If you have visited my Etsy shop lately, you'll see a growing collection of Bright Maps. The original, The Bright World Map, was created for The Land of Nod and is sold through them printed on canvas. I sell the map in my shop as a paper print and it is one of my best-sellers. Over the last year, I have had a few inquiries as to whether I have a similar Bright Map of the United States, and more recently a request for a Bright Map of Africa. It was something I had been meaning to get to for a while, and I'm happy to say that I'm now offering both a Bright Map of the US and a Bright Map of Africa in the shop (it looks like a little rainbow exploded in there, in a good way!).
Of course, with the world as my subject there are lots more countries and continents to cover. Next up, a Bright Map of Canada. That would be nice, eh?
The lovely Marie-Ève from the blog Lake Jane has generously offered to host an English Muffin giveaway! Today is the last day to enter to win a 13" x 19" Montréal Map!
What are you waiting for?! Enter here.
Now that my maternity leave is over, it's full steam ahead with all the hundreds of to do's I didn't manage to get done over the last 13 months. At the top of my list is updating my print offerings in the English Muffin Shop. I've been wanting to adapt some of the illustration work I've done for Pure Green Magazine into pretty prints that are easy to frame and will look great hanging on the wall. The first one to make the leap from the pages of Pure Green to the shop is my Montréal Map. The map was originally created as part of our guide to Montréal article where the lovely Lake Jane took us on a tour of the city. I've updated it at bit, adding a few more neighbourhoods and landmarks and making sure it will look great as a framed piece.
The print is available in 22" x 17" and 19" x 13", and custom sizes are available too.
I've been working on putting together my illustration portfolio—a task that any artist will know is very time consuming and not so fun. The bright side however, is that I now have a nice little portfolio folder on my desktop full of neat and tidy jpegs of my recent work. It's great to see all of those images in there, it gives me a real sense of accomplishment after a year of feeling like I haven't been able to put 100% of myself into very much besides taking care of Edwin. I thought it was time to get some of these images onto the blog, so I've uploaded a few to share.
These are some of my favourites from a column that Papa Chuck and I have worked on together for Pure Green Magazine, it's called Eco-Logical. Charles (who has a PhD in Forest Ecology) writes about an ecological topic that is relevant to the theme of each issue and I create an accompanying illustration. It's been a really neat project to work on together and we always love the final result!
Pure Green Magazine - issue 10 / vol. 4
Pure Green Magazine - issue 9 / vol. 3
Pure Green Magazine - issue 8 / vol. 2
Pure Green Magazine - issue 7 / vol. 1
Pure Green Magazine - issue 6
If you'd like to see more of my illustration work for Pure Green Magazine you can visit the website, check out the new iPad app, or better yet get yourself a copy in print!
This poor kid can't seem to catch a break lately. After 2 weeks of sickness following the holidays he's got another cold, had a super high fever last night from his 12 month vaccines—so much so that he threw-up twice, is getting his pre-molars and now it's -39C outside with the windchill factor which means another day indoors.
Sometimes it's hard to be a baby.
Over the past year, we have made a few home improvements that I haven't had the time to share on the blog. But, today as the bright sun was streaming into our bedroom, I was inspired to show you what my talented and handy hubby has been up to around our apartment.
Our bedroom was desperately in need of a little face-lift after we moved Edwin's crib out and into his own room (at 8 months!) and got rid of an ugly and not very functional dresser (good riddance!). Charles had the idea to find some old school lockers to replace the dresser and turn them into a mini closest with the help of some additional shelving and some hanger bars. We found a set of three lockers at a Salvation Army type store in Montreal and had them delivered the next day. They were in need of some love, so we chose a pretty shade of blue paint (which we were unsure of for a few days after they were painted—but have since come to love), and Charles got down to the business of cleaning, sanding, goo-gone-ing, hacksawing off a huge lock box attached to one end and finally painting them. The result is a charming closet solution that fits just perfectly in the space, and reminds you of your super awkward high school years. Yay!
The next project was to make a headboard for our bed. We wanted something simple and light, and something that was economical and easy to build. For this project Charles bought four pieces of 5/8" x 6" cedar planking, cut them to size, sanded them down to a super soft finish and mounted them to two legs hidden behind the boards on either side of the mattress using screws from behind. We didn't want to affix the headboard to the wall so it's easy to move and there's not the pain of dealing with anchors, unknown behind the wall materials, etc... The total project cost for the headboard was about $60.
Still to do in the bedroom is deciding on a window treatment for our one street-level window. I love the light that comes in, but privacy is a bit of an issue. I like the starkness of forgoing long curtains, but miss the darkness that they provide at night, there's a street light aimed directly at my side of the bed. Any suggestions for modern and clean window coverings?
P.S. You may be wondering what my role in these projects was—directing, and taking care of Edwin of course ;)
It's official, my baby boy is now one! Does that make him a toddler? I'm not sure I'm quite ready for him to have toddler status yet! Edwin's first birthday party was so much fun. It always surprises me how much more 'real' events in your life feel when celebrated together with friends or family. It is so important to mark these moments in time, and although I get a little pre-party nuts, I'm very glad we did it. The significance of the day really hit me when we were singing happy birthday—our little family had actually made it to this amazing milestone in all our lives, I won't lie, I got a little choked up.
Edwin was the lucky recipient of some very thoughtful and beautiful gifts, one of which was this wooden airplane handmade by his friend Aoife's grandfather. There's even a pilot inside and his name on the plane!
For his birthday cake I found a recipe for a Banana Blueberry Cake with Cream Cheese Icing that was baby-friendly. If you're looking for a first birthday cake recipe I would definitely recommend this one. It was really delicious, even thought I over cooked the bottom a little—oops! The babies didn't seem to mind, though ;)