January 28, 2015

A Reading Resolution

We are book lovers in our house. We have bookcases everywhere. You may be wondering then why I have this large pile of books on the floor. This is my 'to read' stack beside my night table.

I don't always make New Year's resolutions and, when I do, I don't always make them public. Sometimes, they are just small private goals. I read recently that most New Year's resolutions are broken in the first week of January. I wonder if it's because they are too severe and unrealistic.

This year, I set myself a gentle goal. It is simply to read more. There are no quotas. It is a positive goal (rather than 'don't do this' or 'don't do that') that, as I pursue it, will probably set off a ripple effect of other small improvements.

In the past four years, as I became more and more involved in social media, Etsy teams and other online activities, my evenings have been spent on the computer. I've been reading books less and less. Instead of reading one more chapter, I was checking one more thing on my iPad before bed. My 'to read' stack became a daunting mountain.

One of many bookcases in our house
I have always loved to read. I loved taking out books from the library when I was a young girl and I would regularly read past my bedtime at night. I thought I was being surreptitious but, when my father would come upstairs, he would feel the lightbulb in my bedside lamp and know that I had just turned it out when I heard his footsteps.  My degree in university was in English literature. I would ask for books for gifts and have continued this tradition by including books in every birthday and Christmas gift I have given to my daughters. One of the sweetest memories I have of Emma as a child is her coming into my bedroom at age eleven or so with this extremely serious look on her face. As she said 'Mama' and began to speak, I remember being worried what she was going to say. She said 'Mama, I just wanted to thank you for giving me your love of reading.' My heart melted.

So this year is about getting back to the heart of what I love. It's about moving away from the computer earlier in the evening, not worrying about refreshing tabs yet again, and reading before I turn out the light. I am happy to report that I am reading my third book since Christmas and can't wait to choose the next one from the mountain beside my bed.

❤  ❤  

January 23, 2015

Exciting News! My Own Shop!

I have wanted to have my own website for so long!  A couple of weeks ago, I bought my own domain name (trowelandpaintbrush) and began setting up my own shop.

I customized a design that is offered on the Big Cartel site. I am so proud of myself as two weeks ago, I barely knew a thing about HTML. By googling when I got stuck, I was able to learn enough to tweak the format to something that reflects me and suits my paintings.

I love how it looks and hope you do too. It's pretty and filled with light.


This is where I will now sell my original watercolour paintings. There are a still a few originals in my Etsy shop for now but any new paintings will be listed on my new website. I also plan to list some of my cards and prints.

While I have thought of having my own shop for a couple of years, changes in the past year on Etsy made me feel even more motivated to be in a place where I have more control over my work. This is especially important to me when it comes to my original watercolours.  If you know me, you will understand how much thought was put into this. I consider things carefully and think about each and every detail of what I do.

I am hoping that my followers here on my blog, on Instagram and Facebook, will enjoy seeing my work in this new setting. I'm not abandoning my Etsy shop but feel better having my own site where I can showcase my work in a clean and uncluttered environment where I have full control both as an artist and a businessperson.

I hope that you will visit my new site and have a look around. I've added some background information on me. Maybe you'll find something out that you didn't know! If you have any feedback, I would love to hear it.

I wish I could pass around a plate of cookies and some tea, or maybe a platter of cheese and some wine.  I feel like celebrating with you all!

❤  ❤  

January 20, 2015

Music from My Studio

I am a member of wonderful collective of makers and finders called Tributary Goods. We are a group of forty artists and vintage vendors from around the world.

We are linked by many things not the least of which is a love of music. It's not a surprise to me to know that people who work independently in home studios love music. Creating is a solitary activity. I always have my iPod playing when I paint. It's comforting and motivating to have the accompaniment.

Each of the Tributary Goods members has created a soundtrack of music that they love. I'm excited to announce that the playlist I created is on their blog this week along with a little write-up. Please check it out. Chair dancing is highly encouraged. :)


❤  ❤  

January 4, 2015

After the Holidays

We have had freezing rain here most of the day. It has been a hazardous day for drivers and pedestrians. I'm so glad we drove back from Ontario on Friday and have been able to relax at home this weekend. We were in Ontario for a whole week to visit my family. We were supposed to drive Emma back to her university residence tonight but will wait until the morning when roads are likely to be easier to navigate. There are areas in Quebec without power. Our lights flickered this afternoon but, so far, we are lucky.

Hazards aside, the ice-encased garden is really quite beautiful. I posted a few photos I took during daylight on Instagram earlier. Tonight with our Christmas lights on and the street lights in the background, the garden is positively luminous.

Emma will be back at university tomorrow. ChloƩ goes back to school on Tuesday. I am so looking forward to getting back to my routine and painting again but it was very nice to have a break and do other things.

I hope you all had a good holiday and I wish you the very best in 2015!



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