The Friday Five | Best Canadian Baby Shops on Etsy

The Friday Five - Best Canadian Etsy Baby Shops | Squirrelly Minds

Modern Baby | Little Fox Teething Jewelery | The Butter Flying | Carmen West Creative/Little & Lively | Shop Pamplemousse

I have to admit, I’m kind of glad we decided not to find out if our squirrelly baby is a girl or boy, because it stops me from buying SO MUCH CUTE STUFF.
It doesn’t stop me from perusing though.
I was so excited when I found a local shop making adorable baby items (check out my baby leggings and soother clip!) including custom orders. It made me think: “what other awesome Canadian baby brands are out there?”. Friends, there’s tons, and the 5 above are my favourite so far. I mean all that cuteness, it’s just too good!
And if you’re down in the states or elsewhere and thinking “Okay Tan, what good does this do me?”, just remember that beautiful thing you guys can take advantage of called exchange rate. Lucky ducks.

What’s your favourite baby shop? (I need all the options)


Life | My Artistic Progress

My Artistic Progress | Squirrelly Minds
I have a confession to make to you guys – I’m a sham. Okay not really, but when I decided to open up shop selling my gemstone watercolour art, I had never taken an art class. I still haven’t (though want to). Sure, I took a class in university (art for elementary school teachers) and a print making course, but I haven’t been properly trained, and it’s the main reason why I feel so uncomfortable being called an artist. I don’t know what the hell I’m doing, I’m just having fun!
But I started thinking about the process I undergo when I create a painting. I have no idea if it’s the ‘proper’ way to do it, and if I were an art student, whether my teacher would nod approvingly or fail me for poor planning. All I know though is that it’s what works for me, and that’s what is most important in my opinion.

My Artistic Progress | Squirrelly Minds
So what is my process? I briefly discussed it in yesterday’s instagram post, but here’s the fleshed out version.
First I find pictures of my subject. Tons of them. I look for movement, colour, shading, orientation, size, and so on. Sometimes I’ll combine features to make one figure, or I’ll take the shape of one, the colour from another, the positioning from a different picture and so on. In the case of the above flamingo, I combined the flight/body movement of this bird and some of the colouring of the flamingo from Sharon Montrose’s animal collection. Then I sketch and paint the prototype (above). This might take a few tries to get it just right. Once I do, I trace the outline with tracing paper. As you can see from the top picture, I tape all the pieces together and then overlay them onto the final watercolour page, making sure it’s centred and in the position I want. I then use a sharp pencil to trace the outline, creating an indentation on the watercolour paper.
The last step is outlining the indentations with watercolour pencil crayons, then my favourite part, painting! I can’t wait to get started on that with the flamingo.

So that’s how I go about it, and yep, it’s the process I underwent with each of the gemstones. Again, I don’t know if it’s the smartest way, but it’s what works for me.
I’ve been toying with the idea of doing different paintings for the shop. I was originally going to stick to themes surrounding birth months, but I’m having way too much fun with this flamingo not to share. What do you think, should I?

If you do any sort of craft/art I would love to hear about your process!

How do you take your creations from imagination to reality?


Life | Happy May Day

Happy May Day | Squirrelly Minds
Happy long weekend friends!
Whatever you choose to do, whether it by ride your bicycle or lie in a hammock, I hope you take the time to reflect, relax, and enjoy.


The Friday Five | BBQ Recipes

The Friday Five - BBQ Recipes | Squirrelly Minds

Grilled avocado from Minimally Invasive / Salmon kebabs from My Invisible Crown / Cilantro lime sweet potatoes from Sweet Treats & More / Coconut brown sugar glazed grilled pineapple from Chef in Training / Grilled chili chicken skewers with cilantro lime pesto from Katie’s Cucina

Happy May Day long weekend! Being Portuguese, I see no problem with BBQing all year round (yep, in rain or snow, you name it), but for most people it’s this holiday weekend that really kicks off BBQ season. Enjoy some of the recipes above!

I’m certainly looking forward to having an extra day off. I’ll be heading off to a gulf island with some girls to celebrate a friend’s upcoming wedding. FUN FUN!

What are your May Day long weekend plans?

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