Sunnies 1st Birthday Dance :)

Okay, I am semi embarassed semi super proud of how incredibly lame/awesome we are.
You guys wanted to see the dance we did for Sunnies first birthday and here it is!

So, the thing is, I love to dance. I didn’t realize I loved to dance until my late 20’s when I found out dancing didn’t require bumping and grinding or stellar dance moves. Dancing meant moving your body to music in whatever way made you feel joy, often surrounded by your most favourite people; all of which I can support fully. So, I’m a dancer now. I dance a lot during the day, around the house, and fully acknowledge my awkwardness at it, but I just don’t care. And apparently neither does Sunnie.
Ever since Sunnie was born, she has LOVED to watch me dance and makes me feel like the best dancer on earth. She smiles, laughs, claps her hands and makes me feel like a superstar. So naturally, I wanted to perform a dance for her for on her 1st birthday.
Thanks to my wonderful friend Kim, who happens to be a professional dancer and choreographed this fun piece for us amateurs.

And with that, I present to you….

A very bright first birthday!

As promised, here are the rest of the photos from Sunnies 1st Birthday!
It was SUCH a fun, crazy weekend!

We went with the rainbow theme for a few reasons, but the first is that Sunnie is our rainbow baby (a term for a baby that comes after a loss). We struggled with infertility for 4 years, experienced a failed adoption and a miscarriage before finally welcoming Sunnie into our family. She is the brightest ray of light and a rainbow is the perfect symbol to describe her and her bright personality!

All the balloons were done by Glitter and Glue Parties, and the Pinata, plates, cups, napkins and party hats are from Meri Meri!
My Sister in law made the back (can you believe it?! SOO happy with how it turned out)
I made the cake topper, cupcake toppers, tablecloth, rope rainbows (which each mom was gifted as a thank you for coming gift), and the little rainbow gnomes :)

I’m already excited about planning her 2nd party, haha! But for now, I’ll remember this wonderful weekend and keep looking through these photos!


How is it even possible I have an (almost) ONE year old?!?!
This has been by far the fastest, and best year of my life!

It honestly feels like just a few months ago we were in the trudges of infertility, fertility treatments and our failed adoption. Sometimes I feel like I “should” stop talking about infertility because everyone is “sick of hearing it” or "think Im just dwelling on our hard past” (stories I make up in my head), but infertility has greatly shaped who I am now as a person, and a mother. An infertile mother.

There have still been plenty of hard moments this year, but the hard never even came close to the hard of the hellish world of infertility.
There was one season when Sunnie wouldn’t let me put her down or leave the room without her scream crying. It was claustrophobic and I felt like I couldn’t get anything done, and I just wanted to be alone. I had my hardest mothering moments during these weeks… but guys, really… I have a BABY that loves me so much she wants to be with me always (I say it again, I have a BABY)!! This isn’t some “rose coloured glasses” or “look on the bright side” kinda thing cause I hate that stuff. This is a genuine perspective thats centred around gratitude that I’ve been gifted because of a REALLY TERRIBLE TIME in my life.
I’m wouldn’t say I’m thankful for our infertility journey; I never want to relive those years (and thats a big factor in whether we want more kids or not… but thats a whole other story!) but I am thankful for the perspective it gave me during this first year as a mother.

Okay I could go on and on and oooon but can I just show you a highlight real of Sunnies first year now?
Great! Here it goes:

lesson(s) from the flowers

I used to love blogging and writing and sharing my experiences with whoever cared to listen.

But I haven't written a blog post in over a year. I think I slowly allowed the goal of "perfection" to get in the way, and when I realized I actually know nothing, and have only imperfect, incomplete things to share, I stopped sharing. It sounds so silly to say it (write it) out loud. Like obviously nobody is perfect (this is what 'they' tell us, but our neighbour with the friendly smile and clean clothes sure looks pretty perfect from over here) so why does this lofty goal of wanting to have complete, nicely packaged thoughts stop me from blogging? It sure doesn't hold me back from my personal interactions (if you know me, you just know what I'm talking about). 

So, whatever, I want to thread some thoughts together about my wildflower garden this year.

It has, indeed, been my biggest and greatest teacher this summer.

It's kind of a love story, and it started with a dream and a hope and a vision for a wildflower meadow with flowers as high as a wheat field that I could romantically stroll among and admire and be taken into another world. I envisioned walking through my flower patch in a linen flowy top and high waisted, below the knee vintage skirt (you think I am over exaggerating but I'm not, these were my real hopes and dreams) and I would end up lying down in my flower field with an old book, surrounded by tall wispy flowers that blew in the wind. 
Clearly, my hopes were kinda high...

Spring came, and I seeded my huge bag of wildflower seed to cover 700 sq ft, plus a bunch of other seed packets, with immense joy and anticipation. 
Then, I waited. And waited. And waited. 
A week later I was CONVINCED nothing was growing and the wind had blew away all my seed, or the birds ate it, or something horrendous had happened and I was in deep stress and sorrow over the loss of my wildflower dreams (again, you think I'm exaggerating but I'm not).
I waited some more, bought a sprinkler to keep the ground wet in a particularly dry spring, and kept checking daily for any sign of green.
Still nothing.

A little while later I noticed some green popping through the dark soil. 
Could it be?! Flowers?! Were they growing?!
Well, kinda. Sorta. There were SOME itty bitty flowers starting to pop up, but for the most part it was all.....
Quack grass. Quack grass EVERYWHERE!
I was quickly convinced by dear sweet Cousin who knows everything about killing weeds, that quack grass was indeed the devil weed of all weeds and  it needed to die ASAP despite the cost. So I sprayed (aka: husband sprayed) the shit out of my flower garden with a wonderful, lovely chemical that will surely kill us all, but kept my sparse few flowers alive, and killed JUST the quack. Amazing.
Namaste Cousin.

Another month passed, with careful watchfulness, forced patience, and semi-trust/doubt in the seeding/growing process .
I began weeding. A LOT. 
I've never ever weeded my vegetable gardens like this (or at all really). 
I guess I'm motivated much more by aesthetic beautiful nourishment than nutritional nourishment.

And now..... my wildflower garden is,
It's not what it was in my dreams when I first seeded it, but in a way, its better.
Each flower bud feels exciting and miraculous. Maybe because I watched its fight for life, maybe because I ended up expecting nothing to grow and was surprised by grace. 

My garden has been my biggest and greatest teacher this summer. 
I'll let you do the work in creating parallels in your own life, cause I'm sick of writing now.
I just know, I've learned a lot. 
And I'll probably do it again next year mainly the same way, with the same anticipation, stress, anxiety, defeat, hope, patience and grace. 
Mainly the same way.
If I'm lucky, maybe with a few minor changes, but
it takes me a long time to learn things. 

"Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help. Gardening is an instrument of grace."
-May Sarton


"A garden is a grand teacher. It teaches patience and careful watchfulness; it teaches industry and thrift; above all it teaches entire trust"
-Gertrude Jekyll

may sarton gardening quote






If you've been itching to see some photos of our new studio space, I'll give you a little scratch in the form of some photos!

I still want Ryan to do some real nice photos of the space, but for now you have to put up with my poor iphone photo taking skills :)

Here is the BEFORE:
I really did LOVE this home, just the way it was. In fact, it's always been my dream home! Close friends of ours lived here before us, and did such charming things to this house. Walking inside feels like being hugged by a warm cozy blanket. 

Ha, but I did NOT love this garage! It was, well.... you can see for yourself!


The exterior is James Hardey white board and batten and cedar singles. The gooseneck light above the garage door and front door, really helps add a farmhouse feel.

And just for fun, here are some shots of the studio interior and sleeping loft:

This drill board shelf may not be in the studio (its in the kitchen), but I just HAD to share! My dad built this for us and made all my drill board dreams come true. Isn't it DREAMY?! I don't know what I would do without a Dad who can build anything and everything for you

We are so so happy with our new space! It's so bright and cozy. SUCH a great creative space!

house before and after

Etsy Makers Cities - Watercolor Workshop

Hi friends!
I know, its been a LONG time! And I've missed connecting with you on the blog!

Things have been completely CRAZY and BUSTLING here the last few months!
A few months ago, I was accepted to be a Etsy Maker Cities instructor. If you haven't heard about the Maker Cities pilot program, you can go here for more info. But basically Etsy ran free/low cost workshops in 4 cities across Canada promoting how the makers movement can benefit our economy. 
I was able to host a floral watercolor workshop in my own, brand new studio. And it was AMAZING! Like, holy cow you guys. Setting up for the workshop I was in tears because a year ago I never could have IMAGINED this! Seriously, the last year has been such a huge blessing for me with Mae Handmade, and now our new studio space has opened so many more doors. 

If you think this workshop looks like a fun time, you can sign up to my newsletter here, to find out FIRST when the next one will be!

I plan on running a few workshops after Christmas, so stay tuned. These workshops are for beginners, and there is NO experience necessary! FOR REAL! They are all about PLAY and experimenting, while visiting with friends and having a yummy snack. It's a great way to use that creative side of your brain, in a fun, unique way. 
In case you're not convinced, here are some pictures documenting the workshop! 

A house to a home

It's been about a week since we moved into this tiny yellow house of ours.

It is less than 600 sq ft of beauty and loveliness. It is just enough space for Ryan, me and Ruby and we are truly content and THANKFUL for what we've been blessed with. 

I feel more at home here than I ever did in the old house, and I think it has something to do with the tinyness here. I have learnt now, that we will fill whatever size space we live in with STUFF, not always necessary or even useful stuff. We got rid of SO much of that stuff before we started the 4 month transition of living in a camper and it felt SO good. I am content in this house because it has everything I need, it feels good, and healthy to be living with less. Less stuff, less financial stress, less space, LESS. 

Journey with me as we continue to make this house, our home.