moving forward


I've been working on a few pieces for a show at Gather back in Bloomington. The theme is "Home" and I was crazy-inspired by the nests of sociable weaver birds. The structure itself as well as its function is incredible. I envisioned a very simple ink painting with a few details. While I was picking up paper I noticed some wood boards that looked interesting and decided to grab a few to try them out. Instead of ink I went with acrylic/gouache/pencil- materials i used back in undergrad. It was enjoyable going back to them- but they weren't creating the feel i wanted. I continued to push forward and layer and layer until i really just had some blobs on wood boards. Here's the blobular evidence:

Although I could have just sent these to the gallery and been done with it- I realized i was missing an opportunity to move my work/portfolio forward. I've loved working with acrylic ink and am at a point with my website where things are all starting to almost feel happy-cohesive. So here are the new versions of the sociable weaver nests- the first two are each 5x7s and the last one is 11x14. If you're in Bloomington this fall- make sure to pencil in October 3rd to see the group show at Gather and check out these arts in person (so much prettier!)... 

I love giving up some control with how the ink moves around and mixes with the main shape and then re-introducing some control/restraint with the smaller details. Hooray for moving forward! 

for reals


At the beginning of the year I decided to make a play kitchen for Juniper out of this weird wicker cabinet, some wood, and a few other goodies. Here's the before and after:

The after is nice and shows all the fun details- but I wanted to style it with all the cute food and sweet little wooden cook set that J got for her 2nd bday in May. I thought about trying to style the perfect shot- but that's been done over and over- just check out pinterest. Instead here is her play kitchen in its natural habitat. And yes- she's naked on the couch, enjoying a cold one, and probably watching some Daniel Tiger. This is our life- for reals!



whoa. what a crazy summer. we put all our belongings in a truck that drove away (for all i know our couch might have been hanging out in mexico for a long weekend!). we stayed with my mom for a bit, drove out to colorado to get away for two weeks, came back to my mom's, moved to dubuque, and now we're entering our last week of summer.

I feel so fortunate for so many things surrounding this summer- a hubbie who worked so hard last year, never letting his dad duties slide, and was happy to put work on hold for a bit this summer so we could all have this adventure. A two-year old who (for the most part) was incredibly flexible, didn't drive us too nuts, and re-learned how to nap in the car. A mom who took us and our doggie in when we didn't have anywhere to go. And so much more.

I thought I would get so much done (art-wise) this summer. Spoiler alert: i didn't. Thankfully I've been bitten by the productivity bug this past week and am feeling very motivated. I have a few bigger projects that I need to keep chipping away on- more on those later. For now- here are some pics from our time in Colorado.
did these two little map illos after some nice day hikes. working quickly and loosely was just what the art-doctor ordered!

The house we were renting was a hippie-haven. We were surrounded by nature inside and out. It was just what the nature-doctor ordered! (our fake doctor bills are out of control!)

We saw 3 moose! A moose trifecta!

Juni loving the mountains. No filter/adjustment needed on this pic. 

Perhaps my favorite pic of the summer. Perfectly sums up how cool the people I love most are. (yes- Juni is wearing a cape while playing the recorder)

new studio


For a while the hubs and i were thinking about renting a small apartment in downtown dubuque. Instead we decided on a 3-bedroom house closer to suburbia. boy am i glad! it's so nice to have a decent sized room with windows and a door to close so I don't have to look at the mess that will (soon) ensue. I didn't move with my old long table (hollow-core door on two shoddy shelves) so I went for two IKEA tables with adjustable legs. Since I have to move from thing-to-thing while filling etsy orders i decided to make it more of a standing desk/table- which I'm kinda excited about! In the old basement studio everything was kinda haphazard- printer on one side, trimmer on the other, mailers in another. And while I LOVE that people want my art in their homes- my least favorite thing to do is printing prints. Now I feel like there's a good flow for getting prints out the door- huzzah!

I also have two shelving things- once that is fairly organized...

and once that is not... 

also- though it's nice to have's my "nicer" view...
guess i could open up the blinds :)

I'll have more updates on the other things I've been doing this summer in a later post. For now my etsy shops are back up and running- so treat yo self!

just a reminder...


This Saturday- May 31- is the last day to order prints or originals until early August. We're packing up our home, moving temporarily to the home I grew up in, vacationing, and then moving again to....??? We're still not 100% sure. I'm trying to embrace the unknown. 

If you've been following my #dailywreaths on instagram- you've noticed that they've become more like #everyonceinawhilewreaths. Don't worry- I hope to get back to the #daily part of it soon! 

daily wreath update


Just a few of the #dailywreaths I've been posting to instagram (thekatiev). What's your fave so far? Mine is the pancake (it was also the most delicious). 



So let's just forget that it's been two months since the last blog post. I've been too busy playing! Spring is here so we've been outside a TON and I've definitely felt newly inspired to create more. I've also been having more fun on twitter and instagram. Using vscocam has renewed my love for phone photos- you have so much more control over the editing and so many more preset options available. Anyhoo- you probably know that I have a slight obsession with wreaths. (I still have more healing wreath paintings in the works- stay tuned, but don't hold your breath)

This week I decided to start making a daily wreath to photograph and put on instagram. Some will be floral, some will be drawn, some will be salads :)

I hope you'll follow, share, comment, and do a happy dance. toodles

Press Play



Right now I'm playing the waiting game. Hubs is applying for jobs, we're putting our house up on the market without knowing if/when we're moving out of Bloomington, and so many questions cannot be answered... Do I need to have Juniper on some waiting list for a preschool somewhere? What if we sell our house before we know where we're going? Will I be able to have a space to make art in? What if we move somewhere terrible? 

Then there are all the questions that we need to answer but are exhausting to think about... Do we want to move with this/donate that/sell those? Are we going to have to repaint our whole kitchen ceiling or just the part that has exploded beer stains? Should I close up my Chipmunk Cheeks shop to focus on other arts? (that question has been lurking for years).

On a typical day all these unanswered/unanswerable questions leave me a bit paralyzed so I just print/ship any orders I need to, watch some Parks and Rec or something brainless, and have some dark chocolate for lunch, and otherwise go about my day with Juniper. Today I started tweeting about life feeling like it's on hold. Then I switched it to a question- "what do you do when your life is on hold?"-then I switched "on hold" to "paused"- then I answered my own question- "press play." 

What does that mean for me? It means not focusing on the unanswerable questions, enjoying our incredible daughter, and embracing the part of the future that I'm looking forward to (hello purging/organizing/packing! (yes- i like those things)). It means turning off the voice in my brain that says "if you can't be doing x, y, and z with your art, then you're not moving in the right direction." Sure, I'd love to be painting massive wreaths and finding my place in the gallery art world- but that's just not going to happen right now. So instead I'm going to draw one small wreath today. Or maybe I'll draw a bigfoot and put him on a stick and take pictures of him hiding- that sounds like fun. Or maybe I'll work on the play kitchen I'm building for Juniper's 2nd b-day. Playing is not about beating yourself up for what you should be/could be/wish you were doing. 

When paused you can press stop, fast forward, rewind, or play. Today I'm pressing play. 

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