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!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Lovely Weeds

I've been busily working out the details of a new project that's dear to my heart. It's multi-layered and nuanced and there are a lot of ideas to sort through and experiment with. I'm quite excited to share it with you, once I've worked out all the kinks!

Lovely Weeds
Original Watercolour Illustrations
Copywrite Carolynn Anctil 2017

In the meantime, here's a sneak peek into the sort of unbridled creativity that's happening in the studio, in preparation for the big unveiling. 


I invite you to sign up to receive announcements on the sidebar to the right.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

I'm Back and Spilling Over With Exciting New Ideas!

Three Sisters
Canmore, Alberta

I'm back from our vacation on the West Coast of B.C. and am excited to get back into my studio. I visited my favourite art supply store while in Vancouver and brought back a whole host of goodies to play with.

Rocky Mountains, Alberta

I have so many exciting ideas and new creations to share with you. As you know, I've been restructuring and adjusting my focus and, as part of that process, I'm developing a mailing list so I can keep you informed of updates, new work, and time sensitive offers. Use the sign-up form on my sidebar to make sure you don't miss out on anything!

Rocky Mountain Elk
Canmore AB

Which brings me to my latest project. I'm currently working on something new and exciting and I hope to be able to release details very soon! Sign up and Stay tuned!

In the meantime, swing over to my Instagram account (@carolynnanctil) to see more of my vacation photos, including a few ink drawings I did in the wee hours of the morning, when I couldn't sleep. I'm not used to city noises anymore! 

Thank you for stopping by! 
(Psst...Don't forget to sign up for my mailing list.)

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

In Transition

Original Watercolour Illustration
© Carolynn Anctil 2017

I'm not entirely sure what I want to say here today, I just know that I'm in transition. My artwork is undergoing a change, as is my lifestyle.

Some of the things that are affecting this change include our decision to take our house off the market and stay where we are for the foreseeable future. This decision has made it possible to make plans again and to reassess what it is that we really want out of life and what that looks like to us.

For me, it's a move toward a simpler way of living. Not long ago, I used to look forward to slipping into my bed an hour or so before lights out, all cosy and warm, and reading a real book made of paper and ink. Now, I snuggle into bed and stare at a blue screen for a while until the eyestrain becomes too much and I turn out the light. So, Step One for me is to return to reading actual books with bindings and a pretty bookmark tucked in between paper pages to mark the spot last read.

It also means reducing our use of electronics in a more general sense. That means turning off our wifi unless we are using it for a specific purpose. The same goes for our flatscreen tv and the microwave, which will be used less overall, as well. 

It means looking into installing a landline telephone again and only using our mobile phones for navigation and for communication when we're actually mobile. Which, naturally means, less SMTS (Social Media Time Suck) and more time for food preparation, time spent in nature, conversation, and art creation.

I'm also advocating reintroducing softer lighting in the evenings in the form of beeswax candles, which makes even the simplest meal more intimate and enjoyable. 

My word for the year is Hygge - a Danish word meaning, the art of building sanctuary and community, of inviting closeness and paying attention to what makes us feel open-hearted and alive.

It also speaks to what Danielle LaPorte calls Core Desired Feelings in her book The Desire Map. Mine are Serenity, Simplicity, Liberty, Creativity and Harmony. 

Ultimately, my goal is not to create hardship for ourselves but rather to make more conscious decisions about what we bring into our home and how we choose to use it in order to live a more fulfilling, rather than a 'filled' life.


I've been making art! Visit me here to see my latest watercolour illustrations.

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

I Am Restructuring

Hello Lovely People.

Effective immediately, I will be taking a step back to reassess my creative direction and restructure my business.

On Monday, January 9, 2017, my work will no longer be available to purchase through Society6. If you have been waiting to make a purchase there, I suggest you take advantage of the opportunity to do so at the currently reduced prices on offer, as I will likely not make my work available in this way again for the foreseeable future.*

In recent months, I have been devoted to producing and promoting original watercolour illustrations on-line, primarily through Society6. I have participated fully by offering my designs on a variety of products, ranging from coffee mugs to shower curtains and I've come to realize that it has only served to dilute my artistic vision and has had a negative impact on my original intention to develop as a legitimate artist.

They say you teach people how to treat you. While I have no complaint with the quality of products Society6 offers, it has become very apparent to me that this platform is not a good fit.

If you've been following me on Facebook, you will know that their marketing strategy relies heavily on discounting their product offerings - products that bear my original designs. The frequency with which this occurs effectively devalues my work and undermines my efforts to establish myself as a legitimate artist. What makes it worse, is I am given no opportunity to opt out of these sales that are good for everyone, but myself.

Going forward, I will be producing less work and endeavouring to create higher quality.

For the time being, I will continue to offer a select number of signed and numbered prints on my Etsy site, where I can offer a more personal service. I will also continue to share my progress on my Facebook page and Instagram feed.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to leave a comment here or contact me directly via e-mail.

My objective in 2017 is to grow as an artist, to focus on quality, not quantity, and to develop both my own unique style and my technique. It is my desire to reconnect to the stirrings in my soul that first led me to pursue artistic expression in the first place. I hope you'll join me.

*Special requests for specific items currently available on my Society6 shop will be considered on an individual basis, however, they will not be made available at reduced prices, so please bear that in mind should you contact me to discuss that.