gratitude celebration

Project Gratitude

The purpose:

To host a celebration of gratitude in my community officially thanking the biggest blessings in my life.  The goal was to create a magical atmosphere with an abundance of twinkle lights, candles and interactive activities to ignite connection. The backdrop was live music supplied by my friend and creative genius:  Keith Pulvermacher. The event was the culmination of my gratitude project and the epiphany of what I am most grateful for: people.   coffee shop grid

“You’ll need coffee shops and sunsets and road trips. Airplanes and passports and new songs and old songs, but people more than anything else. You will need other people and you will need to be that other person to someone else, a living breathing screaming invitation to believe better things.” – Jamie Tworkowski

The venue:

A cabin tucked deep inside a beloved Wisconsin State Park. The rental fee was an intentional “give back” to this treasured bridge to nature. With temperatures in the single digits, the setting was a warm respite from January grey.

gratitude warrior party

The activities:

I shared my word of the year tradition, hoping to inspire guests to ponder a word to focus upon in 2017.  I supplied word dice and covered the table used for rolling the dice with Brave Girls Club tissue paper.

gratitude warrior dice

Rocks and paint markers were provided to declare a word or intention, literally setting it stone.

gratitude warrior rocks

I made DIY temporary tattoos!  Click here for the Amazon source for printable temporary tattoo transfer sheets (not an affiliate link).

gratitude warrior tattoo

Guests had the option of taking home a gratitude warrior t-shirt.  We collected an optional donation for Ann’s Hope Foundation for Melanoma Cancer and raised over $200.  Leftover shirts will soon be available via my Etsy store and all proceeds will be donated to Ann’s Hope.

gratitude warrior tshirt

My favorite activity was the Polaroid photos of everyone stepping into their wings.*  wing warrior*I created the wings based on a tutorial via Brave Girl University.

Everyone went home with their custom encaustic piece.  I layered a lot of love within the multiple layers of wax.

gratitude encaustic sample


Grateful to everyone who came out in the cold and trusted my unusual idea for celebrating – especially the two guests who flew in early from their sunny states and then put in countless hours helping me!  Special thanks to my daughters who assisted with all the finishing details and had to navigate around all the encaustic pieces in our house during the last few months.  Thanks to Jen Hellman for creating this video which illustrates my heartfelt intention better than my words…


ordinary creative encaustic