Well, I’ve been doing some cooking but I haven’t had the energy to take out my camera, so no food pics for you this week. But I do want to share that I made a Wild Rice Mushroom Soup that was seriously amazing and then I happened to stumble upon another great recipe- Tortellini with Italian Sausage, Fennel and Mushroom. I highly recommened you guys make both of them…YUM. Unless you don’t like mushrooms, sorry!

I’ll be back soon with a recipe but in the meantime I thought I’d share some things with you :)

First, our new roof is on! We went with the “Slate” grey color. It was the second darkest color other than black. It’s much darker than the previous roof, which I’m happy about. Here’s the “before:”

Roof "before" ~ ElephantEats.com

And the “after:”

Exterior New Roof Timberline Ultra Series Slate ~ ElephantEats.com

They were roofing the day I took the pic, hence the garbage sitting on the roof. It will look a lot darker once we get the house repainted I think. Also, there was frost on the roof which is also making it appear lighter than it actually is. And yes, I did blur out the info on the giant sign in our yard in case you were wondering.

Apparently the framing inside the house is complete now and the subs (the electrician, plumber and Heating/AC guy) are there working this week. It’s moving along!

In other news…

So in addition to making Nate’s mom granola for Christmas, I also painted a new cat portrait for my blogger friend, Emma! She had inquired about commissioning a portrait for a while but finally decided to tell her boyfriend about it so he could take matters into his own hands and turn it into a pseudo surprise xmas present. 

Custom Cat Portrait "Beata" ~ by ElephantEats.com

Emma has been wanting me to paint her kitty, Beata. I have to say that Beata is one of the most beautiful and photogenic cats I’ve ever seen! It also helped that Emma’s boyfriend sent me a great pic to work from. He told me that it was very important that I capture Beata’s “milk stain” lip and white paws, as they are her trademarks. Also, she has the most beautiful blue eyes!

Custom Cat Portrait "Beata" ~ by ElephantEats.com

I know I say this every time, but I think this is seriously my favorite portrait I’ve done so far! The picture I had to work from was such good quality that I even decided to attempt the background, instead of doing my usual solid color. I also chose to wrap the painting around the sides.

Custom Cat Portrait "Beata" ~ by ElephantEats.com

Custom Cat Portrait "Beata" ~ by ElephantEats.com

I got this kind of varnish to put on top and protect the painting and I stupidly got the “satin” instead of “matte” finish, making it shiny and hard to photograph. Actually the best pic I got was with my iphone before I put that varnish on:

Custom Cat Portrait "Beata" ~ by ElephantEats.com

I’m happy to say that Emma loved her Christmas present! Emma, you’ll have to let me know if Beata approves too ;)


  1. love the photos of the house and kitty portrait-very nice.

  2. Lovely picture and exciting news about your house!

  3. The new roof looks great! You’re making me want to do a renovation! I’ll have to live vicariously through you! The cat painting is so beautiful! I may have to have you do one of my Fluffy some day.

    • Hehe, the renovation has fun but I think it’s more stressful than it is fun right now. Hopefully I won’t have to do one anytime soon again :) Thank you so much!!! I’d be honored to paint your Fluffy…love that name!

  4. That is the most perfect portrait I’ve ever seen Amy! You outdid yourself this time! It looks so perfect…. if only I could paint like that ; )
    How exciting about the new house, love the roof! x

    • Aw, Consuelo, that’s so sweet of you! I’m sure you have plenty of skills that I don’t have ;) Thank you about the roof…I think I’m happy that I didn’t go with black.

  5. That portrait is unbelievable, Amy! You’re so dang talented! Now I might just have to ask you to paint one of my cat, Theo. :-D

  6. The roof looks beautiful…it’s so exciting when the “big” money you spend on your home is something you can see, rather than electrical or plumbing..etc. I used to get so frustrated when we’d spend a ton of money with nothing to actually “see”. I knew deep down that we needed that stuff done, but it’s no fun spending the money on. :-) I’m happy for you!

    The portrait… holy smokes man… simply gorgeous. I’m so impressed with your talent, my friend… LOVE. <3

    • Hehe, thanks Prudy. I know what you mean…although I actually CAN see the electrical and plumbing since there are no walls right now :) At this point I’m spending so much money that I don’t even know how much is going towards the different items. But I suppose the roof was prob a big portion. It sure looks better than that old stained one tho :)
      Aw, thank you!

  7. Everything looks fantastic! The roof AND the painting!

  8. beautiful roof AND AN AMAZING PORTRAIT! i love it!

  9. This painting has quickly become one of my most cherished possessions, aside from Miss Beata herself of course! I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out – I love her paws wrapping around the bottom edge, I love the forested background that will always remind me of my time in northern Maine, and I love the beautiful brilliance of it all! One million thank yous:)

    Also thank you for showing us that gorgeous old garage door one more time!

    • Wow, Emma, that’s the most beautiful compliment I’ve ever received. I should totally add a “satisfied customers” section on my Pet Portrait page and quote you :) I’m SO glad you like it so much. Truly. It’s kind of awesome to me that you have something I made that will be around for a very long time. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to paint your beautiful Beata!!
      (I’m sad to say that garage door has been replaced by plywood for the time being. Hopefully we’ll get some electric out there so we can install the new one soon…and I will try very much to make it look like the old one!)

  10. The wrap around (which conveniently included her white mittens) was a most excellent and exciting feature of the portrait!

    • Hi “boyfriend!” haha. I didn’t want to mention your name without your permission since you didn’t really ask to be mentioned in my blog. I figured “the boyfriend” was fine :) I’m so glad you liked the wrap around! What sealed the deal for me, in terms of deciding whether to do it or not, was the fact that you said her white mittens were so important, and without it you could barely see them. I guess I made the right decision!

  11. Nice Roof! that painting is amazing, you are so talented. Look forward to seeing your mushroom soup recipe.

    • Thanks so much, Lizzie!! I don’t plan to post the mushroom soup since I didn’t take pics but the link to the recipe is above…you should definitely make it. It was really really delicious!!!

  12. The roof looks AMAZING! Those things are expensive though, huh? And your portrait? Just gorgeous. Thank you for sharing your amazing talent with us all!

  13. I’m running over to those mushroom recipes right now, and by running I mean not getting up but moving my mouse quickly!
    Roof looks great – lets talk garden!??!?!
    That kitty portrait is so beautiful Amy, I can’t imagine how happy the family must have been to get it and now admire it. Amazing job! Meow!

    • I hope you checked out the mushroom recipes…they were both awesome. Omg, I wish I could have a roof garden, but it will have to be in the backyard. I will be calling you once we move in! :) Thank you so much, Pamela!!

  14. The new roof looks awesome Amy! Love the kitty portrait, it’s so beautiful and Emma must have loved it:)

  15. you have such a talent for pet portraits and capturing animals: i’m blown away by it. You translate their facial expressions so beautifully, and they look so real! I saw this for the first time on Emma’s FB page and i just knew it had to be you who did it: it’s amazing.
    and i’m with emma: i’m super happy i get to see that awesome garage in the back before it goes: i love that thing. :) a new roof is exciting! definitely that’s the thing you’ll appreciate big time once you move in; a bad roof can cause massive problems. don’t rush around trying to make food somethings for the blog, you: we can wait. it’s dip and app season anyway, so take your time. ;)

    • Aw, thank you Shannon. It’s weird but I’m honestly not even looking at the pet’s face when I do these paintings. I kind of see it just as a bunch of colors and then when I put them together and step back, there’s a face! Haha, I’ll admit that that garage was the one part of the house I wish I could have kept. Too bad there wasn’t a way to make those doors electric (well there was prob a very expensive way).

  16. I love the house updates and pictures of your pet portraits, so I pretty much loved this post. :) The house looks great and you are seriously talented at painting!

  17. Man, that is some portrait, nailed it! So nice! Congrats on the new roof.

  18. You are a great artist, Amy. And I definitely like the darker color on the roof – great choice. Hope things are coming along smoothly and all the snow is slowing things down too much…

    • Thank you so much, Monica :) Yeah, I can’t wait to repaint the house too! I’m having trouble deciding if we should do basic white with black shutters or something more interesting. The snow did slow down our window delivery but hopefully it’s back on track now!

  19. awww!
    how cute!
    and you have a great eye for details and sharpness!

  20. Yay for the new roof!! It looks awesome!! ANd the cat portrait is pretty great…I dont’ know how, but you manage to get even better with each one!

  21. That portrait is AMAZING! Amazing! I can’t even imagine possessing the skills to do something like that. I’m in awe.

  22. Wow, the slate grey roof looks fantastic…and refreshing! And ahhhhh mazing portrait…you’re so talented, I love it! The cat reminds me of a family friend kitty I am planning to see in a few weeks… he’s struggling with diabetes at the moment and also a Siamese! Best Christmas Present indeed!

    • Thanks, Rika! I think any roof would look amazing after that old thing ;) Awww, sorry to hear about that kitty. Siamese are the prettiest kitties….

  23. Girl, you are one talented chick. That kitty portrait is amazing. Your new roof is stunning. I’m diggin’ your house.

  24. Your house is coming along so beautifully! And I love the cat portrait!

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