Olivia Miller on Sundays
Olivia Miller–expert beading and embroidery artisan, bookworm, and lover of red lipstick–is a storyteller. As recent New York transplant, she has quickly made a place for herself in the city with a gorgeous one bedroom apartment that shines as brightly as her personality.
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up? I wish I could say that I do something really thoughtful or unique, but I’m bad, and I usually check my phone first thing.
What’s on your bedside table? A stack of books I’m currently reading, a sketchbook and pen, my bible, Rainwater Farm Healing Salve, and a half-finished cup of coffee.
What does your perfect Sunday look like? I can’t sleep in (my body usually wakes me up without an alarm around 6:30/7:00), but I love getting to lounge in bed a little extra on Sunday mornings. That’s my time for me to noodle on things, meditate and pray, and just collect my thoughts. That’s usually followed by coffee and reading while I figure out what to do with the day. I love leaving my Sundays open to whatever may come along.
"What matters is creating with intention, even if it’s just to bring something into existence purely for your own joy or release."
- OLIVIA MILLER
What is your favorite thing about your home? I love my kitchen! I have a gas stove, dishwasher, and a kitchen island (these all make me feel very *grown up*). I’ve definitely started experimenting with cooking more since I moved in. My apartment also has a garden in the back, which is a rare find in New York.
What is one quote that changed your life? “Be afraid, but do it anyway.”
What are you currently reading? I have a really bad habit of reading multiple books at a time, because I hate that sad feeling that comes when you finish a really good book, but don’t know what to read next. Currently I’m rotating Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides, Sour Heart by Jenny Zhang, and The Woman Destroyed by Simone de Beauvoir.
What does being an artist mean to you? For me, it’s about storytelling. Any art is so much more than the medium you work with; more than paint or clay or words on a page. It’s the why. It’s finding a way to articulate the things that make you tick and light your fire. I’m learning that being an artist isn’t about always making these grand works that receive a lot of attention or praise, because that's just not realistic. Not everything is going to be a masterpiece or even something you’re proud of. What matters is creating with intention, even if it’s just to bring something into existence purely for your own joy or release. It’s telling the stories you believe need to be told, whether they are your own, or ones that resonate with you, and knowing that not everyone is going to get it or like it or see the value in what you’re doing. But you’ve got to have the courage to make it anyway, because that’s what you’re meant to do.
What is your favorite project you’ve ever completed? My beaded sunflower collar. It was the most labor-intensive piece I’ve ever done, and it’s the work I’m most proud of.
What time of day are you most productive? In the morning, usually from 9:00 AM to noon.
How do you find inspiration? I’m really inspired by the past - both my own, and just like history in general. I’ve always been drawn to antiques and vintage. I like thinking about the lives objects had before I encountered them, what stories they have to tell, and what that story becomes when it’s superimposed with my own. I’m a bit of a hoarder, but I like to collect old fabric scraps, ribbons, cards or prints, and other ephemera that click with me. These found colors, patterns, and textures go on to inspire the pieces I make, or sometimes just serve as something to make me feel a desire to be creative.
What are your Sunday essentials? Coffee, sunshine, and free time.
How do you practice Self Care? The biggest thing for me when it comes to self-care is taking breaks from social media. I think platforms like Instagram and Facebook have some really great attributes, but I tend to get sucked in, and spend way too much time on them. It’s not so much that I struggle with comparison, but I definitely have unhealthy habits when it comes to using these apps. I’m getting better at regulating how much content I take in, but I’m definitely overdue for a week-long purge.
What do you love the most in the world? Serendipity (The sensation, not the movie with John Cusack.)
If you were a sound, you would be the sound of popcorn popping.
If you were a scent, you would be a mix of bonfire smoke and roses.
If you were an taste, you would be a chocolate frosted donut with sprinkles.
If you were a feeling, you would be frisky + optimistic.
If you were a color, you would be yellow.