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
With it being Valentine’s Day this week, I thought I’d share something that’s been on my mind lately: Self Love. I know, I know it seems that “self care” and “self love” have been buzzwords lately, but for good reason. It’s so important to take the time to fill ourselves up so that we can pour into others. The world needs who you are meant to be and I believe practicing some self love is the first step in living that truth.
<h3>So here are 8 ways I’ve been practicing self love lately and, of course, I had to draw them out. These things are simple, but sometimes it’s the simple things that make the biggest difference.</h3>
1. Get outside for a walk.
This may seem so obvious, but guys, I need this reminder to get outside. I NEVER regret it. There’s something about being out in the fresh air and moving a little bit that brings me back to life.
3. Start a gratitidue journal.
Go ahead and treat yourself to a brand new journal (isn’t that the best feeling?!) Listing three things you are grateful for each day will do wonders, but don’t stop there- add drawings, photos, dried flowers. Light a candle while you journal to make it a nice experience for yourself! Write poems, lists, whatever sparks joy to you.
4. Write your feelings in a letter.
I’ve written many times about the benefits of letter writing and one of those benefits is that it gives you the chance to get your thoughts and feelings out of your head and onto paper. It’s therapeutic like journaling in that way. Plus, those thoughts will help deeper your connection to the recipient. Deep, meaningul, real relationships are incredibly needed in order to live a happy, fulfiled life. Not ready to share your feelings with someone? You could also try writing a letter to yourself or future self.
5. Smile at yourself in the mirror.
This is another one that might sound silly or overly simple, but it WORKS! Just try it. There’s something about it that will make you feel kinder toward yourself. Everytime I look at myself in the mirror, I’ve been making a conscious effort to smile and it’s been elevating my mood.
6. Drink infused waters.
We all know the benefits of drinking more water, but I just struggle with it. If I make it a little bit more special though, I’m more apt to drink it. It just feels like a treat with really minimal effort at all!
Try this strawberry mint water: 3 strawberries sliced 5 mint leaves whole 32 oz of water *infuse for a few hours or overnight for best flavor
Other great combos to try: cucumber & lemon, strawberry & basil, blackberry & ginger, mango & raspberry.
7. Prioritize rest.
This one is the most difficult to me. I have come to accept my personal capacity (it’s different for everyone) and work with that. Learning how much rest I need has been crucial to my well being! That way, I can look at my obligations in any given week and make better decisions about what I can and can’t take on. It’s really an act of self love to say “no” sometimes. Learn your own rhythms, capacity, and prioritize the rest that you need.
8. Diffuse lavender.
Lately, I have been loving essential oils and learning all that I can. Lavender is one of those amazing, must-have oils beneficial for a host of things. In particular, though, diffusing therapeutic-grade lavender when you need to relax or before bedtime is a game changer! Even my husband thinks it’s made quite the difference when we diffuse it at night.
I hope you’ve enjoyed these tips and are feeling inspired to start your own self love practices! What is at the top of your list for self love? I’d love to hear it in the comments!
One of the quotes I mentioned – “the world needs who you were meant to be” – is also a new print in the shop. I just LOVE this quote so much. It’s a great reminder to help us realize the importance of operating at our best selves. Find it in the shop along with the other prints mentioned in this post here!
Hey friends! Today I wanted to share something I’ve been SUPER into lately… essential oils!
For the past few years, you’ve heard me talk about cleaning up what I use in my home and on my body. As part of this, I’ve dabbled with essential oils but only a few that I purchased at Target. I’ve come to find out, the quality of these oils is just not there. When you are using the real, therapeutic grade stuff, they can be SO powerful for a host of things. I had no idea what all essential oils can help with and there’s so, so much.
I’m fascinated and excited and still very new at all of it, but feeling empowered to make this part of my daily life. Okay, so where are my oily friends?! And if you’re like me and just dabbling or using Target oils, here is a link to the Starter Kits. Let’s learn together! I’ve had mine for a few weeks now and am amazed at how much you can do with it! Plus, it’s really fun.
I wanted to share just a few things I’ve been doing to focus on wellness and start my essential oil journey:
Set up a Bedroom Oil Diffusing Station
There’s something about making a pretty space that gets me excited and helps ensure I will actually use something! This little station is nothing more than a diffuser that I had purchased previously (there is a diffuser that comes in your kit and it is pictured above; I have this one in my living room!) sitting on an antique metal tray to hold the oils I’m currently using and catch any drips. I can also store oils in this cute basket I got from Good Call Vintage.
I also keep a glass of water on my dresser to make filling the diffuser easy and convenient. Little tip: Fill the diffuser in the morning so it’s ready to go at night when you are tired. This station is such a simple thing, but it’s helping me use the oils and keep myself organized.
These are the three go-to oils I’ve been diffusing at night:
Peace and Calming: This is definitely my favorite oil so far! I’ve gone through an entire bottle already and purchased a roll on too. The smell is lovely, I could wear it as perfume. It feels great to have something to go to when I’m feeling anxious or worried.
Lavender: Lavender was my first experience with oils, but I’m happy to now have this wonderful, high quality version. I LOVE LOVE the smell of calming lavender in the bedroom especially. I’ve also been using a few drops on wool balls to pop in the dryer.
Thieves: The McKeehan household has been battling some on and off colds and general ickiness since the beginning of the year! Thieves is a great immunity blend.
I am so grateful for the resouces Jessica sent to me and the reserach I’ve done of what all you can do with essential oils. Like I keep saying, there is SO much. I started to dabble with some additional diffuser blends and also blends that can be created into roll-ons. Not only is it benefical for wellness, but I love the fact that you can customize the oils. I’m having fun with it! I made my first roll on just today! Woohoo! It is a combination of Thieves, frankincese and lemon. I’ve been using it on the bottoms of my feet to fight off a cold.
Here are just a few of the diffuser blends I’ve been working my way through:
I know I have so much more to learn and I want to, of course, be certain I am using the oils safely and appropriately. For example, I had NO IDEA you could ingest essential oils, but with Young Living oils marked “Vitality” (in white bottles), these oils can be ingested. I’ve been dropping one drop of lemon in my water and using a drop of Thieves Vitality in my tea. Most essential oils, like the ones you find at grocery stores CANNOT be ingested. This just goes to show how much there is to learn, but how powerful this knowlege can be.
Those are just a few of the things I’ve been doing to start this journey and I hope to share more in the coming weeks as I become more familar! What are your go-to uses for therapeutic essential oils? I’d love to hear in the comments!
And inspired by my newfound appreciation for essential oils, I drew this new print I’m calling “calming herbs!” you can find it in the shop here.
THIS POST CONTAINS 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
Happy February and Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! This month’s drawing came as a result of feeling nostalgic for little packages of conversation hearts, perforated valentines, and homemade, decorated card boxes. Wasn’t Valentine’s Day so much fun as a kid?! I hope these free wallpapers make you smile this month.
To download for free during the month of February 2020 use coupon code: DDFEB20
Friends! If you’ve been following for a while, you probably know how much I love designing for Mixbook! Mixbook offers custom photo cards, wedding invitations, calendars, and books. I’ve purchased their products on several occasions and have had the privilege of creating designs that you can customize for yourself! See the entire Lily & Val collection here.
This newest book just might be my favorite yet…
Inspired by my own baby girl and the L&V nursery collection, I’m so pleased to say this sweet custom baby book is now available!
The entire book has a fairytale feel with hand-drawn woodland illustrations and sweet hand lettering.
Take a peek inside:
I love the soft, hand-drawn gingham background patterns!
I was going for a feminine and sweet look. I just love this page that brings in a bit more of that storybook feel.
The best part is, you can customize the entire book! I cannot wait to make one of these for Vienna. I have SO many photos I want to get off of my phone and into a special keepsake.
I hope you love this new addition to my Mixbook collection as much as I do. What other photo products would you like to see? Let me know in the comments. Thank you, friends!