[M.M.11] ...just because.

Happy (Easter) Monday Mamalogues!
'A link up to share the beauty and breakdowns of motherhood'
 Because somedays Motherhood feels like an endless game of whack-a-mole.

Because the kids seem to co-conspire to unravel your last thread of sanity.

Because a baby-wipe looks like the closest thing you'll get to a shower in a day.

Because keeping shoes/pants/hats on your child is tantamount to torture.

 Because dumping yogurt all over the cracker is just how she likes to eat it.

Because food is all they want alllllll day... except when a meal is served.

Because your husband comes home and thinks your right eye is twitching.

Because you have to abruptly end a phone call with "oh she's pooping!!" (#pottytraining101).

Because some days you wonder how your heart can hold such a BIG love for such little folks.

Because you see a mini-you and a mini-husband in their eyes.

Because you melt when they snuggle in close to your neck.

Because they crack you up in a new way every.single.day.

Because after the babies are sleeping, the laundry is done, the dishes are washed... and the house (for a brief moment is quiet).. you sit and realise how blessed you truly are. 

Yes, for all these reasons, and more... are the answer to: 'why are you mamas so crazy?'...
crazy in love with these lil' nutheads.

What are your reasons?

Feel free to join in with your own mama-rants and rejoicings!

Mel ;o)


somebunny loves you.

** happy Easter friends! **

With luff, from our silly lil' family to yours.

Mel ;o)


finding home:

 Lately I've been pondering what makes a house feel like a home.
Both as an artist - and as a home.maker - I am very connected to my surroundings as being a 'reflection' of me/my family.  Which is why, (as you would have seen in our recent home tour), our place is brimming with clutter creativity!

So, one would think we would feel at home here.
But, we don't.
Ben and I still can't shake it off.
After almost three years living in this house... it still doesn't fit right.
Like forcing ourselves in to a shirt with too much starch, and a size too small.

It's not because we don't love our house-mates - we do!
It's not that we don't love our friends nearby - we do!
The space, the place... just doesn't feel right to us.

We're still trying to put a finger on why.
Because it's near a busy intersection ...and we long for quiet?
Too much concrete... when we want the woods?
City dwellers... who want to be more rural?
Yeah, that could be it.

These four walls we put ourselves in can mean a lot to us, eh?
While I know that home is really wherever I am with my family... (even a wet cardboard box would be a 5-star hotel as long as I have them)... it still weighs on my heart, this notion of home.

Looking back over the places I've lived (since moving away from my childhood home) I can trace the highs/lows of living arrangements.  Some apartments we rented were fantastic, and I felt that this was my special haven.  Other places felt foreign, no matter how long I may have lived there... it seemed like I was just visiting, not truly living there.
Am I making any sense?
That a place can either fit you, or not.
That an environment can embrace you, or repel.
But then, maybe this whole longing points to something even deeper.
Maybe I can't shake this restless quest for belonging... because I keep looking around me, when I should be looking up.

The God who flung stars into space,
has stretched eternity into my heart.
Is it any wonder that the things of this world just can't satisfy.
"This world has nothing for me, and this world has everything..."

 What feels like home for your heart?

home.sick mama,
Mel ;o)


here + there.

.mis-matched socks + siblings at play.
.snack time.
.bet I can't eat just one!
.playmates on parade.
.hunk o' handsome + chunk o' cuteness.
.hair cutting (the hubs, not me... this time).
.fabric cutting (let's hope it works!).
Another week, another peek at the moments that fill our nest.
I kind of love this 'here+there' series... it's fun filling it with simple pictures, and all the random notions fleeting through my heart at this stage of the week.
Thanks for being part of it.
Soooo, this week has that roller coaster feeling, again.
 + Trying to walk by faith... when the sight part seems discouraging.
My hubs Ben wrote about it here.

+ Needless to say... he looks pretty stinkin' handsome after a fresh shave + a haircut!  While he's also very trusting to let me wield scissors around his ears (as is all of our family, really).

+ I'm now chopping through fabric, attempting my first 'real' shirt!
Spring has me eager to sew new outfits!

+ We're getting excited for this coming Easter... (we'll also be celebrating my big brother's birthday and Ben's upcoming one too, lots of fun)!

+ Our cute lil' guy Hudson is getting tear duct 'surgery' today to open his blocked duct(s)... it's never fun to go to hospitals, but we're thankful for free health care.
*UPDATE: despite now looking like he's been punched in the eye, he made it through great!

+ Our daughter Azriel plucked me the first flower peeking up out of the garden... it's sitting in a tiny vase on the dining table now.

+ I showed her the magic of dunking Oreos into milk... and twisting the tops off to lick the icing.  Total bliss.  If not for an ounce of will power in me.. I'd eat the whole box in one sitting!

Well, that's probably enough randomness from me for one day.
Oh, but wait... lastly: I'm sure you've all heard about Google shutting down their Google Reader feature (just when I was about to hit '100'... after avoiding the silly gadget for so long!)... but you can still follow my posts at Bloglovin'.  Just click here.  Lovely!  (Or you can find me through this Facebook link).

Ok, now I'm done.
How about you?  How's the week treating you... or just today... or just this moment?

I raise my Oreo and salute you.
Mel ;o)


Shop the Nest: more neck.clays.

 Hello lovelies!
Today I'm tucking a few more of my pottered pieces back into the SHOP.
These neck.clays all feature my signature delight of pressing doilies into the clay before firing them in the kiln.
So, here's the sweet trio for your viewing (or, buying) pleasure:

 This doily pressed neck.clay is a real statement piece.
The growing trend towards large neck 'bibs' or 'shields' in jewellery nowadays would be in good company here.
Features: unglazed white pottery (feels like a smooth pumice stone).
Suspended from metal hoops to a creamy silver coloured chain with twisting clasp.
$20 PayPal.
(FREE shipping).

 This sweet lil' doily textured piece has a real shine to her.
The 'honey' pottery glaze created a lovely range of creamy white to caramel orange tones here.
Suspended from a knotted strap of cinnamon suede.
Metal clasp at the back.
$20 Paypal.
(FREE shipping)

Here's the final delicate neck.clay... with a more matte finish.
Suspended from a knotted strap of cinnamon suede.
Metal clasp at the back.
$20 Paypal.
(FREE shipping)

If you're interested in purchasing any of these neck.clays (or ones from previous listings) I'd love to hear from you!

Hope you're having a beauty day,
creatively yours.
Mel ;o)


[M.M.10] remember this.

Welcome back to Monday Mamalogues,
'linking up to share the beauty and breakdowns of motherhood'.

On a good day my brain is the equivalent of day old porridge.
Soo...  where was I?
Oh, right, listen up here brain... these are some things I want you to remember:
* I want you to remember how this one year old boy squeals with delight when he sees you in the morning.
* The way he delicately plucks each cheerio with his thumb and forefinger and smacks his full lips around it with total satisfaction.
* Remember how every time you hold him he enthusiastically points to nowhere and squeals:
* How he laughs at his older sister's antics on his behalf.... bouncing with excitement over her every "Hudson... BOO!".
* I want you to remember how every night his rosy cheeks lay sleepily on your shoulder after nursing... and in that moment, you want to just hold him there forever. 

* I also want you to remember this three and a half year old girl... this lil' dynamo of growing personality.
* Remember how she crawls into bed every morning beside you.. (and wants to rush downstairs for 'snacks/shows/snuggles')...so you rub her back just to have a few more moments under the warm covers.
*  She loves to colour with markers, to paint, and pretend... she also loves to give out orders: "now you be kitty, and you say this, and I'll say that"
"you're seat belt isn't on... put your seat belt on"
"I should visit Grandma and Grandpa....that's a good idea don't ya think?"
"...whaddya think of that?"
* I want to remember how addicted she is to snuggling... it's like her love language.
* How she collects every stone, branch and leaf she sees on our walks.
* The way she likes to drink her 'tea' with a spoon.
* How cute she looks with her pixie haircut.

 Oh, and this:
Just a few of the moments I don't want to forget... 
I think it's almost been a year since I wrote one of these lists.

What do you want to remember?

mindfull mama,
mel ;o)

*Any of you mamas are welcome to link up your thoughts/stories/snapshots here today!


celebrating, creatively:

(our cute lil' some.bunny from Easter last year)
 Can you believe that Easter is just around the corner?!
The spring tulips aren't even out yet... but we are still ready to see beauty blooming here.
To celebrate new life, growth, restoration.

For many, like our family, this is season of spiritual celebration.
This time marks our reflection on Christ... His death, burial and resurrection.
The cross is the centre of our faith.
The intersection of God's love and man's hate.
Salvation + Sin.
Life + Death.

Since our faith is foundational to our family, I'm always eager to find creative ways to infuse it into our children's upbringing.
To find simple ways to represent incomprehensible depths.
Childlike faith.

So this year, for Easter, we're introducing some new 'traditions' for our family.
Seeking to bring balance to the notion that Easter just means 'eggs' or that the Easter Bunny is 'Jesus' (a hilariously heretical statement our gal made last year!).
 I was searching for some creative ways to bring more spiritual depth to this season, (something more than just a sugar rush)!
Lessons about Christ, (something more than just hunting for chocolates).
The gift of hope, (more than just a gift from hares).
If you wish the same for your family, here's a few ideas we plan to do this year:

1. Resurrection Eggs:
Note: painting an entire egg carton is a slow form of torture...
 I ordered a sweet looking book Benjamin's Box to go along with this activity
(since the book outlines what each egg's contents represents).  I like the idea of hiding these eggs, getting the kid(s) to find them, and then sharing how each object represents specific parts in the Easter narrative.
The description for each of these eggs (with corresponding Scripture verses) is from this source.

We're still going to let Azriel have her chocolate eggs too... since Grandma & Grandpa are eager to host the hunt at their place.

2. Planting a seed:

I also want to have a time where we plant some seeds over Easter... and we can talk about how these are buried in the ground - but then burst forth with new life... 
We just painted her lil' set of planters today in preparation.
(IF you're a local.. you get a FREE kids planter set out at Gerry's arts/crafts with any purchase right now... that's where we scored ours today!)

As for any other Easter celebrations... there's usually a special church service/conference held.
Extra family feasts with the relatives.
I'd even like to try a Passover themed meal and look back at the story of Moses/the Exodus.
Lots to celebrate!

But most importantly... we celebrate with joy.
 I believe every.person desires to be loved, to be happy.
I believe we were created to find those delights first in our Creator... this is what we want our children to grow up understanding.
God is our joy.
Apart from Him, we are restless, hopeless, helpless.

And so, this Easter, we look to Jesus, Who: "for the joy set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God" (Hebrews 12).

What does Easter look like around your home?
Around your heart?

I'd love to hear memories/stories/ideas for how you celebrate it too!

mel ;o)



I think we're all getting eager for a new season, amiright?
Today let's just revel in some eye candy travel shots!
Some places I've been:

London. Amsterdam.
Florence. Rome.

Further fuel to this growing fever of wanderlust:
 Ok, that was just a pile of sweet torture.
I'm so grateful that I was blessed enough to travel in my twenties!
Sometimes Ben and I like to 'dream' where we may go in the future... if we rub two pennies together. 

In these dreams I can still taste those Americanos, with a sweet treat tucked on the saucer.
I can still feel the cobblestone under my feet. 
Feel the history, the culture in every facet of my surroundings.
le sigh.

Really, I'd probably sell my left arm just to sit in that claw foot tub and see that view out the window!

If you could travel anywhere... what place would you pick?

mel ;o)


here + there

cups + cuteness
easter wreath
pixie + polka dots
chin + cheerios
peach/apple pie love
chocolate choppin'
chocolate + orange shortbread
Another week, another peek at the simple moments in our nest.

Can I just say that lately it's felt really awesome to summon this inner domestic?
Cooking new meals, baking new recipes, wearing an apron, cleaning the house.etc.
(If you recall my last confession about 'fearing the kitchen'... you'll know this is kind of a big deal).
To all those femi-nazis who wanted to liberate women from the domestic 'confines' of house-wife 'oppression'... you've missed the liberation of being in this role!
Sometimes the cooking, cleaning, and caring is utter drudgery... sure.

But, other times... it can be a total delight.
Yes, really.

 For me it's totally a perspective issue.
If I look at the daily 'duties' as just in the way... needing to get done to move on with what I really want to do... well, then I loathe them.
If, while doing the cleaning, I'm just rushing ahead in my thoughts to that cup of tea and crafting that I would much rather be enjoying... then I'm not being present/mindful of this moment.

But, if I see the domestic duties as something meaningful/purpose-full in themselves... they bring joy.
For me, it's called: love.

The secret to being a happy housewife?

Here's how the formula works in my own heart:
Love God = desire to serve others.
Love husband = delight to serve in our home.
*Serve* sounds so... subversive in our current culture - especially amongst us women.  But I have found this beautiful balance, and complementary freedom, in letting my guy be the man, and me be the woman - both equal, both unique.
All I know is that I love to *show* my Ben that I love him... by cleaning the house, or baking him a peach pie.. or, like, stuff..
It fuels my work, this love.

So, it feels like I'm growing to embrace this role (except for the moments I still recoil at it... I'm a hot mess somedays)!  I'm re-learning that this title of 'home.maker' is a badge that can be worn with honour - not bashfully or shamefully.  We haven't 'given up' on being strong women.
We aren't a waste of a good brain, or talents.

We are house.wives... and that can be a truly beauty-full thing.
Funny how perspectives can change.. once our experiences do.

 happy home.maker,
Mel ;o)


D.I.Y: quilted children's play pad.

 Ok, so it feels like ages since I've shared any do.it.yourself projects around here.
This one if for the younger crowd... a sew simple quilted 'natural habitat' for the kids to play on with their animal toys.  I was inspired by the interactive Pilgrim's Progress quilt we had been given when Hudson was born, so I wanted to make them a smaller landscape to play with on their desk.

Here's some creative hints to inspire your own version:

 1. Lay various fabrics out to create 'terrains' (water/forests/flowers/hills/grass etc).
2. Using wax paper (cereal bags) underneath areas will create that fun crinkly sound!
3. Stuff small shapes to make 3D layers for the quilt (flowers/mushrooms/trees etc).
4. Sewing boning inside felt strips can create curved 'bridges' or cave openings.
5. Fold fabric in half, stuff with quilting batten and create cave/pockets for the quilt.
The more areas to interact with, the more fun for the kids!
Our gal loves hiding her animals in caves... and tucking them behind various pockets.

 Kids also love helping create the project (if possible)... Azriel stuffed the mini trees for me.
While also guiding my fabric through the sewing machine... with her keen eye there!

 She wasn't quite as keen to 'pose' for me here... but that's ok, thumbs do need sucking.

Lastly, as a final bonus sewing project:
I used this cute woodland animal print fabric I had on hand... and sewed quick lil' felt-back finger puppets for the quilt too.

The real treat about sewing kids projects is that it can be done without worrying about perfection.
Sloppy sewing, fast stitching, mis-matched threads are all accepted without hesitation.
This quilt pretty much looks like a kid sewed it.. and that's fine with me!

Hope it inspires you to create for the kids in your life too!

Mel ;o)


[M.M.9] small box, big ocean.

Welcome back to Monday Mamalogues:
"linking up to share the beauty and breakdowns of Motherhood".

 Motherhood lets you ease in to the idea nice and slow doesn't it?
Like dipping your toes in the ocean... you have nine+ months to get over the shock that you're about to be a 'Mama'.
Like stepping in past your knees... you get a fairly 'basic wants' sleeping infant.
Like wading in past your hips... you learn the cycles of a toddler.

Then, when you think you're just starting to figure out how to do the back-stroke... you suddenly get hit by an under-tow and find yourself far over your head... way out in the middle of the freakin' ocean.
Yah, ...that.


This whole reality of being in 'over my head' comes in waves (pun intended).
The ebb and flow of control and chaos in our home.
Moments of an orderly home, with sweet smiling children... then become drowned out by the constellation of toys, crumbs, spills and screaming tantrums.
It's enough to make you queasy... 'sea-sick' even.

 Lately I'm getting that overwhelming feeling... when I realise we're on the threshold of two active kids in one small space.  That big boy is on the move now.
After 13 months of being submerged in baby fat... he is breaking free.

I can't let him out of my sight... because his sights are always. ALWAYS. targeted on what not to touch!
"No, Hud.. don't touch the port-a-potty"!
"NO, don't pull the cat's tails!!"
"No, not the power cord!"

He gets it.
That "no" means a boundary...
He'll usually heave his torso back to a compliant sitting posture.
 Then grin mischievously... and launch after another 'no' hot spot.
This is all a repeat of our first round with the older sister.
But now, with two wanting/needing the attention... wowsers!
Obviously all you mamas with older kids are proof we will survive this stage... right?

Until then...
How long can we make boxes fun for?
When are we allowed to duct tape them in as well?

mama Mel ;o)

* All you mama bloggers out there are welcome to link-up your own loves/laughs/lessons here today... feel free to grab the Mamalogues button at the right side bar too -------->



...the milky morning light has infused it's way through the espresso night sky.
Speaking of which, coffee and I are having a co-dependent relationship.

After a fitful week with this lil 'night-fury' I'm happy to report he actually...really... slept 12 hours last night!!  (So, of course big sister was up hollering for "SNACKS!"... "TOYS!!" at 4:30am... oy!).
But, this weekend should be a fun one, I'm currently anticipating:

+ a greasy brunch with this hot mama and her two lil' superheros.

+ further crafting on a few kid's projects.

+ family outing to a Maple Syrup fest.

+ family dinner Saturday at the in-laws.

+ meeting with Church family for worship.

+ maybe even enjoying a green ale... maybe.

What's the weekend hold for you friends?
Have a safe and sweet one,
and kiss a leprechaun for me.

mel ;o)


thrifty & nifty threads. upcycled fashion. #17.

 Annnnnnnnd we're back ~ with another fun edition of taking something thrifty and sewing it into something nifty!
Or, what could also be called 'further adventures in repulsing my husband'!
(More on that part, later..).

Anywho, here's how this project went:

1. Take one frumpy old sweater cardigan.
2. Use a seam ripper to remove the front panels.
3. Lay those sections as a tracing pattern over fabric of choice (a sheer aztec print seen here).
4. Cut two panels of new fabric and insert into the sweater...sew/surge in place.
Bonus features:
+ I sewed the front cardigan pockets back on to the aztec fabric.
+ I added leather elbow patches (as seen in a previous project).
+ The front buttons were replaced with matching wooden ones.

Now, back to the husband in crisis.
It's pretty hilarious around here... every weird sewing project/notion I start to design.. he starts to cringe.  It used to be just vests that had him hurling.  But now I have successfully created a whole new line of gag-worthy fashion it seems.
While sewing this project, Ben said incredulously:
 "A sweater cardigan... really??"

"Don't worry, I'm about to make it awesome!" 
says I.. triumphantly holding up the sheer aztec material.

"You mean that Grandma curtain material?" he retorts.

"Pfffft..'GRANDMA'?!!..... c'mon, it's AZTEC"!
(as if this word in itself should convince him of how cool my project is). 

Yah, he's still not convinced.
I told him not to worry.. from now on I'll make sure to get his *approval* for my future sewing adventures... maybe I could do a lingerie line... out of upcycled potato sacks.
 Yes, that could be a winner.

For now, I just have a growing wardrobe of 'what not to wear' if I want to catch his eye.
(Here's hoping you all aren't new here... and think my man to be some critical goon, we actually laugh/tease each other in complete affection... which you would have seen on Valentines day).

So, do you ever tease your partner about clothing choices?

sew silly,
Mel ;o)

(P.S... also, if you're new... you can catch up on previous upcycled fashion projects here!)