Tips for a gallery wall you’ll love

gallery wall littlekokomo.com

It took a little more effort than expected, but our gallery wall is finally complete. I love how it makes the living room feel so much more cozy and colourful, and an extension of ourselves (Josh and I) in a way. Here are 8 pointers I’m sharing from my own experience:
1) Select the right spot: Preferably somewhere well-lit, but not in direct sunlight as the colours in the artwork can fade and the reflection will bounce off the glass. It will have more of an impact if it’s the central focus of a room, so the wall that is most visible when entering the room is usually a good choice.
gallery wall littlekokomo.com2) Choose art or pieces that are meaningful to you: signed autograph, concert tickets, a child’s doodle, inside jokes… pieces that hold happy memories will conjure up good feelings when you look at them. I’m pretty fond of my Mick Jagger autograph from 1979, passed down from Josh’s mom. I also love objects that were collected during our travels, such as the alligator head from New Orleans.  Continue Reading ›

The look: platinum hair

platinum hair bold brows littlekokomo.com

I’ve always been drawn to this look, probably because it’s almost impossible for me to achieve without a) frying off my already-fine hair, and b) looking like Casper (I’m pasty white). But there’s something so California-surfer cool about hair that’s been bleached almost white, paired with a golden tan and some bold brows. I’m particularly fond of dark roots showing, as well. Personally, I think Game of Thrones character Daenerys Targarian (top left) is responsible for bringing on this trend; how can you not be mesmerized by a silver-haired badass dragon queen? But my favorite is Michelle Williams for Louis Vuitton 2014 (bottom left), she is just so damn chic and the tousled bedhead just adds a tiny bit of grunge.

Let’s not forget, some of my best-loved ladies who were doing it long before anyone:
platinumbrows littlekokomo.comWho do you think pulls off the look best?

Top image:
(left to right): Daenerys Targarian from GOT, Kim K, Agyness Deyn. 
next row: Michelle Williams, Emily Weiss, Rita Ora.
Bottom image: Marilyn Monroe, Debbie Harry, Edie Sedgwick

Collage created with Photoshop. All images found on Tumblr and Pinterest

5 Good reads to stretch out your summer

littlekokomo.com summer reads

What are you reading these days? One of my favorite parts about summer is getting caught up in a good book (or two, or three) and allowing myself time to read, preferably outdoors in a park or near a lake. I’m still in denial about fall approaching (46 days to be exact), so I like the idea of extending the feeling of summer and diving into a new book. I usually like to read about relationships or coming-of-age stories, so if we have that in common, here are 5 books you might be interested in: Continue Reading ›

Not just a fashion girl thing: Stan Smith Adidas, illustrated

stan smith adidas illustration by littlekokomo.com

I’m on a huge Adidas kick lately, it’s all I’ve been wanting to draw and paint. Alright so maybe they were the must-have shoes of last summer, depending on how on-top of trends you are. But it looks as though the sneaker movement is here to stay for a while. And even though I’m late in the game, I’m getting on board.

Most fashion trends usually make life uncomfortable and difficult (hey, crop tops! no, I haven’t gotten around to doing those 8000 crunches yet…). But trainers actually make my everyday getting around easier. My closet is full of pairs of shoes that kill my feet, yet are too pretty to give away. I have Band-Aids floating around in all my purses, just in case my shoes actually cause me to draw blood. Needless to say, this was a long time coming.

Hey, if someone is gonna tell me it’s ok to wear sneakers with a long skirt or trousers, and that Kate Moss and Charlotte Gainsbourg are doing it, I’ll gladly follow suit. I win this round, blisters.

P.S.: See more of my illustrations here.

stan smith adidas illustration by littlekokomo.com

Stan Smiths in gold, also very tempting

Stan Smith Adidas illustration

The OG, drawn by yours truly

My favorite print shops on Etsy

little kokomo etsy favesI’ve been working on a gallery wall for the past few weeks, and it ended up being a little harder than it looks. I needed a few pieces to complete it, and turned to Etsy. While I love browsing through different artists’ shops on Etsy, it can sometimes be intimidating. There’s so much to choose from, where does one begin? Here’s a roundup of a few of my favorite shops. Are there any artists on Etsy you love? Please share!
1. Raymond Biesinger
Montreal-based artist Raymond Biesinger creates silkscreened art prints that sometimes have a historical or political context. One of my favorites, which I own, is this map of europe from 1919, which also functions as a RISK boardgame thanks to some cards he includes with the print.
2. Leigh Viner
Colourful and feminine, Leigh Viner’s work captures what I love most about fashion illustration. The soft colours contrasted with strong makeup are often combined with collage and pretty scribbles. The women featured look beautiful with a usual hint of sadness to them, which is what makes the images so captivating to me.
little kokomo etsy picks3. Clare Elsaesser
Clare Elsaesser paints timeless paintings of women and the sea, among other things. Textured brushstrokes capture the movement of the waves and the light that is uniquely found when one is at sea. I had a tough time choosing which one, as they all transported me to my own memories by the ocean.
4. House Grafton
If you’re not a Game of Thrones fan, you probably at least know a few. I purchased this piece from House Grafton, an artist who made his own rendition of the Sigils of the Houses of Westeros. little kokomo etsy faves

5. City Map Art
City Map Art offers prints of different city maps, but the best part is, you can choose between 48 different colours. Definitely makes things easier if you’re looking for that specific shade to match the colour pallet you are working with.
6. Linton Art
I love the natural effortless art that is found in nature. These tree ring stamps offer a geometric quality to any room as well as a reminder that simple beauty surrounds us in all living things. These prints are all original pieces, no copies were made, and the trees are true to size.

Bar Kabinet

When it comes going out, I’m not really a club person (long line-ups, bottle service, painful high heels… enough said). I’ll go to the occasional pub once in a while, but I’m not crazy about the ambiance of sports fans and being surrounded by TV screens. Bar Kabinet is my kinda place.  Last fall, the inviting glow attracted me into this little nook of a bar, and I have been drawn to it ever since. Located in the Plateau/Mile End area of Montreal, it’s easily accessible and makes for the perfect after-dinner drinks spot. Luckily the inside is just as cozy as the exterior promises.
Bar Kabinet Montreal

Bar KabinetBar Kabinet is inspired by Imperial Russia, both in the drinks and the decor. With ambient lighting and framed pictures of Tolstoy and Rasputin, it feels like you’ve discovered a secret time portal, à la Midnight in Paris, except in Moscow. They import foreign liquors such as Cachaça and Fernet to give their drinks a unique twist. I really loved the Casarah drink: a sweet mix of pureed strawberries, lime and mint with distilled sugarcane syrup. I’d also recommend the Filoettovvy (which translates to violet-coloured, since it’s tinted with beet juice) and the Chay Kabinet II (a cocktail with a splash of black tea for flavour). Be sure to check it out if you’re in the Montreal area. Take note that it is the size of a shoebox, so best to keep it to one-on-one dates or small groups.

Casarah on left, Yuri Havana on right

Casarah on left, Yuri Havana on right

Bar Kabinet Montreal

Vintage fringe lamps complete the decor

Website: bardatcha.com/kabinet
Address: 98 Avenue Laurier W, Montreal QC

Illustrated Recipe: Mushroom Paté

I’m extra excited to share my latest illustration, mainly because it’s a recipe by an awesome and inspiring friend of mine. Danielle Levy is a nutritionist based in Montreal who has taught me so much about health and food and how they are related. I went to get a consultation from her a few years ago after having been on antibiotics for about 9 months. My immune system was hit pretty bad, my skin was developing rashes non-stop, my energy was low and I had frequent heartburn. Doctors didn’t seem to listen to my issues at the time, but rather prescribe me more antibiotics which just added to the unhealthy cycle. Danielle helped me turn things around gradually while still maintaining a positive relationship with food. Food is, after all, one of the greatest pleasures in life, right?

I encourage you to check out her nutrition blog here to see her inspirational posts and recipes!

Summer trends I love: Ombré in fashion

littlekokomo.com

While I may speak for many people when I say I am over the ombré trend on hair, I do enjoy seeing it on clothing and accessories. It’s soothing to the eyes, maybe because it reminds me of the gradual fade of a sunset. Paired with neutrals, a touch of ombré can complete a great casual summer outfit.
1. Bonlook La Marquise sunglasses
2. Banana Republic Ombré crossback pullover ON SALE
3. Zara leather shopper bag ON SALE
4. Custom crochet TOMS shoes
5. Paciorky lilac necklace
6. Babaton Tory skirt

See another trend I love here. What looks are you into this summer?

Sweet Potato Nachos

Littlekokomo.com sweet potato nachos

Recently I was craving cheese-covered nachos, but wanted something more substantial and less of a junk-food snack. I remembered this recipe I saw a while back, which uses sweet potato fries rather than corn tortilla chips and decided to try it. The result: healthy AND satisfying! It even works as a side dish or light meal. Here is my lightly modified recipe:

Ingredients:
2 large sweet potatoes
1 large tomato
½ can black beans
1 cup shredded cheese, or more to taste
salt + pepper
dried spices of your choice: garlic, onion, cumin, paprika, etc

optional (but very recommended!):
chopped avocado
hot peppers
salsa
2 limes
cilantro
whatever you have in your fridge/pantry that can work as a topping! ½ cup corn kernels? do itttt

You will need a baking tray and parchment paper.  Continue Reading ›