Inspired By - Vikings

I have Viking in me (according to my 23 and Me results). But that’s not the only reason I’ve been fascinated lately. It must be from my current obsession with the show Vikings and the trip I made to Iceland a few summers ago. I’ve always found Nordic cultures, along with their folk heritages and design so special. It probably goes back to my youth growing up in Northern Europe, i.e. Germany and Finland. (I’m also completely obsessed with “Scandi-Noir” crime dramas, but that’s a whole other discussion. Hit me up if you want a list of the best).

The images I collected for inspiration give me a feeling of beautiful craftsmanship, cold and ice, and dark days; and and that’s what my inspiration board is. A collection of images which excite and inspire me to feel a certain way, and in turn influence my designs.

What is your latest obsession or inspiration for your designs?

Katja Blog

Artist Spotlight - Ugo Rondinone

I came across an image on Instagram of these colorful stacked rocks in the desert. Anything this bright is bound to catch my eye. After investigating a bit further, I found Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone's website and on it he says he has made his site-specific installation, Seven Magic Mountains, "a creative expression of human presence in the desert...that  punctuates the Mojave with a poetic burst of form and color."

And that it does. It's hard to grasp the true scale in the photos, but these colorful boulders stand 30 feet high, which means the bottom rock alone, is taller than a person. Cool! They are located about 10 miles south of Las Vegas and are up for another year or so. Road trip anyone?

Watch a really cool video on how this installation came to be over a 5-year period HERE>

All images are from Ugo Rondinone's website. Click through to see more.

All images are from Ugo Rondinone's website. Click through to see more.


As a single person who works from home, I find that I spend a lot of time alone. That means I have to work extra hard to get out, see people, make plans with friends, go on adventures and find inspiration. I took a staycation at a friend's house in Sonoma last week so it's been a while since my last post. I love exploring that area as there is endless inspiration. Just getting away from the city is enough for me to feel inspired! The smells, the light and peace and quiet are pretty much heaven to me. 

I took a day jaunt up to Sebastopol, a town I'd never visited before—I loved the small town feel and friendly people. I visited the Luther Burbank Experimental Farm and Arnold Drive (basically whatever Google told me I should do there), then I had a yummy lunch at the Gypsy Cafe on the main drag, stopped into a great gallery and chatted with some friendly locals along the way. 

I don't think my sense of adventure will ever leave me, because these kinds of days feed my soul more than anything else. Having new experiences, being brave, doing things alone, connecting with others outside my daily realm, seeing new things—I will always want more!  

When was the last time you took a day trip by yourself somewhere? Try it!  And see what treasures it brings you.

Junk art is by local artist Patrick Amiot. Every house on Arnold Drive has one of his works in the yard. Kitty Hawk Gallery on Main street is owned and run by artist Grace Levine. The works here are hers. Floral images were taken at the Luthur Burbank Experimental Garden.

Oh Vienna...

I so wish I was heading there now. My friend invited me to join her on a trip to Berlin, Vienna and Budapest (happening next week)—but unfortunately I had to bail. I had hip surgery recently and wouldn't be able to handle that flight, let alone be mobile enough for sightseeing! What a bummer. Boo hoo for me.

Anyway, since my grand hopes of viewing any Weiner Werkstätte (Vienna Workshop) art or textiles I could find there have now been dashed, I resorted to an internet search instead. There are many works of art from that company of artists, and the range and scope is incredible—from art, to postcards, to textile and furniture. My eyes are happy.

Vienna Workshop




Nature Inspired

Since I've been working from home this past year, I sometimes get a bit str crazy. For me, the best solution for this is to get out into nature and fresh air. I decided to take a drive up to Mount Tamalpais yesterday morning. It was so refreshing! It's only 40 min from the city after all and it's really paradise on a weekday morning. Very few people are up there and I kinda love to be there as the fog lifts and reveals the amazing green hills and views below. 

If you follow my two Instagram feeds (this one and this one) you might have seen a few pictures I posted. There were all sorts of sweet and colorful wildflowers all over the hills and they got me inspired to make this when I got home. 

All designs and images © Katja Ollendorff

All designs and images © Katja Ollendorff