Recent bird mobiles.

 Morning friends,  just wanted to show you a few more of the flocks that have recently left the nest here.
The custom orders have been coming in fairly steady over the past while.  Seen above is a custom order for a 'earthy, gender-neutral nursery'.  The customer had some art pieces that I could reference for the colour choices.  They also wanted to keep the branch in a natural finish.

Here was another custom order for a girl's nursery.  I love those 'watermelon' combinations of bright greens and melon pinks!  They chose a white painted branch.

Yesterday our family went hiking in our favourite woods to start gleaning some more branches.
I figured I better start stocking up for a long winter in case I ran out before spring!

You can still find other variations of my bird mobiles at GLOW maternity for you local folks.  You can also contact me directly about an order.  Sorry, I don't mail these mobiles usually... unless you wanted to provide the branch and I just mail you the birds! :o)

Off to more crafting.sewing.toddlering,
Mel :o)


feeling squished.

Don't mind me friends, I'm just making a post of cuteness and cuddles here.. to avoid doing the dishes complaining in my sink right now.
 My older sis was visiting the other day and my daughter Azriel loves to sit on her lap and watch "Elmo" on her i-pad/i-phone (i.thing?!)... 

Sandwiched in the middle of this cozy moment - "Bambi" the chihuahua.

I'm feeling a bit 'squished' right now too.  It always happens on the eve of a craft show.. I want more hours in the day to craft.paint. and play.  I really have to fight the 'whiney voice' inside that would start to resent those ever abounding dirty dishes...
the laundry..
the snotty, teething baby that wants her twelfth hug in five minutes...
Finding the 'balance' is the carrot ever dangling before this dumb a**... 
So I need to pray for patience, gratitude and joy to flood this squished heart to see the blessings that crowd each day full!
Cup not half empty.
not half full.
...but running over.

Mel :o)


slide show sunday. take 11.

Squeaking in here friends, with this weekend's 'slide.show.sunday'...brought to you by the letter "F":
folk festival

Let's start it off with some sweet hotties - this tent is just packed full of happy colour and happy faces - Caren, Astrid & Lucky to name a few!

Oooh, and here's the beautiful earrings I was eager to buy from my friend Erin of 26 Mermaids!  Every craft show is the chance to see her smiling face and a table full of eye-candy.

Azriel joined in on the fun after a nap at the Grandparents.   We camped out on a picnic blanket I had whipped together from an antique quilt... love it.

Ok, proof that not just my feet went to the folk festival... me and my Beni.

Azi needed sunglasses so as not to be blinded by the awesomeness of this meal..... mmmmm love that Flying Chestnut food booth!

The big Murphy chilling out on his mama's techni-colour dream quilt.

Music and giggles and tickles in the grass.

Baby Rapunzel?  No, Azi's main side-kick.... Wren (I know, coolest name ever).

In true hippy-fashion Azriel hosted a 'love-in'... dancing hugs with Wren.... steam-roller hugs onto Aunt Sarah.  One big happy family.

Azi confidently leads her Daddy off into the sunset....

Another weekend well spent,
and now this mama is spent.

Hope yours was full of fun too!
Mel :o)


laced with love.

Here's a recent commission that I had a lot of fun with.  Two fantastic folks are tying the knot soon... and the bride wanted me to deck out her 6 bridesmaids in my custom neck-lace line.  I was delighted to create each one with a unique flair... that's the nature of this work - every single piece has it's own special organic form.

 I wanted to make the packaging for this order extra special too.  Each neck-lace was tucked into these sweet turquoise boxes, wrapped with a paper doily and strands of raffia, and adorned with a gentle feather.

The fun continued as the order increased... now two brace(lace)lets were needed for cousins in the wedding.  This was the first bracelet, featuring an opal disc that dangles from the flower.

The second bracelet features two little pearls budding from the leaf pattern.

I'm looking forward to seeing each lady/girl adorned in these custom creations.
(If I'm lucky I may even be able to post pictures of them in the next month!)

I wish this funky, fabulous couple a wonderful wedding!
Tying the knot
Sewing their souls
Wrapped with blue sky
Under a canopy of leaves
Toes tangled in grass and hay
May it be a beauty-full day for y'all.

Creatively yours,
Mel ;o)


she wore blue velvet.

Azriel's 'outfit post' is brought to you by three sewing mamas this weekI only realised half way through the day that she was wearing such a sweet combination of projects (despite myself being the one who dressed her - though I may not have been quite awake yet!).

So let's break it down here: ... this mama hand-painted the 'deer' shirt, Wren's mama sewed the floral blue dress-shirt underneath, and Reggie's mama sewed the velvet skirt!  It's so nice to have besties that are mamas. neighbours. crafters. all around us.  The stockings(GAP) and purple rubber boots were all thrifted.

Gosh, this blue belle makes my little heart swoon.

While Azriel takes the time to smell the flowers... I take the time to just breathe her in.

Do you ever find yourself pausing and thinking...
"I can't believe this little miracle is God's daily gift to me?"
Sometimes at night... it feels like Christmas Eve  - 
and that in the morning I get to run in and see the most beautiful gift again!

Yes, I'm just feeling all twitter-patted... and you may too, if you check out all these other cuties at Mama Loves Papa today!

Mel ;o)


we be craftin'... come and see!

Oh.my.good.golly... I'm so excited!  Nothing lights a creative fire under this crafter's buns like having a show to get ready for.  Yes, I'm one of those nuts that works better 'under pressure'.... otherwise I find a million excuses.distractions from keeping me focused on a project (you may remember that confession in the past).
I digress... here it is, hot off the press!
The Jackson Creek Press to be exact.  He's hosting a backyard/house art 'expo' that's bringing all the creative.artsy.tasty goodness of our local vendors together.
So, if you're local, mark your calendars!
I'd love to see you there!
What am I going to showcase?
I'm hoping to blast off in a million different creative directions again...  a touch of pottery, jewellery, stuffies, fabric hoops and paintings, and more!
Wowsers, I better get moving here,

Crafty mama,
Mel :o)

snack this.

In light of the last post about my 'baby. avocado. belly'... I thought I'd show you one of my quick snack options.  Around here I'm often grabbing a handful of almonds, or grapes... or marshmallows to keep my baby belly happy.  Today - obviously - I had an avocado on hand!
What can you do with such a bland.strange.creature you ask?
My favourite is to make maki-sushi.... or yummy guacamole with them!
But those treats take time... so, when in a rush... I do this:

1. Slice avocado in half... then cut slices down into each half.
2. Shower the halves in lime juice <squirt, squirt>.
3. Sprinkle with fresh pepper grounds. 

4. Spoon the yummy into your tummy.

Nom, nom, nom.

There's your 'fast food - gone green' recipe for the day.

munchin' mama,
Mel :o)


my baby.fruit basket.3

Is anyone else confused that I am already 4 months pregnant here?  I sure am.  I tell you, being pregnant with the second child is nothing like your first.  I was so focused on this 'new experience' the first time... watching what I ate, cradling my belly, 'willing' love down through my cells into it's little form.   But this time I tend to even forget I'm pregnant most days - now that life is focused on the 'first one' who's running around outside the womb!
The reminders are starting to show up though, my pants are getting tighter... I still get nausea if I try to wean off the Diclectin... little flutters that I think are kicks (or maybe just gas?!).
Anywho, ready or not - our lives are kicking it up another notch in 6 months!
Avocado mama,
Mel ;o)

*You can follow my baby belly down the produce aisle here.


confessions [of a Mel] part.5.

Here's a chocolaty.sweet.peek at the birthday dinner we had for my mom last weekend.  It didn't make it to slide.show.sunday since we were overshadowed that weekend with the grief hitting our family.  It seemed 'emotionally bi-polar' to mourn at a funeral one day, then celebrate life the next... but it really helped deepen that celebration of just how precious a life is.  
My mom's life is precious to me!  
So... I made her this orange.chocolate.mousse.cake... mmmmMMmm.  I also made the chocolate.orange rind chunks for the top.  
Before you think I'm so talented in the kitchen.. I should confess how terribly cranky I get when baking.  I was smashing around with dishes, wrecking half the chocolate, muttering in contempt... and stomping out of the kitchen in regular intervals of exasperation.  Yes, I'm not a pretty picture - I know I need to get it in check before I train up my daughter to think this is the room of utter frustration - I'm trying! ;o)

But here is a pretty picture!  
My older sister just sent it to me... so I opted to post this post after all.  I just love how my daughter is all a-marvel (maybe to see her mama smiling while near that dessert).  There's my aging-to-perfection mom... I swear she's looking younger every year... there must be sorcery involved.  

Happy Birthday Mom
You're a precious life.

Mel :o)


slide show sunday. take 10.

Hello friends, it's that time of week again. slide show time. 
I'm beginning to notice a trend here.. in that I should probably rename it "Azriel's slide show" since she seems to lead the tour.  Maybe I'll need to train her to aim the camera at her parents!
Anywho.. on with the show:
Friday trip to the fabric store with some gal pals.  Azi loved running/hiding amongst the patterns.
I scored some sweet fabric for her upcoming birthday costume too! (Yes I dress Azi up for her birthdays since it's Oct.29th... heh). 

Saturday morning yard sales, and East City Bakery for treats.
  Then driving out to Millbrook to attend a visitation for a dear older soul that had passed away from our church.  (Someone in the back seat was a bit sleepy by this point).

A quick bite with friends on the trip back home... and you'll remember this dashing fella from earlier this week, yes?

Afternoon naps, and working on some commissions here.  Then off to 'Saturday Family Dinner' which was a family reunion for our father-in-law's side... tons of faces and food!  This shot captured my main trio of favourites (brother, husband, Dad-in-law). ;o)

Azriel clung to her favourite relative there - cousin Emily... a sweet moment reading "Little Bear" with snacks in the grass.

She also tried her hand at badminton... I think she's got the main trick down - and that's 'tongue waving' it really fuels any extreme sport I think.

Thanks for coming along for another slide show sunday.
See you again soon this week!
Mel :o)


my bread man.

 Here's a small glimpse of our past plans and my illustration to prove it.  See, my husband Ben has a passion for baking.  He used to sell "Artisan Bread" to our neighbourhood - and it got rave reviews.  He was starting to dream of launching this on a larger scale under the name "the SkyLab Bread Co." ..... Instead, he got hired full-time at our local East City Bakery!

 So this is me, saying congrats to you, Ben!  I'm so thrilled you found a niche that fulfills your interests.. and brings home the 'dough'.  You're awesome!

I'm the lucky wife that gets her husband home after lunch,
(though he leaves at 3:30am)... all smelling of fresh baked goods, 
and his dark eyelashes dusted with flour!

The baker's wife,
(with a bun in the oven)
Mel ;o)


riding in carts.. with boys.

 Do you chaperon your toddlers I wonder?  Well, when this mama is pushing the shopping cart, I keep one wary eye on this handsome lil' suitor.  Everyone, meet Reggie.  Reggie meet all of Azriel's fans (I can call you readers that right?.. thanks!). 

These two are pretty smitten with each other... (although Azi needs to work on her enunciation because every time she sees him she squeals "WEDGIE!").  Sure, he may be almost a year younger.. but this mama has nothing against 'cougars' or being one herself.  We're pretty much going to arrange their marriage I think - since his mama is totally one of my 'besties'.  I affectionately refer to her by her last name "Wilson!"...and she was my maid of honour... and now my 'neighbour'... and shopping buddy... and 'second husband' (she fixes.sews.cooks things I can't).... and yah, we see each other most days - or call most others.  So if it doesn't work out between our kids.... well, poop may hit the fan. ;o)

Hmmmm.... we may need to work on this whole thumb-sucking issue, he's not looking too impressed with that.
As usual, we're going to link this silliness today up with the crazy sweet cuties over at

Sure, you've seen it before:
Azriel's scarf : Hurley - cut to size.
dress shirt - made by mama (tutorial here)
diaper cover - thrifted

Have you arranged a marriage for your child yet?
Are we allowed to chaperon until they're 20?
I hope so.
Boys can be... sneaky.
Thanks for stopping by our nest!
Mel ;o)


small steps. big lessons. 4.

Did I ever mention how beautiful mushrooms are?  (Ok, yes I was freaking out a bit over these retro ones last week).  I think our lil' naturalist daughter is catching the go-mushy-for-shrooms bug too.

In fact, Azriel is often saying "mushroom man" now as her version of 'do you know the muffin man'?  We let it slide...  

She's so cute to watch.. hovering over a patch of mushrooms in our yard, like a brooding hen.  She has to pluck and examine each one.. savouring it's uniqueness.

One of the best features of having children:
they remind you to sit down in the grass,
breathe in the beauty of nature,
and look at the world
with fresh eyes of wonder.

Side-note: I sat down in the grass, my husband ran in to check online if these were in fact, edible mushrooms.

have a wonder-full day,
Mel :o)


this skin. this ink.

For me, a tattoo is a springboard to a conversation.  I'm always intrigued by what inspired someone to get inked.  So I figured it was about time I share mine with you.  I remember this was the first post I ever wrote on my old blog.... eons ago it seems.  These tatts have been travelling with me for a long time now (maybe 10 years even?!). 

So, this is my right hand.  My shaking-hands hand.  My waving hello hand.  My 3 core values hand.  Originally I just had "faith" on my wrist... and then a year or two later I ended up designing a scroll with "hope, love" to join in.  All three of these words represent where my anchor in life lies.  God is my object of faith, my reason for hope, my source for love.  I can never 'regret' having such a tattoo and reminder in my life.

"But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love."
1 Corinthians 13:13

This is my left hand.  My ring-finger hand.  My chin-resting hand.  The tattoo hand to remind me of how inter connected "life&death" really are.  Yes, it says both... trippy, I know.  Every day I'm called to die to my own selfish desires of 'me-first, me-now'... and live to the freedom and beauty I'm called to.  To live selflessly... to give instead of take.  To walk in the light, and not the dark.
How can I 'regret' this reminder?
You may remember the other tattoo I pointed out last week during my 'haircut' post... the Hebrew word on the back of my neck.

Yes, all my tattoos are words.  Yes, they are all reminders for me.  
Yes, I will always want more (but doubt the budget will comply)!

Will I 'let' my daughter get them in the future you ask?  I hope we'll have a healthy discussion about her reasons and motives for it.  My warning would be to take time to think about it (months even..) if you truly believe in it - it will be worth waiting for.  Also, it's addictive, once you start you will be finding excuses and spare corners on your body to wedge another tatt in!

What else would I want in tattoos?  I dream of a flock of birds going up my arm.  Sometimes I want a bunch of tree branches weaving up my back... and this tempts me!

So there you have it... my skin. my ink. my stories.  
Thanks for listening,
Mel ;o)


darkness and light.

source unknown
This is the post to get me to start posting again...  I know I missed 'slide.show.sunday' yesterday.. and for the one person out there who may have been eagerly awaiting the picture 'recap' of my weekend, I'm sorry.  I fear if I was to post pictures from this past weekend my heart (or yours) would break all over again.
In a few words:
a womb
became a tomb
for a niece we longed to hold.

A baby funeral is the worst contradiction of nature.  It was the hardest day we've ever had to face as a family.  We grieve now, but not without hope.  In the depths of darkness there is still that flame of faith which cannot be extinguished.  A tiny life has left this earth, but a sweet soul has entered Heaven.

source unknown

 I think one of the sweetest.painful.heartbreaking.healing moments of this weekend was when my daughter (21 months) saw my sis-in-law for the first time after the loss.  As our daughter was prone to do, she walked up and pointed to our sister's belly, saying "baby?".  With teary eyes we replied "no hunny, baby's gone"....
... out of nowhere
...with no prompting
... our daughter then says
"Yes hunny, you're right, baby is with Jesus".
In the darkness of despair, a light still shines.
Death where is your victory?
Grave where is your sting?

If you believe in the power of prayer,
our family would humbly appreciate it.

Thank you friends,