Stay True


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!).



summertime self portrait


I just finished this self portrait for the upcoming “I, Defined” Peake St Group show. This is pretty much how I feel all summer. We are one little unit. If I did a self portrait any other time of the year, I probably wouldn’t have my children growing out of my neck.

new rooms


Our girls have been sharing a room for quite a few years now.  It has been good. They love being together and find a lot of comfort in each other.

But recently I have also been noticing that it has been a little harder for Sosi than Ila… I could see in her face that she could use a little quiet oasis of her own at times.

So while we were away on a recent trip to Ottawa, Paul got busy. They each have their own little space now and the change has been seamless.


They have loved decorating their own spaces. My heart was bursting by Sosi’s choice of my art (exclusively) for her walls.

Ila was all about the displaying of her (disturbing large) collection of stuffies.

They still are close, and the first thing they do in the morning is go in to the other’s room… but now they just have a place to go when they need some space. I hope it helps to bring them even closer.


Valentine’s Day Stickers!


This is was a dream job for me. I love hearts, they are my favourite. Designing 2 pages of heart stickers….. my new favourite!

You can find them in the current issue of American Girl magazine.

P.S Click here to see a super cute ecard made with these drawings (just press play).

noisy poems trailer

The lovely Cynthia Nugent was so kind to make this trailer for Noisy Poems. It is so wonderful to see my little characters running around!! Click here or on the image to see the trailer.



It’s not often I get asked to knit something by my children. So when Ila brought a favourite baby sweater to me the other day and asked me to “make the sleeves longer” my heart just about burst out of my chest.

There hasn’t been a lot of knitting happening in my life these days. My hands are full from juggling so many other things. This little project reminded me how happy knitting always makes me. I’m already planning my next project. Life is much better when there is a project on the needles!



end of summer


I don’t think I’ll ever get used to how sudden the end of summer is. One minute my children are  tanned and happy and always around, then suddenly there’s a chill in the air and I’m missing them like crazy.



1 year (and maybe my longest post ever).


This April marks one year since we moved into our little white barn house. The plan we had when moving into a smaller house was to take the money we saved (and will save on heat etc) to really make this house our own. Here is how we have done that over the past year.

First thing we did after removing window curtains and carpets was knock down a wall between the dining and living room. It was amazing how this changes the whole feel of the house. It is so open and warm.

The second thing we did was have the asbestos tiles removed from the outside of the house. Not as exciting as knocking down walls, but such a huge relief.

One of the things I learned through all this is just how adaptable kids are. They barely made a peep through all the dust, the noise, the men everywhere. Me, on the other hand, not so adaptable. It was a loooong summer.

Then we got a floor! This was a good day.


I really wanted to go with a black stain for the house, but we went with a white wash instead.


I still think the black would have been cuter… I have been promised it will be revisited when the house needs repainting.


We squeezed a second bathroom in where there was a hallway before. It is the first time I have lived with a second bathroom since moving out of my parents’ house, talk about luxury!

I am a slow-taking-off-the-bandaid kind of person. I had made my husband promise me that the kitchen would be next year, but I came home to this one day…


Let’s not think about that. Instead, let’s look at what it looks like today. I love the kitchen. We all do.


We paintined the wall with chalkboard paint. We are constantly changing the drawings, but always have a huge calendar. I don’t know what I would do without it now!


Paul built all the shelves and the cabinets and island are all from Ikea.
My favourite part of the kitchen is this little mud room nook that Paul built. A necessity with 2 kids and all the winter clothes.

We also started building storage in the dining room, there will be much more to come. We also decided to paint the bricks, which were old and crumbling. The bright blue makes me happy.


Speaking of happy, this amazing light makes me super happy. Our dear friend Josh made it for us out of an old washing machine drum.


This is our most recent adventure. While looking for wallpapers online I came across this photo mural and I have always dreamed of having one… so we took the plunge. The kids think we are crazy, but I LOVE it.


I love the whole house actually.  It is quite a small house (1000 sq ft) but we never feel crowded or couped up. It has such a happy warm energy.

So that is the end of the little tour. There is still so much more to do. This summer we tackle the yard and garden. Over the next few years we will work on upstairs and the attic, plus we still need to figure out what to do with the giant barn in the backyard. We flip back and forth on whether to keep and renovate it or tear it down.  Needless to say we will be busy for a while!


As soon as it is no longer painful to be outside, all I want to do is be outside.

And outside we have been…

We even brought a little of it back inside with us.



Valentine’s Day Printable Cards

I’m so happy to have teamed up with Annemarie at Yoyomama to make these Valentine’s Day Printable cards. You can download them for free here!

The last panda.

This is the last panda post, I promise!

Sosi had 1 birthday request, that I make her a panda stuffy. She designed it for me and everything! I made it with bits and pieces I found in my studio and she loves it. Easy and very affordable way to make a little girl’s birthday dreams come true!

Panda Party!

Please don’t think by looking at these pictures that I am a super party organizer. It is quite the opposite. I don’t like kid’s birthday parties, they totally push me out of my comfort zone.The noise, the crazies, the chaos, the pressure! I want so much for all the kids to have fun… and inevitably they never do.

I find the decorating helps to me ease into it all. It’s my way to enjoy it.  The week leading up to the party is great. The invites, the balloons… all super fun. Sosi wanted a panda party this year, and a panda party she got!

Somehow an insane amount of kids got invited (my bad). I wish I had gotten a picture of the treat bags… it was a sea of bags, all with hand drawn (by me and Sosi) pandas. The party was a hit. Only a few tears, only a couple of clingy kids… but mostly I think a good time was had by all.  It was all worth it to see Sosi so happy, so appreciative, so loved.

Happy birthday sweet girl and thank you for always pushing me to be a better me. I super love you.

turning 8…

Maybe I can somehow keep her tiny if I keep making tiny portraits of her…

I’m just kidding, it does break my heart to see tiny Sosi disappearing, but I couldn’t be more proud of and in love with the girl she is growing into. She wants a “panda party” this year, wish me luck with that!


Happy New York Day!


A few years back, we had been explaining to Sosi what New Year’s was and how people celebrated it. We told her people liked to have parties and get a little crazy. We showed her videos of fireworks, people in Times Square etc.

Somewhere the wires got crossed. She came running back  a few moments later, her hands were flapping, there may have been underwear on her head, maybe a pillow in her shirt… and  she screamed “Happy New York Day!!” in a crazy accent. I can’t think about it and not laugh. I don’t know what possessed my normally shy and self conscious little girl to bust out like this, but it was so amazing. We’ve been saying “Happy New York Day!” ever since.

I hope you all had a Happy New York Day. I will be back here regularly soon. We have been taking some much needed time together.

ila is 4


Today my little baby turns 4. How does time go by so fast? That saying “the days are long and the years are short” has been going over and over  in my  mind. I don’t know where these years are going.

Days with this girl are never short. She is silly, shy, crazy, loud and fiercely strong willed. She’s so kind and loving with her sister, that sometimes I feel like my heart might explode.

She  also has the most extreme case of mommy-itis* that I’ve ever seen. Since I know how fast these years are flying by, I’m willing to just let it go untreated and soak up as much of her as I possibly can.

The other day she found an old card someone made for us. She told me she thought it said “Mommy and Ila love each other”. Yes Ila, Mommy and Ila love each other.

Happy Birthday sweet girl.

* definition: mommy-itis, a condition where the person wants no one but mommy and will take down anyone who takes mommy’s attention from her.



Happily procrastinating…


After almost 6 months of renovations on an old house you can imagine our Xmas gift budget is pretty tight! This year I ‘m trying to make most of our gifts and the Xmas crafting has already begun.

Sosi and I started these on her last PD day. We ran around town gathering all the pieces and spent the afternoon happily assembling some of the jars. Her 7 year old self got distracted pretty early on and they have stayed in my studio for me to finish. Each day when I go in, I work on one or another. A button here, a bunny here. A very happy procrastination.

I found the idea here, via Loobylu on Pinterest (so much goodness!). You can find me here on Pinterest too. 🙂