My graphite portrait of Red Cloud is complete. It has been three years since I completed a drawing and this one took me almost exactly one year to finish. That’s a long time to spend with a single sheet of 22″ x 30″ paper so I feel especially pleased to wrap this project up. My competing hobbies have a lot to do with this drawing taking one full year to complete. Sometimes I’d only spend five minutes working on the drawing and then get lured away for weeks by all the lovely distractions that Southern California has to offer.
The motivation for this drawing began as a special request from my husband for a portrait of Red Cloud- the Lakota warrior and statesman who led successful confrontations with the United States government in the mid to late 1800′s. After studying historic photos of Red Cloud I fell in love with his handsome face and committed to creating the drawing as a gift for my husband. When this portrait is displayed in our new place I will let it serve as a reminder that strategic leadership and perseverance can defeat great obstacles.
To celebrate completing a big project, Alex, Jude and Michael helped paint some arrows that we salvaged from my husband’s archery practice. The kids loved the project and were extremely concerned that I borrowed their painted arrows for a few days to take photos.
“Are they dry yet?”
I also celebrated by purchasing a chunky, beaded necklace from Seaweed + Gravel in Encinitas, CA. After staring at Red Cloud’s bone-beaded vest for several months I guess I had beads on my mind. Many, many, many, many beads. Seaweed + Gravel sells a collection of vintage, re-purposed, and new items and they have beautiful portraits and photos of Native Americans throughout the store. This includes a mural of Sitting Bull on the exterior wall by Muralchemy. Sitting Bull led many war parties against the U.S. Government in support of Red Cloud. They were two incredible forces to be reckoned with.
I like the closing remarks that I read in an interview with Seaweed + Gravel’s Co-owner, Dave Patri,
“Do, Make, Say, Think.”
I have made a few coconut oil-based deodorants from scratch in the past but I was disappointed that they turned into a runny mess the moment that the temperature rose above 72 degrees Fahrenheit. While in Los Angeles I found a sample of Fat + The Moon Deodorant Cream at ReForm School and realized that the key ingredient for solidifying the deodorant is beeswax.
I found the perfect, beeswax + coconut oil based deodorant recipe on a blog called Becoming Peculiar. I asked my two nieces, Dara + Keira, and my friend Renee to test out the recipe with me this past weekend. We spent Sunday morning making unique, herbal blends of deodorant and even designed our own labels so that we could give some of the jars away as gifts. This was a great project to work on together, especially because it drives home the power you have within your own kitchen to make clean, healthy alternatives for body care.
The homemade deodorant recipe and some photos from our day are below. As an added bonus, the essential oils that you use in your recipe will fill the kitchen with their delightful scent while you’re heating the batch.
Recipe for Homemade Deodorant
- 1/4 cup arrowroot starch (or corn starch, but arrowroot starch is nice if you have sensitive skin)
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- 3 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1 Tbsp grated beeswax
- 5 drops tea tree oil (*essential ingredient due to its antibacterial properties)
- 5 drops of some other essential oil (i.e. bergamot, clary sage, grapefruit, etc.)
Begin by melting coconut oil and beeswax together over a double boiler. Rest a heatproof bowl inside a small saucepan of water and heat it gently, stirring constantly, until the beeswax and coconut oil are melted.
Add the remaining ingredients and stir it all together into a runny paste. Pour the deodorant into two 2 oz. jars (alternately you can also use an empty deodorant container). The mixture will begin to thicken right away so you’ll need to work quickly. Allow the open jars of deodorant to cool to room temperature.
When the deodorant has fully cooled, secure the lids and make pretty labels for your jars.
Give one away as a gift and keep one for yourself.
To use: Warm a bit in your fingers and apply to your pits.
I am a huge fan of Jill Bliss. For those of you who are not familiar with this lovely lady, she is a professional artist & designer, and in her own words she is also an “amateur photographer/ homesteader/ explorer living simply within the nature of the Pacific NW Islands.” She is an all around top-notch lady! I purchased a Jill Bliss notebook years ago and have slowly been filling the pages with doodles, to do lists, recipes, and other ramblings. Despite that I use the notebook as a productivity tool, it lay dormant for an unknown amount of time tucked under a miscellaneous pile.
After a particularly rough week I turned to what always makes me feel better- exercise. I reached for the Jill Bliss notebook because I remembered that I jotted down a series of yoga stretches each accompanied by its own stick figure drawing. After flipping through the pages I realized that even when I manage to fill every page in this notebook I will keep and cherish it for years to come. I love the way that Jill’s delicate drawings interact with my doodles and endless lists. The notebook is a way of recording small wins, losses, or ideas that might otherwise slip through my memory and Jill’s illustrations add value and whimsy to each page.
Jill, thank you for sharing your talent and helping others unlock, understand, and celebrate their potential.
I’m deeply saddened by the departure of a co-worker friend. Today was the first day that I did not have her by my side at work. I miss her support, her laughter and her impeccable eye for detail. I saw that her name tag was still up, her cube empty, and I felt hollow inside. I was tempted to take her name tag but the facilities personnel would probably discover me clinging to it desperately. Her departure leaves an empty space and I honestly felt like crying today at work. At least she is moving on to an exciting opportunity and I’m very proud of her! It’s amazing how having someone that you click with can make the toughest work load seem light. Not too long ago we took a moment to escape from a hectic-microsoft-excel-overdosed-day and enjoyed the view of a double rainbow outside our office.
On another day she left a banana sitting out on her desk and I drew a sweet little face on it to greet her when she arrived. She snapped this photo below.
And she also helped rekindle a favorite hobby of mine- making burlesque-esque costumes! She asked for some assistance with a Halloween costume that she knew she wanted to wear again, but it needed a few more finishing touches. Here are some shots of her Katy Perry-esque bra (I sewed and glued on the furry “icing” with some remnant fabric). We could not stop giggling when we saw this costume come to life. I want to make more of these and I’m thankful that she rekindled my passion for this craft. Thank you AEL!
Recently I also came across some photos that another friend posted on a social network site of some burlesque bras that I made for her a few years back. I was so pleased to see that not only are they still being used for burlesque performances, but also that they’ve held up to the wear and tear over the years (they’re 3 – 5 years old)!
Making more burlesque costumes will definitely keep my spirits up!
-The Seea Swimsuit-
-An amazing Birthday gift from my love-
It’s a one piece suit, and like their website says, “These suits are made for you ladies, so enjoy them and play often.”
See more of The Seea’s amazing styles here. For anyone who burns easily in the sun, this suit is for you. It is so comfortable and well-made. Not to mention, a locally crafted and 100% Californian product.
Guess who is the “Face of the Day” at Gogosha Optique?!
Take a look here to see the photos and write-up.
I completely agree with the Gogosha Optique tagline, “Look no further.” In fact, you should go right to their website and you’ll see what I mean: http://www.gogosha.com/
I really enjoy when famous people make an appearance in my dream world. My favorite celebrity dream so far involved slow dancing with Tupac Shakur. He was much more shy than one would imagine.
And this past week a very strange pairing made a visit to my subconscious mind- President Barack Obama and Yolandi Visser of Die Antwoord. They were deep in conversation with each other. Well, actually, Obama was dominating the conversation, and Yolandi was scratching the side of her head and patiently trying to find a moment to chime in. That moment did not arrive and you could see the polite frustration on her face. Meanwhile, Obama just kept talking and talking….
And when I woke up I realized that my husband was in the next room listening to Obama’s speech to the UN where he stated that the US will not back Palestinian statehood. Dream dissolved. Time to get up and go to work.