honeybee sister witches...guess what?!
my France Makers Residency has ONE spot left!
on january first, the day i turned 45, i sent out a letter to my beloveds, inviting them to partake of a Makers Residency with me this summer in the south of France. within days, all but 1 spot was filled. so here i am, offering you, my sweet website readers, the last spot. read below to see the invite and if this offer interests you, contact me for registration details!
Here we go...
a both/and invitation for you to consider...
both far flung wild abandon and determinedly tenacious efforting
both cosmic day tripper dreamer and reverent focused busy bee
both freedom and devotion
both sacred and profane...
so i have this lovely house set aside for us, in the south of France, with a huge studio space, and i’m inviting you to come partake of a quasi artists/makers residency and wild dreams play ground, for a week of time spent both creating and developing a body of your own personal work (i’m suggesting mostly mornings for that part). And afternoons spent at our leisure in one glorious and titillating pursuit of adventure or another.
if the idea of this lights up your heart and makes your tummy flutter and flip flop a tiny bit, keep reading. and know you're being invited, love letter subscriber, before i might consider offering this to the general public on my social media outlets, most especially because i know that amazing women follow my work, of which i think you are likely one, and i think at this particular point in my life i am longing to just risk it all and do all the wild things, and one way to lean into mystery and magic for me is to just trust and leap and take the chance on things like this. i know the right 10ish women will come together for this and i’d be honored to share the space with the likes of you.
the opportunity to spend time at la Cascade fell in my lap very serendipitously and its not every day that happens, so when it did, i had enough Fuck Yeah left in me to claim space for us there, even way back then, in the midst of a dissolving marriage. So, please read over all the info here, ask whatever questions arise for you asap, sit with it, then claim your space. easy peasy.
The workshops that are held at La Cascade are usually priced between $1800 - $3200 with an average of $2200 for the week. To be clear, I am NOT leading, guiding, or teaching anything!! The cost is lower for you (see below) because of this. And in all transparency, I am charging you just enough to cover my costs and time for the small amount of procuring, planning, organizing and space holding I am doing to get us there. You are under no obligation to follow my desired schedule once we’ve arrived but if we do want to share rental vehicles, we need to consider that. As I stated, I think setting aside most mornings for doing our personal work and reserving afternoons for exploring is a swell plan!
What: Maker’s (Artists,Writers, etc.) Residency, France
Where: Durfort, Southern France, La Cascade artist retreat center
When: July 16-23 (full bloom sunflower fields!)
How Many: 12 women
La Cascade artist retreat center
la cascade retreat center has a gorgeous large third floor studio space and what i am imagining is that we could all treat this like a residency and do some individual "work" in the mornings and exploring in the afternoons together...
"Because La Cascade caters to small groups, we can show our guests an intimate glimpse of France that tourists never see. Our area of France is unspoiled and rich in tradition. The villages reflect centuries of life lived in slow time and their flea markets abound with vintage bargains.”
You fly into Toulouse and travel via rental car (i am excited about this and would like to be one of the drivers! we will need at least one other volunteer to drive too) in a southeast direction to our village, Durfort, about 60km from the airport. The trip takes a little over an hour thru the beautiful French countryside.
Cost: per person $1795
7 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 6 dinners, including plenty of local wine (we will take one dinner and one lunch out, to have a “restaurant” experience, but ALL other meals are to be provided by our chef and arrival hostess, Nese, who has cooked for American guests for over 17 years and understands our tastes and general preferences for chicken, fish and fresh fruits and vegetables. She can also make us lunches to take with for afternoon adventures…)
Double occupancy large rooms with two twin beds each on second floor with two full bathrooms.
Price does NOT include shared car rental fee or airfare!
Your airfare, without using points, is likely to be $1000 to $1500 roundtrip and is not included in the cost, obvs.
Nese, the chef, is our hostess when we arrive, and Dayle, my contact person, will come by to say HI after we arrive but neither of them "guide us" or show us around. they can make suggestions and they tell me its easy to enjoy things within 10 minutes- 1 hour away, including:
Revel Flea Market- 5 min away- one of the 100 most Beautiful in France
flea markets on Sunday- close by
Albi- Toulouse Lautrec Museum and astonishing cathedral- 1 hour
Carcassonne - 1 hour
beautiful lake -10 min
and much more...
we use maps and have our own cars to adventure around in so the cost of rental cars and petrol should be considered as well:
“you would pick up rental vehicles at the Toulouse airport. I have used www.autoeurope.com for the last several years. Depending on what size you rent (I usually rent 2 cars that sit 5) will determine the price. Nose around on their website. And if its manual or automatic (manual is a lot cheaper). For me- the cost for renting two cars and ALL the gas for the week- transportation from and back to the airport and many field trips- has been about $150 per person."
from the website:
La Cascade is our 17th century house situated in a tiny medieval village in southern France. It lies on the banks of a small river that flows between the steep walls of the valley. The village fans out of the valley onto rich surrounding planes which have been fought over by a succession of Francs, Romans, Visigoths Vikings, etc. The longest period of peace was under the Romans, but there was also a period of peace that accompanied the rise of a mysterious dissident Catholic sect called the Cathars. After a couple of centuries of prosperity, they were wiped out by papal decree in the 12th century.
Durfort is presently occupied by artisans whose families have been making copper vessels since the 15th century. The name Durfort can be translated as "hard and strong". You can still hear the ring of hammers on copper in the narrow streets. People come from all over France to buy copper made in the Viergnes atelier as well as the less expensive copperware made in North Africa from classic French designs.
I had fallen in love with this unspoiled corner of France during past visits, so when my husband Jerry and I saw a large house for sale at a price we could afford, we went ahead and put the whole thing on a credit card. Although it was a little hard not to be turned away by the dismal state of an interior that reeked of feral cats and was in a serious state of disrepair, we put on our rose colored glasses and envisioned a house filled with light, color and joy. It took a lot of stubborn denial to overcome the doubts expressed by well meaning friends, doubts that mirrored our own. Nevertheless, we had faith in Remi, a skilled restorer of old stone buildings. Working together, we were able to turn a ruin into the gracious retreat La Cascade is today. To achieve this miracle, doors were knocked through three foot walls, piles of old plaster were tediously chiseled away to reveal old stonework, new floors were laid with old tiles. Where there was no plumbing, plumbing was installed, likewise with wiring, bathrooms and kitchen. The studio, which is now a bright, cheerful room, once looked like a set for a horror movie.
We named the house La Cascade after the lively little waterfall that spills over a sluice gate facing the back of the house. It fills the rooms with its music and when I go to sleep at night I hear voices in its complex medley of rumbles and splashings. La Cascade, a large three-story house, sleeps eight (not counting our own apartment on the top floor), has a couple of riverside terraces, a cozy stonewalled living room and a large sky-lit studio. Although the house is on a typical medieval village street, once you're inside; it's a world unto itself. Across the river the hillside rises dramatically creating a dense backdrop of tangled brush and chestnut trees with their luminously pale blossoms.
The hydrangeas that flourish along the banks of the river add a theatrical touch to the ramshackle charm of the old gardens. The houses on our street, when viewed from the front, present well-maintained facades, but the backs of the houses tell the real story with their exposed stone walls and huge beams blackened by time.
La Cascade is full of the eccentricities that I've found in the vide greniers that are held in local villages. Each season I find something new to collect like, workmen's lunchboxes, puppets, or 19th cen baby shoes.
The photos we take on outings will kindle nostalgia for days of sun and laughter once we return, but the real value of a creative retreat at La Cascade is a deeper understanding of oneself as artist.
so, how magical would this be, to have this experience together!?! I would love to have this adventure with you!
does this info provoke any further questions i can try to answer for you?
also, there are other side trips that one could add by extending their time in southern france:
for example, the sanctuary of our Lady of Lourdes is an almost 3 hour drive west of Durfort and is a major pilgrimage site.
there is of course, Mary Magdalene, the divine feminine counterpart and mystical equal of Jesus, and her whereabouts to explore:
("the remarkable woman at the heart of the Christian mysteries ― Mary of Magdala (a small Galilean town north of Jerusalem). Teacher, healer, mystic, divine feminine archetype, apostle, and beloved companion of Jesus of Nazareth, she was eventually maligned by the church as a sinner and prostitute, but her legend has always maintained a strong following.")
a pilgrimage to the "legendary cave (Metaphorical wombs, caves are among the most ancient places of worship of the divine feminine energies) in the Sainte-Baume Mountains, where Magdalene allegedly retired to spend the rest of her life in prayer and contemplation after performing many miracles in the region" is 4.5 hours from Durfort.
these we can do in the afternoons: the fortified medieval town of Carcassone, (one hour from our house!) is a UNESCO World Heritage site that was once a Cathar (a sect of mystical Christians branded as heretics and brutally exterminated by the church in the thirteenth century) stronghold, and Rennes-le-Chateau, (1.5 hours from our house!) the fabled village of Holy Grail lore, where Magdalene also allegedly preached, and nearby Rennes-les-Bains,(1.5 hours from our house!!) home to rejuvenating hot springs and a majestic stone throne known as the seat of Isis that brings mystical activations when you take a turn on it!!!
personally, i will be spending a month in europe this summer and plan to do the further afield excursions the weeks prior to our residency time.
If you are an automatic full body YES, go ahead and email me immediately, first come (paid), first served. please note, your purchase is non-refundable, as it will go directly to cover expenses that can't be recovered should you have a change of heart. however, if something comes up for you to prevent you from completing your trip, whatever it is, i will make every effort to help get your spot filled. in that event, i can refund your payment minus a $200 non-negotiable, non-refundable fee to cover administrative costs. thank you for understanding. as time marches on it will become more difficult to fill a spot so please be as certain as possible that this is meant for you before diving in.
Also, I plan to work on botanical dying of fabrics and papers if possible, hand stitching, and writing during my work time in the Durfort studio….what about you?!
please say yes!
I love you,
so there you have it, friends! email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want the spot. the 11 of us already gathered are having a hoot preparing for this adventure! join us!!