european vacation

paris photography by olivia are james | palettes and passports blog paris photography by olivia are james | palettes and passports blog berlin photography by olivia are james | palettes and passports blogphoto credit olivia rae james

We’re heading abroad next month for a little European vacation, and I couldn’t be more excited. First up on the journey – Munich. I’ve never been there so I’d love any recommendations on shopping, cafes, markets and museums. Then from Munich we are taking the train to Salzburg and then on to Berlin. I’ve also never been to either one of these beautiful cities so I’d love to hear your suggestions, favorite spots, boutiques, restaurants or anything at all we should do while we’re there. Then from Berlin we are flying to Paris for the last part of our trip. I’ve been to Paris and I love it. I mostly hung out in Le Marais. Have any suggestions for other must see spots? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the best way to experience Munich, Salzburg, Berlin and Paris so please send them my way!

eye candy 04 | spring

This week’s eye candy is inspired by spring - pretty blooms, chirping birds and all the things that make you feel like coming out of hibernation and starting fresh. It’s my favorite time of year for bike rides, diy projects, fresh pineapple and getting out the camera and capturing the beauty of a new season. These are the beautiful pieces of art that caught my attention -

eye candy spring | palettes and passports blogmayville | sanchez | arondowsett | couchman | dro | capricho


weekly wander 01

photographers we are the rhoads photographers we are the rhoadsphoto credit we are the rhoads

Slowly but surely it’s beginning to feel like spring around here. There’s something in the air and I’m ready to explore and go on an adventure. I just keep thinking about packing my bags and taking a long road trip somewhere – great food, beautiful scenery, quirky boutiques, anywhere is good and everything is new. Here are a few things inspiring my wanderlust this week -

Traveler’s guide with an insider’s feel Wildsam is a series of small books filled to the brim with information including interviews, hand-drawn maps, reflections and essays. Travel aficionados and natives will both love these little books which are equal parts travel guide and tribute. Wildsam has already released guides for Nashville, Austin and San Francisco and have plans to release four new field guides this year – Detroit and Brooklyn in the spring and another two in the fall.

Charming corner store - Amber Clohesy and her husband Ben run the neighborhood shop The Woodsfolk Family Store in Melbourne, Australia specializing in home goods and sweet gifts. The store stocks a wide range of products including locally handmade items such as dream catchers, cushions and tea towels, dozens of items from the US like greeting cards, leather goods, bags and camp stools and their entire line of products from their wholesale business Down to the Woods. I have a feeling I could spend hours in a shop like this.

Take me away - I love these photos taken by photographer Jennifer Chong from her recent trip to Argentina. Just looking at them makes me want to jet off to an exotic location. Iguazu Falls is high on my list of adventures the next time I find myself in South America. See more of Jennifer’s travels here.

for your home | etsy finds

As I was treasure hunting on Etsy this weekend I found all sorts of treasures for the home – I’m still on that kick. I have to have that mid century modern bookshelf and how great is the elephant figurine? While my possessions remain in a storage unit, I’ll keep on dreaming and scouring the internet for more interior inspiration.

for your home etsy finds | palettes and passports blog lamp shade | pillow | plant stand | light | stool | coasters | bookcaseelephant


studio life | a journey

kate zitzer art | palettes and passports blogkate zitzer art | palettes and passports blogkate zitzer art | palettes and passports blogkate zitzer art | palettes and passports blogI’ve always been curious about how other artists got started in their careers – especially artists that began in a commercial field or working in an office, artists that slowly began creating on their own or artists that create in their spare time. Artists are always changing and growing and I don’t think we’re ever just one thing. Recently I was taking a trip down memory lane and it got me thinking about my own journey to becoming an artist. I remember always being creative as a kid and when I decided to make things to sell I was a teenager making scrapbooks for friends and family. In high school and in college, I took all sorts of art classes – drawing, painting, graphic design and photography – and my love for art began to grow wild. When I first started selling at art fairs I did little illustrations and soon after that I found my way back to painting. My journey shifted then and I started experimenting with other materials and painting styles. It was then I realized I had a passion for clean and simple designs and I made it my goal to create work that felt special and thoughtful. Now, almost ten years later, I feel like I am just starting to get into a groove and will only continue to grow as an artist.

photo credit kate zitzer


advice | 15 creative ways to display art

Hanging art is either one of the first things you do when you move into a new home or, if you’re anything like me, the last thing you do. Paintings and pictures are left stashed away for months while I obsess over where to put them. Recently I spotted a few new and different ways to display art and I’m freshly inspired. So if you too are wanting to do something a little different than just plain hanging pictures on the wall, try one of these 15 creative ideas -add sculptural piece | fresh ways to display art add sculptural piece | fresh ways to display artAdd a sculptural piece - A floral embellishment or a sculptural silhouette gives the eye somewhere to land on a wall full of frames. These compositions are not symmetrical yet they’re completely balanced with cohesive color palettes. Bring your art wall to the next level by adding a three-dimensional piece with visual appeal like antlers, a mask, or a wall sculpture.go cheeky | fresh ways to display artGo cheeky - Who says that art has to be so serious? This photograph of a tennis player is just the right amount of cheeky. switch it up on a shelf | fresh ways to display art switch it up on a shelf | fresh ways to display artSwitch it up on a shelf - Can’t commit then keep the pieces off the wall so that you can rearrange them as often as you like. Art shelves can also host prints, framed postcards and a variety of other objects. Here the colorful photos pop off the white wall and shelf and the different size pieces of art make it really work. 
bring the outdoors in | fresh ways to display art bring the outside in2 psBring the outdoors in - Landscape and travel photos are sweet reminders of favorite places. Have a photo you took on a trip blown up and framed or printed on canvas and then hang above your couch or in your dining room
take it  the floor | fresh ways to display artTake it to the floor - Have more pieces of art than free wall space? Leave your art on the floor and lean it against the wall. The key is making this look intentional instead of it just looking like you forgot to hang your paintings. It’s best if the arrangement can relate to something else in the room so place it close to a chair, a bookcase or a desk.everyday art | fresh ways to display arteveryday art | fresh ways to display artEveryday art - Incorporate art into a high traffic areas like the kitchen or a bathroom. It’s unconventional but stylish so embrace the unexpected placement. A breakfast nook is the perfect place to add a small playful art vignette and why not put a painting in the bathroom?make it a focal point | fresh ways to display artmake it a focal point | fresh ways to display artMake it a focal point - A large painting makes a statement. A big, bold graphic piece, like this one or this one, pulls the room together and gives the eye somewhere to land.  match it | fresh ways to display artMatch it - Create balance. Here the colorful art unites the colorful pieces around the room instead of competing with them. Art can be an equal player in the room versus the focal point.singled out | fresh ways to display artsingled out | fresh ways to display artSingled out – Limit yourself to a single color scheme for a minimalist look that will complement the space that your art hangs in. Pick a few coordinating colors then display your favorite pieces in each hue grouping them together for a simple gallery wall. A bedroom is the perfect place to use some restraint with color and styling. I especially love this simple black and white bedroom make it fun | fresh ways to display artMake it fun This dog portrait brings in an extra dose of whimsy and the purple and gray color palette is bold, fresh and exciting. This youthful vignette in a child’s playroom is created by pairing a a vintage black and white typographical poster, a collection of toys and books and a funky black metal chair.    bring it up | fresh ways to display artbring it up | fresh ways to display artBring it up Here art and photos are layered on a high simple white shelf with vases and knick-knacks sprinkled throughout which add depth and visual interest. Don’t be afraid to overlap your prints and photos like this one. You can also draw the eye up by using the tops of windows and doorframes to show off small artwork.
go big and small | fresh ways to display art go big and small | fresh ways to display artGo big and small - Asymmetrical patterns, like this one and this one, often work well in casual rooms. When building your gallery wall, try hanging one large piece and several smaller ones for an arrangement that is less formal.use clips | fresh ways to display artuse hangers | fresh ways to display artUse clipboards - Here three lines of clipboards fill the wall with sketches and swatches and serves as an ever-evolving inspiration board. These skirt hangers are just the right size and add a fun shape at the tops of the prints.  You could also use a clothesline and clothespins.small and close | fresh ways to display artKeep it close - Finish off a vignette, like a bar cart or this bedside table, with a small piece of art hung very low and close to the arrangement. It blends in as part of the tabletop display adding an interesting layer of depth and color.door prize | fresh ways to display artDoor prize - Why not hang art on a door? Or a window? This graphic print framed in bold blue nicely contrasts the wooden door.

for your home | simple home accessories

simple items for your home | palettes and passports blogSometimes the thing that makes a room really great is the smallest attention to detail.  The minor accessories that make a big impact or the small pops of color that make the room really come alive are my favorite things about decorating. Here are some items that caught my eye recently including a tribal pillow, a navy bar stool and a string of lights. All of these pieces together have a beautiful mix of muted neutrals as well as pops of coral, blue and yellow. Other must haves on my list – potted plants and wood accents.