Mantras lately

made by littlekokomo.com

I’ve been reading some inspirational books recently, and decided to make a few desktop backgrounds with positive messages to keep me motivated. I’m at a turning point in my life and sometimes it’s easy to get discouraged by obstacles or realizing how much work is ahead before I get to where I want to be. I can easily slip into a negative mindset where I think of what my life could have been if things had been different, and that kind of thinking is sooo counter productive. I sometimes need a reminder that says, “hey! stop that!”
This post is dedicated to my friend Christina in Berlin! We’ve been having a lot of long talks about our common need to stay creative, despite whatever setbacks we may have. It’s a good time to surround ourselves with a team of cheerleaders and just plow forward with our passions. So, thanks, lady, and keep at it!
All images made with photoshop and pictures I have taken.
made by littlekokomo.com made by littlekokomo.comAbove quote taken from the book “What color is your parachute?

made by littlekokomo.comNot sure who the original author of this last quote is, but I recently read it in “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert.
Feel free to use these as your own desktop backgrounds if they are helpful to you! If you repost them, please link back to my site. Thanks and Happy Friday! xo.

Getting my hair did: Two Horses

2horses littlekokomo.com

I want to share a unique place in Montreal that always leaves me a happy customer: Two Horses on Jean Talon. A hair salon, tattoo shop and some pop-up vintage clothing all-in-one, my visits are never short of inspiring.
A little background: I only get my haircut a maximum of twice a year. It grows incredibly slowly and I like to stick to a certain length, since the fine and frizzy texture usually requires a bit of weight to keep me from looking like Cameron Diaz in Being John Malkovich. I’ve experimented over the years: undercut/shaved sections, short out-of-bed cut, bowl cut, baby bangs…. These days I like to keep it kinda long and low-maintenance, since it just agrees with my life currently.
My experiences at Two Horses have been relaxingly pleasant, and I think it’s mainly due to the fact that the hairdressers really listen and make sure that we’re on the same page. There’s definitely a system of a good system of trust going on;  I never feel like I’m being boring by asking for a subtle cut. Add to that an incredible décor, good music and sometimes a friendly dog (belonging to one of the owners), and you can guarantee I’m overstaying my welcome.

I took these photos last time I went in. How awesome is this place?
2horses littlekokomo.com2horses littlekokomo.com2horses littlekokomo.comAbove: enviable gallery walls, the most beautiful wallpaper (from Poland!) and a touch of taxidermy on every wall.
Below: waiting space flooded with natural light, some vintage finds, tattoo outlines and framed art for inspo. 
2horses littlekokomo.comIMG_70862horses littlekokomo.com2horses littlekokomo.comVisit their website
Two Horses Salon and Tattoo: 170 Jean-Talon W, suite 306 (upstairs from the Atlas lighting store)
See some of their work on their Facebook Page

Turning your photographs into canvas artwork with 44 Wide

photos turn to canvas print littlekokomo.com

I often get questions about this picture hanging in my living room, which is also my blog header at the moment. It looks a little abstract and mysterious, and It’s actually a photograph I took of a sunrise one morning in my old apartment. It was a cold (-30 celsius) Montreal winter day, and I was up at 6am getting ready for work, somewhat begrudgingly. It was so cold that there was a layer of ice on the windows. I’m not talking about cute little frosty ice, I mean thick sheets of ice that refused to melt for weeks. As I walked past the dining room, I couldn’t help but notice a golden shimmer coming through the window and just had to get my camera to capture it. I took it as an omen to stay positive during the dead of winter.
printing photos onto canvas Littlekokomo.com44 Wide is a Canadian company that creates high quality prints with your photographs, and produces them onto large custom canvases. I cropped the picture I took, rotated it horizontally, and uploaded it directly to their website, custom choosing my frame size, canvas texture and border. The final product, a 30X40 inch canvas, was delivered to my doorstep less than 3 weeks later. I’m pretty happy with the result; it ties the room together and more importantly, I feel like I was involved in the creative process. Rather than getting something generic that you’ll see in a ton of other homes, why not go for something more personal and unique?
printing photos onto canvas Littlekokomo.comprinting photos onto canvas Littlekokomo.comIf you subscribe to their mailing list, they notify you about frequent sales. I happened to take advantage of one that was 40% off!

printing photos onto canvas Littlekokomo.com

Canvas texture up close

All links are non-affiliate and genuine appreciation. For more info on this company, please visit 44 Wide’s website.
PS: for gallery wall ideas, see here.
PPS: take a boring Ikea bookcase to the next level here.

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.