Thursday, December 27, 2012


Hello!  This week the word for Illustration Friday was "Glow."  I almost decided it wasn't going to happen, what with Christmas and all, but in the end, I just really didn't want to miss one, now that I've started.  I'd love to do one every week for at least a year, before I take any breaks!
Anyway, here it is:
Inspired by my friend's Advent Spiral, where all the kids hold lanterns and walk a spiral through the snow for the Solstice.  Unfortunately we missed it, as it was on the same night as the Goulden Family Christmas Party, but this is sort of how I imagine it would have gone :)

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Griffin's First Christmas Concert

Here it is - Griffin's first pre-school Christmas Concert.  As you can see, he was really REALLY good at Jingle Bells.  Once you start, it's hard to stop.  Check him out, front and centre:
Favourite Christmas moment of the year, right there!

Thursday, December 20, 2012


Hello again!  This week, the Illustration Friday word was "Snow."  My first instinct was to try and do something that could be a Christmas card one day, but then I came across this quote by Matsuo Basho (as seen in the picture) and this image blasted into my head, so I had to do it.  Hmmm... Not very good for a Christmas card, but fun, nonetheless.
This week Holly once again refused to nap while Griffin was at preschool, so I pulled out the pencil crayons (less mess).  I actually think they are perfect.  Hope you like it, too!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Cookies, Candles, Carols, and Teeth

 Hello!  I only have a moment before I have to go and pick Griffin up from preschool, but I thought I would pop in and say hi.
 We've been busy little beavers around here - making Christmas cookies, decorating Christmas cookies, eating Christmas cookies... Needing to make more Christmas cookies, because the first two batches are all gone, and Christmas is still a week away.
 I finally accomplished something I've been wanting to do for what seems like forever - I made some dipped beeswax tapers.  And I'm in love.  The whole process (which I did with a couple of girlfriends and a house full of kids) was wonderful - start to finish.  And the candles!  It's so much better burning candles you actually made yourself.  All the usual goodness, and then some.  Now I just need to get the beeswax from my own bees... well, a girl can dream.
 Griffin has been singing Jingle Bells all around the town.  Down the street, through the grocery store, at the checkout.  Everyone was smiling, in the whole store.  Hopefully he will actually sing it in the preschool Christmas concert!
Holly has grown two teeth.  One on top, and one on the bottom.  She likes to click them together, and grin.  She definitely has a mad wicked grin - something like I imagine her father had, in his early days.
Anyway,  I gotta run now, but I'll be back in the next day or two with my next installment for Illustration Friday - I just finished it today, and it's pretty fun.  Till then!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

IF - Explore

The word this week on Illustration Friday is "Explore."  I started sketching and ended up with the idea of a girl flying around on the back of a bird.  Griffin thought up the kites.  This one I did with acrylic paint, and the computer.  I am pretty happy with how it turned out.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Post #401

Hello again!  Somehow I missed it, but that last post was #400.  400 posts on this little bog!  Somehow it seems like more and less.  Hmmm... we've seen some pretty big changes around here.

I'm sitting here, listening to Jill Barber, Rose Cousins, and Meaghan Smith sing Christmas songs, stopping every few words to just sit and gaze at our beautiful Christmas tree, which we just put up tonight, with all the love in the world.  I know there are good days and bad days, sad days and joyful days to come, but I can't imagine life getting too much better than this.

So I hope for you that you get a few moments just like this one, this holiday season.

Thursday, December 06, 2012


Oooh, just scraping in under the wire this week - I've got another Illustration Friday picture ready.  The word this week is "Stretch".  I could have worked on this a little longer (and I still may) but Holly didn't nap this week (horrors!) and I didn't ever get a good stretch (haha) of time to work on it.  Without further ado:
To be revisited?

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Christmas Photo Fun

Hello again,
I finally got around to doing some Christmas photos.  Or at least, I tried.  Jai pulled down a string of Christmas lights from the attic, and I pulled out my big white piece of fabric that I use for such occasions. In my head, we were about to create come Christmas magic.  Well, I suppose we did, in the end, but not exactly how I had pictured it.

I took over 500 photos (yes, five HUNDRED), I went back to the attic for more props, I broke out the snacks, I made every funny noise in my arsenal, and I ended up with not one single photo of both kids looking at the camera and smiling.  Not one!  I ended up with a lot of these,

and some of these,

and quite a few of these,

and one or two of these,

and some fun, sweet, photos,

but not one that was exactly what I was hoping for.  Oh well, serves me right!
 In other news, Holly popped her first tooth two days ago.  Finally!  She loves her tooth, and plays with it with her tongue, non-stop.

 We're all very excited for her.  I, personally, am hoping for a little more sleep in the week to come, now that it's out.  I'd like to get my brain back one of these days.  (Dear Santa...)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Here's my next drawing for Illustration Friday - the word this week is Whiskers.  This was pretty fun to draw - I got a whole bunch of new art supplies for my birthday (Hooray!!!!!)
I drew this with my new awesome pencil in my new awesome sketchbook.  Griffin loves it,  too - I had to do this after he went to bed, because otherwise he takes over and draws me amazing pictures - I'll have to share some of them here.  They're very fun.  
Anyway, I kind of like these guys in a line-up, but here's the pic as it appears in my sketchbook, too:

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Another Illustration Friday is here!  The word this week is "Zoom."  Originally, I thought I would do some fun cars  for Griffin, but once again what I thought I was going to sit down and do is not exactly what happened.  I blame it on having a lot of time to think, and not a lot of time to create.  Tuesday morning is my painting morning, in the small window while Griffin is at pre-school and Holly is napping.  Griffin and I do lots of drawing and painting at other times of the week, but if I'm doing something that I don't want "help" on, this is my window to do it.  Which means I read the word on Friday morning, and do the picture on Tuesday morning.  Usually by then, I've changed my mind.
Case in point.  I started to think about this image of Mother Holle (see "Sky") zipping around with her bunnies pulling her sled through the snow.  And this is what came out:  Zoom.
I actually broke out the acrylic paints for this one, for the first time in a lo-ooo-ong time.  Here's a pic of how it went:

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Letter to Holly, who is One

So our little baby turned one last week.  One years old already!  I'm sure any of you out there who have kids of your own can relate to how they alter your perception of time, but I'm still getting used to it.

Letter to Holly, who is one years old:

Hello little Holly,
I am so glad you have joined our little family!  The last year has been long, and  very short, and very, very wonderful.  At one, you are just beginning to look around the world in a different way than you ever have before.
You are studying us all, especially Griffin, and copying everything you can.  You aim high, too.  Yesterday I caught you climbing the ladder - you'd made it all the way up onto the second rung already!

The only time you get mad is when we stop you from doing something you have set your mind on doing.
You are becoming an expert in giving kisses and give them freely and sweetly to all who ask.  You're getting better at closing your mouth, too.
Your favourite game is Peek-a-Boo.  You will hide behind anything you can find, but your favourite thing is to grab the curtains and pull them over your face, while we all try to find you.  If you can't find something to hide behind, you will use your hands.
Your favourite toy is a little plastic horse that fits just right into your hand.  You like to make him walk around, and you're getting pretty good at saying "gallump, gallump, gallump" while you do it.  Sometimes him and sheep go on long walks together.
You LOVE books, especially books about animals, and especially if there are fuzzy/scratchy/grabby bits.  When you're really crying, and nothing is working, a book seems to do the trick every time.
I am so enjoying this time of watching you begin to experiment with the world around you.  I hope you never lose the ability to see things in this way, as fresh, and fascinating, and fun, and beautiful.  All the things you are.

And don't worry, one day those teeth WILL come in.

Love, Mama.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Dear Santa...

This is Griffin's letter to Santa this year.  At the top it says "Dear Santa (with picture of Santa, in red).  I would like a Lego truck for Christmas (the car in the middle is the Lego truck that he wants Santa to bring him).  Love, Griffin (with a picture of Griffin, in red, at the bottom)."

So, I know it's early, but we're all in Christmas mode around here.  We had a big weekend last weekend, re-arranging our living room, and it feels twice as big and brighter than ever, and we're all just ready to hunker in.  Not that we're doing a lot of that - it seems we have some sort of activity for every day of the week.  It's good, though, it helps me keep track of what day it is!
Anyway, what with one thing and another, we've begun our slow ramp up to Christmas.  I'm trying to make a lot of gifts this year, and to think ahead and order the rest on-line.  No malls for me (I hope!)  Although I suppose I will have to find a Lego truck somewhere, at some point!
Holly's birthday is tomorrow, and we almost went to a store to find her something, but decided (after the carseats were buckled, it was close) that it would be better to make her a little dress.  I had the pattern already, and the fabric, so Griffin and I cut it out while Holly was napping, and he picked a picture for me to embroider on it.  I'll take pics of her in it tomorrow, hopefully, and put them here soon.
This is her one year ago:

I've ordered mostly books for Christmas presents this year.  Holly is really enjoying books right now, and Griffin loves them too.  I keep looking around at the mess, and wondering if they really need more toys.  I've been trying to think of something else to do for Christmas this year, maybe something experiential instead?  Something we can all do together as a family?  Something not too expensive.  It's tough, though, with a limited budget and such young kids.  Any ideas?
My Christmas list would go something like this:
"Dear Santa,
We really need a bigger bed.  Four people in our double just isn't cutting it.  People are getting hurt.  Would appreciate anything you can do!  (Would a King-size mattress fit down the chimney, do you think?)
Love Lauren."

IF - Tree

The Illustration Friday word this week is "Tree."  As usual, a thousand ideas raced through my head, but I kept coming back to the time I was in an opera.  My Mom, for some reason, had decided that it would be a good idea to sign me up for an opera class.  Never mind that I can't sing, or act, or any of the things that might be considered pre-requisites.  By the time the actual production came up, I, along with a few other unfortunates, was cast as a tree.  I stood on stage for most of the play, but I was just part of the set.  With branches coming out of my head.
Anyway.  When I sat down to draw, this is what came out.  Just a pencil drawing this week :)

Tuesday, November 06, 2012


I got another illustration for Illustration Friday finished.  The word this week was "Shy."  I knew I wanted to do an animal picture, and this is what I ended up with.  Three shy little foxes, confronted with one bold little beetle.

This again was scanned and coloured in Photoshop.  Paint just was not gonna happen this week!

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Is it Christmas yet?

Hello!  Well, it's still looking and feeling a lot like Fall around here, but my mind is set squarely on Christmas!  The last few years have been pretty quiet, in terms of Craft Shows, but I have kept up with the Annapolis Royal Farmer's and Trader's Christmas show.  Which means, every year starting around October, I suddenly realize that I better get busy.

Last year all I made were some felted gnomes - something I make every year, as I have returning customers (!) So this year, I've been busy making gnomes, but also getting distracted making other stuff.  Stuff for my own kids.  Even though they don't actually need more stuff.  I just love the idea of handmade toys.  How much friendlier in the hand is something shaped by a hand?

My problem is that I always want to give it to them as soon as it's finished!  (I get too excited - it's one of the things that gets me into trouble.)  Anyway, November is sure to fly by in a flash.  We've got a whole wack of birthdays (including Holly's, mine, my Mom's, and my Grandma's) - all in the next three weeks.  Photos that people are waiting for.  Let me say that again, just to remind myself - Photos that people are waiting for.  Plus, a thousand and three projects that are about all I feel like working on at the moment.

Next weekend my parents are coming down to visit and watch the kids for us so we can re-arrange the furniture in the living room.  That might sound like a relatively small job, but we're dismantling and moving the bookshelves that fill one entire wall, as well as (finally) moving the various parts of our craft show booth up to the attic.  I'm hoping two full days will be enough!  We already gave up on the idea of repainting the walls and trim.  Come Winter, this is the room we spend most of our time in, and I  can't wait to see it have some new life.  There's something about rearranging a room that makes it feel as good as new - I'm super excited!
 As you can see, Halloween was good this year, if a little wet.  Our friend Jo (aka Auntie Jo) was over, and took some pics of all four of us.  We had two little bees bumping along in our little red wagon, and they both had a blast.  It was touch and go, right up to the last minute, whether or not we were actually going to get Griffin into a costume, but he decided as we were getting our shoes on that being a bee wasn't such a terrible idea after all.  Much better than last Halloween, which was a little traumatic.  And that's the power of candy.  "Mommy," says Griffin, "I LOVE candy."