a new year

2015, new year, goals, resolutions, january, kz by kate zitzerHello, it’s been a while but I’m back. I hope you had a good time ringing in the new year. Twenty fifteen is here and it feels like the possibilities are endless. Twenty fourteen was exciting and completely exhausting all at once, and therefore I made a point to take a real holiday break – three weeks actually. I have always valued challenges and in 2014 (between searching for a house, becoming homeowners, moving, starting renovations, changing jobs and running my own creative business) I saw a lot of them. Truth is, as tired as I was after all was said and done, those challenges have made me stronger, more understanding and more patient. I am happy that 2014 has come to an end. That was one hell of a year. This year, however, so far, has been off to a good start. We are only nine days in but I can just tell that this one is going to be a good one. I know this will be the year I start reaping what I have been working so hard for. I decided not to make any resolutions for 2015, but instead make a list of goals –

  • Drink more water
  • Take my vitamins
  • Start using recipes
  • Make shopping lists
  • Keep a better schedule
  • Sleep more
  • Take more weekend trips
  • Host more dinner parties
  • Make art everyday

Realistically I should probably rephrase that last part to make art most days. It’s so easy to get swept up in the day to day of life, but ask any artist and they will all tell you the same thing – you must practice every day. So what about you? Will you be making any resolutions, goals or big changes this year? I hope you’ll join me for the next chapter and that 2015 will be a year of gratitude, good health, friendship and fun for all of us.

a year in travel stories and photos

Happy first of the year! I’m taking a quick moment to look back at some of our travels from 2014. We had an absolute blast and 2014 gave us so many memories to treasure. I am just filled with love and gratitude and I can’t wait to see what 2015 has in store.

In January we spent a long weekend in Kohler, Wisconsin. We took long walks around the lake, went ice skating and spent a whole day getting pampered at the spa. Returning home I felt rested and rejuvenated.a winter weekend in kohler wisconsin | palettes and passports blog a winter weekend in kohler wisconsin | palettes and passports blog a winter weekend in kohler wisconsin | palettes and passports blogIn the spring we set off on a European adventure. In Munich we explored different neighborhoods, filled up on German beer and giant pretzels, watched urban surfers and climbed to the top of St. Peter’s Church. Munich was a simple wonderful city, clean and easy to get around and the people were unbelievably friendly. In Berlin we visited the Reichstag and the Brandenburg Gate, the Berlin Wall and Checkpoint Charlie. We saw countless grafittied walls, an outdoor art gallery and the prettiest old cathedral. I was fascinated with the energy, rich history and gorgeous architecture. I left Berlin feeling like I learned more than I ever did in any history class. We spent four days in Paris. We saw churches and arches, famous paintings and sculptures. We ate crepes and croissants and I drank some of the best chocolat chaud of my life. We went to the Sacré Cœur, lounged in gardens and got lost in Montmartre. The Louvre was as beautiful as I remembered. We spent a day exploring Reims and Epernay admiring beautiful chateaus, taking tours of underground cellars and drinking lots of champagne. We spent our last night in Paris celebrating our third wedding anniversary with dinner beneath the Eiffel Tower and a Seine river cruise. kate zitzer's european adventure munich | palettes and passports blog kate zitzer's european adventure munich | palettes and passports blog kate zitzer's european adventure berlin | palettes and passports blog kate zitzer's european adventure berlin | palettes and passports blog kate zitzer's european adventure berlin | palettes and passports blogkate zitzer's european adventure berlin | palettes and passports blogkate zitzer's european adventure berlin | palettes and passports blogkate zitzer's european adventure paris | palettes and passports blog kate zitzer's european adventure paris | palettes and passports blogkate zitzer's european adventure paris | palettes and passports blog kate zitzer's european adventure paris | palettes and passports blog kate zitzer's european adventure paris | palettes and passports blogAt the end of the summer we drove up to Michigan and stayed with my family in the same cozy little cottage we rent every year. We took long boat rides and walks along the water. We lounged on the porch, stayed up late playing card games and made s’mores around the bonfire. There were slow mornings and impromptu trips to the icecream shop in the evenings. After a summer stuck indoors knee deep in house projects, a few days away was exactly what we needed.diamond lake | palettes and passports blog diamond lake | palettes and passports blog diamond lake | palettes and passports blogIn September, I headed east to Washington, DC. It was quiet there, no long lines or crowds and the warm sun was a nice break from the cooling Chicago temps. I got to see many, many monuments, museums and memorials, eat at some amazing restaurants, wander around the Botanic Garden and take a boat ride down the Potomac River. We rented a car and early one morning set off toward the Blue Ridge Mountains. We visited several wineries and wrapped up the day at Bluemont Vineyards sipping rosé, devouring fresh-baked baguettes and creamy mozzarella and watching the sun set off the terrace. blue ridge mountains, virginia, washington dc, winery, vineyard blue ridge mountains, virginia, washington dc, winery, vineyard washington dc, botanic garden, plants, inspiration, flowers, travelwashington dc, botanic garden, plants, inspiration, flowers, travelwashington dc, botanic garden, plants, inspiration, flowers, travelThank you for following along and for your constant love and support. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to stop traveling, to stop exploring. Sure we could be saving money or starting a family right now, but honestly this is all I want in life. I want to see the world and take some risks. I want to be spontaneous and daring and experience things I haven’t before. This is it. This moment.

photo credit kate zitzer

happy holidays

gift treeI wanted to pop in today to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I hope your holidays are filled with family and friends, joy and peace. It’s been a hectic year to say the least, but I plan to take a few days off now to enjoy a little rest and relaxation. I wish you all the same – my very best to you and yours.

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bucktown holiday art show today

kate zitzer art 11Just a reminder that the Bucktown Holiday Art Show is this weekend. Please stop by to see my work plus shop several other talented makers and brands. The Bucktown Holiday Art Show is located at the Holstein Park Fieldhouse at 2200 N. Oakley in Chicago. It starts at noon and closes at 5:00. Please come check it out! You can find all the details plus free admission passes here.

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chicago’s bucktown holiday art show this weekend

art, art studio, painting, artist, kz by kate zitzer, bucktown holiday art show, chicagoart, art studio, painting, artist, kz by kate zitzer, bucktown holiday art show, chicagoart, art studio, painting, artist, kz by kate zitzer, bucktown holiday art show, chicagoThe Bucktown Holiday Art Show is here this weekend, Saturday, December 13th through Sunday, December 14th from noon-5 at the Holstein Park Fieldhouse in Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood. One of my favorite parts of the season is the holiday markets and I’m so happy to be taking part in one this year. I am always honored to set up shop with other amazing artists. Check out all the show details here and come support your local makers!

As you can imagine with only a few days to go until the show plus holiday orders it’s been crazy here in my studio. My to do list seems to only be getting longer. This time of year is wildly busy but I wouldn’t want it any other way.

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studio update + cyber monday sale

art, art studio, painting, artist, kz by kate zitzer, cyber monday, saleart, art studio, painting, artist, kz by kate zitzer, cyber monday, saleart, art studio, painting, artist, kz by kate zitzer, cyber monday, saleIt’s here, the last month of 2014! I am popping in with a few updates that I would like to share with you. First, today is the last day to take 20% off EVERYTHING in my Etsy shop. Here’s how it works – go to my Etsy shop, select your items, and enter code holiday20 in the coupon code box at checkout (you will see the savings reflected upon checkout and when paying via PayPal). Offer good through midnight tonight. Thanks to everyone who has already purchased something! Also, make sure you are following me on Facebook and Instagram. I will be announcing more holiday sales over there throughout the next couple of weeks! Lastly, it’s been non-stop in my studio. I have a few custom orders to finish and I’m still producing new art for Etsy and the Bucktown Holiday Art Show – more details coming soon. It’s that time of year when working weekends seems unavoidable. I have to admit the chaos makes me excited and seeing snow this past weekend definitely put me in the holiday spirit.

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kz by kate zitzer black friday and weekend sale

art for sale, paintings, kz by kate zitzer, etsy, acrylic, artistJoin me today through Monday to kick off the holiday season and take 20% off everything in my Etsy shop – all artwork and prints. Here’s how it works – go to my Etsy shop, select your items, and enter code holiday20 in the coupon code box at checkout (you will see the savings reflected upon checkout and when paying via PayPal). Offer good through midnight December 1st.

I have 24 original pieces in my shop, so if you are interested in original works, now is the time to purchase. I will also be announcing holiday sales on Facebook and Instagram throughout the next couple of weeks so make sure you are following me over there too! I’m so grateful for all of the love and support you have given me and my art these past few years. You have no idea how happy that makes me so thank you for supporting my small creative business!

As a reminder for holiday shipping – delivery in the U.S. should be mailed no later than the second week of December and International Mail should be mailed as soon as possible. If you have any questions, want something in a different size or color or are curious if I can make something special for you, just email me or send me an Etsy convo. Happy shopping and happy holidays!