Thursday, June 17, 2010

good morning

Even though he is a very sweet guy, I don't often take photos of our cat Jack. He is usually busy running around, off to his secret places, and taking care his important cat business. (Such as leaving frogs for me under our couch.) And his black eyes don't seem to allow for - for me to capture at least - becoming portraits of him. But the other morning I walked into my bedroom and found this in my bed, How could I resist?

The poor guy - he's got it really tough!

Good morning! Was your morning was as lovely as Jack's was? I do hope so. We should all be this cozy every so often.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

for father's day

I've been keeping an ever-growing stack of Adelaide's abstract art for a long time now, waiting for an idea to make something of them. Finally, I was inspired with Father's Day coming up, and so this morning Adelaide and I spent some time together making up some gifts for her Daddy.

To make our Father's Day signs, I printed the word in Adobe Illustrator (but you could use any program with type), and outlined it in a thin .25 pt line. I printed it out onto sheets of heavy watercolour paper cut down to 8.5 x 15" in size. The typeface I used is called Mrs. Eaves.

Or, if you would like, you are welcome to use our template and size it as you need. You may download it here:
When I had some time without Adelaide around, I used a new, sharp exacto blade and cutting mat to cut out the letters. (After ruining too many projects, I now buy exacto blades in bulk and change my blades often). I cut out each letter just on the outside of each line, so that the line would no longer show when the letter was removed. I wasn't too worried about staying perfect and close to the outline, but rather I tried to keep my wrist from tightening up, pivoted the paper beneath the blade as needed. When each letter was cut out, I kept all the pieces in a small box - perhaps the letters can be used for a later projects, and also I didn't want to lose the cut out middle pieces from the letters such as "D".

This morning, together Adelaide and I then went through her stack of artwork. We selected several pages in all colours which had some nice markings on them, and in a variety of mediums - collage, watercolour, crayon, marker, pastel. Then we used the cut out sign as a window to find nice framing for each letter. We also made the words into a rainbow using the appropriate colours.

Adelaide really enjoyed sticking a few pieces of masking tape to the backs of the cut artworks, and then laying the word-frame on top of the art, and patting it down to make it stick. Then we would flip it all over, and tape down it all down securely. When all was secure, I glued another sheet of watercolour paper to the back, rolled it with a brayer, and pressed it underneath some heavy books to set.

Adelaide is really pleased with the results of our collaboration. She is very proud of them and wants to give her daddy her gift right now! She is also usually camera-shy, but she even wanted to be photographed with it!


Today is my birthday, I am now thirty-four years old.

It feels pretty great, I am happy to be here and I don't have any regrets. I don't really want for anything (except for maybe some more and better sleep, and more time!) I have a wonderful man who loves and respects me. A beautiful, happy little daughter. And two fluffy cats who really love me. And I am able to work on my own projects sometimes, too.

Every day still I am approach these days with a bit of trepidation. After many years of darkness, I am always grateful that these sweet days have come to me. But I am careful and I know always that they could, just maybe, end at any time.

But for today, on my 34th birthday, happiness and contentment is with me. Adelaide and I have spent the morning together in our pyjamas, singing along to the songs of my very favourite band The Innocence Mission, and making cupcakes, and working on our fathers-day art projects.

I couldn't even begin to ask for a lovelier birthday gift.

Except for maybe, that some of my happiness and contentment may come to others, too.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

simple and sweet

Last month my computer hard-drive blew out, and I found myself computer-less for a while. While I definitely was feeling major anxiety about it, I also felt an overwhelming sense of relief! It was really lovely to be able to grab some time for myself, rather then those precious few moments turning into computer time. I found myself able to work on projects which I haven't had time to work on in months. It felt as though life with no computer was a little simpler and sweeter.

Now that my computer is back, I've been trying to remember this. I've realised how much time I spend on this box and how I really, in so many ways, don't really need to be. So I am trying to pull away and resist the call of the computer.

Lately, Adelaide and I have been having lovely days together, keeping things simple and trying to compromise with the teasing weather. Both of us are craving warm sunny days - it is already mid June and we are still sleeping in flannels!

I am one of those people that can get down easily by grey weather, but I am trying to keep myself occupied with little projects and household re-organisations to keep myself moving and motivated. Tidying the bathroom cabinets. Moving furniture around. Re-organising the kitchen cupboards. Designing labels. Planning quilting projects. Somehow after years of living like a slob I have discovered that completing these little tasks can help me to keep my mind off the grey and give me a calm and happy sense of satisfaction.

But every once in a while, the sunshine will appear for even just a few moments, and Adelaide and I will get a chance to get out, or at least do some gardening together. Or play games in the sun. Or perhaps host a patio tea party, complete with kitties and catnip.

Our sweet cat Jack absolutely adores flowers and gardens and foliage (and sunshine) so much. He is happiest when the weather is fine and he can be out in our garden all day long. I love it when he comes inside with his fur smelling all sweetly of lavender and herbs.

The other day I brought home some boxes of plants for our garden, and I left one box empty among them for him to make a nest in. He was so pleased - check out the big smile on his face!

I hope that you too have a smile on your face, like our Jack. And enjoying some simple and sweet (and perhaps even sunny?) days as well!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010


Congratulations, MamaAngel and Knotted Nest! You have each won an address file. Please send me your mailing address, and your 1st and 2nd choice of file.

Thank-You all so very much for reading and entering. I wish I had a little something (and lots of money for postage) so I could send you each a gift... hmmmm. sigh. maybe some day!

Have a wonderful week, xo sharilyn