Thursday, March 29, 2012

Bloom Artisans

I'm really looking forward to Bloom on Saturday, and I hope you are too.  As promised, here is a little introduction to those who will be showcasing their talents for your viewing and buying pleasure.  I would love to show you photos of everything that these lovely ladies have to offer, but that would just ruin all the suspense, now wouldn't it?!

 Carla deWinter

I have loved drawing and painting since I was a little girl. I went to school for Fine Arts a while ago, but only recently really got back into it by taking watercolour lessons. I have truly been enjoying learning the techniques. My goal is to glorify God by combining scriptures with the things I paint, and by creating greeting cards for people to use and pass on the blessing of God's Word!

Karen Dobbs is currently completing her Fine Arts diploma from Georgian College in Barrie, Ontario.  She has lived, worked, and now studied in Barrie with her husband since they got married in 2007.  Art has always been a part of Karen's life, building up foundational skills through high school and then later through various painting classes and now through the Fine Art program at Georgian.  Her first love will always be painting and exploring the details of God's creation, but being in full time studies has broadened her appreciation for all mediums and areas of the arts, including sculpture and printmaking.
      Throughout all her paintings, she uses colour and the exploration of mark-making to portray the subject matter, be it landscape, to flowers or abstraction.  Her goal is to allow the creativity of God to work through her to share beauty and light in a dark world and she is looking forward to the changes and growth still to come in her artwork.

 Jamie Dawn Hanson- Dawning Jewelry

As a wee bonny lass I found myself a journeyer in the undying quest of consummate creativity. As I grew so did my great longing to create with my hands. That is precisely how I ended up being 16 and selling my own lovingly handcrafted jewelry and accessories under the name 'Dawning'. I began my business at the age of 12 and have supremely enjoyed every moment since! My products include natural stone, metal, re-purposed material, wool and 
leather jewelry. I'm positive you will love my products as much as I love making it for you!
Check out her facebook page here

Tracy Anderson:

 I completed Manicure, Pedicure and Gel Nail courses last spring and started my own business out of my home.  I home school my son, my daughter is at college in Cambridge and I love to be with my church family on Sundays at Harvest!

Sheila Burgess:

For those of you who don't know me, I'm the type of individual who needs immediate feedback - in everything! Capturing things years ago on film was just too slow for me. When digital photography came along - which gives immediate feedback - I was hooked again. I literally can not wait to get home from doing a photo shoot so I can see what moment I have captured. People recently have asked what kind of photography I do - and although I haven't really found my niche yet, I lean heavily towards nature....I just love capturing God's creation as I combine it with my other hobbies (which would include any single sport like running, kayaking, cycling, hiking, gardening).

Angie Armstrong: Ara Gifts

Angie is the wife of Mike and mommy to two beautiful littles!  She loves being home with her babes and this was the first inspiration to get 'crafty'!  It started with a mug cozy and has moved to scarves and baby clothes.  Angie is committed to making unique, handmade and affordable gifts for your loved ones or yourself of course.
Check out her blog here.

Josée Chapman: junebugs
As long as I can remember I have been crafting with my hands.   Growing up I can remember brushing my fingers along the stacks of fabrics waiting to be formed into beautiful works of art.  The colours textures and patterns, inspire, excite and enliven.  Staring at the fabrics forces me to imagine, experiment and have fun.  Although it can be intimidating to try new designs, I'm always up for an adventure!  So I will sew, and we'll see where it goes!

Looking forward to seeing everyone on Saturday!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Enjoy this time

Wow.  Can't believe it's been over a week since my last post.  I think I sat down three times in attempt to complete this post and between sick babies and prep for Bloom, I just haven't had the time until now.  Time has been literally flying by in this house lately.  It's quite amazing really how fast it does go.  I can't tell you how many times I have heard people say "Enjoy this time, it goes by too fast".  I have been thinking about that expression a lot lately.  It mainly came to my attention at a gas station of all places.  Dale was filling the tank, when a woman pulled up in the next lane.  Her beautiful face full of wrinkles and head adorned with silky grey locks.  I look at her, and envy for a moment, the ease of her circumstance.  I bet when she left the house, she didn't have to haul out two car seats, two babes, a toddler, diaper bag, extra underwear (umm...yah...for the toddler), mum mums, etc, etc, etc.

There will be a day perhaps, when I will enjoy her circumstance, her stage of life.  The ease of 'pick up & go', with nothing more than a simple purse with some essentials.  I often think about those will be so nice when...I can't wait 'till...  Yes, it is exciting to dream about the days to come, when there will be more vacations perhaps, more time for just Dale and I, coffee dates with the girls, etc. but that being said, I do want to live in this moment.  Because I'm sure that older woman would tell me "enjoy this time, it goes by too fast".  And yet, I do struggle with that whole expression, thinking "well, she's not in it right now", or "yah, easy for her to say".  I guess that's where my completionist mentality comes into play.  That I need to enjoy the entirety of this time; every moment of every day. Yet, what I have realized is that it's not the case at all.  Each day will have it's enjoyable moments, and other moments not so much.  The whole idea of enjoying this time can be broken into enjoying each tiny moment like snuggles in the dark, or movie time with my boy, or walks in the park and dance parties in the living room.  Yet, I will not necessarily enjoy three crying kids at the same time, or food all over the floor for the sixth time, or washing and putting away the dishes for the umpteenth time.  There are many lessons to be learned in raising three under three during the hectic times, although I won't necessarily enjoy them.  So I will "enjoy this time", as much as I can, and one day, all wrinkle faced and grey haired, I'll look at someone in my circumstance and tell them "it goes by too fast!"

We enjoyed some sneak peaks of summer this week:

Levi ended up coming down with a weird bug causing him to be super sleepy, which is totally out of character for him.  You'd think I would have been able to get more done with him knocked out, but little man wanted lots of snuggles and I gladly obliged.

We're on the mend though...Kaela's face is healing well, and Levi's getting his normal energy back.

Saturday was a proud wife moment for me as I went to watch Dale participate in "History in the breaking" put on by over 300 Loblaws stores. They were attempting to break the record for the most wheels of parmigiano reggiano broken at the same time.  It takes some determination to cut through the thick rind of this 85 pound wheel of cheese, and I have to say that he did an incredible job.  

Oh, be still my heart, this is one good lookin' fella!  I loved watching him in his "professional" capacity, just made my knees shake.  I was thrilled to be able to taste the inside of the cheese.  Apparently, this was usually only served to kings.  I guess that makes me his queen...I know that's cheesy...ha even better.

Check out the news clip here. Scroll to around 11 mins to see Dale's first T.V debut.


I'm getting very excited for the upcoming Bloom event.  To build on the excitement, the next post will be featuring all of the artisans that will be displaying their works this Saturday.  They have each prepared a little biography of themselves to give you a look into who they are and why they do what they do.  Look out for it on Thursday, as it will give you a better idea of what to expect at the open house.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Quick friday night post and giveaway winner!

I'm squeezing this post in on the last little bit left of friday!

With the incredibly warm weather we have been having this week, there have been lots of walks.  I'm certainly enjoying the ease of quickly throwing on a sweater for everyone and just running out the door in contrast to the intense winter get-up.

One distraction tool that we've been using with the girls lately is celery sticks.  They are great to keep them busy when they get bored on the walks.  Through we realized shortly after our wednesday walk that Kaela was presenting a bit of a rash around her mouth.  I shrugged it off, thinking she might have just had a small reaction to one of the bijillion things that an 8 month old sticks in their mouth.  Well, this morning it had intensified quite a bit. I went to see a great friend who used to be a paediatric nurse before making the dreaded wait at the walk in clinic.  She suggested we wait it out a little bit and try some polysporin.  I talked it over with Dale today, and apparently there is a reaction caused by certain vegetables, including celery when coupled with sun exposure causes a blister like skin reaction. Celery + sun = not happy skin.  Go figure!

 It doesn't seem to be bothering her, no fever and no spots anywhere that's what we'll do, just wait.  I think this is one of the toughest parts of parenting, is watching them go through something when you can't take it away from them, and they have to just deal with it.  Of course we're helping her as best we can, but I can't remove it and all I can do is hold her tight, tell her it's gonna be okay.  Tough lessons.  No doubt one we will both learn over and over.

The sewing table has been busy this week and I'm excited to show you a new product that I'll be showcasing at Bloom. Ta-da....

 These are my new ipad covers/tech cases.  I will also be making up some ipod/iphone cases as well.  I will be adding a new page with all the 'tech gear' that I'll be providing.  I'm still finalizing a price, but thought I would share a few designs that I have made up so far.

Stephanie Marsh! Let me know what design you would like and I'll get it into your hands asap

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Winds of Change

Winds of change are blowing in, both literally and figuratively.  I love this time of year.  The change of temperature brings with it a great sense of excitement and anticipation. We wait for new growth to spring up out of the last mounds of hardened snow, refusing to yield to the sun and melt.   I feel for those mounds of snow.  They remind me a lot of myself at times.  Refusing to give into an area of my life that I need to surrender until the real heat comes and I have no choice but to melt…give in…give up…give it to God.

I have been surrendering and changing in the mothering realm.   I’m settling in,  getting more comfortable, giving up and giving in.  It strange to think that it has taken me this long to sink into my mothering role, like there was something better waiting around the corner, something a little more worthy of my time.   When I did realize that sense of peace in my heart about motherhood, along with it came guilt; that all these years I’ve missed out, failed, neglected to be where I should.   I love my three little junebugs, but somewhere between breastfeeding, bum changes, building towers, and reading books over and over and over there comes a sense of mundaness.  So I guess what I’ve surrendered to is that it’s okay to feel like that some days.   Not everyday is going to be full of smiles, easy, happy, and exciting but everyday will have it’s rewards, the key is recognizing them and appreciating them for what they are either big or small.


It has been a great week, with lots of productivity in the sewing room in preparation for Bloom.  What is Bloom you say?...Well it’s an event featuring some local Barrie artisans that would like to showcase their talents for you to view and purchase should you choose.  Check out the facebook page here for more details. Angie and I recently got together to discuss said event, over Starbucks of course.  Listen, it was strictly business okay.

We’ve started using the phrase “Mommy is going to work”, which I used to dislike hearing, but the fact that work is in the basement, only a few steps away from my babes is incredible…and Lord willing, hopefully it will stay this way.  When we use this phrase, it means that I get some mostly uninterrupted sewing time while Dale spends time with the babes.  Honestly, I very much enjoy listening to them giggle and play together.  Okay, perhaps at times there are some cries, but I try to ignore them, after all, I'm at "work"!

This week also featured a spontaneous trip to the library.  5:2 children to adult ratio wasn't the best scenario, but hey, we can rally right Ang?  The visit started off well as we enjoyed some reading time in the castle building.

We wrapped up reading time, grabbed some books to bring home and headed down the elevator.  The trip had gone fairly well...INSERT: toddler escaping story...  Levi took off, running through bookshelves with serious studiers sternly looking on. I couldn't exactly yell at Levi to stop.  Well,  I suppose I could have tried to whisper it loudly, but I doubt that would have had much affect.  I take off after him with the security guard looking on with a quizzical humorous look on his if "don't worry lady, this happens all the time".  And then it happened, somewhere between leaving the girls with Ang, and in mid run after Levi... I had it...a weak parenting moment.  Just the thought of everyone watching me run after my toddler, looking down every aisle of books, seemed hilarious.  So I got an ear to ear smile.  One of those 'there-is-nothing-that-you-can-do-to-stop-it-but-cover-it-up' kinds of smiles. I covered my mouth with my arm during my fit of laughter attempting to declare to austere on lookers that it wasn't funny that my son was disrupting their serious study time.  I regained composure, and caught up to him and held on to him until we got to the van.  Note to self...don't let go of the toddler.

Swimming lessons wrapped up this week.  He has grown so much during the past 9 weeks.  Becoming a little less fearful and a little more daring.  I'll miss watching those two boys play in the water.

We are opening our windows, and bringing in the fresh air these past few days.  Looking forward to watching new growth rise up from the ground and in our hearts this coming spring.

LAST CHANCE to enter the giveaway for the crayon wallet.  Thank you to all those who have so far.  Your words have been extremely encouraging to me!  Winner will be announced on friday's post.

Saturday, March 3, 2012


Encouragement, the word literally meaning to bring courage.  With courage, supporting someone, through the good times, bad times and everyday times.  It takes courage to encourage.  Make an effort, be there, in a sistas here and I’ve got your back kind of way.  We spur each other on, through God’s strength, cause this sista knows I ain’t got nothing without him working through me. He is the source of all courage, and bless His heart, he chooses to use me to show his courage, love and grace. 

I can be courageous through him, because he showed the ultimate example of courage; in sweating it out, bleeding out death’s curse on the cross and suffering through it all...for me.  Thankful and grateful, I want to show his courage to others.  Not in a “you can do it, you’ve got this” kind of way, but in a “Christ Jesus can do it, God’s got this” kind of way.

Practically there are various ways that we bring, show and accept encouragement.  It’s not rocket science.  Hold a baby, shovel a driveway, write a letter,  wash some floors,  squeeze a hug, sacrifice something or some part of you.  Yet, I find this so hard at times, to give it up, give up the me and my.  Ah, and then I remember, it’s not mine to give up in the first place, because it all belongs to him.  The courage it takes to give up and encourage someone else, well, that just brings it all full circle...where it belongs...back in his hands.

Lately, I’ve been encouraged by witnessing kindness to others.  Through quiet soft words, whispering, He is here, you are okay, you’re in His hands, how can I help?...I love you...He loves you.

Through words of cheer and confidence, full of heart and full of His grace.  Gifts for my three babes, bringing smiles to my heart and sunshine to my day.

Sweet treats showing his sweet love for me, when he brings home a box of these. 

Because the man knows that I gaulk and drool over this place every single time we drive by it, secretly dreaming that he would do something like this...and boy, did he deliver.  Said he couldn’t decided which flavour to get, I’m just glad he was indecisive, more for me to enjoy!  Eating all of them in a 24 hour period, perhaps not my best choice as of yet. But sometimes you gotta live up the moment...and hey, I wanted to encourage him that it was a good choice....because can’t say I’d be discouraged if history repeated itself!

I’d love to hear how you have been encouraged in the past days, weeks, months, years.  Who, how, when, where, why?
Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for a free crayon wallet of your choice.  I didn’t mention it on the previous blog, but I’d love for everyone to enter, and I’ll even include free shipping!  So go on, encourage me...enter the give away!

Happy Weekend! Encourage someone this coming week.  Consider perhaps making a card, writing some sweet words, making a sweet treat, making a meal, holding a hand, holding a baby or holding a broom! 

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