Episode 338: The Making of the Whidbey Flower Workshop with Tobey Nelson

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Episode 338: The Making of the Whidbey Flower Workshop with Tobey Nelson

Tobey Nelson poses in a botanical floral throne of her design (c) Suzanne Rothmeyer Photography Last spring, today’s guest invited me to be the opening speaker for her first floral design workshop — and while I’ve attended many and even taught a few floral classes, there was truly something special about the Whidbey Flower Workshop dreamed up and produced by floral and event designer Tobey Nelson . Sometimes there is uncanny magic that takes place when everything and everyone comes together in a spirit of creativity and desire for personal growth; when all the participants are emotionally open to learning from one another and sharing as much as they receive. That was the vibe last spring when Tobey’s first Whidbey Floral Workshop hosted instructors Susan McLeary of Passionflower Events , designer and floral/event stylist Kaleb Willis of Kaleb Norman James and me. Whidbey Flower Workshop 2017 Instructors: Debra Prinzing, Tobey Nelson, Susan McLeary, Kaleb Norman James Last year’s Slow Flowers Creative Writing exercises involved pens and pencils, flowers and vases — and wonderful prose written by participants as they discovered their personal voices and floral language My role was a small one – I started out the 3-day retreat-style workshop with a short course on writing, memoir and storytelling . During those two short hours, I was blown away by the personal narratives that this floral tribe wrote and read to one another. I returned to Whidbey Island a few days later to join the workshop’s final dinner, cementing newfound relationships that continue today. We all made amazing, inspiring and deeply personal connections while also learning from great instructors, designing with local and seasonal flowers and celebrating each participant’s unique gifts and talents. There was something pretty incredible that happened, a harmonic convergence, I guess. Whidbey Island Workshop 2017 (c) Sullivan & Sullivan Opening spread from August 2017 “Slow Flowers Journal” in Florists’ Review, featuring the Whidbey Flower Workshop. And since last March, I’ve visited a few of the students and interviewed many of them for articles and this podcast. Later, with beautiful photography captured by Sullivan & Sullivan, I was able to write about the Whidbey Flower Workshop for the inaugural print issue of the Slow Flowers Journal , which debuted in August 2017 in Florists’ Review . You can read that story here: SFJ_WHIDBEY FLOWER WORKSHOP Tobey Nelson, floral designer and event producer — the creative force behind the Whidbey Flower Workshop (c) Sullivan and Sullivan After something epic like Tobey’s 2017 workshop, it’s easy to think: Can this be replicated ? And is it even worth trying — because any of us who have staged multi-day events for large groups knows what a workout that can be. Well, I’m here to tell you that Whidbey Flower Workshop 2.0 is indeed taking place. Set for April 22-24 , yes, on Whidbey Island north of Seattle, the gathering features some of the same elements as last year’s, including instruction by Susan McLeary, Tobey Nelson and me, but there’s […]