Creating a Green Office: The Before

Dear relatives,

My grandmother would have been 91 years old this week (Gemini love!). And this year, I’ll be celebrating her life in a way I never expected as I work toward opening an acupuncture clinic and mind-body center in my hometown. In between farm chores, I’ll get to design my dream office. I’ll be documenting the process and progress here, and hope to address some of the struggles that come with being a person of color and business owner. I’m also looking forward to educating myself on beginner Feng shui principles, which is an important part of Taoism, Chinese philosophy and cosmology. For now, I’ll ease into that conversation by sharing with a few “before” images. All of the photos you’ll see were made with my phone, so bear with me! Processed with VSCO with m5 presetWhen I first visited the office, I was immediately drawn to this open space. There is great potential here. I can see it so clearly: Qigong classes, community acupuncture, workshops, meditation… I get goosebumps just thinking about it! Processed with VSCO with m5 presetProcessed with VSCO with m5 presetThere are three rooms in total — the large, open room is located to the right when you first walk in. The images above are of the middle room. This will be utilized as an administrative center primarily. There will be a small sink and kitchen area in here as well. Processed with VSCO with m5 presetProcessed with VSCO with m5 presetAt some point, the middle room may need to transform into an additional treatment room. Until then, I’m just taking everything one day at a time.Processed with VSCO with m5 presetA random photo of me just to show you the mirrored ceilings, which are located in the entrance. This was the second thing I noticed, for many reasons. In particular, the symbolism that mirrors carry as a reflection of internal and external environment. I’ve also been trying to learn more about using mirrors as a design strategy. If you have any resources, send them my way!Processed with VSCO with m5 presetThe main treatment room is pictured above. This was the room I had the most challenge with in terms of envisioning what it could be. The room rectangular in shape; more long that it is wide, but it’s not narrow by any means. I’m really looking forward to seeing what this space has to offer once everything is cleared out. Processed with VSCO with m5 presetIn the last month, there has been so much progress already. I’ve slowly started to tell folks about the office, and the response I’ve received has been so warm and encouraging. The experience has been very humbling, and I’m thankful for the postive feedback. This has been a dream of mine for a long time now, and the idea of seeing it all come to life in community with others is more than I imagined.

Here’s to honorinng our grandmothers, and all the ways they inspire us. A blessed New Moon in Gemini to you and yours.

In Solidarity,




Of Note: Anatomy of Digestion Dining Set

Anatomy_Boutique_Anatomy_of_Digestion_Set_4_platesThe life of a graduate student (as you know, or can imagine) is all about reading. We read and process a variety of materials on a daily basis, which can be hard on the old eyes. One way I like to give my eyes (and brain) a break is by checking out the latest in anatomical art and design over at Street Anatomy. They recently added a new line of china that features the anatomy and histology of the digestive system. The stunning black and white images really highlight the organic patterns, yes? Continue reading “Of Note: Anatomy of Digestion Dining Set”

Brain Cross Section Coasters

huir_brain_specimen_coasters_blackhuir_brain_specimen_coastersYou read the heading correct ;) I spotted these the other day on Street Anatomy, and got so hype! How amazing are these stackable coasters featuring brain cross sections? What’s more, when you stack the whole lot up, it forms a 3D brain (woot!) The only downside is that they are currently sold out. I’m hoping the artisan-geeks who created these will offer up more for all the anatomy-loving-geeks out there (please, oh please!). I’m thinking the coasters would pair well with these plates, yes? In Solidarity, Christian

Credits: Images via ThinkGeek

Emerald, Wood, and Brass Decor Elements

Do you ever see something that reminds you of your childhood? Anytime I see a peacock chair it totally brings back vibes from my Aunt Bev’s house. She had a set of 6 in the dinning room, and I loved them. When I noticed this rad natural peacock chair version, dreams of having one for my home started to grow. The detail on this chair is amazing, right?!

Growing up, I always took cues from my grandmother and father on how to nourish plants. They were both blessed with green thumbs, and always inspired me to develop my skills. Neither one of them needed fancy planters to grow beautiful botanicals year after year. Though I must admit that this gorgeous copper hanging planter got my attention, and made me wonder what those two lovely humans would think about it…  Where I grew up, there were very few plain white walls. Many of us still had wood paneling, old kitchen titles, and original sinks by the time I went to college. I dig the nostalgic feeling this walnut wood sconce invokes, as it takes me back to hours upon hours of sitting, and chatting around the kitchen table con mi familia. My grandparents had this glorious green office chair. Since I was a kid, I pictured having one just like it in my home office. This emerald-green velvet armchair is pretty close to the original one, plus those gold-copper legs are on point, right!?

Funny, I am just now recognizing the green, metallic, and wood theme that this curation generated :) Actually, these elements all remind me of lush green summers in Ohio. A palette I will never get tired of! What color theme reminds you of home? ♡ In Solidarity, Christian

4 Ways To Wow Using Botanicals

Fresh TulipsUsing botanicals can really add a lot of personality into a project, whether it be in the home, or in the hands of a loved one. You can decorate with them, wrap them up all lovely to give as a gift, or put some in your hair. You can even use them to dress up a dish with aromatic and visual sensuality. Some botanicals are even safe to consume.

Botanical TeaThere is so much beauty to behold when it comes to botanicals, and since we are in the season for spring, love, and all the jazz, we have the opportunity to utilize these bodacious babes in a variety of ways. I’ve mentioned a few examples above. Now add dried botanicals to that list. Fresh, or sheng, as we say in Chinese herbology, is great for many things. Dried can be even better, depending on the purpose and goal. When a botanical is dried, it has the chance to embrace all its magic, which can then be released by way of infusion into a carrier substance (i.e. water, oil, alcohol, etc.). Why not try creating your own dried botanical tea bags? Lavender, rose hips, chamomile, sage, and rosemary are wonderfully nutritious, delicious, and healing!

Christian FTFIf you have any left-over botanicals, there is always the option of creating with them. A great example of this exercise is Justina Blakeney, and her Face the Foliage project. It is simple, Eco-friendly, and great for all ages. All it takes is a few pieces of foliage, and some creative juice. Anywhere you imagine is a canvas!

Art Print by Christian TottyIf you are not a DIY-type, don’t worry, no judgment here. The upside for you is that you can support diverse makers from all over the world who do love to do it themselves ;) A popular trend that’s been sustained on Pintrest for some time is botanical prints. You can get them in vintage, or modern form; illustrated, or photographed. I, too, have taken my love for botanicals and photography to task (see the above image), and currently sell my work on Society 6. I’m just one example, and there are so many more awesome-ly talented folks out there. Like yourself, perhaps? Which bodacious way do you prefer your botanicals? ♡ In Solidarity, Christian



Credits: Fresh Tulips via Flickr // Botanical Tea via Season with Spice // Wildflower Communion print via Christian Totty // Face the Foliage print via Justina Blakeney




Where There Is Struggle, There Is Creativity

World Market 1World Market 2 World Market 3Friends, when Mercury is in retrograde, the energy is always a certian shade of awkward, right?  This week , in particular has been characteristically full of intense emotion, and expression. And with this messiness sparks an equal balance of struggle, and creativity. As difficult as it is can be to let life flow the way it needs to, I’ve been greeted with so much color, and inspiration. It’s truly humbling. Lately, I’ve had my eye on a few items from World Market that I hope will help spruce up our office space. What do you think of those woven floor pillows? I’m digging them so hard!

In solidarity,