Wednesday, September 30, 2009

do paintings, mommy

This girl loves to paint. She is very serious about it! She has made her paintings every single day for months and months - she even insisted on bringing along her paints with us camping this summer, so that she could paint happily in the bushes. And she has her little painting spots set up and all ready to go in several locations around our house... you never know when the urge may strike!

focus by you.

Our small house is beginning to get a little crowded, but the other day I found a beautiful old vintage easel at a thrift shop for $8. I couldn't resist and so I brought it home. So the other afternoon I took some time to set up her lovely new easel. I loaded it up with nice papers, paints, brushes, and fresh water.

Then, without even a blink, she dragged out an old beat up ikea step stool. She carefully set it up, and plopped on down on it school desk style. She got right to work...with her own self-selected painting supplies.

My lovingly prepared easel... ignored!

Perhaps, it will be only just for me.

makeshift desk by you.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

1000 maple address files (+ giveaways)

The other day I was stamping out the labels for the bottom of a batch of freshly assembled address files, and I realised that I had just made my 1,000th maple wood file ever!

In celebration of all that finding, designing, cutting, punching, sorting, assembling, and packaging, I have set aside one maple wood address file to giveaway to someone special. (It is actually no. 1025.) This address file was handmade with much love, and so I hope that it will find a great home here in this place.

+30 by you.

I also have three packs of assorted file cards, as a giveaway for my lovely customers who have ordered an address file from me. Thank you to all of you!

If interested, please specify which item you wish for (file or card pack) and leave a comment. In a week or so I will randomly select four winners. Please make sure that your contact information is available to me. This contest is open to anyone, anywhere in the world.

Good Luck!

Monday, September 28, 2009


The other night I lay with her in the soft darkness, together tucked up to our chins with the very coziest of quilts, favourite well-worn bear from my childhood now by her side. Surrounded by many treasures: acorns, story books, photographs, music boxes. Whispering of good nights, inspirations for dreams, hints of possibilities all yet to come..

And so it came to me, strong and sudden and bittersweet:

I wish I were you.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

back in stock!

I've (finally) made it through my lengthy waitlist, and am very happy to have my maple address files available (while supplies last) in my shop once again! Each of these files has been handcrafted with much love and care from sustainable and responsibly harvested wood and materials, and comes filled with 24 alphabet dividers and 200 beautiful cards in assorted colours and designs. Each card is cut from repurposed + recycled paper, or is a print of a pattern of my own design.

I am still working my way through my black walnut wait list, just holding for more stock from my craftsmen. Once I have contacted everyone on my walnut wait list I will also add them to my online shop. - most likely this fall.

If you were on my waitlist for a maple address file, and somehow I missed you, please send me a note!

now in my little shop by you.

Monday, September 21, 2009

songs for baby birds

Over the last couple of years I have collected songs about birds. This is because my daughter Adelaide loves them very much, and she loves singing and music, too. And so our search and discovery for songs about birds began.

But we hadn't listened to the bird song playlist in a while, and so the other day when Addie was at my computer moaning about something it took me a some time to finally decipher that she wanted to hear the bird songs again. I had forgotten all about them, but when I saw how she had remembered and loved them, I decided to select from them to make a mini song collection that I could share with some a couple of my mama friends and their new babies.

It was important to me that this little collection not be condescending, and so it is full of all sorts of songs: old and new, slow and fast, quiet and loud, folk and rock songs, adult songs and children's songs. I feel, however, a little nervous about sending music Addie and I love out into the world. So it is my hope that this mixture of sweet bird songs may find some appreciative ears.

Please note that if you would like to make a mixed cd of music for your friends, you really should pay for each copy of each song you share. You can find and purchase these wonderful songs on itunes.

Here now is the playlist:

free little bird - lisa loeb + elizabeth mitchell

spring has sprung - frances england

the littlest birds - be good tanyas

theres a bluebird on your windowsill - doris day

rockin robin - bobby day

mockingbird - inez + charlie foxx

three little birds - elizabeth mitchell

robin in the rain - raffi

blackbird - the beatles

winters come and gone - gillian welch

beautiful bluebird - neil young

little wing - elizabeth mitchell

bluebird - devendra banhart

wake up, little sparrow - ella jenkins

songs for baby birds by you.

To make the cd and cover, I figured and drew out a simple envelope template in Adobe Illustrator. (it is a basic pocket pattern really, that will fit on a standard letter sized sheet when printed out.) I google image searched birds to get an idea of their basic shapes, and drew out a few sketches. Then, using my sharpest sewing scissors, I cut out some bird shapes (Adelaide helped me pick out the fabric bits from our scraps). I used a 1/8" hole punch and some black paper for the eyes, and when I was happy with my birds I lightly glue sticked them together and scanned them into Adobe Photoshop.

To make the branches, I google image searched for "twigs". When I found a few images I liked I placed them into Illustrator, and used them as a loose map to draw some branches. I then added my own berry shapes with the circle making tool. When I had several of my branches and berries, I copied and pasted them into a new Photoshop file.

songs for baby birds by you.

I then copied and pasted my Illustrator cd layout into Photoshop, and tweaked around with all my birds, branches, and test until I was happy with the layout. I then saved just the image (no text) as a .tiff file and imported it back into Illustrator. (I do this because I do not like working with type in Photoshop, it's icky to me) The typefaces I used are from the Neutra family.

Once back in Illustrator, I added in the final typography and made and few tweaks here and there. I then printed the cd cover out on my Canon desktop printer onto Watercolour paper. Using a new xacto blade and an awl, I cut it out and scored the fold lines, and then glued everything into place. I always use a printmaking brayer to roll out and make sure everything is glued well and won't come loose.

I then made up a quick cd label using the same images, printed them onto a cd label, and burnt out the cds. It is my hope that these bird songs are loved as much as Adelaide and I love them.

songs for baby birds by you.

This giveaway has now ended. Thank you to everyone for your wonderful comments!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

second editions

I am happy to once more have my Beautiful Leaves of Canada and Beautiful Conifers of Canada Posters available in my online shop again. Each of these prints is part of a limited (2nd) edition run of 200, and was researched, written, designed, and hand-screened with much love.

Each print if filled with one dozen life-sized pinecones or leaves, along with a silhouette of the tree they belong to, and several interesting facts of each specimen as well.

They are shipped flat and - (if you wish) - frame up perfectly in Ikea Ribba frames, too.

I very much hope that you like them!

beautiful conifers of canada by you.

beautiful leaves of canada by you.

second editions by you.


We have all spent the last few days being captured for an upcoming feature in Better Homes and Gardens magazine. It was all surprisingly exhausting! And an incredible and positive experience working with the BHG team, including wonderful photographer Bill Holt and lovely Stylist Janna Lufkin.

I am very much looking forward to the results, most likely this January!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

goodmorning, daddy!

Many mornings Adelaide wakes up and wants to see her daddy. Poor Charles, he is one of the most mellow and laid back guys I've ever known, but not when it comes to the mornings - he really really needs his space. So much, that he has his own bedroom.

And now, he has this wonderful little girl who adores him. And she cannot at all comprehend that daddy needs his space each and every morning. She loves to see him first thing. Banging on his door, yelling away, DADDY!!! DADDY!!! YOU HOME? DAAAA-DDDDDYYYYY!!!

I can see Charles is absolutely pushed to his very limit on these mornings. He loves his daughter more than anything in this world. It's fascinating to me (and nerve-racking) to witness him catching himself. He is holding himself back with every single bit of his might.

My little daughter, once again, is attempting to tame the beast.

It's amazing to me, what our children do to us. This little girl makes me want to be better. Better with a driving, crazed, determined force like never before. Sometimes, deep inside of me, I worry of failing her. But nothing, nothing, makes me try, like her.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

apple tree

A few weeks ago we arrived home from a weekend away. I stepped into the bathroom and spotted something in the bottom of the sink. At first I sighed, thinking that another bug had crawled up the drain for me to take care of. But then I stooped close to take a look, and I saw that it was a little apple seed. I carefully picked it up, and then along came with it, pulled and pulled from way down the drain, a little apple sprout!

I am enamored with this little apple tree. To me it is pretty amazing, that its little seed was somehow dropped in our bathroom sink, and just before the very weekend that we would be away. Three days there gave it just enough alone time, darkness, and dampness to sprout and grow. Any other time and I suppose that it would have simply been washed away.

So I have planted the little apple tree carefully alongside one of my succulents and they sit together in the window sill. And everyday it is growing a little bit more.

Of course, while I was taking some photos of the little tree, Elliot the had to run over and plop himself down right into my shot. So darn nosy! And as always, hoping for some love!

elliot and the little tree by you.