Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Time to Reset


As 2012 winds down many of us review the year some of us will take time to write resolutions, goals, objectives and desires for the year to come. I have rarely written New Year’s resolutions and certainly never followed through with the resolutions I did record. This season I am pondering the word reset.

I have several areas in my life I would like to reset. The first will be to work on my constant craving for sugary sweets. I’m not choosey any gummy, chocolate or pastry will go in my mouth. So my first goal will be to eliminate these goodies that aren’t good for my health or my pant size. At the same time I will increase my water intake.

I have been giving my art and creative process some thought over the last month. I know that I would like to broaden the techniques I use at the same time lean towards my finished items having a more arty feel. Resetting my mind set in regards to my art seems like a good way to think about my recent experiences in the lack of sales I have had this fall. I don’t have a plan yet I do have some ideas and techniques that I would like to try and follow the process to see what develops.

One last area I would like to reset is my very casual employment. I am fortunate that I can work on call as it fits my life. My wonderful mother has made herself available two days a week to be with my son so I can work. I discovered this fall that being a parent has impacted how I feel about working in the school setting. This is a profession I have worked in for almost 20 years. I now feel that public school does not treat our children as individuals and schools have a feeling of being in a factory. Even though I no longer believe in the public school system I will be working more this year. I am now considering sending my son to Montessori preschool a day or two a week and in order for my son to attend preschool I will need to bring in some funds to pay for his attendance. I will find a way to reset my thoughts about working in my profession. I am aware I will only need to work a few days a month and I believe that I can reframe my thinking and once again feel confident in my abilities at work.

For 2013 I am going to focus on the word reset and see where I am led. The word reset popped into my head a few nights ago and it feels like I am headed in the right direction. Happy New Year to all!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Between My Ears (Volume 1)

I have been pondering this blog post and several others with the same title. Often at night as I lay down to sleep I find myself writing what seems to be a great blog post. Morning comes and I am leading the life of a mom with a wonderful 2.5 year old son. Evening comes again and I haven’t written that post and the ideas are gone. Last night I had a little fantasy of going to a coffee shop and sipping on my Chai Latte and writing a blog post you guessed right, that dreamy date with myself didn’t happen.
Now I have lost my focus my son woke up and I’m getting really tired so whatever witty thoughts I wanted to share have vanished for now. That is until I lay down to sleep and the cycle repeats the next day.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Self Portrait


A friend of mine recently created a Facebook page to share pictures of ourselves and explore who we are through self portraiture. Initially I filled my brain with excuses why I don’t want to participate yet in between those thoughts  I had a nagging doubt that I really do need to take pictures of myself instead of taking pictures of my son, our environment and my art. The idea behind taking self portraits is to come to a better understanding of who we are as individuals. I have seen other blogs and sites touting the benefits of self portraiture and I always thought ya that’s a good idea…for you. Thanks to Erin of It's Ok for the encouragement to get out of my own way and to not view this as a big project.

This morning with those nagging thoughts hanging out between my ears I picked up the camera and found the batteries were with out energy so I quickly replaced the battery and set the camera on the kitchen counter while I showered and dressed and my son peaked into the shower interrupting my thoughts. As I dressed I could see the camera taunting me…just do it just take the picture. Its only a picture not life altering moment.

I picked up the camera and took several pictures and now as I looked through them trying to edit the light and background a little I’m not satisfied with any of them yet I am going to share this one.

first attempt at portrait picture

Friday, October 12, 2012

Economic Storage Solutions


I have continued sorting and selling the clutter an unused items. This week a awkward wood trunk was sold, a spare oven for my polymer clay and related books and magazines were all sold.

wood trunk

this trunk is gone and I am not going to miss tripping over it

I feel like I am now making a dent in the excess items in our home although we are still left with plenty of things we need. I have been pondering how to improve the messy storage above my washing machine and I think I stumbled upon a inexpensive solution compared to the expensive storage totes available commercially.

I am going to collect empty diaper boxes or other empty boxes and cover them with paper,fabric or contact paper even patterned duct tape would look amazing but seeing as I want to do this as economically as possible I will try to use what I have or can get for free. I hope to gather about 8 boxes all about the same size and get to work.

Here are a few links for inspiration in case you want to try this yourself.

I will take pictures of the before and after and share them when the project is complete.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Self Discovery via my art


This past spring I had a future customer ask to create a custom jewellery box as a Christmas gift to her sister. I loved the concept of the item and quickly agreed to take on the project and gave an estimate of cost to the customer. After many months of delaying this project I have started it. It is weighing heavily on my mind because it is outside of what I am comfortable creating and I will have a steep learning curve with this jewellery box.

I rarely create customer requested items because it quashed my own creativity.The boxes and other items I often create come from a variety of inspirations and often just from between my own ears. Taking on a project from someone else’s vision is very difficult. How am I am going to meet their vision and expectation? Will they like it? and if not what do I do with the item?

The good news is that this project has some how inspired my muse and I have a new item I would like to make a series of.

floral hold em

top view hold em cup

It a 4 inch tall cylinder meant to hold pens, pencils, make up brushes or other trinkets. I have only made one so far and have a few more ideas brewing for other designs. After I have completed the jewellery box I will allow my muse to run free and create these.

I have learned this lesson before that taking on custom work quashes the muse and this is why I rarely do these special projects. I prefer to create for myself and hope others love it as well.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Pretty Wreath

For a couple of weeks now I have been wanting to hang a fall wreath on my front door. My mother happened to have an old grapevine wreath at home that she gave me. Today I cut hydrangea blooms and wove them into the wreath.

A friend of mine asked if I could make her a wreath so here is the second one.

This is the now very sad looking hydrangea that has given up its blooms for the season.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Looking after myself


I have never been too interested in fashionable clothing, make up or having the most current haircut. With all of the recent purging going on in my home over the last few months I realized that my wardrobe was seriously lacking. I finally took the time to have two pairs of jeans hemmed that I bought last February they were about two inches too long and any time I wore them I was treading on the hems and that really bothers me. Yesterday I met with my mom at a local mall and she watched my son while I shopped. I am out of touch with my physical size and was uncertain on what to try on. So I grabbed things that appealed to me and just tried things on. Many shops and tops later I purchased 3 tops and went over budget by $20. Now I have clothing to wear for work. I will be working on call with the local school district two days a week while my mom spends time with my son.

black and white top

blue striped shirt

blue patterned shirt

These 3 patterned tops are a break from the usual for me. I have previously been drawn to solid colours with out patterns. Maybe my art is influencing my clothing? I have great shoes I purchased a couple years ago and I just need a sweater of some sort which I can purchase in the future and I am set for work. With these new additions to my closet I am going to attempt to follow the one in one out rule and get rid of at least three clothing items.

As a treat for my husband I cooked dinner the other night and made one of his favourite desserts.


This is a ground beef casserole with corn bread on top. It was tasty and easy to put together and we had all the ingredients at home.

rice crispie cupcakes 

Rice crispy treats that I put into silicon muffin cups. Hubby spotted them and dove in right away. I even made some some mini ones for my son to munch on. He loves them too. I did add some Cheerio's to the mix as well and the excess went into a pan as normal.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Tote Temptation


When I am organized and my home is tidy I feel more comfortable and calm in my home. Lately my home has been decorated by my wonderful 2 year old son. I know he is learning and having a great time. Although the toys underfoot are sometime difficult to cope with.  I have spent plenty of time browsing blogs and websites that offer home organizing tips and most of them recommend having lots of lovely perfectly organized storage totes in the perfect, size, shape and colour to suit your home. You now the ones I mean.


storage tote

Today I almost succumbed to the temptation of buying more totes to achieve that perfect organized home. I resisted even though I desperately want to control a few items that are really bothering me. Later in the day my mom dropped by and we were chatting and she offered me a now unused bed box which will definitely  help tame some things that need to go out of sight.

For me the totes represent something that seems unachievable. A picture of perfection that I am fed by each website and blog I visit offering those endless tips of how to get that picture perfect organized home. For now I will resist the purchase of those tempting totes and continue to use what I have already.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A little happiness in the garden


I love my hen an chick plants and in spring I relocated many of them to different garden beds in my yard. They have really taken off this year. I have been wanting to move a couple more for months now and today finally took the time to do it.


hen and chicks in a tea pot

The cast iron kettle was intended to use on top of the wood stove and we did use it there for a season but it didn’t really add much moisture to the air so it went outside to rust. Here it is filled with soil and a few hen and chicks. I plunked the kettle down on our front step and it makes me happy looking at it. I suppose this connects to my recent posts about more is less and using what we already have. I did buy soil on the weekend that was on sale and I needed it for another pot but I had the kettle and the plants.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Is Less really more in the studio?


Months ago when I started decluttering one of my first stops in the house was my studio. I am lucky to have full use of the third bedroom in our home. I took the room over and have filled it with what feels like a lot of craft supplies. I know if I compare myself to others my collection is small. I have focused on only working in polymer clay and have slowly eliminated other items that I don’t feel I need or may not used in the future. Like other spots in my home I have sold some items and donated others. I have sold packages of blank cards and got rid of beads, jewellery findings tools , and polymer clay beads I made a few years ago. Letting those things go felt really good at the time. I still feel a little closed in by my studio part of that be is also the “dumping ground” in my home. If something doesn’t have a spot to go or its waiting to leave our home it lands on the studio floor.  I think it’s time to revisit my studio and look closely at what I have and see if I have other items that I  can get let go.I have been wanting to invest in better unified storage for my space so that it feels organized and clean. Another idea might be to have less so I don’t need improved storage.

current state of studio

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Continued Home Improvement

A couple years ago we had been given a small wooden sailboat and it sat on a window sill and a week ago were were given a much bigger wooden sailboat and it needed to find a new place to be displayed. I had told me husband I was going to sell or donate them so he put his thinking cap on and came up with this solution.

small boat

big boat

We bought two floating shelves today hubby installed them and now the sailboats can be displayed along with a couple other items.

Continuing with the decluttering theme I have two bags of clothing donations being picked up tomorrow and I have sold two other items.


This painting will be picked up on Thursday and the food mill will be picked up in the morning.

food mill

It feels good to continue the process.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Tonight I Struggled

It was bed time for my son he was worn out and so was I. We got ready for bed as usual jammies , brush teeth and nursing. My wee boy oh he struggled and fought, he resisted every step. He didn't to sleep he asked for Daddy and Opa who are both out of town tonight and he asked for Nana who was sleeping upstairs. He asked to play and for the favourite stuffy who was upstairs. My son asked to go to bed so we did and there he tossed and turned, nursed and kicked, he cuddled and nursed some more. I was loosing patience with my over tired and over stimulated boy. My toddler who I love more then I knew was possible wouldn't calm down and I was wearing thin. Often when he struggles to sleep I give him to Daddy for a bit so I can calm down myself and we try again. Tonight after struggling for over an hour I swaddled my poor tired boy and we rocked and danced and he started to calm down we nursed some more and finally fell asleep. After an evening like this I am physically and emotionally worn out and yet I crave some time on my own. So after my little boy is sound asleep I gently lay him in bed and return to the computer to browse and chat with friends. I watch bad TV and attempt to restore my personal batteries ready for another day with my son who is learning new words every day and amazing us with the words he is stringing together and the connections he is making.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Decluttering my social media

This is now my second attempt at this post it was almost done I was using spell cheque and then I deleted it some how very frustrating.

Several months ago I opened my Facebook page and noticed that I followed well over 1000 pages. I knew immediately that had to change. I followed so many pages on a variety of topics I couldn't see the things I was really interested in. Way to often I was seeing an item I wished I could purchase  and knew I couldn't due to finances and of course decreasing the clutter at home.

So I began the gradual process of un following all the pages that no longer interested me. Initially I had guilt about leaving those pages. I wondered if the pages owners were upset about loosing followers in some case that may be true but I needed to carry on deleting the pages I followed. I have also noticed that I have duplicate pages on my Google Reader. That led me to un following some blogs in Google Reader. Now when I open my reader I see about 40 pages instead of more then 100. This process continues for me . I am finding it tedious so there have been long breaks where I do nothing to change this then I find my motivation again and continue deleting and leaving pages.

It really does feel good to see more on topics I am interested in and experience less urges to buy items I don't need or have room for. I will also admit I spend a great deal of time on the computer some of that time does include chatting with friends especially in the evening when my son is sleeping its my way to connect with adults. I would like to spend less time on the computer and I haven't figured out how to let go of the need to connect. Something I will continue to work on.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

De cluttering the struggle

I have been working on de cluttering and de junking our home now for over 6 months. We have sold and donated bags and boxes of clothing, books, toys, and extra blankets. I have also sorted out my studio and gotten rid of items I don't need or use.

Yesterday I sorted through 6 large storage totes full of my son's out grown clothing filling a single garbage with clothes to donate.  This led to a short conversation with my husband about whether or not we are going to have a second child because of course saving my son's out grown clothing is pointless unless we make that decision. I can't make to that decision so I keep those clothes and toys for the unknown future. How do I know what to keep and what to let go of? I have also learned that it is very easy find used infants clothing and other items so that is little comforting knowing if I get rid of the wrong thing I can replace it with little cost and effort. Yet I can't get rid of any more of mt sweet boys out grown clothes.

I recently went through my son's toys culling the collection. A few things were tossed, donated and put away for a few months to play with later on when he tires of what he has right now. I did this in anticipation of some guests arriving and bringing a small toy store with them. The guests arrived and so did the overwhelming gifts. Some gifts were opened right away and others put away until Christmas. Before our guests arrived with the generous gifts we had just enough space to store wat we already had. Now how do I store the new toys and coome to terms with what I find overwhelming and I'm certain my son does as well. I have a few options one is too keep the unopened gifts and open them at Christmas, I could sell or donate the unopened items and hope when the guests retun they don't notice the missing items and that the scene isn't repeated. I'm sad to say that I know for certain this situation will be repeated and despite our protests and explanations that my son has enough this will happen again.

I feel that I have put a good effort into de cluttering and de junking and yet i feel overwhelmed by too many items and objects in our home. I'm not sure that vetting the kitchen and having less cutlery and plates would be the solution. We entertain often and need the 10 plates and multiple utensils. For the same reason we need the bath and hand towels.

I suppose this is a journey and I am still putting one foot in front of the other walking my way towards the destination which is less clutter in my home.

I have been inspired by The year of less and my friend Deb Groom has started a similar journey which she is documenting here Penny pinched

Friday, June 1, 2012

My son is 2 years old

My sweet son turned  2 on the 19th of May. To sound a little cliche "they" say time flies and that "life will change" after a child joins the family. The cliches are true. I have experienced so many high and lows over the last two years. From not having the birth I had desired and struggling to breastfeed to watching Saylor learn to crawl, walk, and now run.  When I look back at his newborn pictures I hardly recognize him compared to now. His appearance has changed greatly.

Saylor at 10 weeks old

Saylor on his 2nd birthday

I spent a few months just after Saylor's first birthday questioning all my parenting choices only to realize that following my heart and "gut" felt best to me. After I reached this conclusion I was able to relax and enjoy my son more. Around the same time I started to learn about attachment parenting and this information made my heart sing. I had found a way to define how I was parenting. I don't prescribe to all the details of attachment parenting. I do however feel if I must label my parenting style this fits me best.

Some days I wake up and look at my sweet boy and have a sense of wonder how do I have a 2 year old? The time has flashed by and every moment is full of something. Every day we play, learn something new, have a range of emotions and experience. I am looking forward to a life time of living with my son.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Self Sacrifice in Motherhood

Tonight as I was going through the motions of getting Saylor and I ready for bed I had something flash through my mind. A key element of motherhood is sacrifice. I suppose this thought started to simmer earlier in the day when my husband and I had a discussion about the yard work he needed to do and my urge to be creative in the studio. Ration won out and he did some yard work and then I was able to work in the studio after which was a good compromise.
I think I have know that sacrifice is part of motherhood for a while although I have just made the connection and given it a name.

What have I sacrificed as a mother?
-quiet alone time
-creative time
-my body although it gave me my son and I am working on acknowledging that and I can do something about the weight by getting more active and eating better
-time with my husband
-work - by choosing to stay home with our son I no longer work full time and this has had a huge impact on our family finances but we feel its worth it. I have started to work one day a week with my mom caring for Saylor while I am away thus avoiding daycare and its costs.

This isn't a complete list of my sacrifices nor is it a list of complaints. I love my son and motherhood. Each new phase of life is full of different challenges and I am learning to adapt and come to terms with those sacrifices and challenges that exist right now. A good example of both of those is the fact that at this moment I am typing one handed and holding my sleeping son in the other.
When I did an online search on sacrifice and motherhood I found many results from my search. Here are a couple links to a few blog postings I enjoyed.

I would love to hear from other mother's out there, what are your thoughts on sacrifice and motherhood?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Project Happy Week #6

This week seemed to zip by even though I spent most of it at home. So this week this week that made me smile were....
-Saylor out side in the park...laughing and playing we had such a good time I didn't even reach for the camera
-my husband playing guitar
-Pete taking Saylor out for almost 2 hours so mommy could have a much needed break in that time I completed a project and did a little blogging.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Project Happy Week #4 and 5

Last week I completely missed writing down my happy thoughts for the week and I nearly missed this week as well. I have had some health issues flair up and that's where my focus has been. Fortunately I'm on the mend now so that is something I am happy about.

-free firewood
-my son's continued interest in using the potty
-my mother's involvement and support in our lives
-mild winter weather
-dedicated studio space
-my loving and supportive husband

For week 6 I am going to be more aware of the things that bring me happiness and take a few pictures along the way.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Project Happy Week #3

Well it looks like I missed week 3 of Project Happy Week 3 on my blog. I had some health issues flair up and that has dominated my mind for several days foruntantly its under control. The biggest thing that is making me smile these days is watching my son learn to use one of these...
In case you aren't familar with this item its a Beco Potty . My son often urinates on the floorw hen he gets out of the tub so we started to offer him the potty instead. Now he is peeing on the potty a couple times each day.  

Friday, January 13, 2012

Project Happy week #2

This is the original link to Project Happy . Here are a few things that made me happy this week.

- time at the park on a mild winter day in January

-drinking a cup of tea while its still hot
-sleeping in and cuddles with Saylor while he woke up
-beautiful pink roses from hubby

- while Saylor was assisting me to transfer the clean diaper laundry from washing machine to dryer he took a wash cloth and wiped his diaper area...was so funny made me laugh out loud..he was fully dressed at the time

Mindful Parenting Collaboration week #5

I have been so imersed in being my son's mother that I rarely pause to care for myself. The challenge for the fifth week of the  Mindful Parenting Collarboration was to take time for yourself. Mindful Parenting Collaboration

I did spend some time in the studio being creative. For me this time is energizing and meditative. I try to become absorbed in what I'm creating and truly enjoy the time. Another activity that feels like a luxury is a shower on the weekend. My husband is home and  I can shower  with door closed and by myself instead of my son sitting in his high chair just outside the bathroom door waiting for me to finish.

Lastly I have fine returned to work one day a week. I have returned to work due to our financial situation. I hadn't expected the time at work to feel like I was doing something for myself. I don't like to be away from my son for any reason. So far the two days of work have gone by swiftly and  I feel that I am making a contribution to our finances.

Please hop over to Mccrenshaw to read her reflections on week 5. Also don't miss the other blogs participating in this event they are listed at the bottom of the post.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Project Happy week #1

I started the week off thinking I would make a note each day about what made me happy that day. I managed to do that for 3 days.  The other days I thought about it after I was in bed.  So here are a few things for my happy list this week. Also the original post for Project Happy
- listening to Saylor laughing
- creating in my studio  ( here's the link to my art blog Vanessa's clay adventures )
- a quiet day at home
- listening and watching Pete plat the guitar...while Saylor hops on and off his lap
- Saylor playing peek a boo

Thursday, January 5, 2012


Standing in the shower this morning while my son sat in his high chair just outside the door laughing and finishing his breakfast I had a light bulb flash off and on between my ears. This is one of the few moments I get to myself during the day and I try to pretend I am by myself for just a moment. This thought flashed in my brain that I have been trying to de clutter and organize my home yet I am wanting to buy shelving, bins and baskets to organize what we have.
I'm not sure how buying more items that I can't afford pairs with my desire to live with less. In some way it feels that my urge to de clutter conflicts with the other need of being more organized. At the moment I don't feel as if I have made any progress in clearing out the "stuff" maybe its my haphazard approach or the relocating the piles of stuff from here to there.

Now I am asking myself when or how much is enough? How do I get further organized without purchasing shelving and bins?