slide show sunday. take 9.5

Happy long weekend friends!  Here's what's been happening around this nest lately.  Here I am hiding out in my straw hat during another hot spell... you may recognize the doily earrings d.i.y?

Azriel and I went for a big walk... pretty berries along the path (avoided eating.. despite how enticing they looked).

It takes a lot of concentration to jam flowers into your ear... (gosh I hope she never loses those cheeks)!

Granny had gifted this tapestry blanket to me... so I gifted a book tote back to her that I sewed from the cloth (she volunteers at the library).  To know her is to love her!

 Azriel and Nana reaping the veggies from her garden.

We had family dinner Saturday to celebrate Ben's parent's anniversary and their birthdays... his Dad hit the big 50.  I sewed them this tablecloth to celebrate the feasting and family they bring together each week.

Ben was the chef for the night... he smoked these smokin' awesome ribs, made fresh bread, cooked corn from the Farmer's Market... and baked his world's best butter tarts.. oh, I die.

And the weekend is still going, 
hope yours is lovely too!
Mel :o)


tour our nest [entryway.laundry room]

Congrats, you have made it to the final room of our home tour!  I hope you've enjoyed seeing all the layers to our nest... and I've saved my 'happy place' for the final showcase today.  This is our entrance/laundry/boot room... place.  As you can see from the before shot - it was barf-tastic.  A horrid mix of paneling, brick and a**tro turf carpet.  Now painting brick is not fun or easy... but I am so glad it was done.  I took my time deciding on the perfect retro turquoise paint colour (sorry, another custom blend so I can't 'label' it for you).  

I poured all my delights into every corner of this space (except the cat litter corner.. ugh!).  I pottered this bird key holder... and it really never holds our keys - but this fun pic from our wedding.  I love how the walls keep changing in the light of the day.

Here's the clutter shelf of sweetness for my viewing pleasure.. as I do laundry.  I won't bore you with all the details (just a few).  Top shelf: from left.. 1) round painting of birds: inherited from my sweet Grandparents.  2) cat: Mewsli. 3) photo frame: my travels in Europe. 4) root tree: roots dug up by my ol' roomies, my pottered birds now nest in it.  The bottom shelf is a mash up of laundry supplies and cute pics of Azriel (and Ben riding a massive tree stump dragon).

I attached a strip of fabric to the bottom shelf (*hilarious installing 'fail' story below)... to hide all the laundry tubs when not in use.  A grass cloth mat also cover the bins.. and is usually covered in all the junk that doesn't quite make it into the house.

A fun photo frame coat rack for Azriel's jackets.  This sweet mirror hidden next to the coats just needed a spray of white paint to look beauties again... and yah, that's me "hi!".

From the entry way.. you'd trip up a couple stairs back into the kitchen.  Don't be fooled - we have a high security alarm system of hanging bells... and wine bottles to snag you as you enter!  There's my sweet ironing board I never use as well.  The hanging tapestry on the door was the one I sewed for the 'goals' or 'rhythms' of our home: sincerity. hospitality. creativity.  

Thanks again for touring our nest, hope you enjoyed...
and you're still welcome to stop by for tea.

(*Ok, if you wanted to know the funny story of installing my fabric to the shelf.. here it is:  I decided to use a staple gun to attach the fabric to the bottom of the shelf... and the shelf kept bouncing up as I 'shot' the staples.. so I did what seemed 'reasonable' and held the shelf down - with my chin - as I held the stapler underneath to shoot the staples upward - toward the shelf - toward my chin!  No worries.. I foresaw the risk of personal damage and stopped... after trying it a couple times!).

If you want to tour back through the kitchen, and links to the rest of our home... 
you can catch up here.
Have a fantastic weekend friends!
Mel :o)


girl about town.

 Our little gal Azriel was out on the town today.  We strolled through the downtown Farmer's Market (grabbed some corn for lunch!)... and over to Sticklings Cafe for iced coffee (and apple juice for the wee one).

She's been contorting.twisting.stretching her face muscles a lot lately... sometimes cute, sometimes scary.  I'd call this close-up shot "maniacal cuteness".

We then hit up the local library for some more colouring fun and flirting with other toddlers.  Next we were off to the Grandparent's house for the afternoon.  This is a 'bum' shot, I know... but I adore these pants!

Azriel's outfit
T-shirt:: thrifted, deer-painted by mama (D.I.Y shirt painting)
Pants:: JOE fresh.
Sandals:: thrifted.

Once again, we'll be linking this up with Mama Loves Papa for Small Style Thursday.

**P.S.. if you're still waiting for the conclusion post of our home tour.. it is coming this week!**

See you again soon friends!
Mel :o)


D.I.Y doily earrings.

Yes friends, I'm morphing my doily delight into more upcycled treasures - earrings!  This is one of those super simple. make it in three minutes. kind of project we all love.  It's especially great on those days you feel you're spinning your wheels and not getting anything done (often around this nest)... to see something started - and finished - in mere moments!  Are you sold yet?

Ok, so grab your gear and lets do this. 
1) Invite yourself to granny's for tea... when she's not looking steal borrow that doily under her vintage tea pot! 
2) Get some needle nose pliers and scissors.
3) Grab some earring hooks and connector. circle. things (official name).
4) Cut the inner doily circles out of a larger doily... (you can go big.. or trim them down to my size of choice seen above).

So that took all of two minutes.  Now use the pliers to hook your earring backing to the connector hoop... and loop that through your doily.  Voila!  Congrats.... you did it!  If my wee pudgers can make them, I know you can too.

Wear them loud.  Wear them proud.  You upcycled your own fashionable earrings.  (I like to pair them with other earrings too, as seen here).  Now just in case your itching for a pair of these sweeties.. but you can't afford even five minutes of your day to make them... contact me,  we can make a deal.  You mail me $5... I mail you your own pair... we can be pen pals/earring twins!

In case you are new here... and you happen to delight in doily/lace goodies..
more sweet links from my blog to check out here:

Happy crafting!
Mel :o)


how does your garden grow?

Welcome to the jungle entrance to our home.  You may need a machete to hack your way up to our front door... we're not trying to be anti-social... really.  My husband Ben planted all sorts of wildflowers. sunflowers. tall grasses. butterfly bushes. etc at our entry-way.  And despite a hot, dry summer... they grew up to our eyeballs now!

It's like walking into a VanGogh painting eh?  Sunflowers were the main flower of decor at our wedding... so I think it's pretty sweet Ben has them glowing here.  The bees seem to think it's pretty sweet too.... however, walking through their swarms is not always so great.  I've already 'escorted' a bee into our home (buzzing under my shirt)... with a squeal and crazy-dance second later.. I escorted it back out!

You may remember this shot from Azriel's small style post... I just had to show you how our garden (behind her) is planted right in front of the garage door.  I think we're the neighbours other neighbours talk about (i.e "have you seen those young'ins next door... they planted a jungle in front of their garage door... and their kid runs around naked.. what's this neighbourhood coming to?").  Don't worry, we don't have a couch on our front lawn (just an antique plow, and a few garden gnomes).. we're not intentionally trying to lower the market price of our home!

Yes, some people have gardens much like a military crew cut.  Some have the frills and flowers of a 60's up-do.  Our garden.. is more like unkempt dreadlocks.  
How does your garden grow?

Mel :o)


slide show sunday. take 9.

I just have to use this slide show to focus on another 'first' for Azriel - painting!  I've been eager to get her hands in paint for a while since she loves colouring with her crayons (or 'crans' as we call them).  Having just received a pile of sample pots from our friends at Benjamin Moore.. she got to have her choice of the rainbow!  Azi, like me, has a hard time picking a favourite colour. 

With the garden and sky for inspiration.. she eagerly dove into the paints... wearing Dad's ol' t-shirt as a quick smock!  And yes, our lawn would love some rain this year.

I'm going to say this is Azriels' painting face... whereas mine is with my tongue sticking out.

 Her 'pink period' was quickly brushed away into a 'blue period'... and she wasn't afraid to slop that stuff all over.  I know.. if I was a 'good mama' she'd be using all natural. soy based. hemp paint. ground from corn. ...or something.  No worries, we washed all this 'toxic' stuff off real quick - in the kiddie pool - which she then sat in for a while!

Then she had her 'green period' sitting pretty in the garden.  Our very own 'cabbage patch' doll.

I won't bore you with the rest of this weekend's events.. as it was mostly us hiding away from the heat.  This was my "getting an iced coffee and going to Chapters" outfit.  Saturday family dinner for 9 of us.  Sunday church, and jewellery making, and stuff.... you know the deal by now. ;o)

Looking forward to a 'cooler' week hopefully,
with fun blog posts yet to come!
Hope you had a great weekend friends.
Mel :o)


Latest bird mobiles.

Here's the most recent fabric 'flocks' of birds I've been sewing. The above mobile will be replacing one found at GLOW maternity... so if you like polka dots.. run down and grab it!
This mobile was a custom order.  I think I need a better place to display these... but you get the idea.  Greens, blues and purples have been popular lately.  I've had to add to my fabric stash since in the past I just bought colours I like...  custom orders require a palette that I don't usually stock.  I think I'm the only person in the world that doesn't like purple! :o)  
For the locals, there are still some mobiles for sale down at GLOW maternity.

Have a great weekend friends!
Mel :o) 


'snugg-oh' time.

 Nothing makes this mama's heart turn to squishy mush quite like this moment... 'snuggle time'.  Here's the back story:  our daughter was never a 'snuggler'... try to hold her and she would arch her back and push away like you were leprous.  I'd watch other kids cuddling into their parents... and long for that moment.  Only one time would bring out Azriel's snugly side... when she was sickly.  So the hugs we got.. were the snotty kind! 
Fast forward to two weeks ago.  Azi was teething.sick.snotty.sleepless.  So much duress caused me to pull her into bed with me (Ben retreats to another bed at this point!)... and she would sleep - snuggled close into my side.  For two nights this was a sweet delight.  The third night... we saw a habit forming and opted to get her back to her crib: she screamed for an hour - and every time we checked in on her... through tear streamed cheeks she'd whimper "snugg-oh?".
She survived.  We re-claimed our own bed.  And the aftermath is beautiful. Azriel now loves to snuggle!!  Every night before bed (or any nap in the day).. we go to her room and she points to the bed and says "snugg-oh?"... and we do.  And then she gets to fold over into her crib in contented bliss.

Daddy Ben gets his own nightly ritual with Azriel too.  Every single night for as long as we can remember I go "say nite-nite to Daddy"... and then it starts:  Azriel mischievously grins, and runs the opposite direction!  Ben goes to pick her up for a hug... and she crumples into a giggly jelly fish... it's quite the routine.  Poor Ben hasn't inherited this 'snuggly' version yet. ;o)

Lastly, in other 'nite nite' news.  Azriel jumped out of her crib again!  I need your input... how/when did you graduate your kids to a 'big girl/boy' bed?  Any suggestions?  I'm thinking we need to get her started in this process (she's 21 months now)... thanks!

Nite nite!
Mel :o)


how to beat the heat...

 Summer is hot season (why are we so shocked?)... this week feels more like crazy hot season.  I guess they're saying today may just be the hottest day in Ontario... like, ever.  I had to walk in it and my skin didn't melt off.. thankfully, but my nose was sure sweating like a healthy puppy.  Yes, Azriel has inherited my 'nose sweating' custom feature too.. isn't she lucky.

 Anywho, the key to dealing with the heat is as follows:  bounce like a gypsy from one air conditioned store to another.  Here, Azriel has camped out on the floor of Titles Bookstore to read "Guess How Much I Love You".  Be scantilly clad sure to dress lightly!  I love this white outfit for Azriel.  I wish I could pull it off... but I hate showing a lot of skin... I like 'layers' which doesn't work so well in summer!

Speaking of showing skin...  this "Teddys" shirt is a sweet button up number at the back, easy enough to mimic a pattern for in the future I think.   Here we are at the library now, we pretend to be reading... but really we're just loving the cool air.

Azriel's outfit today
tank top: Teddys
shirt: thrifted "Ralph Lauren"
sandals: thrifted.

Check out how other babies are keeping it 'cool' at Mama Loves Papa today.
May you find yourself in a shady breeze-filled space with iced coffee in hand... and laughing children splashing nearby!
Sweaty nosed, frizzy haired,
Mel :o)


tour our nest [kitchen]

We've made it to the kitchen part of our home tour now.  I wanted to show you the before.before.after shots of this wee corner's transformations.  (1) We moved in last year and this kitchen had nasty brick for a back splash... brick(?!) which we pried off with that crowbar.  (2) My first go at the kitchen was to technique the walls in a two tone green.  I also hand painted some random ferns.flowers.an such onto the main wall.  We never quite liked this look.  Enter (3) our final makeover.  With a $100 budget we primed.painted the cupboards "Cloud White" CC-40.  Replaced the old hardware with silver handles.  Painted the walls Benjamin Moore's "Butter Cream" CC-260, with a punch of red for the back splash area.  I'm all for painting wood to brighten a space up! 

This is my view from the kitchen sink... I have two photos to cheer my day here.  The first is a reminder: "Thank you God for dirty dishes, the sign of good food and good friends."  The second picture is Azriel all cute and pudgy a year ago in the sink.  This 'beer logo' was a painting I did for Ben when he said if he was to name an Ale it would be called "Pilgrim's Respite".

Beside our fridge is the catch-all space for everything else.  Cookbooks up top. Vintage box stores teas, next to sugar.cocoa.coffee jars.  All our fun red appliances help echo the red back splash across the room.  Here's a close up above our stove where Ben stores some grains.seeds for bread making.

The final corner here is where you enter the living room.  We found this vintage box (originally brass/copper?) and used it for our root vegetables.  That column has followed me around for years... makes for a handy side table.

Here's the door that leads to the final room of our tour!  If you've managed to follow along thus far... I've saved my 'happy space' for last... our 'breeseway' or entrance.boot room.laundry.space!  Same time, same place, next week friends.
If you missed any of the tour... you can link to them here:

Have a beautiful day!
Mel ;o)


eat your heART out.

Do you love gourmet food. art. downtown Peterborough?  Well have I got a place for you!  Did you know the majority of my paintings have been on display for almost three months now at Parkhill on Hunter Restuarant?  

This is a beautiful restaurant for showing art in.  The huge windows flood the space with natural light, and the staff are incredibly supportive of artists.  I think my 'skyscapes' get to shift and morph quite nicely in the changing light of the day.

So now you know it's here.  Save up your pennies, dress yourself up all pretty and make your fella take you on a date!  I'll even throw in a shameless promotion... since the show is due to come down on August 8th now:

Note:  I will take the price of your meal/dessert off the total amount of the painting! ;o)

So that's a FREE gourmet meal with the purchase of a painting!*
(*does not apply to my little $150 piece.)

I'm just going to throw that out there.
So go on, eat your heART out.
Creatively yours,
Mel ;o)


hot and hoot.

When these summer days start to feel like being 'bear hugged' by a sweaty sumo wrestler... we run for relief into the cool chambers of Chapters Bookstore.  This week is no exception.  As you may recall, we like to consider Chapters as our 'neighbourhood' library, since it's closer than going downtown to the real one.  Azriel knows to run straight up to the kids area... and squeal like a happy tea kettle as she approaches the toy train station!  Ben and I tend to grab a couple books or magazines to flip through, with one eye on Azi.  I guess some parent's philosophy here is to let their kids run amok - as if the staff should be babysitters... or maids to clean up their mess (sheesh!).  Anyway, we were there again last night.  And, once again, I let my eyes fall eagerly onto this specific table of new journals and gift wear.  Maybe you're like me... dreaming of having a shelf full of pretty journals (that never actually get written in) but you love the idea of having each one close by you in case inspiration hits someday.  Well, these beauties have me smitten...

These are the days I know I'm such a sucker for 'marketing'.  The days I realize I'm really not that unique since clearly I adore what they have 'targeted' me as falling for.  I'm ok with that for now.  Anything that has birds, owls, feathers, trees, or mushrooms... has me hook.line.and sinker.  Maybe you're thinking, c'mon Mel, you could paint this onto anything yourself.. I've seen your owl stencils.  It's true. I could. I should.  I just thought I'd share the beauties that are currently nesting out there... so we could all be smitten today! ;o)

Mel ;o)


slide show sunday. take 8.

 Happy hot slide show sunday friends.  Here's some shots from the weekend.  Backyard BBQ.

Azriel loved chatting with the garden.. and climbing all over it.

Saturday Farmer's Market... although skeptical that corn was already out - we had to grab it - and glad we did!  It was a great batch for our family dinner night.

A little Dottie Angel inspired photo-shoot for a friend.

Which ended up in a backyard brunch and pool time for the kids (yes, Azi can toot out sparkles!).

Mama and Azi relaxing in the shade up at the in-laws for dinner.

Can you see me?  I know.. it's hard... I'm in camouflage mode/modeling for the Green Party.

Love the sweetness of all these generations together.  Azriel and Great Granny.  Did you know Azi has 6 Great Grandparents still around?!  Quite the blessing!

That's all for our nest here this weekend.  Hope you kept cool where you were.
It looks like a hot week is upon us...
I think I'll lose track of how many hissy fits I have.
Mel :o)