Super Bloomers! : Creating dynamic connections between people and nature with Madame Beespeaker and Friends

Join our team as we explore, make, and grow through the seasons in actions inspired by the Renfrew Ravine beside the Renfrew Park Community Centre. We’ll be hosting picnics, pop-up pollinator gardens, ravine walks, and hands-on art-making with natural materials. We’ll help each other bloom and grow through inclusive, supportive, fun and engaging activities. Our aim is to create a web of deep connections among people and plants that make the neighborhood resilient and beautiful. Consider our residency a collective love-letter to the Renfrew Ravine: its ferns, flowers, bees, butterflies, birds, frogs, fungi and more! Our motto is “be brave, be kind, be green!” Our team is Madame Beespeaker (Lori Weidenhammer), Crystal Lee, Wendy Oberlander, Catherine Shapiro, Lori Snyder, Anya Chase, Jasna Guy, Heather Talbot, Julia Thiessen, and Brenna Maag.

Super Bloomin' Tea Party

Super Bloomin' thanks to all who came out to our final event!

Lori Snyder's healing herbal teas were a delight to all the senses and nourished our bodies and souls.

Her plant wisdom is truly extraordinary!

Look at that lovely rosehip tea burbling away!

You were invited to create your own herbal tea blend and take some home!

I was pleased that my vintage table cloths matched Lori's ceramics!!

And what better way to sweeten your cuppa with rose-petal infused honey that smells of a sunny day in June?

This is a chayote I found on the ground on my travels through the back alleys of east van.

Chayote must be heart medicine in the doctrine of signatures because it does look like a heart. What do you think it looks like?

Here's my tea party outfit! Looking forward to more tea parties in 2019. Thanks to all the artists, participants and staff.

Superblooming at the Renfrew Ravine Moon Festival

 What an amazing night!!!! Hats off to Still Moon Arts for hosting the best Moon Fest ever!!! We had so much fun chatting to folks about our bee lanterns we made with the community and helping folks make messages for the bees.

The jar lanterns were made by the teens we worked with in the Slocan Field House.

 These blue lanterns are made with the cyanotypes we created with Superbloomer artist Brenna Maag.

Crystal's dress is super fly!!!!
Madame Beespeaker becomes Madame Moth for the eveining

This piece is a bee skep entirely fabricated from handmade paper formed onto a mold. It's a piece Catherine Shapiro made and we added a few honeybees for the Moon Fest.

Artist Heather Talbot taught us how to make these awesome pyramid style lanterns.

We were mobbed by folks who wanted to make messages and poems for the bees!

It's been wonderful to join forces and collaborate to be part of such a lovely event!

Sunday September Lantern Workshops

If you have registered for our Lantern Workshops, please note the location is NOT the Renfrew Park Community Centre, but the Slocan Park Field house, located at the north end of the park. Apologies for the lack of information or confusion.

The next two workshops are Sunday, September 9 and 16 from 1:30 to 3:00 pm. There are still spaces available if you'd like to participate on one or both days. Please e-mail us at

 Here's a glimpse at what we're doing!  Special thanks to Superbloomers Catherine Shapiro and Heather Talbot for leading us in the first two workshops!!!

The frame is made from forsythia twigs from my back yard and bamboo from deconstructed bamboo mats and blinds. We're using masking tape and gaffer tape to join the corners.

We're trying two designs: the pyramid and the cube.

We attached the cotton gauze that Catherine prepped to receive the indigo paint with white glue.

And here's a design that has been painted by a young participant with natural paint made from the indigo plant!

Super Bloomers Getting Ready for Renfrew Ravine Moonfestival

We are so excited to be getting  ready for the Moon Festival on September 22! This month the Super Bloomers worked with teens to make lanterns for our installation. Yesterday Anya Chase and her helper elves came out and taught us how to make 3D house lanterns.

This is the template we cut out of bristle board and decorated with tissue paper.

Everyone customized their house with their own window and door designs.

These will look great with little solar or battery- powered LED's inside!

I worked with the teens earlier in the month on creating seed jar pendants that can be worn in the procession on Sept 22, or anytime you feel like doing a bit of guerilla gardening for pollinators!

We also made some basic insect-themed  glass jar lanterns, and I told the teens about the tradition of "telling the bees".  (More on that on another blog post!.)

And finally, we made cyanotype prints with Superbloomer artist Brenna Maag. She has a long history of working with the medium, and it was fun to make use of her knowledge and experience!

Brenna showed us this beautiful quilt she made with cyanotype prints.

The art dawgs were in attendance, guarding the ink pads!

You place the materials on the surface of the cloth and cover it  with a sheet of glass to hold it in place.

We left them for 18 minutes because it was a smokey cloudy day. When you remove the plant material, the cloth has darkened and looks like this.

Here's some of the plant material we used. Some of it was from the edge of the Renfrew Ravine.

And here you go! After washing the material to stop the developing process, this is what the cloth looks like.  (See below.) It will get a little bit darker as it dries.