Parc Lafontaine, Montreal.
This summer I have been all about the mini-vacation. My vacations have included extremely short visits to Maine, New York, Vermont, Ottawa and of course, rural Quebec. The advantages to the mini-vaca include both minimal cost and time commitment. If you have a general idea on where you are going and you have a somewhat natural sense of direction/ability to read a map to get where you are going, the mini-vaca can be extremely energizing.
Do you have photos from your 2012 mini-vacation? Please send them our way, we would love to see them. Our email address is: email@example.com
Here are some trés amateur photos from my shortest and cheapest vacation yet; the three hour tour.
I arrived at my destination by bicycle. :)
Join me at Fleurbain for the LAB Series.
On August 30th and 31st we are all about Lemon balm, otherwise known as Melissa officinalis.
What you might like to know about this herb ahead of time:
* is a great tasting herb, so lemony, but it is actually a part of the mint family.
* improves mood, and helps with the less glamorous moments of irritability and forgetfulness.
* can work to relieve stress headaches, heartache, aids digestion, helps you sleep and diminishes seasonal depression.
* is a famous antiviral that is effective against cold sores and shingles.
* can be used by folks of all ages.
* and to top it off, it is a beautiful perennial in Quebec!
At Fleurbain I will share with you the winning, synergistic combinations of lemon balm with other herbs. We will discuss who should not be taking it in large quantities. And we will experiment with a plethora of recipes used for refreshment and cosmetic purposes.
There are three opportunities to come to the Lemon balm LAB. Preregistration is appreciated.
Please send me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thursday, August 30th 4:00 – 5:30 p.m. or 7:30-9:00 p.m.
Friday, August 31st 4:00 – 5:30 p.m.
Cost: $20.00 This includes notes, recipes and delicious samples.
nettle, hibiscus, rose and cinnamon
Combine 2 tablespoons nettles (Urtica dioica), 2 tablespoons hibiscus, 1 tablespoon rose petals and half a cinnamon stick in a teapot.
Pour boiling water over the herbs, put the lid on and let it steep at least 10 minutes. This jewel-toned tea tastes divine if you allow it to cool over an hour or more.
Replenish the teapot with room temperature water as required and enjoy this refreshing beverage throughout the day.
We all do it. Don’t be ashamed. If you know how to knit, you have some… FAILED KNITTING.
An anecdote: A friend of mine announced she was pregnant with her second child. In anticipation, I bought a pattern for a cute little sweater. Friend had baby: A girl! So I bought some pink-ish wools and started in.
A year later, it evolved into a first-birthday gift.
Many other years later, it evolved into something for one the child’s dolls, perhaps.
Yet more years later… and I will be incorporating the pieces and bits of knit into some scarves.
I have done something like this a couple of times before. Once I felted an unfinished knit charity quilt-square (I missed the deadline, of course) into the end of a scarf. Here is a photo of the finished scarf:
I have more recently created a similar scarf. This time I used a finished, knitted scarf I wasn’t happy with, and sewed on (by hand!) some ruffly chiffon. I have this for sale on my Etsy page for a few days, and if it doesn’t sell it is MINE.
Some of us just aren’t true knitters. We can’t find happiness with what we make; however we are continually drawn to trying again and again. The path to peace within the realm of knitting is perhaps in finding a mixed-media outlet for yourself. Sew on knitting. Felt with knitting. Re-purpose knitted bits. Go on, you can do it. Do It Yourself.
Natasha Henderson, Montreal
*note this would work with crochet, too… and there’s nothing stopping you from making something like a cup-cosy out of your little knit and crochet bits. Small is good…
Last week I was interviewed for a documentary focusing on the cosmetic industry in Canada. It was so much fun! My basic message was that if we are concerned by what is in our cosmetics, we can use our creativity and empower ourselves to make our own. Yes, there is much to do in terms of petitioning the government and helping to change laws that will allow for greater transparency. We have gotta know what is in these products if we are to make informed consumer choices! And people are getting the word out there, such as the folks at Femme Toxic or those who are putting together the documentary, Fairly Foul. But, until we sort all of this out, if you want a really clean cream, facial cleanser, deodorant, etc., today, the fast and easy way of avoiding questionable chemicals in products is to make your own. I want people to see that is not that hard to make your own stuff. Your homemade products will be of excellent quality and you will know exactly what is in them!
Yes, people have their doubts! Sometimes when I mention how easy it is to make your own stuff, people ask about safety in terms of freshness and bacterial contamination. That is when I break the hard news that if you make your own products, you will be making some things every few weeks and other stuff every few months. It is like food. If you want a Twinkie for breakfast, go for it and buy enough for the year. Each day grab yourself a Twinkie from the pile. Yes, this is a safe breakfast, but not necessarily a beneficial one. If you want some nutrition to fuel your day, you are going to have to find fresh food and prepare it in some way. Great skin care products are somewhat similar. Like our friend Deborah says, this is a bit like the Slow Food Movement. It is the slow cosmetic movement. It takes some effort, but it is more than worth it.
To address the safety issue regarding natural products, I like to encourage people to know more about what they are putting on their face. It is a great idea to start a recipe file with two parts. One part should be the recipes. Include the ones that you have tried and the ones that you want to try. Record your experience, tweak your method. It is like cooking and you will only get better at it with practice. The second part to your recipe file should be a list of ingredients. For each ingredient you can keep record of all sorts of fascinating information such as what it does and what benefit it is to your skin, why you add it to products, what products it is use in, where it comes from, where to buy it and even any folklore or history of use. And, why not record what chemical constituents are also in it? Anytime you read anything new about this ingredient, add this information to the file and record where you found the information. Within weeks, months, or years, who knows, you might have enough to write your own book on the subject! Most importantly, you are educating yourself on this subject! And you will have a kick’n file that you can refer to at anytime.
For those who are interested, I offer a super introductory course on creating your own skin care products. We make the products, we try the products and you take home enough products for approximately one month’s worth of skin pampering Of course you take home the recipes, too. The cost is $40, plus tax, per participant. I am able to do this at our space, Fleurbain, and I am also available to come to you and lead the workshop anywhere within Montreal.
Tammy Schmidt, Montreal
Fleurbain is at 460 St Catherine St. West, suite #917.
For more information, email me at email@example.com
October has been a great month of getting Fleurbain ready for the world! Moving art and herbs into one beautiful space. Hanging picture rails, installing shelves and countertops. Cleaning things up. It’s been a busy month!
And finally, (drumroll…), November 5th, starting at 5pm, we are having our Grand Opening!
Yes, you are invited see what we have come up with. Natasha Henderson is showing paintings from her Bach series. Tammy Schmidt will be there to introduce you to the concept of an herbalist’s office. And of course, we would like to offer you some delight from our favourite café, De Farine et D’Eau Fraîche, and other refreshments.
Saturday, November 5th, anytime after 5pm.
We can’t wait to introduce you to Fleurbain, the space!
917 – 460 Ste. Catherine St. W
Fleurbain is no longer only a dream and a website… Fleurbain is a site.
We will have a grand ouverture and vernissage soon (probably in early November), but in the meantime we will have small open-houses, host workshops, and meet with our clientelle in the realms of herbalism and art. In coming weeks we will announce regular opening hours, but for now we are available by appointment.
Tammy Schmidt, Clinical Herbal Therapist, is available for appointments through tammy.schmidt.herbalist (at) gmail.com and Natasha Henderson Artist and felt-making crafty Workshop Instructor is available through firstname.lastname@example.org. We can both be reached through email@example.com!
See you soon, Montreal!
Tammy Schmidt and Natasha Henderson, Montreal
Tammy Schmidt, Montreal.