"I have some wild violet in me, some willingness to insist on renegade beauty, some desire to be soft and yet persist, some certainty that the garden is big enough for us all."- Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer

Dear Friends,

Thank you for being a part of the Family Heirloom Arts and Touchstone Retreats community this year. It has been quite a dynamic year of growth and change. Family Heirloom Arts had a big year, completing five client books rich with stories, memories, and hard-earned wisdom. Congratulations to our clients for bringing your projects to fruition and sharing your stories with your families and your communities. I also had the great honor and pleasure of embarking on a series of family oral history projects. I love engaging in the interview process and helping to create that quiet space for reflection amidst our busy lives.

Touchstone Retreats programs have also continued to evolve and grow as we have emerged from the pandemic. It has been a real blessing to gather in person again, creating in community is always a balm for the soul. On a personal note, we finished a big remodel of our home and my studio is now back in action. I am really looking forward to offering new programs in my studio and garden in the coming months. Check out the Coming Home to Myself mini retreat series being offering in my studio starting in February.

Looking ahead into 2024, I am excited to expand my in-person offerings, both in the realm of life story work with individuals and families and with Touchstone Retreats programs. I am eager to rebuild community partnerships and collaborations that were put on pause during the pandemic. If you are interested in bringing one of our programs to your school, group, or organization or collaborating on a new creative community venture, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I am excited to partner with the Beaverton Library’s One Book One Beaverton community-wide reading program. Check-out the Exploring the Power of Stories workshop that I will be offering on January 21st. This program is free to the public but pre-registration is required.

Courage, Pen & Ink by Lisa Kagan

Courage, Pen & Ink by Lisa Kagan

I am also looking to deepen the work that we do that focuses on honoring and supporting significant life milestones and rites of passage through the creative process. If you or a loved one have an important milestone coming up this year or you are navigating a pivotal transition, we are here to support you on your journey. We offer customized family oral history and writing projects, which are great for special anniversaries and memorials. We also design custom interactive creative and reflective experiences for individuals or small groups as they navigate and celebrate important life passages such as getting married, becoming a parent or a grandparent, creating a blended family, moving, revisioning your life’s work, changing jobs, and retiring. We would love to connect with you and we offer free initial consultations to talk through your ideas.

If you are looking for creative gift ideas for your loved ones this holiday season, here are a few ideas:
~ Gift a loved one a few hours of oral history interviews (which will be digitally recorded) and interview transcriptions
~ Do you have someone in your life who has been working on a life story or creative writing project and would benefit from some collaboration, feedback, and accountability in the process? Give the gift of project coaching or consulting
~ Are you (or a loved one) wishing you could go on a personal writing retreat without having to travel far or take too much time away from your daily life? We offer personalized private or small group writing retreats where you can step away for a few hours and work on your project with our help and support. We provide the space and the guidance.
~ Gift yourself (and a loved one) the opportunity to participate in one of our upcoming Touchstone Retreats creative writing and art programs. We are offering a wide variety of retreat programs including evening, weekday, and full weekend programs. See the list of our 2024 winter and spring offerings below.

Most importantly, I hope you will gift yourself the time to rest and rejuvenate during this holiday season, to treasure your time with your loved ones and yourself. In an often tumultuous and topsy turvy world these days, the small kindness we share are even more important than ever and our connections to each other are often the greatest gifts. Thanks for being such a dynamic, generous, and compassionate community helping to illuminate our way forward. May we continue to inspire and lift each other up in the year ahead.

Happy Holidays!




6 week mini retreat series on Tuesday mornings from 10am-12:30pm starting February 13th
with Lisa Kagan 

“May our heart’s garden of awakening bloom with hundreds of flowers.”
~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Coming Home to Myself, Pen & Ink by Lisa Kagan

This in-person weekly “mini retreat” series offers you the chance to step away from the demands of daily life to connect more deeply with yourself through engaging in the creative process of writing, painting, drawing, and collage. Honoring the importance of following your own inner compass we will explore nine essential elements of the human experience: courage, passion, patience, grace, faith, resilience, wonder, gratitude, and renewal. We will experiment with creating our art on circular canvases, drawing inspiration from the cycles of the seasons, the practice of mandala creation, the rich tradition of Japanese crests, and the power of myth and personal symbolism through the creation of our own prayer flags. Set in a lush private garden, this weekly retreat series offers you a chance nurture and nourish yourself in the supportive, uplifting company of other women.

Content for this program is inspired by themes central to Lisa’s book of original art and poetry entitled, Coming Home to Myself, released in 2021.

Visit our event page to learn more and register for this program. 


Weekend retreat March 15th-17th
at Alton Collins Retreat Center

with Lisa Kagan and Margaret Hartsook

“I am making a home inside myself

where grace blooms in grand and glorious
abundance, a shelter of kindness
that grows all the truest things.
I whisper hallelujah to the friendly sky.
Watch now as I burst into blossom.”
~ Julia Feherenbacher, excerpt from “The Most Important Thing”

Bloom, Mixed Media by Lisa Kagan


Drawing inspiration from the natural world and its infinite wisdom of design, we will explore how the signs of early spring move through us, offering gifts and insights as we emerge from the depths of winter. This year, during our annual spring Emergence retreat, we will have the chance to awaken our creative spark through the writing and art process as we tend to ourselves in a circle of care and compassion. Throughout our weekend together we will identify what we are ready to let go of and what we want to plant deep in the fertile soil of our hearts, rooting in our inner strength and tapping into our power to grow and manifest in this time of new beginnings. Through writing and art making, utilizing painting, drawing, collage, fiber arts, and printmaking with natural materials from the magnificent Oregon forest, you’ll have the chance to honor your own process of emergence this spring. This soulful and inspiring weekend in the beauty of the natural world also offers you a chance to deeply nourish yourself with delicious meals, a beautiful retreat setting, and the supportive, uplifting company of other women. This retreat offers space for creative expression for women and those who identify as female of all ages and backgrounds. No writing or art experience is necessary.

Visit our event page for more information and to register for this retreat.


A weekly creative (writing & art-making) retreat series to renew and restore
A ten week series with Lisa Kagan and Margaret Hartsook
THIS PROGRAM IS FULL (Contact us to join the waitlist)

As we move from the darkest time of the year towards the return of the light, this in-person weekly “mini retreat” series offers you the chance to step away from the demands of daily life to connect more deeply with your own inner light. Drawing inspiration from nature’s passage through winter’s dormancy into spring’s cycle of blossoming, together we will cultivate our personal gardens of possibility through engaging in the creative process. Combining creative writing and visual art, we will explore a variety of mixed media techniques and materials such as painting, drawing, and collage. This year’s RADIANCE mini retreat series will feature a number of special projects including the creation of soul house lanterns, narrative images incorporating personal silhouettes, and mixed media mobiles. This weekly retreat series offers you a chance to nurture your creative spark, cultivate new ways of enriching yourself and your life in this next chapter, and nourish yourself in the supportive, uplifting company of other women.

Visit our event page for more information and to contact us to join the waitlist.


Looking to join an online writing circle? Check out Touchstone Retreats Co-Founder Dawn Thompson’s Words for Healing upcoming online writing programs.


Wonder, Pen & Ink by Lisa Kagan