Five Staples to a Domestic Artist’s Day

While relaxing after I did a speed clean of the beautiful and character-filled 4-story home I share with my partner (and our kiddies) and being brilliantly blinded by the fairy lights adorning our tree I’m impatiently waiting for my love to arrive home after a long day of work. I’ve been asked many times recently by friends and visitors alike how I manage all of my work, hobbies and activities while still remaining happy and seemingly on-top of everything. I’m not entirely sure I’m managing my time in the best way having just been through hell on earth not so long ago but I know I must be doing something right because the important things get done and I still have plenty of time to spend bonding with my love, myself and, most importantly, my daughter.

I was thinking recently… what what better way to stay motivated and inspired than to blog about what staples help me stay focused and chill throughout my day? What objects, products and regimens do I rely on to make my days a little more delightful? What can’t I seem to live without? What’s funny is I’ve recently realized I can literally live without ANYTHING (besides food, air and water) and there’s nothing like being stripped of everything you love to wake this inner strength in yourself. It’s extremely tough but the light at the end of the tunnel is brighter than you could ever imagine and the positive life that follows is the icing on the cake. What are the sprinkles, carousel candles and strawberries on that same delicious cake? Well some of my daily must-haves are…

1. Lavender

One of my favorite colors of all time is lavender and it just so happens to be one of my favorite herbs as well. Although lavender is not to be ingested it can bring peace and relaxation through aromatherapy and nothing is better than the scent of lavender with a bit of warm sugar. One of my daily staples is a relaxing sitz bath sprinkled with lavender extract while my lavender macaron candle burns a soft glow throughout the bathroom. Lavender incense works well too and be sure to hide some lavender sachets in your lingerie drawer so you can carry a faint relaxing aroma with you throughout your day without overdoing it (which is very easy to do with such a strong scent).

2. Coffee and Tea

Where would I be without coffee and tea? Although my love despises my intake of caffeine I feel without it I would move quite a bit more sluggishly throughout my daily tasks. Not only do the flavors entice me to take another drink but the ritual of brewing coffee and steeping teas are rituals I look forward to. Nothing is better to me than waking up early to black iced coffee and winding down in the evening with a nice, hot cup of tea. We keep a box of assorted teas and numerous tea tins in our kitchen so it’s a real treat picking out which tea to try next.

3. Crystals

The energy and earthen decadence of a crystal is matched by few objects to me. Something about crystals has always attracted me like no other. Since being a young child and carefully selecting my own crystals from traveling new age shops and then proceeding to cleanse and charge them with positive energy I have been a self-proclaimed crystal queen. Crystals hold a natural beauty that is unlike any other stone, they are much more precious than diamonds in my opinion and they create rainbows of light when sunlight hits their prisms just right. If you’re looking for your own special crystal but still haven’t found one that calls to you be sure to check out our shop next year (January 2013) for a limited selection of cleansed and charged kitschy, natural crystal necklaces and spiritually enhancing house wares. Not feeling crystals quite yet? We have lots of other earthen goodness made whimsically colorful coming your way for more positive life-enhancing decadence! Stay tuned and keep the positive energy flowing.

4. Candles & Incense

To explain the benefit in lighting candles and incense is to explain the importance to me of the daily life aesthetic. Setting the scene or mise-en-scene to me is pertinent in living a life as art. The visual aesthetic of everyday life is nearly as important to me as it is in a scene I’ve styled for a specific photograph or shoot. This value of mine that I’ve always held so dear doesn’t always seem to translate well to those I share this world with. Why does everything have to be perfect? Why are you constantly shooting photos of nothing? With the introduction of cell phones having digital cameras this is much more understood but still I receive blank stares when I take photos of what some consider to be mundane settings. The artistic beauty of life is wonderfully misunderstood. The importance to me of living a life as a genius, yet mad, artistic creation is unmatched. Your life is a drama in which you are the actor and your higher power is the director. Enjoy the extensive beauty that can be found throughout it. Adding a soft glow to the room and a relaxing, refreshing or comforting scent is key to utilizing the whole scene of the moment. The smoke of incense brings back memories while calming me. The psychedelic swirls of smoke that flirt with the air are as relaxing as the soft flickr of candlelight softly setting the room aglow. The scent adds volumes to this experience and if you’re interested in learning about aromatherapy you can even utilize some techniques to inspire your mood or productivity. Below I’ve listed a few scents that can be used for aromatherapy. Remember you can also mix scents!

Aromatherapy Guide

  • Aphrodisiac: jasmine, patchouli
  • Energy, Refreshing: peppermint, eucalyptus, lemon, tangerine, basil
  • Relax: lavender, cedarwood, chamomile, clary sage, frankincense, myrrh, cardamom

5. Music & Podcasts

Nothing sets your mood quite like the perfect song. When I’m working, whether I’m writing or designing a print or website, music and podcasts are very important to my productivity. I’m even known to listen to ‘brain hacks’ or ‘brain waves’ when working so that I gain more inspiration or stress relief as needed. The podcasts I tend to listen to while working are those of the spiritual or inspirational nature. Any way that I can take in inspiring information while working, relaxing or enjoying a hobby is pleasurable to me. Music sets the scene almost instantly and I enjoy a large selection of music when creating artwork and it’s definitely something I don’t tend to work without.

Positive and Inspiring Blog Articles You Should Read

These are some delicious articles to inspire you to live positively and enjoy what’s really important.

Often times I’m asked what’s really important to me in my life. I would have to say love and relationships, art and design. What about you?

Ten Things You Should Already Know By Now

“What’s important today won’t matter tomorrow.”

Things I Love Thursday

“Do you like New York?”
“Yes. It’s my favourite kind of planet.”

Get Confident

“When I meet someone with quiet, real confidence, I can feel it from about a block away. Their confidence does not intimidate, but inspires.

Handbook for Life

Now, is there any handbook that can be a guide to every single person? Of course not. This is just a list of tips that I think will help many people in life — some of them common-sense tips that we often forget about. Consider this guide a reminder. (ZenHabits)

Inspiring Offices

Whether you work at home or in an office, you can surely take some of these delicious designs to your own personal space. My environment affects my mood quite a lot — making sure it’s comfortable and clean is always inspiring!

tbwa2

Get Motivated When You’re in a Slump

“Recognize negative self-talk, which is really what’s causing your slump.”

Cleaning out the Closet

I figured I should write about something I’m currently tackling and how I dealt with it. I’m not just organizing my closet either, I’ve got everything (except my clothes) organized into boxes and in storage ready to move.. this ‘transitional stage’ is quite tough on a ‘nesting’ pregnant woman, but I found that I can feel confident simply by knowing I’ve went through and discarded/donated/saved anything I’ve ever had. I have a lot of junk. When I say junk I mean cute toys and nonsense from Japan, ridiculous amounts of assorted craft tools and art supplies, geeky technological computers and games (mine and my husbands combined), my husbands music equipment, my extensive Blythe doll collection (which includes a Blythe-size-inhabitable dollhouse)… wah!

array of clothing

I used to listen to others with absolute sympathy and little understanding as they complained about having to get rid of all of their Blythe doll boxes and anything they aren’t really attached to, having to slim down their collections, clothes and more.. I just guess being from the Midwest I assumed I’d always have a lot of space at my disposal.

Space is over-rated, having things is over-rated. First thing any psychologist will try to explain to a hoarder is that memories are not items. You can get rid of everything you have except your basic needs and you would still have your memories. Take photos of a cherished item. Store it in an album. There are many ways to reminisce without filling your house with everything you’ve ever loved. It’s easy (for me) to do.. but it’s not good, being attached to any item is dangerous.. Instead use that attachment on people and new memories, a 60s tumbler from your grandmother might be irreplaceable to you, but remember not to confuse the attachment you feel towards your grandma with the item.

It’s hard for me to get rid of anything I had in Japan, I feel if I lose it I’ll forget.. I just love visiting my room at my parent’s house and holding random items from my time there, it’s like the room is actually frozen in time and I’m still that same girl in school when I visit.

Before I move out of state I have to decide what I really do and do not need of course and start living a simple life, stop trying to save everything. After living in cute, tiny city lofts I quickly realized STUFF is exactly what I do not want. I did not want to carry boxes and boxes of junk down that tiny, spiral staircase and into the basement-looking living room. I quickly realized being on my own that stuff was useless — and yes my dolls were still with me all the way.

I do hope to someday have a home with more space, but I’m not ready to settle down yet. I’ve still got a lot of career-obsession driving my life.

Tips ala Real Simple

I found a lot of organizing tips in Real Simple Magazine, these were the ones I found most helpful.

If you are on the fence about an item, “flag” the hanger. As you wear each item, remove the flag. At the end of each season, items that are still marked with a flag should be donated. If the item is in good condition and/or if you paid a lot for it, think about selling it at a local consignment store or online at a site such as eBay.

Use every square inch of your closet. Hang shoe racks on the back of your closet door. Classic belt hangers with multiple hooks are also a good solution for hanging camisoles, bras, or scarves. Always remove sweaters from hangers and fold them. Hangers will ruin the shape of sweaters over time.

It’s possible that no matter how much you try to edit and organize, you just have too much stuff to fit in your closet. If that’s the case, then you need to resort to a seasonal system by rotating your fall/winter clothes with your spring/summer clothes. Out-of-season clothes and kept in your attic or basement or under your bed in storage boxes.