Botanical Dye and Aromatherapy Workshop Recap + Field Notes
Last weekend, we hosted an awesome group of guests who discovered the power and possibility of plants working with all natural plant based dyes at our Botanical Dyeing and Aromatherapy workshop in Topanga. In this workshop, we experiment with natural dye on fiber while exploring aromatherapeutic blends. Everyone created something beautiful, and the art of botanical dyes intertwined perfectly with aromatherapy. All of the attention and energy that went into organizing the event paid off big when we saw the results on silk and smelled the beautiful aromatherapeutic blends. Be sure to scroll on down to see the marvelous results!
Today, I will share some pictures and inspiration from the day, so that you can learn more about the process, if you would like to try botanical dyeing at home. If you are considering attending a future event, then you can sign-up later in the post.
The night before all of the silks were pre-soaked with alum, a mineral mordant then left to dry.
Guests laid out irises, hibiscus, dried rose petals, and onion skins in a random and creative fashion to be used as dye, then rolled and folded their silk bundles to steam in the kitchen. We secured them with twine. Some guests even applied some shibori-like folds to their bundles. While our botanical dye bundles were steaming, we were treated to some amazing Aromatherapy with Flin K. Grant.
10 questions with aromatherapist FLIN K. GRANT, M.A.
Are you curious about how to use natural products in your beauty routine and daily life? Have you ever wanted to know more about what it takes to become an Aromatherapist and/or create a beauty line? If so, then this is the perfect interview for you. I am proud to share the next interview in our Working As series, with Flin K. Grant, Aromatherapist and creator of a natural beauty line. Today, Flin shares her background, mission and inspiration with you. So without further ado, here are 10 questions with Flin.
Q: Can you please share a little bit about your current natural wellness business?
A: I'm the owner, artisan and staff aromatherapist at Art of Essentials: Aromatherapy Inspired by Traditional Plant Medicine. I make small-batch, toxin-free body products such as nourishing body balms and hydrating face serums. I also do aromatherapy consultations and teach workshops on the basics of using essential oils and how to make your own blends and products.
Q: How did you become interested in Essential Oils and Aromatherapy?
A: I've dabled with essential oils for 30 years! My dad owned a metaphysical bookstore when I was younger and they sold essential oils there, so that was really my first introduction. And I've always had a keen nose and been attracted to aromatics. Then when I was pregnant with my daughter I developed an aversion to all synthetic smells and stopped using anything but 100% natural products. I became increasingly interested in the science and chemistry surrounding synthetics vs. plant-based materials. When my daughter was a baby I started studying the therapeutic properties of pure essential oils and using them on a regular basis. I noticed such a positive impact on my physical and emotional health.
*An interesting side note is that many women experience heightened olfactory sensitivity during pregnancy. The limbic system in mammals enables this so that the new baby's smell can imprint on the mother!
Q: What inspires you?
A: I'm in awe of the incredible ways that plants have healed humans for hundreds of thousands of years andI'm constantly inspired by seeing the plants that I study and use in their natural environment. I love going on outings and photographing the plants that I find (I studied photography in art school); a giant Eucalyptus tree, a rose bloom or a mint plant. These are common sights that it's easy to take for granted until you realize that, not only do plants give us oxygen to support life and feed us, but they also offer their bodies to us in the form of aromatic herbs and oils, healing remedies that can soothe physical inflammations and calm emotional tensions.
Q: What types of products do you create? Any customer favorites?
A: I make products that I use personally. I create something to fill a need that I have, then test the formula on myself. If I like it, then I'm confident in giving it to others because I know it works! My top sellers (and also my favorites) are: Face Serum #1, excellent for sealing in moisture for dry, mature skin; Atchoo Allergy Blend, to reduce symptoms of seasonal allergies, from which I suffer; Honey Jasmine Everywhere Balm, an all-purpose balm that hydrates any dry spot on your body, including hands and lips, and I even use it to detangle knots in my daughter's hair!
Q: What does your creative process look like?
A: I usually mull over an idea for a while and let it take on a few forms while I'm deciding what works best. Sometimes I gather ideas and images as inspiration and sometimes I do research. I like to live with something and really observe it while it's in each stage of development. Then when all of the elements click, I know it's time to finalize the project and I move pretty quickly. It's a very intuitive process.
Q: What is the most rewarding thing (best part) about using Aromatherapy?
A: It's empowering having this natural tool to use as a preventative medicine because I believe in taking a holistic approach to well-being. I've seen so many ways that aromatherapy can help people. It's a simple and effective way to care for yourself and loved ones on a cellular level and can compliment any other health care regime that's practiced.
Q: What upcoming projects are you excited about on the horizon?
A: I've got 3 new products that I'm launching this year, including an aromatic oil fragrance that I've been perfecting for a couple of years! I'm also co-teaching some botanically-inspired workshops that merge eco-textile design with custom aromatherapy. Those are going to be lovely experiential events! Then, this summer I'm planning to consult at a farm's Lavender Festival and teach guests about the essential oils that are distilled directly on the property from their own herbs. I'm really excited about that too!
Q: If someone is just starting out with essential oils, what 3 oils would you recommend to them to get started?
A: I would want to know what they will be using them for and what outcome they're hoping to achieve. Aromatherapy can be highly individual because olfaction is such a personal experience and so strongly influenced by memory and association. But... as a general rule, Lavender, Frankincense and Orange are a great place to start because they are all incredibly versatile and gentle oils.
Q: If someone is interested in getting more involved with aromatherapy, are there any groups or classes that you would recommend?
A: Yes! Come take our Botanical Bundle Dye and Aromatherapy Workshop!
I also do custom classes and consultations. You can contact me directly via my Facebook group, Art of Essentials, or my website. Kurt Schnaubelt and Robert Tisserand are both highly respected authors to read up on. I also love Mandy Aftel and Cathy Skipper. You can take free online Intro to Aromatherapy classes at Aromahead and New York Institute for Aromatic Studies. They're both great!
Thank you, Flin. This has been so inspiring!
For more on aromatherapy, you can learn to create own DIY Room Spray with Flin too.
How to make a Golden turmeric Date Latte
You might have heard turmeric referred to as medicine of the gods. It is true that in ancient Ayurvedic medicine turmeric was used for medicinal purposes. I first fell in love with turmeric lattes or "tumi" for short, a couple of years ago, and I am proud to say that I have sampled them all over Los Angeles and abroad. They have become somewhat popular in larger cities, and I even heard that the Ace hotel in London keeps them in the lobby. My favorite one, is the "tumi" at Go Get Em Tiger in L.A. because it is made with fresh squeezed turmeric root juice and macadamia almond nut milk, which when frothed is creamier than others that I have found. In a quest, to perfect a similar turmeric latte at home, I have created my own recipe using oat nut milk, turmeric and ginger.
Below you can see the signature golden turmeric foam with a dash of cinnamon on top! The blue cotton linen napkins in the photo were the happy result of numerous dips into the indigo vat and are coming soon to my shop soon!
If you would like to incorporate turmeric into your diet, then I highly recommend this latte which has both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. I like to have it in the morning or in the evening! Keep on reading for the simple recipe.
HI, I'M HILARY.
A Day in the Life, is where I share inspiration for a handmade lifestyle from natural dye methods, textile techniques, and the best of California design. I love dreaming up products for a sustainable artful home. I offer creative workshops to inspire you to live your best life by connecting you to your creativity and others. I hope to meet you in person at one of my workshops for creative people like you!
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