Tools & Talismans #22 — Stephanie Perkinson

My newest lesson? Painting shoes. Shoes are so MUCH more 3-dimensional than I ever thought they were — and I did know they were. To create the right balance of black on black that will give the sense of depth that I'm looking down into a shoe. More work on shoes, definitely need more practice on shoes.

I love the palette of Stephanie’s image, the oranges that zig and zag in between the rich browns and the blacks and whites. Enjoy the depth and color of this one!

Seeing my collection take shape was such a delight. The story that played out before me brought an instant smile to my lips.

I’ll start with my little cast iron pot. It’s happy orange self truly stands for my entire collection of pots and pans I use daily to nourish my family. I cook a lot and my kitchen is one of my happy places for sure. Now that the season has shifted and there is a nip in the air I make soup at least once a week if not more. I also just learned how to make bread the “Tartine Way” and I have been delighted to see such fantastic results baking in this particular pot. 

Next up is my wooden spoon. For soup, for pushing fragrant garlic and onions around in a pan, for stirring up a pot of chili or spooning heaps of mashed potatoes onto plates. I prefer wooden tools best and love to take the time to give back to my little workhorse with the most sumptuous beeswax and oil blend. I love how the mixture restores life to the gorgeous grain in this particular tool. It helps me connect to its purpose and mine.

The boots are my beloved work companions. I manage a professional dressage barn part time and I absolutely could not do the work I do without them. They take a daily beating and are still in fabulous condition. This new endeavor is something that has been calling me strongly over the last few years, I can’t tell you how good it feels to finally answer that call. It has been one of the greatest acts of self care I have given myself in years. Also, there is something about the worn patina of leather that stirs my soul — beautiful, functional objects get me every time.

You’ll notice a creamy white pumpkin in the mix. This is my gentle and beautiful reminder to stay with the season. Living seasonally is one of my truest joys and I love having bits of nature dancing around our home, reminding me what’s going on outside our door. Staying connected to mother earth and her cycles in one of my top priorities and helps me feel balanced, whole and rooted.

The two little bottles you see hold delicious and powerful scent and energy that helps me get through my day. I use them multiple times a day and can’t recommend Lotus Wei products enough. They are pure magic. Be prepared to be wowed, the first time I used Inspired Action I found myself rearranging my entire house because I was bursting with ideas for each room.

I get overwhelmed quite easily and I have found that the Passion Planner is the best solution for me. It gives me an eagle eye snapshot of my week, down to the half hour and encourages me to go deeper when I reflect upon each month.  I’m not a journal keeper, so sometimes I love flipping back through the pages to see where I was and how far I have come. A little piece of personal history that reminds me  that I’m exactly where I need to be.

The giant citrine crystal resting on my planner reminds me to live in abundance in all things and to be grateful. It moves to different areas of my house depending on my emotional needs in relation to the Bagua Map. I love Feng Shui and have studied it for about 10 years now and find crystals (and color) to be one of the greatest tools I can utilize to make a difference in my life and help bring clarity to certain situations.

The silver square is my touch pad for my computer, but also my touchstone to the world far beyond my tiny seaside town. Because of this tool I have had the opportunity to coach women all around the world, meet woman who have become best friends and been gifted opportunity to travel and teach in places I never thought I would see. It’s been pure magic.  

Lastly, you’ll see a packet of incense sticks. This type is made by a company called Jiva Apoha. I love creating sacred space in my home, with light, textures, pattern and scent. I find that this particular brand makes exquisite and unusual scents that are the perfect accompaniment to getting cozy in the fall and winter. Plus, how can I resist a scent called ‘Wild Pony”?

—Stephanie Perkinson, holistic health & lifestyle coach at Wellness by Design.


Tools & Talismans is a personal painting project where I’m documenting {in watercolor} the tools and talismans of 100 different women — creators and healers, thinkers and makers, wordsmiths and visionaries. Join me for a year of Tools & Talismans — I'll be sharing a new painting with you every Wednesday.

I also create commissioned illustrations for people just like you — contact me and we can talk about what you need.