A Day in the Life
A few weeks ago, I spent the morning with my friend and fellow artist, Flin Grant learning to make an aromatherapy spray. One of amazing things about being an artist is meeting other creative and conscious people. It is always a pleasure to have a friend who is not only creative but cares about wellness. Flin shared with me how to make a room spray out of essential oils. To celebrate friendship and the month of February, we are giving a set away! Please read on down to find out how you can be entered to win a pair of room sprays or one of Flin's aromatherapy hand balms.
I have been a fan of essential oils for some time now. Both for aromatherapy and their unique properties. I have always wanted to learn how to create my own room spray. For this project, I reached out to Flin to find out more. Flin hosts an online FB group Art of Essentials and sells doTerra oils as well. Today, as part of my DIY series, we will show you how to create an aromatherapy spray.
We began by pulling out some of our favorite oils, making a cup of tea and sharing our ideas. Smelling each oil gave us ideas about the type of scent to create.
Flin has a lot of knowledge about each type of oil and what they are used for. I have enjoyed learning about them through her. Last year, the online group tried out an essential oil recipe for handmade shampoo.
For today, we decided on 2 unique scents. We wanted to create a spray that incorporated jasmine and citrus in some way. We also wanted to create a spray that smells soft and floral, but is up-lifting. We called this one Love Blend.
For the Love Blend, we used:
Flin recommends that you store your room spray in a cool place to extend the shelf life to 1-2 months.
First, I poured the filtered water into the bottle leaving some space to add and mix in the oil. For a 2 oz bottle, you will want about 20 drops of the oil to achieve a 1.5% dilution.
Next, for the second blend, we decided to create woodsy scent that we called, A Walk in the Woods. I know, this will come in handy on days that I don't have time to work in my workshop or take a walk in the woods. This is a beautiful way to bring nature into the office, studio or even my car in L.A. traffic.
For the Walk in the Woods blend, we used:
For this spray, I learned that Rosemary acts as a preservative. Before spraying, it's best to shake the bottle to mix the oil in water, then spray!
Now for the best part, the giveaway! In celebration of friendship and February, we are giving away 2 gifts! One lucky reader will win an aromatherapy spray set which includes the Love Blend and Walk In the Woods pictured below. Our second winner will receive Flin's handmade Healing Hand and Body Balm made from her artisanal line of body products, Art of Essentials.
To be entered to win:
Entries will be open until February 28th, and our 2 winners will be announced March 1st.
Today, I want to take you to visit my favorite museum in Los Angeles and show you how to make a Heart-shaped Dream Catcher.
While, I love many of the art museums in Los Angeles, the Getty and LACMA, CAFAM is at the top of my list. CAFAM stands for the California of Folk Art Museum. It showcases of traditional arts and crafts in a gallery setting. These crafts range from textiles, weaving, furniture making, book arts, printmaking and ceramics. I love the functional art that I find in their gift shop. They also offer community workshops and classes throughout the year. Here is a picture of the museum from the front, it is on Wilshire directly across from LACMA.
I attended a workshop on Sunday on how to make a DIY heart-shaped dreamcatcher. Dreamcatchers are something that I have made in the past. I loved heart-shaped idea to try out with my students or for an interior application such as as a wall hanging. This workshop was led by weaver and fiber artist Mimi Haddon and is the third class that I have attended at CAFAM.
Although, I made one dreamcatcher at the museum with my Mom. I decided to gather additional supplies and try out another one at home. For this project, I used:
To the right, you can see how I shaped a wire heart using gold and rose gold wire. I began by using the thicker gold wire and wrapped the rose gold around it. This is so that the heart shape will be grooved and those little grooves will catch the thread as you loop the embroidery thread.
Below, you can see how I loop the embroidery thread around the outside of the shape gradually working my way into the center. That is a technique that I learned in the past when making a dream catcher.
Also, I loved the idea to place love themed quotes into the dream catcher.
Next, I want to add fringe to the bottom of the heart. I cut several pieces of yarn the same length, then I folded them in half. I looped the yarn around the wire using larch knots. After I finished my heart-shaped catcher, I decided to make a second one b/c I still was not finished exploring the idea. For this one, I decided to use a small gold ring that I had been saving for an upcoming weaving workshop.
I followed a similar pattern with the ring. I wrapped it in rose gold wire in order to create grooves to catch the thread. Then, I visualized an inner hear shape that would be suspended by the thread.
Here is how I formed the heart slightly asymmetric looked charming. Then, I wrapped it with yarn doing a macrame knot every few inches or so to secure the yarn.
Later, I added the 2 red glass beads and the thread. Yesterday, I saw people adding crystals and gemstones to their weavings which looked amazing.
I personally think these would look sweet in a children's bedroom. I hope to make larger interior wall hangings with you soon. Please leave a comment below, if you would like to be notified or invited to a weaving workshop with a professional weaver that I will be hosting in Los Angeles this Spring!
I have some inspiring art-related posts coming up soon and it got me thinking about the work coming out of my studio these days. This month, I plan to work on some improvisational paintings on paper and wood. It's this idea that has me feeling excited. It all started with a modern painting that I made for the Minted x West Elm design challenge this month. It was freeing to create something expressive and loose for a change.
Have you ever felt overly attached and calculating, when staring at the blank white page?
To overcome this blocked feeling, I decided to recycle some used canvases that I had lying around. In a way, I feel less attached to a recycled canvas than a brand new canvas or a blank sheet of paper. To prepare each canvas, I needed to resurface them with gesso.
In this post, you will learn how to properly prime your own canvas using gesso. Even, if you have been painting for a while now, you may have never needed to prime something because many canvases are already primed when purchased.
Here are some instances when you may need to prime a canvas:
For this project, I used:
This is how the canvases looked after 3 coats of gesso. As for my technique, I paint in one direction moving the brush from i.e. side to side. Then, alternate directions, i.e. painting up and down as each coat dries.
One thing, that I learned as a studio assistant working for an artist who painted with oil paint on linen was to sand the gesso lightly after each coat. She showed me how to sand using super-fine paper and a random orbital sander. Another good option, would be using fine grit sandpaper on a sanding block and doing it by hand.
With careful preparation and dedication, soon your canvases will be good as new and ready to go! I can't wait to see and hear what you are painting in your studio. Let me know, if you have any questions or have tips on how to gesso.
P.S. Here is a peak below of what I have been painting in my studio. If you have the time to vote for my Abstract Mountain III in the Minted Design Challenge, I would really appreciate it. You can see my other artwork here, a 5 being the highest and best possible rating. I promise you will find loads of other great artists on Minted.
Today, I invite you to see how I repair simple slab of petrified wood in my studio. If you do are interested in wood glue-ups or wood repair, then you will appreciate this simple process.
This wood slab came from a high-end side table that my client purchased a few years back. When she reached out to me, I offered to repair the piece of furniture.
I was excited about this repair because the table was so beautiful and I felt like it could be repaired. I do occasional glue-ups when making a table top or even a large cutting board and I use a similar process to combine the two lengths of wood. In my woodworking class, I learned that wood glue dries stronger than nails. I use Titebond III for glue-ups because it is water resistant, which is perfect for both tabletops and cutting boards, anything that you want to resist moisture.
I use my 24" jaw clamp a lot because most chairs and small tables fit within that size. The next size up, which comes in handy is the 36" bar clamp. I got lucky with this glue-up and was able to position the sides of the clamp on two semi-flat sections on the side of the table. I've found that it can be tricky, when glueing to natural edges and it helps if you can find 2 flat spaces on the edge which to clamp onto. After I run glue along both edges of the wood, I position the wood and tighten my clamp.
Once the wood glue had dried, I used a little bit of walnut wood putty with a putty knife to the crack to make it blend into the rest of the table. The crack is still slightly noticeable but gets lost in the style of the piece. I also sanded the wood putty filler once it was dry. Next, I used a multi-purpose adhesive to adhere the table top to the metal base. It works well and I use this product often when attached wood to metal or glass to wood. Then, I sand away the excess putty.
Below, you can see the side table after repairs. I plan to add a light coat of polyurethane to seal in the wood putty and ultimately seal the crack. I hope you have enjoyed this mid-week project and that this info will help you with any simple wood repair.
Since, I am still working on refinishing a vintage desk this week, I thought I would share a painted furniture technique that I have tried many times in the past. You will see how I created a custom ombre look on a vintage dresser. Over the years, I have resurfaced several pieces of vintage furniture. This was one of my favorite projects to date. For the ombre effect, I like using color families of blue, gray or coral. For this project, my customer in Louisiana chose the the color Guava by Benjamin Moore.
Here is how the dresser looked before in green. It was kinda funky and charming but needed and update for the space. I look for sturdy wooden pieces without a lot of wear and tear, that are preferably light-weight for shipping.
For this project you will need:
1. Sanding: Sanding and removing extra paint, dents and scratches. I sand to remove any imperfections in the wood by starting with 120 medium grit sandpaper. Next, I fill-in dents with a wood filler before I prime the old surface.
2. Repairs: I had to repair the bottom of a damaged drawer by having new piece of masonite cut to fit and securing it with wood glue and my hand stapler.
3. Priming: I prime the dresser using white primer to cover the original green shade. I use a smooth 4" foam cabinet roller for priming and painting.
4. Color Mixing: Now, I am ready to mix the paint. I begin by painting the bottom drawer with the original (darkest shade). We chose Guava by BM in semi-gloss for the darkest shade. I use semi-gloss for almost all of my painted furniture pieces because it resists scratches and wipes down easily.
Below, you can see the process.
5. Color Mixing/Painting: You can see the colors lightest to darkest (at right). I hand-mix the peachy colors and by adding white paint. I always store excess paint for touch-ups later. I have painted several other ombre pieces and I always find color matching at a later time can be difficult.
6. Installing Hardware: Choose knobs that accent your space and add to the piece. I use small silver mercury glass knobs.
I was proud when my ombre dresser was featured in a design publication based in Germany.
As a bonus, here is a chic painted DIY nightstand video that I enjoyed by Orlando Soria and Emily Henderson. I would love to try this one out.
Are there any painted furniture pieces that you 'd like to try out this Winter?
Hi, I'm Hilary.
I'm an Artist, Designer, Blogger, and Mama. A Day in the Life is where I share my daily inspiration and work that is currently evolving from my studio. I hope to connect with design enthusiasts from all over the world. I invite you to share feedback and ideas about the products that excite you.
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