Witching Hour: Textile Retreat – Call for Submissions


Bubbling indigo, scarlet mushrooms and crafted looms 

Stained fingers dipping into foggy lake water

A moment of dyeing, boiling, weaving

Twisting the pH of a vaporous cauldron

It’s a witching hour



Witching Hour: Textile Retreat is a three day, two night intensive workshop on natural dyes. Ranging from foraging mushrooms, and understanding the nuance of indigo, to individualized explorations of weaving and tapestry looms, this comprehensive retreat instills the balance, wisdom and magic of natural textiles.


Hannah Zbitnew is a textile designer, junior cobbler and textbook Cancerian. Her work mainly revolves around witches, women, space and memory. She lives in Toronto.
Madeleine LeBlanc is a practicing costume designer & fibre artist based in Toronto. Studying at Central Saint Martins and OCAD university. Between stitching and experimenting with natural dyes, she can usually be spotted with a pestle & morder, a carnelian crystal and some tarot cards.
Rachel Ormshaw is a practicing weaver and fibre artist, based in Toronto & studying at OCAD. When she’s not dyeing a linen warp midnight blue with indigo, she can often be found stumming an original song or casting a wholesome spell.

The cost of the three day retreat is $250, and it includes:

– A three day stay at the serene, lakeside Moonshadow Cabin; three bedrooms, electricity, potable water, shower, wood burning stove

– Delicious meals included (vegetarian), plus tea and snacks

– Three workshops: Mushroom Dyeing, Indigo Dyeing and Hand Tapestry Weaving

– A tapestry loom of your own to take home

– A variety of natural materials/fibres (encouraged byo fibre)

– A hand made, naturally dyed tapestry of your making

– A small sketchbook of your notes and samples from the lessons



For entry, please email with the following:

-Your name

-A paragraph (about 100 words) on why you’re interested in this retreat, and a bit about yourself

-2 to 5 images of past work (not limited to or requiring textile work)

All submissions are due by June 25th!
On August 1st participants will be notified, and payment is due on August 15th.

Creating Art From Natural Reference with Lisa Vanin

Paintings and Photography by Lisa Vanin
Paintings and Photography by Lisa Vanin


July 13th-15 2018, join artist Lisa Vanin for a weekend retreat at the beautiful Moonshadow cabin to learn how to use natural reference to enrich your practice. This workshop invites guests of any creative or non-creative background to explore nature, collect reference, and create works of art based on their own unique inspirations and experience. Lisa works closely with her personally collected database of reference, to create art pieces in different medias and techniques. This practice continues to add substance and the richness of understanding the natural world to her stylized work. Over the course of the weekend, guests will be encouraged to explore the land to collect objects and images to later use as inspiration for their own art pieces. Lisa will introduce the group to linocut, sculpey molding, and painting techniques that can be used during the stay to create works. Connect with nature through art and open yourself up to the inspiration that you will surely encounter at Moonshadow Cabin


Lisa Vanin Sculpey
Sculpey pieces by Lisa Vanin


Linocut and Prints by Lisa Vanin
Linocut and Prints by Lisa Vanin

Meals for the retreat are centred on local, seasonal food and sometimes include foraged items gathered on our own trails. The region offers us a bounty of small-farmed goods which inspire beautiful, nourishing meals, tailored to individual preferences and needs.


Retreat breakfast. Eggs poached in spiced tomato stew.
Retreat supper. Whitefish with kohlrabi and corn.
Retreat supper. Whitefish with kohlrabi and corn.

Register now for Creating Art From Natural Reference with Lia Vanin.

Friday July 13th – check in as of noon
Sunday July 15th – check out 3pm

All meals provided.
All materials provided.

Choice of room/bed. Learn more about the cabin here.

$350.00 CAD

Reflections of the year gone by and visions of the future.

Wow! I haven’t been much for keeping things that up to date here, news-wise. So many great things happened in 2017.

We shared space and energy with so many great folks through fun hangs, retreats, barters, and neighbourly walk-abouts.

Many hands make light work, and it feels like we have a bit of a community forming of folks who are investing their efforts into the space to benefit the experience of all who visit and gather. In this past year, folks have installed and painted trim, created inspired art, assembled much a much-needed compost bin, and strung a bi-pride flag up the flag pole. Folks have brought recreational gear, art supplies, books, games and kitchen equipment. Friends have split and stacked wood, installed solar twinkle lights to help guide some ways, cleared out and organized one of the sheds and moved out some large old furniture.

We’ve been learning the land and engaging in restorative practices. We’ve been gathering to learn and to teach. We’ve been dancing on the iced-over lake under the full moon. We’ve been gathering medicines and lunches. We’ve been giving care and nurturance.


I am so excited for all the fun collaborations and adventures we will share in the coming year. There are already a pair of beautiful summer retreats in the works, some pals have been hatching plans to update the bunkie, we’re moving forward with investigating the integration of solar power, and we’re introducing more edibles into the landscape. I can’t wait to see what else unfolds as we glide into spring.

If you are interested in hosting a retreat or workshop, or you wold like a space to explore collaborative ideas and ways of relating, please get in touch. Let’s make our dreams reality.

2017 Summer Retreat

You may wish to sign up for the waitlist in the event of cancellations.

Join us for our summer retreat: a late-August weekend that energizes and celebrates your creative spirit.

Check in: Friday, August 25th 4 pm.
Check out: Sunday, August 27th 11 am.

Bring your own project. Cultivate inspiration here.
Your choice of room. Learn more about the cabin here.
Meals provided.

Lucky for us, this weekend retreat features a workshop by award-winning Toronto-based illustrator, Lisa Vanin.

Meaningful Reference:
Identifying, Collecting and Using Your Own References from Nature
This weekend workshop presents an opportunity for creative people to connect with nature and improve their craft by adding a higher level of understanding of plant life. Illustrator and foraging hobbyist Lisa Vanin, will lead you through her process of collecting natural references to be used in creating art. There will be woodland and lakeside hikes exploring the terrain near Moonshadow Cabin. We will identify and learn about wild medicinal and edible plants and fungi. References will be collected by sketching or painting in the field, photography, and gathering certain plants. After hiking, Lisa will teach a painting workshop to share how she works closely with her own collected references. This workshop is open to creative people of any skill level or background. No painting skills are required, just a love for nature. You may use the hiking trips and apply those experiences to any type of art you like. By creating your own library of reference, you can improve your craft, giving a greater meaning to the smallest subjects, such as a plants in the background of a painting. 

If you are interested in bartering for all or part of your time at the retreat, please check our bartering wish-list and tell us about your offer in the Questions and Comments section on the registration form.

Get on the waitlist

Private booking

You’ve learned all about what this space has to offer and you are interested in booking a stay. We offer private bookings for some rest and relaxation and celebratory gatherings. Such rentals are $175/night + a refundable security deposit. A small additional fee applies when more than four guests are in attendance.

We also accommodate those looking for a space to hold retreats of many types.  We strive to keep our rates lower than the average for the area, in order to increase accessibility to those more often marginalized. We are also open to bartering a stay for on-site work, skill-sharing, and goods. When submitting a rental request, please ask about retreat pricing, or tell us about what you would barter.


see calendar of availability