4/26/16

Cherry Blossom Walk

cherry-blossom-walk
This is how things looked not too long ago, pink petals were blowing all over my street. All gone now!

4/18/16

New Printable Things

Days of the week

Daily to do lists

You can download these daily lists in my Etsy shop!

4/11/16

Work for Others: Art Star Poster

Art Star Spring Poster 2016
The most recent poster I made for Art Starhttp://www.artstarphilly.com/.

I decided to do the color fully digitally on this one, so it was a bit of an experiment. I like how it turned out though and I think I've figured out the way to go for me is to draw on paper first then add color and not to draw from scratch on my tablet.

4/7/16

March Reading



Early in March because of poor forward planning I found myself with nothing to read, o to remedy that I went crazy requesting books from the library off my "To Read" list. Of course they've all came in at the same time and I've got tons of books I want to read! The best feeling. I'd say my favorite book from march was "The Hundred-Year House". "Overdressed" had been on my list for a while, but I found it kind of underwhelming, I wanted it to be more in depth and hard hitting I guess?

Anyway, what I read in March:

Rashomon and Seventeen Other Stories by Ryƫnosuke Akutagawa
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth L. Cline
The Hundred-Year House by Rebecca Makkai
French Milk by Lucy Knisley
The Enchanted Castle by E. Nesbit
Voyage in the Dark by Jean Rhys

Audiobooks listened to in March:
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

Movies & TV Watched in March:

• Mad Men: Season 7 (final half)
• Heathers
• More Friends Season 2
• Agatha Christie's Poirot Series 1
• The Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young

4/4/16

Family

Kids Stargazing

Kids drawing

Kids Cooking

Hope I didn't post these already!

4/1/16

March Favorites

Spring quince

chocolate

Magnolia

March flew by so quickly it's like it didn't even happen! Here are few things I enjoyed this month:

Beauty: Bodycentuals calendula salve, mentioned here.

Food: Honey Mama's chocolate bars, taste heavenly, and are different than anything I've had before. They're beautiful as well!

Reading: Homesong Blog. Inspires me to have a home that is so pared down, simple and beautiful.

Watching:
Kitten rescue cam. I've spent way to much time watching these kittens the last month

Music: This theme to the 1966 Alice in Wonderland. This feels like perfect laying in the grass on a sunny day music to me.

White cherry blossoms

3/30/16

Sketcbook

sketchbook invitations
Some pages from my sketchbook when I was working on some invitations

sketchbook lettering

sketchbook birds

3/24/16

In The Garden

garden-spring-2016
We've been putting in a ton of work in the garden! In the last month and a half we've put in a raspberry bed and trellis, raised beds for veggies, and we just finished up two cold frames. I also planted all the blueberries that I had been grown in containers the last few years in the front of the house (not pictured because the front is still pretty rough looking tbh). I am just so excited to have a yard and to be able to grow all the things! I'm a menace and I need to be stopped from going to Portland Nursery any more. I keep buying fruit bushes!

Anyway, I know it still looks pretty bare, but it's only March and my over all plan is to really fill it out with native (and some non native) shrubs and small trees and plants for birds, and food plants for our selves. Seeds are coming up nicely in the beds right now, I'm growing peas, radish, turnips, beets and fava beans (which I've never grown before, exciting!). Those trellises are covering them to keep cats out, the jerks.
garden-spring-2016-3

garden-spring-2016-4

garden-spring-2016-5
I hope the rhubarb will be okay where it is but I wouldn't be surprised if I have to move it now that we have these cold frames in place.

garden-spring-2016-2
I am so excited about them, though of course their real use will start around October. I saw some cold frames on Printerest built using recycled windows, and I was determined to make something similar. After a fruitful trip to the ReBuilding Center we had two identical windows (for $6 total!!) to get the specs to design the frame & buy lumber. That was followed by three weeks of rain, so we only just finished these up last weekend. I think they look soo good but I have to give all credit for design and construction to Aradan

Evergreen Clematis
Evergreen Clematis
Evergreen Clematis growing on the front porch, smells so good.

So that's what things are looking like for now. I can't wait to see what it looks light at the height of summer!

Do let me know how your garden is shaping up this spring!

3/22/16

Folk Birds

folk bird 2

folk bird 1

These originals are for sale locally at Noun. Support a wonderful local shop and support me!

3/17/16

Lovely Things Lately

Skin things
Skin Treats: I treated myself to a few new skin things lately. I recently ran out of calendula salve, since I put calendula on every kind of skin irritation, and this one from Bodycentuals caught my eye at the store. It has very minimal organic ingredients, and I believe the company has it's own calendula farm and harvests it's own beeswax (and in the PNW no less), which appeals to me. I also got their Organic Neroli + Aloe Hydrating Facial Mist since I just ran out of my homemade toner and I wanted to try something new. Again this has minimal ingredients, it also smells wonderful and I felt like the price was pretty reasonable.

Rabling Rose tea cold care
Rambling Rose Tea. I recently did some branding work for a friend-of-a-friend who makes and sells herbal teas. She grows most of the flowers and herbs she uses on her farm in Oregon and isn't it just beautiful looking tea? She's gifted me several and just looking at her beautiful blends & knowing they were grown and made with such love and care makes me so happy!

3/15/16

Plants Girl

Plants girl

3/7/16

More Invitations!

Brunch invite
I'm on a roll with invitations! You can find all these in my Etsy shop


Egg Hunt invite

Housewarming invitation

Moving Announcement

3/6/16

February Reading


Here's what I read in February:

The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark by Carl Sagan
The Case of the Gypsy Good-bye (Enola Holmes Mysteries, #6) by Nancy Springer
The Bhagavad Gita
The Tenants of Moonbloom by Edward Lewis Wallant
There But For The by Ali Smith
Crackling Mountain and Other Stories by Osamu Dazai

Audiobooks listened to in February:
William Shakespeare: The World as Stage by Bill Bryson
Will In The World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare by Stephen Greenblatt
The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins

Movies & TV Watched in February:
• The Great British Gardening Show
• Secret History of the British Garden
• Cooked: Season 1:
• NOVA: Decoding Neanderthals
• Awake: The Life of Yogananda
• Mad Men Season 7 (the final second half)

Did you read or watch anything good in February?

3/3/16

February Favorites

Evergreen Clematis
Evergreen Clematis
Not many favorite things this month! Really there was only one favorite in February for me and that was working on getting a garden going and doing some "landscaping" around the house, so stay tuned for a post on that!

Food: Oranges. February is the prime citrus month. A friend was driving though from California to Seattle and gave us a bag of fresh oranges, they were so amazingly good!

Watching: The Great British Garden Revival! I love it.

Music: Seaside Town by Baths. He uses samples from Kiki's Delivery Service, it makes me sooo happy & cheerful

Listening: The Sporkful podcast

What were some of your favorite things from February?

3/1/16

Fox & Magpie

Fox & Magpie


Also, I updated my store with some new prints!
Shop Screenshot

2/26/16

Favorite Cookbooks

favorite-cookbooks
Even though I use Pinterest for finding and saving a lot of recipes these days, I do own a few cookbooks that I still use regularly. I am pretty picky with cookbooks. My favorites are filled with recipes that use minimal ingredients yet are unexpected. Even though there are a ton of cookbooks out there that look sooo beautiful my eyes water, ultimately I know I'll be happy just getting them from the library. There are only a few cookbooks that I use so much it's worth it for me to buy them. As you can see I like to mark pages I want try or have tried and love.
Anyway, I thought I'd share my favorites here.

Pure Simple Cooking by Diana Henry: I've made a ton of recipes from this multiple times. I love this beccause it uses staples, so at most you might have to buy one special ingredient, usually the main one for a meat or fish dish. They are all simple and fast to throw together, and come out looking like something really special!

5 spices, 50 dishes by Ruta Kahate: The whole premise of the book is that all the recipes contain some of the five spices commonly used in Indian dishes and then just a few other simple ingredients. I've learned so much about how to cook and use spices from this book!

Paletas by Fany Gerson: I went though a real ice pop making phase you can learn so much about a whenever I have fruit I don't know what to do with. Paletas are simple to make with any fruit, and easy to customize.

Please To The Table by Anya Von Bremzen: This book is actually the exception to my cookbook buying rule, all the recipes are complicated and most involve buying special several ingredients. However I love this book for the head notes! I've read it cover to cover and it's a fascinating history lesson, I think my favorite way to learn about other countries is though food. Not all the recipes are complicated of course, I made a feta cheese spread from this book that was delicious simple and unlike anything I've had before.

2/23/16

Fox Family

Fox Family treehouse

Fox Family dinner

My agent suggested I do a more drawings with these foxes to show I can carry characters though in different situations.

2/19/16

Recipe: Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie

I get into food ruts where I tend to make the same thing for weeks on end, because I just like it so much and because it makes shopping & cooking so easy! My latest food fixation is with shepard's pie, I realized it's so easy to make and so comforting and filling this dark time of year. Plus Aradan loves it. Plus I can make it on Monday night and it lasts for days.
I'm not a vegetarian but I prefer to save my meat eating for going out and special occasions, so I make my veggie.

I think this is the first time I'm writing out a recipe I've made up myself, so I'm sorry if you try it and amounts aren't quite correct, I usually just wing it and cook to my tastes!

veg-shepards-pie

Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie

For the topping:
2 pounds potatoes, pealed and diced
2 tablespoons Butter (or olive oil)
½ cup Milk (or milk substitute or choice)
Salt and pepper to taste


For the filling:
Olive oil
1 large yellow onion
4 garlic cloves
1 package seitan or meat substitute of choice, crumbled
4 carrots, diced
1 Package sliced crimini mushrooms (or one box whole ones that you slice)
1 – 1/2 cups frozen peas
1/2 teaspoon thyme
¼ teaspoon rosemary
1 can cream of mushroom soup
Salt and pepper to taste (personally I think a ton of pepper works well here)


Preheat the oven to 350°

Bring pot of water to a boil and cook potatoes until tender. Drain, return to the pot and mash, adding butter and salt & pepper. Add milk a little at a time until potatoes are creamy.

In a deep skillet or dutch oven heat the olive oil. Add the onion and cook until it starts to soften. Then add the garlic, seitan and carrot. Cook for a few minutes, until the carrot is just starting to be tender. Add the peas and mushrooms. When the mushrooms have cooked down slightly add the can of cream of mushroom soup and stir it up so it's well incorporated. Season with herbs and salt & pepper & give it a taste to make sure it's all to your liking.

Pour the filling in a 9×13 baking dish and spread out evenly. Then spoon your mashed potatoes over the filling and spread out so it even covers all the filling, right up to the edges of the pan. Then to rough up the potatoes, use a fork and rake it across the surface of the potatoes in a zig-zag pattern, this will make lots of nice ridges that will brown in the oven.

Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the top is nicely browned and the inside is bubbling (you may want to place a cookie sheet under the baking dish to catch any bubbling over). Remove and let cool for a few minutes before serving.

Serves 6-8 people or two people for 3-4 dinners.

2/16/16

Bright Flower Animals series


bright-raccoon

bright-bunny

bright-mouse

bright-squirrel

You can get prints of all of these guys over at my Society6 store.

2/11/16

January Book List

JAN-book-list

January was a pretty good reading month for me I guess. The fact that I read two long books was balanced by the fact that the others I read where very fast reads. If I had to pick a favorite I guess it would be Fingersmith by Sarah Waters. I've read three books by her now and all have been page turners and at the same time almost agonizingly slow. She's good at building tension, but I end up spending so much time with her characters I grow to hate them. Although this might be intensional, since none of her main characters are quite likable. That might make it sound like I don't like her books, but I do and I want to read more!

Here's what I read in January 2016:

Avenue of Mysteries by John Irving
Slade House by David Mitchell
Excellent Women by Barbara Pym
Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
The Case of the Cryptic Crinoline (Enola Holmes Mysteries, #5) by Nancy Springer
Fingersmith by Sarah Waters

Movies & TV Watched in January:
•Inside Out
•Amy (documentary)
•Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown (various seasons)
•The Warriors
•Friends (part of season 2)
•Tangerine
•David Attenborough's Rise of the Animals
•The Venture Brothers (started re-watching from the beginning. Like Bob's Burgers or Archer I re-watch this pretty frequently)

Have you read or watched anything in January that you would recommend?