Everything You Need from the New Hearth and Hand Line

Target launched the Hearth & Hand collection by Magnolia today and I've been anticipating this line ever since it was announced on Magnolia's social networks. Here's everything that is in my cart- HA, just kidding but I would happily take one of each. Leave it to Chip and Jo to convince me that everyone in my family needs matching plaid onesies for Christmas. The line includes everything from matte black flatware, which I'm seriously considering, to a doll house and pretty much everything in between. The kitchen linens are probably my favorite from the collection along with the coordinating stockings and aprons. Okay-I love it all. 

Some of the items are in store exclusives so I'm running to Target now in hopes of grabbing this tote for our fire wood. We've been enjoying so many cozy fires already this year. I think it's time to start decorating for the holidays!

Ps. I launched my hand painted ornaments and they are OH SO PRETTY! Shop all 12 designs in The Gift Shop.

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Home Sweet Home

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A view from our backyard looking up at my painting studio.

I thought it was finally time to share some photos of the house that Nick and I bought earlier this year. The buying process was extremely fast and a little bit stressful since there were 7 offers already on the home when we were seeing it for the first time. This was only the 5th home we had gone to look at and we hadn't even been looking for a month when Nick had a feeling this was the one. I was at work and he went alone to tour it and then I came after and had to make a decision within 15 minutes if we wanted to put an offer in on it. 

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Happy new homeowners after we closed!

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I love the curb appeal of our home. The old owners were gardeners...I'm still learning all about yard work and we have our work cut out for us but I'm so thankful for this beautiful yard and garden. 

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This is our living room about a month after we moved in. I fell in love with all of the natural light in the home and realized everything I wanted to update we could slowly change over time. Our living room is in a different arrangement now but it started to feel like home right after we moved our stuff in.

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This is what the living room looked like when we toured it for the first time. The first thing we did on the weekend we moved in was take down all of the window treatments and that let a lot more light in. We plan on painting this room white and giving the brick wall (not pictured here) a white wash. We are trying to decide what to do about the floor situation in the kitchen (pictured below) Do we match the hardwoods or go for tile? I'm super torn but it will probably come down to $$$. 

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I absolutely love having a real fireplace both upstairs and downstairs. It has already been used a lot upstairs. 

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The kitchen needs A LOT of work. We were debating on whether or not to paint the cabinets for the time being and decided to live with them until we redo the whole kitchen in a couple of years. I've been doing a lot of research and since painting cabinets is so much work, we would rather just not if they are all coming out anyway. 

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The dinette area currently looks a bit under construction right now. We took down the wallpaper right away and the window treatments came down along with the shelf thing above the cabinets. Our next task is to take down the wood paneling because it's fake wood. We will drywall that area along with an entire hallway (EEEEK!!) I think when I'm done with this room it will look amazing with new flooring, a new light fixture, and some paint. Keep in mind this is not our furniture!

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When we were looking at this home everyone said this could be my studio and I didn't really see it. Let me tell you, it's an AMAZING studio! This sunroom is perfect for painting. It looks completely different now because we painted the paneling bright white and it made a huge difference. Our next step is to paint the floor, put a nice large vintage rug down and put some plants in here. I have my easel set up right now and I can't wait until I can spend all day painting in here. I'll share a photo of this space soon. It's getting there!

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Move in day! My paintings are oh so happy here. This room overlooks the back yard and there is a door that leads right down the stairs to the garden. It's a dream.

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This is our basement aka Nick's man cave. We don't have plans to do anything down here in the near future. We loved the fact that this home was a walkout and the basement receives such amazing light.

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Here are those amazing windows downstairs! And yes, that is a cute little retro bar with a working vintage fridge. There are a couple of bedrooms down here along with a bathroom and a laundry room. Altogether it is 4 (small) bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. I will leave the bedrooms for a different day because we don't have plans to do anything to them right now. We are focusing on the main upstairs areas of the home right now and that is enough to keep us busy for a long time!

Just writing this post, I am feeling a wave of gratitude come over me. This space has been such a large blessing for us to live and dream together and I know we will make amazing memories here. I will try to share more over here on the updates we are making to our space as we go. I'm sure it will be quite the process. 

Thanks for following along. 

xo,

qk


Dressing Room Inspiration

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I've slowly but surely been working on putting together mood boards for every room in our house. It's my favorite way to gather my thoughts and decide on a direction for each room. So far, I've shared with you our Living Room mood board here and it's the only room in the house that is fully decorated. Coincidence?...I think not! We have lots and lots of updates to do and for a perfectionist like me, it's been quite the challenge to pick a direction and go with it. 

Today, I have tackled another mood board and wanted to share my inspiration for the "closet room" or what could become my dream dressing room.

We have three small bedrooms on the main floor and since our master bedroom is quite small, the adjacent bedroom is serving as extra storage space for what some people might call my shopping problem. Instead of going extremely feminine with the space, I decided to incorporate pops of it with floor to ceiling wallpaper, floral line drawings, some faux fur, and velvet. What more could a girl want? (well I guess I want the boots in this mood board to magically appear in my closet)

I designed the room around this gorgeous green daybed. I'm still not over pretty much every shade of green and this shade of sage is to die for. I would tie it in to the rest of the room with some custom artwork in this shade as well. The other statement piece is THIS MIRROR! I have always had a thing for antique gold mirrors and it would be a shame to have a dressing room without a stunner like this.

I'm always on the hunt for some good pillows and I am in love with the patterns and textures of the ones pictured above. I love that they can transform a room and can be changed out by the season for a completely different feel. Lastly, I wanted to find lighting that was versatile and went with this gorgeous floor lamp. I love these brass sconces to hang on the walls too.

I need this entire room to be very versatile so that if I decide someday that it isn't going to be just my closet room, I can keep the bones and transform the purpose of the space. For that reason, I chose furniture, rugs, lighting and accessories that could be used years down the road in this room or other rooms. Because someday I might have kids and not just clothes! 

I like my money where I can see it, hanging in my closet.
— Carrie Bradshaw

As always, thank you for reading! 

xo,

qk

 

 

Budget Friendly Modern/Industrial Lighting

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This week while I was looking for affordable ways to update our home I did an amazon search for pendant lights on a whim and was pleasantly surprised with the results. For some reason, amazon is the last place I would think to look for home decor (maybe it's just me because they basically have evvvvverything). I wanted to share some of the best options on here with you guys because you seriously can't beat these prices and the designs are exactly what I was looking for. I shared a few of these on my Instagram stories and this amazing moroccan pouf that I've seen for upwards for $300 on some other sites JAW DROPPED...$59 and it has amazing reviews. 

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I'm currently shopping for a few light fixtures or really simple ways to update some that are in our home that are quite outdated and just not my style. My only advice while shopping for these is to make sure to look at the measurements on them. I realized that a lot of the pendant lights look like they would be large enough to go over a dining room table (#4) and they are actually much smaller than you would think. 

1. Linea di Liara Primo Industrial Factory Pendant Lamp $48.99

2. CLAXY Ecopower Antique Industrial Mini Glass Pendant Lighting $39.99

3. CLAXY Ecopower Industrial Edison 39.99

4. CLAXY Ecopower Industrial Barn Mini Metal Pendant Light $39.99

5. Sully Warm Brass Plug-In Wall Lamp $49.99

6. Globe Electric Mira 1-Light Hourglass Pendant $27.57

I'm hoping to share a ton more over here on the progress we are making on our house and all of the plans we have for it! We are doing everything on a budget and I've officially fallen down the rabbit hole of the world of DIY blogs and endless Pinteresting. I'm loving it a little too much. 

xo- qk

From House to Home

Remember this post where I shared the mood board of my design ideas for our living room?! Well today I'm excited to share with you a progress post of where we're at. I've drawn inspiration from the decorating ideas of Havenly and they got me thinking about a few of my own tips. I love showcasing artwork throughout my home and mixing and matching items that I've antiqued over the years so the room feels collected while also telling the story of us at the same time.

We have been in our home now for a little over a month and let me tell you, this transition was so much easier for us than when we were first moving into our apartment (as far as decorating goes, the house learning curve has been steep). Below is what our apartment living room looked like when it was done the way I liked it. My goal with our house was to make one room feel done as fast as possible so we would at least feel like we had one room that felt like home. We started with the living room because it's the room you walk into when you enter the front door and it's the center of the home. Going from house to home can seem very overwhelming since there is so much we still need to furnish but there are a few things to keep in mind to make the process easier and make it feel like your space. 

Your home should tell the story of who you are and be a collection of what you love brought together under one roof.
— Nate Berkus

from house to home

  • Mix and match artwork from different artists that compliment each other

  • Showcase your favorite photos of your favorite people

  • Mix old and new together

  • Use books as decor items

  • Add greenery (or faux flowers)

I love having an art filled home. I think adding artwork to your walls instantly gives the space character and you can tell a lot about a person by the type of artwork they gravitate towards. I always start with the art and build the room around it. When it comes to furniture, I gravitate towards neutral pieces with clean lines that I know I will love for years to come. I try to stay away from really trendy items and super bright colors that won't mix and match well. I bring in color with the artwork, candles, and plants. These items are easy to switch up over time and instantly give your room a different feel versus buying new big ticket items.

One thing I've learned is new isn't better by any means. Some of my favorite items in our living room we have aquired for free from family members or I've antiqued for cheap. I found that gorgeous gold vintage mirror for under $100 and it is one of my favorite pieces ever. Mixing old and new gives a collected feel to the space and is a great conversation starter when you have guests in your home. 

I love adding to a space and watching it develop as time goes on. It's fun to see how a space can evolve over the months or years. I have big plans for this room to paint a line drawing on this wall where the dresser is but first we have been patching up some nail holes and painting for now. We just dove head first into painting our sunroom and I severely underestimated how long that would take us so I'm excited to take a little break after that is finished. It's been kind of crazy over here running my business during the day, going to work, and doing home projects at night. I've most certainly fallen down the rabbit hole of the DIY Pinterest world. I'm excited to share this process with you as we go. I'm really not a DIY-er at ALL so it will be a bit of an experiment. If you want to follow along with our daily progress, you can follow me on Instagram at @queenikathleeni where I'll be sharing some behind the scenes on my stories.

As you can see, nothing in this room came from the same place. It is a unique mixture of things that were gifted, antiqued, or made by people that are special to us. I love this room because the items serve as a reminder of how blessed we are to have such amazing people in our lives. They aren't just things without meaning taking up space. 

What tips do you have to make a house feel like a home? I would love to hear what you have in your home that is most special to you.

xo,

Katie

Living Room Inspiration

Some of you may know that Nick and I moved into a new home over the long weekend. We are still in the moving phase and we are currently between two places. Life should be really stressful right now with packing and cleaning and getting settled but it just isn't. Pretty much all we feel right now is joy, excitement, and pride. I hadn't bought anything for the house until this past weekend and as someone who LOVES design, this is the fun part. I am definitely no expert so I will be needing lots of help but I do know what I like.

We are working within a budget (money and time) and using pieces we already have and were kindly gifted by our parents. I'm excited to share this new journey of home ownership with you here on the blog. I took a few days off over the 4th to get settled and tomorrow I'm back to working on art! When I get a second I will share some before photos that I've taken so you can see what we are working with. The majority of our plans right now just include paint, tearing down wallpaper, and more paint!

I'm most excited about our living room because the space is filled with light, hardwood floors, and is a blank canvas for the most part. We have a few pieces that have to be included because we already have them. Those pieces include a large vintage mirror, the dresser, oversized leather couch, and two beautiful chairs like the ones pictured above but with leather cushions. I really love neutral decor while bringing in pops of color with the artwork, plants, and accessories. I will be honest, after I finished this mood board, I decided it was way too masculine for me (which is why Nick probably liked it). I'm a little worried about all of the dark leather and wood in the mood board above so I'm going to have to make some tweaks so it has some more contrast and lighten it up a bit. I do have plans to do a hand painted floral line drawing on the largest wall in the family room so that should bring in some more queeni vibes.

All and all, this is going to be a huge learning experience. You wouldn't believe the amount of ridiculous things I've googled so far. I'm so excited to put my spin on this space and create all of the custom artwork a home could ever need (perks of being an artist) but I'm most excited to finally have a place that truly feels like home and share it with my loved ones.

If you would like to follow along, I'll be sharing more updates on my Instagram stories. You will find the good, the bad, and the ugly over there.

xo,

qk

La Masionette Bleue

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Here is a little mood board I put together for La Maisonette Bleue (The Blue House). It is truly a collaborative space that my friend Erika (owner of Boho Indigo) has opened up for me to come over and work whenever I want or need to. It has been such a blessing during this time where my dreams for my business are bigger than the space I have to work out of right now but that is all about to change and  I'm trying to be patient (definitely not my best quality) and thankful for the space I am currently working from but I have this dream that keeps nagging at me to do large scale paintings. Aside from the space itself, having a creative friend that understands my struggles and dreams has been such a large blessing in my life this year. I've heard about other creatives talk about feeling as though they are on an island when they first started their creative business, and my experience has been no different. A large part of my work has to be completed alone so having a space to work with a creative friend who has similar goals is so healthy. Erika is still in the process of building this creative space (so stay tuned for more about this project later) but I'm so excited to bring the branding to life. I have my own little vision for the identity of La Maisonette Bleue and I'm excited to share it with you over here. Don't you just love how soft and peaceful this mood board is?!

xo,

qk

Sweet, Sweet Summertime

It's FINALLY summertime here in Minnie!! We've been experiencing a ton of rain the past two months and now it's hot, hot, hot, and everything is gorgeous and green. I'm not a huge outside gal because of my fair skin so I just like to live in the relaxed summer state of mind instead. We are less than a month away from moving out of our apartment and into our home so this June will be a busy month of packing and cleaning UGH! I've moved three times in the last five years or so and it never goes smoothly. Any tips would be much appreciated. We are gradually packing up boxes this time and hoping to actually use a moving truck which I've never done in the past. 

This summer I would love to read a few books. I just picked up "The Girl on the Train" when Nick and I were at the book store last night and I have a few business books on my list that I've been wanting to read for a while. I'll try to do a round up over here when I get a second. I am not a reader at all but instead of scrolling through Instagram at night, I figure I can knock out a chapter or two and see if that works. I would love to hear what books you're reading this summer. 

Last night we ate at Burger Jones near Lake Calhoun. Our original plan was to go to the Tin Fish and walk around the lake but after realizing how packed it would be we settled on the next best option. We sat on the patio and I had their vodka lemonade and french fry tower which we love, although it isn't exactly great for the beach bod. Then we headed to the new Wonder Woman movie which we both did not like despite the great reviews. 

With the change of seasons, I'm going through my wardrobe and looking at filling in the gaps of what I need and what I can get rid of (also doing a lot of purging because we are moving). I've been looking for a white boating hat for about two years now and I have yet to pull the trigger on one that I love. I'm also loving this bag trend but I'll probably just sketch the look instead of buying the bag. Loving these sunnies for summer I grabbed them in mirrored rose gold from the boutique I work at. 

I'm finishing up some larger art projects this month and then hoping to spend some time settling into our home and finding a new routine there. I don't do well with changes but this is one I'm really looking forward to. We are hoping to throw a nice big backyard house warming party. I love the feel of the one pictured above although I realize Pinterest inspiration and real life expectations are completely different.

Happy June friends! Thanks so much for reading my summer rambles. Ps. I'm having a sale right now in my shop. 25% off everything except custom work.

xo-

qk

Studio Inspiration

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When I'm not designing art, I like to design pretty much anything. Do you see the issue in this?....What I enjoy doing is working. I made this mood board awhile back when I was redesigning my site and I never got around to blogging it so here it is. I love the feel of this studio space so much. I have been trying to design a space that feels inspiring to me to work in. I currently work out of our two bedroom apartment and the bedroom that is my studio is tiny. It worked fine for awhile but queeni continues to grow and I just do not have enough space to run a business out of our apartment anymore. Nick and I just bought a house and I will have so much more room for my business (!!!!!!!) I'm so excited. This journey just keeps getting better. This new space is going to do amazing things for my business and our life together. I'm hoping to separate work and life a bit more.

The main space I will be working out of is our sun room which has a full wall of windows on two sides of the room. Our current apartment is quite dark. We don't close until June 30th so I'm unable to share any photos of the future space but I will be sure to share them here when we move in. There are many home projects in my near future (pray for me) and although I may seem to be the type to love that...trust me, I'm not. I'm hoping I can somehow convince Nick to do all of the projects I don't want to do and then I'll come in with my magic design wand at the end and put my queeni touch on everything. Wishful thinking. Anyway, here is the inspiration for my future studio! Hopefully I will have an update for you on the actual space later this summer and update the blog on this huge process. Our future home is incredibly beautiful and spacious but just a bit outdated on the interior. We have a pink tiled bathroom from floor to ceiling with brown tiles mixed in...it's quite the treat.

xo,

qk

Hello Again//

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It's been awhile.

Naturally I want to come to this space and tell you all of the things I've been doing to somehow validate why I haven't been here. But a more honest explanation is I just can't decide if this is a space where I want to constantly post. I like that I can pop in here when I feel like it. Another explanation is I am trying to be smarter with my business and time so I have more time for the people in my life and this blog doesn't make me money so I can't post to it during my work day anymore. It was just taking up too much of my time.

The best explanation is that I decided at the beginning of this year that I would take more of a relaxed approach to my business. I am still struggling with anxiety and being a freelance illustrator is just about the least stable career I could've chosen. When I explain to other people why I will most likely do this career in some form for the rest of my life, I say, "being an artist isn't only something that you do, it is who you are." That makes complete sense to me and it is so true. You can't stop doing something that you are at your core. I mean, I could, but I would be miserable.

I've taken a different approach this year to my business and it has been so freeing in so many ways, but it has been scary as well. Instead of taking on all of the projects, I'm only taking on a few of the best projects. It let's me take my time and do my best on those projects and it gives me more time to live. It is a hard thing to realize that I don't want to work so hard at this. For my personality, I am constantly fighting against a voice in my head that says, "stop being so lazy." That voice is still there after I've put in eight hours at my day job. I used to come home and work on my business every night after full days at work and I just don't want to do that anymore. I've realized that this isn't me being lazy, it's me wanting a life.

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There was a point at the beginning of this year that I realized if my business never becomes full-time for me that I will be completely okay with that. I actually don't think it would be healthy for me to count on my creativity to support me fully. It would be more of a burden than anything. My largest fear was working my life away and not taking time to enjoy the simple pleasures of this beautiful life because I was too caught up in what I wanted other people to think about me. 

I'm hoping that sharing that in this space can help you understand the challenges of being an artist. It's not an easy gig but it's the best thing I've ever done. I have a ton of new designs that I'm working on getting up in my shop. I've shared a few below and they'll be up in my shop this week to purchase. I'm always dreaming up new products and I love that my art continues to connect me with all of you. I truly appreciate how much you all care about me and my creations.

xo-

qk

Essay// On Liking Myself

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I'm 25 years old and I like myself about 50% of the time and I have everything I've ever wanted but way more. I would like to at least get it up to 65%.

I couldn't start my work day today because sometimes I just drown in this mind-set that things need to be a certain way...perfect. I get caught up especially during this time of the year when I'm trying to measure myself against my previous self. I start asking myself questions like how much better did I become this year? Did I grow in every single area possible? Of course I grew this year, but somehow I always find areas where I came up short...because we all do.

When you are as goal oriented as I am, it's hard to find an inch of grace for yourself. This morning as I cleaned our apartment, in my pajamas, I could only find things I didn't like about myself like, "I'm disgusting for getting the apartment this dirty." "I should've gotten up earlier to do this." "Why am I still in my pajamas?" "I should be working right now." and it goes on and on. As you can see, it is exhausting to live inside of my head because it seems that I would only be good enough for myself if I could do the things of five people at the same time. I just love it when I "should" all over myself.

This has been a battle for me throughout my college years and adult life and I have done some serious work to figure out why. Why do I set this impossible standard for myself in everything that I do?

The money question is how do I change this? I will leave you with an excerpt of this article that I really enjoyed written by Alex Lickerman M.D.

"The problem is that we common mortals can hardly avoid deriving our self-esteem from the wrong source—even those of us whose self-esteem is healthy. We look to what in Nichiren Buddhism is termed the "smaller self," the parts of ourselves that seem better than those of others and to which we become overly attached. In other words, we ground our self-esteem in things about ourselves we perceive as unique: typically our looks, our skills, or our accomplishments.

But we only need to experience the loss of any one of these supportive elements to recognize the danger of relying on them to create our self-esteem. Looks, as we all know, fade. Unwanted weight is often gained. Illness sometimes strikes, preventing us from running as fast, concentrating as hard, or thinking as clearly as we once did. Past accomplishments lose their ability to sustain us the farther into the past we have to look for them.

I'm not arguing that basing our self-esteem on our positive qualities is wrong. But we should aim to base it on positive qualities that require no comparison to the qualities of others for us to value them. We must awaken to the essential goodness—to what in Nichiren Buddhism is termed our "larger self"—that lies within us all. If we want to fall in love with our lives—and by this I don't mean the "we" of our small-minded egos—we must work diligently to manifest our larger selves in our daily lives. We must generate the wisdom and compassion to care for others until we've turned ourselves, piece by piece, into the people we most want to be.

In other words, if we want to like ourselves we have to earn our own respect. Luckily, doing this doesn't require that we become people of extraordinary physical attractiveness or accomplishment. It only requires we become people of extraordinary character—something anyone can do.

A simple thought experiment supports this notion: think right now of your favorite person and ask yourself, what is it about them that attracts you the most? Odds are it isn't their physical appearance or their accomplishments but rather their magnanimous spirit; the way they treat others. This is the key quality that makes people likable, even to themselves.

Treating others well, it turns out, is the fastest path to a healthy self-esteem. If you dislike yourself, stop focusing on your negative qualities. We all have negative qualities. There's nothing special about your negativity, I promise you. Focus instead on caring for others. Because the more you care about others, I guarantee the more in turn you'll be able to care about yourself." 

Source: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/happiness-in-world/201008/when-you-dont-yourself Alex Lickerman M.D.

The reason I am sharing this is because I think it is important to open up a discussion about mental health and I know I'm not the only person that struggles with self-love.

xo-

qk

Holiday// Gift it

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If you're not a last second person like me, you're almost done with your gift shopping and just trying to knock out the last few. I've barely started my gift buying, but I do have a good idea of what I'm getting each person on my list. I'm always more focused on those holiday deadlines than gift shopping and this year I had one deadline that was so consuming but everything came together today...finally. It was my abstract calendar that I had in my shop for pre order and it ended up being delayed three different times by a printer and I was literally losing sleep over it not being here in time for holiday gifting. It finally showed up today and it turned out beyond amazing. There's still time to order for holiday gifting http://qkshop.bigcartel.com/product/pre-order-abstract-calendar Just make sure you get your order in by December 15th.

I'm looking forward to some down time over the holidays and snuggling up with a book at my farm. This round up of gifts is almost exactly what Nick and I have asked for (...wooops) but I figured I would share it anyway in case it helps. I always think looking at people's exact list is better than a gift guide. I've looked at a million gift guides this year because, well, the blogging world is obsessed with them and I don't ever want most of the things on them. Gift giving isn't my strong point but I try to make up for it with my gift wrapping. If you click on the image above, it will bring you to the individual links for where to purchase these items.

ps. Give the gift of art. http://qkshop.bigcartel.com/product/pre-order-abstract-calendar Our abstract calendars are now available and will ship out within a day.

Happy Holidays xo-

qk

Design//Currently Craving

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I'm feeling so negative and discouraged today. Not because anything happened but I'm just having one of those days where NOTHING, absolutely nothing is inspiring to me. As an artist, that's pretty devastating- I'm serious. Maybe these are just some post vacation blues. Nothing quite brightens a designer's mood like a new inspiration board. I've been so into gathering images lately and pulling my ideas together on digital mood boards. Here are some things I'm currently loving and what I have coming up.

  1. White feminine blouses tucked into high-waisted denim.
  2. Major design inspo-- Loving this for a Mother's Day card concept as well.
  3. Abstract color palette. Now I'm just trying to imagine how they would work together.
  4. I'm really missing my friends lately and haven't seen them nearly enough. Coffee dates, wine nights, and a girls getaway are towards the top of my to-do list.
  5. This image is so striking, isn't it? A coat is such an important wardrobe staple. It's what everyone sees us wearing here in Minnesota for basically the next 5 months.
  6. Give me all the florals. I'm currently teaching myself how to design floral patterns in illustrator. I didn't think it would be easy and it's not, but that is exactly what I love about design. Endless options, details, and problem solving.
  7. I can't decide what to do about my fashion illustration line. At this point, it either needs to be expanded or dropped. I just can't seem to let go of it (or get myself to sit down and draw for 5 hours on end) so here is some holiday inspo I pulled.
  8. I NEED THIS SWEATER...and this view.
  9. Currently on the search for the perfect vintage pair of denim and I think I found them here.

I feel so thankful for this space when I'm uninspired. It is such a good place to come and just be.

Thanks for stopping by. xo,

qk

Travel// Cape Elizabeth

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At first I was disappointed that this photo was blurry and now I see the truth that this photo is. Pure happiness meeting the ocean. A treasure for years to come. 

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My heart already hurts looking at these photos. Maine was the biggest blessing. It's hard to describe the beauty that we experienced because it's breathtaking. Everyone asked us, "Why Maine?" when we said we were taking our first real vacation in two and a half years (yikes) to Portland and hopefully these photos give you an idea of why it was at the very top of my list. This was my favorite day when we drove up to Cape Elizabeth and walked out on the water. Then we drove to the beach and watched the fishing boats come in and the sun set. Of course we had to end the day at a lobster shack overlooking the ocean (a longer post is coming on all of the places we went). This was quite possibly one of the best days of my life, it was magical.

xo-

qk

October Mood

It's amazing what happens when you slow your life down just a bit. I am making time for things I love again and while I'm trying to take a bit of a business break, I can feel a pull inside of myself to those things that I can't live without. Design being one of them (as you can see above I just can't stay away) writing being another, and last but definitely not least fashion. It has been such a mental challenge for me to try to say no to the paid work so I can just be and create without any pressure.

It is so easy for me to convince myself that I don't deserve a break because my business isn't where I would like it to be but I hit some major milestones as of recently so it was time. There is never going to be a time where I will feel content with where my business is at because that's just not who I am. I am that workaholic type. I find my self-worth in work and right now I am trying to find it elsewhere. Tonight I found my self-worth at my other job contributing to something that I'm really good at and helping someone else's business. Isn't that great?! I also found it in a caramelized pineapple burrito that took me an hour to make from scratch...yes, I found my self-worth in a burrito. That is the truest statement I've ever written.

I've been thinking about the why a lot lately. Why is design so important to me? Why can't I live without art? Why were these creative talents given to me. This is one of answers that I think will always remain the same. A gift is nothing if it is not shared. One of my greatest fears is that I will get to the end of my life and I will not have done enough to fill this world up with my creativity. It is meant to be shared and it is meant to connect, and it is not meant to be wasted. Not even one ounce of it.

So far, all I have felt is gratitude. Maybe that mindset comes because I'm headed to Maine on Monday with my guy and we have two weddings this weekend. Maybe I feel gratitude because I make a constant effort to feel it. Maybe I am in this place because I've worked so hard to get my mind to this healthy place. Maybe good things come to those that hustle and better things come to those that rest.

By taking a break, I am making time for the things that I actually work for. Not sure if that makes sense but as an entrepreneur I typically only have time for work and then the day is over. But part of the reason we work is to enjoy our lives. So we can have the things we enjoy most in life, right? Well, I wasn't doing that because I couldn't fit it in anywhere.

So this morning I grabbed coffee with a good friend and caught up on her life and went shopping at one of my favorite local spots. In the middle of the week last week, I picked up and went to my family's farm for three days. It was amazing. Like this amazing.

With all of this said, what I've learned from this short semi break so far is that I am doing exactly what I should be doing and love to do. And that right there is the best gift that my 22-year-old self gave to my 25-year-old self.

So dive in, but take a break. It sounds so much simpler than it is.

P.S. I launched a pretty sweet collection and you can shop the new cards here. Ya know because that's what normal people do when they take a break...launch a new collection.

Here is a preview for you of the new "Birthday Wishes" card. There are six cards in the collection and each one is for a different occasion including "Congratulations", "Thanks", "Happy Birthday", "Thinking of You", and "Thank You." Each card features my latest abstract work on the front and they are double thick flat cards so the recipient can frame the card as an art print. img_1009

Life is so wonderful.

Do something creative today and, as always, thanks for stopping by,

qk

Labor Day Weekend//

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This week was a very stressful week for me. The kind where I was questioning why I ever started a business, thinking of other possible career choices, and wanting to give up altogether. Thankfully, I was at my parent's house when this breakdown was occurring and they don't ever let me quit. I'm extremely burnt out right now from some projects that I've been working on for the past month and I'm looking forward to the long weekend.

When this burnout occurs, I know I need to unplug, head up north and take a break. It's the best way to remind myself of why I do what I do and refocus my efforts and mind to a more positive space. The refueling part of the creative process is an incredibly important part of the equation and sometimes I like to go until I completely use up all of the fuel in my tank. Not good! I must remind myself that taking breaks is healthy.

I'm feeling all sorts of calm vibes from looking at the images above. Still feeling all of the blues and I'm hoping to come back to work and use this inspiration to fuel new work.

I hope you all have an amazing Labor day weekend and go where you feel most alive.

xo-

qk

Bedroom Update//

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I haven't had the chance to pop over here forever so I thought I would share with you a little corner of our bedroom refresh tonight. I recently rearranged and styled this cute little corner so that I would enjoy spending some more time in this room. I still have a little bit more work to do on the rest of the room but it's almost there.

The end of this summer has been packed full with work for me. I'm in my busy season right now but I'm hoping to take a vacation sometime this fall. Since moving into this apartment last summer, I've really enjoyed slowly making it our own. My home decor has really shifted since living alone to a more neutral color palate for Nick. It's much more minimalist and all around less girly. I love the feeling of our bedroom now with lots of greenery and serene blues. It's very relaxing...when the laundry isn't all over the floor! I'm hoping to add a few shibori pillows to our bed and I'm finishing up a little DIY project so we have a bench by our window.

I'm pretty proud of this refresh because the only thing I purchased was the hanging plant and the basket to use as a pot for the snake plant I already had. I hope this inspires you to spruce up your space with things you already have. Have a great weekend and do something to fuel your creativity.

xo-

qk

Ice Cream Week

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I'm all about making the most of the summer months. Ya know, indulging. So I'm a sucker for a nice large waffle cone...or two. I'm excited to be partnering up with Kemps this week to celebrate national ice cream month. Below is a virtual ice cream party for the eyes and lucky me, I had four cartons of ice cream to myself today while shooting this post.

Pictured are 4 out of Kemps 40 specialty flavors. I chose their Mint Cow Tracks, Cherry Fudge Chunk, Caramel Cow Tracks, and Caramel Fudge Cow Tracks. I can say after trying each of those that my favorite is the Caramel Cow Tracks pictured above...I tried to practice my self control and not eat all three cones pictured above. I'll be eating ice cream for weeks and I don't feel bad about it. Make it a quadruple scoop waffle cone with one of each flavor and I'd be in queeni heaven.  We don't do anything half way over here.

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To celebrate national ice cream month, Kemps and I are giving away 5, $5 coupons to my readers. To enter, simply visit their page and comment on this blog post telling me which flavor you would like to try.

xo,

qk

June Obsessions

I am so refreshed after a full week of vacation with my best friend in Chicago. I actually let myself rest and I did all of my favorite things. It really is a blessing to be able to travel and spend time with your best girlfriend. Later this week I will have a full post on everything we did (which was mostly eating) so if you're planning a trip there soon you can see what I packed into my trip.

June Obsessions//

  1. Basil Lemonade- I made it last night but kind of cheated by just pouring some lemonade into a glass pitcher and putting a bunch of fresh basil with it (spoiler...it's still amazing). Try making it completely from scratch by following this recipe here.
  2. Trader Joe's Macarons...I ate the whole box in one sitting #ooops. These splatter painted macarons look fun too.
  3. Homer Hans Bryant's dance academy. His instagram account gives me so much joy. Take a second to click over and watch the unique style of pointe he teaches.
  4. This DIY Wall hanging from A Beautiful Mess Blog. I need this in my bedroom right now. It's so calming.
  5. Outlander. If you're a Game of Thrones fan I highly recommend this show.
  6. Karina Bania's artwork
  7. A new qk shop design. I just switched it over tonight and I'm super happy with the results. It still needs a few tweaks but what do you think?
  8. DIY wooden hanging for large art from A Beautiful Mess Blog.
  9. Heather Day's Art...although I've been stalking her for a long time. Her use of color is swoon worthy.

What are you obsessing over this month? I always love a good new discovery. I'm hoping to make this into a series every month but blogging isn't always possible for me so we'll see.

I can't believe it's already 4th of July weekend. I'm headed up north again to spend time with Nick and his family. I feel like for the first time since having my business, I am going to fully be able to enjoy summer. It feels a bit unreal to be going on a road trip right after getting back from a vacation. Dare I say the hard work is paying off... Oh and we aren't moving anymore!!!!

As always, thanks for stopping by,

qk

Thoughts on Love

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I've been telling a lot of people that I'm not ready to be engaged and the responses I get in return are so interesting to me that I can't help but write about this topic. I know this is a touchy topic. There is no right answer to when it is the right time in life to do certain things but there seems to definitely be a wrong answer and I seem to be giving it. I actually had someone tell me I must be with the wrong partner since I'm not itching to get married...he must not be the one. That's so ridiculous.

Maybe it's the feminist in me or maybe it's because my plate is completely filled with other things right now, but it is really hard to continue to see the reaction when I tell people that I don't want that right now. Am I happy for you if you're engaged? Yes. Am I just being jealous? No. It is possible for us all to want different things at different times and still respect each other's decisions. It is also possible for me to not want to be engaged after two years of dating and still want to be in the relationship.

Here is why I'm so defensive about this topic. I'm passionate about a lot of things but I am not asked about those things. I have ideas that I want to put into action but I am not asked about those ideas.

I'm curious to hear your thoughts on this as well as the "when are you having babies" question for those of you who get that one.

qk