what's kate up to?


Kate’s Art Shop: Now Open!

Hello friends! Exciting news: I've launched an Art Shop !

It was created in collaboration with my ever-patient partner Seán, who did all of the thoughtful & artful coding, gave the whole site a beautiful aesthetic, taught me how to create PayPal buttons, and filled the role of art-director & researcher to help me make better decisions with my products, packaging, pricing, etcetera. I couldn't have done it without him!

In the shop, you’ll find a variety of prints, cards, sculptures and stickers for sale. Take a look around and feel free to share the site with anyone who you think might enjoy a gander at some ecological-themed art 🌱

Big thanks to my patrons on Patreon who helped me cover start-up costs with their support!

As this is version 1.0 of the shop, there may be some glitches that we haven’t caught— if you notice anything iffy with the way the site functions or have any questions, please let me know!

Read about the whole process and see origin sketches on the original Patreon post!


⚠️ Slugs Crossing..! ~ ~ ~

Hi folks! Hope you've been well & able to enjoy some of the lovely things springtime has to offer:

froglet n flowers Pacific tree frog with baby liquorice fern; spring wildflower blooms (shootingstar, spring gold, sea blush)

Today's highlight is about another creature who has also been making more appearances here recently: the Pacific Banana Slug!

slug crossing sign

It's been on my list to design a Slugs Crossing sign to bring more awareness to myself and others when walking through slug-zones. I finally got around to it the other day, shortly after we had adopted a long (8 inches?) hefty banana slug from a development site and named it Sluglet.

Read more, see process sketches and a picture of Sluglet on the original Patreon post!


🎵 MeadowMakers' Anthem 🌱

Hi friends, happy spring!! 🌱 🌼 🍀 🌦

Last year I took part in a really great native plant growing workshop series program called MeadowMakers, hosted by Satinflower Nurseries and Pollinator Partnership Canada. For this year's welcome event they invited any alumni to present something about their experience in some creative way to the current participants. I had been mulling it over here and there but had so much going on last month that I didn't have much time to spend on it... However, during a power outage one day I got a jolt of inspiration and managed to scrape together a little song, kind of anthem-like, which you can hear below:

I wasn't able to attend the event in person, so I recorded the song for them to play, and scanned & layered my hand-scrawled lyrics over a drawing that I did during one of the MeadowMakers webinars so that people in attendance could read along while they listened:

I was touched to hear that folks really enjoyed & appreciated the song, and even heard that some got a bit teary-eyed while listening. :) It warms my heart to know that a wee little song written & composed in 30 minutes can bring such good feels!

Hooray for turning lawns into meadows!

All the best,


Read more on the original Patreon post!


Hi folks! February was a very busy month working on a couple of creative commissioned projects for the “United for Old-Growth” rally in Victoria. The first project:

🐻 Bear & Owl 🦉 Masks 🎭

I designed a couple of animal masks, created templates for them, and lead two 3-hour workshops to make a total of 42 masks with a group of local volunteers. I usually volunteer with this group doing ecological restoration work in Metchosin, so it was fun to get our hands dirty in the crafting realm together. Here's a pic of the first two masks I made:

Grizzly Bear & Northern Spotted Owl mask designs

See pictures of the templates, process, and a goofy group photo on the original Patreon post!

And the second project:

Banner for the 🌲 United for Old-Growth Rally ✊

Seán and I were commissioned to design, paint and construct an 8 x 3 foot banner to show Metchosin's support in the United for Old-Growth rally (now apparently known as 'the rally where Neil Young made a surprise appearance and played a couple of songs, and also hugged David Suzuki”).

The banner was to be black & white, preferably in a lino-cut-esque style. The main challenge was designing something striking that included the desired elements-–a cedar tree, creek, animals that depend on old-growth, and mushrooms for good measure––into the odd dimension-constraints of “long & narrow” without it getting too busy and making sure it still looks good and readable from a distance. A definite challenge! Here's the result (before we put the side-poles in):

Spot all of the elements: Tree / Creek / Salmon / Spotted owl / Salamander / Marbled Murrelet / Mushrooms / Bear tracks & Caribou tracks.

Apparently the banner and the masks were a hit at the rally!

Read about the process, see sketches and watch a time-lapse video of the painting on the original Patreon post!

⚘ 2023 ⚘


Inky Sketchbook Tour ~ Part II!

Hiya! I've got a few creative projects in the works, but as they're not ready to share just yet I thought to revisit my recently completed little green sketchbook that I gave you a half-way tour of back in August, and show you the rest! Here are a couple of snapshots from the video-tour of the 38 micron pen sketches I did from Aug 29th – Jan 24th:

More stuff next month!

See the full sketchbook tour video on the original Patreon post!

⚘ 2022 ⚘



Hi folks! Hope you enjoyed partaking in all of the “humbuggery” that the holidays had to offer, and happy new year! May your nectar stash be full to the brim and may it be shared with many a hungry hummer.

Here sits Hummerneezer atop his riches of nectar, not allowing a single sip to be shared— even on Xmas:

**Hummerneezer Scrooge**

We wonder if he’ll be able to tolerate the company of Santa Caws and Kris Krin-Gull

This print is the 3rd in a series of punny holiday bird cards that Seán and I collaborated on. This time we designed the image on the tablet, transferred it over to a mini Gocco printer (similar to silkscreen), made a batch of hand-pressed prints and coloured them in with pencils.

Here are the credits:

Idea seed: Seán's brother André came up with the idea while visiting last year, and we couldn't believe we hadn't thought of it! Concept & design: Seán did a thumbnail concept sketch, thought up his name, and had lots of useful design ideas and advice along the way. Illustration: I drew it on our digital Wacom tablet, with many different tries at Hummerneezer— it was so tricky to capture his Scrooginess! Model & inspiration: Our resident grumpy male Anna’s hummingbird—now known as Hummerneezer—is the feistiest, Scroogiest nectar-guzzling hummer around.

See more photos (including a needle-felted hummerneezer!) and read more about the process on the original Patreon post!


Multitasker Self-portrait

I've been chipping away at this self-portrait for the past month on the tablet. I wanted to create an image that encapsulated a bunch of things I enjoy doing, and things I care about. It was a fun challenge!

I put the portrait up on the About page on my website, with a list of 16 “ways in which I like to spend my time”. I tried to squeeze most of the elements into the portrait— check it out and see if you can locate all of the different things! (I'll say that Leggy can count for both strolling and dancing... haha).

See all the process sketches and read more about the personal project on the original Patreon post!


🧦 Old Socks = New Hat ✨

The other morning I spontaneously decided to turn a few holey old socks into a hat:

I had a very vague idea of how things might fit together. I used 3 differently-coloured socks, cut a slit from back-ankle to bottom-toe so they each made a single piece of fabric to work with, and sewed the sides together into a hat shape with a sewing machine.

The neat thing about this hat is that you can change the look of it just by rotating it a bit—one hat, six different styles!


Read more about the process and see my awkward selfie hat-model shots at the original Patreon post!


🔥 Pyrography Experiments: Hum Hill & Junco Grove 🌲 🐦

This past month I've been experimenting a bit with woodburning—AKA pyrography—and it's been an interesting learning curve so far. Basically, it's drawing on wood with a heat-pen. I was drawn to it because I was looking for more environmentally friendly ways to make signage.

The ironic thing is that I had to wait to start until the smoke from the wildfires cleared before I could open the windows & doors for air circulation while burning... 🔥💨💨

hum hill sencoten sign The first woodburned sign I made is a SENĆOŦEN translation of Hummingbird Hill, the name Seán's grandfather gave his property (where we now live). He had help translating it to SENĆOŦEN in the early 80s; Seán found the translation and pronunciation guides in his grandfather's notes.

junco grove sign As for the second sign, Seán & I have been playing around with naming the different habitat areas around the property, depending on what action we see most in each spot. One is an area where dark-eyed juncos often hang out to fluff & preen after a bath, or peck around for seeds, or hide & rest. We've been calling this area “Junco Grove” for a while, and so that's how the idea of this sign got started.

Read more about—and see pictures of—my process, things that went awry and lessons learned on the original Patreon post!


Inky Sketchbook Tour

Hello! Here we are at the end of August. I'm looking forward to the next seasonal transition 🍁🧦🧣🍂!

I've been doing daily(-ish) doodles this month, fuelled by a little square sketchbook and a fine-tipped Pigma Micron ink pen, both of which were gifted to me by my mum at the end of July. It's been a fun exercise to use only one type of ink pen for a series of drawings. 📒🖋

Here's a 2-minute video-tour of the sketches thus far!

Some are based on photos or memories of things I experienced during the month; others are objects, plants or creatures within easy reach; some are travel-journal sketches from a kite festival; and others are straight outta my weird brain— you'll know the ones! ;P

Read more and see photos of my handmade bird kite on the original Patreon post!

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