April Reading

It's funny to look back at what I've read in April because I feel like I've spent most of the month reading Middlemarch, but since I didn't finish it until May I can't even count it. I think my favorite book in April was the Barbara Comyns, all her books are so weird in a good way though. I read it hard on the heels of Voyage in the Dark, and they are similar stories in some ways, both main characters suffer hopelessness and poverty in early 20th century London, but they handle it very differently.
I think I remember people in college talking highly of Sophie's World, which makes total sense, if I'd read it as a 19 year old I would probably have loved it. Now though, not so much. Just as literature it's terrible, I think the same kind of thing could have been done without such a belabored story.
I absolutely loved The Age of Wonder, I highly recommend it if you looking for a good long audiobook to listen to! It covers some figures in science during one of my favorite historical periods (late 18th early 19th centuries). It's truly engaging, I absolutely love that it gives equal weight to some central women of the time, and discusses everything with real warmth and sympathy.

• Our Spoons Came from Woolworths by Barbara Comyns
Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder
The Accidental by Ali Smith
A Field Guide to Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit
Pax by Sara Pennypacker
I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai (read for my book club)

Audiobooks listened to in April:
The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science by Richard Holmes

Movies & TV Watched in April:

Bob's Burgers: Season 5
More Friends Season 3
Documentary Now!: "Sandy Passage" (I'd like to watch more, just need to be in the mood)
Pee-wee's Big Adventure (I'd never seen it! It's so weird and good!)
Detectorists: Season 1: (SO GOOD)
Plus some MST3K, I forget which ones



I don't actually have any favorites for April, it went by so quickly and I am extremely boring! I didn't do anything besides work, garden, and make bread. It was a good month.

Well actually one favorite thing of the last month has been baking bread often using my own starter as the levain. It's so satisfying when it turns out at all well! Also after putting it off forever we finally bought a real bread knife, and not even an expensive one, which has made a huge difference to overall bread enjoyment. All my other knives are crazy dull, which is something I will deal with at some point...




I hope you had a good April!


Edward Lear

Owl and Pussycat
I made this piece for my illustration agency's April campaign. I tried not to overthink it too much which is why the lettering in all wonky! I've actually never drawn an owl before, that I can remember anyway.


Cherry Blossom Walk

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


New Printable Things

Days of the week

Daily to do lists

You can download these daily lists in my Etsy shop!


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.


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



Kids Stargazing

Kids drawing

Kids Cooking

Hope I didn't post these already!


March Favorites

Spring quince



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.

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



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

sketchbook lettering

sketchbook birds


In The Garden

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.


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.

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!


Folk Birds

folk bird 2

folk bird 1

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


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!


Plants Girl

Plants girl


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


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?


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?


Fox & Magpie

Fox & Magpie

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


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.


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.