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.

Gala Darling the De-luxe Blogger

Gala is a delectable dame with an even more amazing (if that’s possible) message! She’s a fashion icon, blogger and international playgirl. We happen to live by the same sort of mantras and for the same purposes so it happened that we instantly clicked and that she would love to chill with Miseducated and let us in on her own creativity and inspirations in life. Come along for the ride!

gala3s

Where do you get your clothing inspiration?gala3s
It comes to me from all kinds of places. Haute couture, street fashion, movie stars & guttersnipes all provide their own unique perspectives & I love to put them all together in a big mish-mash. I have to say though, I don’t often imitate things I’ve seen — the majority of my looks, for better or for ill, are things that come from my imagination, or just from standing in front of my closet & pairing things up.

I think the best looks are unpredictable & a little bit “off” — I don’t relish being appropriate or fitting in. Actually, this morning my boyfriend & I went out for brunch & when he saw what I was wearing, he just laughed — a headband with a huge flower & some netting on top, a shredded black knit sweater, a leather miniskirt, engineer boots & a hooded black faux fur coat. All to go out & eat strawberry pancakes. But I think life is for living, & if you don’t dress up, you’re missing out!

Any cute and quick DIY tips for readers?
I’m not a big DIY’er, actually. I have never been very “crafty”, I don’t know how to knit & I don’t make doilies or tea-cozies or mittens for dogs. I’m just not very clever that way & a lot of people are, so I would prefer to pay them to do a good job! If I DIY anything, it’s really simple — like I’ll take a Hallmark bow (the kind you would put on a gift) & stick it to a headband, or wear pearls around my ankles or something. I like doing the kind of thing that takes three seconds & doesn’t require much more than a safety pin or some double-sided tape…

Where do you find inspirations from the world around? What really inspires you to work?
A. I have always been compelled to write, which I guess makes me lucky. I know a lot of people want to be writers but can’t seem to muster the enthusiasm to carry on — I really think you either HAVE TO write or you don’t, & if you don’t HAVE TO, you’ll never really improve. Even when I was a kid I wrote all the time, I would write short stories on my lunch-breaks when I worked at awful jobs (like selling advertising for newspapers or when I sold home loans & term deposits in a bank), I always have paper on me so I can make notes when I’m in Wholefoods or whatever. So the compulsion, the need, the madness, that’s what inspires me to work. Even if I shut down my website tomorrow, I’d still be writing. I do it for the love, not because I need to make a buck. I think that makes all the difference.

Do you carry your work into your home (can we see???)? Do you find it creeping into other endeavors you take on?
Absolutely. This probably sounds super-pretentious but I think people’s lives are their art. You know, even if you’re a rad sculptress or an incredible mechanic, the WAY you live your life is still the most defining thing about you. I like to bring beauty into everything I do, because that’s how I am, I am obsessed with love & beauty & deliciousness, so yes, it more than creeps in!

gala3s

When moving somewhere new, what’s the first place you have to set up?
Funny you should say that because I just moved in with my boyfriend! The first things I set up anywhere are always my work space & my wardrobe. They are kind of one & the same a lot of the time. My new office also has my huge closet in it, & all my accessories, etc., merchandised like mad & displayed all over the place. I have my favourite pair of shoes (Alexander McQueen) on the windowsill, a purple glitter skull wearing sequinned Mickey Mouse ears on my desk & two bulletin boards propped against the wall waiting for pictures, clippings, photobooth strips.

Your favorite 3 stops:
New York City is my #1 lover. No other city even comes close. But I love Paris, Los Angeles, Austin, Las Vegas, Berlin & Amsterdam a whole lot too. Sorry, I can’t boil it down to 3 & I refuse to cut the others out!

What scent of incense would you prefer in your home? (feel free to create-your-own)
I used to burn Nag Champa obsessively when I lived in New Zealand & I still like the smell of it, but these days I am more into scented candles & essential oils. I really love jasmine, vanilla, rose & ylang ylang.

What hobby are you into lately?
Getting cozy with my lover, RSVP’ing to ridiculous events & taking my partner-in-crime/photographer with me, & thinking about interior design constantly.

What is your lifestyle mantra?
More magic all the time.

3 things you can’t live without right now:
1. My boyfriend, known colloquially as The Dish. He is such great company, he’s totally authentic & he is so effing cute, I want to jump his bones all the time!
2. My new-to-me vintage faux fur coat. It is big & fluffy & the perfect length. I wear it almost every day & cannot get enough of it.
3. My Moleskine daily planner. I am a total organization geek. It is incurable but I love it.

What are your next plans and goals? Give us an indirect sneak peek, if you’d like!
Oh but that would be telling! Sorry, I can’t. Suffice to say, you will not be disappointed!

What’s so great about today? .. and what do you do to prepare for tomorrow? How do you make sure each day counts?
Strawberry pancakes with my boyfriend; rad conversations; The Dish singing songs he makes up about me; cuddling with the dog; organizing my office even more; planning my social calendar for the next week (photoshoots & fashion shows & working out at the haunted mansion), etc. etc. etc.

Tomorrow I’m going to sit at my brand new desk & listen to some good tunes & write, write, write. I will probably make a coffee run in the morning & then hole up & be as productive as possible!

I make sure each day counts by always focusing on the positive. It’s really easy to get bogged down when you’re thinking about a bill that needs to be paid, or the argument you had with your friend, or the jeans that don’t fit, or whatever — life is full of challenges but you get what you focus on. So keep your eyes to the skies, be grateful for what you have, express love in as many ways as you can, & work to create a life that makes you truly happy.

Do you find your work taking time away from other hobbies and interests? Or is it your all-consuming passion?
I used to talk about how I worked 24/7, & I still do, but it is much more intense now. I used to have time to go shopping all the time, or kick back & read a book, or whatever — that kind of thing is pretty rare these days. I’ve taken on more obligations & while I love them, it certainly does suck up my free time. It has always been this way though, just to a lesser degree. Thankfully it IS my all-consuming passion & there aren’t many things I would rather be doing!

How do you prefer your environment to look?
Colourful, exciting, invigorating. Actually “colourful” might be a misnomer. I like a simple, clean palette (like black & white) with bright pops of colour — does that count as colourful? I don’t know. Aaaaanyway, my room has white walls (which I love) & I bought an indigo desk to go in the middle. I want to paint one wall with blackboard paint — maybe in vertical stripes? — & there are going to be sparkly or high-gloss accoutrements everywhere. I love a simple or plain canvas with ornate madness placed among it. That is so my style.

Favorite music? and Why?
If I had to break it down, I’d say I listen to 60% hip-hop, 40% “other” — the other being a mix of electronic, singer-songwriter, indie rock, & uh, the unclassifiable! I love to mix it up, it’s not unusual for me to jump from Mobb Deep to Bauhaus to Tom Waits to The Legendary Pink Dots to Big L, & my iTunes is almost always on random. Hip-hop is really one of my one true loves, though — I find it hard to articulate how much I adore it.

Are you Miseducated? What makes you Miseducated? <3
Yes, absolutely! I’m miseducated because I don’t do what other people tell me to do, & I don’t follow conventional paths. I do what I feel on my own timeframe, & I am so much happier because of it!

Yes, absolutely! I’m miseducated because I don’t do what other people tell me to do, & I don’t follow conventional paths.

gala3s

.. and just in case you’re wondering, yes, her blog (iCiNG) is just as delectable as she is.