Essential Oils – House Cleaning

Essential-Oils I’m close to the end of my pregnancy now and you could say I’ve begun “nesting”. My urge to clean and tidy the house in an attempt to prepare for our little one’s arrival is in full throttle! I thought it’d be fun to create an illustration to show you how I’ve been ultilizing essential oils, though I prefer to call them “magic potions” (they really do work like magic!) in my house cleaning.

Essential-Oils_2I must admit, the vinegar smell is a bit strong at first but it soon disappears and what you’re left with is the scent of fresh lemon or whichever essential oil you chose to use. I prefer using natural cleaning ingredients since harsh chemicals in many cleaning products tend to give me a headache, and a headache is the last thing I want to add to the dizzy spells that come with all the bending over and the getting up and down of house cleaning!

If you were wondering what Citrus Bliss and On Guard are, they’re essential oil blends from Doterra. Here’s what they’re made up of:

Citrus Bliss:
Wild Orange, Lemon, Grapefruit, Mandarin, Bergamot, Tangerine, Clementine, and Vanilla Bean Extract. This stuff smells like happiness!

On Guard:
Wild Orange, Clove Bud, Cinnamon Bark, Rosemary. I used this to make a handwash, but details on that will be in my next essential oils post.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend with hopefully not too much house cleaning!

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Weeds Are Flowers, Too

CO_May_48The Sun’s been shining a little brighter these days and the flowers are scattering much needed pops of color to the landscape. The vibrant iris’, roses, and pansies, in the garden, have opened up confidently, but, what I find captivating are the little wild flowers (otherwise known as “weeds”). Their capability to endure the harsh, dry plains and offer something beautiful back to the land is quite impressive.

I wanted to decorate our bedroom wall with some art, so I illustrated the quote,
“Weeds are flowers, too, once you get to know them” by A.A.Milne.  Whenever we look at this art, hanging on our wall (I still need to find a frame for it), I’d like us to remember that we can find beauty and worth in anything or anyone, it’s all in the way we look at them.

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I collected a bunch of the wildflowers on our evening walk and now they’re sitting pretty in a vase on the dining room table.

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We found this sun bleached coyote skull and it is barefaced proof of the wildflower’s resilience. In spite of the unforgiving environment, the wildflowers still stand tall.

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Hug Attack!

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A hug attack is probably the best kind of attack you could possibly hope for.
The idea for this illustration came about when I realized I shouldn’t let those little battles/grievances escalate into a full blown war. It’s really exhausting being mad. Sometimes you’ve just got to suck up your pride and say you’re sorry and just hug it out! Go give someone a hug attack! 🙂

Heartfelt

Today is a little more special than it just being Valentine’s day. It’s also my dear husbands birthday! How did the heavens above know to bring my sweetheart into this world on the day we celebrate the ones we love! It does put added pressure on me to think of something spectacular to do each year though. But I think what works best are the simple heartfelt gestures. So I’m wishing my husband a happy birthday from across the Pacific Ocean this year (via Skype). And I’d like to share these warm heartfelt words painted by the artist Mei Lee with you all. Happy Birthday, Danny! I love you! And happy Valentine’s day, my internet friends!
Just in case you ever forgot by Mei Lee

My touch by Mei Lee

Green August #9 by Mei Lee

Green August #14 by Mei Lee

All I want is boundless love by Mei Lee

Distance

Distance

On a day like today I’d like to keep this piece of advice in mind when my heart starts to ache a little. Good bye’s are so hard. I feel like I’ve been dealt more than my fair share of them recently. I said my good bye’s to my brother, his lovely wife and my niece today. I’m so happy and excited for their new adventure overseas and the amazing opportunity given to them but on the other hand, I’m missing them already and I cried for the third time today.

Long distance really is a test of how much you care about someone. It takes commitment to keep a close relationship. It’s too easy to forget to call or reply an email but Skype makes things a whole lot easier and makes the distance between feel a lot closer.

We had a good send off for my brother and his little family. We celebrated his birthday with an epic homecooked dinner that my brother in law and I spent half of Saturday preparing. It was delicious! We actually spent most of our time eating (something my family and I are very good at) this weekend and talking around the kitchen table. It was one of those weekends that I’m going to remember fondly. It was lovely and I hope your weekend was too.

The Smartest Kid On Earth

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Let me introduce you to the phenomenal work of Chris Ware. I’m re-reading one of his graphic novels called, ‘Jimmy Corrigan – The Smartest Kid On Earth’. Personally I feel like Ware’s work far exceeds any of the graphic novels I’ve picked up. I just really resonate with his style and color choices. Every time I read through his novels I find something new to gasp in excitement about. I could study each page for as long as I am not at liberty to admit. His attention to detail is incredibly thoughtful and this creates such rich environments that you just get lost in. Usually the characters and story-lines are some what depressing and uncomfortable but that’s what gives his stories so much depth. Not only does his work appeal to me as an illustrator but his ability to render buildings and interiors is quite impressive architecturally too. Can you tell I’m a big fan?

This graphic novel in particular is his greatest I think. There are paper cut-out pages with assembling instructions scattered through the book. I’ve been tempted to construct these beautiful paper models but I know I’d deeply regret it. The book will stay intact as it is.

Curious Critters

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While enjoying lunch outside today, a very curious creature crawled along our picnic table. This little thing, as tiny as a crumb captured my attention with his big fluffy butt! I checked him out real good! He looked familiar though. I had seen creatures of his kind before but it had been years since i’d seen a “Fluffy Bum” (a Passionvine nymph)! Not since I was a little girl! I was always an outdoorsy kid and climbing trees was kind of my thing. I loved exploring in the garden and out of all the bugs I had come across I remember being very curious about these ridiculous guys.

There is this really talented artist named Daniel Abensour, otherwise known as Aphte. He illustrates all kinds of curious creatures the imagination can muster up. Some of them remind me of the Fluffy Bum I met today!

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Secret Cavern leaves

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Image of Fluffy Bum from here.
Aphte artwork from here.

The Chip Hunter

I did this quick portrait of a “Chip Hunter”, otherwise known as a seagull. It didn’t turn out the way I wanted and it looks kind of weird to me but I’m trying to turn a new leaf this year and be less of a perfectionist. It’s hard but I’m trying not think or plan too much when I draw and just push myself to keep making stuff and keep things relaxed and fun!

There’s no denying we’re having just the best summer weather lately and those trips to the beach had me inspired to do an illustration of a loud squawking “chip hunter”. As obnoxious as those guys are I always feel mean if I don’t share a little bit of my fish and chips with them.

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Illustration by Stephanie Kunau.

A New Year. A New Day.

It’s the first day into the new year and I’ve already broken one my resolutions to eat healthier! I can’t just let all those boxes of chocolates I got for Christmas go to waste now can I? I don’t feel too bad about it though, because my husband said these very true words below which made me feel less like a failure! Every day is a new day! We can learn from our mistakes and failures, pick ourselves up and try again tomorrow and if we don’t succeed we just try again the next day. As long as we make an effort, that’s what counts!

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2012 was a pretty exciting and eventful year! I faced many new challenges and changes and grew up a lot! The best moment of the year (of my life) was getting married to my best friend. Coming close behind was becoming an Aunty to my gorgeous niece Ellaline and very recently welcoming my second niece, Mia to the world just a few days before Christmas. I am just smitten with those two beautiful babies! And the most crazy thing that happened was when I quit my full time job to pursue a freelance career and I am just so proud of myself for doing so! Although it’s been a challenge and still is as I feel my way through this new self directed path I have been so rewarded and inspired by the people I’ve had the chance to work with. I also started this little blog to record my inspirations and projects which I may have neglected some what. Which brings me to my first resolution!

  • Share MORE of my creative projects and things that inspire me on the blog.
    Simple as that. Don’t think so much, just do!
  • Drink more water and get that balance between energy intake and energy output.
  • Try to spend less time in front of the screen and more on hand drawn projects.
  • And lastly, even when things get hectic remember to take time to take care of myself.

I’m already looking forward to the new day ahead so I can give these goals a go!
I wish you a happy 2013 everyone!

image created by Stephanie Kunau.