Studiotime in the Summertime

 

Nothing perks us up in the summertime like a visit down to my studio. It’s just the change of pace we need some days. It’s a quick 10 minute walk from home and we’re there.

I feel so lucky that my kids love going here as much as I do. ¬†Ila is really into painting lately and when I’m feeling especially kind I will even let her use my grown up paints.

These visits give me little bits of time to work on things I have going. Like these paintings I just finished that are up at Youngfolk on Water St now.

… and this portrait I just finished for some of my favourite people (they are actually even cuter in person).

Snapshots from Summer

 

We are officially in summer mode. Although these days are wonderful and full of fun, they pass too quickly. So I’ve decided to be home with the girls. I hope to stop in here often, but don’t expect to see much work… I have a feeling there are going to be mostly pictures like these. ūüôā

 

 

June Chirp!

I have an illustration in the June issue of Chirp magazine  out now. I still am doing the monthly drawing page and loved the chance to do something extra. This one was super fun!

 

 

Girls Rule

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.)

Card Sets Now Available

 

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I just added these cards to my Etsy shop. You can buy a set of 4 for $10! ūüôā

 

 

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 fell.in.love. 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!

one more call

 

I’ve been very spoiled in my life. I’m almost 40, and up until a few days ago I still had a full set of grandparents. It’s something I just took for granted.

When I was little we visited my Grandpa in Winnipeg quite a bit. I even went out once when I was 18 by myself and got to spend a lot of time with him. The last time I saw him was when he came out to BC  10 years ago for our after-eloping party.

In recent years I’ve gotten lazy with calling. Life is busy and phone conversations with him were never easy. A strong Ukranian accent + bad hearing+ a very¬†eccentric¬†personality = challenging phone conversations. I may not have ever known exactly what he was talking about, but one thing was always very clear. How much he loved me.

This week all I have been wishing for is that I just had made one more of those phone calls, to make sure he knew too that I loved him.

Outside

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.

 

 

Art in the Open

Local amazing filmaker Millefiore Clarkes made this beautiful film of last summer’s Art in the Open. It captures beautifully what I think is the most magical night in Charlottetown each year. Extra points if you can spot me! (hint: I might be hugging a toadstool)

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.

An early Christmas present to myself

Two things have been in the back of mind for a while.

The first was the thought of our awesome (newish) patio chairs spending the winter in the shed, ¬†all alone. It seemed wrong, especially since we ‘re in desperate need of chairs for our living room.

The second thing was that my flowers in the snow blanket¬† has been sitting unfinished in my closet forever… so pretty, so not close to ever being done.

In a flash of brillance I decided to make the blanket into pillows. I instantly felt a rush of relief knowing I didn’t have to work on it anymore.¬†And those chairs? We brought them inside, cleaned them off and they look great. I love that feeling of using what you have and not bringing more into your life. Sometimes you just need to move what you already have around a little bit.

They are a perfect combination if you ask me. This pillow is a reminder to be easier on myself, that I’m the boss of my own life. If I want to have patio chairs in my living room there isn’t anyone telling me not to, except myself.

 

 

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.