Totoro Bonsai Guardian

Totoro Bonsai

Mike and I recently took the time to respectively watch and re-watch this excellent movie, and I got inspired to do a little illustration as a tribute. I’d say it’s a big improvement over my previous Totoro illustration, though the attached recipe really does hold up!

This is also available as a design on my Society6 store, and you can get prints, TOTE(oro?) bags, shower curtains, pillows, phone cases, etc. Technology is amazing. Free shipping until June 8th using this link!

Totoro Swag

Animal Commissions (Limited Time)

Alex Boake Illustration's Animal CommissionsDapper AlpacaTotes Mah Goats - Alex Boake IllustrationMugginsFor a limited time I’m going to be doing Animal Commissions! Get an illustration of your favourite animal, or your own pet. If you’d like your pet illustrated, please provide me with good reference photos. Feel free to prompt me with your favourite colours for either option (for the background/text). The text element is open to suggestion, though for pets I recommend their name.

Payment via Paypal. I will provide you with a good quality digital file for personal use. There’s an extra $5 fee for a high-resolution print file, also only for personal use. I retain the right to use the images in my portfolio, etc.

Contact me through email at alex.boake@gmail.com to get your very own personalized piece.

Thanks!
-Alex

Dapper Alpaca

Dapper AlpacaAm I on a roll, or what? I know it’s not what you’re used to from me, but I like to shake things up and have some fun sometimes. What could be more fun than an Alpaca with bow ties? Come on! By the way, this is available on shirts. Also all my shirts on TeePublic are on sale for $14 again. Booyah!

allshirtsThanks for tuning in! There will be recipes again.
Someday. I promise!
I still love you.

New Nerdy Tshirts on Teepublic

Sorry again for the radio silence. Or blog silence, rather. Good things come to those who wait, right? In the mean time, I just got approved as a tee designer on TeePublic, and I’ve uploaded a bunch of my cool video game and other geeky designs over there. Feel free to check them out, if that’s something that interests you! They’re $14 until Sunday, then they go up to $20.

alexboake_teesUntil next time!

BACON MODE ACTIVATED Paleo Desktop Wallpapers

Who likes bacon? Me! Who like bacon on their computer? Yuck, that’s greasy, you say?! Well, not anymore. Here’s some digital bacon so that your keyboard is safe from delicious bacon fat. I have two different sizes for you, and this should cover most screen resolutions if you ‘fit to screen’.

Click to access full size.

Hope you enjoy all this bacon-tastic goodness all up on your screen, and that you have an excellent weekend. While you’re here, consider donating a dollar or two to support my work!




Society6 Free Shipping and Tote Bag Giveaway

I recently got a few of my illustrations set up on Society6, mainly because of the awesome feature of being able to have designs on iPod cases, pillows and tote bags. This is pretty good timing, because until November 17th, if you follow any of the promo links in this post, you can get free shipping, and the items should arrive in time for the holiday season. Neat!

From the site: “Our quality crafted Tote Bags are hand sewn in America using durable, yet lightweight, poly poplin fabric. All seams and stress points are double stitched for durability. They are washable, feature original artwork on both sides and a sturdy 1″ wide cotton webbing strap for comfortably carrying over your shoulder.”

Check out all the bag designs I have here!

In honour of my shop opening, I’m giving away one tote bag to one lucky person. Enter through the Rafflecopter widget below! Contest closes 11/15/2013 at 12:00 AM. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kind Organics Unquestionably Raw Chocolate Labels

As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m now a member of the Kind Organics team; a local farm based out of Newmarket, which is north of Toronto. They’re a certified bio-dynamic farm, and they sell awesome sprouts, salad blends, leafy greens, kombucha, kefir, herbs, teas, tinctures…they’ve got it all! In addition to that, they are incredibly nice people. You can find them at many farmer’s markets in downtown Toronto, the GTA, and outside of the city.

One of our first projects together was to do some illustrations for their chocolate labels. Partnering with Chocosol, they combine their organic herbs and mushrooms with the raw, fair trade chocolate, to create these beautiful and delicious chocolate bars. So unique, you won’t find anything else quite like them! The task was to create an illustration for each flavour that would represent the taste and ingredients. Here’s what we came up with!

A rainbow of flavours! Each one different from the next. I have to say that the Cosmic and the Flower Power are probably my favourite.

Let’s have a closer look at the illustrations! Click to enlarge.
Pretty nice, huh?! It’s difficult to play favourites, but I like the Flower Power a lot. In a display the colours pop, and there’s enough detail to make you want to take a closer look. Plus, who puts a chocolate bar down once they’re that committed? Especially since it’s fair trade and soy-free? Bingo!

You can find these locally from Kind Organics at farmer’s markets, and in a couple health food stores in Toronto. Plus, we’re giving away a full set over at Sex, Food and Kettlebells! Pop on over HERE to enter!

The Art of Keeping Real Food Fun!

A couple of months ago I was kindly invited to do a guest post for the infamous Paleo Parents! I have major respect for their parenting abilities and the way they make ancestral eating so accessible for kids and families. They have a super cool cookbook, Eat Like a Dinosaur, and a ton of recipes available on their blog as well. I was super thankful for the opportunity to do this post, since it was a lot of fun, and gave me a good excuse to try something a little bit different.

The Art of Keeping Real Food Fun

There are many people who get put off and confused by the so-called restrictions of ancestral health diets such as Paleo. They are confused and daunted, thinking to themselves, “If I eliminate grains and processed foods…what is left for me to eat?!” Of course, you and I seasoned Paleo eaters know that there are still a world of possibilities when you ‘limit’ yourself to Real Food. However, even when you know the ropes, sometimes you get into a little bit of a rut. Steak and salad are beautiful things, but it’s nice to mix it up every once and while. This is especially true when you are cooking for a family and cooking for kids! So, what can we do to keep Real Food fun? Here are a few tips and tricks that I like to bust out to keep my spectrum full!

Eat Local

Summer time is here, and that means that all of your local Farmers’ Markets are opening up for business. In my city I’m lucky enough to have a Market open in a different area of town almost every day of the week. Check online to find out if there is one in your area. This is a fantastic opportunity to get to know people in your food producing community. Talk to the people who are growing the fruits and vegetables that you are bringing to the table. You may learn a thing or two that you didn’t know, and returning to the market to do your shopping can create strong friendships—a much more human experience than foraging at a Big Box Store.

 

Spice Up Your Life

Ah, Salt and Pepper–what more do you need? Well, need, perhaps isn’t the right word. We are talking about keeping Real Food fun, and a fantastic way to change things up in your meal plan is to put a flavour injection by way of your spice cabinet. Cinnamon goes well with just about anything. Turmeric is an under-used spice with anti inflammatory properties. Fresh Basil is blissful! Once a week, pick a new spice or herb to try—good things will happen, I promise!

 

Meat Someone New

Always have grilled Chicken Breasts? Are you a slave to Stewing cuts of Beef? Plagued by Pork Chops? Break out of your deeply carved habits! Even changing the cut of meat will change things up! Different parts of the animal take better to different types of cooking, which will open up your recipe repertoire to more variation.

Eat Seasonal

This one, to me, goes hand in hand with Eating Local. Sure, you can get Strawberries all year round. However, do those giant berries that have spent forever in transit actually have any flavour? Even if they did, isn’t there something to be said about absence making the heart grow fonder? Making use of local produce seasonally will naturally bring variety to your cooking, and encourage you to use the full range of the Real Food bounty that there is to eat.

Tongue Traveling

Thailand…India…Mexico..Japan…Spain…no, I’m not on an incredibly expensive world tour, folks. I’m still at home in my kitchen…but my tongue sure is on a trip! You don’t even have to eat out to try international cuisine. A little Internet research will provide you will a ton of recipes that diverge from your standard Meat and Potatoes approach. If you live in a big city, you may also have access to ethnic grocery stores where you can source unusual ingredients. Make substitutions where you must, but allow your tastebuds to soar to new places!

 

Strange Fruits (and Vegetables)

Ever go to the grocery store, wander through the produce isles and say to yourself…”What the heck is that thing?!” Yes, there are Apples and Sweet Potatoes, but there are also Dragonfruit and Kohlrabi, Durian and Jicama, Longan and Cassava…! Those strange fruits and vegetables aren’t just there for decoration, they’re there for you to expand your horizons! Do a little bit of research and find out how to cook a new ingredient, or grab a different fruit to add to your salad. Don’t be daunted by different.

Swap Recipe Cards

There is a fantastic Paleo and Real Food community online, and everyone has amazingly creative recipes. Make a point to try something from someone else’s recipe box—and let them know how it turned out! Us food bloggers love feedback, and hearing about modifications and tweaks to our recipes often leads to inspiration for new dishes to share.

 

Eat The Rainbow

When all else fails, try and eat a Real Food Rainbow. Colourful fruits and vegetables add variety and vitamins to your meals. Plus, who can argue with a colourful and lovely plate of Real Food? Not me!

Hopefully now there will be no excuses for food boredom! I’ve also got a fix for wardrobe boredom as well with some new T-Shirt designs, available through my Spreadshirt store. Check ‘em out! Kid and Adult sizes are available for ordering.

I’ve got new T-Shirts, and they’re Happy to Meat You!

So, I’ve been working on a few projects lately, some bigger and some smaller. The huge ones I can’t really talk about in detail, but let me say that there are cool things happening in the shadows which will be revealed this summer! But, as for the smaller things, I can talk about them whenever I please, and so I’m here to tell you that I have a brand new shirt design!

Delicious, nutritious! They want to become a part of your wardrobe in addition to being part of your daily diet!

They’re available through my spreadshirt store, The Boaketique! Get ‘em while they’re sizzling. : )

Magic Anchovy Salad – and Boaketique Now Open!

Hi everyone! Things have been crazy since the start of the year, and are currently showing no signs of slowing. Rather than being a problem, this is actually quite awesome. I’m currently overseas in London, England, and won’t be back until the end of the month, but rather than let this blog go dormant while I’m away, I prepared some tasty and fun content in advance.
Just to keep things exciting for you as well as for me, I thought I should let you know that I’m now offering some shirts for sale, via Spreadshirt, over at my new store, which I have dubbed The Boaketique.

Right now I have just one design, but there shall certainly be more to come. Things can get at least 60% more fishy in your wardrobe with this Anchovy Apparel!

You may recognize the design from my earlier post, featuring some illustrations on mugs. If you’re looking to get one of these mugs, feel free to contact me directly at info@alexboake.com, or wait a few weeks as I may be getting an Etsy shop up and running soon.

This shirt design was inspired by my boyfriend Mike’s Dad’s favourite salad. The special ingredient? Anchovies, of course! I elaborated on the initial mug design to bring you this feature recipe illustration, with the recipe to follow!

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