hearts aglow..

 Cherub cheeks kissed with Christmas lights.
What a beauty-filled time of year this is.  There's so much to adore in this season - and I mean to savour every delicious moment of it.  Including the 'photoshoot' rehearsal to try and capture a sweet shot of Azriel as a gift for the Grandparents!

Despite kissing the lights - she wasn't a big fan of me wrapping her up in them.... and opted to swat.kick.shove them away with her feet.  Lesson learned - don't force a photo-shoot even in the name of Christmas cheer. ;o)

But we still managed to grab a few quick shots of cuteness.  I chopped her hair off recently so now she has that 'choir boy. munchin' look going on... 

Azriel's small style:
T-shirt: thrifted (GenevieveLapierre)
Turtle-neck: thrifted (Children's Place)
Fleece pants: thrifted (George)
 You'll find more cute little threads and faces linked up at Mama Loves Papa

**Stay tuned for the next post - a delightful tea party with a whole crew of beautiful bloggers - we took a bazillion photos of colourful goodness... just sorting through them all!
**P.S. I'll also post that fabric banner Advent calendar I sewed (look for it on Friday's post)!

See you soon friends!
Mel :o)


A happy place...

Do you have a place of joy.contentment.delight in your life?  That one special corner you can always find inspiration and creativity in?  My art studio is one of those spaces for me.  Park Street Pottery is another!  I've mentioned before how rare it is for me to actually get over to the 'shop' now.. but I was blessed to sneak in a session there this past Friday.
That jovial fella is George - the owner.potter of the shop - to know him is to love him! 

Here's the potter's playground: a chaotic collection of creativity!  Sure it takes a bit of time to discern all the hand scribbled notes on buckets of glazes... and to navigate amongst the other potters/customers/visitors... but to me, it's bliss.

Once I settle into my zone it is pure contentment.  Hands in cool clay.  Gently massaging shapes from formless lumps.  Stiring the glazes into saturated soups of reds.browns.gold. 
This batch I've been working on will use glazes of honey white. turquoise. and brown - I get so excited to see how the pieces will come out of the kiln - it's like Christmas every time.

Here's a sneak peek of the (unfinished) goodies I'm creating for the upcoming Christmas show.
There will be more of my doily pressed neck.clays and bracelets.  Bird ornaments.  Doily pressed nesting bowls.  Bird pouches.  Can't wait to see/show them soon!
That's the surrender part of pottery.
You form the clay.  Hope it doesn't crack.
You glaze it next.  Hope it comes through the kiln glowing pretty.
You have to create... and then let go.
Don't force it... just let it move.flow.shape.

Maybe that's why this is such a happy place for me - it teaches me much about the simple truths of life.
Dusty hands, delighted heart,
Mel ;o)


slide.show.sunday.take 23.

Hey friends, can you believe it's almost December?!
This past week flew by - and looking at our quickly filling calendar - I think this coming month may be a merry blur.  So here's the weekend slide.show to recap this past weekend:
Lots was happening downtown this weekend... my parents, daughter, and I went to check out the fun on Friday afternoon..

We said hello to Donner & Blitzen the reindeer... Azriel was attempting to kiss them!

Embracing our patriotic palette: mama and daughter munching on our first beaver tail (read: deep fried pastry goodness smothered in gooey apple toppings!)

Saturday we headed back downtown with some friends for coffee.window shopping. and lunch at the Planet... then Azi showed us her 'moves' on the trampoline while touring our friend's new house purchase.

Empty house tour = impromptu preggo photo shoot!  Love those big old windows.

Afternoon crafting session of prepping some flags for a fabric advent calendar I want to make for our home.

We checked out a few local craft shows on the way up to the in-laws for family dinner Saturdays.  Then feasted the evening away!

Hope your weekend was delightful too,
See you soon,
Mel :o)



Cultivating thankfulness.
Finding beauty in simple delights.
Savouring the present moment.
These are a few of my favourite things...

 Family hikes over sunlit bridges and through sleepy gardens.

 The sweet warmth of hot cocoa and gooey marshmallows.

My two favourites... sharing a sunbeam together.

Silly hats and big cozy jackets all snuggled together in a family knot.

Caught up in a glorious stormy sky.

Squealing with my daughter over the first snowfall of the year.

These are a few of those simple.beautiful.moments that have filled our nest lately... and filled this mama's heart.
For these I am thank.full.  
To my American readers.friends
Happy Thanksgiving!

Hope your weekend is full of sweetness,
Mel ;o)


cozy sweater.cool winds.crunchy leaves...

The autumn leaves have danced out their final notes around these parts.  Frosty days are headed our way - even this morning encased the car in ice!

These shots were taken over a week ago... so Azriel was still able to run outside in her sweet vintage Winnie the Pooh cable knit sweater. 

Cute little cherub cheeks all ablush with the crispness of autumn air.

Azriel wears:
Winnie the Pooh sweater/skirt: Zellers
White leggings: gifted.
Pink.fur boots: Robeez (thrifted)
Small Style is brought to you by the birthday girl Morgan over at Mama Loves Papa.

Have a beauty day!
Mel :o)


Five.for.Five [school years]

Alright, I'm back with this week's edition of 5 facts.5 foibles from my life.  I figured since last week looked at my childhood.. this post could focus on the next phase of existence called 'school years' (ugh, I'm already breaking out in a cold sweat!).

School Years

Fact #1: I am terrible at math...
(which is why I love that quote: "Math: I'm not a therapist, solve your own problems!")
Foible #1:  I had tutors try to help me with this issue - I can remember really wanting to learn subtraction with the one tutor that used Smarties for counting!

Fact #2:  I always loved sports(gym) and art.
Foible #2: This fact made me an 'artsy.tom-boy'... a strange combination really, so I never fit one clique in school - just happily drifted amongst the jocks. the artists. the wallflowers....etc.

Fact #3:  In highshool I started colouring my hair.
Foible #3:  When I was cheap/lazy I would simply bleach it... without putting 'blonde' back on to it... so it glowed like a rubber duck and felt like straw.  I then played with shades of plum, neon red, fuschia, orange, blonde, black, mahongany for the next few years. (Let it be known, once this current baby is out.. I want a shot of crazy colour again!).  ;o)
Fact #4:  I got my nose pierced in highschool (and still love it).
Foible #4:  So... the piercing may have taken place in a bathroom stall IN the highshool... but you didn't hear it from me!

Fact #5:  I have a Bachelor of Arts in Ministry (B.A.M!)
Foible #5:  the longer story is ... I was going to go to an arts college... but figured I should do one year of Bible college to make sure I knew what I thought I believed = four years, and a degree, later I finally figured that out better! 

So there's a few more tidbits from my 'growing up' days... stay tuned for next weeks top five list!

Thanks for hearing my confessions,

Mel ;o)

my baby.fruit basket.7.

So, myself and the lil' guy are officially into our seventh month now... they say that puts him at the size of a butternut squash but I still feel like a pumpkin!

Lately it feels like he want a 'womb with a view' as my shirts keep inching up over the belly... and my pants keep sliding down under... that boy wants to peek out!  I'm still trying to get my wardrobe figured out for a winter pregnancy...

I should probably practise holding something so small again too.  
Our gal Azriel is two going on twelve lately it seems... especially when I try to heave her (and myself) up the stairs.

Only two more months and we get to see our new addition to the family!
I'm so curious to see who this guy is going to be... he definitely has a strong right-hook currently as he punches my kidneys.   But I don't think he'll be a brawler... there's a musical side to him as he seems to enjoy performing some version of Riverdance on my bladder!

You can follow our baby's growth through the produce aisle here.
Growing mama,
Mel ;o)



slide.show.sunday.take 22.

It's that time of week again friends, a photo stream of how our weekend unfolded...
lets just say it was a wee roller-coaster for this mama:

A beautiful cloud dappled sky welcomed us to the Saturday's Farmer's market.

First stop: Kyoto coffee (since I dropped our third French Press on the kitchen floor this week)!  I miss not being outside for the Market... but it's a sign of winter coming, and so is Azriel and I wearing our ponchos!

If you're local, you'll go loco for the Pastry Peddler... Colin serves up the tasty treats here!

Cat naps for this mama (our bedroom tour found here)... I've been fighting a congested cough and feeling like my insides were hollowed out and filled it with achy nausea.

My stomach was so cramped from coughing that I sought comfort in pillow-wrapping it.  This shot of me attempting to paint for a bit was right before the drama started... I doubled over in pain as a seeming 'contraction' took over, we called the midwife to check in and she asked us to meet her at the Emergency Room.  By the time we got to the hospital the killer pain had subsided, and our lil' rascal baby was still kicking happily in my belly.  Thank God it turned out to be a 'mysterious spasm' versus any continuing drama.

Soooo... we headed up to the in-laws for 'family dinner saturdays' as usual.  Azriel was a blur of activity - running to relatives to "read book" or "build towers" with her.  I was taking it easy (midwife's orders) and sewing my lil' hoots.

Gathering around the candlelit feast table with the smell of Ben's fresh baked bread, and the laughter of family.

A good end to a crazy day.
Hope y'all had a lovely weekend,
see you soon!
Mel ;o)


Recent hoop-la...

"small kite.big sky" & "small boat.big sea"

Here's some recent stitchery.painted goodness coming from this nest.  I love creating wee scenes of fabric scraps and embroidery - all stretched over a quilter's hoop.
 The above hoops are some popular designs of late, they were ordered from a few sweet people.

These two hoops were a custom order.  It was a fun project to spring board from what the customer described and stitch it all together.

I know, I know, I really need to get an Etsy account already.  I'm just trying to keep this stage of creating at a 'tranquil' pace for the priority of raising our wee ones at the nest currently.  Running local art.craft shows is a good pace for me, with the occasional mailed out order for those lovely clients who can work with me.
For the locals:
I'll be showing you more recent craftiness in these upcoming weeks to the Christmas craft show.
(Focus Fair - Dec.10th & 11th - the Spill Cafe).

My current art show at Black Honey Cafe is going to be up for one more week, (and the quilted hoops have been selling like hot cakes there!).
Hope you all have a beauty weekend, 
we're caught up in the magical sparkle of our first snowfall here!

Creatively yours,
Mel :o) 



Azriel was rocking out her thrifted OskKosh B'Gosh overalls the other day!  (Yet another outfit provided by the eager shopping of 'Grandma' for her first grandchild)... I have a soft spot for OshKosh simply because of how it's cute name rolls around my mouthI also admit to having a pair of 'train conductor' overalls by OshKosh a few years ago.... <shudder>.

Yes, overalls are much cuter on kids... though really annoying for diaper/potty breaks!
Speaking of cute though, do you ever count how many times a day you gaze at your child... and just go 'gosh'.  Sometimes I forget to blink as my hungry eyes just want to savour every moment, every word, every expression she makes in a day...  

B'goshed mama,

Linking this small style up with Mama Loves Papa again!


Five.for.Five [confessions of childhood]

For better or worse, I'll be starting a new 'series' here.  I thought it may help you lovely readers to get to know me better by learning things you may not have known (or wished you still didn't) about me!  Spring boarding from my "confessions" posts, this series will be once a week and will cover 5 facts & 5 foibles about myself on a number of topics (childhood, art-making, motherhood... life in general...etc).  Ready? Ok, let's do this:


Fact #1: I still live in the city I was born in.
Foible #1: I used to think that meant I was the biggest loser... now I embrace it ... mostly.  (Although the fact that we can't go anywhere in the city without running into someone I know can get tedious comical).

Fact. #2:  I was born blue (yep, the umbilical cord choke-hold move).
Foible #2:  I often blame my mother for this fact - depriving me of oxygen - as to why I am not a genius.

Fact #3:  I'm the baby of the family. I have an older sister and brother (they have a different father, but we all grew up together with my/our Dad).
Foible #3:  Having these tall, gorgeous siblings always left me feeling a bit like the frumpy.stumpy.dumpy third wheel. (please, no sympathy tears).
Fact #4: I was a total tom-boy growing up.  I lived in my Toronto Blue Jays hat (it went from navy blue to faded sky blue over the years).
Foible #4: When I delivered papers as a kid, the seniors would say "thank you son".. and I would just nod.  Girls at the playground would giggle and ask me out.... and I would just laugh at them.  Sure, I was a stinkin' cute 'boy' back then... but I still thought those girls were thick as bricks to think I actually was a boy!
Fact #5:  I was afraid of the dark as a kid.
Foible #5:  I can still scare myself in the dark as an adult.  My imagination has a serious hate-on for me whenever the lights are out and things go 'bump' in the night.
There you have it.  The first edition of five.for.five this week... if you found that informative, you can pop by again next week for more... still at the low.low.cost of free.

Thanks for perching at this nest,
Mel ;o)

D.I.Y - upcycle sweater into mitts..

You may be noticing a theme around this nest lately... grabbing anything I can find and upcycling it into cozy accessories (that, and eating chocolate, is how I prepare for winter!).
So here we go again - I'm sure there's links all over the internet for this kind of project - this is just my super fast.stupid easy approach to the sweater upcycle (again). 

1. Flop your hand down on sweater sleeve and cut around (an extra inch of space at least).
2. The wrist cuff usually makes an instant cuff for your mitten... so all you need to stitch is the top flap around your fingers (remember to stitch it inside out to not see the seam). 

(Sure you can get extra fancy and add a cozy liner inside, or elastic around the wrists, or ribbons and bells and embroidered fat Santas... but that's your call.)

Next project (since that took all of five minutes):
Wrist Warmers!

1. Flop your forearm down the sides of your sweater.  
2. Cut out the 'sleeves' for your wrists.

3. When flipping over the seam at the top of your wrist warmer.. you can pin in some extra lace to attach to the inside.  Seen below.

Lace just adds a sweet touch... you can also sew on wee buttons as 'cuff-links' and other such fun you envision.  These are super cozy... and cuddly (I like to snuggle my daughter in them).

Speaking of daughter... here's the conclusion to our last sweater upcycle... (that one sweater has now made FIVE cozy accessories).. including this reindeer toque I made her!  Doesn't Azriel look so impressed?

Well that's all the coziness I can handle for one post,
happy sewing friends!
We're linking this up with other fun tutorials over at Hope Studios!
Mel ;o)


slide.show.sunday.take 21.

Hello friends - how was your weekend?
We had a sun-filled Saturday here... but today's grey Sunday weather is making me feel sleeeeepy (I think my blood is solar-powered).... anywho, here's a glimpse of another weekend in snapshots from our nest:
Painting in the morning sunlight... in our 'bedroom/studio' - my happy place.

Realising a little too late that the one apple I thought Azriel was eating... was a bite from each apple she kept getting from the bag in the kitchen!  Baha.

Tug-o-war over who gets to wear mama's lace&t-shirt scarf.

Kids and friends running around a gym for a surprise party... and yes, Ben did make yummy cupcakes for that event!

 While Azriel napped... I did some finishing touches of my pottery.

Dropped the pottery off at George's (Park Street Pottery)... I always love the atmosphere there. Eager to see how my pieces turn out once 'fired.glazed'!

Then up to the in-laws for 'family dinner Saturday'... with all the 'greats.grands and uncle/aunt' crew: story time with funny Uncle Tristan, and the weekly winding of the grandfather clock with Grandad.  Some happy memories made here every weekend.

Hope yours was lovely too,
see you on the flip side!

Mel ;o)