Artist's Retreat Make & Take Weekend Retreat: Paper Sculpture hosted by Joleen Emery of Big Raven Farm October 21 - 24, 2021

Imagine a Weekend Away—Immersed in Paper & Glue!!

Imagine...getting away for a long artsy-fartsy weekend!! Making and FINISHING unique projects, laughing, sharing and enjoying the company of other arty people, getting your hands covered in glue as you make, build and tinker, sleeping soundly in a luxurious and cozy bed, eating super nummy food, enjoying a nature walk or taking a yoga class, and while you're doing all of those super fun things—there's more art!! Sounds kinda awesome, right? We promise it is! This retreat is the weekend away you deserve!

All Experience Levels are Welcome and Celebrated...

No experience is necessary—Joleen will walk you through each project step-by-step. So depending on your pace— you could leave Big Raven Farm with three completed works of art (all are pictured above): Flower Power, Magnificent Mums, and Mighty Mirror. All of your projects will be made from reclaimed and repurposed supplies such as discarded books, reclaimed picture frames, magazines, fabric & paper scraps, cardboard, and shipping materials. 

What’s Included

Art is Life Swag Bag

  • With lots of goodies inside!!
    • Everything you need to complete your projects
    • Incredible Food! Tasty meals, snacks & breaks
    • Nightly accommodations

    Supplies We Share

    • Adhesives
    • Scissors
    • Rulers
    • Self-healing mats
    • Craft Knives
    • Pencils, Pens, Markers
    • Baby wipes, paper towels, general use cleaning supplies

    What You Need to Bring

    • One large picture frame (with back) as ornate as you like
    • 8-12 old books—nothing precious—books that are well worn or falling apart (hard & soft cover)
    • Bring Nothing Else—OR—
    • Your favorite artsy tools — paper cutter, fabric or paper scraps, old dictionary, etc.
    • (You don’t have to bring anything but you sure can!)
    • Be sure to bring...
    • Waterbottle
    • Farm shoes
    • Yoga Clothes
    • Personal items
    • Sweatshirt for cool farm evenings…
    Joleen EmeryJoleen Emery

    Tentative Schedule

    Thursday, October 21

    Arrival & Evening Programming

    You have your choice of arrival time— if you're interested you can join the 5 PM Yoga Flow Class or the 6:30 PM Slow Flow Class, If you're not interested in a yoga class you can set up your Art Studio space, get comfy in your room, or relax and enjoy the scenery and views from any of our porches or patios. Our first group activity will be at 7:30 PM when we gather in the kitchen veranda for rustic gourmet pizza, a large crisp Cesar salad, and a tasty fruit pizza for dessert. Around 8:30 we will move to the Art Studio and start the paper prep for our Magnificent Mum.

    Friday, October 22

    Morning

    Breakfast is served from 8-9:30. You can start your day with an optional Yoga Flow class at 9 AM, have open studio time to continue preparing your mum papers or have a leisurely start to your day. Our first group session is at 10-you will learn how to sculpt your paper elements from the pieces we have prepared and start to assemble the foundation of the mum and the hanging mechanism. If you're a speedy builder you might be able to get two mums completed.

    Afternoon

    After lunch we will start the prep and construction of our Mirror tubes and Flower Power pieces. To complete both projects there are several components you will need to build. Joleen will demonstrate how to make the pieces—then you can decide to either make all of one and then other or go back and forth making some of each.

    Evening

    Joleen will demonstrate how to create your background and hanging mechanism for your Flower Power piece. These will take a day to dry and can be completed any time as long as they are dry by Saturday evening.

    Saturday: October 23

    Morning

    Breakfast is served from 8-9:30. You can start your day with an optional Power Yoga class at 9 AM, have open studio time to continue preparing your flower power or mirror tubes or have a leisurely start to your day. Our first group session is at 10-you will learn how to build your backing and hanging mechanism for your Mighty Mirror.

    Afternoon

    In the afternoon, we will keep building and assembling—Joleen will cover how to troubleshoot and manage adhesion issues. Around 3:30 you will have lots of options: you can continue to work with open studio time, take a hike around Big Raven Farm's 2.2 mile nature trail, participate in Joleen's demonstration of how to build a broach collage, enjoy some interesting shopping in Spring Grove, take one of our mocs out to the grove and have a decadent little nap, anything you want! .

    Evening

    Tonight we focus on assembly of Flower Power and Mighty Mirror—the evening session will start with a brief conversation about negative space, contrast, composition and balance of your pieces. You will also have the opportunity to prep your frame for Flower Power.

    Sunday: October 24

    Morning & Optional Afternoon

    On our last day we serve brunch instead of breakfast—depending on where you are with the completion of your projects you are welcome to have open studio time before brunch or sleep in. Brunch is at 10:30 with clean up and departure shortly there after. Typical ending time is around 12:30-1:00. Topics for today include safe transport, hanging your pieces, and variations on materials.

    Accommodations

    This event will take place 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 studio, an 800 square foot dining hall that seats 60, a commercial kitchen, and a 2-mile walking trail, Big Raven Farm is conveniently located only 2-1/2 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.

    • Premiere Suite with Private Bath (Black) 10-21
      Premiere Suite with Private Bath (Black) 10-21

      Our premiere guest suite, this double-occupancy room on the second floor features two twin XL (extra-long) beds (optionally convertible to a single king-sized bed), leather sofa, and private marble bath with tub and shower. Please note that you will be sharing this room with another retreat guest (unless you book both spots); if you and a friend intend to share the room, please be sure to coordinate your purchases.

      $597
      (Programming,
      room & board )
      Spots Remaining:2
    • Shared Suite with Private Bath (Pink) 10-21
      Shared Suite with Private Bath (Pink) 10-21

      This double-occupancy room on the second floor is part of a 2-room suite that features a private bath with a shower. This room is attached to the bath; the second room will have access to this bath through this room. Both rooms feature two twin XL (extra-long) beds in each room, optionally convertible to single king-sized beds. Please note that you will be sharing this room with another retreat guest (unless you book both spots), and will be expected to share the bath with guests in the adjoining room; if you and a friend intend to share this room, please be sure to coordinate your purchases.

      $577
      (Programming,
      room & board )
      Spots Remaining:2
    • Shared Suite with Shared Bath (Gray) 10-21
      Shared Suite with Shared Bath (Gray) 10-21

      This double-occupancy room on the second floor is part of a 2-room suite featuring a private bath with shower shared by both rooms. Access to the bath is through the other room, but a second shared bath is accessible from the hallway. Both rooms feature two twin XL (extra-long) beds in each room, optionally convertible to single king-sized beds. Please note that you will be sharing this room with another retreat guest (unless you book both spots); if you and a friend intend to share the room, please be sure to coordinate your purchases.

      $532
      (Programming,
      room & board )
      Spots Remaining:2
    • Shared Room with Shared Bath (Blue) 10-21
      Shared Room with Shared Bath (Blue) 10-21

      This double-occupancy private room on the top floor shares a bath with all top-floor rooms. It features amazing lighting and incredible south-facing vistas of the surrounding countryside. This room features two twin XL (extra-long) beds, optionally convertible to a single king-sized bed. Please note that you will be sharing this room with another retreat guest (unless you book both spots); if you and a friend intend to share the room, please be sure to coordinate your purchases.

      $512
      (Programming,
      room & board )
      Spots Remaining:2
    • Shared Room with Shared Bath (Cobalt) 10-21
      Shared Room with Shared Bath (Cobalt) 10-21

      This double-occupancy private room on the top floor shares a bath with all top-floor rooms. It features tree-top views of the surrounding woods and fields. This room features two twin XL (extra-long) beds, optionally convertible to a single king-sized bed. Please note that you will be sharing this room with another retreat guest (unless you book both spots); if you and a friend intend to share the room, please be sure to coordinate your purchases.

      $512
      (Programming,
      room & board )
      Spots Remaining:2
    • Top Floor Quad 10-21
      Top Floor Quad 10-21

      This quadruple-occupancy room on the top floor shares a bath with all top-floor rooms. It features tree-top views of the surrounding woods and fields. This room features four twin XL (extra-long) beds, optionally convertible to single king-sized beds. Please note that you will be sharing this room with 3 other retreat guests; if you and a friend (or friends) intend to share the room, please be sure to coordinate your purchases.

      $492
      (Programming,
      room & board )
      Spots Remaining:4
    • Everything But the Bed 10-21
      Everything But the Bed 10-21

      This 4-day pass entitles you to everything but overnight accommodations — supplies, classes, programming, yoga, and meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner). Great for those who live near Big Raven Farm or those who plan to find accommodations on their own!

      $367
      (Programming,
      room & board )
      Spots Remaining:5

    FAQs

    • What if I'm not an "artist"?
      You will do great! Instructions are step-by-step—all skill levels are welcome & celebrated! Joleen is a great teacher and she will help any time you get stuck.
    • What kind of meals do you serve?
      All of the meals and snacks are made in our Commercial Kitchen at Big Raven Farm. Both Darin and Joleen hold culinary certifications: Darin has trained with Danielle Kattan in Asian Cuisine and Joleen has earned a Baking Certificate from the Culinary Institute of America—Hyde Park, New York. To give you more detail of what you can expect here is a recent menu from a weekend retreat: We don't serve soda but we do make sure that water, coffee, iced tea and Arnold Palmers are available all day long. (Breakfast) Baked French Toast with Strawberries, Blueberries & Oatmeal Crumble, Homemade Granola with Greek Yogurt, Assorted Fruit, and Orange Juice (Lunch) Tart Cherry Chili served with Mixed Green Salad, Cornbread Muffins, and Apple Slices (Dinner) Green Goddess Protein Bowls served with Rotisserie Chicken, Edamame, Rice, Spring Onions, and Crunchy Corn Strings (Snacks) Homemade Date Bars, Fresh Fruit, Assorted Nuts, & Arnold Palmers. You will have a happy belly—the food is nummy!
    • Can I use your kitchen to prepare my own meals?
      You can store items in our fridge but no, you cannot wield knives or fire up the stove. We have a guest pantry with microwave just off the kitchen that is stocked with snacks and a full cookie jar—please help yourself. Joleen's most requested and loved Gingersnaps are usually found lurking in there.
    • What if I need special meals?
      There will be a follow up email sent to you that contains driving directions and details about retreat logistics. If you need Vegan, Vegetarian, or Gluten Free options reply to that email and let us know. If you have menu requirements different from what is posted here—just talk to Joleen—she's nice and loves to help.
    • Can we talk about your coffee?
      This is a great question—in fact, a really important question—in our Commercial grade coffee maker we brew and serve locally sourced and roasted coffee, this tasty option IS included with your registration. We also serve espresso and lattes—these options are NOT included with your registration. Our fancy coffee bar beverages have an additional fee—but you can run a tab and we will settle up at the end of your weekend.
    • Can you tell me more about Big Raven Farm?
      Big Raven Farm is a functioning Bed & Breakfast with a Retreat Center, Yoga Studio, Print Shop, Gift Shop, Nature Trail, Summer House and outbuildings. It is owned and operated by Joleen Emery & Darin Warling, together with and 2 of their 4 kids (Georgie & Charlie) they live on the property and manage their businesses.
    • Does the Farm have common spaces—places to hang out besides guest bedrooms?
      Absolutely!! We have a beautiful Great Room with couches and chairs, a dining veranda with tables & chairs, patios off the front of the house, and a huge wrap around porch with incredible views connected to the yoga studio. There are lots and lots of places to settle in and enjoy the serenity of the farm.
    • Do you serve alcohol?
      Nope—we are a coffee, tea, lemonade, iced tea, Arnold Palmer kinda joint.
    • Can I bring my pet?
      Our home belongs to the pets we already have... chickens, cats, kittens, and our beloved family dog, Auggie.
    • Wait, is this your family home?
      Yes! We have our own personal bedrooms and living spaces, you can't shake us—we are ALWAYS here!.
    • Are there TVs in the rooms?
      No, but we have excellent wi-fi if you want to stream to your electronic devices.
    • 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!