Delicate bundles of wildflowers promising to change the energy in rooms when burned; mushroom-infused honeys said to nourish mind, body, and sprit; “Four Storms Cider” for boosting the immune system with a combination of ginger, elderberries, cayenne, and sage honey. Each of these mystical-sounding items is a creation of Botanicals Folklorica, the handcrafted apothecary line of Tamara Becerra Valdez.
Valdez learned apothecary arts at Austin’s Wildflower School of Botanical Medicine, where students are trained in taking a holistic approach to the human body using herbs and plants for their healing properties. At the school, Valdez explains, she was introduced to the value of bioregionalism and sustainable harvesting, practices she carries into her own work.
Today, Valdez handcrafts all the products in her line herself, carefully sourcing herbs and mushrooms from trusted sources and trying to harvest and forage as much as possible on her own time. “I’m always looking to meet beekeepers, lovers of the wild, and unusual makers of medicine,” she says. “Since creating the line, I have been lucky to find generous neighbors and friends who have shared from their own apothecaries or gardens.”
Each item in Valdez’s line is a balance of beauty and use, which speaks to her formal background in studio art and anthropology. For instance, her mushroom-infused honeys, delicately packaged and intended to “support in strengthening the body against the effects of a stressful lifestyle.” The honeys were inspired by traditional Chinese medicine and Western herbalism, as well as the idea that food is intrinsically the best medicine.
Valdez is also a self-taught perfumer, drawn to the history of the practice, the complexity of scent, and the way the mastery of fragrance is “capable of evoking a mood or feeling,” she explains. Ultimately, Valdez says, her thoughtful line is intended to encourage awareness: an observation of one’s own body and of nature’s multifaceted benefits. For more information, visit her website.
by Joanna Steblay
As the warm weather begins to set in and patio parties hit our calendars, we can’t help but embrace that summertime has returned to Austin. If you’re anything like us, you’ll be celebrating the return of the season with decadent ice cream, healthy smoothies and icy cocktails from your favorite local spots.
For those days when it’s too hot to venture out, we went to Austin’s sweet treat professionals and compiled the ultimate collection of DIY recipes to make from your home. Click through the galleries below to learn how to make everything icy and sweet, from poptails for date night to ice cream sandwiches for a dinner party.more
The spring edition of the Renegade Craft Fair returns for its seventh year in Austin May 14-15 at Fair Market. With over 125 makers on the roster, the scene is sure to be bustling with local artisans and DIYers slinging their unique, one-of-a-kind wares. In addition to great shopping, the RCF offers activities, special showcases and plenty of food and drink options for visitors. This year, celebrate your hard work shopping with a snack from Burro Cheese Kitchen and Lucky Lab Coffee Co. before commemorating the afternoon with some snapshots from Magnolia Photo Booth Co. But before...more
by James Ruiz
Inspired by the beautiful outdoor living spaces featured in our May feature The Space Between, we went window shopping and found some great outdoor furniture and accessories to liven up your outdoor patio, porch and pool. Flip through the galleries below to see how you can add a pop of color and style to your outdoor hideaway.more
Hundreds of people are moving to Austin each day, and downtown is one of the major hubs of growth for the city. Local real estate expert Jude Galligan discusses smart urban growth and what to expect this year as the skyline continues to evolve.
Your blog keeps Austin updated on the latest news in downtown. What is the most exciting development happening right now?
From my point of view, the most exciting development is the Waller Creek District Master Plan. Decades in the making, this transformative project came to life after designers competed for the contract. It is finally coming to downtown, bringing an imaginative chain of parks,...more
by James Ruiz
As you flip through the pages of our February Love Issue, one thing you’ll notice is the beautiful blooms that pop up throughout the magazine. We got some major googly eyes for the bouquets featured in our "Real Weddings" features, and earmarked the TRIBEZA Wedding Guide for even more Pinterest-worthy petals.
Instead of letting all that inspiration go to waste, we tried our hand at flower arranging to see what we could create. Since we consider ourselves floral design novices, we asked a few top designers...more