Life has been insanely busy this past month. I am sorry this space has been a little neglected, but I intend to remedy this by sharing with you the most dreamy weekend ever; SISTERHOOD.
It seems like a distant dream, yet when editing these images the memories came flooding back. With mist filled hazy conversations, candle light and blowsy floral displays. SISTERHOOD was most certainly a place for the tender hearted, for moments cherished and secret stories told.
I believe we all left there feeling like we were part of something big, cosmic even. With the fire side talks, shared understanding of our life’s journey, with the backdrop of green Wales and the owls serenading us. Smoke imbued memories, leaving the retreat – never to be quite the same person again – and all the better for that.
But where to begin? Well SISTERHOOD couldn’t have / wouldn’t have happened without the brilliant workshops, so here my story begins, with those talented women who shared their skills…
In a flurry of cars and taxi’s from all corners of the UK, the SISTERS began to arrive, all bright eyed and eager for the weekend ahead. Many of them leaving behind busy careers in journalism, photography, ceramics, glass making and other incredibly talented vocations. Also most leaving behind their children for a weekend being just them, not mother, just the girl that was.
Excitedly we gathered for supper in the tin barn, Friday night was a low key affair. I say low key, although my brilliant styling team, Hannah and Erin, did a fabulous job of making it look effortlessly beautiful. Foraged blooms and greenery, with simple candle light.
Tables laden with delicious food cooked by Sian and her Fforest Elves, lamb tagine with a herby couscous, followed by a scrumptious desert, and a few glasses of wine. Conversation flowed and as the darkness fell, we wandered down to the large under-covered fire pit for our book group.
Laura Pashby, lead our conversation. Forty women, sharing blankets, gazing into the fire as we discussed the book ‘A Quiet Life’. Some of us having read more than others, but that didn’t matter, as we all sat in silence listening to those more knowledgeable, and enjoying the peace and cherishing the essence of it all.
We woke to showers. Typical Welsh weather. Rain couldn’t dampen spirit and enthusiasm, especially when it involved flower arranging and floral foraging techniques with the brilliant Sisterhood florist Erin Trezise-Wallace.
Erin took us through the basics, all of us eager to learn. How to cut stems correctly according to the height of your vessel, how to sear ‘fleshy’ stems in hot water to make them last longer. What to look for when making an arrangement and how to piece it together, thinking about structure, texture and colour.
Engrossed. Each of us busy in our own world, putting together the foraged blooms from earlier and also a selection of seasonal British flowers that Erin had sourced from a Welsh flower farm a few days earlier. The rain hammered down on the wooden decking floor, but we didn’t seem to mind.
Once finished, although we probably couldn’t have carried on ALL DAY, the floral bouquets in all manner of vessels adorned the tables in the tin barn, awaiting their pride of place for the evenings supper.
And here I will leave it, for now. I know, I’m a tease. But there are way too many images to share in just one blog post. Next I shall share how we listened to our inner voice, learnt to make North African shakshuka over the camp fire and more craft you can shake a stick at.
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Lou Archell, a writer, photographer, stylist and founder of Littlegreenshed. A UK lifestyle & travel blog
Lou is also a busy mum of two amazing boys and the founder of Sisterhood Camp – an annual creative retreat for recharging and empowering brilliant ladies, Lou is passionate about supporting and inspiring others whether through her workshops, writing, photography or lifestyle hacks.