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Artful Living

A is for Artful Living
I start teaching preschool soon at a school that practices the Reggio Emilio philosophy, and I can hardly wait. This mode of teaching began in Northern Italy in a town called Reggio Emilio. Rather than teaching so much, we are adult facilitators of a child-lead program. I ‘m eager to delve in because I’m certain children have much to teach and at whatever age, there is much to learn.

Mother's Day Bouquet c. 2015, Stephanie Rose Bird

One of the hallmarks of Reggio Emilio is that the children’s environment needs to be beautiful. A beautiful environment is my suggestion today for cracking creative blocks. 

Here are some suggestions:

1.       Put Himalayan salt in the corners of your room. Himalayan salt is especially purifying and will draw bad energy from your space.

2.       Put white vinegar in a bowl in the center of your space to draw away bad odors.

3.       Clean your work space (office, studio or as in my case, both) using essential oils such as tea tree oil, lemon eucalyptus, tangerine or lemongrass oil. Add 3 - 4 drops to a cotton rag or a 7 - 8 drops to a small bucket of water. Use a natural sponge or mop to clean your floors.

4.  Organize your space; recycle unnecessary items and dispose of what you can’t..

5.  Hang inspirational images on your wall (your photography, clipped images from magazines, pretty postcards, posters, paintings or tiles perhaps purchased at a yard or rummage sale).

6.  Decorate, while elevating the spirit of the space using natural objects such as blooming plants, flowers, leaves, felled branches, seashells, driftwood, tall grasses in a vase, sun-dried bones (think of Georgia O’Keefe’s lovely paintings of bones and flowers) etc.,

When it comes to beautifying your creative space, let your imagination run wild! Having a clean, well-organized, sensually brightened, and accentuated space as a foundation is bound to make you feel more like creating.


  1. Sounds like an interesting concept with learning and teaching with the preschool! I hadn't heard of that teaching method but I can see advantages to it! I like the thought of cleaning work areas with essential oils; will have to look into that further!

    Thanks for visiting and enjoy the rest of the challenge!


    1. Betty, I hadn't heard of it either but it sounds good for inspiring young artists and thinkers. Essential oils are interesting but powerful. You're wise to investigate before completely jumping in. My advice: a little goes a long way and use it by drops not a cap or pouring.

  2. Some very useful tips! I love essential oils and using them in my everyday life.

    Twitter: @KnottyMarie
    Literary Gold
    Jingle Jangle Jungle

    1. Thanks for stopping by and for the Google+ follow back. Yes, incorporating essential oils in everyday life is great. They elevate the spirits and can be very motivating when you don't feel like doing anything.

  3. So lovely Stephanie thank you. I can imagine how children (adults also) react more calmly in a beautiful space free of clutter, with use of natural materials. I like scented candles of good quality eg lemon grass or vanilla..

    1. Oh my goodness yes! Candles, particularly of a high quality work great. I like putting one right on my work desk as I type. Sandalwood is wonderfully warming and grounded.

  4. sounds wonderful. I love essential oils. i can see how it can be calming for kids to have such a peaceful, clean environment.

    1. Yes Djinnia and all of this speaks to our inner child as well!

  5. These is all good advice. I do have a Hymalaian Salt lamp, but not in my creative space. Maybe I shoul move it :-)

    The Old Shelter - Jazz Age Jazz

    1. Yes Sarah, you could. Also there is power and cleansing to the air and your well-being from using the heaps of salt.

  6. All great tips! Tip no 4 is where I fall flat on my face. Terrible hoarder of useless things.

    Totally agree though - a clean, well-lit, organised space with great artwork all round spikes creativity quite naturally.


    1. I'm rather fond of my clutter as well Nilanjana Rose!

  7. Beautiful bouquet! Love the artwork on the page.
    Happy A to Z!
    I'm doing 7 blogs this year for the challenge. Here we go ...

    1. Thanks Linda Ann. I'm so busy as well, hoping I can do the 26. Time will tell. Thanks for stopping in and for your nice compliment!

  8. Lovely Mother's Day Bouquet! and some really great ideas here, whether one has a creative block or not! I love the recipe for cleaning with essential oil. Gail at Making Life An Art

    1. Thanks Gail. I hope you try the essential oils. They're a lot richer smelling when you use them directly, than they are in commercial products.

  9. Ooh I love your creativity tips. I will have to try the essential oils one for sure.

  10. Hi Stephanie!

    Your art is BEAUTIFUL! And living a beautiful, artful life has always been a top priority for me. Even when I was a child I insisted on fresh flowers in my room and decorating in my own way. Thankfully, my parents encouraged such creative behavior (though they drew the line at painting my walls black!).

    Thanks for visiting my blog! I appreciate your visit and the comment! I'll be back :)


  11. My working space does need a clean up. I should probably look into that.

    ATSP @ Deeply Shallow

  12. Loved all of these suggestions! Especially #3 and #5! Can't wait to try these! :) Thanks!


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