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art, herbalism, activism, and fun… Verdant Life In The City!

It is with great delight that we are about to celebrate one year since opening our doors in this verdant city, Montreal. At 6pm onward on Saturday November 3, we will do so in style. We have so much to celebrate! Fleurbain is where seeds have been thrown, ideas have germinated, friendships and connections have grown. After having extended our branches in the worlds of herbalism, art, health and empowerment, we have seen dreams and hopes begin to come to fruition.

a McGill student relaxes over some tisane and painting

Having begun as a blog (you are reading it!) between herbalist Tammy Schmidt and artist Natasha Henderson, Fleurbain has grown into a workspace for these two creative urbanites, but is much more than that. Both women have led workshops in their respective fields. Natasha began her successful “Drop In Painting” sessions, in which anyone was encouraged to pick up a paintbrush and create. Tammy has led dietary workshops and support groups, in The Nourishment Series. She has also hosted many in-house spa treatments, using only organic, healthy ingredients to nourish the skin and spirit. Early in the existence of Fleurbain, Tammy was interviewed for the documentary Fairly Foul, in which she spoke about alternatives to toxic beauty care products. Shared beliefs between BCAM and Femme Toxic and Fleurbain has made for extended support and networking for change in areas we strongly believe in.

Tammy during shooting for the documentary, Fairly Foul

Numerous community events have been organised and presented over the last year. Vernissages for new exhibitions have been a highlight. Poetry readings, artists’ talks, and yoga classes have rounded out some of the cultural and good things going on at Fleurbain.

activity at Fleurbain

As we look back, we want to thank each artist in their participation. Carole Arbic, Elissa Baltzer, Heather Boyd, Denise Buisman Pilger, Marc Chabot, Naomi Frangos, Anna Grigorian, Jennifer Hamilton, Meredith Hayes, Natasha Henderson, Françoise Issaly, Thaneah Krohn, Jeffrey Mackie, Jenny McMaster, David Merk, Lorraine Miller Emmrys, Kimberley Mok, Michel Pednault, Sarina Rahman, Keivan Khademi Shamami, Spiranza Spir, Darlene St Georges, Lauren Trimble, Patrycja Walton, Julie Webb, and Alice Zilberberg… Thank you!

Tammy leading a large workshop for Femme Toxic on organic, herbal skincare

While Tammy has activated the lives of many with her workshops, support groups, and classes, she has also maintained her private practice as a consulting herbalist. Her in-house dispensary is a wonderful place to get your favourite herbal remedies after your consultation with Tammy.

Natasha curates the art gallery, with a number of themed group exhibitions throughout the year, as well as her own New Work solo show each spring. Art creates a vibrant and creative, always changing scene for all that happens in Fleurbain.

Natasha paints, creates felt objects, and curates the gallery.

This Saturday, November 3, please join us in celebrating all this, and more. From 6pm onwards, we will enjoy pies, wine, special herbal teas by Tammy Schmidt, and fabulous company. Natasha is proud to present a selective retrospective exhibition of her paintings from over the last few years, as well as some brand new works. New herbal products made by Tammy are available in our shop, including tisanes and lipbalms to go. Natasha’s handmade felt products, fun Goober cell-phone cases and stylish scarves, await new homes. Our new product lines and ideas are blooming, we are planning new classes for this winter and 2013, and more is cooking at Fleurbain. Come celebrate with us!

Fleurbain is located at 460 St Catherine West, Unit 917. If you should arrive late, and the front door is locked, buzz for the security guard to let you in. See you Saturday!



marmelade, the social cat


I hosted a party last night, and I would love to share it with you. We enjoyed a relaxing evening with friends on the weekend before the holidays. And, what else brings friends and the winter holidays together like building a real gingerbread house?

Before the party I fashioned a house-shaped structure wrapped with tinfoil. Just then Natasha arrived, and she placed my homemade gingerbread onto the structure with icing. Strangely enough, we used a butter-cream icing. This is unconventional, but I had no egg whites to make royal icing. None of the guests noticed, so I think this was o.k.

bourboned almon-tinis with cranberry 'ice-buds'

Here are the initial stages of the gingerbread house.  Supplies required: various candies of your choosing, old cards, icing, scissors, glue gun, markers, and another friend to make delicious fancy drinks.

No doubt, there was imagination and creativity involved in the initial stages. As more people arrived bearing their additional decorations for the house, however, the project really took off!

gingerbread, artistry... action!

Plenty of detail was added, and then subtracted. A wise suggestion early in the proceedings was to not do any ‘landscaping’ with icing until the final decisions for the house were made.

Et l’oeuvre finale!

Jelly beans really added colour and character to everything. Also, there was no reason to not include little liqueur candies. Some of what you see here includes a candy cane stream whose brandy bean bridge is lined with red jelly bean lamp-posts.  Nearby are carolling cowboys for good company! In the foreground are liqueur candies topped with Natasha’s choco-almo date balls. They reminded everyone of grannies with flapper-style hats!

note Santa on top the house amongst fluffy coconut balls. chocolate-covered raisins and vanilla jelly beans were brought together to make a welcoming entry. a late addition not seen in this photo are julie's chocolaty pears.

party planning committee members: Tammy Schmidt, host; Natasha Henderson, official photographer; Marmelade, Iggy, Billi and Rosebud, members at large.

party cat

billi is always finding new places to take a nap

Iggy stayed at home because he's shy.

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