Sunday is the last day to get your orders in for a bright and early shipment on Monday morning before we pack-up the car and head west for a couple weeks. Charles, Edwin and I are going on a little tour of Ontario—visiting as many family and friends as we can pack into our 2 weeks away!
You can follow our little adventure on Instagram, hopefully my feed will be full of beach scenes and BBQ goodness.
This morning as Edwin, Tyke and I were walking to the park I thought to myself 1) I never realized how important parks were until I had a toddler and 2) Edwin is a lucky kid to be growing up in downtown Montreal. This city is full of some of the best parks—they go way beyond a field with a sandbox and a jungle gym, Montreal's parks are nicely landscaped green spaces with fountains and benches, splash pads and playgrounds, old trees and walking paths, even art and sound installations.
Eddie, these are not the parks of my childhood!
Sometimes I worry that his first word was "gah" (car), and not "tree" or "flower" or "cloud", but through exploring the city with Edwin he's taught me to enjoy all it has to offer—cars, buses, trucks and parks alike.
The first step on this journey was whipping the English Muffin website into shape. It had been neglected far too long, and I found it difficult to keep-up as many of my sites were spread across the internet, the blog, the website, the online shop, my Etsy shop, and of course all the social media sites. Now, my website has e-commerce built right in (hooray!), which means you can shop right there on my site while perusing the about us section, getting an answer to your question on the FAQ page, sending us an email via the contact us page and much more.
Next up: getting new designs in the shop! This is something I am really looking forward too, and I hope you are as well. I have ideas for great new prints, a line of cards and stationery for kids, and maybe even some games too—it's going to be exciting!
If you have any feedback on the English Muffin website update, I would love to hear it. You are welcome to get in touch by whatever means is easiest: facebook, twitter, instagram, leave a comment here on the blog, or send me an email to bess [at] englishmuffinshop [dot] com. Outside eyes and the experiences of those who are directly interacting with the site are so valuable to me and essential to making English Muffin the very best it can be!
How they heard about / found me I'm not sure... I think I have the internet and likely my Etsy shop to thank for that, but they were specific about what pieces of mine they were drawn to and already had an idea for the direction of the artwork. From there the design flowed very organically, and after a few critiques from my trusted design eyes (my mom, Charles, Girlfriday and Lake Jane), I sent them a version that was very close to the one you see here.
I've been really excited to share the final product with you. West Elm has been a great company to work with and I love that they reach out to and promote local artists. This is definitely a bright red feather in my cap, and when I saw the image of my artwork on their Instagram feed, you can bet there was a whole lot of dancing going on in our kitchen.
UPDATE: West Elm tweeted, "Invites – printed on heavy stock – will be free w/ the purchase of a gallery frame at opening!" Awesome!! Now you know where to get your very own MTL print :) Thanks West Elm!
If you have visited my Etsy shop lately, you'll see a growing collection of Bright Maps. The original, The Bright World Map, was created for The Land of Nod and is sold through them printed on canvas. I sell the map in my shop as a paper print and it is one of my best-sellers. Over the last year, I have had a few inquiries as to whether I have a similar Bright Map of the United States, and more recently a request for a Bright Map of Africa. It was something I had been meaning to get to for a while, and I'm happy to say that I'm now offering both a Bright Map of the US and a Bright Map of Africa in the shop (it looks like a little rainbow exploded in there, in a good way!).
Of course, with the world as my subject there are lots more countries and continents to cover. Next up, a Bright Map of Canada. That would be nice, eh?
Now that my maternity leave is over, it's full steam ahead with all the hundreds of to do's I didn't manage to get done over the last 13 months. At the top of my list is updating my print offerings in the English Muffin Shop. I've been wanting to adapt some of the illustration work I've done for Pure Green Magazine into pretty prints that are easy to frame and will look great hanging on the wall. The first one to make the leap from the pages of Pure Green to the shop is my Montréal Map. The map was originally created as part of our guide to Montréal article where the lovely Lake Jane took us on a tour of the city. I've updated it at bit, adding a few more neighbourhoods and landmarks and making sure it will look great as a framed piece.
The print is available in 22" x 17" and 19" x 13", and custom sizes are available too.