22 Dec 2009


Christina, of Akane Designs has interviewed me about my work, and is running a feature of my shop on her wonderful blog.

I'm giving away a fancy li'l Stand Mixer Rubber stamp to the lucky winner of her draw.

If you'd like to enter for a chance to win, leave a comment under the interview. She also has a few more special instructions if you'd like to enter the draw more than once.

Hope you're all up to your necks in merriment and mistletoe, and preparations for Christmas day!
In case i'm unable to post until after the festivities, Merry Christmas to all!

10 Dec 2009

Some Carols, for you

Every year during the Christmas season, my sisters and our very bestest friends (three other sisters, and a few others) get together for our wee night of christmas fun. It usually results in singing, (drawing and singing are probably our favorite combined hobbies) and by the end of the evening, it gets sillier and sillier.

We start out calm, and sing a few traditionals...then we end up botching every other christmas song we can think of.

No real picture here, just sound. (and that addictive laugher at the end of the last one, is Laura. I love Laura's laugh. It's a laugh that makes your heart happy;)


5 Dec 2009

God Jul...or Glaedelig Jul, Tomato, ToMAto

I absolutely adore the simplicity of Scandinavian art & decor.
I find this surprising, because I, an artist, am very eclectic, and scatterbrained. Maybe that's why I like the style- it keeps me grounded.

Maybe it's because i have a second home at Ikea...
And maybe, it's because I'm actually Danish/Swedish. (Somehow though I doubt that has anything to do with it. My dad's family landed 4 generations ago, most of the "old country" ways have probably rubbed off by now!)

We do follow a few of the traditions as a family, such as Lucia Night. Because I was the oldest, while growing up it was always my role to wear the candles. (and usually only long enough to take a picture!)

We also made hundreds of the paper heart ornaments, which we were ironically taught to make by a cantonese girl.

Most of our Scandinavian traditions end with Christmas and a few recipes. (Because our family is such a mixed bag of backgrounds, we have a lot of traditions to squeeze in. Just wait, you'll see...Hanukkah is coming up soon!)

While I'm not sure I could decorate my entire house in Scandinavian style (I just don't have that kind of self control!) -I really admire a good Scandinavian Christmas.
I found these lovely items on Etsy (of course,) and thought I would share.

2 Dec 2009

3 PM

Our house, from our back yard, at 3 pm this afternoon.
It's way too dark outside for 3 pm. I don't like it.
And it it's going to get this dark out this early, there may as well be some pretty, soft-lit glistening snow. Where are you snow?

Just sayin'.

(ps. Obviously we didn't like the carpeting around here either, seeing as now it's tied up out back and ready to go to the dump. Take THAT, ugly carpeting!!)

1 Dec 2009


I have a huge stash of vintage maps sitting around (because I'm a paper junkie) and for years I've been meaning to use them for something fun.
I wanted to make an advent calendar for the boys, and originally I was thinking of sewing a bunting with pockets, or something similar.

The problem is, we've just moved, and I honestly don't know where my sewing machine IS. (I have a vague idea, but even if I could dig it out, where is my fabric? And my scissors? and needles...too much to think about!)
Then I remembered my maps, conveniently tucked away here in my still very unorganized studio. (This will soon be tackled...it's driving me absolutely batty!)

Using a pile of boxes as a table for my paper cutter, I managed to quickly slice up some 6x6 inch squares.
I then folded them into this really simple origami pattern:
Rather than folding the tops down, I left them up, (to hide the surprise) and sealed the bottom "wing" looking flaps with a tiny sticker. (Normally these stay shut when the top flaps are folded down, so I had to improvise.) Seeing as I needed something to write the numbers on, this worked out well.
I then attached them to a piece of bakers twine with masking tape, and hung them on our living room door.
Next year I think I'll hang them a touch higher or seal the tops shut, as I now know that they can see everything in them!

30 Nov 2009

Bubby is 7

That's right, I had twins for 15 days. But it's all come to an end now that the Bubbs has turned 7.(SEVEN!! that's, like, a real kid!)
Not a baby anymore, losing all his teeth, doesn't need my help anymore making his breakfast, takes a shower by himself, goes to the "men's" room at McDonalds...Yikes! When did this all happen?

Happy Birthday Reuben!!

27 Nov 2009

I smell Christmas...

I hope that you all had a glorious Thanksgiving holiday! Because we're in Canada, we already had our Thanksgiving back in October. (when it actually still looked like autumn around here...)
I can't help but feel a little need to still celebrate the American dated one as well, so we opted for some turkey soup with cranberry sauce on toast. Yummy!
I don't know why, but this year I'm so excited for the Christmas season. Some years I dread it, because I know that it will fly by and I'll have only accomplished a few of my projects out of the many that I'd hoped to complete. That, and I'm not a big winter junkie.
I like snow...for a little while. Like, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Boxing day. Outside of those three days, I can't stand the stuff.
But alas, this IS Ontario, so I'd best learn to live with it.
(we're not in Kansas anymore Toto!!)
This year is different though. I'm eager! Maybe it's because we have a new house that will be fun to decorate, maybe it's because we actually have a fireplace to "hang our stockings with care"...
This year I'm not stressed, and I don't care if I get everything done that Martha Stewart lays out for me in this month's issue.
There will be tree decorating, hot chocolate, popcorn, "Christmas vacation" and "Muppet's Christmas carol", Bing Crosby, Glogg, Dad and his stinky pickled herring, silly crowns from Christmas crackers, the boys in their Jammies for days on end, and my feller to cuddle up with.
There will be gathering of friends and
and warmth.
And that's all I ever really wanted anyway.
Let the festivities begin!!

25 Nov 2009

A Family Portrait

I'm always pulled to the photo bins at the antique stores. These are where I find portraits that I connect with like the closest, oldest dear friends. I even recognize myself in these forgotten, cloudy images.

I want to hug them, sit on their back porch, hold their child while they tell me about their day, borrow a cup of sugar, swap recipes.

Sometimes, I think I was born into the entirely wrong Era.

The music, the fashion, the customs, the recipes, the decor, I'm drawn more to my grandparents' teenage years than my own.

When I found this I immediately recognized my sister, our two best friends and I.
1938. L-R, Lindi, Laura, Me, And Jocelyn
I wish I had been there to see when women wouldn't dare leave the house without their gloves,
when men would blow their noses into handkerchiefs, and little girls always went to church in crinolines.
I envy their beautifully starched colorful hats, aprons, and that their hard work and hospitality and entertaining was seen as an art, not a chore.
Gardening, canning, sewing, cooking were skills that were common, and not something that anyone would choose to do without.
Motherhood was an admired career, and recognized as such.
The title "stay at home mom" was redundant.
Simple things were treasured. Children had fewer toys, but truly loved the ones they had.
They could play outside all day and parents wouldn't have to worry about their safety.
Families spent more time together, without being interrupted by television and impossibly busy schedules.
People knew their neighbors and local shop keepers by name.
They wrote letters and kept in touch with friends and family for years without seeing each other, or the aid of current technology.

My paternal grandparents, early 40's, taken while my grandfather was on leave from the Navy. Weren't they a classy lookin' couple?

After looking at all these and thinking about it all, I can't help but want to scoop up my boys and curl up with them for a good book. Have my sisters over for tea and bake with them.

Take a long walk with my feller, hand in hand, rather than watching the next episode of *who cares what*.

Slow life down, simplify, and breathe.

18 Nov 2009

Look how far you've come!

Happy Birthday Zeke! You're 6 now, and just as cute as the day you were born. (And just as firey!..I knew you were trouble when you were born with that little red Mohawk!)
I can't believe how big you've gotten, and so quickly! It seems like just yesterday you were tiny and round with that wonderful newborn smell. I'm so blessed to be your mama.

6 Nov 2009

A Pretty Nifty Field Trip

Yesterday morning, after receiving a call from my Mom, I woke up the boys a little earlier than necessary.
I told them to get dressed in their self-dubbed "handsome clothes" and that we were going out
to see someone very special.
They scrambled to find their matching shirts and sweaters, (and of COURSE, neckties) and were ready in a flash.
"Can you tell us where we're going now? Pretty please?"
As hard as it was to answer with a straight face (because it seemed so surreal) I said
"we're going to see the Prince of England".
They laughed....and laughed some more. They didn't believe me.
Zeke asked "can I bring my cap-gun?"
Reuben started singing "The Phony King of England" from Robin Hood, at the top of his lungs.
They really didn't believe me!
I had to explain to them that there really IS a Prince of England, (and that he wasn't horrible Prince John from Robin Hood) and that we really were going to go see him!
After a short history lesson, and a brief discussion on what's appropriate (or not appropriate) to sing while waiting to see his Royal Majesty, we were off to Dundurn Castle.

Of Course, Eva was in her prim and proper as well. First the Band Played.
and played...and played some more.

Zeke really liked the piccolo player. Reuben was confused as to what the role of the Major was, seeing as there was also a conductor.
We killed a lot of time, talking about each and every instrument.
Reuben wanted to know "why on earth the trombone player would be emptying her spit valve right in front of everyone, especially when the prince could walk out at any moment".
(I guess at this point he realised that the Prince kinda was a big deal, now that he knew that he was real and all...;)
And then...
First they waved to us from the balcony. (They came to Hamilton to tour Dundurn castle, because
it was built and owned by Lady Camilla's great great great Grandfather, Sir Allen MacNab.)

Greeting us commoners.
My mom was holding Zeke at this point. "Zeke!" she said, "do you see the Prince?"
"who, that guy with the grey hair?"
(I think that they were expecting more of a "Disney" variety of Prince.)
Lindi was able to get really close...

Notice that Prince Charles is wearing both the British AND Canadian Remembrance Day Poppy.

And Eva even got to "speak" with the Duchess of Cornwall herself.
"what a cute flat little hat you have" she said, in her luxuriously thick Brrrrritish accent, patting Eva's head.
"and what smart little gloves! I like your little gloves!"
The boys were a little short for the crowd, but they were such good sports. On their best behavior, and waited patiently.
I held them up for a good portion of the time, and my dad took turns with them on his shoulders.
Even though they didn't get super close, they did get to see the Prince, with their own eyes, which was, in Reuben's words,

21 Oct 2009

Home Sweet Home

Well I've ducked out for the last few days, despite the chaos going on with the triple rip-off shop keeper. Life has bigger things going on for us right now.

This weekend we moved into our new house! Only about a block away, so the move was pretty quick. (OK, maybe not to the guys hauling the furniture) but the trips were fast...even though there were many, back and forth!

Now I have some serious work cut out for me. LOTS of unpacking to do, there is still some other stuff at the old house to collect...and last but certainly not least, the decor in this house has GOT to go. I'm not complaining though, I'll love ripping down the horrid wallpaper and painting everything. (Remember that burgundy, forest green and dusty rose phase? It still exists in this house, quite strongly...)

Other than the gaggy decor, the house really does have a lot of character! Lots of old woodwork and fixtures etc.

We did however turn on the old electric fireplace and decided that we would not ever do that again.

The smell, the sparks...my life flashing before my eyes...Ok, it wasn't that bad. But I really don't think it's safe.

The main floor washroom though is probably more dangerous than the fireplace.
I was sure I was going to have a seizure when I walked in for the first time! (no, those are not my "beauty" products...these were from the MLS listings. I think the woman who lived here before me may have had some pretty big hair;)
My family has been drawing straws over who gets to take the first rip off of that wallpaper.

It will have to wait though, because we're doing the kitchen first. We discovered that the "back splash" is actually textured wallpaper...(these people had a real thing for wallpaper!)

We're going to get paint later this week, I think I'm leaning towards a light buttery yellow. Very farmhouse, cottagey. (amongst myself, my mom and my sisters, "cottagey" is indeed a word.)

Notice that busy green trim around the top? It goes through most of the house. I can't wait to pull it down. Oh, and the carpeting and the living room. I'm counting down the days until we yank that out too! (hardwood underneath, is being covered up by what USED to be shag carpet, 20 years ago. eek!)
Now that I've thoroughly picked apart the house, (and there is so much more ...but it would be a novel) I will say, I LOVE this house. The layout is perfect, the rooms are big, I have a really decent sized studio space (with a DOOR!) our yard is awesome, and the character of this house will shine through soon.
I can't wait to make it ours. Bit by bit it will become our home sweet home.

16 Oct 2009

An Update...

Well someone who isn't the brightest crayon in the box decided to open a THIRD shop. That's right folks, a third shop full of other artists work. Again, she's selling nothing but "originals". (FYI scammers like this one have been known to print out these pieces on inkjet watercolor paper, and play with the inks with a bit of water, to make them APPEAR as though they are hand painted.)

Look carefully at the shop announcement, profile...oh, and that cherry blossom tree right smack in the front of the store. Look familiar? That's because we saw that one yesterday, at her first shop, which is now closed.

So head on down to regs123 for a quick bargain, before she packs up shop, again!

14 Oct 2009

Feature Shop!

So I was perusing etsy, and found a shop called "WatercolorsBlooming" FULL of beautiful artwork. Artwork that was whimsical, enchanting, fantastic, and....familiar.

Quite familiar actually. Funny, they're even selling MY artwork.

Go take a looksy. They just might be selling yours too!!

I think it's pretty funny that they're selling my artwork as an "original". Any poor soul who gets this will realise it's a print!
Anyway, thought I'd warn other artists that there's a crook out there with a shop full of art that isn't theirs.
happy shopping;)
A little update. It's been brought to my attention by the lovely etsy peeps that she has another shop HERE. Same sorta thing.
Another Update! I recieved an email from Miss waterblossoms herself:
"I am so so sorry. My friend had a print of this painting and I loved it and painted it to sell in my etsy shop. I will remove it immediately :( I had no idea it was an etsy seller. ".
I wonder why she has so many of the same "originals".
OH..wait. There's more.
"I have an art degree from Hawaii and I am actually an artist. I painted this painting from your print. I can mail you the actual painting if you'd like so you can see it is not a print. I do not sell any prints in my art shop."

1 Oct 2009


When Zeke was really little, he used to act all pathetic and puny if he couldn't do something right, or just didn't FEEL like doing something right.
I used to jokingly patronize him with a silly little song I made up to get him giggling again.

It was never the same song twice, it was basically a little rhyme about the task at hand.

However, it always started with "Are you feeling tiny and small, and littlest of all?" (he was VERY good at being "tiny".)

Once in a while, he'd even go put on his little striped hospital pjs and walk around and whine, in a slightly disturbing little zombie walk, a slow dragging of feet with his arms hanging helpless in front of him. For he knew that while he was in the hospital (juvenile arthritis) he was never short on sympathy and extra attention.

He was so little that I really didn't bother to tell him to knock it off. (And let's face it, he is naturally a very dramatic child!) Instead, I'd sort of play along and eventually he'd see that he was really being pretty silly;)

These little skits usually ended up with him wrapped up in a big blanket, arms and legs swaddled in a very defenseless fashion, and me pretending he was my "tiny baby" again, while I kissed his cheeks until he'd laugh so hard he'd cry.

Well a couple of days ago he put on the "tiny" act again, only for a few seconds. I started with the "are you feeling tiny and small and littlest of all?" song. He just rolled his eyes and giggled.

It made me want to write down one of the little poems though. (which of course needs an illustration. duh.)

Here's this evening's silly little doodle. I really should be packing (we're moving in two weeks!...more about that later!)
I had to take a little break though and doodle this out while it was on my mind. You know how it is with us doodlers. We can't help ourselves.

29 Aug 2009

Pepperminty Goodness

Just a quick note to let everyone know about my autumn special!
From Now, Aug 29th, Through October 12th, For every dollar you spend in my shop, you will receive a free foot of bakers twine. Fun fun!