Friday, January 30, 2009

making sunshine

Today is chilly and grey, so this morning while Adelaide and I were hanging out at our community room with friends we decided to try and make a little bit of sunshine together...

Using a notary seal craft punch, I punched out circle shapes out of tissue paper. The tissue paper on hand was from a "warm" variety package: yellows, oranges, reds, and pinks. I think that they look great together - especially on a grey winter day! Once I had cut many circles, I put them in a little cup for Adelaide.

Then using some scotch tape, I attached some clear self-adhesive vinyl sheets to a window, sticky side out. I demonstrated a couple of times how the tissue seals would stick to the vinyl and then Addie immediately took over. She played with these little bits of sunshine for a good half hour! When she was done, I stuck another piece of clear vinyl on top to make a permenant suncatcher for our window. I think that it is so pretty, and she is very proud of her work too!

sunshine by you.

The notary seal punch I used is by Martha Steward Crafts and I bought it at Michaels. Ordinarily I find this store pricy, but I signed up for their mailing list on their website and every week or so they will send me a coupon for 40 - 50% off an item. If I ever plan to visit the store, I will print a few of these coupons out and use them by going through check out a few times. The staff never seem to mind and I've gotten some great deals this way!

The clear vinyl sticker I remember my mom calling mactac when I was a kid. I buy rolls of it at any dollar store, and I usually cut pieces into size and press them flat overnight under a big cutting mat. Ordinarily I am not attracted to plastics, but this technique is such a great way for little children to experiment with collage without having to get all messy with glue. And it is also a great way to preserve artworks, collages, leaves, and other found nature bits forever.

suncatcher by you.

ps. Thank-you for your thoughts, advice, and concern regarding my previous post regarding Adelaide's eyes. Addie has her 2 year check up scheduled in 2 weeks, and so I have decided to keep a closer watch on her and get it checked out in-depth then. Your feedback is so thoughtful and kind, and I have found it amazingly helpful and so informative. I am so appreciative of every word of advice I received - Thank-you!

Monday, January 26, 2009

beautiful-eyed one

waking up by you.
This afternoon I was working when I heard Adelaide waking up from her nap. I went to our sleeping room there she was, just sitting there so sweetly in the middle of our big bed. The light was so lovely that I ran and got my camera.

She is the most beautiful person I have ever met. My heart just aches for her and I have a feeling that this condition never will pass.

But Lately I have been growing more and more concerned about Adelaide's eyes and her vision. She doesn't seem to see that well and her eyes seem to bother her quite often. And her eyes - especially her left eye - are very crossed, and they seem to be growing worse.

I was hoping that these things would pass, but sitting just now and looking through these photographs in succession I can really see how her eyes are crossed and seem to be bothersome. And my heart aches even a little more for her.

So my questions are, for someone out there: Have you ever experienced this with a child? Have you taken your toddler to an eye doctor before - what was it like for them? Do you know of any specialists who work especially with little children (in the Vancouver area)?

Any thoughts or advice you may have would be much appreciated,

Thank-you ♥

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

a winner

This afternoon Adelaide would not nap, so I decided to pick a winner for the address file with her. I don't like picking a random number for giveaways as my eyes and my brain get all mixed up when trying to count all the comments (is there an easier way to count comments that I have been missing?) So, feeling smart, I decided to just print out all of the entries, trim them apart, and let Addie draw a name.

Well, I didnt realise that all those comments would turn into so many printed sheets of paper... they just wouldn't stop printing out! Suddenly, I am not feeling so smart anymore.

But Adelaide was more than thrilled to be involved with the drawing of our winner. I tried to get her to comprehend how to jumble all the entries with her tiny fingers and pick out just one, and she did to the best of her abilities. 

And, the winner is.... 

chosen by you.

Wendy!

Wendy said...
this is so generous of you sharilyn! thanks for giving another one of these out.. they are so gorgeous!
7:33 PM

winner! by you.

Ah, Wendy has emailed me and told me that today is her birthday. How Appropriate! Happy Birthday, Wendy!

Thankyou so much to everyone who has visited and entered our contest. I will be having more giveaways soon, so please keep in touch!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

giveaway

Thank-you to all who visit me here in this place... it makes me happy to find that there are many like-hearted souls out there in this big world!

For one of you now, I have this address file that I've put together with a happy heart. It is almost perfect, except that it is of unfinished maple and has a slight pen mark on the back. I've left the wood untouched, but if you wish you can rub a little beeswax or such on it. Or you can simply leave it plain, it is kind of nice that way. It is filled with well over 220 (3.5" stacked) hand cut cards, most from recycled stock such as old library cards and ledgers. There are also many patterned cards which I've designed myself and had printed on recycled paper. It is made with a lot of love!

My hope is that it will find its way to a good home. If you would like to have it, please leave me a comment and I will randomly draw a winner in a week or so.

note: If you sign in as anonymous, please leave a name in your comment so I can identify you.

january_file2 by you.

janaury_file3 by you.

p.s. I am currently working with a small local woodworking company on having my address files available again. I hope to have them ready for sale later on this winter or early spring, and am already preparing for this. If you have been waiting so patiently for one, thankyou! And please keep in touch.

up-do

Recently, Adelaide has begin enjoying the practice of hair-styling. As a bribe when getting her dressed each morning (which can be quite a struggle) I have learned to give her her basket of little hair supplies and tell her to pick out which ones she would like to wear. After she is dressed, we move to the bathroom where she stands up on the toilet in front of the mirror and has me style her hair.

Her hairstyles are usually of the pigtail variety, but they usually only last a few minutes unless I supervise her wandering fingers. Lately, however, she has been instructing me for an up-do. This requires about 6 hairclips, and I simply turn her locks of hair on either side of her face, twist them back and clip them up in the back. For some reason, she loves having her hair done like this, and will leave it in rather then pulling it all out.

And she also really enjoys styling Elliot's hair. Poor Elliot, if there were a prize for the most patient kitty he should win it. Adelaide adores combing and brushing him, and then attempting to style his hair using her little hair clips. Of course, her little fingers aren't quite there yet, so after she tires of sort of jabbing Elliot with the clips, she will then proceed to very specifically art direct me as to what selected clip should go precisely in what spot.

Odd thing is, she hasn't tried this on anyone else, yet... only lucky Elliot.

elliots_hairstyle by you.

Monday, January 05, 2009

bug drawing

The other evening it got real quiet in the house, and when I went to take a look, Adelaide was busy picking the wrappers off all of her crayons. She had climbed up on the table and selected and carried down a container full of crayons. She then re-located them to a cozy spot on her sheepskin rug, and proceeded diligently with her work of removing the wrapper off of every single one. Once she had finished, she then collected up all of the little bits of wrappers and placed them all in a jar. A very important task indeed!
adelaide's art tray by you.
adelaide's art tray by you.
I found a big orange round tray at a thrift shop once, and I use it now to keep a big assortment of art supplies displayed nicely. This makes me happy to see, and every once in a while Adelaide will spot them and insist on doing some mark-making. I keep the crayons and pencils simply stored in small repurposed jars, baskets, and paper cups. This makes them easier for Addie to carry around, see, reach for, and select, and also to clean up when the time comes! I also collect any broken crayon bits up and stash them away in a jar in our pantry to make new crayons with.

A little game we've made up together is to make "bugs". One at a time, I will draw circles all over a page, in varying sizes, and ask her to help me fill them in. She really enjoys marking up my circles, and this little game is great for when we're waiting for our meals in a restaurant or even for the bus. I'm also certain it is helping her learn how to write and focus, and her hand-eye co-ordination as well. But really I just also love the results, beautiful little bugs that we've made together!

another collaboration by you.making marks (together) by you.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

a quilt for adelaide

bedside by you.

It took me almost two years, this quilt that I began for Adelaide when she was just born. To make it, I pieced all of the little turquoise blue, tomato red, and natural muslin 2" squares by machine. Then I quilted it all entirely by hand. But once all of the tiny stitched quilting was done, it sat folded in my workroom for months while I procrastinated daily about squaring and binding it.

I really wanted to double-fold bind it, but I have never done it before and to me it seemed more difficult than it actually is. I kept looking over varying tutorials in books and online again and again. I am the type of person that learns by seeing and doing, so I kept putting it off. But 3 days before christmas I sat up in bed one night and knew that I wanted to finish it for Addie for her christmas present. And I decided to stay up late each night to try and have it ready in time.

So I googled double fold binding and cross-referenced several website tutorials. I have found that when I am trying to learn a new skill and I don't have someone to teach me it in person, cross-referencing several sources helps me out emmensely. I was going to use plain muslin for the binding, but I remember reading long ago that if you're going to spend all that time working on binding a quilt, it's nice to have a pretty pattern to look at. So I used a sweet blue and red print instead, and I am so glad that I did!

a quilt for adelaide by you.

For the label I used printable fabric sheets. I designed it up in Illustrator, and printed it out on my desktop printer. I then hand-washed and ironed it, and sewed it right sides together with interfacing. The I trimmed the corners and flipped it rightside out, and blindstiched it to the back bottom corner of the quilt. The typeface I used is called Neutraface.

I always like to use flannel on the backsides of my quilts, something that my grandma always did... it just makes them so warm and cozy. Rather than buying flannel in yardage, I usually visit a clearance store such as Winners and buy a good-quality flat flannel bedsheet. This way I never have to sew two pieces together for them to be wide enough for my quilts. It works perfectly!

elliot's quilt by you.

So I finished the quilt just in time for Adelaide's second ever christmas, and she really adores it. But Elliot loves it even more, and we have a difficult time sometimes when we want to cuddle up in the quilt - he won't ever get off of it!

adelaide's room by you.

p.s. I forgot to mention that I have several red and blue squares left over from this project. If you would like to have them, please contact me with your mailing information and I will send them to you.  They have now found a home, thankyou Erica!

happy new year!


Happy New Year to everyone who ever happens to visit me here in this place. It is my sincere with that your 2009 be filled with love, joy, beautiful friendship, and always, much inspiration...