Lily & Val Living - A pretty place for all who love the simple things in life.
Nostalgic Ceramic Christmas Tree Decorations & Prints

Nostalgic Ceramic Christmas Tree Decorations & Prints

I just LOVE the fact that nostalgic ceramic Christmas trees are coming back! I was feeling sentimental for the one my Grandma had one, so I decided to draw it! Her tree was my favorite Christmas decoration growing up. I loved taking the tiny bulbs in and out and rearranging them. Looking at this tree just makes me so happy and brings back all those warm and fuzzies.

Nostalgic Ceramic Christmas Tree Decorations & Prints

I appropriately named the drawing “Grandma’s Tree” and after hearing from many of you on Instagram, I decided to draw a white version too! I never had a real white version, but I have to admit, I love it too! It’s a bit more playful and whimsical.

Nostalgic Ceramic Christmas Tree Decorations & Prints

I think these trees bring back happy memories for so many and that makes me love them even more.

You can find both version of Grandma’s Tree as prints in the shop now!

Nostalgic Ceramic Christmas Tree Decorations & Prints Nostalgic Ceramic Christmas Tree Decorations & Prints Nostalgic Ceramic Christmas Tree Decorations & Prints

I’m SO excited because I think I may be receiving my Grandma’s actual tree!! Ahhh! Fingers crossed, but I reached out to my cousin and it could be happening! I think I will cry to see it again.

I know many big box stores are carrying the ceramic trees this year, but I found these on Amazon that I thought were so beautiful. I think these are my favorite reproductions. Of course, if you can find vintage ones at an antique store that would be amazing.

White Ceramic Tree

Nostalgic Ceramic Christmas Tree Decorations & Prints

Green Ceramic Tree

Nostalgic Ceramic Christmas Tree Decorations & Prints

This green one is cute with a more decorative base.

Nostalgic Ceramic Christmas Tree Decorations & Prints

Do you own a vintage ceramic tree? Do they make you nostalgic too? I’d love to hear in the comments!

Lily & Val and Dearest Mine Hand-Drawn Keepsake Lockets

Guys! They’re here! I’m so pleased to show you the Lily & Val and Dearest Mine hand-drawn keepsake lockets collaboration!

I am so excited about these pieces of wearable art!

About The Lockets

Each design has been hand drawn by yours truly then Lori of Dearest Mine takes the artwork and prints it on the most gorgeous metallic paper. The colors are exceptionally vivid and the image has a unique three-dimensional quality. The paper has a lovely pearlescent sheen and it’s simply stunning in it’s antique finish brass locket.

The art image is sealed with a glass-like coating for protection and shine and the locket hangs on a brass rolo chain which is finished with a lobster clasp.

Each one is handmade with lots of love.

Inside the locket, there are 2 empty recessed oval or circle areas (depending on the locket) for you to mount your favorite pictures of your own choosing.

These would make such lovely gifts for the holidays – and extra special when you fill them with sentimental photos.

Lockets have a secret message inside… Once opened up, there’s a treasure inside. Ultimately it’s a truly human expression. We show on the outside what we want people to see, but keep on the inside only what we know. Lockets represent the deepest part of the human self…the outside and inside together. – Lori of Dearest Mine

I just love how these turned out! Let me know which one is your favorite. I think the bee and large floral are mine, but I really love them all.

I love how the “Let Them Eat Cake” locket pairs beautifully with the Keepsake Kitchen Diary Baking edition. A lovely gift for the lady who loves to bake!

Shop the entire Lily & Val Locket Collection from Dearest Mine here.

December’s “Snowy Day” Desktop Download

December’s “Snowy Day” Desktop Download by Lily & Val

There’s no place like home for the holidays! I hope this cute snowscape for your tech reminds you of the coziness of this season! Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

Winter Snow scene desktop background hand-drawn by Valerie McKeehanSnowy Day scene for iPhone background

To download for free during the month of December 2019 use coupon code: DDDEC19

Download Wallpaper >>

Thoughts After Seeing “A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood”

Ever since I found out a movie was being made about Mister Rogers (and played by Tom Hanks! Ahh!) I have been looking forward to it. If you’ve been around for a little while, you probably know how my love of Mister Rogers runs deep. Maybe it was the nostalgia at first, but the more I’ve come to learn about his work and re-discover him as an adult, it goes much farther than that. The truths he shared about each person’s intrinsic value, the importance of kindness, and his displays of humbleness are things we all need, despite age.

Image may contain: 3 people, including Mak McKeehan and Valerie Henderson McKeehan, people smiling, eyeglasses and beard

Mak and I, of course, decided to get tickets to see the movie on opening night. It was deep, moving and thought-provoking.

Here are my biggest takeaways from “A Beautiful Day in The Neighborhood.”

  1. I teared up within the first 10 minutes. (He might not admit it, but Mak did too.)
  2. Tom Hanks should win best actor! I really forgot it was Tom Hanks playing a role. I felt like I was wathcing Mister Rogers. The performance was spot on.
  3. The movie focuses on the character of the journalist. It was a movie about Mister Rogers that was somehow not about Mister Rogers at all. I almost think that is how he would have wanted it.
  4. The movie was a lot darker and heavier than I anticipated. It is not a fluffy movie. I think that’s what so brilliant though. Some may view Mister Rogers and think because he hosted a children’s TV show, it was fluffy or trivial. But on the contrary, it was humble and deep. The simplicity of his show made the message all the more important. There was no flash, nothing superficial or phony to hide behind. His vulnerabilty and message was on display plainly, without pretense. The movie followed in a similar fashion – it was somewhat slow, but not in a bad way. Instead it was in a way that made me pay attention because it was deep. It was so simple it was poignant.There are many things competing for our attention via social media and media in general. We have become a world that thrives on flashy and superficial – portray the right image, get the most likes, etc. But Mister Rogers was the opposite. One of my absolute favorite stories and quotes of his is this:“A high school student wrote to ask, “What was the greatest event in American history?” I can’t say. However, I suspect that like so many “great” events, it was something very simple and very quiet with little or no fanfare (such as someone forgiving someone else for a deep hurt that eventually changed the course of history). The really important “great” things are never center stage of life’s dramas; they’re always “in the wings”. That’s why it’s so essential for us to be mindful of the humble and the deep rather than the flashy and the superficial.”
  5. At one point the journalist asked Mister Rogers a question that suggested there was Mister Rogers the TV show host vs. Fred Rogers the person. But what you proceed to see is a man so beautifully living out what he believed. It was inspiring and made me think deeply about authenticity and how we can learn from his example to just be who we are. He was who he was when the cameras were rolling, but especially when they were not.
  6. The movie is a reminder that investing in just one person’s life has a ripple effect. Every person is significant. I hate to keep bringing up social media, but it seems we are in a culture of viewing people as numbers. How many followers, how many likes. Mister Rogers could have easily thought “I reach millions of people every day. That is enough.” But no, he invested in people’s lives in real and direct ways. This reminds me of another favorite quote of his:“If you could only sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to the people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person.”

So, I guess that wasn’t quite a review, but more so my thoughts on Mister Rogers in general after seeing the movie! Ha! But all in all, the movie made me love Mister Rogers more. He was an incredible man and I’m grateful his message is being spread in this way. We all need it.

On the day of the movie release, I posted this illustration to instagram. After hearing from many of you, I decided to release it as a special edition print for those who would like one! The print is sized to 8″ x 8″ and orders will ship the week of December 2nd. Thank you, everyone, who purchased a print already! You’re all the best.

FREE SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY GRAPHICS TO SHARE THE SHOP SMALL LOVE THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

Happy almost Thanksgiving, friends!

In honor of Small Business Saturday 2019, I put together these hand-drawn graphics for you! I hope you will join me in spreading the Small Business love this year.

Small Business Saturday means a ton to me because I believe supporting small businesses changes lives in a direct way.

My life is a testament to this. First, by growing up witnessing my father run his small business with all its ups and downs. Then, when I met my husband, he had a lot of experience in business (both success and failures). Shortly after we started dating we decided to open a business together, which I still can’t believe! I think I always had an entreprenuerual spirit within me, but my husband really encouraged me in this area. In 2012 when I started Lily & Val, Mak and I decided to close our former business and dedicate our time to L&V.

Throughout my time as a small business owner, I have failed miserably, lost a lot of money, made a TON of mistakes, many of which were devasting mistakes. I’ve had sleepless nights, made tough decisions, and shed many tears. This has given me such a heart for the small business owner and the entreprenuer. It’s not for the faint of heart.

On the flip side, I’ve been able to do what I love, dream big, and create a life that I look forward to living! This is huge. Is it hard? YES. Is it worth it? Absolutely. Your support of small business offers encouragement to a real person working hard to do what they love. When you shop small you are making dreams come true.

THE GRAPHICS:

With that said, I would love it if you would spread the shop small love! Please feel free to share and tag @lilyandval! Click on the images and it will open a new window with a higher resolution file perfect for sharing on social media. This year I’ve included both square images and graphics sized for Instagram stories. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

 

And from my family to yours, I just wanted to say THANK YOU again for shopping small. Your support of our small business means the world. Be sure to sign up to become an L&V insider – we’ll be sharing our Small Business Saturday deals there first!

Lily & Val For Mixbook Custom Holiday Photo Cards

I always love collaborating with my friends at Mixbook and today I’m thrilled to show you the seven brand new custom holiday photo card designs for this season! As always, these designs were hand-drawn with love.

I haven’t yet decided which one I’m going to choose for my own cards. Last year, I used this one and absolutely love how it turned out!

Keep reading to see all of the new designs plus I have a special coupon code for you this year! 

Merry Berries: The soft blush with the pop of red is just so lovely for Christmas!

Pen & Ink Botanical: This black and white card is minimalist yet detailed. Any photo would work beautifully in this card!

P.S. Don’t forget about the matching labels! Every card has a label option to go with it.

Jingle Bell Rock: A fun and playful card! Also, the theme of this year’s Lily & Val Holiday Collection. 

Tis the Season: I think this card is so unique with the hand-drawn greenery pattern. The tiny oranges are my favorite part.

A Partridge in a Pear Tree. This one is a real contender for my own card this year! I love how whimsical it feels and the oval shape for the photo.

JOY: Bold lettering + a pretty hand-drawn magnolia. I think magnolias are unexpected for Christmas and I love that!

And last but not least, Traditional Greenery: If you’re looking for a bright pop of color to send in the mail, this red card is eye catching and elegant!

I hope you like all of the new cards!

Take a peek at all the Lily & Val For Mixbook Photo Card Options here, including previous year’s cards that are still available!

You may recognize a lot of these designs as prints in the Lily & Val shop! Also, if photo cards aren’t your thing, most of the designs are also available as cards without the photo on lilyandval.com.

And as promised, a coupon code for you! 

Use code: DESIGNER19 on Mixbook.com ​for 50% off cards for new customers! (expires 12/20/19)

The Mixbook editor is so easy to use and makes ordering your Christmas cards I breeze!  I hope you enjoy customizing your Christmas cards! I can’t wait to see which one you choose!!

Handmade Holiday Gift Guide: For the Little Ones

This is Vienna’s first Christmas and there are so many things I want to buy for her! So, I thought I’d put together a list of some beautiful, handmade items I found on Etsy for the little ones this year.

I’m really loving these name puzzles! There are many options for just first name or first and middle.

How cute is this Christmas Eve bag? What a sweet tradition to start with a little one.

This shop has the cutest play mats! I love that they would work well for tummy time now and a cute rug in Vienna’s room later.

Rug for baby Linen round rug Linen rug Children's rug image 0

I am in love with Bannor Toys’ products. I purchased their alphabet block set already and also have a bunny teether. This classic teether and rattle set is just adorbale.

This felt pomegranate toy is so sweet and realistic! There are lots of fruits and veggies to pick from in their shop.  I want to collect them all!

Toy fruits Pomegranate Baby gift kids felt toy image 0

Ok, maybe this gift is cheating because it’s SORT-OF for Vienna, but mostly for me. 🙂 This teething necklace would go with so many different outfits. I love it!

This box is such a beautiful keepsake! I know I already have so many little things I want to keep like her hospital hat – this would be perfect to store those things. It comes personalized with your baby’s initails and is also available in ivory or blue!

For even more gift ideas for the kiddos, check out this Etsy Gift Guide!

I hope you enjoyed these ideas! I love that all of these shops are small businesses to support this season too. Happy shopping!

November’s “Give Thanks & Eat Pie” Desktop Download

November’s “Give Thanks & Eat Pie” Desktop Download

It’s the season of Gratitude & Pie! I wanted to tell you how truly grateful I am for all of you! Thank you for being here. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoy this month’s hand-lettered wallpapers.

Thanksgiving desktop background by Lily & Val Give Thanks & Eat Pie iPhone wallpaper download by Valerie McKeehan

To download for free during the month of November 2019 use coupon code: DDNOV19

Download Wallpaper >>

Introducing the 2019 Lily & Val Holiday Collection: Jingle Bell Rock

A mid-century modern holiday collection of hand-drawn prints & cards from Lily & Val

Guys! I love today! It’s the day of our Holiday Collection launch and I’m always giddy with excitement to show you what I have been working on all these months for the Christmas season. This year we launched 9 new prints and 5 cards! I wanted to share a bit of the backstory and inspiration behind these new designs.

I introduce to you the JINGLE BELL ROCK collection! (Fun, right?!)

A mid-century modern holiday collection of hand-drawn prints & cards from Lily & Val

This collection is all about nostalgia meeting modern, which you know I love! It has a mid-century and playful feel to it. Plus, some whimsy thrown in just because it’s Christmas! I love the boldness of the Jingle Bell Rock print that inspired the whole collection theme. The past couple years’ prints have been more soft and muted, so I was looking forward to throwing in some bright holiday red pops to change it up!

A mid-century modern holiday collection of hand-drawn prints & cards from Lily & Val

Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree

This is another piece with all the retro vibes! A record player seemed perfectly fitting to go along with the theme especially since most of the designs have a Christmas carol nod. Mak and I started a tradition a while back where every Saturday morning we put a record on while we make breakfast (mainly Billy Joel) and this print was inspired by that tradition.

A mid-century modern holiday collection of hand-drawn prints & cards from Lily & Val

O Night Divine

There are two new chalk art designs this year! First, “O Night Divine”: The lettering was created by erasing the dust. Doesn’t chalk just make the perfect, cloudy night sky? I love accenuating the dustiness of chalk – that’s what makes working with chalk so fun and unique. I also think this one looks elegant and rustic at the same time. Since it’s black and white it will fit in with many existing holiday decorations.

A mid-century modern holiday collection of hand-drawn prints & cards from Lily & Val

Peanut Butter Blossom Recipe

The second chalk art print is a recipe! Every year I illustrate a new holiday recipe and this year I chose a beloved Christmas cookie. Peanut butter blossoms are a very important holiday tradition in my family. My Mom pulls them out of the oven and we’re immediately grabbing for them (it’s just the BEST when the chocolate is still gooey.) Side note: Someone asked me on Instagram if this was a Pittsburgh thing? And I honestly have no idea! Are peanut butter blossoms just a Pittsburgh thing? Tell me! haha.

A mid-century modern holiday collection of hand-drawn prints & cards from Lily & Val A mid-century modern holiday collection of hand-drawn prints & cards from Lily & Val

JOY

I’ve drawn designs in the past using the word JOY and I seem to always do it in the same way- big and bold, with capital letters! For whatever reason, the word just screams to be drawn large to me! I love this year’s take because although the word is bold, the colors make it soft and pretty. I think a magnolia and mangnolia leaves are also just really pretty for Christmas decorating.

A mid-century modern holiday collection of hand-drawn prints & cards from Lily & Val A mid-century modern holiday collection of hand-drawn prints & cards from Lily & Val

Old-Fashioned Candy Canes

It seems that in ever holiday collection there is always that last-minute one. The collection is already done, I’m about to photograph it all and then inspiration strikes and I try to squeeze in one more. This is that design. I was really loving that bright holiday red and wanted to showcase it more in the collection! Plus candy canes are cute. playful and fun, which is exactly the vibe I was feeling for this year.

A mid-century modern holiday collection of hand-drawn prints & cards from Lily & Val

Let Your Heart Be Light

This design is traditional and classic. Red, green, white poinsettias- it’s quintessially holiday. This phrase has been stuck in my head and I knew I wanted to use it. Many parts of my year have been so heavy. I think that’s why I’ve been gravitating toward a playful Christmas. I wish you all LIGHTness this season.

A mid-century modern holiday collection of hand-drawn prints & cards from Lily & Val A mid-century modern holiday collection of hand-drawn prints & cards from Lily & Val

Tis The Season

I got carried away drawing a few little holiday botanical icons and then thought – why not combine them into a print? The idea of putting a pattern on a print was new for me, but I think it looks really fun and unique. The little oranges are my favorite part about this one.

A mid-century modern holiday collection of hand-drawn prints & cards from Lily & Val

And I had to save this one for last….

A Partridge in a Pear Tree

I wanted this one to be whimsical and fairtyle-esque because that’s how the song feels to me! I don’t typical draw animals, but I love that little partridge drawing. He’s so cute! This one was really fun to draw and add all the berries and swirls.

A mid-century modern holiday collection of hand-drawn prints & cards from Lily & Val A mid-century modern holiday collection of hand-drawn prints & cards from Lily & Val

And I can’t forget about the cards!

Five of this year’s prints have a card counterpart for your greetings. I have to mention that Mak’s favorite typewriter made its photoshoot debut, too. If you follow me on Instagram, you may know that he has become quite the typewriter collector. I love it!

A mid-century modern holiday collection of hand-drawn prints & cards from Lily & Val A mid-century modern holiday collection of hand-drawn prints & cards from Lily & Val A mid-century modern holiday collection of hand-drawn prints & cards from Lily & Val A mid-century modern holiday collection of hand-drawn prints & cards from Lily & Val A mid-century modern holiday collection of hand-drawn prints & cards from Lily & Val A mid-century modern holiday collection of hand-drawn prints & cards from Lily & Val A mid-century modern holiday collection of hand-drawn prints & cards from Lily & Val A mid-century modern holiday collection of hand-drawn prints & cards from Lily & Val

And that is the 2019 Holiday Collection! I can’t wait to hear what you think! Let me know which ones are your favorites.

As always, thank you for supporting L&V for another season. It just means the world to me. Thank you for allowing me to create this art that I love and hope it resonates with you too. Love you all!

Shop the Collection

DIY Hanging Flower Mobile

DIY Hanging Flower Mobile

I’m so excited about this little addition to Vienna’s nursery – a hanging flower mobile! I think this concept could be so cute as a flower chandelier for a party, too!

It’s a bit time consuming to make because of the safety precautions for hanging above a crib, but I love how it turned out!

You will need:

  • A large wooden embroidery hoop
  • Natural colored twine/string
  • Various faux flower stems
  • Scissors
  • Wire cutters
  • Hot glue gun
  • Super glue
DIY Hanging Flower Mobile

This project is especially nice when you have leftover faux flower stems from making other arrangements or wreaths! That way you get a nice variety, but I think an all eucalyptus mobile would be gorgeous, too! I went with these colors to match her nursery, but the possibilities are endless for combinations. Most of these faux flowers come from Hobby Lobby or Joann Fabric.

DIY Hanging Flower Mobile

What to do:

To create a mobile with lots of interest, you’ll want the blooms to fall at different lengths. This also helps you stagger greenery vs. blooms and fit pieces in any empty spaces. Think of it like creating a flower arrangement, you want a nice dispersement of color and texture. It helps to plan it out on the floor first. You can vary the length of the faux floral stem, but also tie the string on the embroidery hoop in different lengths to achieve the look you’re going for.

To me, the trickiest part of making the mobile is having a way to hang it while you tie the blooms on. If you have a small, round side table that works perfectly. If not, you can balance it on a chair or keep holding it up once you tie a flower on to make sure it is hanging nicely.

Be sure to knot the string multiple times onto the bloom as well as onto the hoop. Again, safety is of utmost concern here! 

I took it a step further and hot glued all of my knots to really make sure they wouldn’t come apart. Additionally, I used super glue on the heads of the blooms and leaves where they attach to the stems. Nothing should be loose, but I didn’t want to take any chances. This is a time-consuming part, but important for safety.

DIY Hanging Flower Mobile DIY Hanging Flower Mobile

To hang the mobile, measure how long you need from the ceiling, then cut two pieces of string that are each double that length. Tie each side of the string on opposite sides of the hoop to balance it.

DIY Hanging Flower Mobile

I think Vienna likes it and that just makes me so happy to see!! She is three months now and just so curious about everything. I love seeing her soak everything in! She loves looking at the flowers and trees when we are outside too. A girl after my own heart!

DIY Hanging Flower Mobile DIY Hanging Flower Mobile DIY Hanging Flower Mobile DIY Hanging Flower Mobile

I really loved making this mobile! Let me know if you give it a try! 🙂