Tuesday, May 21, 2013


Nesting Dolls

Last summer I created one of my favourite paintings and sent it off in trade to Alice. I was a little sad to see it leave and so I made plans to create something along the same lines for myself. Shortly after giving my studio a thorough cleaning I discovered these wooden nesting dolls in their box begging to be decorated. Sidebar: How awesome is discovering treasure hidden away in your old boxes?

I had one failed attempt at recreating my layered watercolours with acrylic paint so I went back to watercolour for these. On top of the washes of colour I used Sharpie Paint pens to ink in triangles and trees.

In a Group

I'm really happy with how they turned out. Working with bright, vibrant colours improved my mood each time I would paint or draw this piece. I think I will pick up more wooden nesting dolls so I can create another set of three for the other end of my mantel. I also think I'll be using a similar style and colour palette in more of my future work.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Boom! Poof! Zoom!

Blue and Bloom

The sound of time flying past me or just straight up disappearing. February was the last time I posted on here. Another small sabbatical in which I return with new ideas and more energy.

I have noticed that my time spent on art this year has been pushed aside to focus on family. The great news is that I have a five year old reader, new friends, two active and intelligent kids and many house and garden to-do items checked off our list. The only bad news is that there is less art to show you. I have kept working here and there but my limited time is mostly spent doing and not documenting and sharing.

I have been told that this is a particularly bad year for colds and the flu. We are certainly building our immune system in this house with a near constant level of sickness floating around. Tack allergy discoveries, new activities and volunteering to the list and you can see why come 8pm I am on the couch with the TV on rather than writing.

Right now my trees and flowers are blooming and there have been some beautiful days of warm sunshine. I am hoping this is a sign of health and creativity in the coming months.


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Thursday's Collection


My very first bloom of the season is this gorgeous Hellebore.

I have a primeval hankering for cabbage rolls. I'd like to try my hand at making them myself.

I have a theory about the correlation between weather pressure changes and children's difficult behaviour. We'll be making a couple of 'thinking time' glitter jars to refocus negative energy. I may make one for me, too.

Seedy Saturday is this weekend! I have my list of essential seeds and a large enough bag to come home with several other items that I didn't realize I NEEDED. If I can squeeze in the time before April, I'll make a few of these wonderful markers from our river stones.

I have one of these in all of my bathrooms. Lightly scented with organic lavender oil, it's one hundred times better than any synthetic deodorizer.

February is perfect for slow cooker soups. I mixed this recipe with this recipe to make a vegetable chowder. I also adjusted my cornmeal biscuits to be whole grain and cornmeal with a very delicious result.


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

For the Tooth Fairy

Ready for the Tooth Fairy

My daughter's recent trip to the Dentist led to the discovery of her first wiggly tooth! On our way home we stopped at a craft store and I let her pick out the felt and ribbon. That evening I made a simple tooth door hanger so we'll be well prepared when the Tooth Fairy arrives.

There is a small pocket on one side for the tooth and a large pocket on this side for money. What's the going rate for the Tooth Fairy? I believe I received twenty-five cents, but there has been a tiny bit of inflation since the 80s. Is a dollar enough and perhaps a little extra for each tooth thereafter?

~ jeannine


Monday, January 28, 2013

Two for Tea

Tea Box Storage

Remember the Tea Box storage bins I made? Well I made two more. They are part of a pretty set of three sitting on a shelf in my studio.

One is filled with stamps

One with postage

One with tape

and they all still hold the scent of lemon verbena

~ jeannine


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Thursday's Collection

Eva's 3rd Birthday Cake

My Spiderman obsessed daughter decided she wanted a rainbow cake with pink icing and rainbow sprinkles.

An excellent post about Body Science. I'll be using this as a reference for my girls and their questions in the years to come.

It's nearly that time of year again. I've already begun brainstorming some ideas.

After nearly finishing a painted set of nesting dolls, I'm now obsessed with making more and seeing what others have created.



Monday, January 21, 2013

Mail Art: Hand Painted and a Poem

This is a long overdue post about the packages I sent to my very patient friends since this past summer. I see that I am in need of another session in the studio putting together envelopes with art, images and letters.

To Barbara

Barbara received my first of several hand painted envelopes. Inside was a collection of pictures and handmade treats.

To Kimi

Kimi received another hand painted envelope and a hand painted card along with pictures, a postcard and stickers.

To Sumi

Sumi received a sketch on handmade paper which shares a similar colour tone with the photos. Gold letter, hand painted and space stickers rounded off the package.

Lucky Jack Press - Trade

Marcus opened a package to find our next trade. A BC sunset and two pressed sweet pea blossoms along with a painted cardboard postcard. At the time our prolonged summer was coming to an end and we were about to hit 80 days without a drop of rain. A few days later it began to rain with a vengeance.  I found a beautiful quote online and created an illustration to match.

The rain began again.
It fell heavily,
with no meaning or intention
but the fulfilment
of its own nature,
which was to fall
and fall.
- Helen Garner


Monday, January 7, 2013

Handmade Gifts Part 2

Lavender Bath Salts


I have several kinds of lavender plants in my garden and so I planned to put together some scented bath salts using my flower buds and some essential oil. I was hoping to find a local shop that carried the oil and in my research I discovered that I live a mere 20 minute drive from an organic lavender farm! Huzzah!

A quick stop turned into a family trip and a small purchase turned into a gift of pumpkins for each of my girls from the generous gardener, Lynda. We roasted the pumpkins and made several batches of pumpkin pancakes and pumpkin cookies. She asked us to return in the spring and she'll give each girl their own tomato plant. I foresee several more varieties of lavender in my garden in the coming years.

The recipe for the bath salts was simple. Epsom salts and a dozen drops of oil. A few buds and a hearty shake to mix them up. Top of the jar, seal it up and package as desired. I stamped the kraft paper with a snowflake stamp and white ink and finished it off with a small drawing on each jar.

Making these gifts has inspired me to continue making handmade presents each year. Do you make any of your gifts? Please share your story! I'd love to hear what you made.



Thursday, January 3, 2013

Thursday's Collection


I made my father's traditional Sweet Potato and Carrot Crisp with our Christmas dinner. Omitting the bread crumbs (which isn't really essential) and substituting with very fine walnut could make this a fantastic gluten-free item for our friends and family who prefer to remain grain-less.

I've shelved my colourful vocabulary now that I have two little walking and talking recording and playback devices but these cards appealed to my wicked sense of humour and foul mouth.

I can't pinpoint what I love most about this. It is either that she reminds me of myself at that age or the message Lego is also for girls (and not just the pink/purple sets).

I made this with a large batch of these. We were out of our sweet curry and I used a hotter variety. It has a kick but a dollop of greek yogurt (rather than sour cream) is perfection. Plus, I'm insanely proud that my girls were so excited for homemade crackers.

The idea of an ecovillage farm within walking distance from my house is pretty exciting. It may never come to be, but it's exciting to think about.



Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Handmade Gifts Part 1

Seed Packets

Shelling Peas

False Indigo

At the end of each holiday season I resolve to start making my gift list as soon as possible and finish shopping in the summer. By Halloween I realize I forgot to make said list and panic while cursing my unorganized habits. This year was much the same (why break with tradition, right?) with one small change -- I made a few of our gifts.

The first handmade gift was seed sharing. I successfully saved a large envelope full of shelling peas and I still have a jar full of seeds from my gorgeous False Indigo plant from Ottawa. I dusted off my InDesign software and combined a sketch of the plant with some well set type. I printed it onto heavy kraft paper and used a seed packet template I found online.

Did you make any of your Christmas gifts this year? Please share in the comments, I'd love to see them.

The next Handmade Gifts post will be about the bath product I made using a locally sourced treasure.



Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Nearly done

I hope you had a really great Christmas with just the right balance of supreme laziness and goal accomplishment. Those were the two items on my list during our holidays. Check and check. We all slept in, drank too much coffee, played with our new toys and finished a deep house cleaning and organizing. There was art, reading and eating and were were merry most of the time.

I've been busy with artwork, crafts and cooking lately and I'm looking forward to sharing these with you. I'm hoping that this creative momentum will continue and that I'll be able to carve out enough time for regular posting until the next wave of busy sweeps me away.

Happy New Year!
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