Beatrix & Midge Co News
August 16, 2016
Beatrix is my 5-year old Bernese Mountain Dog. When she was 2, I took friends to see some 6-week-old rescue kittens, as they were looking to adopt. I had no intention of getting one. Then I met Midge.
I just had a feeling about her, and two weeks later, I brought her home. Sure enough, she was a rascally kitten that fit right in with the big-dog pack. It took all of two days for her and Bea to start their ongoing boxing match/gong show, and I even managed to catch the very first blow of round one on video.
They are a ridiculously entertaining pair to live with—they are constantly surprising me, cracking me up, and—let's be honest—sometimes driving me crazy!
I started an Instagram account to share their antics with friends, and they have amassed quite a following of lovely folks who appreciate their joie de vivre. It has been such fun getting to know animal lovers from around the world, and I always wonder what I would have done had I had them before the days of iPhones and Instagram—I would have gone crazy not being able to show others what it's like living with this zany, hairy & hilarious duo.
I am lucky enough to make my living from illustration, and when I started drawing pet portraits, people kept asking "But, where are Bea & Midge??" The truth is, it was much harder capturing their essence than I expected. However, I believe I have done it! This shows off Bea's sweet smile, and Midge's cheekiness. I thought they would be excited... but it turns out they're a little bored. Did I mention they can be a couple of real jerks?
If you'd like to see some of their live-action antics, I recommend starting with these:
We now have some Bea & Midge products in the shop as well—mugs so they can greet you in the morning, and t-shirts so they can stay with you all day long.
Thanks for following us on this black-hair-filled journey! We hope you're having as much fun as we are.
August 08, 2016
To celebrate a visit from our golden retriever friend Ulla this week we decided it was high time to host a dog ice cream party.
A hot sunny afternoon was the perfect setting and the invitees were Audrey, Felix, Bea and guest of honour Ulla. The menu was a smash hit and included pumpkin pops, bacon peanut butter and coconut milk pops, and scoops of cookies and cream homemade ice cream for everyone.
The idea came to me when I picked up a box of Three Dog Bakery Lick'n Crunch carob and peanut butter sandwich cookies at Target that were a bit crunched up already. I took them home and mixed up a tasty frozen treat with the crumbled cookie bits swirled around in it . The best part about making a pan of no churn dog ice cream is that it is so easy, and all of the ingredients can be found in your fridge and pantry. You can find my recipe below but feel free to wing it with what ever combo of these healthy ingredients you have on hand. I guarantee your party goers will have fun (and make a mess)!
Dog Ice Cream Recipe
Makes 6 big dog servings
1 cup plain unsweetened greek yogurt
1 cup canned pumpkin puree (make sure the only ingredient is pumpkin, do not use pumpkin pie filling which has sweetener and spices added in)
1 cup low fat coconut milk (I used Trader Joe's)
2 very ripe bananas
1 tablespoon all natural peanut butter (again I used Trader Joe's make sure you check your label as some nut butters are now adding Xylitol a sweetener that is very dangerous for dogs - read more here)
1/2 cup dog cookie crumbles (this is a good way to use up the crummies at the bottom of the treat jar without getting slobbery hands)
- 1 teaspoon turmeric *this is optional but since 3/4 of our party attendees are 9 years old I added it in for a little added benefit - read about turmeric's properties here
In mixing bowl mash the bananas and add the yogurt, pumpkin puree, coconut milk and peanut butter. Mix well and add turmeric if you like, then continue mixing until smooth. Swirl in cookie crumbles and pour into freezable container - I used a loaf pan.
Freeze overnight and take out of freezer 1 hour before serving, when it is soft enough to scoop dig in and dish out!
Cousin Calvin got a scoop sent home for him too!
July 30, 2016
For the past ten years, one of my main gigs has been designing food magazines. It has been extremely rewarding—I love doing editorial layout, and over the years more and more of my illustrations and hand-lettering made their way onto the pages. I still design one magazine, Edible Vancouver, because they give me so much leeway to just have fun with it. I have had my own back-page column in the magazine for many years, and have created countless food-based infographics for it.
I'm not sure which part is the most fun—the research, the writing, the illustration or the hand lettering—I enjoy it all. More recently, however, I have shifted my focus to illustrating the thing I love most of all: animals. Now that my days are spent making children's illustrations and pet portraits, I feel incredibly fortunate to have such a fun job, and thankful for my years of illustration experience. Illustration can be daunting—and the truth is, it takes many years to get to a point where you're happy with what you create.
The idea of dog breed infographics has crossed my mind a few times over the past couple of years, but I wanted to wait until I felt like I had the time and skill to create exactly what I want. And now, I'm thrilled to share some Berner knowledge with all of you. My Bernese Mountain Dog, Beatrix, is an obvious inspiration, but a few of our Instagram pals make an appearance as well!
We have this available as a print in several sizes, a pillow, and a tote bag. Now when you're asked about your Burmese, you can shower folks with a whole lotta Berner info!
July 25, 2016
At the vet clinic where Sienna worked for many years, they often find themselves with “clinic cats”—cats that are surrendered by their owners, usually due to an expensive illness or behavioural issues. The vets refuse to euthanize healthy pets, so they let them live in the clinic until someone adopts them. As a result, many of us (and our friends and family) have cats that came to us this way—including Midge!
Well, one of these clinic cats fit in so well that he stayed on, and became a beloved part of the clinic family. He was completely at ease surrounded by dogs, and was known to stick his paw through the kennel bars and steal the food of recovering patient cats. Several years ago when he passed away, I made a small portrait of him. It still hangs on the clinic wall, and it was the seed for Beatrix & Midge Co.
Recently I started making portrait of pets for friends, and it has been great fun. It is a challenging task, as the illustration has to remain simple, but it also has to be exactly right in order to really capture the spirit of its subject. I often draw them several times, until they are just right. Often Sienna is called in to help me figure out what is off—she always spots issues right away! The moment the portrait ultimately “clicks” is the most satisfying feeling—in an instant, it goes from being a flat mass of colour and line to a creature looking back at me. The moment they come to life, I often find myself saying “Oh, hello!” to their smiling (or stern, or crabby) faces.
Anyway, I wanted to thank you all for your interest in my drawings. We are so excited about Beatrix and Midge Co, it has been a long time in the making! I can’t imagine a better use of my time than drawing your beloved buddies.