A room of one’s own. Even better, a dedicated studio outside of the house. I am incredibly lucky to have my tiny little attic space in an old, former jam factory in the middle of town. I practise daily gratitude by kissing the walls and telling the little room that it is my favourite room in the world (both childhood bedrooms now bulldozed to dust). The room responds with light and quiet (most days) and quirky ceiling lines and funny little nooks.

Unfortunately we can’t seem to agree on smell.

My studio smells like pickles, or perhaps onions, depending on the opinion of those who come in sniffing….  I wondered if it might be off-gassing paint, or dead rodents in the walls, or something mysterious in my sewing basket, but have settled on the strange, wafting cooking fumes from the downstairs apartment. In retaliation I have taken to burning a very delicious Salt Spring Island Candle Co. chai candle. If it wasn’t so waxy and candle-ish I’d eat it.

I also drink endless cups of actual, made-for-human-consumption, chai tea… not having the time nor capacity to do a proper stove top brew, I tip boiling water over a tea bag and let it’s vapours permeate the onion-smell before I sip away. It does occasionally occur to me to wonder if there might be anything wrong with drinking 7 plus cups of chai tea a day. My favourite chai tea brand promises to be organic, and kindly prints little reassuring yogi sayings on the paper tag at the end of the teabag string. I rip open each sachet and pull out the teabag and read it like a fortune cookie. “Give love get love” – I like that, I’ll do that. “Be kind and compassionate and the whole world will be your friend.”-  oh right, that sounds easy. “Empty yourself and let the universe fill you.” – Um, gross, but okay. Really I just need the tag to say “The sipping of ancient spicy brews in inclosed spaces will ward of onion aromas”.  Everything else is a bonus.

A small batch of links:

Here’s a whole pinterest board dedicated to the teabag tags – And a pdf file! Who knew a cup of tea could fill me with such hope and joy – or at least momentary distraction from the smell of pickles.

Speaking of a room of one’s own, it was Virginia Woolf’s 136th birthday this last week…  “a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction”.

Speaking of money, space and work, I have been listening to The Creative Pep Talk Podcast a bit this last week…

“The Creative Pep Talk Podcast is designed to help you make a good living, making great art.”

I really like this interview with Lisa Congdon…  one of my all time favourite artist/ illustrators (and all-round kick-ass, successful business woman). She released a book last October called A Glorious Freedom: Older Women Leading Extraordinary Lives that is now on my wishlist. Apart from interviews with lots of interesting artists, there are so many good tips for the art of the business of art in this series of podcasts.

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