Artist Ophelia Mikkelson spends her days bouncing between her home studio and back garden, overflowing with flowers and vegetables. Just beyond that, Ophelia can step out onto the sand dunes of Tairua Beach in the Coromandle, for a salty walk and some fresh air. It is a sanctuary of inspiration, slowness and sunshine.

The ritual of tea
I will often, if not always, make a cup of tea before I walk down to the ocean to take with me. I have been enjoying drinking the Morning Detox tea to accompany my first walk and I drink it on the sand dunes. 
I love having teas that are low caffeinated, especially before midday. This one is one of my favourites!

Sharing food and cooking
I married into a family that are from Southern California and cook a lot of Mexican food so I have really got into cooking that at home over the past seven years. 
I love making tostadas and homemade tortillas and fresh salsa with pineapple and mango and coriander from the garden.  

On being at home
A few years ago I made a green daybed and we have recently set it up in our lounge and I just love it. And I think I have been reading more because of it!

On growing your own food
The number one reason is because it can be really hard to fresh produce, and food in general, without plastic wrapping. Its super important to my husband Ryder and I to buy as little as possible, if not everything, without plastic packaging. Secondly, I love having a garden, especially one we can eat from. I think its really important to have things to care for, water and nurture each day. It brings a lot of joy to me to watch things grow and have an abundance of herbs at all times.  

On health and lifestyle
I walk a lot. I only got my drivers licence under two years ago so its engrained in me to walk places. The beach is an important place for me to find stillness. Either looking at the ocean or being in it. I LOVE to dance too, Ryder makes me amazing playlists and I will really get low to those! And yes, I read horoscopes haha for fun and also a little for serious because I'm totally a full blown Pisces and proud.

Keeping creative endeavours fuelled 
By talking with friends and with Ryder. I am so lucky to have a creative community around me that support and see me. I love working on projects with people I think this gives me the energy to make - when I am doing something that is of myself but for others. That gives me motivation and inspires me. 

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