this little light of mine.

It's New Years Eve.
The familiar 'pops' of cheap fireworks are lighting off around our neighbourhood.


Bang! Fizz. Silence.

On the eve of a fresh new year, we tend to grovel in resolutions for change - tend to reflect back on the year fizzing out in smoke behind us.

Not to be (too) morbid with you - but I'm picturing our lives as a sparkler.
 Here for a moment - a flash of dazzling light - snuffed out in another moment.

Or, as Scripture would put it: "your life is a vapour" James 4:14.

I don't know about you, but I don't want to waste it.

 I trust that as this new year begins with one small step.. we would each be stepping in the direction of showing more kindness towards one another.
Loving more, judging less.
Reading more, watching less.
Listening more, talking less.
Trusting more, worrying less.

Much to grow in, much to prune away.

Or, back to the sparkler imagery... "this little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine".

Happy New Years friends,
Mel ;o)


winter, wonder, and waiting.

It is Sunday.
All things are still.
The world is in frozen wonder outside.
White and shimmering like a crisp blank page...
... waiting.

Warmth inside.
Christmas lights twinkling.
Fresh baked bread from the oven.
Gifts being wrapped in crisp colourful papers...

Now is the season of waiting.
The advent calendar is in it's last few days.
The preparations have been baked, wrapped, written...
...waiting to gift them to loved ones.

A baby kicks within the womb.
...waiting to enter the world in a fresh new year.

Likewise we wait,
in a season of blur and busyness,
chaos and consumerism.
We seek to carve out a sacred space.
A humble hollow into our hearts.
That the King of glory may be birthed there.

I hope the wonder and beauty of this season fills your homes and hearts with warmth.
From our family to yours,
a blessed and Merry Christmas to you!

Mel ;o)


...and MORE Christmas crafting bits:

 Can you keep a secret??
Ok, a week left until Christmas - a week!  The last threads have been stitched (almost) and there's just a few more wee projects I hope to finish in time.  But, this labour of love for our daughter... the fabric mini playhouse I mentioned before... is done!  Happy dance.
I wasn't going to get too crazy detailed with embroidery work..  so a hot glue gun saved time with some features (like the button 'plate' wall above the couch).  Windows on each side reveal a peek-a-boo owl under the curtains.
I'm pretty smitten with the lace 'snow covered' rooftop, of course.
Now I just have a simple toy drum to make for our little guy.
A larger version of this one from before... made this time with one of those big metal coffee tins.
Oh, and I finally whipped off two more jumbo silk stockings to add to the mantle.
Having been almost out of the previous fabric with that tree motif ... I used this ivory silk and leftover scraps of the tree fabric for accent pockets (perfect size of a chocolate bar.. hint hint, husband!).  I also used a green damask fabric for the back since I had no more of the red.
I figure these two stockings will either be for the boys in the house - and we girls will have the original three.  But it may just be the parents that get the two new, and the kids have the three...
 ...either way, I have to sew the large bells back on to the toes of all the five stockings since our lil' guy was delighted to tear them off.

So there you have it.. a few more projects hot off the press from this nest.
Have you been creating much for this Christmas?  I'd love to hear!

Mel ;o)


pregnancy and all that craziness...

Hi friends,

Here's a rather blurry picture of my lil' lumberjack and me (with the basketball hiding under my sweater).  So I'm just about to crack in to my eighth month of baby brewing.  All things with a waistline are becoming my enemy... maybe I'll be wearing some festive muumuu's soon.

Anyway, talking with my midwife today it hit me that this new addition is just around the corner.
Which got me thinking about all those crazy bits of pregnancy/delivery that no one seems to tell us...

Granted, I've rambled on about this topic before... but there's a few more nuggets I just wanted to vent today.

* Due dates are the of the devil.  No one should ever spin a small calendar dial... and say that your little miracle will likely be arriving on/near that specific day.  It's just a torture tool really.
As the pregnant mama who feels she can't get a day bigger before imploding.. it's tempting to pin your hopes of 'relief' on that date.  When the date comes.. and goes.. and you're still gaining mass by the second, you start to feel like the coyote that's run off the cliff and realises he's in mid-air.  Then there's all the friends/family/well wishes who keep calling... and waiting by the phone... and 'have you popped yet?!'.  (Our phone will be disconnected the end of February - fair warning).

* 'Sleep while you can before the baby comes' is the silliest piece of advice.  Strap a bowling ball to your gut and have a nice rest... does it work?  Every night, all night I'm on the rotisserie setting trying to find a sweet spot for sleeping.  Every attempt to roll over has me envisioning a breaching whale crashing the waves for my poor husband beside me.

* Your water keeps breaking.  Yeah, that was new to me with my last labour.  I had always heard of one's water 'breaking' and took that at grammatical face value - it breaks, it's now broken, done deal.  I never quite realised it meant you keep springing out like Ol' Faithful anytime a contraction hits.  So be prepared - grab yourself some Depends (adult diapers) and ride the wave.

* Keep the man above the war zone.  Most husbands find your labour to be almost as traumatizing as going to war.  It's a blood bath.  They come out veterans.  Best to keep those guys up near your head - where you can comfort them with gentle words and reassure them that you are not about to be ripped in half by this miracle/monster down below.  I remember at my last labour looking over at my husband and saying "are you ok?!".

* Slime and sweetness are strange combinations.  A baby - a real live human - has just been pulled out of you.  Mucus and blood and slime and wonder.  They slap that sweetness down on your chest and in your euphoric joy you're kind of thinking.. "um.. eww".
I think it's a bit naive to tell new mamas that the moment they see their baby such a new well of love will gush from their hearts.  There is plenty of gushing in this moment.. liquids are abounding.  Love is a bit trickier to tap.
Maybe the first problem is if we are simply looking for love as a feeling.
That doesn't work in any avenue of life.
Feelings are for roller coasters and high school.

You will choose to love.  You will live love.
You will nurse, and comfort, and clothe love.
Every day will unravel a new layer of your heart.
That love will thread a new name over your entire being..
... "Mother".

It's a wild wonder.
A captivating craziness.
A glorious gauntlet.


So, now you know.

Mel ;o)


Seeing the real gifts among us:

"Where society is rightly ordered children are regarded, not as an encumbrance, 
but as an inheritance; and they are recieved, not with regret, but as a reward"

I read this quote in a book the other day and it hit me right between the eyes.
Because some moments it's really hard to see your kids through eyes of grace and gratitude.
Cue those times of whining, power struggles, disobedience and all around mayhem.
Those moments when you shock yourself with how hot your blood boils, and how insane your thoughts whirl.

Motherhood can be really hard.
It can have you so discouraged you wonder how any of you will make it through another day.
That's just the honest truth.

 But it truly is a gift.
Children are an inheritance.

We mothers 'in the trenches' sometimes lose sight of that.
 The stick and grime of daily messes that require continual cleaning cloud our eyes to the sparkling truth beneath.
That little 'mess maker' is a beautiful soul entrusted to our care.
Sometimes we just need to step outside of the daily chaos and hear the voices of those with a clearer perspective:

The aged Grandma... who's eyes twinkle with the remembrance of tiny footsteps.

The empty-nest Mother... who wonders at how quickly her kids grew and moved away.

The friends/family who have miscarried... and long to hold such a gift in their own arms.

The Author of Creation... who knits the soul together in their Mother's womb.
These voices all say remember.
That precious child in your care is a gift.
Better than any parcel under your tree.
Opening layers of your own heart you didn't know were there.

I know my heart needs these reminders daily.
To treasure these moments 'gifted' to me.

When I look back at moments like these, how can I not delight in our inheritance?

Hope you squeeze the ones you love tighter today
(just not around the neck)!

mama Mel ;o)



Recent creations and distractions...

Hey there friends,

I just thought I'd show you a few more of the recent creation'ings I've been working on around here.  My creative side is definitely back in full swing with this festive season.. and we're making up for lost time it looks like.

The above 'Noel' deer was a painting I whipped up as a distraction while creating for last weekend's Craft show.  I do that a lot.
With the pressure to get one project done.. I invent other ones to be distracted with instead.
I just wanted something more festive for our walls, while all my art is up in local coffee shops.

Those hoops I painted/stitched were also in preparation for last weekend's show.  They were quite the hit... especially my fox/owl options.

Yes, the craft show went well for those who were wondering.  While I regretted not being able to attend the Saturday show, it was still a good day selling there Sunday - despite a quiet pace of customers.  Thanks to those who made it out!

IF any locals want to order some last minute items from my shop, just shoot me an e-mail and we can arrange delivery/pick-up!

Hope y'all are having a merry day out there!
mel ;o)


A.musing.mama! 2.1

Is there any thing more unnerving - sanity sapping - heart breaking.. than a baby's cry.
Especially when it's your baby.
Annnnnnd they're just downright cranky, or inconsolable.
Despite your best efforts to soothe, suckle or strut like a flamingo... they just keep screaming.

Yeah, that.
I used to think myself a very mellow, patient, calm type of person... but when these kids let loose an ear-splitting shriek it's enough to knock over this 'house-of-cards' sanity I pretend to have.

So, while Tolkien's creepy ring-wraith's may have a truly disturbing screech... nothing can outdo how undone I get from our kid's cry.

Side-note: wow.. it's been a blur of a week here - since my last post was last week's comic.
The weekend is even more of a whirlwind (including my craft show.. woooo!).
When the dust settles I hope to reconnect with y'all next week!

Creatively yours,
Mel ;o)