Tuesday, June 30, 2009

sewing scissors

hair. before by you.
I've been pondering Adelaide's hair for some time now. I was planning to let it grow and grow all sweet and long forever. But lately she is frightened to have it washed and she despises having it combed, and so most days her hair is a sticky tangled mess.

So on a bit of a whim this morning, wanting to spare her the trauma of a salon, I stood her on the toilet, my sharpest sewing scissors in hand, and proceeded to snip snip away.

Soon I knew that I made a big mistake. I realised - much too late - that I am no hair professional, especially when it comes to a wriggling toddler. My sweet little girl now sports a rather mis-shaped choppy hairdo, near bald patch on one side, looking a little like she had a run-in with some sort of weed eater.

Horrified, I packaged her up and ran her over to the closest hair salon. But they had no time for our emergency, and we returned straight home, me trudging along full of melancholy, Adelaide skipping away, happily oblivious.

Guilt.

Yet, I have discovered upon our return home, that pigtails are still (if barely) possible!

Saved.

hair. after by you.

Friday, June 26, 2009

reader

Yesterday, something happened that made my heart and my head do a flip.

We were working away in my studio, me at my table and Adelaide at hers, When I happened to glance over at her. Oblivous to me, she stopped what she was doing, picked up a metal tin that usually holds her crayons, and pointed with her little finger at a word on it. And begin to move her finger along the word and sound it out.

Suuuuuugraaate-walaaamamayeee-ohaaahuuucke!

oh something.

Well, of course she is much too little, at two years old, to really be reading, but my heart just jumped when I realised that- for the first time in her life - she has recognized words as something to be read, and she is practicing!

I took this photograph directly after, Addie with one of her books in bed. Only this time, she is saying "c'mon mama, read!"

little garden

My mom was a farm girl, and so growing up we always had a big garden. Now every spring I have an incredible urge to make a garden, and I hope to give Adelaide a green thumb (and heart!) just like my mom gave to me. 

So far, I've never had a big yard to make a big garden of my very own - although I have books with tagged pages, notebooks of sketches, and a folder full of snippets of inspirations. One day, I shall make the garden that I have been dreaming of for so very long. But until then, I have been making do each year with a potted garden, whether it be on a balcony or just a tiny window ledge. And I am constantly amazed at just how many wonderful treats can come from a few pots.

a garden of pots by you.

This year, We have perhaps 7 or 8 pots of all sizes dedicated to our bellies. They are overflowing with strawberries and blueberries, romaine, leaf, and butter Lettuces, and lots of basil, parsely, cilantro, mint, rosemary, and chives. The fragrance is wonderful!

I have also been trying to involved Adelaide in all aspects of growing our little garden - from collecting rocks around the neighbourhood for the bottom of our pots from drainage, to filling them up with soil and planting the seeds, to watching our babies grow, giving them water to drink, and sheltering them with a umbrella when the sun gets much too hot. Every day she runs out to check if there is a strawberry or two for her. I haven't eaten one yet!

And then, the cooking and eating! Together we have been whipping up lots with the snippets collected from our garden: Fresh pastas, Thai curries, our very favourite: Vietnamese Salad Rolls with lots of fresh mint, cilantro, and basil. And fresh Bruschetta made of chopped tomatoes, onions, and lots of basil with freshly grated parmesan, topped on bread grilled on the bbq. Yum!

What would you cook up? Any more ideas for me? For I am running out...

watering the babies by you.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

first glue

Today was a momentous occasion in Adelaide's life - the first glue!

I love just sitting back and watching Addie work...she has this concentration which both amazes and fascinates me. She will smear the glue all over one page, around and around. Then colour over the glue with a pencil crayon. Try another colour. Dip the pencil into the glue and try that out. Glue over the drawing. Over and Over again, her tiny fingers flying. Once these options are exhausted, she will work in the fabric and paper scraps. Press, stick. glue. arrange. Find the teeniest paper bits and stick them all in a row. Pencil over top. Glue. Arrange and re-arrange. 

And all the while I can almost hear her little brain whirring away. 

She will only pause when the glue needs a twist up: the only time she needs any help from her mama!

making spot by you.

Monday, June 15, 2009

two more shelves of our house

Here are a couple more shelves of our house that somehow I forgot about last time...

These little wooden shelves used to hang in my studio before we switched the rooms around, and were covered in work supplies. They now hang over our big bed, and I have filled them with nice things that are lovely to spot when we wake up in the morning.

The little wooden pegs which hang underneath the bottom shelf were so handy to hang aprons, scissors, or rulers, but I wasn't sure what to do with them once they were just above our bed. As I stood back pondering what to hang on them, Adelaide promptly skipped by me and hung up one of her little necklaces. I wonder how long it will take before she is nonchalantly outsmarting me on a daily basis? So now these little pegs are always strung with her little necklaces and bracelets, and always the little bag that I made for her birthday. It is such a perfect spot to hang her treasures.

dish wall by you.

I put up these wall shelves in our kitchen and use them to store our dishes and plates. They help out emmensely in creating more storage space in our little kitchen, and being out in the open, they force me to keep our things tidy. I saved the cabinets with doors for such things as vitamins, small cooking ingredients, and snacks which I find are much more of a chore to keep organised and looking tidy.

Our kitchen - like our entire house when we bought it - was a horrible builder's beige (70's pantyhose beige) so I painted our kitchen a lovely warm white (Grand Teton by Benjamin Moore) to brighten it up. It looks amazingly better and much more bright and refreshing. I hope to paint our hallways this colour someday, too.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

and the winners are...

and the winners are... by you.
Thank-you to everyone who entered my giveaway for the address files! The winners, chosen by random number generator, are no.462 Lori, and no.196 Stephanie. Lori's name was drawn first so she will have first choice of either the maple or black walnut file. Lori and Stephanie, if you haven't heard from me already, please contact me with your first choice of file and your address information.

lori said...
oh, i'd love one. i recently lost my address book and am a little lost. this would definitely help.

stephanie said...
Thanks for offering a giveaway! Your address files are wonderful. Have a wonderful week!

I really love having giveaways - it's nice to send out packages and meet some lovely new people, and its the perfect way to find homes for my items with small imperfections. I only hope that some do not find it tacky of me to give away my items with flaws - I still care very much for the them and want to find them good homes! Regardless, I plan to have many more giveaways in the future.

Thank you for reading and for all of your comments - they are cherished and appreciated always!

and the winners are... by you.

Monday, June 08, 2009

shelves of our house

shelves of our house by you.
Thank you to everyone who has entered my give away for the two address files (previous post). I've been sick the past several days, so I will be selecting the winners once I feel better - hopefully in the next day or two. 

I am sick at home today, Adelaide is off with her auntie who is here visiting us from Toronto, and our house is so quiet and still. I don't feel well enough to do much, but I thought that I'd take this opportunity to snap some photos of some of the shelving around our house and share them with you.

Our house is fairly small - about 1,100 sf. - and since I spend the vast majority of my time here it has become really important to me to have it set up and organised. This was a long time coming - I was never a neat or tidy person! But I learned pretty quick when I became a mama, that if I'm going to be spending a lot of time at home,  it's important to have a home that I feel good and want to be in. I truly would have lost my mind by now if I didn't! 

So long ago I set out on a mission to train (and force) myself and begin to get rid of clutter and have a place for everything to belong. I'm still slowly working on this - but being organised really makes all of the difference in the world.

The shelves in our living room which hold several items, but mostly books, magazines, and my vintage world globes, which I've collected for years. We had two large Ikea Expedit shelves and made them into an "L" shape with one sticking out from the wall, to make a nice reading and movie watching spot, filled with lots of blankets and pillows. This is probably one of the coziest spots in our house, and I have visions of lots of board game playing happening here when Addie gets a bit older.

shelves of our house by you.

Here is a bit of the shelf that sticks out from the wall, where I keep most of my paperback novels. I have always loved to read and I keep a look out for goodbooks at thrift shops and used book shops. Although I try to pass on many of the books I've read, I can't bear to be rid of them all. I think they look so nice all together, even on the backside of the shelf. I also hope that by having a lot of books around, Adelaide will learn to love books, too. So far, this is working well!

Beyond this shelf you can see a little into the dining area of our house (which is mostly a play area for Addie), and the front entranceway to our house.

shelves of our house by you.

Here is Adelaide's play shelf and area. I was inspired by the shelves in this photograph, and it reminded me of and that it would work perfectly in our house as well. This solution works perfectly to utilize a space that normally wouldn't be that functional. It creates a low, convenient storage space for Adelaide's toys and books without taking up a lot of room. (and gives our kitties a great place to sit and look out the window) 

To make it, Charles and I went to Ikea with our window measurements and checked out every possible shelf that might work. We finally found this ODDA cabinet which was the perfect size, and simply modified it by removing the back and front sliding doors. (Although I also thought it would be fantastic to cover the back red piece with some lovely vintage wallpaper or fabric, too). 

I also picked up a simple white rug at Ikea as well, for Adelaide's "play rug". She loves her play rug and I've found that it is a nice way to encourage her to keep her toys in one spot rather than all over.

shelves of our house by you.

Here is the girls' closet, which was formerly my sewing closet before we switched rooms all around. Adelaide and I share this closet together which I found works great as we mostly get dressed at the same time. After moving the rooms, I was unsure what to do about this closet, as the top shelves took over the area where the rod would normally hang, but I decided to keep them in place and simply add a rod beneath them. This has worked out well as Adelaide can almost reach her own clothes and will soon be able to take care of selecting and hanging up her own items of clothing. 

Because this room is tiny and only has room for one small dresser which is Adelaide's, I bought the white baskets which fit the white shelves well, and they are filled with my socks, underwear, t-shirts, etc. The other wicker baskets are filled with itmes like old photographs, Adelaide's lotions and potions, and  a "sick" basket filled with thermometers, cough drops, etc, which is so handy to have ready all in one place.

shelves of our house by you.

Finally, here is my computer desk space in the closets which were formally our master bedroom. Once again I decided to make the closet into another place to work, and removed all of the bi-fold doors and standard clothes racks and rails. I hung up some vintage wallpaper to the back wall by simply thumb tacking it up - you can't notice, and I didn't have to deal with glues and rollers! My dad then helped me to hang the white Ikea shelves for storage, and I measured the space and at a hardware store had them cut me a desktop to size. I used some Ikea table legs to form the desk, and covered it with some heavy kraft paper which can easily be replaced when it gets mucky. This is the perfect spot for my computer to be!

The other side of the closet is filled with more work supplies which I don't use as often, and also acts as a linen closet, with blankets, towels, sheets and laundry soap, etc. Because of this I decided to hang a inexpensive bamboo blind which I can open up easily when it needs to be, but cuts the visual clutter nicely when down.

It is funny to me, the things that I do not notice until they are captured in a photograph - such as Jack's little white mouse in the bottom right hand corner, which I guess that he tossed up on the desk while I was taking these photographs: Come on, play with me, mom!