Posts by Joy

My first post in about a month, and it’s all about paper (the pretty scrapbook-ish kind of paper!)

Posted by on Oct 23, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

I should really be far craftier than I am.

It’s true.  I love yarn.  I love painting stuff.  I love making things pretty (oh how I love making things pretty!)  And, most of all, I love (love!) scrapbook paper.

You know that aisle in Michaels with all the pretty, perfectly stacked piles of colourful papers?  I get lost in that aisle for hours and hours.  HOURS.  Combining different patterns.  Swooning over prints.  Marvelling over all of the potential for serious prettiness.  Yep.  It’s really rather silly considering I’m in no way a scrapbooker (since, honestly, I’m far too lazy for what appears to be a very finicky and fussy – albeit lovely! – hobby) and since (as previously noted) I’m not particularly crafty.

During my most recent trip to Michaels I picked up no fewer than fourteen (yup – fourteen) (see?  I’m obsessed…) sheets of gorgeous paper.  Did I have any particular plan for all these beautiful papers?  Nope.  I just really liked them.  I also bought a few super inexpensive (they were three whole bucks each, I think) ready-to-paint (or ready-to-leave-in-their-lovely-unpainted-state, in my case) picture frames.  And then I came home and started looking at the fireplace mantel in my dining room.

(Aside: I find it important to clarify that this particular faux fireplace mantel is located in my dining room, since we have no fewer than three faux fireplaces in this house.  The previous home owners were indeed faux fireplace fanatics.)

And then the wheels started turning.  And then I realized that the sheets of lovely coordinating scrapbook paper, and those unpainted frames might look sorta rustic-ish-ly cute on my dining room fireplace mantel.

And so began the rearranging.  (Does anyone else get a little OCD when it comes to fireplace mantel decorating?)  And the fussing.  And the tweaking.

And here is what I finally came up with…

Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray dining room with wooden star and fireplace mantel

Scrapbook paper in frames - a super easy diy project!

…the other side of the mantel

Faux fireplace mantel with scrapbook paper art prints

It’s not done yet.  It needs something… more.  Perhaps a few miniature pumpkins in honour of fall.  Or some Christmassy bobbles and doodads (but not for a few weeks – I adore Christmas, but it’s a little too early for that at the moment, even for me!)  For now, and until I get around to adding additional adornments to the mantel, those lovely papers are making me happy.

That all said, there will be more faux fireplace fussing to follow, I’m sure.  And definitely more frivolous scrapbook paper purchases made in the not-at-all distant future.  (I just can’t get enough!)  (It’s weird, I know.)

 

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All typed with one hand (aka a certain little boy loves his mom) (and that’s ok with me)

Posted by on Sep 15, 2014 in Uncategorized | 1 comment

So this happened about five weeks ago…

Just born - so tiny and so very very loved

Me with Little Patrick

…and I haven’t had much time for blogging since.  My days are now spent nursing, diaper changing, and cuddling a certain little boy.  Which all doesn’t sound particularly eventful, but the days and weeks are suddenly flying by indescribably fast.

I love this little face

Yep.  Life is suddenly very different.  And very wonderful.

Bashful bunny also likes to nap

Little Patrick is perfect and squirmy and squishy and he makes me so happy, even on his grumpiest days.  My world revolves around his needs.  Renos can wait.  Meals have become a lot less complex and a bit more premade.  And I’ve mastered the art of accomplishing all sorts of daily tasks using only one hand, while carrying or cradling a small human in the other.

I'm getting really good at having lunch with one hand (and, seriously, it's hard to put that sweet little face down)

So I apologize for my recent absence.  And I apologize if posts are a tad scarce over the next few weeks.  Me and a certain sweet little mister are still adjusting to life with each other.

I love life with only one hand

And life with only one free hand.  :)

 

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Note to self: complex passwords are important (aka blog hackers are big meanies)

Posted by on Aug 25, 2014 in Uncategorized | 4 comments

So last night a post that really wasn’t ready to go out into the big wide beautiful world was inadvertently posted.  Not by me.  Not by Sweetie.  Not by a rather curious black kitten.  Nope.  Apparently a hacker found a way into my blog (ehem… complex passwords are important…) and decided that a (rather emotional) post that I wrote last summer and had saved in my drafts folder was ready for general consumption (with a few additions, of course – since, obviously, readers come to this blog specifically looking for ads to gaming sites, you know.)

That post has now been taken down.  Not because I don’t want it read.  And not because I don’t think you’d all like access to gaming sites.  But mostly because that post doesn’t make a whole lot of sense at this point in time and definitely needs a bit of explanation.

Cryptic?  Yes.  My apologies about all that.  Suffice it to say that the post was about some of the challenges that Sweetie and I have faced in our attempts to have a family.  And, given recent events (that I haven’t yet had a moment to blog about because I’ve been too busy being mommy to a squirmy and rather adorable tiny little man!), it no longer makes a whole lot of sense without a bit of additional tweaking.

Yup.  Of course the hackers went for that post.  Not the post that I’ve drafted about the ridiculous number of faux fireplaces in this house (because everyone needs three faux fireplaces, right?)  Or the post nattering on and on and on about my search for the perfect paint colour for my loo.  Nope.  They went straight for the nitty gritty super personal post that I wasn’t sure I’d ever publish.

Figures, eh?

So, for any of you who subscribe to me via email or RSS, my sincere apologies for what I’m sure is a rather confusing and strangely timed post about infertility (given that I just posted our DIY maternity pictures in my last post, and nursery pics in the one preceding that!)

And for those of you who just drop in occasionally and are wondering what the heck I’m talking about, I promise to repost that inadvertently posted post shortly, just with a wee bit of tweaking to make it a bit more relevant to life as of August 2014 (which is very very different from life in August 2013 when I originally drafted that post.)

Except I’ll spare you the gaming ads.  Unless you really want links to gaming sites?

No?  I didn’t think so.  :)

 

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Our DIY maternity session attempt (a few trees, a couple of fields, some humidity and a whole bunch of mosquitoes)

Posted by on Aug 9, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

A couple of weeks ago I attempted my own DIY maternity session.  Armed with my snazzy new camera, a tripod, the nursery and rather ambitious and self-assured me-myself-and-I, I attempted to document (via the handy-dandy self-timer function) my bump.  Sadly, it didn’t go so well.  Of the seemingly gazillion pics I took, I ended up with one that was semi share-worthy.  One.  And even then it wasn’t particularly spectacular (or, really, in focus.)  I was a little bummed.

Then Sweetie lovingly offered to take me out to try a two-person approach to maternity shots (he’s pretty awesome, that Sweetie of mine.)   With our trusty camera in Sweetie’s capable hands, off we went to a local conservation area where we knew we’d find trees and fields and all sort of pretty areas to serve as a lovely backdrop to my ever-growing belly.

What we didn’t anticipate?  Humidity.  If it was a tad humid when we pulled out of our laneway, it was a trillion percent humidity (possibly more) at the conservation area.  Positively tropical, you could say.  Rainforest-like, perhaps.  My hair?  It wasn’t at all impressed and immediately turned into a massive ball of frizz (as my normally-curly-but-oft-forced-into-straight-submission hair is apt to do.)

And, as one might expect from a humidity-laden area, we also encountered mosquitoes.  Lots and lots of them.  Swarms and swarms and clouds of (rather ravenous) mosquitoes.  It was unbearable at times, but we plugged right along until we couldn’t stand it any longer.

Yup.  Sweetie and me?  We’re troopers.

Here are a few of my faves…

Outdoor natural maternity session ideas

Taking the bump out for a walk on a super humid night

Me hanging out in a cornfield, again

Maternity pics in farmer's field silhouette

Holding a flower.  Because we're all artsy like that.

(And, yes.  I’m holding a flower in that last one.  A bit cheesy?  Perhaps.  Hence the “Sweetie, I love you, but I’m not so sure about this” look on my face.)

All in all?  I’m happy.  I could have done a professional session and possibly ended up with somewhat better (and maybe more plentiful depending on the mosquito-factor) results, but with money a bit tight at the moment (with me off on maternity leave and a few items left to purchase for Baby), this seemed like the far more sensible solution for bump-documentation.  And it was fun!  In between hair-obsessing and mosquito swatting, Sweetie and I had a lovely evening out in that tropically humid, bug infested (but pretty!) conservation area.

Which, I suppose, with our time as a two-some quickly waning, is nearly as valuable as the photos themselves.  :)

 

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Nursery natterings (part four: the grand-ish tour of our sweet little nursery)

Posted by on Aug 4, 2014 in Uncategorized | 12 comments

Today is my due date.  TODAY.  It’s wonderful and unbelievable and crazy and scary and exciting all at once.  As of last week’s OB appointment, Baby hadn’t yet made much of an effort to join us out here in the real air-breathing world, so I’m guessing that he or she is still feeling comfy cozy in there.  Which, truthfully, is rather fine by me.  That said, I’m very aware that time is now ticking away quite quickly and that Baby could make an appearance at any moment.

And I’m also very aware that I’m ridiculously ginormous…

Maternity picture photo at 40 weeks

Crazy eh?  I’m still not entirely sure how I manage to stay upright.

Last week, with nesting instincts in overdrive, I put a few last minute touches on the nursery.  Curtains were hung, art was placed up on walls, the more-complex-than-anticipated baby monitor got installed, and I fussed over silly little details (would bashful bunny look better here?  Or here?)  And, with Baby overdue as of tomorrow, I’m happy with the rather peaceful teal, gray, white and mustardy yellow space that this nursery has gradually morphed into.

Gulliver Ikea crib with lamb mobile and teal and mustard and gray

My dad found this metal wall hanging at a street art fair.  I added the ribbon and hung it from the door.  It’s perfect in every way.

First we had each other, then we had you, now we have everything art

Teal white mustard yellow gender neutral nursery

We’re using Ikea’s Hemnes dresser as our change table: it’s a good height for both normal-sized me and super tall Sweetie, it has lots of room for the change pad and diaper related stuff, and (most importantly) it’s rather lovely-looking.

Ikea Hemnes dresser in white as nursery change table - BM Woodlawn Blue nursery

(Unfortunately it was also rather difficult and time consuming to assemble.  But that’s a whole other blog post for a whole other day.)

The Celebrate Everything canvas was a HomeSense purchase (on clearance, no less!) made a couple of years ago, long before Baby and nursery planning had ever started.  Again (and again and again): I heart HomeSense.

Nursery art canvas print with bunting flags Celebrate Everything

Nursery art canvas print with bunting flags in shades of teal mustard and coral - Benjamin Moore Woodlawn Blue

And this trio of friendly stuffed animals will eventually be relocated to a shelving unit of some sort (I’m still in search of the perfect bookshelf for this room.)  I’m hoping to find something fairly small, but still very functional.  Until then, these three will bravely stand guard over the change table.

Stuffed animals for nursery Indigo lamb and Gund bear

Because the nursery is fairly tiny, we didn’t want a crib that felt large and bulky (as so many of them do.)  Enter: Ikea.  Of course.  We fell in love with Gulliver (and hopefully Baby will too!)

Ikea Gulliver crib in white

My friend Nadia (we’ve been friends since Grade Nine) (which means we’ve been friends for… um… many many years) made Baby this gorgeous yellow and teal baby quilt.

Simple handmade baby quilt for nursery

And the small vintage rocking chair, that long ago belonged to my grandparents, was reupholstered by my mom and dad as a gift to Baby.  It’s the perfect size for this little space.  And I love knowing that I’ll be rocking Baby to sleep in a chair that once belonged to people who, while no longer here, were such an important part of my life growing up.

Vintage small reupholstered rocking chair rocker in nursery

Keeping watch over everything from beside my beloved rocker is the ever adorable bashful bunny (along with his good friends the happy hedgehog and hilarious hare.)

Chapters Indigo Bashful Bunny

But my absolute favourite part of the nursery?  This sheep mobile from amazing Etsier (and fellow Canadian) TheMemis

Etsy baby mobile sheep and stars and moon gender neutral

Gender neutral sheep lambs mobile with stars and moon - handmade

Each little sheep has a different expression on its face.  It’s absolutely perfect, and I can’t say enough good things about Emi at TheMemis. :)

Gender neutral teal and yellow mustard and gray and white nursery, painted BM Woodlawn Blue

So there you have it.  Our sweet and peaceful (and gender neutral) little nursery.  I’ll likely continue to add to it as time goes on – I have lofty gallery wall plans for the wall opposite the crib, I still need to find that bookshelf for stuffies and books and toys and nicnacs and such, and I’d love to add a little more coral (if Baby is a girl) or greens and navy (if this belly-wiggler is a wee boy) once Baby arrives.  And my friend Shawn (who I’ve been friends with pretty much since forever) has commissioned a baby blanket for me as a gift for Baby from another mutual friend (Sheilagh) who is an amazingly and incredibly talented quilter (you can see some of her work over at her site, Lay it on Me Baby) – I’m so excited about planning the blanket with her once Baby is born!

But for now I absolutely adore this serene little space, just as it is.

Let’s hope that Baby does too.

Whenever he or she decides to make a big appearance.

 

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