cool farm evenings…
Molly AnthonyMolly Anthony
Joleen EmeryJoleen Emery

What We Share

  • Good food, good stories, and newfound friendships: We hope you leave here with more friends than you came with, and we hope you’ll already be looking forward to your next retreat with us!
  • Our home: Big Raven Farm is our workshop, our retreat center, and our home, and we want you to feel welcome and comfortable here with us! If you need something, or you need special accommodations, please ask and we’ll do our best!
  • Our friendly dog, Auggie: He’ll try to lure you into playing ball with him (and might try to hop into your car to go home with you).

Location

Big Raven Farm, Spring Grove, MN

Google Maps Link

From the moment you walk in the door, you will be swept away by the classic charm of our Italian marble floors, open staircase and remarkable hand-built craftsmanship throughout!

We have free-range chickens, a family dog (Auggie), outdoor cats (Tony, Kevin, Todd, Steve), and breathtaking views. You will most likely see deer, turkeys, pheasants, bald eagles, and lots of squirrels, rabbits, woodchucks, and the occasional fox.

We have an on-site yoga studio, office, gift shop and an incredible dining hall with 13-foot ceilings and an abundance of natural light that serves as our studio during craft retreats.

We’ve got great wifi, with a high-speed fiber optic connection linking all the buildings to the outside world. Bedrooms do not have TVs but if you bring a portable device our high-speed network will allow you to stream without interruption.

We have a 2+ mile hiking trail that surrounds our property and we have great patios and porches, and best of all we have no mosquitoes — you can hang out on the porch all night and never see or hear or feel a single mosquito. (We live in the Driftless area, which is defined by steep valleys, rivers, and running water. There’s almost no standing water in which mosquitoes can breed.)

Guests are invited to explore all parts of our property, aside from our private bedroom and the workshop below the yoga studio where we print custom yoga mats through our Big Raven Yoga site. In particular, guests are welcome to use the great room (living room), music room, kitchen, kitchen annex, dining hall, game room, and all outdoor seating areas.

Spring Grove is home to the highly acclaimed and well-regarded RockFilter Distillery, Spring Grove Soda Pop, Fat Pat’s BBQ & Brewery, Heart Rock Coffee Roasters, the Norwegian Ridge Birding Trail, and the Giants of the Earth Heritage Center. Main Street also features a number of gift shops (The Turquoise Tomato, West Main Boutique) and an art gallery (Bluff Country Artists Gallery).

Nearby airports include Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP), La Crosse Regional (LSE) and Rochester Regional (RST), but we are an easy drive from nearly anywhere in the Midwest!

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Meals

Breakfasts

Breakfast items we commonly serve: house-made granola, Greek yogurt, fresh fruit, sour cream coffee cake, cranberry oatmeal bake, avocado toast made with farm-fresh bread and freshly laid eggs, spinach quiche, hashbrown egg bake, baked French toast, cornmeal-dusted waffles, turkey sausage, banana bread, strawberry muffins. (Varies by season and the whims of our cooks and bakers.)

Lunches

Our lunch menus tend to be crisp and fresh and extremely satisfying! We have lots of lunch options but our guests really love our quinoa salad with avocado and orange dressing, vegetable quiche with fresh fruit compote, chicken barley protein bowl, apple gado-gado salad with Thai lettuce wraps, and spinach salad with strawberries, walnuts, & feta.

Dinners

Dinners at Big Raven Farm are designed to be the perfect end to a remarkable day. Some of our favorites include: turkey cranberry chili with cornbread, chicken wild rice soup with Parmesan focaccia, spinach lasagne with salad & rustic house-made bread, asparagus ham fusilli, and creative, gourmet pizzas such as BBQ chicken, cheeseburger, and arugula and prosciutto. Desserts include blueberry plum upside-down cake, black bean brownies, rhubarb crisp, butterscotch chocolate chip cake, Earl Grey pound cake with lemon curd, and spicy mango oatmeal bars.

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What Our Guests Say…

Dana Keller

Dana Keller

“I loved our retreat experience so much I am making the trip again in November! Top notch! Joleen oozes creativity and her chef of a husband, Darin, makes us all feel like royalty! Typically when you attend events like this there is a concern that things will be awkward and a little uncomfortable. That doesn’t happen at Big Raven Farm — Joleen and Darin have created an environment where the moment you walk through the door you feel like you’re home… but better. They will spoil you rotten!”

(Dana lives in Missouri and has now made the 6-hour trip FIVE times so far and has become one of our very best friends. We only wish she lived closer!)

Jennifer Maroney

Jennifer Maroney

“Where to begin?! Oh yes, at Big Raven Farm! Walking into the main house is like a big warm hug! You are immediately immersed in a welcoming and cozy environment, surrounded by art and beauty. The food was amazing and each meal was part of the experience. Our art instruction was inspiring and so much fun! And the farm animals — the most adorable dog and friendly cats, plus chickens who like to come up to the house to check things out! The yoga studio was an oasis of serenity — perfect for any level of practice. You owe it to yourself to stay here and experience this place and the amazing couple who will host you!”

Amber Bridgeman

Amber Bridgeman

“My favorite thing about attending retreats at Big Raven Farm is the feeling of being taken care of. Joleen and Darin are excellent hosts. The accommodations are extremely comfortable. The food is delicious and plentiful. The retreat is a rare opportunity to use my creativity. I love being able to practice yoga and create beautiful artwork that I can proudly display in my home. I leave the retreats feeling whole and relaxed. I very much look forward to visiting Joleen, Darin, and their beautiful farm again soon!”

(Amber and her sister live in Duluth and have been back for three retreats…so far.)

Accommodations

You will be staying at beautiful Big Raven Farm, a 10-acre retreat center in the heart of the Driftless region, where Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa meet.

Featuring 6 guest rooms that sleep 14+, a 1200 square foot event center and yoga studio, an 800 square foot ballroom that accommodates 60, a commercial kitchen, and a 2-mile walking trail, we are conveniently located only 2½ hours from Minneapolis-St. Paul, Madison, and Dubuque.

Room selection is on a first-come, first-served basis. Rooms are double occupany, with the exception of one quad, which sleeps four. We are happy to provide king-sized beds for couples or individuals who book an entire room for themselves!

    Want to see more of Big Raven Farm?
    Check out our Photo Album!

    FAQs

  • What’s your refund policy?
    I’m sorry, but I’m afraid we cannot refund reservations. If you’ve reserved a spot, it has prevented someone else from registering. However, you are more than welcome to find someone else to take over your spot prior to the retreat!
  • Can I use your kitchen?
    No. For liability reasons, not at this time.
  • What if I need special meals?
    Please contact us and we will see what we can do.
  • Do you serve alcohol?
    No, not at this time.
  • Can we bring alcohol?
    No. For liability reasons, not at this time.
  • Can we bring pets?
    No, I’m afraid not as we already have quite a few animals running loose on the farm — chickens, cats, kittens, and our beloved family dog, Auggie.
  • Wait, is this your family home?
    Yes! We have our own personal bedroom and living spaces, but we’re always ready to take care of our guests!
  • Are there TVs in the rooms?
    No, but we have excellent wi-fi if you want to stream to your electronic devices.
  • Questions?

    If you still have questions, feel free to reach out to me!