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  It's cold and gray and generally yucky outside. As much as I did my very best to enjoy winter, I am ready for spring. This time of year always has me itching to plant and full of grand schemes. Oh yes, I can totally create an English cottage garden! Just hand me a shovel and some pretty plants! And then July will come, and the baking sun will not cease (and also my whining about the baking sun will not cease. Sorry about that!) and that English cottage garden will be a sad mess of dried up intentions.

   But til then, I will dream.....

   I got some little indoor planters the other day with the last of my Christmas money and put some succulents in them. I am proud of the foresight of 'I will probably frequently forget to water these things, so better get desert plants!'

  And slowly, S-L-O-W-L-Y baby is starting to get a bit of a routine of a nice nap in the afternoon where I try to fit everything I need to do into that time frame. But sometimes I give myself a treat and let myself paint. I did that with my Easter painting a couple of days ago, and I got a lot of good work done! Hoping I can do that again today (lets all knock on wood.) 

   Robbie is growing fast, filling out and getting some chunk--- sometimes he'll graciously allow me a few minutes in the art room while he lounges in the little crib and looks at the books. He also gives a smirk when Franklin gets to licking his feet--- you'll never see a more devoted foot licker than that little red dog! Henry, the older dog, would never stoop so low.

   Well, here's to dreams of spring time and sunny days and nice weather. Tomorrow is MARCH! The spring bulbs are coming! Just a little while longer....

   Til then,
~H

Winter's End Sale!

For just a few days I'm offering this coupon code for 20% off your entire purchase in preparation for spring! Just enter the coupon code daffodil2014 at check out and receive your discount in my etsy shop! :)

Literary Heroine Blog Party


  Hey there, friends!~
    Just wanted to let you know about a fun event going on over at Accordion to Kellie. She's hosting another Literary Heroine Blog Party and Giveaway! And she's got some fabulous prizes up for giveaways, such pretty things! One of which is a print of my Little Women painting :D
   So....if you love the ladies of classic lit--- GO check it out! It's always lots of fun, and Kellie has a beautiful blog!~

   ~H

An illustration


     I was so satisfied to put the final touches on this painting--- the first finished piece of 2014! I started it before Baby came, and its the first work I've completed for the little story I'm hoping to illustrate and publish. As you can tell, there's a definite Swedish vibe to it :) I like how it came out!
   This is going to be a big project for 2014! And I'd love for you to come along with me as I work on it (wont be so lonely that way, right?) Its my hope that it will be a story that both children and adults will like, and that the paintings will do the story justice as well.
   Painting one completed! Many more to go! :D
And also--- Happy Valentine's Day!
h

Little bits of progress



    Yesterday marked Robbie's first whole month. I can't believe he's already a month old! The time has really flown by--- we've watched copious amounts of HGTV (he'll probably be able to renovate a house on his own in about 6 months) and cuddled and nursed and watch snow fall outside while we stay bundled up in the house. 
   It's Baby Time and we're taking it slow. Although it will be nice when we get a routine down that allows me to paint--- you never know how long a nap will last, and any time is a good time to eat, according to this boy!
   I have started on an Easter themed painting though. It's a sort of a companion to Preparing the Easter Basket. Its got the same characters, but this time there's a baby brother. Of course! It's slow going though. Its hard to find time to paint when there are endless chores around the house not getting done. Everything that does get done is done in snatches of moments. Like this blog post!
   I am looking forward to painting again though, and this time is still a creative time. I'm reading a ton and thinking a lot--- getting inspired for new things to come in 2014.
   And if I dont see you before--- happy Valentine's Day!
Til next time,
H

Snow::Blossoms::Books





Here is February, already a month into the new year! On Friday Robbie will be 4 weeks old, and it seems hardly possible. Here at the house, things have been pretty quiet. I'll be honest, I call it a good day if I can get the dishes from the sink to the dishwasher and manage a load of laundry or two. The paint brushes have grown quite cold and lonely, but I'll be back. Ideas for new paintings are already swimming in my brain.

And although I thought I'd glide right on with Christmas, springtime Easter themes have been on my mind, and although its frosty and cold outside with even some snow on the ground, we've had some nice blossoms indoors. Audrey and I made the two flower arrangements in the jars a few days ago, she picked the roses, which look an awful lot like my wedding roses. And the bulbs we planted in early DECEMBER are finally blooming! The Amaryllis just unfurled this week. It was worth the wait!

Nursing time has also turned into Mama Reading Time and just this morning I finished The Mysterious Death of Miss Jane Austen. Over all, I liked it! Im usually not one for murder mysteries, but the subject of this book was just so tempting. It takes its premise from a kernel of fact--- at the time of her death, Jane Austen had abnormally high amounts of arsenic in her system, according to testing done on a sample of her hair. The author did some amazing research, and even lives in Chawton where the Jane Austen House is. If you've read it, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Next up I think I'll delve back into The Map of True Places, which I'd hoped to read before my trip to New England since it takes place in Salem, but I got sidetracked. The Lace Reader is one of my all-time favorite books, so I can't wait to curl up with this one again.

And if you have any suggestions for books that might keep me enthralled during 2 a.m. feedings, I'm all ears!~
Well, better scurry for now. Might bring the sketch book into the nest of our bed and start thinking up some new painting ideas. That is, if my new Boss Man lets me!
~H