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Why a Turkey Wing Broom?

For as long as I can remember, I have enjoyed making things by hand. As a kid, I played in the mud at home and the sand at the beach. As a young person, I taught myself to knit by reading a book. The women in my neighborhood took over when I needed more help than a book could give.  Over the years, I have made sweaters, Halloween costumes, baskets, and potpourri. Not to mention the products I create for my aromatherapy business!

Last year, the Kalamazoo Nature Center offered a broom making class. I signed up right away! I always loved the little brooms that my parents and grandparents had. It was an exciting moment to realize I could make my own! I found the class challenging at times — pulling a very large needle through broom corn is not easy — but it was oh so satisfying to walk away with my very own whisk broom! I was hooked!  Early this year, I saw that a local store I wanted to visit was having their own broom making class, led by Suzie of Branded Goat Designs. I signed up with a friend and we each made a whisk broom. Just recently I went to another of Suzie’s classes with my son and made a hearth broom. My collection is certainly growing!

So why did I include a class on making a turkey wing broom as part of my relaxation retreat? For me, making something with my hands is satisfying intellectually, physically and emotionally. In order to complete a craft such as this, you must slow down and focus. Those simple acts can already start the relaxation response. The peer reviewed journal, Art Therapy, included a study in 2016 with a similar theme. The authors of the study concluded that engaging in ‘art-making’ tasks, while maintaining a positive mood, may enhance well-being and reduce inflammatory actions. (Impact of Making Textile Handcrafts on mood enhancement and inflammatory immune changes. AD Futterman Collier, HA Wayment, M Birkett. Art Therapy, 2016.) To make it even sweeter, the turkey wing broom is visually appealing, and it is beginner friendly. What could be better?

I hope you will join me June 9th in Kalamazoo, Michigan for the first in-person Relax * Retreat  * Renew day retreat, and discover the relaxation and joy that working with your hands can bring. In addition to the broom making, we will experience a group sound immersion and a gentle + restorative yoga session. This is a perfect experience to have with a friend or family member! 

Registration ends on June 1st. Find the registration link and more information on my website:


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