Monday, October 26, 2009

peeking out

There are many days which I know are dark and grey before I even peek out the window. Our house will be gloomy and quiet and solemn and even pulling up the shades doesn't help at all. Many times, this darkness gets caught in my heart and I feel a suffocating weight of sadness which is hard to shake.

Today, woke up and there it was again. The darkened house, a grey and wet morning right outside, and a heavy heart inside. Again. And I have begun - once more - to mentally prepare myself for another long and grey and wet winter here in the Pacific Northwest.

But then there were six sweet chickadees at our feeder, a happily singing little girl, cups of tea (and warm almond milk), many puzzles to be put together, and many paintings to be made. Suddenly, several hours have passed us by. And just while we were looking out into the world, the sun came breaking through the clouds shining brilliantly in on us.

This is the only one I captured, before my camera battery died and I pulled my Adelaide up and out of the cozy cat's bed. We will run out into the bright blue chilly Autumn air to kick up leaves, splash in puddles, and go to eat Phở together.

It turned out to be a lovely day, after all.

How was your day today? I hope that it was lovely, too.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

paper samplers

paper sampler by you.

It's been an intense week, first with Adelaide sick and now me. My stomach is hurting horribly again, and so I've decided to go gluten, dairy, and soy-free for a while to try and clear things up a little. This already seems to be helping me, and after writing this I am headed to our kitchen to feed Addie, sort through our cupboards, and hit up some cookbooks for meal ideas. If you have a favourite dish not based in dairy, soy, or gluten, please share it with me!

But in the meantime, one of the things that I've done is made up stacks of paper samplers. Each sampler is filled with dozens and dozens of scraps from my own paper collections. They are nice for people who like to make things or whom are really fond of little bits of paper. (It's in back of my head to once again delve into my stash to make our christmas cards again this year...)

They are now available in my shop, while supplies last!

paper sampler by you.

from a paper sampler by you.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

a visit to my studio

in my workroom by you.
studio corner by you.
studio corner by you.
my desk spot by you.
Come and visit me in my little studio today. Here is a tour - along with an interview and some organising tips - at Apartment Therapy Unplggd.

Hope you are having a great day,

xo sharilyn

Friday, October 09, 2009

close to home

The past week or so Adelaide and I have been sticking real close to home - We've been discovering all the ins and outs of potty training. Usually during my days with Addie I try to get her occupied, and sneak in a little bit of work whenever I can. But not this week. Frightened of messing my daughter up with my lack of consistancy and schedule, I've pretty much put my work and anything else aside in order to focus on her and the toilet.

All the while at home I've been keeping us busy with lots of little projects - cleaning the house together, baking cookies and pumpkin loaf, moving furniture around. Addie and I are nesting together. We've also made lots of little tags up, which is one of my projects that Adelaide can actually - kind of - help me out with. She likes to sort out colours, help punch the holes and set the eyelets with the little hammer. it is painfully slow going for me, but she is so persistant and determined to help and do whatever I'm doing. She has an awful lot of focus for a two year old.

little fingers by you.

So the toilet training is going amazingly well, better than I ever expected, and I'm really really proud of her. She's pretty much going on her own and is accident free at home now, and so we've been going on little diaper-less journeys farther and farther away from home.

treasure hunt by you.

Today we headed out together, into the forest to forage for autumn treasures. (And for Addie to practice peeing in the bushes) We had so much fun together, chattering away and giggling like fools together in the forest. Most often, my best moments ever are the very simplest ones spent together with her. It really doesn't take much to have a happy kid (and mama).

first smile by you.

I can see that little daughter is becoming, just a bit little more each day, her very own person. I feel like often I can talk to her on the same level now, explain things to her straight up and she really seems to respond to this. But it makes my heart ache, knowing that these days with her are not going to last forever. And I know it. I wish that there was a way that I could bottle these times up and keep them forever with me for always.

fairy girl by you.


I am just about to find the winners for my latest giveaway, and they are...

Lesley - maple wood address file
Rachel - +30 card pack
Sarah - +30 card pack
Anonymous (a) - +30 card pack

Congratulations all you winners - please contact me!

And, thank you all so very much for visiting me and leaving such sweet comments. Receiving and reading each and every one of them is such a joy, for this I thank you.


Saturday, October 03, 2009

perfect boxes + drawer dividers

Every so often I will find myself in need of a particular size of box which I don't have and can't find. After years of this, I finally took a little bit of time and figured out a way to make simple yet sturdy boxes. They can be made in any size at all, so now whenever I find myself short of a perfect sized box, I just whip one up!

I make my boxes with thick millboard and bookcloth, but you can use any sturdy cardboard and paper. You can make lids for your boxes if you'd like as well. I make my own vintage map covered boxes for my Far Away Mail Sets this way, too. I recommend using Ross or Staples brand glue sticks for gluing, as I have found that they hold well and work great.

making perfect boxes by you.

I have made up a pattern and instructions if you'd like to make some of your own boxes, too! because this is one of the first sets of instructions that I have ever put together, please let me know if you try them out - how it goes and if you have any thoughts on how I could make it better:

perfect box instructions.pdf

Another nice thing that I've been doing with these homemade boxes recently is making perfect drawer organisers.

It often drives me crazy, not having appropriately sized boxes to hold items that I used over and over again. I finally decided to start making my own. For example, I made perfect sized boxes to hold all of my rolodex cards and that also fit perfectly into my cabinet drawers. Now I have the perfect place to hold the cards, and when I'm working with them I can simply slide the boxes I need from the drawer, and place them back in when I'm done. It is so satisfying.

my card divider drawer by you.

When we moved into our house, I set aside a low drawer in the kitchen just for Adelaide. This is where we store all her own kitchen-items such as dishes, cups, and cutlery. Because the drawer is low, it is easy for her to reach. She loves to help me unload the dishwasher, and she seems to find much satisfaction in putting away and managing her own little things.

As I use this drawer over and over every single day, I make an extra effort to try to keep it a nice and tidy. However, this doesn't always work. It kind of bugs me when I open it up and things have slid all over (or someone else has just dumped items in any which way). I had been keeping an eye out for some appropriate drawer dividers, but never found any the right sizes for our drawer. Plus I found most of them pretty ugly, especially for a little girl's drawer.

a lovely drawer by you.

Finally, I decided to make Adelaide some pretty drawer dividers for her special drawer. To do so, I arranged all the items in her drawer functionally, and measured all the space that each type of item would need. I measured out how high the boxes would be, and started in by making one box, placing it in the drawer, than the next, then the next (to make sure the measurements would work out) I made 7 boxes in all, and lined their bottoms simply with a few cut out paper towels which I can replace easily if they get messy. These boxes all fit together perfectly in the drawer, and it is so satisfying to open up it and have it so pretty and organised!

Adelaide's kitchen drawer by you.

Best of all, Adelaide is so so proud of her own little drawer. I am hoping to show and teach her - by example - how good and easy it can be to keep things nice and neat - she loves it!

ps. All of Adelaide's ceramic dishes - including the divided plates - are from Daiso. I love that even though they are beautiful and not plastic, they were only $2 each, so I never worry about them being chipped or broken (which is surprisingly rare anyways). Her cups and sippy tops are made by Tupperware. And I finally found her some nice, cute, and non-cartoon cutlery from Pottery Barn Kids.