Teacher Announcement & Giveaway!

If you are just joining us, welcome!

We are launching our new website TODAY and we are excited that you have chosen to stop by. We host Art & Faith Creative Retreats in amazing locations around the world, and we’d love for you to join us!

Our heart behind our website is to share with you the JOY of the Lord through our retreats and workshops, as well as come along side you with encouragement through our blog and social media. Our HOPE is that you will be inspired to draw closer to the Lord through the connection between our desire to CREATE and our CREATOR.

In addition to launching our new website today, we are SO excited to announce our teacher for the 2019 Summer Creative Retreat in Italy!


Yes, Ruth Chou Simons will be teaching us calligraphy and watercolor and we couldn’t be more honored to have her teach with us! It is going to be a beautiful time with Ruth as she shares her heart and ministry with us as well. It has been such a JOY getting to know her and to hear her passion for the calling God has placed on her life.

Let me share a little about how this came to life…

I’m a little embarrassed to tell you that a few months ago I didn’t actually know about Ruth. On my 50th Birthday a couple months ago I received a beautiful package in the mail from a dear friend that had all kinds of goodies in it! One of the gifts was Ruth’s book “GraceLaced” and it was LOVELY. I remember opening the book and seeing her beautiful art and words perfectly blended together and just wanting to sit and read the whole book right then and there! Unfortunately, I didn’t have that kind of time because I was preparing for a retreat the following month in Italy… but what I did know is that I felt like I needed to bring it along with me to the retreat.

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So fast forward to the retreat last month…

Our theme for the retreat was JOY, and specifically “Joy in the Middle.” So with the help of another very talented friend, Sheila Atchley, we had an incredible retreat where we saw God moving in amazing ways!

One of those ways was in my own devotional time before our classes when I would read a little bit out of Ruth’s book, and then feel like I should share that little snippet with the ladies. This happened a couple times that week and it just blended so perfectly with our devotional on JOY and what we were teaching. Then one of those days as I was reading it (and seeing her beautiful artwork) it dawned on me… THIS might be the person I was praying for to teach with me next summer!?!

You see I am passionate about Bible Journaling and I LOVE teaching this art form, that I also believe is a form of Worship. But I had been praying and searching for a calligraphy artist for a while who could come along side me and teach that art form, and we could blend the two together during a week in Italy. Sounds fun right?

So as this was dawning on me and I’m reading Ruth’s book to them, I just stopped and said it out loud to the ladies at the retreat. “I think this could be the teacher I’ve been praying for!” I think that helped me put a realness to it and they all encouraged me to reach out to her. So I did that very day. I didn’t really expect anything, other than it felt like this was the Lord’s perfect timing in revealing things to me and I just prayed that if it was meant to be, it would be…

And it was meant to be. Thank you Jesus.

So it is with great JOY that we get to share Italy with Ruth Chou Simons and all the women who join us next summer!

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Here’s a little bit about Ruth Chou Simons:

Ruth Chou Simons is a bestselling author, entrepreneur, and speaker who shares her journey of how God’s grace intersects daily life through word and paintbrush at GraceLaced.com – the popular blog, online shoppe, and Instagram community that reaches over a hundred thousand daily.

Ruth is an unlikely mom to six young boys and wife to Troy, with whom she leads GraceLaced’s small but mighty team. When not painting, writing, and casting vision for GraceLaced.com, Ruth is usually busy eating chips and salsa, sorting laundry, cooking for large crowds, not finishing her sentences, and discovering off-beaten paths in the wild with her guys. She is a devotee of pho, a recovering perfectionist, a converted four-wheeling enthusiast, and a grateful beholder of redeeming Grace.

Her first book, GraceLaced: Discovering Timeless Truths Through Seasons of the Heart, winner of a 2018 Christian Book Award, was released in September 2017.

So we invite you to step away from life for a bit, and join us in Italy for a time to be REFRESHED & RENEWED as you draw closer to the Lord in these beautiful locations.


And… as a fun and exciting part of our new website launch and retreat announcement, we are hosting a BIG Giveaway on Ruth’s Instagram!

Today through Thanksgiving you can go to @gracelaced on Instagram and look for a similar image to the one at the top of this post and enter to WIN $500 OFF the Retreat Registration and $50 credit towards Ruth’s GraceLaced online shop! How fun is that?!


So go check out Ruth’s GraceLaced Instagram now and follow the rules to be entered to WIN!

Thank you again for coming by today.

We hope you will stay a while and have a look around.

Feel free to contact us via the CONTACT page at the top if you have any questions about our retreats or need help navigating the Registration.

Have a GREAT day,

Laura McCollough