Saturday, December 30, 2017

Farewell 2017!

Christmas is a quiet celebration at our house, by choice. My husband and I enjoyed good food, afternoon naps, and engaging books. The days between Christmas and New Year's are a time of introspection and rejuvenation for me. It's a time to set aside the superhero costume for a while and relax without obligation. The New Year will pull and tug at us soon enough.

This week on Facebook and Instagram, I shared a favourite quote of mine by the classic artist, Henri Matisse. These words are a great source of comfort for me, particularly as a self-taught artist. 

Evergreen trees are such a big part of the Christmas season and I find myself missing their delicious scent. My musings put me in mind of my favourite poem by Robert Frost.

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

the woods are lovely, dark and deep,
but I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

With that, I bid 2017 farewell, adieu, adios. When next we meet, it will be a brand new year! I have an announcement I'm excited to share early next week. Join me on Facebook and Instagram for all the details.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Christmas Week Wrap Up

In this week before Christmas I found myself feeling quite melancholy and introspective. In part, I suppose, because I have a sick hen and that always affects my peace of mind. The good news is, she seems to be improving. The bad news is, the temperatures are dipping down to -25C at night. I remain cautiously optimistic that she will make a full recovery and continue to thrive.

On my Facebook and Instagram feeds this past Monday morning, I posed the question, "Are you a Grumpy Bunny or a Happy Hare?" No one would fess up. 

I'm doing my best to sit with my sketchbook and create a doodle, at the very least, every day. I like the way this Picasso-esque drawing came out, my first in this style. 

Mid-week found me reflecting on my state of mind at this time of year and my tendency to burrow in for the duration of the season. I wrapped the week up with a seasonal watercolour illustration I call, Snow Day, that I created a couple of years ago. It remains a favourite of mine.

Join me on Facebook and Instagram for a daily look into life as seen through my eyes. 

I wish for you a festive holiday season made rich with the company of loved ones. 


Find my original watercolour illustrations and photography here.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

December Weekly Wrap Up

I've been making a conscious effort to illustrate more and, as part of my strategy to carve out more time for that, I'm switching from a bullet journal to a sketchbook/journal hybrid of my own devising. 

I also shared a quick video glimpse into another of my typical days here on the prairies on Facebook and Instagram.

Some subscribers to Tin Rooster Farm Notes will be receiving this Prairie Farmhouse photograph in the new year in the form of a greeting card. If you'd like to order this image as a giclee print for yourself, send me a message and I'd be happy to arrange that for you. To sign up for a subscription to Tin Rooster Farm Notes, jump on board here.

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Whole New Month!

Those of you who choose a Word at the beginning of each year will understand the paralyzing effect all that choice can have. I think I'll be doing things a little differently, in 2018. While I was wrestling with choosing one, or as many as three words, that would adequately express my hopes and dreams for a brand new year, this sketch came through me. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then I think I'll simply have her represent all that I hope to feel and experience in 2018. For more of that story, check out my Facebook page.

Last week, on Instagram, I started the week off with a sweet recipe for Apple Cider Caramels. They make a wonderful hostess gift during the holiday season, with a homemade taste. I also revealed my secret to creating studio worthy photographs with a little behind-the-scenes action.

If you still have a few people on your Christmas list, there's still time to order a print and leave the wrapping to me!

Friday, December 08, 2017

December Notes From the Farm

As we wrap up the year here at Tin Rooster Farm, I'd like to express my sincere gratitude to everyone who has joined me on my mission of connection by purchasing subscriptions to Tin Rooster Farm Notes*. It has been so much fun putting together the packages and slipping them into our country mailbox for you to enjoy every month. 

I have heard from your loved ones, too, whom you have surprised and delighted with these unexpected gifts in the mail. Thank you for helping to spread the love and revive the simple pleasure of slowing down to enjoy a handwritten letter. 

2018 is fast approaching and it promises to be busy and full of exciting new announcements. I hope you'll join me.

In the meantime, may your holiday season be joy filled, my friend.


*Tin Rooster Farm Notes is Storytelling with a Twist. It's a subscription service for monthly handwritten letters and surprise enclosures delivered to your mailbox the old fashioned way. Find out how you can get yours here.

Saturday, December 02, 2017

November Close

It's hard to believe we've already closed out the month of November for the year. With the holiday season rapidly approaching, I shared an easy and delicious truffle recipe this week on Instagram and Facebook, as well as a selection of books that I've been enjoying lately. I also shared my favourite meditative music that's perfect to listen to while I'm creating in my studio or for practicing yoga along with. I wrapped up the week with a quick and dirty sketch. It's been a long while since I did an illustration just for the fun of it and I'm feeling a bit rusty. I doubt this grumpy rabbit will go any further.

Join me on Monday when I'll be sharing a delicious hostess gift idea.

If you're looking for unique gift ideas for your loved ones this Christmas, may I suggest supporting a small business? My Tin Rooster Farm Notes, Illustrations and Photographs are available here.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Weekly Update

This week's social media line-up included a simple storage solution on the cheap, a glimpse into my daily morning routine, and an invitation to connect by way of old fashioned snail mail. I always like to close my week out in a peaceful way and go into the weekend with a relaxed, unhurried mindset. 

Join me Monday on Instagram and Facebook for a little something yummy!

Want to take me up on my invitation to connect the old fashioned way? Check out Tin Rooster Farm Notes here.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Week of November 13th

This past week saw me sharing a glimpse of the artwork I created for my November Tin Rooster Farm Note subscribers, as well as a few personal memories about Winter. I outed my dog, for a change, by exposing her weakness for barking at NOTHING! What's missing here is a little fortune cookie wisdom that was worth noting. I closed out the week with my classic rendition of a B&W Pinecone portrait mini print, available to purchase here.

Join me on Monday, when I share another inexpensive tip I use to organize my studio.

If you're not already following me on Instagram and Facebook, whatcha waitin' for...?  

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Around the Internet

This past week on Instagram and Facebook, I shared details of a simple organizational tool I created and have used for years with excellent results. In addition, I confessed to another (!) vice, which actually has a very practical application, along with a glimpse of my Studio desk and my trusty Assistant. I wrapped up the week with a nod to Winter.

Follow me on Instagram and/or Facebook for all the details and join me on Monday for a peek inside a Tin Rooster Farm Note.

In the meantime, head over to my Etsy shop, if you'd like a little Honeybee Mini or Winter Sunflower print of your own!

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

November Notes From the Farm

"Winter came down to our house one night

Quietly pirouetting in

on silvery-toed slippers of snow."
Bill Morgan, Jr.

We're staying warm and cosy in this month's installment of
Tin Rooster Farm Notes. Won't you join us?

Saturday, November 04, 2017

What People Are Saying!

This past week, I shared a quick and easy project idea and a look at the tools of my illustration trade, as well as a little insight into one of my vices. Follow me on Instagram and Facebook for the backstory!

I was also humbled to receive a couple of glowing testimonials on Facebook last week for my Tin Rooster Farm Notes. I sincerely love the connective power of snail mail and I'm so thrilled to be able to brighten someone's day on a regular basis. I share the following, with permission (that's a Tin Rooster Farm Note on the left).

Subscribe to receive a special package in the mail for yourself or spread the love to someone on your gift list. Choose from one month, 6 month and 12 month options.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

What's Happening?

I haven't been around here much, of late, I know. This past week, I've been sharing recipes and stories and technical tips on my Instagram and Facebook accounts. On Monday, I'll be sharing an easy project I created in under 15 minutes! Join me, will you? 

Friday, October 06, 2017

October Notes From the Farm

"Country, to me, is living life at its simplest: 

...learning to appreciate a sliced vine-ripe tomato with a dash of salt, served between two slices of good bread and eaten over the kitchen sink." 
Art Smith, Chef

We're talking about Harvest this month in Tin Rooster Farm Notes. Won't you join us?  

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

September Notes From the Farm

"It is good to appreciate that life is now.

Whatever it offers,
little or much,  

life is now - this day - this hour."
Charles Macomb Flandrau

We're talking about wild things this month. Learn more about Tin Rooster Farm Notes and how you can join in the fun, here.

Friday, August 04, 2017

August Notes From the Farm

"Weather is a great metaphor for life - sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad, and there's nothing much you can do about it but carry an umbrella."
Terri Guillemets

"When before the beauty of a sunset or a mountain, you pause and exclaim,
 "Ah", you are participating in divinity."
Joseph Campbell

Learn more about Tin Rooster Farm Notes and how you can get in on the fun, here.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Summer Getaway

My husband is treating me to a short getaway alone at a local spa, in a couple of weeks time. I'm so looking forward to the break from routine and the chance to recharge. It's a necessity for this solitary soul, from time to time.

Friday, July 14, 2017

New Studio Piece

Celtic Rose
Original Watercolour Illustration
© Carolynn Anctil 2017

I'm back in the studio and, boy have I missed it! I honestly don't know where my ideas come from. This most recent illustration feels slightly medieval with a Celtic flair. Perhaps, it's the books I've been reading lately, set in fantasy lands and rife with lords and ladies...and magic, of course.

Celtic Rose is available to purchase here and is available in two sizes.

Friday, July 07, 2017

July Notes from the Farm

"To be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter...
to be thrilled by the stars at night;

to be elated over a bird's nest, or a wildflower in spring - 

these are some of the rewards of a simple life." John Burroughs

Learn more about Tin Rooster Farm Notes and how you can get in on the fun, here.

Friday, June 23, 2017

On Being Rebellious

"I love the rebelliousness of snail mail,
and I love anything that can arrive with
a postage stamp. There's something
about that person's breath and hands
on the letter." Diane Lane

To learn more about Tin Rooster Farm Notes and how you can get in on the fun, click here.

Friday, June 09, 2017

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Memories in Blue

We're painting the exterior of our house this year. While I had the paint can open for our new door colour, I decided to give our porch bench a fresh coat of paint, too. Even though we bring it inside for the winter, it was still showing signs of wear from exposure to the elements. It needed freshening up and, let's face it, we have a whole gallon of this blue!

That rationale made me smile as I realized how like my Dad I can be, at times. 

My parents painted our family home an unusual shade of turquoise and for years after, everythingand I mean everything - was painted turquoise in an attempt to use up the surplus. 

My Dad died several years ago and one of my earliest memories is of age 6 or 7, being in the garage with him. (You may have heard this story before.)

I can still see him clearly in my mind's eye. He had one knee resting on the cold cement floor of the garage while he methodically cleaned a paintbrush in an old coffee tin he'd filled with turpentine. The smell of it stung my nose while I watched him dip the brush in the solvent and then press the diluted paint out against the side of the tin. Dip and press. Dip and press. Eventually, he'd wring the brush out against his rough hand, patiently working the paint out in increments. 

We talked as he worked, rhythmically, almost meditatively. I chattered away to him, as children will, our attention fixed on the hypnotic motion of the paintbrush. I don't remember the content of our conversation. It doesn't matter. What matters is the time we spent together, just the two of us, while he worked. It took a very long time for him to clean all the turquoise paint off that brush. 

Now, 50 years later, whenever I see that particular shade, I'm transported back to my childhood and the cool interior of our garage watching my Dad clean that paintbrush.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Tick Tock...

Time is running out on Promotional Pricing for Tin Rooster Farm Notes. On now until the end of today, May 15th!

Still not sure it's for you? Read more of what others are saying.

"I love my Tin Rooster Farm Notes! Carolynn is so generous of her talents with each mailing and the quality is superb! Not only is this an absolute treat for me, it's the ideal gift for anyone in your life in these stressful times." Corinne D.

"Inside the envelope is a peek into a farmhouse moment." Jen V.

"Very creative and a great way to stay in touch. I'm in and I'll be ordering gifts!" D. Harris

Sign up here to get in on the fun and receive a little sumpthin' sumpthin' in the mail from me.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

People Are Talking

Tin Rooster Farm Notes are finding their way into mailboxes all across Canada and the U.S.!

Here's what people are saying...

"I have a new favourite thing...It is an absolute delight to open this envelope. The writing is absolutely exquisite. It's a meditation and a benediction and such a gift to get in the mail. I love every piece of it!" Terry T.

"Have a look and see if its quiet appeal resonates with you or perhaps as a gift for someone in your life. I can vouch for the quality and uniqueness of the mailings. The calendar offered as a bonus is absolutely stunning!" Corinne D.

"It's about connection, and so much more...This is the gift that you have been searching for, something special for yourself, or someone that you know who will appreciate these monthly mailings. Tangible treasures...tucked into an envelope."
Jen Vandervoort,
Founder & Editor, RURAL Magazine

I blush.

Click here to get in on the fun!

Not sure what all the fuss is about? Click here to learn more about Tin Rooster Farm Notes.

Promotional Pricing on NOW through May 15, 2017. Time is running out!

Friday, May 12, 2017

May Notes From the Farm

"Oh, the freedom of the day that yielded to no rule or time."
Diane Ackerman, Searching for the Comet

"Let's begin by taking a smallish nap or two."
A.A. Milne

How was your day today? Leave a note below to say Hello!


Learn more about Tin Rooster Farm Notes here.
Promotional Pricing on NOW through May 15, 2017.

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Your Invitation

After months of behind-the-scenes preparation, I'm finally ready to release my pet project out into the world! 

I do hope you'll join me on this fabulously new and exciting journey of connection. It's storytelling...with a twist. 

Care to check it out? Click on the invitation below to hear more.

Tin Rooster Farm Notes
If the above link does not connect you, click here.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Our Morning in the Country

This is what I love about a return to warmer weather, the chance to get out and enjoy early morning walks in the fields with my animal companions. Prairie light is especially gorgeous at dawn and this morning, a thick fog rolled over us, coating everything in a fine mist and softening the edges.

Our dog, Willow, loves nothing more than a good romp through the tall grass. There's always so much to discover with her nose.

Luna loves to trail along behind us, too. She's so tiny, we sometimes lose sight of her in the tall grass. Teddy, our other mouser, opted to stay inside and sleep, after having spent the entire night gallivanting outdoors, the rascal.

I love my life in the country.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017


I'm still working away on all the little details for my project and it's all very exciting. I'm closing in on a launch date and hope to be able to share it all with you very soon!

If you haven't signed up to receive e-mail notifications from me yet, it's a quick and easy process over on my sidebar.

Stay tuned!