To be honest, I'm not a big fan of making 'new years resolutions' (maybe I can't handle the disappointment of failure - hehe).  Now I know it's good to have goals.hopes.plans to keep some form of direction.momentum.vision for ones life - so in the spirit of embracing lofty resolutions to ensure a better year ahead - I publicly declare the following resolutions:

I promise to eat more chocolate.

I will have a baby.

I must read more - like, a book a month (since my husband is starting to think I'm illiterate for how little I read anymore)...

I hope to grow as a wife.mother.daughter.sister.friend.

I need to keep growing in the grace and knowledge of my great God.

I desire to keep crafting.upcycling.and creating.
I will put crazy colours back in my hair.

So yah, there's a rundown of my resolutions - specific and broad alike.

What about you?
Happy New Year friends!

Mel ;o)


mama style... [preggo & posing]

Don't worry friends.. I haven't made a new year's resolution to post more 'outfit shots'!
I did however date my husband yesterday - and decided to get out of the yoga pants/hoodie combo:

 I've decided that maternity clothing is really a 'fashion line' created from some senile granny who loves clown clothes... so I have forsaken it altogether.. and am forcing my wardrobe to work in my eight month here.
(Key elements: vests.cardigans.dress-shirts.leggings.stretchy skirts!)

I was stoked to get these cream cable-knit leggings for Christmas (thanks Mom!).  A perfect combo with my suede boots... and stretchy enough for baby bulge.

If you looked in my closet... it's like the palette from a boot camp (everything is army greens/olives/browns/blacks...) so sometimes I try to force myself to try a new colour - hence a yummy plum vest (and normally I do despise purple).

Heck, I even tied on a skinny belt... though it's loose enough to not throttle the wee guy.
So yah, I'm loving this palette lately: plum, olive, russet browns, creams.... mmmMMMm!
Mama wears:
earrings: gifted from sister
wooden beads necklace: thrifted
plum vest: Reitmans
Olive dress: H&M
Skinny belt: Reitmans
Brown waffle shirt: Old Navy
Cream Leggings: H&M
Suede boots: Zellers

Rest assured, I did still get myself a huge white cable knit sweater for cold winter days... so I do still resemble a Sasquatch some days.

Preggo. poser. mama,
Mel ;o)


handmade Christmas: [gifts I made...]

 Remember the recent post about my plan to turn a mop into a trotting mare?  Well here it is!
Ok... so I ended up going more with a reindeer/horse thing... almost did a unicorn horn instead, but opted for wee antlers

I sawed the end off the mop to shorten it... and then padded it and bound it with leather strapping.  I pulled chunks of the mop up through the reindeer head to create the mane... then stitched and hot glued it all nice and snug.  I like the sleepy eyes (stitched felt over a shiny blue button) they remind me of Skunkboy Creature's work.  I also stitched pipe cleaners into the edge of the ears so they can be twisted up and down.  Fun.. fun!  
My daughter Azriel and I both were happy with the end result!  (There's blue velvet reigns that I made too... but Azi already snapped them off before this shot!).

And then... I stitched.painted.drew a Jackalope for my guy Ben.  Yep... a pretty fierce furry creature in all his wild glory here.  You'd have to know my Ben to know that this delighted him...
handmade Christmas success all around!
*For my own sanity(ish) I opted to not finish the doll houses out of clementine crates... but am currently working on them for Azriel in the future... stay tuned. ;o)

Crafty mama,
Mel ;o)


slide.show.Christmas version!

 gifts tucked under the tree with care...
 celebrating the real Gift of this season...
and gifts that prove people 'know' me!
 Annual jigsaw puzzle at the in-laws.
 Jammin' with the jukebox...
 Annual Christmas Eve feasting and movies...
 Christmas morning stockings...
Pretty centrepiece at my parent's home...
Sleepy.happy.reindeer. family!

That was the 'restrained' photo.slide.show... since this entire past weekend has been packed full:

Today was the 'back to reality' day...  cleaning up the house from the crafting.gifting.cooking.socialising remnants strewn throughout this nest.
And... we're all sniffles here too.  Not to mention the coughing/hacking/snortings...  seems like head colds are the companions to festive holidays!

Hope your holiday was a blessed one!
Now, should we make new year's resolutions?

Mel ;o) 



It's officially feeling like Christmas at our nest now!  Ben's off work today... the tree is aglow... the gifts are wrapped and tucked into our stockings... the massive family feast is packed into this baby belly from tonight...

... and it snowed today!
That glorious sparkling diamond powder kind of snow... it swirled in the air like a snow globe... and coated all the trees in beautiful lace.

Call me a Canadian, but it's really hard to picture having a green/brown Christmas... there's just a certain sparkle that comes with having the snow here (I hope it lasts).
I hope that you and yours are enjoying the beauty of this season too!

May your weekend be merry and bright,
Mel ;o)


wee lass style.

You may remember seeing this bonny lass munching on her Dad's orange.chocolate.shortbread from a previous slide show.
Just had to share more cuteness since it's her 'festive' outfit for this weekend. 

Nom nom nom... I'm not sure which is sweeter in this shot - Azriel's chipmunk cheeks or the shortbread.

Then we waddled outside for a mama.daughter.baby belly shot.

Azriel wears:
Plaid dress/hat: The Children's Place
White shirt: thrifted
Pink/fur booties: Robeez.

Linking our post up with Mama Loves Papa today! 

Have a merry day all you lovelies,
Mel ;o)


seeing the extra [in the] ordinary...

They say: 'one man's trash is another man's treasure', and if you've been around this blog long enough you'll know that's one of my motto's.  I love the whole notion of 'upcycling'.  Taking some old rejected thing... and redeeming it.

Hence, the above picture: my latest projects(s).  
1) It first struck me when our two year old started riding the gift wrap tubes around the living room... she was ready for a pony.
I'm currently transforming this $2 mop into a glorious mare for the trotting!

2) This Christmas season also means we're ingesting crate-fulls of clementines... and I saw my daughter was role-playing with all her Little People.
Thus, I'm also transforming these orange crates into doll house rooms!
(*Save your crates people, future pictures may inspire you to do the same project).

It's a thrifty approach to life - doing more with less.

Though my version of 'thrifty' is usually called 'cheap' by my husband.
And my version of 'saving-junk-for-future-possible-projects'... he calls 'hoarding'.
Which is usually when I retort "well, you're just a pessimist"...
...to which he replies "no, I'm a realist".
What we may have here is a failure to communicate!
Seriously, I love my man, (even when he doesn't share my value of clutter creativity).

But I digress... what I am saying is that I'll keep you posted on how these projects turn out!
You can always catch up on my other do.it.yourself projects here.
And if you're in the Pinterest cult... you can follow my board here.

Hope you're inspired to keep seeing the extra in the ordinary.
Craftastically yours,
Mel ;o)


my baby.fruit basket.8

Yes, we're officially into our eighth month of pregnancy here.  
I've hit that stage where everyone starts to go "woah, you're really pregnant"
"must have eaten a big Christmas dinner, eh?"
"so when are you due.... anytime now, right?"
The 'go' date is Feb.5th... but I'm going to guess we're going later than that (since my first babe took her sweet time and had to be ordered an eviction notice). Either way, it does seem to be just around the corner now.. and that's a whole wild mix of emotions for us.

Yes there's the pineapple sized baby bump now... and I'm really in the market for pants that can pull up over my head at this point - since the belly still wants to fly free in the cold winter air.

I've also hit that stage where I want to be a big 'wuss-bag'... I want to groan about the awkwardness of heaving my daughter into bed for snuggles.  I want to whine about the barrel-roll it is each night as I fitfully sleep in 'rotisserie' mode.
I want my feet up.  Back-rubs.  Chocolate.

Oh right...  Motherhood is about unconditional. sacrificial love.  I need to remember to embrace every sour note because it marks the sweet reality that a miracle is forming in me.

A 'fat' mama means more to love.
Mel ;o)

P.S... You can follow this baby's progress down the produce aisle here.



slide.show.sunday.take 26.

Sneaking this slide.show in on the late hour of Monday eve here...  
here's what our weekend looked like:
 Hiking up to the mall {shudder} to finish off my Christmas shopping.

 Dessert night with some gal pals at Black Honey [post-consumption of sweet goodness shot].

 Farmer's Market - grabbing some apple cider and baked goods to inhale.  Azriel is looking rather stoic here for some reason...

 Oh the fun of wrapping gifts!  Brown paper. twine. paper doilies. glitter reindeer clothes pegs. wood-grain mac-tack for tape... now my problem is waiting (I always try to force Ben to open some of his gifts early... but he refuses.)

 Cookies and note scribbling in the sunshine...

Our annual Christmas church dinner... three feast tables full of good folk.  Azriel liked the battery candles (maybe we're wrong to let her play with fire... if it's fake?)!
Bundled up for Bethlehem Live... an outdoor re-enactment of the Nativity put on in our city every year - loved those loud braying sheep and donkey!

I'm loving the pace of our days lately here - more time as a family.
More sleepy mornings.
More casual crafting.
More egg nog.
Savouring this season, and can you believe it's almost Christmas?!

Hope you're finding time to be still and savour,
Mel ;o)



climbing Mt.Everest... with a paintbrush.

Hi friends!  I know many of us in this area are longing for a white Christmas... so here's a painting of some snowy peaks I recently did.
This festive season has seen a number of my paintings being sold lately - so that gets me in a merry mood for sure!

A lovely lass commissioned me to do a painting of Mt.Everest for her husband for Christmas, and I was happy to take on the challenge.   The significance: they hiked to the base camp for their honeymoon!  Gosh, my man and I just hiked Cabot Trail out east and I was ready to pack it in for some lounging and chocolate.

I was happy with the end result, and love my drippy drips at the bottom...  thankfully she loved it too which is always key in a commission.  

So there's some wintry goodness for those of us longing to see more white around these parts.
Catch you on the flip side, slide.show.sunday will be tomorrow!

Mel ;o)


shades of grey...

(... nearing the end of my seventh month in pregnancy.)
When life is a constant balance between light and dark,
between the bitter and the sweet,
the sorrow and the rejoicing...
... do we live in shades of grey?
This is the season for being merry and bright, right?
I know it's also the hardest time of year for many.
For those who miss loved ones - this season brings an added sting.

You may remember the loss that our family faced a few short months ago.
It just keeps hitting us now - as this life grows in me - that life we won't get to see.
Looking across this lake in the window... right where her wee frame was laid to rest... fills me with such confusion.  
Heartbroken for the loss of a niece, heart-filled for the addition of our son.
Sorrow-full, yet rejoicing.

We struggle with feeling 'guilty' for being pregnant.  How do we hold the joy in our cup without it spilling over and tormenting those who grieve?

This is a bittersweet season for our family.
A time of mourning.  A time of rejoicing.
Some days it does feel like living in shades of grey...  but some days it just makes every moment that much more precious. every colour of the day more real. more appreciated.

We remember to be grateful for the time we have.  
To savour an embrace.
To hold that hand longer.
To love.

To remember the greatest gift this season is the hope that Jesus brought of life eternal... and that our niece is already walking in that light.

Sometimes I just need to 'write my heart out' here,
thanks for listening,

Mel ;o)


handmade Christmas:[a peek in our nest]...

 Welcome!  And here's what the Christmas trimmings are looking like in our nest this year:

Fresh cedar. pine cones. red berries. white pillar candles. and a wee owl all nestled on our fireplace mantel.

Ginormous stockings I sewed last year (I love the tree motif fabric).  I know they're big - but all we do as a family are stockings right now... so I want to 'maximise' the moment! ;o)

Mewsli & Tinderpuff seem to enjoy the new arrangement of the couch.   You can see that I did end up adding turquoise ornaments to the doily snowflake mobile hanging over our table.

We pulled the couch out to make room for the tree... so we can sit under it's glow.  Here's the pillow sleeves I stencilled with deer heads last year too.  You can see the advent flags hanging in the window as well.

So that's the merry glow around this nest - and there's the big.gangly tree Ben foraged from the woods!  I made that hand ornament of Azriel when she was only two months old...every year I see it and gasp at how fast she's growing.

Hope you enjoyed the festive tour, 
if you missed what our space normally looks like you can go here to view it.

Hope your day is merry and bright,
Mel ;o)


handmade Christmas: [D.I.Y lace & cedar wreath]

 It's time for another do.it.yourself project that's super fast.stupid easy from this nest.
In keeping with my 'handmade Christmas - home decor theme'... we're going to whip together a festive wreath: using doily/lace and cedar from yesterday's post.

1. Grab a grapevine wreath (yes, make it - or buy it if you can't).
2.  Cut a 5" strip of lace from an old curtain.table-cloth.whatever you find.
3. Wrap the lace around a third (or half) of the wreath... and then snip sprigs of cedar and start pushing them down into the wreath all the way around the rest. 

Little helpers are welcome - Azriel wanted to sit in on the action (literally).  
She's positioning my doily brooches onto the wreath (you could use pine cones. bows. large poinsettia flowers. etc to decorate the lace section).

Azriel and I made this in twenty minutes... so that's a fun Christmas project.
Tomorrow I'll show you more of the cedar.doily-full elements of our home - including our Christmas tree.

Happy home-decorating!
Mel :o)
Past handmade Christmas projects:


winter's warming...

A watercolour sky of ultramarine and smokey greys.
Snowy lace crawling up ebony branches. 

A woven basket.
Collected pine cones. 

Rosy cheeks.
Crunching gravel underfoot. 

A hunter.
A gatherer. 

A clown.

A family hike in a winter wonderland.
A home that now reflects it's beauty... with cedar boughs, deep wine Dogwood branches, and pine cones gathered into the warmth of our nest.
Winter always makes this mama's heart warmer.
Mel ;o)