Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Here in Texas the summer heat is already moving the temps up and we are at a point where you can no longer open your windows unless you want everything to have that soupy wet feeling to it. I may have told you all that we moved from Iowa to Texas 10 years ago, and one of the things I miss is the true season changes ...I love being able to have my windows open even in the dead of winter to get fresh air in the house.

Today's recipes are my way of freshening up the house without a lot of commercial sprays.

Spray Vanilla and Cloves Air Freshener Spray

1 cup water
1 cup household vinegar
1 TBS vanilla extract
1 tsp cloves

Bring all ingredients to a boil then simmer over medium heat for two minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Strain cloves then pour liquid into spray bottle, shake and use as needed.
Note: You can increase/decrease the vanilla & cloves amounts to your preference.

Lemon Air Freshener Spray
2 cups hot water
1/8 cup baking soda
1/2 cup lemon juice

First dissolve the baking soda in hot water then add the lemon juice. You can use ReaLemon for this (expired is fine).

Quick Tip: Easy Homemade Deodorizer Sprays:
You can also whip up some good, fresh smelling spray with just two ingredients: water or vinegar and essential oils.

Simply fill a spray bottle with water or vinegar, add a dozen or so drops of your favorite essential oils and spray away!

Salt Packed Citrus Shells: DIY Air Freshener
I just love the smell of grapefruit:
Cut an grapfruit in half and remove the pulp;
Fill the empty shell with some salt;
Put in the back of your fridge as a fridge freshener;
Keep the grapefruit shell in a small bowl so it won’t tip over and spill the salt.

The salt absorbs stale and nasty odors while the shell releases a fresh, orange smell. I also tuck one of these behind the toilet in our bathroom.

This would also work for other citrus fruits like lemons and oranges.

Another way you can do this is cut an orange in half and coat the exposed flesh liberally with salt. Since we love eating oranges I always remove the pulp first.

Till tomorrow ... keep creating !
Tina aka Daily Muse

Monday, June 7, 2010

I just love the grace and feel of a wonderully wood carving... Dick has has an amazing talent .. let's begin getting to know this artist and his work !

DM: What is your artistic medium?
DK: I carve entirely in wood, primarily Basswood but some others.

DM: Where can your art be seen?
DK: The best place to see my work is on my ETSY website ...

DM: When did you become interested in your medium?
DK: I have carved off and on for about 8 years but never with regularity. Before starting to carve, I built and sold pine furniture both as a hobby and to sell in local gift shops.

DM: Once you decided to pursue your art, how did you start off, trial and error, books, classes, videos, formal schooling?
DK: Although I have taken a couple of 2-3 day courses, I have learned most of my skill through good old trial and error. Some of my first carvings weren't too good.

DM: Out of what you tried, was there any particular thing that you would recommend to someone just starting out?
DK: Basswood is about the best to start with. It is reasonably inexpensive and carves pretty easily. Don't buy junk wood, buy good wood, it is so much easier to work with.

DM: What do you enjoy most about working with your medium?
DK: The creativity and challenge, especially when carving a custom item for a client.

DM: What do you find the most frustrating?
DK: Usually, that I don't get enough time to carve.

DM: Where do you find your inspirations for what you create?
DK: Since I do mostly custom work, my clients tell me what they want. Otherwise, I just carve something I see or imagine that I like. It may be a picture, a nature scene, sometimes a carving by some other artist. I never copy someone else's work but I do use them to generate ideas of my own.

DM: Tell us a little about one of your favorite creations:
DK: My favorite creation was of a pair of brown bears wrestling. I did it as a surprise for my son. I also like to create custom walking sticks, with a theme that reflects the users interests. Although I have not placed any in my shop at this time, I would be happy to create some for my clients.

DM: Have you ever experienced artist block and how did you overcome it?
DK: No, I haven't had this problem, probably because I carve for clients, and they give me the theme of whatever they desire.

DM: What is the biggest mistake you have ever made as an artist? What did you learn from it?
DK: Under-estimate the time it will take to produce a piece of work. I've gotten better at this.

DM: Would you please tell about your studio set-up?
DK: Today, I work out of my attached garage, where I have an area set aside for my work area. As my sales grow, my dream is to build a separate shop on my property.

DM: When is your favorite time to create?
DK: I enjoy carving about any time, day or night, as long as I'm not physically worn out from some other activity.

DM: What advise would you give someone starting out in this medium?
DK: Buy good, sharp tools and keep them sharp. Also, use good wood. Nothing is as frustrating as trying to carve with a dull tool, unless it's trying to carve a bad piece of wood with a dull tool.

DM: Are there any artist that inspire you or that you admire?
DK:Not in particular. I enjoy about anyone's work. Just being able to use God given gifts to create is beauty in itself.

DM: Tell us a bit about yourself.
DK: I have been retired for about two years and still carve on an as-time-permits basis. Of course, I have to schedule my time a little better when I'm working on a clients piece but I still try to maintain a "retired" life style. My wife and I enjoy traveling and I often work while traveling, so a piece of work may have been done in multiple locations.

DM: Anything else you wish to share?
DK: Only that anyone with a creative gift should make every effort to use it.

Thank you Kent for sharing more about your passion and your art ! We wish you the best in 2010 !

Until tomorrow... keep creating !