artwork

Welcome Spring

first day of spring outfit

Welcome Spring- you are long awaited!

Today, for the First Day of Spring, while the sun is shining in the sky, there is still a lot of snow out there, so no pictures of tulips and crocuses popping their heads up. We won’t have any growing things outside for at least a month either, here in Alberta, so I decided to both draw and wear my own flowers today instead. I also added in my favourite bee necklace for good measure!

poppy earrings for spring

urban alchemy bee necklace

I haven’t been outside to enjoy the sunshine today, though I was planning on going for a walk this afternoon, because I think I’m coming down with a cold. Perhaps going for a walk would be the best thing, though. Getting out and getting some fresh air and sunshine would probably be a good thing.

It’s been a strange last while, hasn’t it? The COVID-19 virus pandemic has managed to touch all of our lives. A few weeks ago, it felt like it was (quite literally) something happening on the other side of the world. Of course, things like this do affect us all, but my day to day life hadn’t changed very much. I’m an introvert, and I work from home, so “self isolating” is basically my everyday life.

However, now with this disease spreading to all corners of the world, it actually is starting to affect me. I may jokingly say that I self isolate all the time, but the reality is that I can go out whenever I choose to. It’s as simple as putting on my coat and shoes and walking out the door.

To suddenly be aware of the fact that you shouldn’t go out, well…it’s entirely different isn’t it? Realizing that you shouldn’t go out browsing the shops, that the library is closed, that the grocery stores are all out of rolled oats (and you really just wanted some porridge), that since you’ve got cold symptoms you need to stay indoors to protect everyone else (just in case it’s not a cold, but you’ve actually contracted the disease…), and that now is not the ideal time to be dropping off resumes and looking for work…well it can get a bit stressful can’t it?

be anxious for nothing artwork

Last night as I was reading my Bible, these verses came to mind, so I immediately flipped over to Philippians to read them again. I went to sleep with these words on my mind, and woke up this morning eager to put them to paper. And since it’s the first day of Spring, I thought that some flowers were apropos to add some sunshine and hope. Times of refreshing do come.

How are you celebrating the first day of Spring?

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4: 6-7

Poppy pearl earrings by Andrea Shelley Designs

Bee necklace by Urban Alchemy Jewelry

welcome spring botanical artwork

first day of spring floral outfit

Valentine’s Day 2019

valentine-cards, the artyologist

Happy belated Valentine’s Day everyone!

If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, it will be no surprise to you that I love Valentine’s Day. Every year, on Valentines I send cards, bake a heart shaped cake, wear pink, and spend time with my family eating the aforementioned cake. This year was no different! I was originally planning on posting yesterday, sharing the cards that I made this year, but then I decided to include a picture of the card my sister got me, because it was too cute to not share!

valentine-cards-2

These are the cards I made this year.

And this is the card my sister got me! So adorable- it’s definitely getting framed and hung on my wall! The artist is Jane Carkill of Lamb Little Illustration– she has the sweetest illustrations!

Can’t have a proper Valentine’s Day without chocolate and hearts!

And lastly- I bought myself some flowers on Wednesday, because it’s February and winter seems like it has no end, it was Valentine’s Day, and why not? They do cheer up the place and I smile every time I look at them.

Did you do anything special for Valentine’s Day?

Valentine’s Day Cards and Cake

Valentine's Day Cards and Cake, the artyologist

I can finally share the cards I made this year, now that Valentine’s Day is over! (I didn’t want to share these pictures before, as I didn’t want people to see the cards here before they received them.)

This year I decided to really simplify my cards, as I didn’t have a lot of time to dedicate to making them, so I decided to do some Valentine themed drawings, and then colour them with watercolour. I used heavy cardstock, rather than watercolour paper, so the ink would come out smooth and crisp. After letting the ink dry, I went over with the watercolour, then trimmed them and that was that. I made sure to take some scans of them as I might turn them into some card designs in the future. I think that some of them would work OK for “just because” cards, not just for Valentine’s Day, what do you think?

valentines cards-and-cake, the artyologist

And of course, I had to share this delicious coconut and chocolate tart that I made in honour of the day. I decided to do some food photography, because it turned out so pretty! Of course that cocoa powder made a huge mess all over the place, but it was worth it for some photos 😉

Anyways, I have nothing else to really say, so I wish you all a great weekend! Here in Alberta it is a long weekend, so I am looking forward to that extra day off. See you all next week!

Valentine's Day Cards and Cake, all cards, the artyologist

valentines cards, the artyologist

valentines day cake, the artyologist

scattered valentines cards, the artyologist

valentines cards, the artyologist

valentine's day cards, the artyologist

valentine's day cake, the artyologist

The Lost Art of Christmas Cards & a Free Christmas Card Printable

lost-art-of-christmas-cards-the-artyologist

Every year, at the beginning of December I start thinking about Christmas cards. Actually that’s not quite true, I start thinking about Christmas cards right after Christmas the year before, when all the Christmas stationery goes on sale! Every year, I go through the cards after the holidays, and pick out my favourite one for the next year. (That might be a bad habit to have. . . I’m a stationery hoarder. . . ) And then, fast forward to the first week (or second if I’m late) of December of the next year, I go through my address book and write greetings, and put a Christmas postage stamp on the envelopes and off they go, winging their way across the country!

In this era of texting and technology, sending Christmas greetings has become somewhat of a “lost art”, as has all mail, and it’s really too bad, because there is nothing quite like receiving a handwritten note in the mail, is there? One of my favourite parts of my day is stopping at the mailbox to see if there is anything in it. More often than not, I am like Charlie Brown, calling “hello in there” with no response, but nevertheless, I do still love it! I guess I’m a Victorian girl at heart. This might be because I read Mrs. Sharp’s Traditions at an impressionable age and ever since then, I’ve adored all of the old fashioned holiday traditions.

But, this year I started thinking, when did Christmas cards come into popularity? The Victorians “invented” Christmas as we know it today. Many of the traditions that surround Christmas came into popularity in the 1800’s, such as Christmas trees, which had before then been found mainly in Germany. And Christmas cards are another one of those traditions that became popularized in the Victorian era.

gift wrapped, the-artyologist, free christmas card download

So, after a bit of reading, I discovered that what started the tradition of Christmas cards was actually one man’s laziness, and ingenuity. Traditionally, at Christmas, people used to send Christmas and New Year’s letters. In the 1840’s with the advent of an economical postal system (the “Penny Post”) people started taking advantage of the mail system, and sending out their Christmas and New Years letters with abandon. This was great, but in Victorian England it was rude to not reply to a letter you had received. In 1843, Sir Henry Cole started receiving tons of letters- he was apparently very popular and was in the position of having too many friends. Feeling overwhelmed by the pile of letters stacking up, he devised a way to reply to the senders, with the first ever “Christmas Card”. He commissioned an artist to create a card for him, with the message “A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you” written on it, and then, he simply wrote each person’s name on it and sent it out. It took a while for Christmas Cards to catch on, but once they did, they skyrocketed in popularity and today we can’t imagine Christmas without cards. Although the popularity is waning these days, I do still see plenty of stationery and cards this time of year, so many people must still enjoy this tradition. If you want to see the first card and history, you can read more here.

free christmas card download, the-artyologist

So, all that to say; I love Christmas cards, and any kinds of cards really, so I decided that it would be fun to do a free Christmas card printable! This is an illustration I did last year, which I have made into Christmas cards and present tags, since I know that many of you don’t need cards. Print these out on some nice cardstock, and voila!

Download the Christmas Cards Here

Download The Christmas Tags Here

And, while I’ve got you here, I’ve not found Christmas cards to do very well at sales in the past, but is that something you would be interested in me adding to my shop for next year? If so, let me know!

Do you enjoy sending and receiving Christmas cards?