Create With Me This Summer On The Boho Prairie

Creative Passport: Galena, Illinois - Workshop with Lisa Sonora & Kelli May Krenz

UPDATE: This retreat has happened! If you subscribe to my mailing list, you’ll get first dibs on upcoming workshops and retreats like this. I teach in the USA once a year.

Here’s the original post… (thanks for reading!)

Do you have a favorite place in this world that inspires you to create? That reminds you of your true essence? That connects you with your higher purpose?

Me and my dear friend, Kelli (you’ll meet her in a sec) have such a place, and it might not be what you’d expect. Especially from me, a gal who roams the world and lives in Mexico.

One of my most creative sacred spaces are the wide open prairies of the midwest USA. Especially where they connect with rivers and forests.

I grew up in this landscape, spending time in Illinois, mostly, and many summers in Wisconsin and Michigan, where I was born.

Summer is my favorite time to be here: fireflies, thunderstorms, sweet corn, flea markets, roaming around the countryside, red-wing blackbirds lining two-lane roads through corn fields… there is so much that helps me settle into summer vacation mode. Idling with a good book (Little House on the Prairie, then, Long Quiet Highway, or PrairieErth now) out on the back porch with a glass of lemonade. Writing and sketching in my journal with friends in cafes.

So this July I’m over the moon to be coming to Illinois for a family / friend visit this summer, and to co-teach a workshop with one of the most creative and loving women I know: Kelli May Krenz.

Following are the details on the weekend we’ve put together. The kind of workshop WE want to take. You’re invited to come join us. We’d love to share the experience with you.

Boho Prairie?

Boho Prairie is one of Kelli’s lines of decor and home furnishings, in case you were wondering, What is so Boho about the Prairie? Wait till you see! You’re gonna get some in the workshop kits we’re putting together for you.

There’s an early discount for early birds who register early – so giddyup, pretty lady. 

Creative Passport: Boho Prairie in Galena, Illinois 

A Weekend Workshop in a Magical Riverside Prairie Town Celebrating Your Spirit Warrior Creative Self

with Lisa Sonora & Kelli May Krenz

Saturday, July 29 – Sunday, July 30, 2017

For women who crave a creative getaway, in the company of kindred spirits — two caring and experienced artist / teachers who will bring out the best of your creativity.

Join us in Galena, Illinois

This little river town is magic filled. You will feel as if you have been transported back in time. This city is all about history, art, music and good food. Here we honor artists and community.

Creative Passport: Galena, Illinois -There are artifacts and buildings from the 1800’s that have been expertly preserved. Tales and haunted legends still telling the stories of a time past. You will find a calmness come over you then you will breathe in the prairie air and create.  

In the Creative Passport: Galena workshop you’ll experience magic energy in the historic town of Galena like an artist, and create a beautiful, richly textured and layered visual travel journal that documents your creative journey, and celebrates your Spirit Warrior self.

Mixed-media travel journal by Lisa Sonora

Mixed-media travel journal by Lisa Sonora

We’ll help you experience Galena as an artist, with tips on getting great travel photos, sketching in public (even if you can’t draw!), collecting stories to remember, and finding symbols and signs that support your creative journey.

During studio time, we’ll show you how to create your own, one-of-a-kind, portable and expandable travel journal out of beautiful papers, maps, ribbons, envelopes, and other ephemera.

You’ll tap into your innate creative powers, and learn how to create a layered and expressive Spirit Warrior painting that fits inside your journal.

You’ll learn unconventional methods of layering papers, paints and words.

We will work one on one with you to help you dig deep and bring your stories to life.

Learn to paint your own Spirit Warrior – all paintings by Kelli May Krenz

Your Spirit Warrior is there to guide, comfort, and inspire you. Most of all, to remind you of who you really are inside and what you want to express in your life with more creativity and confidence.

You’ll get plenty of instruction in mixed-media techniques, plus guidance on how to use the experience of art and travel to increase your own creativity, including how to break through creative blocks.

Travel is the perfect way to awaken and enliven your creative spirit. Being away from home awakens our curiosity, brings our senses alive, and requires us to navigate the unfamiliar.

Plus, you don’t have to do the dishes or take care of anyone else for a couple of days. Every woman needs a little getaway to renew her energies and refill her creative well.

These are just a few of the qualities that play a part in artistic expression, and you’ll learn how to harness these qualities as you craft your  journal.

tales of adventure - creative passport workshop

Everything you learn in the workshop can be applied to any journey you are on in life – whether it’s a travel journey, or a life journey.

All you need to participate is a willingness to explore and a sense of curiosity!

Everyone can travel artfully, and anyone can make a beautiful travel journal that captures their experience.

No prior experience in art, writing — or even travel — is required! Absolute beginners are welcome and encouraged to attend.

If you are a creative soul who yearns to combine meaningful art-making travel, then you’ll love this experience.

In this workshop you’ll learn how to:

  • Create your own portable, expandable travel journal out of beautiful papers, maps, ribbons, envelopes, and other ephemera that we find in Galena.
  • See with the eyes of an artist, and find ephemera and stories for your journal.
  • Make fantastic use of the stuff we find on our treasure hunts through Galena’s magical streets, shops, cafes, artistic haunts, and historic monuments.
  • Use paint, drawing, and collage to create richly textured pageseven if you have no experience in painting, drawing or collage.
  • Create a Spirit Warrior painting for your journal – one you learn how, you can create these paintings on your your own, on any type of canvas or surface you like.
  • Make your own maps, envelopes and other mixed-media techniques that make your travel journal uniquely yours.
  • Take better photos with your smart phone or portable digital camera, the apps you can use to create compelling travel photos, and how to weave them into your travel journal.
  • Capture your own meaningful travel stories to add to your journal, even if you don’t think of yourself as a writer or are afraid to write.
  • Find and work with unlikely materials. No matter where you go, even without traditional art supplies, you can create a wonderful artifacts of your journey.

No matter what level of experience, you’ll absolutely fall in love with your own creative work. Even if you are an absolute beginner or have old hangups about not being creative.

P.S. Everyone pretty much has some kind of creative hangup at some time – so don’t let that stop you.

You’ll take away:

  • A magnificent, one-of-a-kind handmade travel journal, brimming with color, texture, images and stories of your time in Galena, Illinois – Boho Prairie Style.
  • A Spirit Warrior painting inside your sketchbook.
  • Your own Creative Passport Kit, with Lisa and Kelli’s favorite travel journal supplies, packed inside a unique, lightweight, colorful tote. Your supplies will always be at the ready for any spontaneous adventure!

This is an experiential workshop in the company of kindreds who also love art and travel.

Creative adventures await you! Get your passport and start packing!


 Creative Passport: Galena, Illinois -

Travel to Galena:

Galena, Illinois is located in northwest Illinois, near the state borders of Iowa and Wisconsin near the Mississippi River.  View Google Map

To find great airline deals, use a google chrome browser in incognito mode, and search for airfares on

You can see recommended travel routes by train, plane, ferry and car to and from any destination on the Rome2Rio website.

This workshop is lovingly led by Kelli May Krenz & Lisa Sonora

Kelli Mae Krenz photoKelli May Krenz is a graphic designer, artist and teacher whose work featured in an array of print publications including Art Journaling Stampington, Mabel Magazine, Room to Create, Somerset Apprentice, Somerset Life, Somerset Memories, Somerset Studio, The Coloring Studio Stampington, Uppercase Magazine.

Kelli teaches online courses and at national venues.

Since graduating from Iowa State University with a degree in Fine Art and Graphic Design, she’s worked in Dallas, Minneapolis, Siesta Key, Florida and with clients from all over the world.

(If you’ve bought cool stuff at Target or a deck of inspirational cards by Hay House – you’ve seen Kelli’s work! She’s being so modest!)

These days she lives in Galena, Illinois with her hubby and their muse, a Jack Russell Terrier named Pearl Button.

She has a line of art and homeware products called Boho Prairie, inspired by her life in Galena and the midwestern prairies. (You’ll get a sneak peek at some at the workshop.)

Kelli says: Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve always loved to create, draw, paint and stitch, and I knew I would be a graphic designer.

For me creating is like breathing – I simply do it! My mission is to continue making art that reflects my core belief — that all great things are possible.

I’m so excited to share my prairie life and art filled river town with you in Galena.

Lisa with paintbrushes

Lisa Sonora is an American artist, author, and intrepid traveler, based in Oaxaca, Mexico, who wants to live in a world where everyone remembers that they are an artist.

Originally trained as an art therapist, and a long-time student of meditation, Lisa brings a compassionate and contemplative approach to her teaching.  

Her first book, The Creative Entrepreneur: A DIY Guidebook to Making Business Ideas Real (Quarry, 2008) launched a movement that has helped thousands to live their creative dreams.

A sought after facilitator, she’s led international writing and creativity workshops on five continents for more than 20 years: at schools in Africa, inside tech companies, coach training programs, churches and zendos, and at retreat centers and in universities.

She trains others to lead creativity workshops in her Creative Journey Facilitator Training program.

Lisa is passionate about demystifying the creative process, and takes a practical approach to getting creative work done. If you’ve got resistance, bring it!

Her 30 Day Journal Project brings together a global audience online twice a year to celebrate the power and magic of regular daily writing.

She loves guiding creative souls in making their own art and magic in the world’s most inspiring places.

Lisa also grew up in the Midwest (Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin) had has a deep love for prairie landscapes and the Mississippi River tributaries where her grandfather how to catch catfish as a child.

9 Responses to Create With Me This Summer On The Boho Prairie

  1. Jenna July 17, 2017 at 8:34 am #

    Is this workshop handicapped accessible to someone in a wheelchair?

    • Lisa Sonora July 17, 2017 at 3:42 pm #

      Hi Jenna – unfortunately it’s an old building with stairs only and no elevator. Sorry! Workshop is on the second floor.

  2. Megan May 31, 2017 at 7:49 pm #

    Hi just curious what the anticipated size of the group will be?

  3. Kelly May 5, 2017 at 7:21 pm #

    What are the hours for the two days? Is there an age retirement or is any woman over 18 OK? This sounds amazingly perfect!

    • Lisa Sonora June 8, 2017 at 11:20 am #

      Kelly – Thanks for asking – this workshop is suitable for any adult woman – and by that I mean your that a teenage daughter or niece, for example, would be most welcome.

      As for the hours, we’ll be meeting from 10 am – 6 pm Saturday and Sunday, with a 2 hr. break for lunch with time for shopping and/or creative journaling challenges (that are optional) we will give you during the workshop.

      The studio will open at 9:30 am, and will also be open during lunch, in case you want to keep working through the break.

  4. Cheryl Billmyer April 30, 2017 at 10:48 pm #

    I can’t believe your coming to Galena! I need to see if my daughter would like to do this with me.

  5. Darlene Rose April 28, 2017 at 9:57 am #

    Sounds like fun and freedom to express and create!

    Is this strictly for women or are guys invited too?

    Thank you for all the dear work you produce and all the fun events you stimulate and create!

    From my heart,
    Darlene Rose DeMaria

    • Lisa Sonora April 30, 2017 at 1:37 pm #

      Hi Darlene – We’re keeping it to just us girls. 🙂 Will you be joining us?

      Thanks for your note! I appreciate it!

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