Summery Cottage Daydreams... and a Snowstorm

This is a sneak peek of a project I have been working on... an alphabet poster commissioned by Happy Bunny & Mr Happy Bunny! F is for Floaties. Obviously. The poster is cottage themed and it's been so nice to dive in to a world of sandcastles and bumble bees and forget that it's snowing out.

Christmas Sloth

Today I threw everything aside (that's not true, I totally finished a house commission first) to draw this sloth. Sloth was the winner of the unofficial "suggestion box" for this year's Christmas card on my Facebook Page. Well, that and Puffins. Puffins I will definitely do next year. They have the most awesome faces. 

But not more awesome than this sloth!

I ordered the cards tonight, and they should arrive November 22nd. There are a limited quantity, but if you want to order some, let me know now! First come first serve and all that. It will be $15 for a 6 pack (either 2 of each: cow/ostrich/sloth OR 6 of one kind). Individual cards will be $4.00. 

Driving, Turning 30, and Three Years of Blogging!

I haven't blogged in a while. I would apologize, except I'm not in the least sorry! Sometimes you just need a break from the internet. It was amazing. However, I missed my third year of blogging anniversary in the summer. Oops! It's hard to believe I've stuck it out this long. It's hard to believe how much my writing and illustrating has improved. 

You Know What Makes Me Happy? A Clean Studio

We are tidying our house up to sell it (Anyone looking for a house in the Hamilton countryside??). This means I cleaned my studio, which means I had to take pictures while it was tidy. Actually, usually it's pretty tidy, but I had been framing some prints and there was kind of a frame-packaging explosion on the studio floor. Also, I finally tackled the stack of unopened bank statements on my desk (phew!). 

The studio is definitely my happy place. Just being in it makes me feel like a "real" artist (I am a real artist). It's also so bright and cheerful. It makes me wish it had a couch, so my friends could all come over and just hang out while I paint. But even I know that that would end up with me...not painting. Haha. 

Heat Waves, All the Animals, and Sweat

We had a heat wave last week. I know you all know this, because it seemed to be affecting all of North America. We have a portable air conditioner, but that's about it as far as cooling off the house goes. Last week, the air conditioner started only really spewing out "kind of cooler than boiling hot" air. 

I should stop here to add that I have NO PATIENCE for being either hot or itchy. You know how some people become a different person when they haven't eaten on time or when they are under severe stress or whatever? Yeah, heat and itchiness are my triggers. 

Where to Eat Gluten Free in Hamilton, ON

Eating gluten free in Hamilton was a challenge for me, especially moving here as a newly diagnosed Celiac. There are a TON of great restaurants in the city, but it seemed like every one of them was fraught with contamination danger issues, and we mostly ate at home, with some stressful and sometimes disastrous forays into the world of eating out.  

I've lived here a year, now, and although I'm definitely not the most qualified to be writing this list, I would have been thrilled to find a blog post like this when I moved here. Hopefully this will help some of you fellow Hamiltonians and gluten free visitors to eat safely!  I will save gluten free bakeries and grocery shopping for future posts.

Abalone Pearl Peony Botanical Watercolour

The botanical name for this flower is Paeonia 'Abalone Pearl', and it was my favourite peony from my trip to Peony Garden in Hamilton. 

We're well into the hottest days of summer, now. I went swimming twice yesterday (while, um, waiting for the paint on this flower to dry?). Our neighbours claim they don't mind if I come over twice in one day, but I will try not to make a huge nuisance of myself. Having a pool 100 yards away is a temptation I can't fight. 

Gluten Free Ginger Molasses Cookie Recipe

This is my Grandma Dorothy's recipe for Ginger Sparkles, made over by my mom to be gluten free. This is a kind of thick, soft cookie with tons of molasses flavour. You can easily make this back into a gluten-filled cookie by using wheat flour instead of brown rice flour. I honestly can't tell the difference between the gluten and not gluten versions, and I've been eating these my whole life. 

Finnegan Updates: Having a Dog

So it's been a while since we got Finn. Not a year yet, but it feels like he's been here forever. At home, I call him "The Finnzo". To the point where he probably thinks that's what "Finn" is short for, now.  

I wanted a dog for so long, but I also knew that many people get dogs and then lose interest after a little while. I was worried that would happen, but it hasn't. If anything, Finn and I are more mutually obsessed with each other every day. Everything that makes him happy makes me happy, too. Dog parks are a regular part of our weekends, now. Finn learned how to give hugs and high fives, making him an ideal coworker.