Happy Friday, braves! It’s a happy, happy, happy day over here today… it’s warm and sunshiny, and everyone is smily, and the whole world feels so fresh. Brave Girl Camp is in a few days and we’re just workin away, preparing for our sweet girls to arrive!
If I gave this post a title other than “Behind the Scenes: This Week at Brave Girls Club”, it would be something like– The Week of Piles and Stacks… and Flowers, too. Because that’s really what it was! The whole week before camp, everything is just in piles and stacks all over the place. And as I was taking pictures of all the piles and stacks of things, the plainness of it became so amazing to me. Each pile and stack is made up of individual things that will each go to one special soul… and that one thing will mean so much more as ONE than it means when it is in a pile with a bunch of others. So right now, the stacks which are laying all around are just stacks… But next week, they will become so valuable! The piles and stacks of gorgeous decorations that we put away in boxes don’t look at ALL the same as when they are hung and placed beautifully throughout the house. It is such a cool transformation to see all these piles and stacks become what we call… Brave Girl Camp!
Here are all the decorations to be put up… just in piles right now, but just wait until you see next week’s pictures!
Today I will fill these tote bags with goodness so Amy can give them to the girls as soon as they hop on the bus!
Carrie does an amazing job sewing these adorable pom pom flowers to pin to the tote bags… she spent some time at the Art Barn doing that this week…
And while she sewed, Kathy and Patrice crafted these beautiful name tags for the campers…we get super excited when we start putting their names on everything!!!
Good thing this week consisted of flowers, too… because piles and stacks can get pretty boring to look at. My mom (Melody) and dad went on a fun shopping spree with Patrice and Michael for tons and tons of pretty flowers to put the finishing touches on the Ranch. I’m certain that they all had a blast together that day!
Then our awesome team came over to plant and deadhead and water and move stuff and groom stuff… and let me tell you, it looks SO AMAZING out there.
Now we just have to finish getting ready and impatiently wait until Tuesday when our nineteen guests get here!!! We’re not excited or anything.
And I’m off to do some camp shopping… Have a wonderful, WONDERFUL weekend… We love you so much!
We are all reeling from the horrific events in Boston today. We are praying for all of the victims and their loved ones and all of the good and brave people everywhere who are doing whatever they can to help……the ‘helpers’ (as Mr. Rogers called them) are innumerable.
This afternoon, my hope was renewed, and I was reminded that love and light ALWAYS WIN…ALWAYS….when I read the following posted by comedian/actor Patton Oswalt today. It reflects my own feelings 100%…and perhaps it will help put things in perspective for you, too. Here’s what he so beautifully said:
“Boston. ___ horrible.
I remember when 9/11 went down, my reaction was, “Well, I’ve had it with humanity.”
But I was wrong. I don’t know what’s going to be revealed to be behind all of this mayhem. One human insect or a poisonous mass of broken sociopaths.
But here’s what I DO know. If it’s one person or a HUNDRED people, that number is not even a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the population on this planet. You watch the videos of the carnage and there are people running TOWARDS the destruction to help out. (Thanks FAKE Gallery founder and owner Paul Kozlowski for pointing this out to me). This is a giant planet and we’re lucky to live on it but there are prices and penalties incurred for the daily miracle of existence. One of them is, every once in awhile, the wiring of a tiny sliver of the species gets snarled and they’re pointed towards darkness.
But the vast majority stands against that darkness and, like white blood cells attacking a virus, they dilute and weaken and eventually wash away the evil doers and, more importantly, the damage they wreak. This is beyond religion or creed or nation. We would not be here if humanity were inherently evil. We’d have eaten ourselves alive long ago.
So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, “The good outnumber you, and we always will.”
Cresta, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your shipping information and we will get your beautiful book and pen sent to you right away! Congratulations, hope you love it! And to everyone else, don’t forget that these products are still 20% off for the rest of the week. Hope to see you next Monday for a new Pin it to Win it!
Monday Specials AND Pin It To Win It!!
We’re going to spice it up a little bit on Mondays starting this week…
Each Monday, you can expect to seea NEW week-long discount or special deal on select items over in the shoppe!
Along with that, we’ll have a “Pin it to Win it”contest here on the blog. Don’t worry if you don’t know what that is, I didn’t know either until a few days ago.
Here’s how it will work… there will be pretty photographs posted right here on the blog of whatever products are on sale that particular week.
If you reeeeeally like something that you see, just “pin” the picture of the product to Pinterest,
Then come back to this post and make a Comment below saying that you pinned!
To make it super easy, there’s a little button at the top and bottom of each post that says “Pin It”, so just click that button and select your favorite picture.
At noon on Tuesday (MDST) we’ll randomly choose a winner from the Comments, verify the Pin over at Pinterest, and post the name of the winner right here in this post. Then we’ll ship off your goodie, all beautifully wrapped up!
It’s as easy as that! Sound fun?!!
This week we have a 20% off sale on our gorgeous sketchbooks and pens… every inch of them really is so pretty. The front, the back, the inside covers, the pages, the attached pocket folders… all covered in artsy goodness… and the pens are beautiful too!
Head over to the shoppe to check them out and take a look around! This week’s “Pin it to Win it” winner will receive a sketchbook WITH its matching pen— extra awesome.
A few years ago, I sat with the amazing people at Demdaco and talked about what I would create if I created a line that is TOTALLY ME…..and totally Brave Girl….I LOVE WORKING WITH DEMDACO, because their team works so hard to bring an artist’s vision to reality……..and so without any further delay….I introduce to you my new line…BRAVE GIRL, by Melody Ross
The embroidery and beading is thick and exquisite……the fabrics are thick and durable….it’s bohemian gyspy cowgirl artisan all mixed up into one amazing look….and these are just a few of the pieces….you will have to head over to our SHOPPE to see the rest. We are offering a pre-order so that we can get it for EVERYONE…..and we will get it to you as soon as the orders are in!!! The prices are amazing for the quality………everyone who has held this stuff in their hands has oooohed and ahhhhhhed …… you won’t be sorry if you get it for yourself or for gifts……CLICK HERE TO SEE IT ALL!!!
these beautiful necklaces are just the beginning of the jewelry line that will be growing over the next 6 months…….and they are a gorgeous start. The crystals are SO SPARKLY!
There are several little jewelry rolls, clutches, satchels and handbags and they are ALL so beautiful!
And LUGGAGE TAGS…..there are many to choose from and they are all SO LOVELY!!!
and AHHHHHH….this gorgeous bag………no words to describe…
this wristlet is one of my very favorite pieces….
I loooooove these huge beautiful totes…there are 3 designs to choose from!!!
and of course…..the BRAVE GIRL messenger bag….we ALL need one of these!!! Can’t wait to show you what we are doing with ours!!!!
Come on over to the shoppe and see it all……then you can fill it with all of your favorite stuff! xoxo!!!
PS. There are LIMITED QUANTITIES of all this gorgeousness, so don’t wait to order! If what you want is already gone, go ahead and place a pre-order…our next shipment will be here in a few weeks and we’ll ship things out as fast as we can!!
(AND….Part 2 – Brave Girl Home Decor – launches next Monday!)
I have to admit…the team was a little concerned about March camp because we have never had camp in March before…and we had forgotten that in March, the trees have not started to grow their leaves back yet…and the flowers are waiting til summer too…..little did we know…that the magic of camp can show up times a million no matter what the weather….and as it turned out…we had absolutely spectacular weather…and a kind of end-of-winter beauty that could not have been more perfect… (and before we go much further…there will be a few of you who know you just HAVE to come to camp NOW….so I will tell you now that every camp for 2013 is sold out except for 2 spots in May….so hurry and go HERE if you want to register)
Because…..love and care was still put into every washed dish…
and every color of paint…
and we had a completely restocked art barn with all sorts of new stuff that made our art making time even more other wordly…
all of the food, just like always….was made from scratch with love and care…right in the ranch kitchen….with grandkids as visitors on some days (this is Jeff and Kallie’s oldest boy, Jackson….Kathy’s grandson…we adore him and he sometimes comes to visit us at camp)
the art tables really did look this orderly before the beautiful mayhem began….
and we made sooooooo many beautiful, soulful, healing things in the art barn…here is Terry working on a new piece…
and every journal prompt book was hand bound differently by Sabrina…
We decided to remake all of the decor in the ranch house to match the gorgeous river rock fireplace……so it’s all earthy and heavenly chic in the ranch house and all happy color and bohemian in the art barn…..such a fun new makeover…
and guess what? Mother Nature showed up to show us all that March has its own kind of spectacular…we loved our evening walks along the river…
Walking back to the ranch house is always comforting….knowing there’s a beautiful meal being prepared while we are out on our walk….and seeing the ranch house at dusk is one of the most glorious sites to behold!
We love mealtime….and always try to make it an opportunity to show deep, healing love in every single detail….from the handmade placemats, napkin holders and flowers to the handcrafted soulfood that is lovingly prepared and served to the beloved brave girls who sit in these seats…
and then there are lots of dishes to do again……but done cheerfully and thankfully…..because dirty dishes around here mean that something wonderful just happened…..
and of course…..we do art, we make things, we build things, we collage things, we sew things, we mold things, we pound things…we create things….SOUL ART…each project done to seal in the lessons that we are learning each day at camp….
…and we take time to get VERY honest with ourselves…..about what is still hurting us…about what it is time to let go of…about beliefs that we have that are either expired or that never should have ever been a part of us….and we work very very very hard to identify and extract all of those things….and then we thankfully cheer each other on as we witness each other letting go of those things in the fire….
and then the joy comes…..and it comes BIG TIME….
and we make a commitment to continue to heal….and then to let our light out into the world…we make a commitment to try very very very hard to not hide in the dark, or contribute to the darkness by not letting ourselves shine…..but also to always always always light up every dark space, whenever we can….to send out light into this world…….because we all can…all of us…
and every camp plants a tree at Brave River Ranch to make a commitment to growing a beautiful new life……this time,we planted a mighty oak….
and I even got some projects done of my own….one of my new passions…STITCHING…and I’ve been stitching all over my clothes after Patrice taught me how…
I can not tell you how much I love the women who make camp happen. We have THE MOST INCREDIBLE STAFF and we are all so incredibly blissed out every time we get to welcome in a new group of our sisters at camp…….there’s always a lot of singing, dancing, and general goofiness…..all wrapped up in a whole lot of soul, meaning, and hard work to dig out the good stuff…
This is where love lives………all over this place…
Our hope is that everyone will be able to experience camp at least once in their lives……We love our March 2013 Brave Girls….and we love YOU.
So…here’s the announcement. We are working on launching a series of 1 and 2 day workshops here at the ranch so that more Brave GIrls of all ages can experience the magic here…so that we can do more art together…and so that there are offerings of all different time limits and prices so that everyone who wants to can come see us here…….no matter what, no matter where you are….no matter whether you are reading our blog or our truths…or taking online courses…or if you have come to the ranch to be with us…..YOU ARE ALL BRAVE GIRLS AND YOU ALL BELONG. And we do what we do for YOU and for ALL OF US. We are ALL SISTERS…….let’s be good to each other.
We love you all so much.
Stay tuned for announcements about our workshop series…coming soon!!!!
UPDATE! We are almost at $10,000 raised towards the purchase of Dahlia House!!! WOOOOHOOOOO!!! You are all wonderful and we THANK YOU!! We’ve made a sweet little blog badge to put on your blog or website if you are so inclined. We would LOVE it if you would! Just visit our blog badge page to see it. Throwing you big kisses from the Clubhouse!! xoxo
I wanted to continue the story of the trip to Manila. And…at some point, I will reach out and ask you if you feel called to help…and if you do, there are a group of us who have converged and would like to invite you to join with us to help. (At the end of this blog post I’ll share one of the ways that we can all help RIGHT NOW…but there will be more to come). Please please please read on, because we really do need your help if you can help in any way…..
But first….more of the story.
Just remember that we all have stories that are part of us…part of our lives, part of who we are. They are not fiction, and they are not fairy tales…they are not screen plays or movies or short films…..they are the stories of who we are….that is what this story is too….it’s a real life story that has lots of parts…just like yours and just like mine.
I would like to talk about the girls who live in the Safe House. I want to tell you what it is like to be in a Safe House, and what it is like to know and love the women who live inside of it.
In Manila and the surrounding areas….I noticed that many of the homes have gates and walls around them. These are walls that keep the families inside safe.
The Safe House that houses these sisters is much the same. It has a gate, and another gate…and a locked door, and bars on the windows….there to keep them safe.
Inside there is simple and beautiful decor….functional, all of it. What struck me almost immediately was the sacred way they seemed to touch and use every dish, every chair, every bed. What struck me was the way that everything was deliberately placed and deliberately used…and deliberately cared for.
What struck me was the way that the girls held the word HOME with such awe, sacredness….such lack of taking it for granted……..such gratitude. In their words, yes…but mostly in the way that they moved about the home with such ease and belonging and care. They were so eager to use this home to bless us, as their guests….and they did.
I looked around one day as the sun was coming through the bars of the windows and the gates of the balconies and thought….WOW…WHAT A CHANGE FOR OUR SISTERS TO BE BEHIND BARS THAT PROTECT…..rather than bars that enslave.
This is Kenny Sacht … he is one of my heroes….he started the safe house and made all of this possible. See the heartbreak on his face…after years of doing this…..it is still shocking, heartbreaking and vile. He has dedicated his life to this work. He has a foundation called WIPE EVERY TEAR that we all have the chance to help in a very significant way (see later in this post). I love this man……he is a good good good man.
Inside of this Safe House we sat in a room with each girl, one by one……and one on one….and heard their stories from beginning to end…each story taking several hours to get through.
We sat in a safe and warm and beautiful little room, with beautiful barred windows, and heard stories of our sisters being kept in figurative cages…..trapped inside of places with bars and gates and locks of all kinds…..being enslaved to be a body that was used and used and used and used and abused and abused and abused and abused…..repeat again the next day.
They couldn’t leave for many reasons. The bars and gates and locks and captors held them in. To see them as beautiful little bodies and long shiny hair and a THING to pleasure them….a THING to beat up, abuse, use……a piece of property to use like a rental video game…….
AND YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN, as I wrote in Part One…that these are our sisters. These are our sisters. These are our daughters, cousins, aunts, friends...these are just like every girl you have ever loved.
I need you to please get a visual of what this means to make the shift from LOCKED GATES THAT KEEP THEM TRAPPED…..to LOCKED GATES THAT KEEP OUT THE BAD THINGS AND KEEP THEM SAFE….being free to come and go….but when they are there…..they are safe.
We all know that everyone deserves to be free.
I will never write about our sister’s specific stories. I won’t because I know for sure that every one of them will be telling you her story on her own…..and we all need that experience. So does she…she need to give voice to her own story, to be the one who tells it…..and YOU need the experience of hearing it straight from her….
But I will tell you what almost every girl trapped in human trafficking has in common……
She was young…..she had dreams…..at some point she started being seen as a beautiful little body instead of beautiful little soul. At some point she started being seen as a product that could bring in money….or a product to hold onto for on-demand sexual pleasure…or even just to torture. So……she was tricked. Or she was stolen. She was told that she was going to be working as a waitress or a home helper…….and it wasn’t true. She was taken somewhere where she couldn’t communicate with anyone who could help her…and even if she could have reached someone, she couldn’t have told them where she was…because she didn’t know where she was. She was threatened, put into debt, and made to feel like trash…….and then used and used and used and used and used. Each one has a different rescue story….all are incredibly brave. But each girl was a little girl who had no one making sure she was safe…no one looking out for her…..and a whole lot of powerful people using her………..
In another blog post I will go more into detail about how the sex trade industry works…..but all of it is so much the same. She is not safe…she is trapped. She needs to be rescued, she needs to be set free…..
This photo is so precious to me…with my friend, Honey…who I love and think about every day. I am reading her the words of the TRUTH CARDS that YOU all made. She picked several of them to hold on to and cherish…she couldn’t pick just one. Oh, how I love her. She is still working on the street….someday I hope we can help her get out of this.
If you made Truth Cards and sent them to us, you must know what how cherished and treasured your beautiful little cards are. How they are kept and held and read and how very much it matters, what it means to them to know that they matter to you, that you are thinking about them and care about them…that they are not forgotten. I hope you watch the video at the bottom of this post so some of them can thank you themselves.
Recently I skyped with our sisters in the Safe House. They wanted to tell you all Thank You!! You can see their message in the video at the bottom of this post. I love these girls!
We’re preparing to send the next batch of Truth Cards with a friend who is visiting Southeast Asia next month…you can be assured that your Truth Cards will continue to spread around the world, bringing some light and hope to our sisters in its darkest corners.
The next phase of our efforts is to help WIPE EVERY TEAR, the founders of the Safe House, do an absolutely wonderful, critical thing….buy a bigger Safe House. Right now, there are already 5 more girls ready to move to a safe place and resto
re their lives…..and there is not enough room for them………..
Can you imagine? As you sit reading this post in your own home, completely safe, protected, secure….can you imagine?
This is soooooooo easy to fix….they just need our help. Thankfully there are a LOT of us……if we all helped just a little bit….they could reach their goal and buy a humble, safe HOME, a place of refuge and healing…Dahlia House. Will you join hands with us? ….this is our opportunity to join hands with Brave Girls the world over and do something extraordinary!!
Please watch this video and then see if you just might be able to help them out, then SPREAD THE WORD to everyone you know…….it will be so incredible for all of us to be able to be a part of this……
Please email email@example.com and give us your contact information so we can send your package on Monday. WOOO HOOOOO!!! Thanks for all the comments, braves…it’s so fun to read everything you have to say. We love you and we’re so thankful for each of you. Have a great weekend!!
love, kathy and melody
When we opened the Brave Girl Shoppe, we knew we not only wanted to sell beautiful things, but we wanted them to be beautifully packaged. So Melody got to work designing custom tissue paper. She worked hard, and as usual what she came up with is breath-takingly beautiful….
This tissue paper is not only the most perfect thing to wrap our packages in, it is also lovely for art projects.
Well…we want to give some of this lovely stuff away today.
If you want to win it, tell us:
Which of the words on the Brave Girl tissue paper means the most to you?
In case you can’t see them, some of the words are:
courageous, authentic, lovely, true, incredible, soulful, happy,
amazing, phenomenal, inspiring, brilliant, extraordinary, brave,
strong, beautiful, gorgeous, kind, smart, sparkling, fabulous, fun, strong, sweet….
Leave your answer in the comments….either here or on our Facebook page. We’ll pick 5 winners at 5pm today (mountain time). FIVE!
PS. Learn more about this gorgeous tissue paper here.
This means you can take advantage of the INCREDIBLE amount of material in each of these fun artsy classes without worrying that you will run out of time.
AND you can easily take a ‘break’ to take another class like Soul Restoration at the same time without sacrificing focus so that you can get the very most out of every class you take.
Later this year, both of these jam-packed packages will be broken into individual classes with a combined value of over $499 EACH and offered as LifeArt A La Carte classes for those who want to pick and choose which modules they take. Access through the end of the year for the $99 package price is a phenomenal value! Just ask anyone who is taking one of these classes already!
Let’s get busy making art!
Important: Although these courses are called Art School 1 and 2, you do NOT have to take them in any particular order. They are stand-alone classes that you can do at your own pace and on your own schedule. If you have a thing for wings, go ahead and take it first! Your call.
Our most popular online course, SOUL RESTORATION, begins next week. We only offer it twice a year, so please please please, if you are ready to heal from everything that is holding you back and move forward bravely into your beautiful future, come join us!
It’s very hard for us to say enough about how strongly we feel about this class. What we know for SURE it that it has changed the lives of women just like you. So we thought we’d let some of those women tell you themselves what this class has done for them and why they recommend it to everyone they know:
In the getting messy art projects, my hands got busy while my head got quiet and I got a chance to really hear my own voice again. – K
I’m not sure I can put into words what Soul Restoration is doing for me. But since I don’t usually lack words, I’ll try anyway. I’ve never felt such release, such relief, such self-realization – and we’re only on Week 3. I’ve learned so much about myself – the good, the bad and the ugly… and it’s transforming my life into what my life had the potential of being. The tears, the smiles… the comradery of the other ladies in the course – the beauty of friendship… it has consumed me and I don’t even want to go to work – I want to stay home and work on my Soul…I can’t say enough about it. If you have the opportunity to do it – DO IT. Sandi
I would have to say this is easily one of the best classes I have ever taken. Ever. One of the ones I learned the most in and grew the most in. I am the kind of person who pays attention. I would say I am aware. I listen to myself. I watch and observe and try to learn and grow. And, still, I learned so very much about myself in this class, it’s almost impossible to explain how much. I had revelation after revelation. – K. G.
I am so excited about my life!! This class has been WONDERFUL!!! Finding Brave Girls is helping me create and live the life I never thought possible. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!! This workshop changed my life! I am more aware of who I am, of what makes me happy, sad, tired, frustrated, joyful, peace-filled…and I know what I can do about it now!! This is one class I would recommend to everyone!!! — L.A.
When I started the class I wasn’t aware that I was in need of restoring. Funny to write that…but its true. I was just hoping to create art! I was looking for a way to get inspired again. What I got out of this class is so much more than just creating art. I learned that there are things in my life that have made me strong and brave. There are things in my life that have made me vulnerable. There are things that I am so grateful for…and things that I never want to think about again. The curriculum in the class helps you to come to grips with all of it. To take each piece of your life and examine it. To find peace in yourself, to gather it and take it into your soul. Each lesson is a gift. It is hard work and some lessons come easier than others….but they all matter and they all work and they all make you whole. Melody’s approach is like sitting with a girlfriend. It’s comfortable…its funny. Each week comes with videos…and honestly they were my favorite part. Being able to have her in front of you helping you understand that weeks’ lesson was a gift. My journey in Soul Restoration allowed me to connect back to who I am deep down. You don’t have to be an artist! There is so much more going on than the art…the art is a vehicle for healing. Watch the videos of the lesson…watch the art technique videos and most of all enjoy the process….its so very worth it! – S
I have never been so impressed or moved or motivated by anything as by this class. I am not sure if it’s “the turning 50 thing” everyone talks about or if it’s just that I’ve reached a crossroad in my life where I NEED to make some changes, but this class is just amazing. If you are unhappy with your life (or you can use “discontent” if that makes you feel less guilty); if you feel that you want a “different” life for yourself; if as a woman you are feeling unfulfilled and that there is just “something missing” – take this class. Scrimp and save for the $99 if you have to. But take it. You will not regret it. – E
We hope these reviews will get you curious enough that you’ll go HERE to learn a little more about Soul Restoration and what taking part could mean to you.
In a nutshell you’ll watch fun, entertaining, and deeply effective videos (it’ll be as if you’re sitting right with Melody), you’ll make beautiful art to help you remember the things you are learning and committing to yourself, and you’ll be able to connect with other women who are on a similar journey. And you’ll do it all at any time that works best for you, at your own pace, and your own schedule.
Like so many other women, this may be the best thing you’ve done for yourself in a long, long time. We hope you will join us! We get started this Tuesday, February 26.