Studio Update + back to school

Oh, the carousel of time has come around again and here I am at the beginning of a new school year (which will probably always feel more like the “new year” than the actual new year as long as I have kids in school and a teacher husband). I know I say every year that summer went by so fast, but this year it really did go by fast. I’m usually ready for the transition into the academic year but this year I was NOT at all. Unfortunately they don’t let me decide when these things happen, so here we are!

I’m getting back into a regular work routine while still finishing up my studio project . . . yes, that’s right, it’s not done yet. Oh, home construction projects. It’s getting close though! I hope I can give you a tour soon because I’m anxious to get back in there.

I’ve got walls, paint, and some trim. All that’s missing is a closet door, flooring, and some barn doors. Oh, and all my STUFF.

I’ve got walls, paint, and some trim. All that’s missing is a closet door, flooring, and some barn doors. Oh, and all my STUFF.

So besides my studio project, what else have I been doing? Let’s catch up!

I did a short course at the beginning of the summer called Explore Florals with Victoria Johnson. I’ve always liked Victoria’s style and the variety of ways in which she approaches her work. This 3 week course gave us a few different themes to work from with a lot of suggestions on how to explore the subject. The above collection, Wild Botanica, came out of this course and it’s one of my favorites. It was inspired by a walk I took on our family vacation in northern Minnesota. I liked it so much I turned it into my 2019 tea towel calendar design. It’s now available in my Spoonflower shop and on Roostery and finished tea towels will be in my Etsy shop (which is still temporarily closed) later this fall.

There are a few other new collections in my portfolio (see below) that I worked on this summer and I also received some fun new samples over the past few months! My first fabric collection with Robert Kaufman, Flamingo Paradise, is now in stores and the next collection, What do the Animals Say?, will be available soon! Because of the construction zone in my house I haven’t been able to make anything with the fabric yet, but I hope to get to that in the near future.

I love seeing new product samples!

I love seeing new product samples!

And now it’s back to class for me! It’s always a bit hard to get back into a good routine, but I’ll get there! I’ll be back soon (I hope) to share my new studio!

Under Construction: My new studio space!

It's going to be a fun summer around here: I'm getting a "new" studio space! When my son was born (NINE years ago), and needed a room of his own, I moved my studio/office into our unfinished basement where it was mostly UN-used for a number of years because it was . . . gross. Then about four years ago I cleaned it up, made it feel more comfortable (see below), and I've been using it ever since. It's great to have a dedicated space to work, get Etsy orders ready, sew stuff, and generally make a mess (which I tend to do all over the house) but the space wasn't totally ideal. Because it's an unfinished basement that means I was lacking things like a floor, walls, and HEAT! Working in Minnesota in the winter gets cold people. Space heaters and fingerless gloves only get you so far. Not to mention the spiders!

My old studio, as seen on a very clean day! 

My old studio, as seen on a very clean day! 

This summer we're finishing the entire basement level of our home. It'll have a big family room, kitchenette, bathroom, laundry, storage space, and my studio. A studio which will probably eventually be a rotating bedroom for our kids as they move on to college and do the leave/return to the nest routine. I'm so excited! (Not for the leaving the nest college part, just the studio!) I've spent the past month, on and off, cleaning out my space and putting nearly everything into storage. (SO. MUCH. STUFF.) We're finalizing our plans and ordering materials this week so construction will start soon! I thought it'd be fun to share the process with you because I'm a total home decorating junkie and I love seeing how other people create their spaces.

The "before" picture: my studio space all emptied out and ready to be finished. I painted the concrete white a few years back.

The "before" picture: my studio space all emptied out and ready to be finished. I painted the concrete white a few years back.

For the summer I'm temporarily working on a small desk I put in a front room on our main floor. It's a lovely location but I have far too much crap to put in here. Everything else is currently in my in-laws' garage! 

For the summer I'm temporarily working on a small desk I put in a front room on our main floor. It's a lovely location but I have far too much crap to put in here. Everything else is currently in my in-laws' garage! 

Below you'll see a mood board for the space. For years I've been saving images I like on my "Creative Studio Spaces" Pinterest board. I typically use a good deal of color in my home but in my studio I like to use a lot of white because it feels so clean and undistracting. There's plenty of color going on in my work! It's kind of like serving your beautiful meal on a white plate. I already own some of the items below (the desk chair and lamp, along with some white desktops). I also made a large inspiration pin board, covered in linen, back when I cozied up the space the first time. On this finishing project I'll be adding laminate floors, drywall, trim, and hopefully a lot of new storage/closets. The space was a hodgepodge of college-era storage solutions before. 

Sources (when known, top to bottom): Office nook from a profile on  The Design Files , Studio from  Jones Design Co. ,  Ranarp work lamp  (IKEA), Large pin board project from  Handmade Mood ,  Mosslanda picture ledge  (IKEA), white office chair from Wayfair  (similar one) ,  Alex drawer unit  (IKEA), gray vintage look area rug (ideas from  Target ).

Sources (when known, top to bottom): Office nook from a profile on The Design Files, Studio from Jones Design Co., Ranarp work lamp (IKEA), Large pin board project from Handmade Mood, Mosslanda picture ledge (IKEA), white office chair from Wayfair (similar one), Alex drawer unit (IKEA), gray vintage look area rug (ideas from Target).

That's about it for now! I'll be posting updates both here and on Instagram, along with some video updates there. Hopefully I'll be moving back in by the end of the summer!

Post-Blue Print and Pre-Summer

What a crazy time of year! Spring always flys by because May is one of my busiest months: two of my kids’ birthdays, Mother’s Day, end of the school year hoopla (which gets bigger every year!), soccer, dance recitals, school concerts, a Memorial Day family road trip, and, oh yeah, the trade show season! Yikes! I’m not gonna lie, I’m really looking forward to my lakeside vacation coming up in . . . 12 days (but who’s counting?!).
 
Blue Print Show 1 in New York was pretty fabulous. It was wonderful to re-connect with my art collective, Pencil Parade, in person! We have so much fun together. We had a great show meeting new contacts and connecting with existing clients. And it’s always wonderful to see other artists and agents who have become like a little family. I sold some art at the show and immediately following the show, which is always nice! (I’ll share when and if I can.) And I hope that more opportunities arise in the months to come. Getting ready for a show is so much work that I do breath a sigh of relief when it’s over.

The Pencil Parade art collective! From L to R: me,  Betsy Siber ,  Brooke Glaser , and  Megan Dunagan

The Pencil Parade art collective! From L to R: me, Betsy Siber, Brooke Glaser, and Megan Dunagan

The weeks following Blue Print have been full of email follow-ups and artwork “delivery” along with some much needed downtime to catch my breath a bit. Now here we are at the end of the school year! Ack! That always means a big change to my schedule and this year will be even more so because we’re finally finishing our basement (where my studio is) so that means I have to pack everything up! I’ll be working from a tiny desk upstairs for the next few months but hopefully I’ll have brand new digs by the end of the summer. I can’t wait! I’ll be sure to post about the process here so stay tuned. In the meantime my Etsy shop will be closed as long as we’re “under construction.”

As much as summer can be frustrating at times, trying to sneak in work time, I've learned to adjust a bit and use the summer to explore new things, paint a lot, and remind myself to enjoy this time with my kids. My oldest will go off to college in a short 3 years! You can follow along with both my sketchbook explorations and my studio updates on Instagram (and probably here too). If you're heading into summer too, enjoy! 

See you at Blue Print!

I’m so excited to return to Blue Print Surface Design and Print Show next month! I’ll be exhibiting with my art collective, Pencil Parade, at Show #1 May 17-19 in New York City. 

Last year was the first time any of us had exhibited at a trade show and we had a great time. We learned a lot, met some wonderful people, and it was a fantastic way to really step up our game in our work as independent artists and designers. On the one hand I feel immensely more prepared for this year: I know what to expect and I have a lot more confidence in my work. On the other hand it’s always daunting to prepare for a show like this. I inevitably feel like I want to bring my very best work and that just has to be the next thing I make. So I’m constantly chasing my own tail. But I’m bringing some fun new work and I’m looking forward to being in New York again and seeing some friends.

If you’re an art/creative director or an art buyer you can register your team for free and please stop by the Pencil Parade booth (#44!). And if you’re a fellow artist who’s going to be in town for the shows, stop by and say hello!

I’ll be busy busy for the next few weeks finishing up collections, but here’s a sampling of some recent work I’ll be showing at Blue Print! 

KatherineLenius_Pheasant Folly
1018_Buttercup Llama.jpg
4031_Christmas Crate.jpg