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VKD Fashion shoot with Lavish Body+Home

I had the absolute privilege of shooting my Fall/Winter Collection with the most talented, gracious, funny and gorgeous staff at Lavish Body+Home. These ladies and gents were so gracious, and were nothing but enthusiastic and oozing with style, direction for each shot. Here are some fun behind the scenes, some of my favorite captures. It was real hard not to over post!  xo, V.

Get ready for the cool…






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ALICE IN WONDERLAND 2nd BIRTHDAY PARTY


So, how do you throw an Alice in Wonderland Party? Well, I’m finally posting details and free art downloads from Liv’s second birthday. It only took me 4 months after the fact but better late than never!

Xo, Valerie

How do you find inspiration for a party and keep it simple?

Sometimes it just lands in your lap! Liv’s 2nd birthday Alice in Wonderland party was inspired after seeing this super sweet, handmade Alice dress. I saw it on @elsielarson’s Instagram page of her daughter wearing the dress in a post. Thankfully she tagged the designer, @LittleFofinha, because in seconds I found her Etsy shop and had one made for Liv.  That sparked the beginning of the party planning process…

After that I did what most of us do and searched Pinterest for some more juicy images. While finding some helpful ideas I wanted to watch the movie again after probably three decades. I watched it with Axel and Liv (she lasted two minutes) but we loved Alice, the rabbit and tea party, Axel really loved the Treshire Cat, I was really into the the Queen of Hearts and her playing cards.  Pulling from those things I knew I wanted to do a banner of sorts, with some other simple props. 

Backdrops can be your best friends!

For decor I knew I wanted to have a fun, graphic on the wall to become a backdrop for the party. Backdrops are my best friends when it comes to decorating because they give you the most bang for your buck (and efforts). Once you have that backdrop everything else is just bonus. So for my backdrop I chose the playing cards were perfect because of their rectangle shape, color and recognizable, simple, bold emblems. Also, knowing I could easily print them out in the studio on 8.5×11 paper and taped (with white artist tape) to any surface in our dining room was really appealing. Especially for easy install and clean up. In this case, I tapped the sheets of “cards” to the wall and table in rows with the tape and that worked really well.

Customize and personalize to create special keepsakes!

Making the playing cards was so much fun I couldn’t resist doing a custom “Queen of Hearts” Liv card and banner. She got such a kick out of seeing it for the first time. She actually thought that is was her brother however, she finally did accepted that it was herself. Now the banner hangs over her bed and she thinks it’s so funny.

Let them eat cake! 

I will never forget that smile on Liv’s face when we lit up the 2 candles and set her birthday cake in front of her. She squealed, pointed, giggled and clapped. Probably had us sing Happy Birthday to her at least 10 times! Cake by my girl, Michelle at Electric City Bakehouse and it was an insanely gorgeous, delicious piece of edible art. Also, have to mention that Michelle made her a special coconut cream frosting because of a dairy sensitivity and no one knew it wasn’t “regular” butter cream.

All in all, Liv had great time at her little tea party. It was fun and low key day with just family. We hosted both sets of grandparents and since the party fell on Mother’s Day it was extra special for all of us.

Liv and her brother play with the tea set, from Green Toys, serving coffee and tea almost on the daily. 

I will never forget that smile on Liv’s face…she squealed, pointed, giggled and clapped.

What are the Party Details?

CAKE

Electric City Bakehouse  

DECOR

  • Flowers – red roses, irish moss, and blue hydrangeas – Wegmans Grocery
  • Vases  – black and white stripe metal popcorn containers – Pottery Barn Kids
  • Wall Paper Backdrop – VKD custom playing card paper print out
  • Garland – custom DIY paper print outs, stain ribbon
  • Buffet Runner – VKD X Handprinted Table Runner

TABLESCAPE

  • Table Runner  – VKD custom playing card paper print out
  • China – vintage black and white dish ware
  • Tea Set – Green Toys

FASHION

Downloads:

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Electric City Pillow

Black and White Electric City Pillow

VKD stylized drawing of the iconic, Scranton Electric City sign has been woven into a gorgeous heirloom textile, made from USA grown cotton, then spun and woven by skilled craftsman in North Carolina. And it all happened with a little help from my friend, Sarah, who believed my designs would translate beautifully into a woven piece of functional art and walked me through the process. It’s made from luxurious cotton that’s grown, spun and woven by highly skilled craftspeople in the Carolina’s. I’m proud that I can still produce high quality products like this especially in the USA and at a time when everything seems to be disposable and less sacred. Being able to make things like this keeps the fire lit within me to find and fight for better…to design and live a simple, quality life.

Details:
Black and Natural White Cotton
18 x 18
Zipper enclosure
Poly pillow insert

Made in USA

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DIY Super Kid Cape

My almost 3 year old son recently started to role play super heroes and bad guys. He even has a special “bad guy” voice he uses when playing the role (which is hysterical). I wanted to allow him to take his creativity to the next level. So I planned a DIY project to make our own super hero/villain capes. He had a great time and loves flying around the house while pretending to save the day or sprinkling the darkness around, haha. We used old t-shirts to make our capes and the following directions can help you create your own.

DIY Super Kid Cape
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What you will need:

Old t-shirt
fabric scissors and/or paper scissors
water-based fabric paint/ink
contact paper
masking, painters or artist tape
paint brushes
hair dryer
clothes iron
sharpie marker
vinyl sticker letters and numbers
drop cloth
yardstick or ruler
flat work space

Start out by prepping your work area with plastic, canvas or old bed sheet.

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Turn t-shirt inside out if it has text or design and smooth down on your work surface. Then cut up the front center to the seam of collar.

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Cut around the collar to the shoulder seams.

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Flip t-shirt over and cut from the botton left corner seam at an angle to the bottom of the collar. Use ruler if you need a guideline.

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Repeat on the right side.

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You are ready to tape down your corners.

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Design your cape by using contact paper to create custom stencils, use vinyl letter stickers for easy text and numbers designs, and use tape to create fun lines and borders.

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Making a Stencil: Draw out your shapes on grid side of contact paper with sharpie marker. Tip: We traced plates and jar lids to create circles of our designs.

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Cut out your sticker stencils.

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Pull the backing off of the contact paper and lay adhesive side down onto your fabric. Remember that the area covered up with contact paper stencils, stickers or tape will remain the color of your t-shirt and all exposed fabric will get painted.

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Using a paint brush, apply even layer of fabric pigment. When using dark fabrics two coats of ink may be necessary.

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Fabric inks must be heat set into fabrics using high heat. Use a hair dryer immediately after applying ink until completely dry to the touch. Continue this step for every layer you add. *Note – Once you are finished with your design it is recommended that water-based fabric inks be cured into the fabric using a household iron on high heat up to 5 minutes and then put into clothes dryer on high heat up to 30 – 45 minutes or more. Some even recommend baking in conventional oven at 350 degrees for a few minutes. I have never used this method but wanted to mention it as an option.

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Remove stencils, tape or stickers when the ink is dry to reveal the amazing design left behind on your new super cape.

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Ta-da! You and your Super Little or Villain are ready to fly around in style.

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Resources:
DickBlick.com, DharmaTrading.com, Michaels.com, Target.com,

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DIY Custom Fabric Mats for Framed Photos

Adding fabric covered mats to your collection of framed photographs or art prints is a quick and budget friendly way to add a chic element of personality and style to any space. For this project, I chose my X’s black and white patterned fabric (soon available to purchase by the yard). The photo being used was taken by a our good friend Amanda Grace Images. This one single, magic moment of my family needed to be framed in a special way. Amanda actually suggested that I frame it using my X’s fabric. It was the perfect fit for the photo and room decor. Keep reading for my step by step version of this fun and easy project.

Custom Fabric Covered Photo Mats

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What you will need:

1. Photo
2. Photo Frame with Pre-cut Mat
3. Piece of Fabric
4. Rotary Cutter and Matte Cutting Board
5. Fabric Scissors
6. Quilters Grip Grid Ruler (or Regular Cork Back Ruler)
7. Spray Adhesive, Rubber Cement, Fabric Glue
8. Acid Free Mounting Tape
9. Well Ventilated Work Space
10.Colored Pencil or Disappearing Ink Pen

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Start out by cutting your fabric, allowing at least 1.5 – 2 inches on each side to fold over mat. Then give a pass under your iron to smooth out any wrinkles or creases.

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In a well ventilated area apply an even coat of spray adhesive to the front of pre-cut mat. Lay adhesive side down on the back of fabric in the center leaving enough of the sides to fold over. Use your palm to press mat down into fabric.

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Brush a thick line of rubber cement on the right side of the back of your mat board. Then fold the fabric over the edge of the mat and using your fingers smooth and press into the glue. Repeat on the left side.

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Fold the bottom right corner into a triangle to align with the edge of mat board. Glue the flap down. Repeat on the same process on the bottom left corner.

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Brush a thick line of rubber cement from the bottom right corner of the mat to the bottom left corner. Fold the fabric up over the edge and use your fingers to smooth and press into the glue. Repeat on the opposite side.

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Can use a drop of fabric glue on the corners to keep your triangles tacked down.

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You are ready to cut the fabric center out for your photo.

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Find the pre-cut center edges on the front of your fabric wrapped mat board. Now use the grid ruler (or regular ruler) to draw a diagonal line from the bottom left corner to top right corner. Then draw another line from top left to bottom right corner.

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Should create an “X” in the center of your fabric mat. Use your rotary cutter or fabric scissors to cut from corner to corner. You should end up with four triangle pieces of fabric in the center. These pieces can now be tacked onto the back side of your mat board.

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Again using the rubber cement, apply an even line on back of board then fold fabric over the edge of mat and press with fingers.

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Repeat on all four sides.

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Cut off excess fabric with fabric scissors.

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You are ready to mount your photo.

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Use Acid Free Mounting Tape to mount your photo onto the mat.

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Once tape is in place center your mat board over the photo. Press down firmly. Use additional tape if needed.

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Ready to frame and put new piece of art into place.

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(From Left to Right: white gallery shelves www.ikea.com, metal frame by Reclamation Industrial Furnishings, photo by Valerie Kiser, ABCD Art Print by Valerie Kiser Design, family portraits by Amanda Grace Images, photo frames www.Target.com, memento post card of Alexander McQueen from Savage Beauty, sketch by Valerie Kiser Design, unframed photo by Rob Lettieri Photography, framed portrait by Chala Jan

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Patterns & Pancakes

Hello, I am a pattern and texture inspired artist who enjoys cooking, eating whole foods and living an active life in Scranton, Pennsylvania. This blog will feature VKD products and lifestyle tips on design, cooking, eating and entertaining.

Today I am pleased to share two things I LOVE with you in my first post. They are blueberry pancakes and two of my hand-printed table linens. These designs were inspired by my original paintings then redesigned for hand-printed home decor. The pancakes were inspired by my two year old son’s book Curious George Makes Pancakes. So we started making pancakes together (he loves to cook) and came up with this recipe. I hope you enjoy my patterns and my pancakes on the very Happy Labor Day Weekend!

All the best

-Valerie

Whole Wheat Blueberry Pancakes with hemp and cashew milk, drizzled with flax oil and maple syrup: featuring my VKD O’s design hand-printed table napkins and place-mats. Art for the everyday living. 

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Whole Wheat Blue Berry Pancakes Recipe

4 eggs

2 and 2/3c cashew, hemp or almond milk

6T melted coconut oil or butter

1/2c maple syrup or honey

1T vanilla extract

3 1/2c whole wheat flour

1t sea salt

2T baking powder

optional: 1T hemp seed or flax seed

1 1/2c fresh blueberries (if you use frozen berries I would omit 2-3T milk liquid)’

Yeilds: about 2 dozen pancakes.

Tip: Store any left over pancakes in airtight container or freezer. Then pop them in the toaster oven when ready to enjoy again!

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In a mixing bowl, lightly beat the eggs then add melted coconut oil, milk, syrup, butter and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Then add flour, salt, baking powder and flax seed to the bowl and mix well.

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Heat griddle to medium-low and lightly surface with grapeseed oil cooking spray or melted butter. When the surface is ready and hot drop small circles of batter onto the griddle. I like using 1/4c measuring cup to pour my circles. Add blueberries to the pancakes and let cook 3-5 minutes until bubbles appear on. Flip your pancake and cook another 2-3 minutes. Top with flax oil and maple syrup. Or try topping with butter and honey or coconut oil and honey. Enjoy!

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Featured – VKD hand-printed table linens are the Small O dinner napkin and Large O place mat.