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! During this retreat you will feel taken care of, there is not a thing for you to worry about–just enjoy yourself by spending time doing what you love.
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): Feathered Heart, Coiled Tray, and Tree of Life. 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. In between projects, Joleen will also teach you how to start your own wall of folded books.
Three days of instruction
Incredible Food! Tasty meals, snacks & breaks
Optional Yoga Classes
All of the supplies needed to create your masterpieces
*with the exception of the decor pieces you need to bring to suit your taste
Tools & Supplies Available for Use
Adhesives & Glue Guns
Scissors & Paper Cutters
Rulers & Measuring Tapes
Pencils, Pens, Markers
Baby wipes, paper towels, general use cleaning supplies
What You Need to Bring
Two large rectangle picture frames (with back) as ornate as you like (no glass)
20 Same size books
10-15 Doilies if you have trouble finding them reach out to Joleen right away!
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...
Flip Flops/Slippers (We don't wear our shoes in the house… Free Range Chickens y'all)
Sweatshirt for cool farm evenings…
Thursday : November 03
Arrival & Evening Programming
You have your choice of arrival time— if you're interested you can join the 5:30 PM Slow Flow Yoga 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 7:00 PM when we gather in the kitchen annex for rustic gourmet pizza, a large crisp Cesar salad, and a tasty fruit pizza for dessert. Around 8:00 we will move to the Art Studio and start the paper prep for our Flower Topiary.
Friday : November 04
Breakfast is served from 9-10:30. You can start your day with an optional Yoga Flow class at 9 AM, have open studio time to continue preparing your papers or have a leisurely start to your day. Our first group session is at 10:30-you will learn how to sculpt your paper elements from the pieces we have prepared and start to assemble the foundation of your project.
To complete all of your 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.
Joleen will demonstrate how to create your backgrounds and hanging mechanisms. It's typically movie night in the art studio you where you can continue to work on your projects. One of the big highlights is Root Beer Floats made with Spring Grove Pop and Darin's homemade ice cream.
Saturday : November 05
Breakfast is served from 9-10:30. You can start your day with an optional All Levels Flow Yoga class at 9 AM, have open studio time to continue preparing your optical illusion books or have a leisurely start to your day. Our first group session is at 10:30-you will learn how to build your backing and hanging mechanism for Free the Doilies project.
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!
Tonight we focus on assembly of your projects—the evening session will start with a brief conversation about negative space, contrast, composition and balance of your pieces. A highlight of the retreat is the optional Relaxation Yoga in the dark and quiet evening on the farm.
Sunday : November 06
Morning & Early 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 10:00 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.
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.
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. 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.
room & board )No Longer
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.
room & board )Spots Remaining:2
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.
room & board )Spots Remaining:2
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.
room & board )Spots Remaining:2
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.
room & board )Spots Remaining:4
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!
room & board )Spots Remaining:5
What if I attended a previous Reclaimed Art Retreat will this one be different?Yes! The format is the same but the activities and exercise are different!! Please come back we would love to see you again!
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?We’re sorry we don’t offer refunds for live events. This policy gets us out of the sticky business of deciding what’s a good reason versus what isn’t.What is your COVID-19 Policy & Protocol?Everyone who lives and works at Big Raven Farm is vaccinated. Given that retreats occur largely indoors, bedrooms are double occupancy, and we enjoy family-style dining, we strongly encourage our guests to be vaccinated for the safety of all participants and staff; Masks are not required.