2023 PAUSE

A winter creative retreat for rest + recalibration

hosted by Anna Brones, author, artist, and founder of Creative Fuel Collective


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How essential is creativity to your everyday life? Whether or not we identify as artists or creatives, creativity serves us all. But how much time do we spend investing in our creative process, in keeping our creative tanks full?

Often when we think about creativity we’re thinking about the doing. We’re thinking about what we’re producing, what we’re making, and what we’re planning. But what about all of the other elements that go into creative practice? 

For nature, winter is a season of dormancy and hibernation. It’s a time of recharging, refuelling. We’re taking this seasonal opportunity to do the same for our creative practice, and dig into the restful and restorative elements of the creative process. This is a retreat for recommitting to your practice, and reigniting that spark that can so often dwindle. It is for exploring how creativity is essential in our everyday lives and why it helps us thrive. It’s for identifying what lights us up, and slowing down to pay attention to what we want and need from our creative lives. And it’s for rest and rejuvenation. 

– Anna Brones


Anna Brones is a writer, artist, and educator based in the Pacific Northwest. She works as a papercut artist, hand cutting illustrations from single pieces of paper, which have been used everywhere from books to wine labels to public art installations. Passionate about sharing creativity with others, she regularly teaches workshops, both in person and virtually. She is the founder of Creative Fuel Collective, a platform devoted to creativity and hosts the Creative Fuel podcast. She is also the author of several books including Fika: The Art of the Swedish Coffee BreakLive Lagom: Balanced Living the Swedish Way, and Best Served Wild: Real Food for Real Adventures. She contributes to a variety of digital and print publications.

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Join author and artist Anna Brones and Freeflow’s founder, Chandra Brown, for a five-day creative retreat at Rockland Woods, a unique artists’ residency on Mission Lake, near Bremerton, Washington. You’ll enjoy cozy accommodations in the forest, really good food, and the warmth of creative community – all set against the vibrant backdrop of Pacific Northwest winter. Each day will include art and creativity workshops with Anna, time to wander and rest, and access to cold water and warm fires.


  • Explore and better understand the core components of creative process
  • Learn how creativity serves us in dark times, and how it’s an essential tool for our wellbeing
  • Learn to cultivate presence and slowness in our everyday lives, even when we’re busy and overwhelmed
  • Investigate assumptions about creativity and societal expectations around productivity
  • Make art by experimenting with different mediums, allowing space for play and process
  • Develop a deeper connection to your own creative process – and make a commitment to investing in it
  • Create a creativity roadmap – a guide toward cultivating resilience, incorporating rest, and reimagining how your creative story will unfold


  • All women – and people who identify as female – over the age of 16 are welcome to apply.
  • People interested in exploring the creative process, needing a recalibration or reset, or craving creative community will find this workshop invigorating.
  • There is no prerequisite, and no previous experience of any kind is necessary.
  • There will be an optional invitation to explore the sensations around cold water in winter. You must be in moderately good health for this, with no heart conditions. This extra invitation is “challenge by choice,” and may not be appropriate for all members of our cohort.


Evening of February 23  |  4:00 – 6:00 pm  |  WELCOME + SETTLE 

Morning of February 24 – evening of February 26  |  PAUSE: Four days of creative development, presence, and community

Morning of February 27  |  8:00 – 10:00 am  |  DECOMPRESSION + FAREWELLS 


Because we believe teachers and students need regenerative educational experiences more than most, Freeflow always extends a small discount to contracted educators and enrolled students. We also offer a small discount to our alumni. Because we believe in paying our instructors, facilitators, support staff, and guides an equitable wage, we do not offer individual discounts that compromise the integrity of those wages.

If you need financial support on your Freeflow course, we invite you to read about our scholarship offerings here. Please check our scholarship page often. We’re also very happy to email or talk on the phone with you about which scholarships might be right for you!

Your program cost of $2200 includes:

  • daily art and creativity workshops in an intimate setting with Anna Brones
  • thoughtfully curated pre-workshop materials and discussion
  • delectable, nutritious meals, snacks, coffee, and wine from dinner on February 23 through breakfast on February 27
  • cozy, unique accommodations
  • all the art supplies you’ll need
  • MiiR Freeflow coffee mug, to use and take home with you

Registration and payment deadline is JANUARY 18, 2023.

EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT: Save $50 if you choose to settle your full balance within 10 days of registering.

Capacity in this workshop is 12 participants, and we will close registration once the roster is full.

We ask for a non-refundable $500 deposit to save your space. All deposits and payments are non-refundable. Payment plans are available, so please ask if that would be helpful to you! Payments can be made by mailing us an old-fashioned check, or by credit card or bank transfer via the link in your electronic invoice. Please review our cancellation policy before committing.


Make space for your creative work and wild places this winter. Send us your questions and we’ll get in touch right away. If you know you’re ready to apply, you can do so here. We can’t wait to explore with you in 2023.

Apply Now