Monday, December 22

Happy Holidays!

 
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone! Our home is in full swing holiday mode - one family Christmas complete (where I cooked my first turkey, successfully! - yippie, win!), and another family Christmas to go; along with our little Christmas. :)


Our little fur family is all ready for Christmas too. Despite how 'peaceful' this picture above looks, the cat guards the tree from the dog - it's his, not Chewie's. Whatever keeps the tree from getting knocked down!

The store is staying open for the holidays, but nothing will ship until after January 2nd, 2015. As a thank you to everyone, I'm offering a 15% discount in my online store until January 2nd,2015, using the code HAPPYSNOW14 upon checkout :)

Thursday, November 27

Snowed In Last Week


The weather outside was quite frightful last week, and I didn't make it into work two days because the roads we completely whiteout. Now what we got in snow is nothing compared to what some the cities in the U.S. got. But the rain came on the weekend, and melted it all away. 


On my days off, I worked on all the commissions that I have. Sometimes though, my mind needs a 'creative break' to wander off and create something else. Above is the beginnings of a painting that I hope to share with you all later this week :)

You can also see my new laptop up in the picture - yes, it was a sad day, my little Dell died without warning. After running it to the nearest computer store in a panic to pull everything off it's hard drive (and they did very successfully), we ventured in search of a new computer. After some discussion, I decided to switch over to Apple, and purchased a MacBook Pro. My cell phone is due for it's 'free replacement', now actually, and I was looking at iPhones - so this will just tie it all together.

It's been a huge learning curve - mostly with printer colour profiles, something I've never really had to do before, but now that things are running more smoothly, I am liking it more. It's also all shiny and new, and who doesn't like that in technology? :)

Wednesday, November 26

Winter Song Watercolour Painting

https://www.etsy.com/listing/212844406/original-painting-winter-song-watercolor 

Today I'm sharing with you a new painting that I added to the store. I know a couple days ago I shared with you an autumn painting, and it felt more appropriate with all the snow to share some winter paintings as well :)
"Winter Song'
 "Winter Song" is a cute little piece about how despite the cold weather, the birds keep merrily chirping away! I gave them all little scarves in this piece to help keep them warm. Their 'song' are little pieces of music paper collaged on - it gives the piece a lot more interest, and even a little dimension.


Sunday, November 23

Harvest Moon Original Painting

https://www.etsy.com/listing/212317314/harvest-moon-original-watercolour
"Harvest Moon" - Original watercolor painting

 I added a new painting to my online shop this weekend. I know snow is still on the ground, but my mind kept going back and forth between autumn and winter - I love the colours and the 'vividness' of autumn. And nothing says that more than a large, illuminating harvest moon.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/212317314/harvest-moon-original-watercolour


It is also featured in my 2015 calendar!

https://img1.etsystatic.com/033/0/5122281/il_570xN.656810137_r1mp.jpg

Quantities of the calendar are limited, so get yours now before they're all gone!

Wednesday, November 19

New winter art prints!

"Winter Robins" - Watercolour Art Print
I'm excited to be offering two new art prints in my online shop, Jellybeans, just in time for the holiday season! Winter Robins and Goldfinch Frost at my newest additions to the print side of my shop.
"Goldfinch Frost" - Watercolour Art Print
Even though they are winter-themed, the colours are just so lovely that they would make a beautiful wall display all year round. Blues go with all sort of colours, making is very versatile for room decoration :)

Tuesday, November 18

First Snow Day


Chewie is now about 14 weeks, and got to experience snow for the first time! He wasn't as super excited as I thought he would be. I thought he would be trying to catch all the snowflakes and walk funny in the snow. Instead, he does like to catch snowballs - and then proceed to chew on them. He also enjoys digging his head in the deeper snow and running after leaves and such blowing across the snow.

 

He is growing into quite the handsome fellow. His face has a lot more definition to it, and his body is definitely getting longer and thicker. He still has his puppy fur and his razor sharp puppy teeth - we cannot wait for those to fall out!


His new antics and ever developing personality keep us smiling - his new ability to chase (and catch!) his tail, and his skill at chewing on his now longer and floppier ears. He's so friendly and sweet to everyone. I'd like to say he's a perfect angel, but he still gets into everything. But with a face like his, it's hard to stay mad at him - you just want to cuddle!

Saturday, October 18

Adjusting


Adjusting to life with Chewie has been interesting to say the least :) He is super cute and is definitely keeping up on our toes! 2 am baths because puppy ate the cat food, and it didn't settle right? Yup! That happened...there is a reason puppies are so adorable ;)


He's already made friends with Maverick, our neighbours pooch, and loves visiting him. Maverick is such a well behaved dog, that he's the perfect role model for him. 


Oreo, on the other hand, is going to take a bit longer to adjust I think. Some days I think they are coming around, and other days they take a couple steps back. But it's still early days, so hopefully in the future they can at least have some sort of truce. 

Thursday, October 9

Say Hello To Chewie


I want everyone to say 'Hello' to Chewie.  I know you got a sneak peak yesterday, but he got all zonked out from our walk yesterday and I was able to get super close with my camera and not have him move or try to lick it.


As mentioned yesterday, he's a Bernese Mountain dog. He's going to be massive - one source said males can get up to 120lb. We wanted a larger dog, and when we talked about it - it was always about the larger breeds. I never thought James would surprise me with a puppy though! He picked a good breed, I'm so very happy!


You can see how massive his paws are - a sure sign that he's got a lot of growing up to do. 



He is a pretty chill puppy. We take him out for a short walk - which he just tries to sit and lie down for half of it, and then he sleeps for a couple hours. Below you see him leaning against a tree after walking half a block. He's just a puppy, so we will build up these walks more with time.


He's a super smart puppy. He can already recognize when we get back on 'his' street. He just starts running (after resisting the walk the whole way lol) - first to our neighbours who have a Retriever dog that he has already played with. And then to our front door. He is also already going to the back door to be let out when he's ready to go 'potty'. 

Wednesday, October 8

Big News!! Big!!


So I had all intentions of posting some more paintings this weekend - but something big happened. See that cutie pie up there - yup, he happened. James surprised me with a new puppy - Chewie, short for Chewbacca. (Look at those huge paws!!!) But then more and even more exciting happened...


THIS HAPPENED!!! It couldn't have been more perfect, and of course I said yes!


So this weekend was an eventful one, and now we are chasing a little (going to be huge) Bernese Mountain Dog around our house. So two big, big changes. Happy, happy times ahead!!! :D

Sunday, October 5

Painting Progress III: White Cloud Island

 
Another update on my, very large, commission. It doesn't look like too much was done, but more transparent layers were added to the islands, as well as the water and lower foliage started. You can see my 'mock' watercolour painting on the floor to the left - so, so tiny in comparison! 
 

An up close picture of all the layers in the islands. So beautifully colourful. I can't wait to be done and apply the final clear finishing product to it - it will make those colours so lusciously rich!


For those wondering the brand of paints I am working with - it's a mishmash of everything :) I've purchased acrylic paint tubes based on certain attributes that I am go after at that moment: transparent vs. solid, ect. So you end up with a couple brands after awhile. I figure since they are all artist's quality with wonderful light fastness ratings, it's not a huge deal :)

Thursday, October 2

Green Jade Succulent Watercolour Painting

https://www.etsy.com/listing/204214723/green-jade-original-watercolor-succulent
 
Today I'm sharing with you a smaller painting that I've painted up! 'Green Jade' is based on my Jade plant, which I've had for probably 3 years and this year took a turn for the worst and is slowly dying off. I'm having hope that it might come around, but it is not looking likely.
https://www.etsy.com/listing/204214723/green-jade-original-watercolor-succulent
I used the new watercolour paints that have been created by Golden for the green succulent foilage - Hello vibrant colour! I think as I need to replace used up tubes, I might opt for replacing them with the Golden ones. They are slightly more expensive, but the vibrancy is amazing.
 
"Green Jade" is available for purchase online, here. :)

Tuesday, September 30

Painting Progress: White Cloud Island II


Today I'm sharing the progress of the largest painting I have ever attempted to tackle (and I am willing myself to make it a beautiful, shining success). It's loosely based on some photographs I took of White Cloud Island. This painting doesn't have to be a perfect representation based on where it's going after - but I do want it to look wonderful. And I know that it was originally based on local landscape. Mostly, I just want it really colourful to light up an area.

I began working on the landscape of this painting in greens - but it just wasn't cutting it. It wasn't as dramatic, and it wasn't as colourful as I was hoping. I was getting disappointed and discouraged. In my mind - it was typical and dull. I felt I hit a wall. There wasn't even much spark in the colour. So I started creating some dramatic contrast, and layering on bolder colours - I thought: if I don't like it to begin with, I can't really mess it up now, can I? It was the best decision. Below is how it was....I think the painting above it an excellent step away from that.
 
 
 Oreo, of course, is always hanging around while I'm working in my art studio. I've been fortunate that he never has the desire to rub his head - and long fur - into wet paint....yet.
 

 
He often sleeps on his back with his paws pulled up all cute like that. Oh, what a sweetie pie! A fluffy, soft sweetie pie :)

Saturday, September 27

Shine Through New Watercolour Painting

https://www.etsy.com/listing/204218687/shine-through-original-watercolor

I've added a new painting to my online store, "Shine Through." I know it's been a long while since I've added artwork, but things in the art studio having been brewing and I have lots to share in the upcoming days :)

https://www.etsy.com/listing/204218687/shine-through-original-watercolor

I've always wanted to incorporate when the sun peaks through all the leaves of a tree - a beautiful summer moment - into a painting, but wasn't quite sure how to achieve the desire effect and look that I was after. Finally, after some pondering, I got the effect I wanted. The yellow to green ombre really translates my thoughts into a colourful composition.

This original painting is available for sale, here.

Even more exciting - this painting is the 'cover' for my - wait for it....... my 2015 calendar!

https://www.etsy.com/listing/163952076/2015-12-month-watercolour-trees-desk-or

As well, 'Shine Through' is the month May.

 It took some quality time with Photoshop, but I've put together another colourful year for everyone :)

https://www.etsy.com/listing/163952076/2015-12-month-watercolour-trees-desk-or

It features a lot of new and fresh paintings - most of them never seen before and I will be sharing them with you throughout the week - so check back often if you see something on there you like but don't see in the shop. As previous years, this calendar will have a beautiful little mini art easel included with it - so you can display your months on the art easel, or you can tack/tape/magnet them to a board for a wall calendar :)

This calendar is currently in Pre-Sale. I have limited quantities, and it will begin to ship in mid-October. You can get yours, here.

Tuesday, September 9

Busy Bee


I've been semi-absent from the blog as of late - a lot of good reasons for that :) The garden is starting to finish up - and that means tons of produce is coming off, and I have to do something with it all, plus clean out what is spent. My weigh-in tally for August was almost 60lbs of produce - which for a first time, 3-box raised garden bed, I think is pretty awesome! I'm going to be sad when we have to start buying vegetables at the grocery store again...


My poor tomatoes that I thought were never going to make it, have been turning around like champions so fast that it's been hard to keep up. We had an easy solution to that though - salsa! From the garden tomatoes, so far, we got 4 regular pints, and 7 half-pints of salsa! I had also purchased two 25lb boxes of Roma tomatoes, for fear that we wouldn't have enough. From one box I got another 3 pints of salsa, and 10 pints of homemade tomato sauce! That's right folks! Fresh and clean tomato sauce this winter for these people! :) I still have one almost untouched 25 lb box of tomatoes to go, plus everything else I get from the garden.


I also entered some of my produce in the fall fair in town here this past weekend, and everything did wonderfully :) The chili peppers snagged first place - luckily there were three red ones to pick for the fair!! My winnings will help get me more seeds for next years garden - so to say that garden paid for itself in food is now a literal statement :)


My mini-bells have been turning beautiful colours too. And, I wished that I could have entered them in the fair - but alas, there was no category for mini-peppers, and I didn't have enough ripe ones to enter into the random vegetable category (needed 7 ripe ones, and I was short 3!). Maybe next year :)

Besides being a little homesteading housewife, I've also been busy with my artwork - working on a lot of commissions, and packing orders. I am also putting together my 2015 calendar, and I hope to have it done shortly. I wanted a lot of new artwork for it, so I have to paint that artwork first, and then create the calendar. That means, this month - I cannot say when, as it is a crazy busy month, but sometime, there will be a huge shop update with a lot of new paintings :) Exciting! 

Tuesday, August 26

Oh She Grows: Changing colours


All the green goodness in my garden is finally starting to slowly change into red sweetness. The cherry tomatoes have been slow to get going, but are now starting to really pick up :) But what I'm really excited for - since I don't really eat tomatoes - is my peppers!! I'm sorry about the lighting in some of the pictures - I'm working nights this week at the hospital, and so I'm missing the opportune photography lighting conditions, hehe.


Do you know how hard it is to let green peppers sit. Sit. And, sit some more? Knowing that they will be delicious as a green pepper, but having that nagging voice in your head tell you they will be even more wonderful if you can let them change red? But now that time has come! I've already picked off one red mini-bell pepper. And I went down to check this morning to see two more on the way. Since these are mini-bells; they are ripening fast, now that they are starting. My larger regular sized bell peppers are taking a bit longer to mature - I blame that on the gardening massacre, stunting their growth for a while.


The most beautiful are my hot peppers. This picture does not do them justice on just how vibrant that red colour it. So much more than the bells. I can't wait for the rest of them to go this way. 


My paste tomatoes have also taken the leap, and I can see two starting to turn. The cooler weather has made me nervous about my later produce making it through the season - especially all my green tomatoes. So, I gave them a hair cut - I pruned them. I had avoided it for so long. Very conflicted between what people were telling me, and what I was reading online - knowing that there is more than one way to do something. I'm not sure if I like what I did. But I've been getting so super nervous with all this cooler weather.

 It took me two hours - it was a lot of work, there was a lot of 'bush' in my plants. The above tomato was already starting to turn before I pruned - I noticed it as I was clipping along. But my beefsteaks don't look close to turning, and living in Ontario, the season has maybe a month and a half left...two months if we're lucky. So I pruned. And now my lush patch of tomato plants look sad. Fingers crossed this was a good idea. If not, then I will not touch them next year. You live and learn!

Wednesday, August 20

Little Upgrades Giving a Big Difference


This summer I took the opportunity to give our house a little upgrade in the front. Below is how it looked before - the stain on the wood was faded, if not completely weathered off, and the poles looked like they may begin to rot soon.


I stripped off all the old stain - and that was no small task. One day project the products said, humph! Took me almost a week of sanding after work.  The screen door was the hardest part, with all the little nook and crevices. 


I thought about going back to the original 'cedar' stained colour. But I wanted a change - if you're going through all the effort, why not give it a new look? This dark brown semi-translucent stain has a slight touch of grey to it. Love the greyed browns! I painted the numbers white so that they stood out a lot more than before - make us a little easier to find :)

I think it worked out well, and now our house looks a little more like ours. Next: painting the front door and garage door a nice, neutral blue. :)

Monday, August 18

Painting Progress: White Cloud Island


I've begun work on a new, very large commission. This will probably be the largest painting I have worked on to date - and honestly, it's very intimidating. It was easy to sketch out what I was going to do - I had worked everything out loosely with a watercolour painting. But it was actually applying the paint, and deciding the colours and moods that was a challenge. I started once, and then stopped - not liking where it was going. This is my second start, and it's coming along much better. 

The biggest challenge so far, is making sure the colours match along the three canvases. I thought about implementing some mixed media. But based on the size, it might not work out so great - trying to ensure that everything flows properly over the three, and that edges match up. Also, where it is due to be displayed, I think a more traditional approach was called for.