A.musing.mama! 1.5

The saturday morning comic is back again (life had been a bit hectic lately...!).
You can catch up on the past series of sketches here if you'd like.

So yeah, this week's comic is fairly true.
Ever notice how 'us' young parents are zealously convinced that we've got this 'parenting thing' all figured out - and for our own parents to even suggest advice is enraging.. irritating?  Or was that just me?  Maybe we/I'm too eager to prove that I'm a big girl now.. and can figure this raising kids assignment out without any help from them, thanks very much. 
But yeah, it's pretty dumb, and prideful of me.

Considering how well they raised me... after all, c'mon I'm practically *amazing*.... I should really be taking notes from them!

It's a wonderful, amazing, helpful gift to have Grandparents in your kid's lives.
I'm super grateful that they're in our corner... and the kids are crazy about them too.
(Like, literally every morning Azriel wakes up and says "are we going to see Grandma and Grandpa today?" repeat every five minutes allllllllll day!).

So yeah, Grandparents for the win!
And, thanks to my parents for enduring all my notes/schedules/rules/hints and other patronising behaviour towards them as I try to ensure they're equipped to 'care' for our kids.

Silly mama,
Mel ;o)


the "skyscapes" art show:

Skyscape Miniatures - (*cropped* photo by Camera Kiki).
Setting up the show ~ here's the lovely Kiki lending a hand.
While the shop is closed, the art goes up.
Measuring my marks.. math+mama=maddening! (photo by Camera Kiki).
Further proof that artists are.. nutters! (photo by Camera Kiki).
 So there you have it friends.
For those of you out of city/province/country who wanted a sneak peek of my art installation... this was the 'behind-the-scenes' set up of the show.

Thanks to sweet Kiki for snapping these shots (with more seen here) while helping me hang the multitude of miniatures!  Her eye for measuring saved me the mental nightmare of having the pieces tossed helter-skelter across the wall.  It was good fun!

For those of you who are 'local' and have already expressed your delight in the show, 
thank you!

If you would like to come out and see the works still, we'll be hosting a mid-show RECEPTION this coming Monday June 3rd at Black Honey Desserts (on Hunter St.).
I'll be there from 4-6 PM... so you can grab a coffee/treat... and a PAINTING on your way home from work!
I'd love to see you there, friends.

Thanks so much for all your encouragement and support over the years.
Painting is still one of my biggest joys... and I will never tire of chasing the skies with a paintbrush.

Creatively yours,
Mel ;o)


here + there.

dandelions + dandy locks.
farm fields + photo shoots.
bringing home bones.
thrifted teapot ($1!!!) Cock-a-doodle-doo!
sunshine + laundry line.
still lovin' that lime.
Azriel's abstract (mama's masterpiece).
still stuck on her.
Another week another peek at the moments in our nest.
Wow, I still feel like we're soaking up the colour and chaos of this new season around here.
It seems like a distant memory that winter was so long, so dreary.. so monochromatic in comparison.
And the colour I'm basking in lately?  Gorgeous glowing green.
The grasses are vibrant from spring rain.
The trees are budding and blooming with chartreuse.
It's kind of the 'theme' of many shots here today.
It's shaping up to be a pretty sweet week here... we're enjoying our annual stay.cation again.
I get a hot date tomorrow with my dudes (Ben and lil' Hudson).. while Azriel has a play-date with the grandparents.
I'm also eager to shop with some fun birthday gift cards burning a hole in my wallet ~ Fabricland, Value Village, Old Navy, Winners.. here I come!!
Shopping about once a year for myself makes this spree a real treat! ;o)

I'm just starting into a new book I got for my birthday too.. Eyes Wide Open (not to be mistaken with the Tom Cruise movie!) and the basic premise is how we all strive for beauty.... even down to our basic delight in a cup of coffee, a piece of art or a stirring song... but that all of these expressions of beauty are pointing to something deeper/bigger... the source of Beauty itself ~ God.  I'm liking what I've read so far, it's always good to be reminded that the Giver behind the 'gifts' is worthy of the attention and delight of our hearts.
Speaking of art and beauty.. I'm holding the (late) opening for my Skyscapes art show at Black Honey this upcoming Monday (june 3rd) for you locals who would like to attend!
4-6pm ~ c'mon out and say hello!

I hope your week is treating you beauty-fully as well?
What's been new this week?

Mel ;o)

Winner is...

woop to the wooooop!

Congrats sweet mama, I'm eager to send these nested goodies your way (and what ever other treasure you pick from the SHOP)!

Thanks to everyone for taking part in this giveaway,
the rest of y'all win a free hug!

creatively yours,
Mel ;o)


[M.M.18] second.hand stories:

Welcome back to Monday Mamalogues:
'linking up to share to the beauty and breakdowns of motherhood'!
Annual 'Neigbourhood' Yard Sale.
'Steals on Wheels'...this is her "smile" now too.
Washing off the "baby goobers" she says.
Dinosaurs enjoy building towers.
We aren't avid yard sale goers at this stage of life.
The prospect of hauling kids in - and out - of the car for every little curb side treasure hunt is not very appealing to us.
So, when our city does an annual yard sale that encompasses blocks of homes (so you can just keep pushing the stroller along) I'm eager to go!

We scored a fun, albeit modest, amount of goodies this year.
Azriel picked out this great bin of wood blocks.. and we happily handed over one shiny dollar for it!

Most toys around our nest get baptized before enjoyment.
I'm no germ-a-phobe, but I like to think the toy is getting a fresh start here.

I've said it before, but I really prefer our purchases to be second-hand (thrifted, op shop, etc).
Sure, it's cheaper.  But, it also comes with a story.
 I feel like the object has a history, or some life experience it brings with it.
A few wrinkles, a few scars, maybe a scratch or dent.

I like the messy 'real' things vs. the shiny plastic superficial ones.

I guess it feels more authentic, right?
It seems like a better reflection of ourselves... an imperfect masterpiece.
A curious treasure with some scrapes along the way.

And if we can look at an object and wonder at the story behind it,
how much more so should we look at our family, friends, strangers... everyone.. and see the story in them.

Some of us are shiny, and some of us have more dents than we'd like to show...
...but we all have a story, our story.

And our children, well, they're reading it right alongside us.

mama Mel ;o) 
P.S. This is the last day to enter my birthday giveaway - winner announced tomorrow!!


turquoise + teardrops.

 Hello lovelies, so where did that week go?!
Somewhere in that blur I managed to bead up some new jewellery:

 I like my own personal creations to have a real eclectic vibe... a funky mix of various beads.
Of course, turquoise pops of colour are my real weakness.
Left: I included my friend Lynn's pottered turquoise button to loop this bracelet around.
 Right: this 'stacking' bracelet has two beaded strands attached together... and I love it!
 On a much more sentimental side of jewellery making: my sister recently brought me this pendant.
It had belonged to our Gram'y.
She passed away many years ago now... but my heart still holds such a tender spot for her - (and my late Grampy).  Gosh we loved them.
They drove us to school every morning.
Grampy would create a silly song or rhyme for us... always calling me "Miss Mew" or "Mewtilda".
Gramy would shake her head and grin at Gramp's teasings... and do this hilarious 'Elvis' lip snarl every time we requested it of her.
I can still feel.hear.smell what their home was like.
The smooth linoleum steps to the cool basement, the kitchen counter of glass jars with candy, the powder puff in the bathroom, the wicker seats in the sun room, the hockey game playing across the couches, the backyard sweeping down into our favourite woods.
We spent so much time with them.  Their home was my second home.

The teardrops always come so easily when I think of these sweet souls.
How much I wish they could have seen their great-grandkids ~ our babies.
Losing a loved one never loses it's impact on your heart.
Time doesn't erase their memory.
Grief is a mirror of the love we hold for them.
How I loved those two: John + June.

So I wear this special memento close to my heart.
I attached it to a double strand of antique bronze chain.

I already had this ring from Gram's collection.. and have loved it always.

Small things, really.
But they hold something much larger.
The memory. the love. the creative style.. of someone I miss deeply.
Do you have keepsakes, mementos close to your heart?

Mel ;o)


here + there.

Lilacs, lilacs... everywhere!
a hike. a hat. a hut.
forts + fun.
cats caught cuddling.
homemade waffles for dinner? why not!
sunspots + sweet son.
playdates + pretty pals!  (Photo courtesy of Andrea)
Another week - another peek at a few of the moments that filled our nest!
Can you tell we really, really like getting outside now?!
That patchwork picnic blanket is getting a real work out.. as we fling it here, there and everywhere we go.  Hudson is still *afraid* of the grass.. so he contentedly sits on that blanket while we tear around with Azriel on swings, washing the car, splashing in the kiddie pool, etc.  My mom says Hud is like I was as a baby 'content to just sit, and not try to walk for ages'! Ha.  The lazy gene.

So, yes, that was a full wonderful weekend spent celebrating my birthday with friends and family!  Despite threats of thunderstorms we even got to sneak in a fun morning with sweet Jen (Lucky Jackson) and playful Andrea (Teeto) - almost a year to the day since we'd been all together last time!
Move back to us Andrea! ;o)

It was also a holiday Monday for us Canadians.. so that meant work was busy on Sat/Tues!
I didn't think it was possible.. but I'm even more giddy about helping people choose paint colours than I was a six years ago!
So yah, family + food + friends + work = gratitude to God for all these blessings.

Hope the week is treating you well there friends?
(If you haven't entered - you can still jump in on the giveaway fun this week)!

*older* mama,
Mel ;o)


Giveaway day!

 Happpppy birthday to me.. means a giveaway for youuu (yep, a yearly tradition)!

This is always the time of year I keep an eye out for nests, and robin's eggs that may have fallen from their tree perches... daughter Azriel looks so young holding one from last year.
And, since I have nests on the brain, that will be the theme of my gift-aways.

 Handmade bird's nest pendant: three turquoise beads nestled into a slice of tree branch, hung from a silver chain.
Bird's nest brooch: speckled eggs in a brown wire nest with green fibre/textile leaves glued to the back.

Plus a $20 gift card towards any items listed in the SHOP!
Total value of giveaway: $55!

Just a little way of saying thanks for being here, in our nest.
Thank you for sharing in our story here, and letting me share my creative projects, ramblings, etc. with you.

The best part about feeling so blessed on your birthday is to share the joy.. so any and all are welcome to enter this giveaway!
(I may even throw in a few extra treats for you followers).

To enter:
Simple answer the *skill testing* question:
If I was 11 twenty-two years ago, and 22 eleven years ago... how old am I today?! Hehe.
*For those of you who can't comment below due to computer issues (I know there's a number of you out there) feel free to e-mail a "hello" to me and I'll put your name in the draw too!

I'll let you know which lovely reader won it all by next TUES 28th!

Off to work today... and to eat more chocolate cake!
Mel ;o)


[M.M.17] still holding on...

Welcome back to Monday Mamalogues!
'Linking up to share the beauty and breakdowns of motherhood'.

Yes, this bundle of pudge still falls asleep in my arms.
Yes, it melts my heart every.time.
The hardest part is heaving him into the crib letting him go. 

Thanks for all your encouragements last week, when I announced my partial return to the 'work world'.  So far it's been a nice transition.  I enjoy my work and am eager to play with colour!
Coming home to my family is like Christmas every time too... this lil' guy comes racing (crawling) over to me and clings like a koala around my neck.  Daughter Azriel tends to pretend she didn't even notice I was gone... yeah, that stage.  Either way, I soak up all the snuggles I can to last me through the work days... and savour time spent with them all the more (except when the whining drones on.. that's still hard to enjoy).  But I adore them!

So, here we are - both parents working'ish... both home with the kids'ish.
Two - or three - shifts a week, just enough to keep the balance.. balanced.

This blog may seem a little topsy-turvy as we all try to find our rhythm here.
Days at work means spending the days in-between on household duties/visiting/everything else!  Blogging will be the bonus when/if I have the energy for it.
But I hope you'll stick around, friends - you're still a sweet part of my world here!

*Stay tuned for tomorrow's giveaway too!* 

Feel free to link up to today's random mama rant with anything on your mama heart,

Mel ;o)


away I go...

 While the kids (and baker man) were tucked into bed,
and the sun still had another hour left of shinin'... I pulled out my bicycle.

I rode down past the tiny war time houses,
and beside the river that weaves through our city.

 I rode out past the highway overpass,
and out past the city limits.

 I rode past the patchwork farm fields,
and grazing cows,
past the dandelions tossing their golden manes,
and the black birds darting over fence posts.

 Out here the roar of the city grew quiet.
The wind howled through my hair, and my heart thumped in my ears.
While the peepers and crickets raised their chorus.

Out here I was free to explore.
To find a hidden path through a glowing meadow.
A place of quiet rest.

I licked the salt from my lips,
and raised the canteen to my mouth.
I biked home again.
These simple moments of 'getting away' alone vitalise my spirit.
The rarity of their occurrence in this stage of life makes them all the more eagerly savoured.

Where do you love to find refreshment?

Biking mama,
Mel ;o)


confessions [of a Mel] part.14.

 Sometimes I think I'm getting too sensitive.
Which is weird... because I used to feel too *stoic*.

Life is an ever shifting series of ebb and flow.
Circumstances wash over our heart and make it smooth as a river stone... either softened or hard.

After years of working with troubled youth (as an arts director/mentor).
My heart had broken. stretched. grown. burned out. repeat.

Sometimes it seemed safer to turn to stone.
 We think it's better to not feel - than to risk the pain being real.
Sometimes it's a temporary 'coping' device.
We lock our heart away from the storms to keep it safe.

But sometimes we forget where we put that key.
We forget what it's like to feel...
to risk...
to love...
to lose...

In seeking to free ourselves from heartache, we actually create a prison instead - called apathy.
At least, that was the rocky path I found myself on in the past.
I started not to care.
Nothing 'phased' me.
Nothing shocked me.
Nothing moved me.

It's a dark place to be, friends.
But now, I'm seeing the Light.

So like I said, when I think I'm getting too 'sensitive' - you know it's a big deal.

It hurts sometimes, but it's real.
 I feel.

I almost feel it too much... the griefs, the joys, the love, the hate.
I don't know how God's heart can hold these things in perfect tension: witnessing the appalling horrors that fill this earth - and the dazzling beauty of it all too.

But what I do know is this.
I want to be in the Light.
It takes more strength to feel, than to be a stone.
More power to love, than to hate.
More grace to forgive, than to resent.
More love to encourage, than to criticise.

I want to keep getting softer in my 'old age'.
So that even if my bones get brittle, my heart still beats with love.
In memory of Laurie.



here + there.

Another week, another peek at the moment more 'there' than 'here' again.
It's been an utter whirlwind of events lately!

We spent the weekend vacationing with Ben's relatives... an annual Mother's Day reunion.
His Grandparents generously cover the expenses for allll the family to be together!

Despite wet, cold weather... the beach is always a thing of beauty.
There's nothing better than hearing waves crashing outside your door... (I long to live near the ocean).

We also managed to visit with my family, and hang my art show this weekend (with much help from my friend Kiki!)!

As you read previously, I then had my first day back to work.. and lived to tell!

Now, I'm just tired.
So now I'm just going to be thankful,
for a soft bed,
for loved ones snoring beside,
for a calm day tomorrow,
playing and parks,
snuggling and sewing.


How's your week spinning there, friends?
Mel ;o)