This keychain arrived in my mailbox last September. A thoughtful and timely gift from my dear friend Mia.
There have been some big changes around here. Changes I would never would have expected. I’m not someone who is particularly good with changes… but these 2 words have kept me going. Stay True.
This gift arrived just as we were taking Ila out of school. We couldn’t ignore anymore that it was not a place for her. She was anxious, angry, and just an all around mess. The whole family was a mess. It felt like we were falling apart trying to keep her together.
My head wanted her to stay in school. What would people think? How would I get my work done? Why is my child so different than all the rest? My heart told me something all together different. It told me to go get her and take her home… and keep her home. It told me to believe in her. I chose to listen to my heart.
Nearly 6 months later she has blossomed like I would have never imagined. Her little true happy self is shining through. A day does not pass that I don’t believe 100% that we did the right thing.
The thing that has surprised me the most is that I’m happier too. Happier than I’ve ever been. Yes, it’s a crazy amount of work. I’m exhausted, but my heart sings every day. I go to my studio to work every night, and I also work on weekends. I feel like I’m getting even more work done now. This may be because when I do have time to work, I can focus clearly. I’m not always torn… worrying about her.
In January Sosi decided to start homeschooling too. I think she saw how happy Ila and I were and wanted to join in. So, here we are homeschooling both kids. If you would have told me this last year I would have have thought you were crazy. It feels right though, like this is the life we were always meant to be living.
I feel incredibly lucky to have a flexible job that can work around this. Life and work feel like one thing now, not separate things pulling me in two different directions.
So, I guess we’re officially out of the homeschool closet.
Stay true (it feels great!).
I’ve been super busy lately, but I find it really hard to turn down requests for custom portraits. I feel very lucky people want me to do portraits of their loved ones. Each one is so special. Here are a few I squeezed in between bigger projects lately.
Speaking of projects… I’m working on some really fun ones right now. I can’t wait to share them with you. One is with these wonderful ladies, who I have to say might be the most lovely people to work with. 🙂 (yes, I did the backgrounds for those videos too!)
Last week I came across this amazing vintage fabric score with my friend and studio-mate Catherine. One of her friends had told us of of a lady who had some amazing vintage linens in her basement.
When we got there I knew this wasn’t just any find. We discovered treasure after treasure.
A lot hadn’t even been taken out of the boxes.
There is a entire set of these lovely dollies. I’m thinking they may be a series of little portraits one day…
I decided to frame this gorgeous linen that had “heavy butcher linen” screened on it. I love the simplicity of it.
There was an apron with this tag still on it, made by the blind. It is so pretty and is now my painting apron, makes me so happy.
This piece is so pretty it actually makes me giddy. The embroidery is hand done, but so perfect that it looks like it was made by machine.
Not pictured are yards and yards of amazing white linen I also got. Score of a lifetime!
These past few months listening to the news, my heart has been breaking for girls of the world. Besides trying to fill my own girls up with self confidence and self respect… I was feeling powerless.
I find the world turns on girls in very subtle ways, very early. My sweet 8 year old girl sees no diffrenece between her girl and boy friends. She actually even more boy friends than girls. But I’m noticing things are changing. Now in Grade 2 boys are starting to not want to sit with her on the bus or play with her for fear of being teased. This makes me really angry. Gender separation is such a dangerous thing. It focuses on difference and encourages lack of respect… which leads to much bigger problems later on.
This has all made me want to do something. So I drew this picture. Don’t get me wrong, I think boys rule too. I love all of Sosi’s little boy friends. I just really want my girls and all the girls of the world to know they are just as good as boys, and that there is nothing they can’t do. They can rule the world.
(This print is available here.)
I did these 2 portraits last week, I think they are both tied as my new favourites.
Selling our house (!),
meeting my best friend’s baby boy,
doing paintings for adorable people.
I’ve had some company…
I’ve been revisiting old work…
and trying new things.
All that studio time is having an effect on little Ila, who tells me she wants to be an “art-tast” when she grows up (and also a puppy!).