enjoying: these two monkeys

nursing: this little kitty back to health

wishing: everyday could be like this

thinking: i should make one of these for my own girls

thankful: for good friends and unexpected gifts.

I may never sleep again…


At this new house we have lots and lots of leopard slugs. The are HUGE, like hot dogs. They terrify me.

Unlike me, Sosi is quite in love with them. The other day she found some tiny white eggs nestled in the moss in our backyard. We did some googling and found that they are slug eggs, and then we found this. It might be the craziest thing I’ve ever seen… I’m convinced they’re aliens.

Kid friendly studio?


I have to admit, back in the Spring when I was moving all my kids’ craft stuff into my studio… I was a little worried. My idea was to make it a space for us to share. We were moving into a smaller home and there was no longer any room for all their painting/drawing stuff (there’s lots). I was planning to have them home with me this summer. Maybe we could share the studio?

My quiet, lovely studio. The place I go for time alone. To have time to focus and work. Was I really going to bring my loud, crazy ( but wonderful) children into that space? What was I thinking?

Whatever I was thinking it was good. These kids LOVE coming to my studio. We pack a picnic, head out for the morning or afternoon and they draw, paint or play… and I work. It ‘s amazing, and so much fun. I still get my quiet alone time , don’t worry. I go in some evenings and also usually for a full day on the weekend.

I ‘m getting work done and get to have my kids with me. Maybe it helps that I’m working on things like these frogs. The girls sit and play with them for hours. I love having them there with me.

Sometimes the craziest ideas are the best ideas.

Ila’s monkey quilt

Ila’s monkey quilt is finished! I used mostly outgrown monkey pjs for the squares… the ones she refused to part with and put in the bag of hand me downs for her baby cousins. Now she can have them forever.

Why am I spending my last few days of kids at school/babysitter sewing a quilt? That’s a good question. I have about a dozen different art projects I could be doing, but this just felt right.

Maybe I’m winding down, changing gears for the summer where I’ll have the girls with me and creative projects will have to be more like this. Something that can be easily interrupted, and doesn’t require all my concentration.

Or maybe I just wanted to do something special for Ila. She’s been having a real rough time lately. Lots of tears, tantrums, general super crazy behavior. I want to wrap her up in love, in the hope that my sweet Ila might return and this angry at the world and everyone in it phase will pass. Here’s hoping it works, don’t let me down monkeys!


Yesterday morning we were all lying around together when Ila looked up and smiled a great big smile and said “whole family!” Yes, whole family. There have not been a lot of moments like that lately. We have been pulled in a thousand different directions. Sometimes our kids know how to say it just right. We need to slow down, and just be together more. It’s so good when we do.

Yesterday we stopped everything, work, renovating, unpacking, garden work and just were together. It was just what we all needed. The girls fell into bed at the end of the day dirty from being outside literally all day (no baths on fun day!) and I felt more content than I have in ages. Remind me to slow down more often.



Farewell Fitzroy

The past few days have been chaotic and emotional. We packed up our lives at the house that welcomed us to this island, and have moved on.

I wasn’t expecting to feel this way, this move was my idea! I just can’t help but feel sad to leave the only home Sosi remembers, the one where Ila has lived her whole life. There are so many memories there.

Our last night in the house I was busy packing and I glanced out into the yard and saw this. My girls planting the chestnuts they had stuffed in their pockets that day from the new house, in the backyard of the old house. I don’t know what it was, my sheer exhaustion or the golden light falling on their backs but this just broke my heart.

Farewell  fifty-five Fitzroy, you have been so good to us. I hope whoever’s house you are next, they will love you as much as we do.


These past weeks have been a little overwhelming. We bought a house (!) almost  sold our house, but didn’t :(.

I’m trying my best to stay positive and grounded, but I’m worried about having to move in a few weeks, worried about what to do if we don’t sell this house… and about million other things.

In between the crazy-hustle-bustle there have been some lovely moments… it’s in these moments that I feel everything will work out and be OK.







I’d love to hear how you get grounded…

happy valentine’s day

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I have a couple of posts I have been wanting to write, but life has been a whirlwind lately. Paul is starting a new job, we’re selling our house, and looking for a new house.  On top of all that, our littlest got hit with hand, foot and mouth disease…it’s not pretty, that girl’s a trooper!

I hope you all have a wonderful day full of love, treats and full hearts.


in my studio, part 2

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!).


sosi turning 7…

I can’t believe Sosi is turning 7 this weekend. I look at her and all I see is my little baby. She still has those same ginormous brown eyes and round cheeks she had back then, and still never wants to be alone…

I somehow convinced her that a family trip to Halifax would be more fun than the usual big friends from school birthday party (it wasn’t hard… neither of us too crazy about parties). We are all super excited for some big city fun!

To make up for the lack of a party, we had her 2 best friends over for cake and pizza last weekend. It just so happens that their moms are also my best friends. So this worked out nicely for everybody! It was a great night.

We had so much fun decorating for this special evening. We made a giant 7 (I was inspired by this) and decorated it with polka dots, making this our “polka dot” party. She then got into the balloons and made this beautiful balloon wall. It felt more like installation art to me!

This girl has taught me so much over these past 7 years. Each day she tests me, challenges me, inspires me, ….but  most of all she just loves me. That is the thing I have learned most from her,  to love.

Happy birthday baby girl,


(Wondering about the cute matching t-shirts with my dogs speaking french drawing? They were made by the good people at ooshirts )

guest blog post

I’m a guest blogger today over at the hilarious and very honest Mom Illustrated blog. If you’d like,  hop on over and check it out!

On our walls…

pages of a project that is in its final stages… just a bit more to do,

Ila’s mini art gallery,

a portrait Sosi did of Paul and I, it might be my most favourite thing ever.



staying happy

This year I’m trying to hold on to my happiness… instead helplessly watching it slip through my fingers as we move into the dark, cold and sickness-filled-days of winter. First step: a HappyLight. This was our xmas gift to each other. We huddle around it at the breakfast table and let the happiness soak into us.

Step two: Take nothing for granted, stop and enjoy the little moments… like this one (this is how Ila came out of her room one morning).

… and this one (this is how I came across her one night).

Focus on the good things… like this drawing Sosi just walked up and handed to me. Her drawings make me so, so happy.

Stop being too busy to just spend time on the floor with my kids. Great things happen down there!

 12 things happy people do differently, worth checking out.

What are you doing to stay happy?


(All pictures were taken with my iPhone, using the Instragram app, which I love. If you want to follow me there… my profile name is lorijoy.)



These days..

… I’m trying to focus on the upside of being shut in all week with a sickie.

– lots of time to snuggle in the super cozy new bunk beds…

thanks Paul (it’s the best gift ever!)

-slow days spent in pjs with picnics in the playroom (yes! a playroom… this is very exciting)

-stealing moments to work on this beauty… hoping be  2012 might the year it gets finished.

Hoping  2012 brings you many happy things.