A.musing.mama! 1.10.

That moment that happens once every 360 days... where you child sleeps in!
I don't know about you, but I tend to do a happy dance of utter delight, if they keep sleeping I start to get paranoid that they've likely stopped breathing...
On a related note: did anyone else suffer the delusion that becoming a mama would somehow instantly grace you with the ability to be a 'morning person'.  Alas, four years in the making and I still can't thrive from getting the early worm around here. 
It's been quite a long time since my last edition of these 'parenting' comics... we'll see if I can whip up a few more in the future again!
If you missed the last handful of funnies - based on real life - then you can check them out here.

Happy weekend friends!
Mel ;o) 


The craftiest time of the year!

It's that time of year.
Once the first dusting of snow hits the ground.. my brain turns into Santa's workshop, just busting with creative notions wanting to be made!
There's the homemade decor for the nest to be created with the kids.
The crafting of gifts for loved ones.
The making of goodies to sell at a craft show.

Just time... and energy, required.... yeah, those are rare commodities aren't they?

Needless to say I've dusted off my long neglected sewing machine and wedged my bulging belly into the crafting corner - a few hours here, a few moments there.
My wrist warmers (seen above) are all ready for our local FOCUS FAIR.
They sell out every year.. but I think I made enough for now. (I'll only be there for Sun.dec.8th).

Then, there's the labour of love creation for our daughter... a fabric mini play house.
I'm very loosely being inspired by the pattern from One Yard Wonders here.
You know I hate patterns.. and committing to a project that takes more than one sewing session... but, if it turns out - it should be cute!

I'm also needing to add a couple more stockings to the mantle (granted I'm all out of this tree fabric so I'll have to get creative).  The rest of my scheming and dreaming will take the back burner until I know there's an inch of time/energy left to throw their way.

What about you?
Crafting and creating and homemade goodness this season?  Do tell!

Creatively yours,
Mel ;o)



D.I.Y: paint dipped pinecones (kid-friendly).

Finally.. an actual Do.It.Yourself crafty project from this blog... I bet you just choked on your egg nog to see this miracle!

Granted, we did quite a similar creation last Christmas.. (you may recall dipping pine cones in red paint with my daughter).

Anywho ~ this is one of those kid-friendly projects to decorate the house with for this festive season.
1. Dip pine cones halfway into a can of paint.  Let drip dry/brush off excess.
(Kids love dipping... but it's less messy if you just dry brush paint straight on to the cones).

2. While paint is still wet.. sprinkle sparkles all over it.
(Yes, this mama finally caved and brought the dreaded demon of sparkles into our nest!).

3.  Once they are dry, the adult can hot glue a dab at the base of pine cone and attach pretty ribbon or twine to hang the decor in your window.  Ours are all dangling in our large living room window... with this gorgeous view outside today:

Goodness, it's a merry sight!

Happy crafting with yourself.. or your kiddos!

Creatively yours,
Mel ;o)


Latest Painting: Patchwork Valley.

Good Monday morning to you friends.

I mentioned last week'ish that I would update you on the final outcome of this recent commissioned painting I was working on.

Those with a stunning memory for detail may recall that this painting used to be my muted/foggy version of Patchwork Valley.  I opted to give it a more vibrant tone - with a glowing sunrise through the sky.  The rolling fields are more lush greens, and clusters of sheep and red flowers are speckled throughout.  The little house in the foreground became a little chapel as well.
The sky is a lighter blue than seen here.. but you get the idea.
(Alterations were made to suit this painting as a gift for a sweet couple that are moving away from our church/city.  I wanted them to take a bit of their familiar countryside with them to a bigger city, and to remind them of a little chapel they spent many tireless years serving and encouraging at).

In other painting news:  for any local folks wanting to see some of my larger paintings ~ they are back out on display at Haaselton's Coffee Shop downtown.

*I'll also be selling my mini Skyscapes paintings (5"x7") at the upcoming Focus Fair on Sun.Dec.8th at the SPILL coffee shop - 11-4pm!!

I'd love to send you home with one of my painted creations over the holidays!

Creatively yours,
Mel ;o)



the huge update:

By 'huge' you know I mean.. pregnancy and what not, right?
Because, yeah, I'm hitting that ginormous side of massive lately it feels like... pretty soon I'll be the new gravitational pull for all you fine folks who thought it was the Earth's job.

And, I still have a looonng way to go.
I think I've been in my fifth month for about a year now... in fact, I keep having to Google my due date to remember how far along I actually am.
Which, is 26 weeks by the way. (6+months!)
Only around 100 days left... um, can I get a chocolate advent calendar for that?

Speaking of chocolate, I get to do that Gestational diabetes test thing with my midwives this week... meaning: I get to eat a box and a half of SMARTIES and then they take my blood to screen/test my sugar levels... or, something like that.
Basically, I get to eat chocolate for my health.
So, I'm in.

In fact, I've been practising just to make sure I'm ready for the test, being a good mother and all.

Which leads me to acne,
I mean, the every-mama-feels-it moments of wanting a 'make-over'!
I've let my hair grow out to a big nest of frizzy fullness.
I drape my clothes around my growing form.
I still get acne like a kid in highschool.

You know, those little elements that help a woman feel like a sack of porridge left out too many days.

Now I know my heart matters more than the shallow surface of my skin.
And I value character more than cosmetics.
But we all have our weaker moments don't we?

I even want/need a new pair of glasses, and frankly, our lil' Hudson looks way cuter in them any way!

So that's just the mini-ramble on where I'm at here lately.. and I'll have you know that I'm also crafting for an upcoming Christmas show (Focus Fair -dec.8th!) so that's fun!

What's new in your corner of the world friends?

Mel ;o)


A spot of tea : Linen+Leaves

Calling all tea-grannies, and sweet sippers of the delectable brew!
Today I have a special feature for you.
My friend Stacy has an entrepreneurial spirit - she's always creating something simple and beautiful out of whatever loose ends life throws her way.
We've done a few craft shows together in the past, and her creations always reflect care and integrity.

She's now launching a new delicious business: Linen + Leaves.
If you're a fan of loose leaf teas... or would like to stock up for this upcoming festive season, now is the time to check out her many flavours!
For an added bonus, if you buy from her SHOP before December 10th, and use the promo code: needleandnest10 then you'll receive 10% off your entire order.

Happy sweet sipping friends!

Mel ;o)


Lately here...

Today I got to paint!
It's kind of a big deal.

For over the past six months most of my 'creative energy' has been sapped by this new creation growing in my tummy.  I've missed crafting/painting/sewing so SO much.
Those of you who remember how saturated this blog once was with recent projects/d.i.y's will have likely noticed this absence as well.  Um, sorry?
(It seems that a pile of visitors have come across this blog through projects they've seen on Pinterest/google searches.. and then if they stick around they get the 'bait n' switch' of me not being so creative and just ranting/confessing/rambling about family life and motherhood and where my heart is at lately.  But I'm ok with this blog shifting, and for those of you who have stuck with me.. thanks)!

Anyway.. it feels great to be forced back to creating again.
In that, this recent painting is another commissioned piece I've been working on.
I'll show y'all when it's done - just imagine a colourful large sky and rolling country hills.

Having the space to create in our bedroom/studio is kind of a big deal too.
It means we've finally booted our girl + her bed out of my studio corner.. and in to her room with the fitful younger sleeping brother.
(That's still a mess... and I'm afraid I'll be used to not really ever sleeping well again by the time they hopefully do sort out their sleeping patterns, ah well).

Having a husband that helps entertain the kids while I sneak off during daylight hours is the biggest help - so thanks Ben!
Creating is a rare gift nowadays, I'm savouring every second I get.

Creatively yours,
Mel ;o)


confessions (of a Mel) part 16. re:love.


Have you ever met an unlovable person?
You know, the ones that irk you, rub you the wrong way... or get right up in your face hostile with you. It seems that life is more difficult with them in it.
Throughout my life I felt 'stuck' with these people in my world.
In elementary school it would be that guy assigned to me as a group work partner.. "oh great, I get to watch him enjoy the contents of his nostril next to me" I would moan inwardly.
As a young kid who still didn't understand the delicate balance of truth-telling.. I thought I should be upfront and say I hated him when asked by the teacher.

In highschool it was that awkward girl assigned to share a locker with me.
"I hope no one sees me and her together here" I'd worry whilst fidgeting with our lock.
Looking back, I just remember her body odour was frightful, and she managed to have even more acne than I... which deemed her 'unloveable' in my books then.
Maybe I should have gotten to know her story better.. 
Now, at that stage of life I had learned to bite my tongue and not say "hate" about another person... but I held them at a cool distance, treating them with the warmth of a human iceberg.

I obviously share these stories to my shame... knowing that they reveal more about the state of my heart than those seemingly unlovable individuals.

And yet.. the struggle to live authentic love continues.

I remember being struck by the perspective that we use love like currency.
In that, if we value some one.. we see them as worth investing our time/affection/energy in to them.  Sounds like money talk.  And, to take it one step further... when we find someone rather unsavoury in our life we withdraw our love.  We may possibly even dangle a 'deposit' of love their way like a shiny carrot... IF they change themselves to meet our expectations.

It gets me thinking... am I Scrooge-like with my love?
Do I only invest it in those I deem befitting my affection... and withdraw it from those that I feel at odds with?  How do I treat the rude person in line at the store?
How do I react to the slow driver in front of us?
How do I engage the loner in the crowd?
How do I respond to the obnoxious co-worker obsessed with their own success*? (Not speaking from my current employment.. ha!)

And more so,
How do I love my family when they test me?
When the kids are pushing every one of my buttons?
I can already feel the ice forming in my facial expressions when I'm getting exasperated.

I've been feeling convicted on this issue once again lately.
Because when I look in the Bible, I don't see my heart reflecting the heart of God.
Throughout Scripture we see the God who pursues... who sets His love upon those still deep in their messes (dead in their sins even).
Despite what you may have heard... we can't clean ourselves up first to be deserving of His love.  That's the beauty of grace.  In our weakness, that love is strong.  I was the one spiritually 'smelling rank of body odours', covered in acne, a filthy mess of repeated screw ups... and He lavished His love on me.
(Ephesians 2).

How can I hold back such love from others?

Learning to love,
Mel ;o)


The best sound...

Yes, this was the snowy view we had outside our friend's cottage/home last weekend.
We were just 40mins north of our city.. currently being soaked in rain/high winds.
But it was a beautiful sight.

It also reflects a beautiful sound to me.

I don't know about you, maybe it's just the stage of life we're in now (cough:insert - laughing/shrieking/singing/hollering kids.all.day) but I am such a big fan of silence.

It's the best therapy.
The quickest comfort.
A salve to the soul.

It's also what keeps convincing my man and I that we are made for 'country living' in our future.
Away from the noises of industry, traffic... motorcycles with mufflers from Hades.

Do you love it?
Does it frighten you?
I know our culture loves to keep you entertained/distracted... from that moment where you can actually hear your own thoughts.
Or, as this comedian put it rather profoundly (though crassly, for some) we even may run from this silence/solitude.

When you look at your day - do you make time for silence?
Or, is the radio alarm clock playing in the morning, radio in the car, noise of the day.. and then T.V all evening?

Silence, it's a beautiful thing.
Even if it can feel like a torturous beast sometimes.. it's worth taming.
I'm learning how vital rich times of silence are for my soul.
Being still, resting in the presence of my Maker.

Mel ;o)