Friday, December 31, 2010

Free Cards & FREE GIFT Friday ~ The Artist's Way

Hello fellow mama artists ~ today, instead of just offering Free Cards for Free Cards Friday, I am also gifting a copy of The Artist's Way book and a hard bound Morning Pages Journal.

If I can help one of my favorite supporters and friends start 2011 with some fresh purpose and inspiration, I am ON IT!

One commenter will get BOTH gifts. NOTE ~ when you comment, let me know WHO this gift will be for and a tiny bit about how you think it might inspire you/them.

Julia Cameron says:
"Most of us have no idea of our real creative height. We are much more gifted than we know. My tools help to nurture those gifts."
The Artist's Way has sold more than two million copies worldwide, and Julia Cameron's followup bestsellers The Vein of Gold, Walking in this World and The Right to Write are likewise flagship books which are taught in universities, churches, human potential centers and even in tiny clusters deep in the jungles of Panama.

above information © and borrowed from Julia Cameron's website.

It's Free Cards Friday! Add your comment to this blog post telling me WHO this gift will be for and a tiny bit of how you think it will inspire you/them (here at the blog or on the Facebook page) throughout the weekend and be in the running to win these two insightful books plus some cards ~ I'll choose the winner on Monday (unless there are less than 5 entries, I may wait til next week).

Wishing you a safe and happy New Years Eve & Day,
Love & Sincerely ~ Katie

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Power of Scent ~ Living Simply in Sweden

In February 2010 I spent 10 days in Sweden (near Stockholm) ~ in a small and simple apartment with my mama. We were a few blocks from my brother’s home with his wife and new baby. My mom and I spent each night and morning in our little studio apartment, with its tiny kitchen sink and hot plate ~ its tiny bathroom, bunk beds and fold-out couch. The front (and only) door opened into the middle of the room and it was decorated sparsely and simply.

I had a backpack, a bottom bunk, a spoon, a bowl, a pan, a towel or two, and my things: a book (the Simple Living Guide by Janet Luhrs), a sketchbook and notebook, my flip video camera (see a Sweden market video), my thermal underwear and a few outfits, my hair scarf, a package of Bob’s Red Mill 10-grain cereal, tea, honey, bags of nuts and my water bottle. Also my Alaffia face wash and lotion, and of course a toothbrush and paste as well as a coat, hat, boots and gloves.

Each morning I woke when the sun said so, into deep peace, and took time to sit and breathe. I cooked my pan of cereal on the hot plate and after eating washed my bowl and spoon. We took turns in the shower and bathroom. My getting-ready routine has always been so minimal that while my mom got ready (and before she woke) I had plenty of time to sit and read at the tiny table, as well as write. At some point we headed out of our warm well-lit studio, up through the snow (2 feet) to see my brother and wife and their tiny boy in an almost equally simple and very peaceful apartment. The air was fresh and cold, the sun was bright, we were so happy.

These ten days were eye-opening to me. I was already striving for a simpler life, however in a home with a husband and two children it is hard to live with minimal possessions and maximum amounts of time to just be. This trip gave me an exceptional opportunity to live the way I have always wanted.

Each evening during the visit to Sweden, I washed my face and applied my lotion ~ Alaffia Skin Renewal ~ it seemed so everyday to me at the time. Upon my return, I ran out of that lotion and decided to try an alternative type within the Alaffia label.

Last week, I purchased the initial lotion again and was so surprised upon my first use of it after my shower. As the scent (which is a bit strange, but pleasant) reached my nose, I was instantly transported back to our simple little apartment in Sweden. It was amazing ~ the power of a scent. It brought back detailed images and memories ~ standing in the tiny bathroom, sitting at the little table reading, sitting in silence, walking through deep snow. The happiness and peace of those days easily came back to me ~ I loved it.

I look back very fondly on this trip ~ and look very forward to the time within the next year or two, when I can take my little family of four to experience that same beauty and peace. It may take some time to get there again, but in all seriousness, each night when I get ready for bed, I receive a remembrance gift of peace and simplicity in the simple use of that lotion.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Joy & Peace ~ video process part 2 ~ Free Cards Winner

The Free Cards Winner for last week is Amy! Let's do it again this Friday.

Have a great week everyone ~ it's back to painting for me,

Love & Sincerely, Katie

Friday, December 10, 2010

Time, Intimacy, Simple Living ~ Free Cards Friday

I place here, for you to ponder, a paragraph from a book that has become a life manual for me over the last year. A most-wonderful book that has been opening my mind page by page (I just started at the beginning again this week) in regard to... Everything that is important to me.

Every time I read this particular paragraph I am stunned by its accuracy, its obviousness, yet the clear truth that so many just don’t understand it. I am not saying that I have things figured out ~ but I am saying that this paragraph (just one inspirational paragraph in a book riddled with inspiration and insight) seems, to me, capable of unraveling so many inter- and intrapersonal issues that we may face.
Read This:

Our Intimacy Famine. From The Simple Living Guide by Janet Luhrs

“Our time famine is really an intimacy famine. It is much easier to stay busy and frantic than it is to love and know ourselves and others deeply. We’re busy because we want to be busy. Staying busy appears to give our lives meaning (just look at all of the things I have accomplished and all of the things I do in my life!), and staying busy is safe. We don’t need to really get in and look at our lives when we’re rushing from one thing to the next.”

“A speeded-up life not only robs us of time to connect with others, but it also makes us impatient and angry. We don’t have time to listen to our partner’s point of view. We don’t have time to wait for a bank teller who is just learning. We don’t have time for our children. We don’t have time for ourselves. When we’re overscheduled, we become selfish, because our whole day is spent trying to catch up and our night is spent trying to recuperate...”
Now, Seriously ~ Read It Again.

And a final thought about Simple Living ~ Simple Living is not about living in a white-walled house with few items and trying not to spend money ~ Simple Living is about making choices about how we spend our time and our money, how we spend our days and being conscious of the moments as they happen. Simply choosing fewer/more intimate interactions, versus more/less intimate interactions. Simply not getting caught up in buying~doing~going~having~impressing.

I want to do simple intimate activities with my children this season ~ and as soon as school gets out (after next week) I am itching to go pick up my grandma at her house and do something special with her and my boys. Time spent talking and listening with my two grandmothers (my boys and I are so blessed that they have two great-grandmothers) in a slow and intimate, rambling way is one of my favorite things.

What do you like to do with your loved ones this season (and/or all year long) that nourishes your connections and feeds your soul?

It's Free Cards Friday! Add your comment to this blog post (here at the blog or on the Facebook page) throughout the weekend and be in the running to win some cards ~ I'll choose the winner on Monday.

Love & Sincerely ~ Katie

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Joy & Peace ~ Painting Process ~part one~

More coming soon as I work further on this painting. In the meantime, it is back to romancing the commissioned paintings!

Have a great night,

Love & Sincerely, Katie

One Year Ago While Painting Motherhood ~ Free Cards Winner

Feeling Adequate As a mother and business owner, I find the demands can be overwhelming and often wonder just how much I am “supposed” to accomplish in one day – in order to make myself feel that I’ve done enough. read more

Interior Landscapes Today as I was clearing out the Christmas clutter and chaos, I was reminded of another direction my work has travelled - a second direction that inspires me and lights me up in a new way - and as I vacuumed up the last tree needle I decided to show you these pieces. read more

Stay tuned for Part One of the Painting Process for a brand new painting ~ Joy & Peace (hopefully) coming tomorrow!

The Free Cards Winner for last week is Rose!

Love & Sincerely ~ Katie

Friday, December 3, 2010

Crafty Mamas Holiday Bazaar at Milagros Boutique in Portland, OR ~ Free Cards Friday

I am honored to be a part of this upcoming event in Portland, OR ~ I hope to see you there!

The Crafty Mamas Holiday Bazaar
is Saturday, December 4 from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Milagros!

The Crafty Mamas Holiday Bazaar will feature a wide variety of locally made goods by a craft vendors! Clothes, jewelry, toys and more. There will also complimentary refreshments, art activities for the kids and more.

Admission to the event is free and families are very welcome!

In addition to being a fun community event, the Holiday Bazaar is a fundraiser for Mercy Corps. Mercy Corps works to alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression throughout the world by helping people build secure, productive and just communities. Milagros and all the vendors at the Holiday Bazaar will be donating 10 percent of their sales to support Mercy Corps.

It's Free Cards Friday! Add your comment to this blog post (here at the blog or on the Facebook page) throughout the weekend and be in the running to win some cards ~ I'll choose the winner on Monday.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Giving Back To The Mamas ~ 15% Off Shop-Wide Today Only

Only through 11pm PST in The Online Shop!
(with coupon code 15MAMA)

Let me know if you have any questions ~ Love & Sincerely, Katie

Monday, November 22, 2010

Holiday Gift Packs Disappear after December 5 ~ Free Cards Winner

Holiday Gift Packs are available

the Online Shop
in 3 sizes: $39, $59, $89
guaranteed to cross at least 2 people off your list, if you plan to give simply and love lavishly :)

I went Christmas shopping yesterday ~ and though I loved the time spent with my mother and sister, I just can't seem to relate to the buy-buy-buy that I see happening all around me (and it is bound to get worse as the holidays approach).

Myself, I'm trying to do much of my shopping from sources featuring handmade items, and local, too. But most importantly, I am not doing much shopping. I plan to give simply and share time and love more than items.

This season gets me thinking of how I can buy less & buy smarter. Thinking quality over quantity ~ I remember the value of giving one or two small thoughtful gifts vs. big gifts that strive to impress (do expensive gifts really show our love? I think not.)

It's even better when those thoughtful gifts serve a purpose, or fill a need.
read what people are saying in regard to the
KmBerggren prints & paintings they have in their homes.

Holiday Gift Pack – 12x12 (shown above)
•3 Archival 12x12 prints of your choice
•1 Glass Charm
•2 5x7 Cards
$89 ~ a $108.50 value!
now available in the Online Shop

Holiday Gift Pack – 8x10 (shown above)
•3 Archival 8x10 prints of your choice
•1 Glass Charm
•2 5x7 Cards
$59 ~ a $72.50 value!
now available in the Online Shop

Holiday Gift Pack – Mini (shown above)
•1 Archival 12x12 prints of your choice
•1 Glass Charm
•2 5x7 Cards
$39 ~ a $50.50 value!
now available in the Online Shop

One of my main reasons for offering the above packages is their ability to provide multiple gifts in one fell swoop. And at a lower price than buying items from the Shop separately.

Don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions. I will certainly try to accommodate special requests if I can.

The whole buy-buy-buy mentality drives me nutty. Does this go against being an artist who creates from-the-heart artwork to share?
It doesn't.
I support, and my business supports, heart-initiated purchases. Especially handmade, especially local, and especially from someone you know, like and trust.

The Free Cards Winner for last week is: Amber! Thank you all.

Let's do it again this friday!

Wishing you a day full of Possibilities
~Love & Sincerely, Katie

Painting Motherhood, Please share this link with your motherhood-loving friends.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

a quick inspiration from Jurgen Wolff

borrowed from Jurgen Wolff's newsletter:

"Do you have a list of what you hope to achieve? One format that is a good model is what Kevin Roberts (Saatchi &Saatchi) calls his 100 Day Plans. These consist of ten items, each starting with a verb and containing no more than three words. Some examples: Reach 15% bodyfat; Organize office systems; Finish writing novel. They give you big targets you can then break down into smaller steps.

ACTION: To start with, why not come up with at least one "45 Day Plan"--something you want to achieve by the end of the year. What is one achievement that would make you feel good about ending 2010? Generate your three-word goal, then chunk it down into what you need to do each week. At the start of the new year, switch to one or more 100 Day Plans and keep the momentum going."

borrowed from:

image: Go Where I Go

Jurgen Wolff
is a writer and creativity and writing coach who divides his time between London and Southern California. He has taught at the University of Southern California, the Academy for Chief Executives, the University of Barcelona, the Pilots Project, and workshops around the world.

He has written nine books including “Creativity Now!” (Pearson, Oct. 09), “Marketing for Entrepreneurs” (Pearson 2009), “Focus: the power of targeted thinking” (Pearson 2008 – 2nd revised edition, April 2010), “Your Writing Coach” (Nicholas Brealey 2007)*, “Do Something Different” (Virgin – foreword by Sir Richard Branson – 2005).

He is a NeuroLinguistic Programming practitioner, a certified hypnotherapist, and has studied improvisation with The Groundlings in Los Angeles and Keith Johnstone in London.

His most recent program is “The Breakthrough Strategy,” a 60-day program for writers who want to set and achieve their writing goals with support from Jurgen and a group of fellow writers. It’s in it’s third session at the moment.

Have a great Thursday, Love & Sincerely, Katie

Monday, November 15, 2010

Mamababy Boutique, Portland Oregon ~ Free Cards Winner

I am proud to now feature my Motherhood Art Cards at
Mamababy Boutique in Portland, Oregon.

~Clothing and Accessories for Children & the Transitions of Motherhood~

Mamababy Boutique helps you feel confident and fashionable through the transitions of motherhood. Offering maternity, nursing and children's clothing and accessories. You'll find everything from nursing lingerie and supplies, to skin care products, baby carriers, diaper bags and more. They carry safe products with a great selection of organics and bamboo!

Tara, the owner of Mamababy Boutique is also a talented photographer ~ Tara Chatterton Photography Studio operates within Mamababy Boutique and Tara promotes her Portrait Events through the Mamababy mailing list.

portrait ©Tara Chatterton Photography Studio

The Free Cards Winner for last week is Kara! Thank you Kara, and thank you to all who played along. Let's do it again this Friday!

Have a great week!

Love & Sincerely ~ Katie

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

One Year Ago While Painting Motherhood

Conscious Parenting From the time my first little boy was born, I have had ONE big burning parenting question. One question above all over questions. Throughout his young life I learned a bunch about parenting styles, health and such - but this ONE big burning question remained read more

The Forty Minis Collection Begins This is the sister collection to the 85 8x8s for $85 Collection that ran from the first Thursday in February through the last Thursday in October, 2008. See The Forty Minis Collection in its entirety, there are still a few available!

Lost Together, currently available in the online shop

Have a great day~
Love & Sincerely, Katie

Friday, October 29, 2010

Free Cards Friday ~ Melissa's Analysis of Picasso & KmBerggren

Katie m. Berggren & Pablo Picasso

An Art Appreciation Analysis by Melissa Larey, Jacksonville Florida
©October 22, 2010 (reprinted with permission)

How does one define art? I do not think there is a universally accepted definition of art. Art, to me, means beauty, awkwardness, uniqueness and impulsiveness. It is any interpretation that is being represented to the person viewing the art. There are many different styles of art and many different mediums that are used. A lot of times, the meaning of art can come from the era in which the art is produced. In this research paper, I have found two pieces of art that were created in two different eras. These pieces are exactly 105 years apart from each other. I will define the differences in communication between the two pieces of artwork as well as the elements and principles of design that are being used.

The first piece is a painting called Finding Words and was painted by Katie Berggren in September 2010. This piece was found online at Katie m. Berggren's website and is currently located in Washington.

The artist, Katie Berggren, says “Capturing and releasing are the two reasons I paint – to capture a fleeting moment or to release an emotion.” My initial analysis of this painting seemed to depict a mother’s sense of holding on and nurturing her child from the outside world. The child is looking away in wonderment of what is out there. It is the “typical” depiction of a typical mother wanting to keep her child safe and a child wanting nothing more than to let go. The essence of capturing and releasing as Katie describes is very apparent in this painting.

Finding Words, ©KmBerggren

Elements of Design: The first element of design that I noticed in Finding Words are the complementary colors that are being used. The bright colors are instantly noticeable. The blue shirt of the mother and the orange shirt of the child are direct opposites from each other on the color wheel. By using them right next to each other the colors appear brighter and more intense. These colors also suggest warmth which leads us to feel the closeness of the mother and her child. By using these warm colors, the objects were brought to the front of the painting while the cooler colors of the space and the moon seem to be kept in the distance.

The second element I noticed was space. The left side of the painting is full of objects while the right side is empty. The entire right side is negative space and the left side is positive space. While the space on the right is negative, it perhaps has the greatest meaning in this painting. It represents vastness, wonderment, infinity, pretty much everything and anything out there in this world.

The third element I saw was the use of curved lines. The lines used give the representation of comfort, closeness, safety and relaxation. The way the mother’s hair is curved around her child gives off the meaning of security and closeness as if she wants to become one with the child. The single strand of curvy hair can suggest us to look at the negative space. This could be the main focal point of the painting. This curved strand of hair could also imply the division between the outer world and her child.

Principles of Design: In Finding Words I noticed several principles of design were being used; Contrast, emphasis and asymmetrical balance. In this painting I was able to clearly identify the strong use of contrast. One side of the painting has very vibrant colors while the other side is using only the color black. The loud use of the colors lets us see the lighter side of the painting as more important than the darker side of the painting. The largeness of the mother and child figures matches the size of the space so that it balances the painting out.

I also noticed the emphasis that was used in the child’s eyes to draw us to what the child is looking at. By opening the child’s eyes and turning his head, we can now understand the feeling of longing to know what else exists in their world besides the mother. A simple focal point like this is what brings the meaning of this painting together in words. This painting reminds me of a saying, “Seeing through the eyes of the beholder”. We have to imagine the world through the child’s eyes not our own.

The last principle of design that caught my attention is the use of the asymmetrical balance. Both the left and the right side of this painting are equally balanced out based on the size of space and the size of the mother and child. While both sides are completely different in terms of content, they balance each other out based on size.

The second piece I have chosen is called Tumblers Mother and Son and was painted by Pablo Picasso in 1905. The painting is done on a canvas, 35 ½ x 28 in., and is currently located in Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart. Pablo Picasso went through many periods during his painting years including the Rose Period.

Tumblers Mother & Son, ©Pablo Picasso

The Rose Period began around 1904 when Picasso’s painting became brighter and were dominated by pinks, light blues, roses and beiges. My initial analysis of Mother and Son depicted a mother and son’s sadness. They both are looking away from each other, not in wonderment, but in either anger or being displeased with one another. They are sitting so close, but seem extremely distant from each other.

Elements of Design: In Mother and Son, the first element I saw was the color that was used. Because Picasso painted this during his Rose Period, you notice the warm pink and beige colors as well as the light blue color of the son’s costume. By using the blue next to the pink colors, the focus draws your attention to the son. The blue color stands out in intensity amongst the rose, pink and beige shades. By using the warmer shades on the color wheel such as pink and beige, while using a cooler color of blue, the contrast in the painting is noted. You begin to feel a warmness and softness feeling and as your eyes are directed to the blue costume you feel sadness and despair.

The second element that caught my attention is the use of lines. The curved use of lines on the mother’s hair and wrap seems to lead you to her face where you can see the despair and sadness. The use of straight lines on the collar of the son’s costume, lead you to his face where there is also a look of sadness. The lines on the collar also pull away from his face and onto his folded arms which represents anger and a feeling of being closed off.

The third element I focused on is the implied depth that is being used. The closeness of the table which has been painted as a three dimensional piece making the table seem closer than the mother and son. By making the table closer than the mother and son, I wonder if Picasso wanted someone to notate the small amount of food on the table. Is poverty the issue between the mother and the son? This painting was done in a time where poverty was at its most high so I can only wonder if this was the reason for the sadness and despair in the painting.

The last element I noticed was the value contrast. By using a darker color for the food against the white plate implies the little amount of food that is left on the plate. I also noticed the paleness of the mother and son’s faces against the warm colors in the painting. This to me only exaggerates the despair we already noticed in the painting. The pale faces scream fragileness and delicacy.

Principles of Design: As discussed in the elements section on color, the contrast shown in this painting is very noticeable between the light blue shade versus the warm pinks and beige shades. By using only one cool color in this painting, the attention is drawn more to the son than any other portion of this painting. The roughness of the table against the soft curved lines of the mother’s wrap stand out to create variety.

Another principle of design I will analyze is the asymmetrical balance of the warm and cool colors that are being used. The brighter pink color of the rose in the mother’s hair balances out the blue costume that the son is wearing. The paleness of the faces seems to be balanced out by the rosier color of the son’s legs. The straight and diagonal lines used for the table and mother are balanced out by the diagonal lines used on the bottom right portion where the son’s legs are.

The last principle of design I noticed was the unity. The placement of the mother’s head with the son’s head, indirectly leads us to think they are connected in someway. They are perfectly diagonal from one another representing closeness. Even though they are looking away from one another, they are still connected in this painting by the use of the different lines being used. The diagonal, straight and curved lines pull the entire painting together as a whole. By surrounding the entire painting in the warm beige and pink colors also unifies this piece of art.

In closing, I chose both of these painting because they represented very different points of views from the way a mother and child act towards each other as well as the use of the elements and principles of design. While one artist captured the beauty of a mother and her child the other captured the beauty of poverty and despair. Even though Picasso’s subjects were saddened the use of the colors portrayed a solemn feel. Berggren’s vibrant painting represents a bolder outlook on life while capturing embracement and compassion.

It is amazing how these two pieces of art have spoken to me in so many different ways. As I sit here looking at both of them I can not help but to think how I would portray them next time I looked at them in, say, 50 years.

Thank you Melissa!

It's Free Cards Friday! Add your comment to this blog post (here at the blog or on the Facebook page) throughout the weekend and be in the running to win some cards ~ I'll choose the winner on Monday.

Have a great weekend,
Love & Sincerely, Katie

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thoughtful Gifts to Serve A Purpose

This season fills my mind with thoughts of how I can buy less & buy smarter. Thinking quality over quantity ~ I remember the value of giving one or two small thoughtful gifts vs. gifts that strive to impress (do expensive gifts really show our love? I think not.)

It's even better when those thoughtful gifts serve a purpose, or fill a need.I've paired my personal philosophy with my art to offer easy ways to achieve several thoughtful gifts in one package (and save $).

And these thoughtful gifts DO serve a purpose ~ if you need proof
read what people are saying in regard to theKmBerggren prints & paintings
they have in their homes.

and here are some more.

Holiday Gift Packs
are now available in the Online Shop in 3 sizes: $39, $59, $89

(guaranteed to cross at least 2 people off your list, but available only through December 5, or while supplies last)

Holiday Gift Pack – 12x12 (shown above)
•3 Archival 12x12 prints of your choice
•1 Glass Charm
•2 5x7 Cards
$89 ~ a $108.50 value!
now available in the Online Shop

Holiday Gift Pack – 8x10

•3 Archival 8x10 prints of your choice
•1 Glass Charm
•2 5x7 Cards
$59 ~ a $72.50 value!
now available in the Online Shop

Holiday Gift Pack – Mini (shown above)
•1 Archival 12x12 prints of your choice
•1 Glass Charm
•2 5x7 Cards
$39 ~ a $50.50 value!
now available in the Online Shop

When I'm asked to buy with motivation of guilt and claims of products improving lives, I rebel and run. The whole sell-sell process drives me batty. Does this go against being an artist who creates from-the-heart artwork to share?
It doesn't.
I support, and my business accepts, heart-initiated purchases. Especially handmade, especially local, and especially from someone you know, like and trust.

Wishing you a day full of Possibilities
~Love & Sincerely, Katie

Painting Motherhood, Please share this link with your motherhood-loving friends.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Gingerbread ~ Holiday Cards ~ Free Cards Friday

Finally! A good Gingerbread recipe :)

I have had terrible luck in past years with gingerbread - but this one, YUM! Especially when I substituted syrup for the molasses - they were so good I could hardly stand it :) My boys loved baking these.

this recipe courtesy of my littlest's pre-school. I made them a cookie sheet-sized man for snack a couple weeks ago - and what do you know, after they decorated him and put him in the oven, he escaped and they searched all over the school for him! They found him in their classroom, and munched him.

3 C flour (I used whole wheat)
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 C butter, room temperature
1/2 C white sugar
1 large egg

2/3 C unsulphured molasses (on the second go-round I used maple syrup, and that was my favorite!)

Whisk flour, salt, soda and spices. Set aside. Cream butter and sugar til light and fluffy. Add egg and molasses and beat til well combined. Gradually add flour mixture til incorporated. Refrigerate for 2+ hours.

Preheat oven to 350 F, roll dough to 1/4 inch thickness and cut to shapes. Bake 8-12 (more, in my experience). Done when firm and edges start to brown.

"Cooking is like love.
It should be entered into
with abandon
or not at all."

~Harriet Van Horne

(wanna hear something crazy? I searched online for quotes about baking with children and very quickly landed on a page with quotes about cooking children, hmmm)

Holiday Cards are now available!

3 styles of Holiday Cards are now available ~
head on over to the online shop to grab some! (while supplies last, of course)

It's Free Cards Friday! Add your comment to THIS blog post (here at the blog or on the Facebook page) throughout the weekend and be in the running to win some cards ~ I'll choose the winner on Monday.

Have a great weekend,
Love & Sincerely, Katie

Monday, October 18, 2010

Sun Beam & Angie's kind words ~ Free Cards Winner

Sun Beam ©2009. Katie m. Berggren
Acrylic on Canvas, 20x16"

"Thank you Katie! I LOVE the feelings that stir up inside me when I see Sun Beam. My little one is 13 months now and growing so fast. Your work will help to capture our mama and baby moments. Sun Beam looks just like my son and I too. I just love it! I have a perfect place for it! Knowing the painting came from another passionate mama also means a lot to me. I love filling my home with art that connects me with others. Thank you for sharing your passion!"
~Angie, Colorado~ (thank you Angie!)

12x12, 13x19 and 8x10 Archival Prints of Sun Beam are available in the Online Shop

The Free Cards Winner for last week is Lu! Thank you for playing!

Have a great week,

Love & Sincerely, Katie

Monday, October 11, 2010

Holiday Gift Packs Coming Soon ~ Free Cards Winner

Holiday Gift Packs Coming Soon!

Beginning Thursday, October 14, these packs will be available in the Online Shop.
Let me know if you have any questions.
Available Only While Supplies Last or Through December 5!

Holiday Gift Pack – 8x10
•3 Archival 8x10 prints of your choice
•1 Glass Charm (design specified in each shop listing)
•2 5x7 Cards (give one and keep one!)
$59 ~ a $72.50 value!

Holiday Gift Pack – 12x12
•3 Archival 12x12 prints of your choice
•1 Glass Charm (design specified in each shop listing)
•2 5x7 Cards (give one and keep one!)
$89 ~ a $108.50 value!

Holiday Gift Pack - Mini
•1 Archival 12x12 print of your choice
•1 Glass Charm (design specified in each shop listing)
•2 5x7 Cards (give one and keep one!)
$39 ~ a $50.50 value!

The free cards winner for last week is Michele ~ thank you for playing!

Have a great week,
Love & Sincerely, Katie

Friday, October 8, 2010

Free Cards Friday ~ Prioritizing ~ Featured Available 10x10 Painting

Sometimes, I think, we feel as though we are floating-slash-drowning in to-dos. Never quite knowing where to start (as far as business), and never quite knowing which item to do first. Which often leads to time spent on things that really could wait.

Tonite, on a whim, I did a search for the Priority Chart that shows Urgent/Unimportant/Somewhat Important/Important. I remember learning about this when I was the assistant for an amazing top-producing realtor.

I found it on the first search - here it is in a very basic form, I know there are some much more detailed ones out there. This worked for me.

I've decided to try a new way of organizing my to-dos. Versus categorizing them by business/research/contacts/personal/etc etc, I am categorizing them using the chart above. Using one brightly colored sticky note on each quadrant.

I've written before about my urge to do EVERYTHING on my list RIGHT NOW! So, here goes. I'll let you know how it works.

Tonite I transfered my previous weekly to-do chart over to this new version ~ and in the process let some things go that didn't really need to be done at all.

What do you do to keep it all together?

Featured Available 10x10 Painting: Giving Life ~
(grab it here while it lasts)

YAY! It's Free Cards Friday! Add your comment to THIS blog post (
here at the blog or on the Facebook page) throughout the weekend and be in the running to win some cards ~ I'll choose the winner on Monday.

Have a great weekend!
Love & Sincerely ~ Katie

Monday, October 4, 2010

2 New Videos ~ Amy's Lovely Words ~ Free Cards Winner

A smattering for you today!

Finishing Up Three Souls

Process of Undiluted ~ Part 1

Amy's Lovely Words

"Katie -- We received the painting today (Beyond Expectations, above) and words cannot describe what I felt when I opened the box. I have just been blown away this entire time by this painting, but it is even more impressive in person! You captured our relationship and my feelings perfectly. Our nursing relationship is "beyond expectations" and so is this painting! It is exactly what I was hoping for when I commissioned the painting. Thank you so so much!! You are a truly talented artist and a joy to work with!"
Amy in Texas

The Free Cards Winner
for last week is Toni, thank you all for playing!

Have a GREAT week!

Love & Sincerely, Katie

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Things To Love ~ besides the little ones & the hubby

Recently, I'm being kind to myself. Really. Maybe I should have been doing these things all along.

1) I'm reading. Even if it is just a few minutes a day ~ I'm doing it. I have two busy boys, a lot of laundry, a compulsive impulse to have a tidy and germ-free house, a full-time (pretty much) home business which includes a lot of painting and such, and the tactics of a saboteur (sabotaging myself in relation to goals and sleep). But when I realized that I had put away this inch-and-a-half book in less than 2 weeks I was inspired.

Broken For You, by Stephanie Kallos ~ really good. And clearly I have time to read, right?

Tonite I started: Life's Work, Confessions of an Unbalanced Mom, by Lisa Belkin

2) I'm browsing for art I like. I always said that when I had a house I loved, I wanted to decorate it with art that I loved, and art from my artist friends. I'm doing so (because I finally love my house).

Barbara Paanakker's Elephant Exhibit hangs proudly in my hallway ~ the morning light graces it and reveals the beautiful textures.

I await this beautiful print (left) from artist Susana Tavares which I will proudly hang. Susana lives in Portugal. ©

3) I'm taking time to watch a bit of television. Hulu, to be precise. My actual television treats me to MarioKart with my little ones, but that is all, besides the occasional movie on the couch with the hubby. We like Hulu; no commercials, pick and choose ;) Parenthood, The Office & Modern Family are the ones I like.

4) I'm cooking healthful meals. Get that: I'm Cooking! Yes! When you eat healthy you have energy ~ and said energy can then be recycled into cooking more healthy meals! It seems so simple. But it certainly is not. We do our best. I love smoothies packed with spinach, apples, lots of bananas, orange juice, vitamin c, frozen blueberries and strawberries and I just started adding Goldenseal to help us stay healthy during flu season.

5) I'm buying more unhealthy (but not too unhealthy) treats, too. Freddies Nutrition Center ~ thank you for offering snacks that allow me to be a bit bad, but still good.

6) I'm talking to people I love. Not all of them, just yet, but as many as I can. Skype and the telephone ~ don't forget the value of a smile and the time to listen ~ they remind our loved ones that we care about them. When it comes to those I love, I think about a quote I read years ago (something like) "the tears cried at a grave are tears of regret"... I don't want those tears. Other kinds, yes, but not the regret ones.

7) I'm talking to people I don't know. Lots of them. It is so very fun. I give my smile, kindness and greeting to so many strangers now (that is a tricky subject with my little ones, so I best not get into it with them since I have been promoting Stranger Danger since they were tiny). Well, except that guy on the phone at my hosting company the other day ~ he didn't get my kindness, he got my grumpy attitude and my urge to stand up for myself and not take any crap from anyone. I really should have apologized before we hung up, but I forgot. Sorry man, I know it wasn't your fault.

8) I'm taking breaks from email and computer ~ realize that we sometimes get locked in to feeling our worth based on how many emails/etsy sales/facebook posts & friend requests we get? I'm not turning the computer on in the a.m. until my big boy is at school and my little one and I have had our walk together, it is working for me (of course there are exceptions to this!). Need me before 10:30am? Call me. And, if you are wondering, I am using the wonderful invention of scheduled-publishing, so blog posts can appear in the a.m. while I'm off galavanting.

9) I'm cutting myself slack - in cleaning and work. I'm going to bed with toys on the floor and unfolded laundry (even the wet stuff). I don't stress as much about baths and spots on the floor.

So, this is a start. Life is short. I recently read somewhere, someone said (something like) "when I think about the fact that I will someday be dead, it helps me to..." fill in the blank. Prioritize? Cut some junk from the to-do list? Stress the small stuff a little bit less? Whatever works for you.

So, now, clearly I'm sabotaging, because it is far too late for a mama of 2 early-risers to be tapping away.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend! Do something nice for yourself, maybe?

Love & Sincerely, Katie

Monday, September 27, 2010

Justice Center Sidewalk Gallery ~ Free Cards Winner

Thank you to the Love Art! Gallery in Portland Oregon for creating this lovely display within the Justice Center Sidewalk Gallery in downtown Portland ~ artwork on display is from artists represented by Love Art! Gallery.

I am honored that Hand Me Down is featured here, and the entire display looks tremendous. Enjoy!

There is Hand Me Down :)

There she is again :)

The Free Cards Winner for last week is Kathleen L.! Thank you all for playing.
Have a great week!
Love & Sincerely, Katie

Monday, September 20, 2010

What's For Dinner? ~ Free Cards Winner

Now that I have one area of my home in order and under control, with the Great Studio Re-Do, It’s time to work on the next area.

Can we have a conversation about food? Ingredients, inspiration but most importantly: Dinners?

I visualize an epiphany for myself, an answer (or seven) to this difficult daily-recurring moment in my life. The moment when I realize it will soon be dinnertime. I have a huge urge to feed my family well and simply, whole and deliciously. I have a huge urge to feel like I have this part of my life figured out.

I affirm that someday the dinner preparation part of the day will be a joy, a time to connect as the kids help, a time to listen to music and drink tea, to put love and energy into the food I am preparing for the people I love. I affirm and visualize these things, but I’m not there yet!

Currently: I start to sweat and fret at about 4pm each night. I have tried to plan a weekly menu (it has been awhile so it is probably time to give it another whirl) but I have such a tendency to rebel against things like that. Thus, I really dislike this time of the day.

I am contemplating different versions and formats of the weekly menu – like possibly mounting my favorite 10-20 dinner ideas on boards and storing them in a little box in the kitchen, so I can quickly flip through and pick one...

I am a thorough Out-Of-Sight-Out-Of-Mind kind of person. Pair that with my tendency (my undying URGE) to have everything put away, and that makes for a lot of things out of mind, forgotten. At least until 4pm.

I visualize an inspirational Meal-Planning Area on my kitchen counter (it is already beginning to take shape). It is where the fresh peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers and zucchinis have naturally gathered after their receipt from the CSA (Osprey Organic Farm). It is where the recipes and cookbooks will someday sit, staying out, and staying in mind.

It’s funny, I pretend sometimes that I don’t have time to cook because the boys need me and the studio needs me and the laundry and garbage and dishes need me, however, the most important part of that is the boys. And to be honest, my children love to have me in the kitchen, working away. They know I’m available; they play together and run beneath my feet with their toys and homemade things. Or they help prepare. They rarely ask me to do things for them and understand that mama is busy creating dinner. This is a great lesson for them! This is a great way that I can show them the importance of a healthy meal that takes at least a bit of time to make.

And true, part of what keeps me striving for the above reality is the memories of my mom serving good meals at the table. We did TV dinners too, sometimes, which reminds me to cut myself some slack.

I have memories of my own mom happy in the kitchen – creating meals for her (I’m sure) gratitude-lacking family. I don’t remember ever thanking my mom for a meal – but now I expect that my children should thank me. Why not? So, I am contemplating a dinner discussion on gratitude – but what will we be eating that night? Will it even be something that I can feel grateful for?

I strongly value this quote by Hippocrates:
"Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food"

I am thinking the first ingredient of an evening meal should be sunshine (as I pull open the kitchen blinds) and the final ingredient: gratitude.

I’m affirming that I will get it all under control. I visualize a sunny kitchen where I can produce vibrant meals for a nourished family. I visualize my upcoming inspiration from eyeing brightly colored cookbooks with simple, natural (short) ingredient lists and very do-able task lists. I visualize my family feeling grateful for my efforts, and myself feeling thankful for my healthy family.

I will have this figured out someday – just as I figured out the studio. I know there area lot of moms who do have the dinner hour figured out, and I welcome welcome welcome the feedback, ideas, recipes, weblinks, discontent, questions, frustrations, solutions and friendship of anyone generously taking time out of their day to read this.

I will be honored for this to be a place (and on the Facebook page, too) where we can connect and share ideas.

The Free Cards Winner for last week is: Valerie – thank you ALL for playing along! Let’s do it again next week :)

Above Image: Washing Apples, collection of the artist, prints available upon request.

Have a wonderful day! And thank you!
Love & Sincerely, Katie

Sunday, September 19, 2010

YUM! Trader Joes Harvest Grains Blend

I highly recommend! I constantly struggle with what to make for my family for dinner; something healthy, vegetarian and simple, natural and whole...

Trader Joes isn't paying me, but I LOVED this tonite ~ and all three boys in my family ate it up, too. I cooked it with some veggie bouillon and when it was complete dropped some organic frozen corn in. YUM!

Enjoy! And feel free to share your ideas at accomplishing a healthy, vegetarian, natural, whole, simple meal :)

You still have a chance to win cards by Commenting On Friday's Blog Post for Free Cards Friday!

Love & Sincerely, Katie

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Great Studio Re-Do ~ Before & After... Phew!

BEFORE PHOTOS are first :)

I realize that over the past year I have been so busy working and painting, that I have neglected the aesthetic quality of my studio. Deep inside I ached for new furnishings and a new look, but never seemed to want to put the money down (for fear of making a mistake ~ I'm not a big shopper, nor an interior designer). I shopped at IKEA and browsed online, but could never find the perfect set-up.

When I would walk into my studio, I would feel an overwhelming overwhelm (!) and would just go straight to the painting area ignoring all else. The packaging and shipping process was fairly smooth, but I knew it could be smoother.

The children's area drove me completely crazy ~ and this photo (above was taken half-way through the re-do process, in August 2010) previously the boys had a three-drawer plastic bin holding their Might Come In Handy supplies, and it was transparent (get the picture? MESS). I could hardly stand it. The basket under the kids craft table is now our Might Come In Handy box.

I needed some more shelves for products, in order to keep prints and cards protected from children and dust. I was vacuuming my studio at least once, if not twice a day (and may still) to keep it as clean as possible. The studio is the place where prints are printed, orders are packaged and gratitude and love is shipped off.

In the past month I have purchased another high-end printer in order to create larger archival prints, and also (with the prodding of a good friend, and the urge to "de-post office" my boys) became fully capable of shipping at home.

THREE CHEERS! This is a wonderful development.

These new additions to my business called out for a completion of the studio.

I knew the studio needed help, but couldn't make the time. SO, over the past week, and with a giant push this last weekend, I neglected all of my paintings and my clients (sorry, it had to be done) and put the studio right. Right where it needed to be. I desired my studio to feel as successful as I felt (to put it honestly).


I like to call this The Great Studio Re-Do, and I did it all for well under 100 bucks.

I refinished my desk (above) ~ I considered purchasing a new one, but relish the idea that my stepfather built this one for me 19 years ago.

(now you see the packaging and shipping department :)

This project involved stripping and painting a lovely new (old) drop-leaf tea table I purchased at a second-hand store (see above), and sanding and re-staining the kids' craft table top (see below). Sanding off a year's worth of dried paint blobs really reminded me of my shoulder muscles!

Of course, the painting area is still a mess, but that is required for creativity! At least it is an organized mess.

I share these images because I know a lot of folks are like me :) we love to see before and afters ~ and I LOVE to see progress. So, enjoy and don't mind my embarrassment, as I know the "before" photos are a bit lacking in creativity :) Thank you for sharing in my accomplishment.

Love & Sincerely ~ Katie