Everyday Living Series combines beauty with education
AMHERST - An herbalist and a freelance illustrator have collaborated once again to produce a moon calendar that outlines the day-to-day phases of the moon for 2015 while also educating about healthful herbs and plants that can be consumed in each of the four seasons.
Brittany Nickerson, the owner of Thyme Herbal in Amherst, and Chelsea Granger, a freelance illustrator in town, collaborate on a project they call the Everyday Living Series. This entity has recently produced and offered up the 2015 Moon Calendar.
A long and narrow poster, the calendar is divided into the four seasons. Illustrations by Granger show the daily moon phases as well as artistic renderings of plants such as garlic, dandelion leaf and motherwort leaf. Nickerson's narrative on the plants offers horticultural information and specific health and medicinal benefits.
Nickerson and Granger met in 2010, when Granger took Nickerson's "The Art of Home Herbalism" class. The two struck up a friendship, and about a year later, they began to hold creative meetings together to inspire one another in their artistic endeavors.
Within the first 15 minutes of their first meeting, the two conceived of the Everyday Living Series, and in 2012, they produced their first moon calendar. They sold the calendar at local farmer's markets, arts and crafts festivals and at the Women's Herbal Conference, and they used the positive feedback and ideas they received to develop the next year's calendar.
Since, they have also created a kitchen medicine poster, featuring culinary herbs commonly used in cooking, and they have collaborated on two books, written by Nickerson and illustrated by Granger: "Sacred and Mysterious: Herbal Wisdom and Healing Lore for Those Who Menstruate" and "Cooking for Winter Health Wellness."
The posters honor Granger's commitment to producing affordable art and Nickerson's mission to educate on accessible and practical applications of herbal medicine and other forms of holistic self-care.
"We found this way to make something beautiful that's also utilitarian," Nickerson said. "We are also both inspired by helping people to do things for themselves. We offer a level of empowerment that helps people to be able to take more control over their health care."
The moon calendar and other products of the Everyday Living Series are available at www.chelseagranger.com or www.thymeherbal.com; the calendars are also on sale at Acadia Herbals, Broadside Books and Sticks and Bricks, all in Northampton, and All Things Local in Amherst.
As part of her work through Thyme Herbal, Nickerson teaches a three-year Herbal Apprenticeship Program as well as courses in herbal cooking and homesteading. She teaches women's health at the University of Massachusetts and is the organizer of the Northampton/Amherst Herbal Meet-up group.
Granger specializes in illustration projects for bands, weddings, schools, books, small businesses and community events. She is a member of The Royal Frog Ballet Performance Collective.
For more information, contact Nickerson at 413-320-3326 or Brittany@thymeherbal.com.