"Nature holds the key to our aesthetic, intellectual, cognitive and even spiritual satisfaction"
- E.O. Wilson, American Biologist and World Renown Ant Specialist
I hadn’t begun to think about Christmas, being mid November or so, until I received an email from my good friend J’val, inviting my daughter and I to participate in a one of a kind ‘mother and daughter’ decorative planter making workshop. This looked and sounded interesting. We didn’t hesitate and signed up.
The workshop was held at the lovely and beautifully decorated Wolf Willow Studio, owned and operated by Michalena Bamford, a self - taught artist who specializes in making art with her hands, especially if it involves Mosaic. Michalena operates Rocky Mountain Wreaths out of Wolf Willow Studio, her space that holds her passions of nature, mosaics, and community art, during the holiday season. The mandate of RMW is to use native, sustainable plant material to provide Calgarians with a local, green option for holiday decor. Building community and supporting other artists is very important to her.
Each of us (moms and daughters) started with a large black plastic pot, where Michalena and her assistant, Chelsie, had prepared with a product called ‘oasis’ that would hold the stems of the greenery, saturated with water. We also each received a nicely tied bundle of greenery, from local trees and bushes, with which we would use to make our planter creations. Such greenery included Juniper, Pine, Cedar (from BC as it doesn’t grow in Alberta), and various twigs. Bamford states, “I started offering the workshops because I know how wonderful it is to create things with your own hands with friends, and I love sharing information about the incredible benefits of our indigenous flora! Nature provides so many sensory benefits to us, I love to help others find the natural beauty of the season!” It was a lot of fun and when we were done, we were invited to talk about our planters and have a little ‘critique’, feeling much like ‘real’ artists. Oh, and wine, Nanaimo bars, chocolates, Mandarin oranges and cider were ample, tempting us and reminding us that Christmas is but just around the corner.
The planters turned out beautifully, and we immediately put them at the front and back door of our condo, adding instant ‘curb appeal’ to our home. A great idea to freshen up a home, regardless of whether you are planning to sell or not. Who doesn’t love fresh greenery?
In addition to offering workshops, Michalena hosts an annual Winter Market, this year it is on Dec.4th 10-4pm. Chelsie is also passionate about sharing green education too, operating a landscaping business called Chelsie's Soil-Unions. For more information, contact Wolf Willow Studio.
Thank you for reading my post and feel free to share. Enjoy getting ready for the holiday season!