SSAC 2018 Projected Retreat Daily Calendar: April 11 – 18

Tuesday, April 10

307 East Arctic, Folly Beach

Afternoon and evening:

Pre-workshop arrivals. Free time.

Wednesday, April 11

307 East Arctic, Folly Beach

4:00 pm

Retreat Introduction: Mary Brent/local artists and retreat collaborators.

Bren McClain, acclaimed author of One Good Mama Bone, shares a universal maternal journey. Hearts open, prepare to nurture and be nurtured.

Cerantha Corley, a Shaman and Native American flute player, will give words to our inner spirit garden, fertile soil, what feeds our soul, and trees that go dormant . . . just like humans. She’ll help set intentions for the Retreat and introduce the Lady of the Wood, an acorn doll muse, created by Becky Becker. 

McIver Watson, a consummate storyteller and true southern gentleman, will share Moon Tides and Marsh Tales: Spartina grass wonder.

5:30 pm

Wine and refreshments: meet David Vagasky, friend, chocolatier, and chef extraordinaire, who will cater our traditional Welcome Home Lowcountry supper.

6:30 pm

Gather around the table. Together, celebrate belonging, community, and seeds that promise good things to come.

8:30 pm

Thursday, April 12

The Heart of the Garden


9:00 am:

Depart from Folly to arrive in Hollywood, South Carolina, around 10:00 am.

Visit BORN AGAIN HEARTWOODS, the studio of Bill Long, a renowned antique furniture restorer and creator of hand-crafted furniture using naturally preserved virgin sinker logs recovered from the Edisto and Waccamaw Rivers in South Carolina.

Each participant will be invited to draw a simple spirit-inspired shape on paper. Bill and his colleagues, Michael and Jason, will then create a wooden shape, using the drawings as templates. Participants will be invited to leave a shape, tributes to our animal guides/spirits, at the Hallie Hill Animal Sanctuary.


Light Lunch at Hallie Hill Animal Sanctuary.

Reflective time: the Davenport Log Cabin.

Tours:  small groups can tour the sanctuary in golf carts while others write, draw, create heartfelt messages to our Animal Spirit Guides, which will be left in the adjacent canine cemetery, named Angels Crossing, as part of our closing ritual.

Closing Ritual in Angels Crossing Cemetery: Honor holy ground and give thanks for sacred winged creatures that guide us safely home. Perhaps we could read some of the messages offered to our Animal Spirit Guides as part of the ritual, and hang our wooden shapes from sheltering trees.

(SSAC and local Expressions of Appreciation: We’ll contribute poems, stories, drawings, etc. to the Hallie Hill Rescue Sanctuary newsletter (anything we submit to the newsletter could also be posted on the SSAC and related websites).


5:30 pm

Healing incense-burning ritual with Pam Huseby, owner of Albizia Apothecary, and Marcy MacVie, Reiki and Thai massage therapist.

6:00 pm

Pam will serve her nutritious and tasty Indian stew featuring healing herbs, and lead a round table discussion about natural remedies for stress, aches and pains.

7:00 pm

Marcy will demonstrate and offer an individual Thai yoga massage experience to retreat participants.

Friday, April 13

6:45 am

Sunrise ceremony and yoga on the beach: Marcy MacVie

8:00 am

Enjoy breakfast, prepared by Pam, along with chai flavored with cinnamon and cardamom. 

Day is Free

Late Afternoon/Evening:

Light Play Garden Soiree: home of Sherry and Harvey Browne.

1604 BurClare Road

Charleston, S.C. 29412

4:00 – 6 pm: Maker art project in Sherry’s studio

Leaded glass garden sun catchers inspired by winged spirits

(Participants will be invited to leave one of their created sun catchers in the Romney Urban Garden.)

6:00 pm: Garden Supper’s on!

Sherry and her husband, Harvey, will prepare and serve a Lowcountry supper.

Saturday, April 14

Morning Free

1:00 pm

Lunch: McIver Watson’s historic Charleston home, followed by a Zentangle workshop taught by Ella Ann Smith, and tour of McIver’s legacy garden.

5:00 pm:

Music Café (home of McIver Watson)

Susan McAdoo, accompanist for the Charleston Symphony and piano teacher, founded the Music Café in 2004. The monthly gatherings, hosted at members’ homes, feature practiced and spontaneous performances. Everyone brings either music or a nibble to share—and sometimes both!

Prepare to listen, clap, sway, sing, and maybe dance. Who knows where the spirit will lead?

Schedule for the evening:

The Music Café begins at 5:00 pm with light refreshments. The program, for which we’ll provide an audience, generally lasts until around 6:30, followed with refreshments and time to mingle.

Sunday, April 15

Morning and Afternoon Free


Community Garden Jubilee: A bi-coastal celebration.   

New Israel Reformed Episcopal Church/NIREC and Romney Urban Garden/RUG

222 Romney Court

Charleston, S.C. 29403

(SSAC co-sponsored Song of Life Fundraiser for the New Israel Reformed Episcopal Church’s Music Ministry Program. Profits from One Good Mama Bone book sales will be donated to this cause.)


5:00 pm

Musical Presentation and Neighborhood Celebration: New Israel Reformed Episcopal Church, the sponsor for the Romney Urban Garden.

(Program will include a short reading by Bren McClain set to background music composed by Susan McAdoo/inspired by One Good Mama Bone.)


Restored piano in the New Israel Reformed Episcopal Church.

Romney Urban Garden Offerings:

  • Flags, created by Unity Youth, installed at the RUG entrance.
  • Virgin cypress Butterfly Bench donated by Bill Long.
  • Bottle Tree, designed and created by local artists and organizations.

6:15 pm

Pizza making repast at Romney Urban Garden

Music provided by the Lime and the Coconuts.

Monday, April 16

Morning Free

4:00 – 7:00 pm

Blossoming Soul Playshop: Utopia Gallery and Boutique.  Flower essence, art and power of dressing consciously.  Led by Beki Crowell

Utopia Gallery and Boutique

27 Broad Street

Charleston, S.C. 2940

Tuesday, April 17

Morning and Afternoon:

Sun and Fun with a Jamaican twist.

Mosquito Beach/Island Breeze

2225 Mosquito Beach Road

James Island, S.C. 29412

10:00 am

Optional Kayaking: A Marsh Garden Discovery


A buffet featuring tasty Jamaican favorites: learn about the shared history of the Lowcountry and Caribbean.


Watercolor or acrylic painting instruction by Arianne:

The marsh setting in front of Island Breeze will provide the inspiration for the paintings.

Wednesday, April 18

Morning Free

12:30 pm – 4:30 pm

Acorn Fairy Doll and Felting Workshop: Led by Becky Becker, a puppeteer, teaching artist and designer of whimsical dolls and fairies, and Margo Duke, a fiber artist, teacher and author of two books, Needle Felting Magic and Making More Needle Felting Magic

(Margo, aka “Her Majesty Margo,” will grace us with one-of-a-kind wearable art inspired by her Scottish grandmothers, who taught her to knit and crochet at an early age—a trunk show like no other!)


307 East Arctic, Folly Beach

Open to surprise . . . endings threaded with beginnings? Just imagine a catered Lowcountry supper, blessing of intentions with Becky Becker, and a closing retreat celebration ritual led by Cerantha Corley!

Thursday, April 19

Morning Departures

A Creative & Spiritual Retreat in Charleston, South Carolina
April 5-12, 2017

Click the link or flyer to see the line up for 2017.
Meet your co-conspirators. Dive into your most expressed creative soul.

LEFT COAST WRITERS BOOK LAUNCH: Charleston and the South: A Sampler of Stories, Poetry, Recipes & Art

Charleston and the South001

Saturday, September 10th, 2016 || 7pmBook Passage-Corte Madera|| 51 Tamal Vista Dr. Corte Madera ||

Drunken chicken, key lime pie, mermaids, ghosts, Gullah traditions—it’s another celebration of all things Southern! Please join the writers and artists of the Southern Sampler Artists Colony as they evoke the dreamy, sometimes steamy world of Charleston and beyond in an exciting sampler of poetry, short fiction, non-fiction and other delights at Book Passage in San Francisco’s Ferry Plaza. You don’t have to go there to be there, but if you want to be spirited away, you’ll be able to do that when you join the fun. So please drop by for a glass of wine, munchies, and a toast to what we all love most about the American South.

Readers include:
Mary Brent Cantarutti
Linda Watanabe McFerrin
Catherine Pyke
Cindy Rasicot
Anne Sigmon

Ann Ure

“This heartfelt anthology celebrates the tenth anniversary of the Southern Sampler Artists Colony. Contributors present a cornucopia of writing, recipes, and art created in Charleston—South Carolina’s Holy City.” —Mary Edna Fraser, Charleston artist

Left Coast Writers has scheduled a reading featuring contributors to the latest SSAC anthology, Charleston and the South: A Sampler of Stories, Poetry, Recipes, Art, for Saturday, September 10, 2016 at Book Passage in Corte Madera from 7 to 9 pm. Please join us and invite your friends!


Click here to learn more about Chef BJ Dennis!

From Linda Watanabe McFerrin:

We’re all excited here in Charleston, SC; tonight’s the night of the big book launch for the latest SSAC anthology, Charleston and the South, with work by Carolyn Bishop-Mcleod, Mary Brent Cantarutti, Anne Sigmon, Sharon Cooper-Murray, Harlan Greene, Billy Vandiver, Mary Edna Fraser, Unity Barry, Anton DuMars, Alphonso Brown, Toni Lovoi Carreiro, Catherine Pyke, Cheryl Armstrong, Martha Greenway, Kathie Foote Corley, Nancy Alpert, Cathleen Obrien and more (including me). It’s a benefit for R3Kids, here, in Charleston and there will be a silent auction as well. One of the items we are auctioning off is a quilt hand-dyed in piece-by-piece indigo at McLeod Plantation under the guidance of Shawn Halifax and Sharon Cooper-Murrayby the workshop participants. If you want to buy a copy of the new anthology or donate to R3Kids, a program for at risk youth in Charleston, let Mary Brent know!

Click here to check out Mary Edna Fraser’s artwork.

SSAC 2016 Workshop: The Heart in Art

Words . . . Images . . .Music

Inspiring ties and friendly tides of the South Carolina Lowcountry

Daily Schedule, April 20 – 27


Wednesday, April 20

5:30 pm

Meet and greet at 307 East Artic. Sign up for literary consults with Linda Watanabe McFerrin

Supper waits! Enjoy a cooking demonstration and down home delicacies prepared by David Vagasky, a renowned local chef, chocolatier, and instructor at the Culinary Institute of Charleston.

7:30 pm

Workshop Introduction

Linda Watanabe McFerrin, Martha Greenway, Mary Brent Cantarutti, and Charleston workshop collaborators: Sharon Cooper-Murray/The Gullah Lady and Cerantha Corley, a Native American style flute player and Shaman.


Thursday, April 21 

10:00 am – 4:30 pm

McLeod Plantation

Morning: Private tour of the plantation with Shawn Halifax, Cultural History Interpretation Coordinator for Charleston County Park & Recreation Commission, and Sharon Cooper-Murray/The Gullah Lady.

Step back in time. We’ll gain a historical perspective of indigo cultivation in the Lowcountry, along with learning about the lives of enslaved people, Reconstruction, and the evolution of the Gullah traditions.  


Picnic under live oak trees. Following a writing prompt, there’ll be time to meander, reflect and perhaps write, sketch, etc.


Indigo Dyeing, Plantation Style

(Led by Shawn Halifax and Sharon Cooper-Murray)

In addition to dyeing the twelve panels that will be the centerpiece of the SSAC quilt (see description of the quilt project) to be completed during the workshop, each participant is invited to bring a cotton or silk item to dye and keep as a memento.

  • Be sure that the material will accept the dye (not stain resistant).
  • The material can be re-dyed as long as the color is light.
  • Suggested things to dye are scarves, aprons, and T-shirts (Dharma Trading Company sells a variety of items suitable for dyeing.)

5:00 – 7:00 pm

Visit Mary Edna Fraser’s studio, 1723 Oak Point Road.  A renowned batik artist whose work features aerial landscapes, deep ocean waterscapes, and outer space imagery, a detail of her batik of the Ashley River graces the cover of the new SSAC Anthology: Charleston and the South, A Sampler of Stories  Poetry  Recipes  Art.

 Evening Free


Friday, April 22

10 – 11:00 am

Writers Workshop:

Afternoon Free

6:30 – 8:00 pm

Enjoy a Sunset Cruise on the Stono River. Captain Anton DuMars will be our guide. Wine and cheese on board.

Evening Free


Saturday, April 23

10:00 – 11:00 am

Writers Workshop

Afternoon Free

5:00 – 6:30 pm

The Music Café

(Scheduled time for The Music Café. The Music Café/SSAC after-party will extend into the evening.)

(Charleston home of McIver Watson, 84 Pitt Street.)


Sunday, April 24 

10:00 – 11:00

Writers Workshop

Afternoon Free

5 – 9:00 pm

Charleston and the South, A Sampler of Stories Poetry Recipes Art:  Book Launch Celebration at Bowens Island

Featuring readings, Lowcountry fare, and music by The Lime and the Coconuts.


Monday, April 25 

10:00 – 11:00

Writers Workshop

Afternoon Free

5:00 – 7:00 pm

Fashion and Jewelry Event: Affordables Apparel, South Windemere Shopping Center, 82 Folly Road. Refreshments served.

Evening Free


Tuesday, April 26 

Morning and early afternoon Free

Late Afternoon:

Piazza Party

(Charleston home of Dr. Paul Schwarz, 84 Ashley.)

Evening Free


Wednesday, April 27 

Day Free

7:00 pm

Gather at 307 E. Artic for finale supper and workshop celebration.



 Southern Sampler Artist Colony 2016 Workshop
The Heart in Art
Words … Images … Music

April 20-27, 2016
SSAC 2016

Click the image above or follow this link to download the flyer.

Experience inspiring ties and friendly tides of the South Carolina Lowcountry

Want to be a part of the real Charleston, celebrate belonging with new and old friends, discover the Gullah culture, bask in creative renewal, and feel the sand between your toes? Join us!

Heartfelt Workshop Experiences Abound:

Writers Workshops
Workshops are taught by award-winning author, Linda Watanabe McFerrin, as well as individual consults on your literary and creative projects.

McLeod Plantation
Gain a fresh historical perspective of the Lowcountry, from the cultivation of indigo to sea island cotton and lives of freed slaves. We’ll also tie-dye with indigo, plantation style, and invent our own fifty shades of blue!

Threads that Bind
Create a SSAC indigo quilt with Sharon Cooper-Murray, aka The Gullah Lady. Yes, we’ll use the fabric dyed at McLeod Plantation! The quilt will be dedicated to the spirit of the twelve people who gathered at Emanuel AME Church to study the scripture and whose congregation led the world in forgiveness.

Music Café Evening
We’ll clap; sway and feel the spirit moving. Praise Be to a celebration of music, food, wine, and most of all company, in the historic home of Charleston friends.

SSAC Anthology Launch Gala
Raise a glass to Charleston & the South, A Sampler of Stories . . . Poetry . . . Recipes & Art, and get ready to dance. In addition to classic swing tunes, Mary Edna Fraser and The Lime and the Coconuts will offer a Sampling of Southern Music, dating to the Civil War through 1940.

Sunset Sail on the Stono River
Anchors aweigh! Captain Anton DuMars will guide us on a magical tidal channel adventure. Marvel at the frolicking dolphins, discover a rookery, and catch the sunset on the Stono River.

Cost of Workshop: (Ocean front, Folly Beach Accommodations)
Private room: $1,975 ($2,125 if paid after November 15, 2015)
Shared room: $1,775 ($1,925 if paid after November 15, 2015)
The choice of private and separate rooms depends upon availability at time of registration. In order to assure workshop placement please send a $500 check deposit (fully refundable before October 15) made out to SSAC with private or shared room preference. Contact Mary Brent Cantarutti for details.

Final payments are due November 15 (for discount); all other payments are due February 1. Limited workshop enrollment; placement will be finalized in order of receipt of deposits.

Charleston here we come!

Grits are Good for You!

Grits are Good for You!


The company is everything!

SSAC/LCW Celebration of the South

Please join us at the SSAC/LCW Celebration of the South event next Monday evening!
Date: November 9
Place: Book Passage, Ferry Building, San Francisco
Time: 6 – 7 pm
Enjoy refreshments with a Southern twist, raise a glass to good times shared, and get ready to drawl!

Click here for more information.


Left Coast Writers Book Launch: Southern Sampler Authors, A Southern Sampler, Sampling South Carolina

It’s a celebration of all things Southern, our biggest yet! Please join the writers and artists of the Southern Sampler Artists Colony as they evoke the dreamy, sometimes steamy world of Charleston and beyond in an exciting sampler of poetry, short fiction, non-fiction and other delights at Book Passage in Corte Madera, on December 12th. You don’t have to go there to be there, but if you want to be spirited away, you’ll be able to do that too. So please drop by for a glass of wine, munchies, and a toast to what we all love most about the American South.

“Like improvised jazz riffs, A Southern Sampler is a cultural arts masterpiece that resonates with the soul of the American South.”
—Karen Chandler, Professor in Arts Management, college of Charleston, and Co-founder of the Charleston Jazz Initiative”

Click here for more information.