Altered Books in Portugal:
Exploring Words and Images

September 12-16, 2018

If you are an artist but don’t know that just yet or it’s been way too long since you dug out your art supplies ~ then join Kat Kirby and Linda Woolfson for a soul-nourishing, creative retreat in beautiful Tomar, Portugal in Sept, 2018!

A unique creativity retreat in a beautiful environment.

Are you longing for a unique break, for some precious “Me Time” filled with creative inspiration?

Would you love to visit Portugal, a country rich in natural beauty and history, at the very best time of year?

Do you know you have a creative voice hidden somewhere inside, just wishing to be heard? Or do you long to reconnect with the voice you know is there?

Join us for 5 days of creative fun at a beautiful retreat center in central Portugal. The charming “Vila dos Castanheiros” (Chestnut House, named after its beautiful old sweet-chestnut trees), will be our home and studio, surrounded by woods, fields and bright blue lakes. And just 2 hours from Lisbon airport.

We’ll spend our mornings in the studio, absorbed in the enjoyable process of creating “Altered Books.”

Afternoons are free for extra studio time, or to rest, refresh, renew by the restful pool, and explore the area.

What’s an “altered book”?

An altered book is an enjoyable type of mixed media artwork. You transform a book from its original familiar shape into something quite different in appearance and/or meaning – something rich and expressive, filled with your personal creative choices and styles.

Making an altered book is a highly liberating experience and a true creative adventure.

Give yourself full permission to play!

Come and experiment with papers, paints, texture, words, and symbols.

Give your creativity your full attention!

Spend your mornings in our beautiful studio, being inspired, trusting your intuition and imagination to take you on your personal creative retreat.

Kat and Linda will be fully present each morning in the studio, to guide you and teach you how to create and use your new altered book. You will go home with a one-of-a-kind treasure-trove full of your personal signature, to remind you of your amazing retreat in Portugal.

A magical talisman will always be yours to keep and to treasure.

Kat and Linda combine their love of creativity to bring you this unique experience in their favorite part of the world.

Enjoy our combination of American and European sensibilities and styles.

As both colleagues and friends, Kat and Linda bring you their richly eccentric mix of image guru and word sensualist! Join us in a crescendo of creativity. Celebrate your most creative self.

A true retreat gives you a precious opportunity to step away from your daily life, from your “to do” lists, your chores, your responsibilities, and your work.

At our retreat, you will have lots of time to learn how to make very cool, creative altered books and you’ll also be giving yourself the rare gift of unstructured time and space. You’ll go home refreshed, inspired, energized and with a new sense of creative confidence and empowerment.

Imagine this… How would you like to:

  • Discover your very own creative voice and process: find words you never knew you had in you, and enjoy combining them with colour, texture and form?
  • Absorb lots of fun techniques with paper: how to make pockets, niches, fold-outs, hidden pages within pages and much more so that your book becomes a multi-dimensional world?
  • Discover how being in a new and beautiful setting makes your senses come alive and inspires your creativity to take flight?


Our Home Away from Home

Join us at a welcoming retreat centre in the romantic land of the Knights Templar. Vila dos Castanheiros provides a peaceful oasis for our creative time together.

Choose between a tastefully decorated private or shared room. You will enjoy all the comforts of home, and more!

Most of our meals will be provided by the delightful owner Manuela, who prides herself in her beautiful home, retreat center, and cooking.

We will have 4 breakfasts, 4 lunches, and 3 dinners at Vila dos Castanheiros.

We will go out for dinner together one night, so you can experience the delights of provincial Portuguese life.

Eating out is at the heart of Portuguese culture. Come and discover why!

For history and architecture lovers, there’s the option of an afternoon in Tomar, delving into the mysterious Knights Templar, who had their Seat here.

Or, for nature lovers, drift off to the exquisite village of Dornes with its medieval buildings nestled by a lovely lake where you can bask in the sun and swim.

These excursions are available as an add-on.

What’s Included

  • Your room
  • Breakfast every morning
  • Lunches each mid-day
  • All dinners except one dinner out
  • All materials and supplies other than your book and any papers or pictures you wish to bring
  • Morning and afternoon tea, coffee, and treats
  • Kat and Linda’s full attention during studio time
  • Follow up support when you return home

What’s Not Included

  • Your airfare
  • Travel to and from Vila dos Castanheiros
  • Optional excursion
  • Local travel and logistics advice (available at an additional cost)
  • Travel insurance (recommended)
  • One dinner out
  • Souvenirs, shopping, tips

Contact Kat

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