One day a friend and I were discussing how some people still practice traditional crafts to earn a living. She told me that this is still widely practiced in Romania. We were talking about how inspiring it would be to visit Romania... the seed was planted. That night I searched for accommodation that would facilitate such a retreat.
We found a stunning house in the Putnei Valley, surrounded by forests and mountains. The owners of the house are committed to preserving Romania's history and heritage. The house is tastefully furnished with hand crafted items and salvaged vintage finds.
It felt like a perfect collaboration. I booked it and decided to jump in at the deep end as usual. I do not have a ready market or audience to fill this retreat, I just took a leap of faith. Also I desperately wanted to go there myself.
Last weekend we flew to Romania to finalise the details for the retreat. We landed at Cluj Napoca airport at midnight. In the dark, I could not see what Romania had in store for me. At 5:00am the sun came up around us. This is the view that met us.
My heart began to skip with anticipation.
When we finally arrived at the retreat accommodation , I found it to be perfect. This house has clearly been designed with love and care. At the back of the house, there is a river and a forest. Within the grounds is a kitchen garden for use by retreat guests. The decor consists of hand crafted furniture, knitted blankets and woven rugs. A perfect nest from which to explore the countryside.
We had a busy day ahead of us. Firstly we visited a local weaver. She has her own sheep, sheers them and washes the wool in the river. Thereafter she spins it by hand and dyes it (when necessary) with locally foraged plants. She then uses the yarn to weave gorgeous rugs. I bought a rug, feeling completely honoured to have had the opportunity.
We visited a number of other awe inspiring crafters and makers. I was completely taken aback by the simple lifestyle and subsistence living still in practice to this day.
The workshops included on the retreat are photography and styling with Dean and Jeska Hearne from The Future Kept and Lobster and Swan Blog. Renee from East London Knits will be teaching us how to knit top down sweaters. We will learn to spin too.
The itinerary is made up as follows: Mornings will be spent exploring and adventuring. Afternoons will be whiled away participating in workshops. The evenings will be spent by the fire knitting, spinning, crocheting and weaving in the company of inspiring people.
Our retreat to Romania will be the experience of a lifetime. It will take place between the 24-28 October 2016. Accommodation, food, airport transfers to Cluj Napoca airport, trips and workshops are included in the price. Each attendee will also receive the most exquisite gifts.
If you would like to join us please follow this link to book. I promise that you will not be disappointed.