Thursday, March 31, 2011

We Have A Winner!

And the winner of the Sparrow Moon giveaway is.....

I will be emailing you right away, Marija! Thank you to everyone who entered and a BIG thank you to Sparrow Moon!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Oh, Happy Day!

Two days ago, I found out I am eligible to graduate in June! Well, technically, I am eligible to graduate in November, but I finagled my way into the June ceremony so hurray! In honor of this *happy day*, I made a treasury, aptly named...Oh, Happy Day! Here it is:

*and don't forget! today is the last day to enter the Sparrow Moon Giveaway!*

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Focus On... Alex Wijnen! {And A Discount Code!}

Alex Wijnen's shop is a happy place for me. I love the color, the lines, the FUN behind all of her work. Luckily, Alex is a super nice person and has offered a super nice deal for Kate and Oli readers! Read on to learn more!

Tell me some basic info about yourself. 
I'm a graphic designer working from home in Portland, Oregon, where I live with my hubby, two dogs and two cats. I grew up in northern Europe and when I was 17, my parents decided to move to the States. They dragged me along kicking and screaming (after all, what 17-year-old wants to leave their friends behind?!) but now I love being in the US and couldn't imagine living 
anywhere but in the beautiful Northwest. 

What kind of mediums do you use and why? 
In my teens I preferred working in watercolor, but I've since moved into this new realm of combining black and white illustrations with digital finishing, adding color and texture to make my images come to life. As a graphic designer I use Photoshop every day so I guess it was just a natural progression to start using it in my art as well. 

What made you decide to sell on etsy?
It's a great way to have a web presence without having to invest a lot of money in a custom site. I hang out on Etsy quite a bit, not just tweaking my shop but also surfing the forums and finding new favorites. My house is filled with art I found on Etsy so I'm an avid buyer as well as seller.

Where do you get your inspiration? 
I find inspiration both in nature and from my childhood memories. I've always loved to draw, and the natural world is just so beautiful, it's easy to be inspired. But lately I find myself wanting to use my art to tell a story so I go inside myself, back in time, and try to create little vignettes of 
fragments of my life. 

What is your favorite music to craft by?
It actually varies quite a bit. Sometimes I find that classical music best fits my mood while at other times I love the sounds of house music and electronica. The last few weeks I've actually sought out a Dutch radio station that plays a mix of modern hits. I love hearing the hosts speak Dutch; I guess it relates to reaching back into my childhood (I grew up in the Netherlands, among other places). 

When it's cold outside... I love to cuddle up on the couch with a good book, a mug of tea and my dog. 

When I'm hungry... I reach for whatever I can find in the cupboards. I don't like cooking and often joke that I'm on a bag diet (if it's in a bag, I'll eat it). 

When I need a boost... I look to other artists and designers who inspire me. Or I look to my husband and the life we've built together; that always makes me feel quite lucky.

I wish I was/were... skinnier! My bag diet is obviously not working. :) 

If I could give one gift to everyone I know, it would be... to accept themselves just as they are (wish I could give that gift to myself as well!) 

If I could have coffee with anyone, it would be... my baby sister. She lives in the Netherlands and I dearly miss her. 

If you were an animal, what would you be?
I'd love to have some funny or unique answer to this but I'd probably just want to be a cat. Seeing ours curled up on a soft pillow under the window with sunlight streaming in always makes me feel slightly jealous. 

What's your favorite piece of your own? 
It often changes, depending on my mood or what I'm working on, but I think I'd have to say my overall favorite piece is Taking the Scenic Route. 

What are your favorite blogs/websites right now?
I follow quite a few blogs (including Design*Sponge, Poppytalk and SFGirlByBay) but right now I'm really drawn to Oh So Beautiful Paper. As a graphic deisgner, I've recently had more invitation projects come across my desk so I'm always inspired by the gorgeous designs showcased there. 

You can find Alex Wijnen on
her website
her blog
and on etsy!

Alex has offered a fantabulous deal just for Kate and Oli readers! Simply enter the coupon code "KATEANDOLI" and you'll get 20% off of your order! I bet you can find a lot of prints to snap up at that price!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Focus On... Pique Studios! {And A BOGO!}

Pique Studios is backed by Pam, a delightful Etsyian who is obviously incredibly talented. She has answered my silly questions and offered a fabulous deal just for Kate and Oli readers! Read on for more details!

Tell me some basic info about yourself.

I am a mother to a toddler and I am able to stay at home with her, so I am constantly entertained. I love to travel and be in not so "touristy" places. I love learning about different cultures and the different ways they think and live. I have been throughout Europe and central Asia and a small amount in South America and the Carribean. I love horses and have been riding since I was a child. And I love to run in my barefoot shoes-yes, the Five Fingers, the ones that look very strange.

{little albatross}

What kind of mediums do you use and why?
Currently, mostly pen and ink just because it is so easy to grab a pen and sketchbook as soon as the wee one is asleep.


What made you decide to sell on etsy?
A couple years ago, a friend encouraged me to log in my 2000 hours (the amount of time "they" say it takes to be a "professional" at something) so I began drawing at least 2 hours a day. Being an etsy addict, I figured since I had a bit of a portfolio together it would be easy enough to give etsy a shot.

Where do you get your inspiration?
When it comes down to it, I think the answer is stories. Fairy tales, mythology, the places I have travelled, music: Josh Ritter, Florence and the Machine, Mumford and Sons.


What is your favorite music to craft by? 
Lately, a lot of Josh Ritter, Florence and the Machine, Mumford and Sons, Rufus Wainwright. Then of course there are the classics: Simon and Garfunkel, Bob Dylan, Beatles, Zeppelin, Dave Matthews Band, Counting Crows.....and occasionally a Rick Steves travelogue on PBS :)

When it's cold outside...It freaks me out. The high dropping to the 60s is foreign to me. I do not know how the rest of the world functions in winter. I am born and raised south Florida girl so the cold is this horrible horrible thing. I always say that I never want to live in a place where if you got locked outside your house you could die.

{nordic braids}

When I'm hungry...I crave white sugar. I really eat rather well-no processed food, no preservatives, that sort of thing. But when I fall off the's ugly. I think I could live off of Oreos. And what is with the Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookies? Is there crack in those?

{green hummingbird}

When I need a boost...I disappear. I'm the classic introvert. I get energy by being alone. I hide at the beach and draw


I wish I was/ in some little village in Spain or Italy or Romania or.......

{blue silhouette}

If I could give one gift to everyone I know, it would be...this is tricky.....I try to be very particular with gift giving. I like to give meaningful gifts depending on the person. I don't think there is something universal enough. Hell, I just don't know how to answer this question.

{wood dryad}

If I could have coffee with anyone, it would does on choose? Definitely Wes Anderson and Jonathan Safran Foer and Josh Ritter, but not all at the same time. They are all amazingly talented artists. Brilliant. Particular. Raw.

{sirens and thunder}

If you were an animal, what would you be?
an Osprey or some sort of bird of prey. Powerful and graceful and dangerous....or maybe......a Jaguar Shark.....

{sparrow heart}

What's your favorite piece of your own?
It sold a couple of weeks is a mermaid illustration and I titled it after Jonathon Safran Foer's incredible book, 'Everything is Illuminated.'

What are your favorite blogs/websites right now?
Honestly, I am still so addicted to etsy. I have this list of artists on etsy and I seriously check there shops almost everyday for new work. I don't know how I get anything else done sometimes.

{little birds}

You can find Pique Studios
on their blog
on twitter,
and on etsy!

**Pam has offered up a fabulous deal for Kate and Oli readers! When you buy one print, simply mention "Kate and Oli" in the notes to seller and you can get a second print of equal or lesser price for free! Make sure you tell her which second print you'd like!**

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Today's Etsy Faves - $25 and Under!

Papercuts are so freaking awesome. The skill it must take...the time it must take...the patience it must take. I don't have it in me. But I appreciate it in other people. :)

{clockwise from top left: charm girls series, six - $25, henny - $20, 
lanterns - $14, folk art house - $23}

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

$10 John Mayer Concert Posters!

Do you like concert posters? Do you like John Mayer? Do you like $10 art? The John Mayer Shop is having an outlet sale - for this week, all items are only $10 - this includes these beautiful posters!

Focus On... Sparrow Moon! {And A Giveaway!}

Sparrow Moon is an awesome etsy shop I found a few weeks ago while browsing for black and white line drawings on etsy. Well, I sure got what I was looking for! Laura, the hand behind Sparrow Moon, has a distinctive style and her sense of humor, fun, and creativity shines through in every drawing. Read her interview below and then enter to win your very own Sparrow Moon print!

Tell me some basic info about yourself. 
My name is Laura Haywood, I live and work in the beautiful state of Kentucky, USA. I was born and raised in Northern Michigan, where water is everywhere, and I recently finished a BA in Studio Art. 

What kind of mediums do you use and why? 
I work with very fine-tipped black artist pens and sturdy Bristol paper, because I love the simplicity and bold contrast of black and white. I have also enjoyed working with acrylic paint, three-dimensional fabric paint (puff paint), graphite, colored pencil, and yarn! 

What made you decide to sell on etsy? 
My friend David (here on Etsy) introduced me to the site and the front page treasury that day had so many neat items and art pieces that I thought: I want in on this.

Where do you get your inspiration? 
I find inspiration in my childhood, the landscape around me, my sister, mom, and husband, as well as children's book illustrations. I grew up obsessed with reading any book with dreamy or highly detailed illustrations.

What is your favorite music to craft by? 
Rachmaninoff, Gershwin, Ravel, Debussy, and other moody classical composers, also sometimes Michael Jackson, Otis Redding, Joni Mitchell, and Willie Nelson. 

{first day of school - i love this one!}

When it's cold outside... 
It reminds me of growing up in Northern Michigan and I love to put on a cozy hooded sweatshirt and fuzzy warm socks.

When I'm hungry...
I don't function very well and tend to be grumpy. 

{tattooed snow angel - love this one!}

When I need a boost... 
I've found that a brisk walk around my neighborhood really gets my brain going. I have to carry a little voice recorder because the creative and organizational ideas start coming very fast. I also like going for drives in the country with my husband. The scenery in Kentucky is so diverse and we always find these neat places or things that we never knew were so close. 

I wish I was/were... 
Living closer to a large body of water. I miss the lakes of Michigan sometimes. 

If I could give one gift to everyone I know, it would be...

If I could have coffee with anyone, it would be... 
My Grandma. She lives in Michigan and I don't get to visit her as much as I would like. She is very in tune with current politics as well as being well read in so many topics (English Monarchy, Antiques, U.S. Presidents, Ebay; you name it) that we always have such stimulating and meaningful conversations. We would splurge and get the flavored coffee like we used to. 

If you were an animal, what would you be?
I would be a unicorn. 

What's your favorite piece of your own? 
My favorite piece right now is an ink drawing I recently listed entitled "Exodus of the Wild Girls."

What are your favorite blogs/websites right now? 
Etsy,  Pandora, Radio Paradise, Design SpongeMy Fitness Pal - a great site that has been helping me with my healthy goals for the new year. 

You can find Sparrow Moon
and on etsy!

Sparrow Moon is currently offering a free print for every 2 purchased! Simply mention your choice in the notes to seller.


Would you like a Sparrow Moon print of your very own? You can win one simply by entering the giveaway below! One lucky winner will receive an 8x10 of his or her choice! This giveaway is open to US residents only, please!

- To be eligible for entry, you must be a follower of my blog through google friend connect or through your preferred RSS reader. -
- Make sure you leave me a way to contact you if you win. -
- Please leave separate comments for each entry. - 

First entry (mandatory):
- Visit Sparrow Moon, select your favorite item and tell me about it.

Extra entries (optional):
- Sign up for the Kate and Oli mailing list.
- Follow me on Twitter, tweet about this giveaway and leave me the link.
- Blog about this giveaway and leave me the link. 

Fine print: Giveaway begins when it is posted and ends at 11:59pm pacific standard time March 30, 2011. A winner will be selected by a random number generator on March 31, 2011 and will be emailed promptly. This giveaway is open to US residents only, please!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Today's Etsy Faves - $25 and Under!

I'm loving color today, maybe because it's so foggy and gray here! Enjoy!

{clockwise from top left: gypsy - $20, frida kahlo lounges with black cat - $15, 
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