creative retreats that invite your spirit to roam

Retreat Offerings

at The Stable and other venues (please scroll)

Fall Song – an outdoor art & writing retreat inspired by the poetry of Mary Oliver

Art Icon - Fall Song

PDF Flyer



Fall Song – an outdoor art & writing retreat inspired by the poetry of Mary Oliver
Saturday, October 30, 2021 
9am – 4pm
(RAIN DATE: Sunday, October 31)
Leaders: Claudia Fulshaw & Mandy Mizelle

Cost: $125, includes lunch from Foster’s Market, beverages and snacks. (A week before the retreat you will be emailed the yummy lunch options with a request for your order. Gluten-free available!)

Description: On hallowed ground carved by the rich spiced residues of fall — tree-lined fields, colorful leaves, an outdoor labyrinth — this creative retreat will conjure the age-old excitement of autumn rituals in the cooler air. In the spirit of trick-or-treating door-to-door, you will wander from station-to-station, where you’ll find illuminating writing prompts and simple art activities evoked by the poem “Fall Song.” We offer this day as a way to relish in the sights, sounds, and smells, the memories and songs of fall. With plenty of space for physical distancing, contemplation, and creativity — surrounded by the beauty and mystery of this shape-shifting season— treats (no tricks) and surprises are bound to arise.

Presence and process over perfection. All (and no) artistic and writing skills welcome! Includes all materials, lunch, beverages, and snacks. Costumes optional, but do bring a mask, please!

Co-Leader, Mandy Mizelle is a chaplain, minister, writer, perpetual procrastinator, and imperfection advocate who also lives in Durham. A lifelong lover of words, her favorite sacred texts are the everyday stories of our lives. Mandy enjoys creating spaces of grounding and gratitude that remind us of – and invite us to pay attention to – the Spirit around and inside us.

SPECIAL NOTE: Assistance throughout the day will be performed exceptionally well by the ever-lovely Laura Conte.

Important Safety Protocols: We respectfully ask that all participants are fully vaccinated and wear a mask whenever inside The Stable. As hosts, it is the most responsible thing to do for everyone’s safety and comfort.​

Please note: To access the front door of The Stable there are four steps with a railing and four steps to exit via the back door. Once inside, the bathroom is on the main level.

Register with PayPal or your credit card OR if you prefer to pay by check, contact Claudia first to check availability before mailing your check.

Retreat Registration - Fall Song 2021 Mary Oliver
Repeat Wanderer? *

Once your registration is complete, your email will be added to the Art Wanders mailing list which will let you know about upcoming retreats. You can unsubscribe anytime.

This retreat will take place outside with inside use of the bathroom. If it rains on Saturday, Oct. 30, the retreat will be held at the same time, Sunday Oct. 31. If the weekend is a total washout, we will hold onto your registration fee for you to use toward any upcoming retreat offered by Art Wanders. Alternately, you can choose to donate your registration fee to the Art Returns Scholarship Fund to help someone else attend a future retreat. We will alert you by email no later than noon on Friday, October 29th if we will be rained out and need to reschedule for Sunday or cancel all together. Keep your fingers crossed!!!

Cancellation Policy

Pondering, Painting & Planting Peace Poles

Art Icon - Peace Pole - Oratory

PDF Flyer

TO REGISTER, SEND REQUEST TO JUDY at [email protected]

Monday, February 7, 2022

Pondering, Painting & Planting Peace Poles
NEW DATE! Saturday, February 12, 2022
9am – 4pm
The Oratory Center for Spirituality
Leader: Claudia Fulshaw

NEW Cost: $125, please bring your own lunch, beverages and snacks provided

Description: A fun day to learn about and create a Peace Pole for your yard, garden or community. The Peace Pole movement started in Japan in response to the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Masahisa Goi, the originator, dedicated his life to spreading the message, “May Peace Prevail on Earth.” Peace Poles bear this message, typically in different languages, on each of the four sides of the pole and are now seen all over the world. Paint your own Peace Pole in an array of colors with this message and/or your own thoughts, quotes, prayers, or poetry, with the intention of spreading a little more peace, love and light in this world. Help with lettering or design will be offered as well as ideas for dedicating your Peace Pole once “planted” in the location of your choosing.

All materials are included!

  • 4” x 4” x 3’ pressure-treated wood post
  • solar light cap
  • paints and brushes
  • lettering guides and stencils
  • clear coat to protect your Peace Pole from the elements
  • metal stake for planting your Peace Pole
  • Pondering Peace questions
  • History and meaning of Peace Poles­

Safety Protocols: Everyone will be required to wear a mask while inside The Oratory facilities and t­ables and chairs will be socially distanced.

Solo Wanderings

PDF Flyer


REGISTRATION DEADLINE: At least 3 days before your arrival

Solo Wanderings
at The Stable in Durham
Choose your retreat, choose your date!
Peace Poles, Inner Peace Poles, Labyrinths, Forest Bathing & Earth Art, Poetry & Art Journals, Vision Board Journals, Multi-Media-Mix, Art & Self Nurturing

IMPORTANT FIRST STEP! Email Claudia to confirm your desired date(s) and retreat selection (see descriptions below), to ask any questions and to indicate if you are coming alone or with one to three others. You will receive the total cost to enter below to complete your retreat registration.

Monday – Saturday day-long retreat, 9am-5pm – Solo Wanderer: $100; 1-3 additional folks (age 12+): $65 each

Note: Friday or Saturday retreats require at least one overnight stay
All overnight stays are booked separately via Airbnb. Arrive 9am day of your retreat, depart 11am on morning of departure.

Art Wanders will take $50 off any one Solo Wandering when booked with an overnight stay at The Stable.  Please contact Claudia first to confirm your desired date(s) prior to registering online.

Description: For those yearning for a change of scenery, having a hard time finding space for solace or just needing a creative outlet, Solo Wanderings – self-guided, individual retreats (or with one to three others in your safe pod), aim to provide a welcome respite. Abundant materials, detailed instructions, beverages and a snack will be ready for you. Spend the day engaged in a hands-on, creative journey.

Important Note: Sanitation and safety protocols are observed. A thorough cleaning prior to your arrival will be performed.

Upon your arrival, Claudia Fulshaw will welcome and orient you, facemask on! She will be available by phone or text for any assistance during your retreat.

Register with PayPal or your credit card OR if you prefer to pay by check, contact Claudia first to check availability before mailing your check.

Retreat Registration - Solo Wanderings
Select retreat for Solo Wanderer: *
See descriptions below.
Adding additional people? *
Repeat Wanderer? *
Please do not enter the $ symbol

Once your registration is complete, your email will be added to the Art Wanders mailing list which will let you know about upcoming retreats. You can unsubscribe anytime.

Cancellation Policy

Peace Pole

Choose from 8 experiences:

Peace Poles (for outside)
Traditionally, Peace Poles have the words, May Peace Prevail on Earth, written in a different language on each side. This movement started after WWII by a Japanese philosopher and educator to spread peace throughout the world. Colorful Peace Poles are now found everywhere from backyard gardens, to churches, to parks, there's even one at the North Pole! Ideas and questions for pondering peace in your life will be provided to aid in your design process. You'll then paint a 3’ tall, wooden, 4”x4” peace pole! Instructions, paints, brushes, stencils are all included, as well as a clear-coat finish to protect your Peace Pole from the elements, a rebar stake for “planting,” and a plastic cap (choose a solar light cap or birdhouse for additional $15). For ideas, check out the photos from a workshop I led in Stokes County, NC in February 2020.

Inner Peace Poles (for inside)
Creating an 18” tall, wooden, 2”x2”, "mini peace pole" for your bedroom, office, library, altar – really any place you want time to ponder, meditate, pray or reflect on inner peace. Paint, beads, jewels, fabric, notions, ribbon, stencils, a votive, and lots of little things to spark your creativity will be provided as you put together a small “statue” or “sculpture” that represents and reminds you of serenity and peacefulness. A set of Inner Peace Pondering questions is provided as a way to start you thinking about what inner peace means and is to you.


The Stable’s newest addition - a labyrinth – was constructed during the early weeks of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020. This classical, 22’ diameter, 5-circuit labyrinth is made of 383 bricks, small gray rocks and sparkling surprises sprinkled throughout its winding ways. In its center, an old-timey tractor seat, perfect for contemplating life’s journey. Instructions for walking a labyrinth as a prayer walk and as a meditative journey, as well as all materials and instructions to draw, paint and decorate your own table top version will be provided. You will also receive directions to several unique, area labyrinths, all within 5 - 20 minutes of The Stable. A note set for you to record your feelings and reactions while walking these different labyrinths is also provided.

Poetry & Art Journals
A journal, a booklet, a diary, you name it and you fill it. A selection of poems, ideas, suggestions, interesting questions and prompts will be provided as you spend your day with craft papers, magazines, scissors, glue, paint, crayons, markers – constructing, collaging, painting, doodling, writing. This journal can be a collection of what’s going on right now or a vision of what’s next – wildest dreams, inner longings or just full of whim and fun. A 12-page, 8.5x11, heavy duty paper booklet will be your canvas for this retreat.

Forest Bathing & Earth Art
An introduction to the mindful and relaxing, Japanese art of Shinrin Yoku (forest bathing) will start your peaceful day of adventure. Choose to wander outdoors at The Stable or visit one of several nearby nature areas (within 2 - 5 miles, directions provided) to experience a rejuvenating forest bath, employing all of your senses. Small cards with guidance and prompts as well as a pocket journal, pen & colored pencil kit are provided for your journey. Instructions for gathering natural materials and creating your own earth art mandalas will be provided.

Vision Board Journals

Vision Board Journals
What do you want to create more of in your life? What do you want to let go of? What do you hope and pray for? What do you love? Spend your day pondering these questions as you fill the pages of your 12-page Vision Board journal – following simple prompts and project instructions while using paint, collage and writing. A Vision Board uses the power of intention to manifest our wildest dreams – what we put out to the universe, comes back to us in ways we never dreamed of! Really!! The centerfold of your journal will hold your Vision Board (words and images you’ll cut from magazines) while the cover and other pages will hold your thoughts and process.


Roll up your sleeves and get ready to have some fun. Spend the day immersed in a menagerie of multi-media materials, including paint, brushes, markers, colored pencils, art papers, glue, scissors, tissue paper, pencil and pen. Rip, cut, crumble, fold, build, layer, doodle –– all while creating a small “portfolio” of art work filled with personal meaning. The provided writing and creative prompts, art challenges, and unique ideas will build upon each other as your day progresses, culminating in a visual story of your day.

Art & Nurture icon

Art & Self Nurturing
This is a day quietly filled with slow art, thoughtful creating and personally meaningful expression. Using all of your senses – touch, taste, smell, sight, hearing and might I add imagination, you are invited to move through this day at a pace that your soul longs for. Sipping hot tea and then learning to paint with that same tea bag. Closing your eyes as you listen for a bird, the rustle of leaves, the wind and then tearing pieces from art papers to glue down and create what you heard. Looking at an object and practicing the slow art of ekphrastic poetry. Taking a nap, a walk around the labyrinth or listening to relaxing music while creating. Engage your heart and your hands. This is self nurturing at its best.