I drew this when the lilacs were first popping up around my neighborhood! They are such a bright spot to see during this quarantine. Is there anything better than the smell of lilacs in the air?! I hope you enjoy this little ode to one of my favorite flowers.
To download for free during the month of May 2020 use coupon code: DDMAY20
What’s better than receiving a cute bouquet of flowers? Receiving a cute bouquet of flowers wrapped in a darling way! I am always a sucker for pretty packaging and I think it makes a big difference, even with flowers. So, with Mother’s Day quickly approaching, I’m excited to bring you this sweet idea for a small gift or an add on to a package – a petit bouquet wrapped in beautiful paper! I loved drawing these floral wrap sheets and I’m excited to share them with you as a free download. Keep reading to get yours…
This post is in collaboration with the talented floral designer Marah of A Gypsy in the City and Botanical Gypsy! Marah creates such beautiful and whimsical floral designs and I’m thrilled to partner with her! On her post, she is showing all the steps for creating your own lovely flower arrangement and sharing some valuable tips. Visit her post here.
You will receive a PDF that has been set up on standard 8.5″ x 11″ sheets of paper for printing at home. Regular copy paper and not cardstock will actually work best for these! Once printed, simply cut out the designs and follow Marah’s steps for floral wrapping.
In the download you’ll find three designs that I think are perfect especially for Mother’s Day, but they would work for gift-giving of all kinds. Since April is National Letter Writing Month I thought it was fitting to include a “handwritten” sheet to make your florals look like they are wrapped in a sweet letter. (The letter includes the beautfiul words from F. Scott Fitzgerald by the way, perfect to give to a special lady.) This one might be my favorite!
You’ll also find a simple and cute bee pattern (I can’t resisit anything bee!) and a pretty, soft blush floral.
How pretty are Marah’s arrangements?! I love them!
This print release is definitely different than any other before it as we’re all on shut down orders and quarantined. I thought about maybe skipping a Spring launch altogether, but I felt in my heart I needed to get these designs out there. Drawing them brought me such life! I also thought they might help bring some Spring and sunshine into your home during this crazy time. 🙂 So, I present to you thirteen new Spring prints!
This Spring collection has been inspired by sweet, happy memories (like the buttercups in my Grandma’s yard), simple pleasures of Spring like seed packets and fresh clippings, as well as the time spent in isolation right now.
I just love this series of three inspired by seed packets!
Buttercups grew wild in my Grandma’s backyard. I remember one time my uncle plucked one and put it under my chin. I never really understood why he did that, but then I learned this is actually a fun little tradition! It is said that if a yellow reflection from the flower’s shiny petals can be seen under the chin, the person is said to “like butter”. This custom shows how buttercup petals reflect light. So cute!
I drew this citrus design as part of an #isolationcreation challenge on Instagram. Trying new things…a different style for me, deeper shadows. I was going for a vintage botanical illustration. I don’t know why, but this time in isolation feels like an excuse to experiment and play artistically with less pressure. Maybe it’s because everything is so heavy and weighty in the world that my mind doesn’t have the capacity to overthink lesser things? I don’t know, but it feels good to create and lose myself for a bit.
I think this quote below rings true now more than ever!
Muscari (also known as grape hyacinths) bloomed along the driveway of the house in rural Pennsylvania where I grew up. I’ve carried a fondness for them with me ever since. There are many beautiful fragrances quintessential to Spring, but this one, I’d have to say, is my favorite.
I think dandelions are the most nostalgic flower. They remind me of carefree summers growing up and finding magic in the simplest of things. I was trying to capture a bit of that everyday magic with this design.
This design is an ode to lovely, little foraged blooms. No structured arrangement or pretense here, they are freshly picked and exist to brighten your day.
Fainting tulips are a bit symbolic of how I’ve been feeling during this time of uncertainty and isolation. There is hope and undeniable beauty in the midst of it, however, there is weariness and we begin to buckle at the heaviness of it all. I love that this drawing is both happy yet a little melancholy.
I envision this print like handwriting out a mantra over and over until it sinks in. To the overthinkers and over worriers (like me) I hope this little reminder helps you let go and not sweat the small stuff. Ces’t la vie (that’s life!)
Chalkboards are innately nostalgic, but I think there’s something particularly nostalgic about a green chalkboard…and how lovely for Spring! Perhaps it’s a contradiction to put the phrase “here & now” on such a piece that makes us reminisce, however, I love the juxtaposition! It is our past that got us to where we are today.
Can you tell how much I love these photos with the Spring blossoms?! They just feel like a breath of fresh air to me! A special thanks to Marah of A Gypsy in the City for taking these lovely photos!
We go to our local Farmers Market every Saturday in the Spring & Summer. It is a tradition I’ve come to cherish. The Farmers Market is such a pleasure for all the senses- lush produce displayed in wooden crates, the hum of conversation, the fragrance of herbs and flowers in the air, taste-testing honey, green juices, and homemade hummus. I love absolutely everything about it and cannot wait for things to get back to normal so we can enjoy time at the market again!
I hope you enjoy these new designs! Also, I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who takes a minute to check out the prints and to everyone who has already purchased one…Ahhh I can’t even express how much it means to me and my family now more than ever. I love you all and this community. Thank you x a thousand.
Happy National Letter Writing Month, friends! I’m going to state the obvious and say this Letter Writing Month is different than ever before. Since we’re all at home and going through this crazy time of isolation and quarantine, a letter is a wonderful (and socially distant) way to deepen connections.
Easter is this week, and we’re all preparing for an Easter at home. For many, it may feel quite depressing to be away from family and friends on this special holiday. Easter is a time of hope. And although we cannot celebrate in person, we can spread a little joy in the form of a letter to the people we love. A letter offers a great opportunity to say things we might not normally say in a text or in person. Plus, it’s a chance to get a little creative! So, create a piece of Easter snail mail, snap a pic and tag me with #eastersnailmailchallenge.
To give a little inspiration, I thought I would share some ideas I came up with for Easter mail!
For these ideas I’m using my Tombow Dual Brush pens. You guys know how much I love these pens! They come in such pretty colors and I chose ones I thought would work well for pretty, Springy mail art!
For those who are interested, here are the exact colors!
Envelope Idea 1: Spring Grasses
For this idea, you will want to grab a piece of scrap paper to lay under your envelope so the grass can “bleed” off the edge. Then, simply use short strokes of varying thickness and height all along the edge. It’s really hard to mess this up. 🙂 No lines should be perfectly straight – it should look organic and wild. I used three different colored green pensto give the grass some nice dimension. Then, add some little flower clusters (again, no details here, just the idea of flowers.)
I wanted the grass to be the star of the show, so I used a Le Pen to letter the address in simple handwriting. I love how the Lily & Val herbs washi tape pairs with this one!
Envelope Idea 2: Happy Easter Egg & Floral
Okay, this one doesn’t have room for an address, so maybe this is for your neighbor to sneak into their mail slot or include with a flower on the porch (a socially distant drop off, of course!) Or, you could take this idea and create a handmade card with it. Either way, you start with Happy Easter brush lettering.
Here’s a little tip I love for the lettering:
When using Tombow Dual Brush Pens, if you make multiple strokes, the ink will get darker. So, I used this to my advantage here and once I lettered the words I went back over the strokes just on the right side to create a shadow. This is a subtle detail, but it really elevates it! Then, I surrounded the words with loose florals and little egg illustrations. Playful and pretty!
Envelope Idea 3: Brushstrokes
This is another idea that is so simple! Using varying colors and stroke lengths, you just brushstroke the envelope (front and back!) Use your scrap paper again to catch the pen so it can bleed off the edge.
I off-centered the address on this one to show off the brushed design.
If you don’t have any appriorate cards on hand, stationery sheets are perfect for your letters! We have printable sheets available in the Lily & Val shop. Print off as many as you like and cut out the design! Instant stationery without needing to leave your house. 🙂 I especially love the monogram options.
I hope you enjoyed these ideas! I can’t wait to see how we can spread some hope and love through the mail this Easter!
Friends, I am so excited to introduce you to my latest collaboration with Mixbook today…
A new photo book that speaks right to my heart.
When I was drawing the lettering/illustrations and designing this book, I had NO idea we would be in the quarantine situation we are in. But as I flip through the pages of this book, I can’t help but feel like it is the perfect way to document this time. Yes, it’s a scary moment for our world and I go back and forth between panic & worry most days for many reasons as I’m sure you do too. At the same time, these weeks of exclusively staying at home have produced some cherished memories with Vienna and Mak. Our days do not look fancy or put together at all, but the pace has been slow and for that I am grateful. To sum up in a phrase: “it’s the simple things” right now.
So I present to you this book….
Throughout you’ll find soft, pretty hand-drawn botanicals and bold hand lettering with phrases that are important to me and really speaking to me.
Another thing I love about this book is that it is giftable! (Mother’s Day is coming!) So, I’ve included an option for a little letter at the front of the book. If you are purchasing this for yourself (as I will be doing) I plan to change this letter to a dedication and almost a journal entry about the things that have been going on.
This is one of my favorite pages. Although the world is scary and uncertain, I do believe many of us will look back at the time spent at home with our families fondly.
A dainty botanical detail. I loved drawing these!
Like I said, I can’t wait to create one to document this time. I actually just ordered my baby girl photo book for Vienna last week and will share that on Instagram when it comes in!
As always, I love working with my friends at Mixbook. They make the most beautiful, high-quality products and the tool is very easy to use and customize. Be sure to take a peek at the other L&V products on Mixbook.
I hope you guys like this book as much as I do!! 🙂
The month of April always holds a special place in my heart because it is National Letter Writing Month! I’m a firm believer that old-fashioned letters and snail mail are something we need to preserve and cherish. Especially now during this crazy time of social distancing and isolation, a letter can offer encouragement and closeness. Look for more letter writing fun this month, but until then, I hope you enjoy this download to remind you to write more letters!
To download for free during the month of April 2020 use coupon code: DDAPRIL20
Like all of us, I’ve been running through a gamut of emotions these last few days about the situation with COVID-19. My heart breaks for those infected with the virus, but also the extreme financial turmoil and stress this is causing so many people: the parent unable to work due to a lack of childcare, friends in the service and event industries facing a loss of income, small businesses forced to lay off employees, and many more who are just unable to work due to shutdowns. So much is uncertain and unprecedented right now and there’s a cloud of fear hanging around us.
I kept thinking “what can I do to help? How can I use the resources I have?”
This is a small gesture, but I think that every small gesture matters and can add up to a big impact. So, for the next week, 100% of the sale of all prints on lilyandval.com will be donated to relieve those who are in dire need right now. The entire gross sale of the prints (minus shipping costs) will be donated.
At the end of the week (3/28/20), I will be divvying up the funds to a Virtual Tip Jar set up to bring aid to those in the service industry. Here in Pittsburgh, PA all of our restaurants and other non-essential businesses have been closed and I know it is that way in many areas.
If you are financially suffering during this time or facing a loss of income, I know that words may feel empty right now, but I am praying for a breakthrough, strength, and peace.
For those able to give, I invite you to use the opportunity to purchase a new piece of art to brighten your home (since we’ll all be spending a lot more time inside!) and know that your money will be given to people who need it during a very scary time.
I really believe that if we all stick together and do what we can, we can make a big difference. Thank you all for being so amazing and for joining me! And, as always, thank you for your support of Lily & Val. It means the world to me. I love you all!
P.S. I can always count on the words of Mister Rogers to be soothing and uplifting. I’ve decided to bring back this print and offer it as a FREE digital download. The kindness of friends, neighbors, and strangers has been so heartwarming and more important than ever. Despite our distances or differences, we’re all in this together. I hope this little print brings a smile.
Friends, I’m so happy to finally share this chalkboard wall installation I created for a women’s event called The Well at my church, Northway Christian Community back in January. I absolutely loved working on this project and especially because of what it represented. It’s really nothing more than dust and dead botanicals signifying the theme of “waiting.”
Sometimes we all go through dry, dead and dark seasons, but God doesn’t leave us there alone. In every season, despite how it may feel in the moment, nothing is wasted. He takes every piece of our story and weaves it into something beautiful.
Here’s a look into the process of creating this installation:
It all began with creating the dried floral wreaths! I used a combination of foraged pieces plus dried florals purchased at Roxanne’s Dried Flowers (one of my favorite shops in Pittsburgh). I used plain, wooden embroidery hoops as the base and purchased this beautiful silk chiffon ribbon to hang them. The design of the event was purposefully colorless, so the neutral earth tones of the ribbon worked out perfectly.
The board was 8 foot by 8 foot. As with the start of all new chalkboard projects, the board needed to be seasoned! (I probably should have worn a dust mask for this part!)
Next, I planned out where to hang each wreath and used clear command hooks.
The wreaths were purposefully a little unbalanced and bare because I “filled them in” with chalk behind the actual botanicals. This gave a really cool 3d effect, but tied the wreaths into the chalkboard design.
Onto the mantel! I just loved this part. I drew it to the scale of a real mantel. Using the technique of adding purposeful dust and then erasing some to create a stark contrast really gave it a realism.
Adding The Well’s logo finished it up!
Me covered in chalk dust, and so, so happy. This installation was one of my favorite projects to date and I am just so pleased with how it turned out.
Here’s how the installation looked at the event:
photo credit @northwaycc
photo credit @northwaycc
The amazing ladies of The Well who I had the pleasure of serving with (below)! There are additional events scheduled for 2020 if you are in the Pittsburgh area. I’ll be creating more chalkboard backdrop installations and I can’t wait!
Guys, I’m just having so much fun with essential oils! As I mentioned in a previous post, the beginning of my year has been focused on wellness and part of that has been learning about the many therapeutic benefits of oils. Recently, I feel like I have graduated to a new level and that is making my own rollers and sprays!
One of the resources my friend Jessica Numbers sent me was the roller recipes pictured above! “Chill Pill” is so good- 10 drops Peace & Calming, 10 drops Stress Away, and 5 drops Valor. I’ve been wearing it like a perfume! You add the oils to a 10ml roller bottle and top with a carrier oil. Sweet almond oil has been my carrier of choice.
These labels are so simple to apply because they are a perfect size for packing tape! Print the download, and cut out your labels. You can choose to use them horizontally or vertically depending on if you are using a roller or a spray bottle. The designs are versatile. Then, add your hand lettering or writing! Of course, I love the look of the bold brush lettering on these, but handwriting with a regular pen will look nice, too. You can’t go wrong. Prep your cleaned bottles by rubbing a wipe of rubbing alcohol on the surface to remove an oil or residue.
Next, lay out a piece of packing tape and place your label face down onto the tape. Cut off the tape leaving extra tape on either side of the label.
Carefully affix the tape to the bottle by holding the label down and then smoothing the tape edges around the bottles with your fingers.
Voila! An easy, waterproofed label for your bottle! Using packing tape also makes it easier to switch labels if you decide to change them out.
I’m so pleased with how these turned out and how cute the bottles look on my dresser! I have a little essential oil diffuser station set up there and that’s where I”ll be storing my DIY rollers and sprays when they’re not in my purse! I just love how they look.
Let me know if you download the labels for your DIY essential oil recipes! I’d love to see on Instagram, too – @valeriemckeehan. Also, if you have a favorite roller or spray recipe, leave it in the comments. I’m excited to try more blends!
THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. THAT MEANS A LITTLE BIT OF YOUR PURCHASE THROUGH THESE POSTS HELPS US JUST A LITTLE TOO! THIS CHANGES NOTHING ABOUT YOUR PURCHASE PRICE, AND WE ARE NOT ASKED TO FEATURE THESE ITEMS. THESE ARE JUST THINGS WE CAREFULLY PIC BECAUSE WE LOVE THEM AND THINK YOU WILL TOO! THANKS FOR HELPING SPREAD THE LOVE! XO