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Helloooooo my Beautiful Butterflies!!!

Remember when I shared some behind-the-scenes photos of the upcoming book I illustrated? I believe it was last fall that these pics found your way to your inbox (sooo much has happened for me since then so I'm fuzzy on the exact month I shared this).

Anywho, I'm coming at you with an exciting announcement: The ABCs of Grief is officially available for purchase! EEEEK!!!!

Thank you to everyone who purchased during the pre-order last fall and to those of you who have sent me such kind messages! This book was truly a labor of love. I started working on this project about a year ago and have since experienced a very wild year personally. I won't dive too far into it (you can read more about it on my Instagram post here), but suffice it to say this book helped me process what I was experiencing while making the illustrations.

This book, written by Jessica Correnti of Kids Grief Support teaches little ones how to understand and process what Grief is using the Alphabet. Her beautiful words express the universalness of grief and also how grieving can be for truly anything under the sun (death, illness, friendship, divorce, and the list goes on). She also teaches us that everyone's experience of grief is different and unique. This book is made for kids, but truly I think every adult could benefit from reading this too.

You can buy your copy here.

I shared some behind-the-scenes pics of the illustrations last fall, but now that the book is out I wanted to share a few more photos of the making of the illustrations and the finished product.

I hand-drew all of the sketches on my iPad, then transferred them to watercolor paper to be hand-painted.

I kid you not when I say that my desk was filled to the brim with illustrations for this book.

When I was all finished illustrating, I scanned in the paintings and formatted them on my computer for printing. Sounds like a small task, but formatting took a whole month of back and forth between me and the author, adding in lettering, and getting all of the settings just right for printing.

Receiving my copy in the mail was such an amazing experience!!! When you put in so much work into something, seeing the final product is utterly surreal; especially comparing the printed page to the original illustration.

I hope you enjoy this book as much as I do. Remember you can buy your copy here.

Until next time,


Hello, my Beautiful Butterflies, and Happy March to you all!! The last time I was in your inbox Thanksgiving was on the horizon, and I had a belly full of holiday treats and a baby! Well, on November 29th in the wee hours of the morning, I popped that little babe out of the oven and into this crazy world. It's been 3ish months since she was born and my hubby and I have taken a lot of time off work, away from social media, and really just away from outside life in general to stay present in the early months of life for our little one. We named her Leonora after Ricky's grandmother. The name means "compassion" and "light" and it's everything we hope for our baby girl as she joins the land we call Mother Earth.

I can't fully describe what it feels like to be a mom, as I'm still processing it myself and I'm so curious going forward how it will change my work (if at all). I've started to dive into a few pieces here and there for clients but not much for myself yet, so the jury is still out on how my style and interests will evolve with a little on my brain all the time.

I am officially back to work full-time now. I started poking my head into work part-time a month ago, but now Leonora is in daycare, and Ricky and I both are navigating a new normal of work and parenting. For this month's post, I decided to make a little drawing of sweet Leonora and the meaning of her name.

I quickly put together a simple line drawing of her. I envisioned her opening a cardboard box sharing both compassion and light with the world like she had an abundance of leftovers or like she was tossing confetti around. I kept the drawing simple because let's face it my time is limited.

Next, I wanted to bring in some color - I put together this warm color palette of blues and clay colors.

Now it was time to draw over the sketch with these new colors. Again, I wanted to keep it simple, so I kept most of the elements as outlines instead of filling them in....I was going for "Where the Sidewalk Ends" kind of vibes.

But alas, sitting there, I wanted a little extra pizzazz, so I added a background color and some white behind the lettering to give it another layer. I'm so pleased with the whimsical results.

I hope our little Leonora loves it so much, and as a treat here's a pic of me and Leonora (she's getting so big!!)

Until next time,


Happy November my Beautiful Butterflies! The air is V cozy out and I just cannot explain how much I want to bake around this time of year. Is it because of the Great British Baking Show and all of the subsequent holiday treats.... most likely. But alas, I have embraced it and have been oohing and aaahing at a few recipes to make. To get us all in the seasonal cozy swing of things, I decided to paint a pie and share the subsequent making of this painting. I'm also including a pie recipe I've been admiring to go with said pie painting at the bottom of the post (along with a little freebie).

Okay let's get into it...

I decided I wanted my little characters making a massive apple pie and I wanted them all to be wearing super cozy attire. After penciling in the design, which took a little bit of fiddling with, I started painting in some of the colors and blocking out the apples.

I quickly realized that the colors were reading quite warm and I was loooving how it looked, so I made sure all subsequent color choices matched that vibe.

It was time to start filling in the pie.

I have to tell you, these apples were so fun to make.

Now that all of the colors were blocked in, it was time to add the finishing touches and faces of my little bakers.

After I wrapped up the bakers' scene I wanted to make some ancillary objects to edit into the painting in Photoshop. So I started painting apples along with baking tools.

After it was all said and done I wound up with two cute lil' paintings.

After scanning both pieces in I rearranged the ancillary items in Photoshop over top of the bakers' scene to make a cute little print. And because I couldn't resist I also made a little Thanksgiving layout that will fit perfectly as your phone wallpaper. I included a link to download the wallpaper number below.

And in keeping with the Pie theme, I wanted to share this delightful recipe for mini apple pies here to get you in the cozy vibes for the rest of November.

I'm currently expecting a little babe on December 4th, so you may see me in your inbox in December...or you may not. If you don't, enjoy the rest of your year and all of the coziness the holidays bring. I plan to take the rest of the year off once my little one gets here and I will pop back into your mailbox sometime next year.

Cheers and talk soon, Rachel

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