Thursday, August 27, 2015

He's Here...

When I first started dating my husband, we would talk for hours about our future together. Almost from the start, we knew we were destined to be partners forever. One of the things that came up very early on was the fact that the MacRitchie side of the family really only produces boys. When I had my oldest daughter (shocking!), she was the first girl born into that side of the family in three generations.

For the last 7 years, I've been a mum to girls, and loved every single second of it (though, dreading the teenage years, and planning a parenting hiatus when the hormones kick in). I knew I was destined to be surrounded by all things pink and frilly and my husband thoroughly enjoyed being wrapped around the fingers of two little girls.



When I got pregnant for the last time, I kept thinking that it had to be a girl because that's just what we make! And I wasn't shy about the fact that I was terrified that if I had a boy, I wouldn't know what to do with myself. I kept saying that if they announced 'boy' in the delivery room, I'd need a moment to really come to terms with it. I just hoped the doctors wouldn't think me a terrible mother.



But... there were signs, and I felt for a lot of my pregnancy that this little bean *was* going to throw me on my ear.

I didn't share much with many people, but about halfway through my pregnancy, my placenta started to be a bit of a drama queen, and I was considered high risk. So two weeks ago, when I went in for one of my many scans and tests to check that all was still well, they felt that we were really starting to push our luck, and it was just time to get him out. So, c-section it was. This was scary for me, since my last two were born naturally and very easily, but in the end, it's worked out just fine.

And that moment, in that room, when the OB said "It's a... boy!" I just started to bawl. How could it be anything BUT a boy? My hubby said, "Are you crying because it's a boy?" and I had to assure him I was just overcome with joy.

Little Charlie.

It's been quite a trip, being back in the baby zone after five years, and I definitely have to remind myself that it gets easier (oh, to sleep for 8 consecutive hours!), but I've realized that we never felt complete before. I thought we did, but now that I have children everywhere I look, and there's a blue one in the mix, I know that *this* is complete.

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Sunday, August 9, 2015

Happy Birthday...

I was doing so well with posting there for a minute, and then it went all quiet again, didn't it?

The nesting urge has taken me over, for one thing... We've lived in our house for two years, and had yet to hang a single picture on the wall - since we knew we were going to renovate, we didn't bother when we first got here, and then we were so exhausted from the renovation itself that we just sort of collapsed. Rooms were put together, but they lacked personality. I was too tired to care for a long time, but then all of a sudden, I just wanted it to look like we live here. So, at a snail's pace, I've been waddling around, hanging pictures and adding the finishing touches. We still have some work to do in terms of finishing details (caulking trim, touching up paint, hanging trim around the cabinets)... it's a slow process, but I figure by the time the kids are in university, we might be almost done.

One day this week, though, Emma wanted to play in the craft room... we got some new stamps a few weeks ago and I still hadn't played with them, so it was easy to convince me!

 I know this one is from an older PTI release, but since it isn't my usual style, it took me awhile to bite the bullet and actually order it. Finally though, Emma convinced me, because she loved it so much. She's actually really developing her own tastes and styles in cards, which is fun to watch.


I loved the way I could make the fox suit my usual shabby style with paper piecing... Easy peasy! I think it turned out okay, too... Usually the 'cutesy' stamps really stump me.

When it was all done, I traced over the outline with a sparkly black gel pen. It kind of married it all together, and also gave it some glimmer, since the black was pretty stark against my papers (I might have gone with grey if I were to do it again...)



Thanks for popping in on me! I so appreciate when you take the time to look, and all of your comments make my day... see you soon!

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Monday, July 20, 2015

Thinking of You...

As I'm sure so many of you do, I spend a *lot* of my kid-free time surfing Pinterest. I absolutely love it there, and of course have started a board of things I love for our new baby. Normal things like paint colours for a nursery, photography ideas, products I want to remember to look for when we know if it's a girl or boy. You know... all those things I'll never actually do anything with.

I've learned, thanks to Pinterest generating baby-related pins for me, that having a baby in the Pinning Age vs. 5 years ago are two very different things. Apparently there are at least 10 different apps I need on my phone, otherwise I will not know how much to feed my baby, nor will I have a clue what my baby's cry could possibly mean. Not to mention the fact that without these apps on my phone, my husband will be completely useless to me. Also, Pinterest wants me to believe that the first month of baby being home is something I will need help 'surviving'. I've done this before; I'm fully aware that a baby who sleeps 20+ hours a day compared to a Threenager is not something that requires a survival kit.

My 5 year old, on the other hand...

It's usually around this point I go looking for pretty flowery things so I don't have to roll my eyes anymore.



So I'm in love with so many of the modern florals you see in stationary these days (I want to wallpaper my whole life with Rifle Paper Co. patterns...), and I wanted to try to use one of these trendy colour palettes in one of my cards - with colouring.

I can't remember the last time I touched my Copics. But I remember now why I love them so...


It's so relaxing to just sit and colour like my kids do. And I knew that, but it's been so long...

The flowers are from a Flourishes set, so it's no longer available... And this was the first time I stamped in grey ink before colouring, and I love the soft look it lends. So probably I'll do that again...

I'm off to find some more hilarious birth stories... did you know that was a thing? Putting the story of your labour on the internet for strangers to read? I've found a few that are *hilarious*, full of bad words and comedic visuals, and it's my new favourite hobby to read them.

Shall I plan on sharing my labour with you all, my friends? *wink*

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Friday, July 17, 2015

Festive Friday - Joy...

It's July, we're in the middle of a record breaking heat wave, there's water shortages from months of no rain and all sunshine, and here I am, craving a Christmas card... I just can't help myself.

My friend said it best (but she's exactly like me, so...); "The whole year is just one big countdown to Christmas". So true...



I can't remember the last time I played along with a challenge, with the exception of the odd blog hop I've managed. So when I saw a sketch challenge over on the WPlus9 blog, I wanted to play along. It's a fun way to get the juices flowing!

I'm embarrassed to tell you how long it took me to complete this card, but that's just more incentive to keep playing in the craft room on a regular basis!


This poinsettia set is probably my absolute favourite (and I do have a few!). It's hard to tell fully from my photo, but I used a very light gold ink to stamp the veining and details. It adds a fun shimmer to the whole thing.

My oldest also wanted to play along, so she did her own, very simple take on the sketch.


I know I biased, but I was truly impressed with her ink colours and how well she lined up those stamps. She's not even seven!

So it's been forever since I did a Festive Friday post, but I have one for next week too! I've worked on a few holiday things the last few days, as I'm going through my stash and finding things I want to play with... like I said, Christmas is my first love...

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Monday, July 13, 2015

Thinking of You...

I think I've told you this story before... my aunt is quite an accomplished artist in Edinburgh. She teaches art courses, she sells her beautiful creations, and she is proficient in pretty much any medium she tries. My house is full of her illustrations, and I adore her work. Also, I adore her. She's the most lovely woman, and has always been my favourite person to sit and putter with - the few times we've been able to do it (since there's an ocean in the way).

Years ago, during my first visit to her flat just outside the city, she promised to tutor me in watercolour, since I always struggled with using them. She was sure I would be just fine, with a little coaching.



And after a couple of hours, she finally just said, "I don't think watercolour is for you. You're far too literal."

It was so honest and straightforward, and I loved it. I laughed, she laughed, and we both agreed she was right.

I am so in love with the cards popping up all over the place using this technique, and I keep convincing myself I can do it. I watched a few of Dawn Wholeslagle's tutorials, and felt like it was just too easy for me to *not* be able to do it!

Yeah well... it's still not for me.


I feel like I did pick up a few of her tips when I was working on this, but I still think it's time for me to put away the paint brushes. Doesn't mean I'm going to... but I should!

Emma watched the same videos, and she wanted to do her own attempt. Here is how hers turned out;


Don't adjust your eyes. She's a pro at 'shadow stamping'...

Also, she's discovered embossing powder. Her exact words were: "One of the greatest things EVER!" and she wants to use it on every single think she creates. And in the last little while she's spent hours and hours stamping and creating. So we're burning through the powder around here...

She's asked me to share a few of her things with you, so I hope you don't mind. She's quite prooud of herself, so I'm happy to indulge.. I'll include them here and there as I post!

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Saturday, July 11, 2015

Farm and Floral Birthday Party...

Okay. So there's this thing when you're a mum... how you can feel two completely different emotions at the exact same time. You know what I'm talking about... that first time they can do something for themselves, and you're so excited and thrilled for their independence and achievement. And so heartbroken that they're growing up way too fast in front of you.


Also, it's getting harder to manipulate their little brains into doing what I want, my way. It's my husband's favourite thing.

So for the longest time, my soon-to-be-middle child (!) wanted a girly super hero party. I tried and tried to steer her elsewhere because it just didn't 'speak' to me. But hubby pointed out I had to get on board, since it was her birthday and she should get to choose. Blah blah. Whatever, so what if he's right?

And then out of left field she starts talking about her animal birthday party. Animal? But you said super hero! Oh mum, that's so last week. So we went through a couple of weeks where we kept asking her what she wanted so I knew for sure before I started spending money. Since the super hero cape I bought is now just for dress up, and all...

Animal stuck, we narrowed it down to the farm variety and I started Pinning. Then we were at Michael's and she saw some bridal stationary that was very floral and vintage and all the things her mother loves, and she said, "I want this for my birthday party." But what about the animals?! Well, she wanted both.

Okay, this girl might be starting to outshine me in the party planning department.



I had so much on hand for this one, so it actually just sort of came together itself. And when I set this table up off the kitchen, I kind of wanted to just leave it there because it looked so pretty. But then I'd have to have cake at the ready all the time, and that just sounded like work.

We picked some pretty spring pastel colours, and went from there...


Not a huge amount of paper crafting this time around... but we did make these pretty favour tops. I just picked up some candies that fit the colour theme, and my oldest assembled it all together.


We tried to make the food serve the theme by giving it farm themed names, and Emma (not quite 7) did all the little chalkboards for me.


Also, fruit in jars. The strawberries were almost too ripe, so I made them into a syrup, and put them on the bottom, then added the other berries. Because they look so cute, you don't even realize you're eating something mostly healthy!


I wanted to put my old scale on the table because I thought it added to the feel, so we decided to prop our 'hay stacks' on top of it, using one of my grandma's antique china plates. Did I mention this was for a five year old? My hubby shakes his head at me often, but I just don't get why...


And then I borrowed some stamps and dies from a local stampy friend, and created cupcake toppers.



When it's piping hot outside, you can't get picky with icing style. So I decided we were doing things rustic and simple. Which means, I got what I got, and went with it.

I've seen these 'naked' cakes all over Pinterest, and absolutely adore them. I am not joking when I tell you I had to negotiate with said five year old to let me decorate her cake this way. She was more interested in layers of lacy looking fondant and airbrushing. I guess they don't understand that just because it's on Pinterest doesn't mean real people can actual make these things...


Now we're in the midst of getting ready for a birthday party at the end of August, scheduled for less than a week before my due date with #3. Also, the popular birth date for the baby pool my oldest is hosting. I'm just crossing my fingers I can fake my way through it well enough for her to feel like she got what she wanted!

So that was our Farm and Floral party, and I loved how it all turned out. Maybe dad's little clone is more like me than I realize? In any case, thanks for stopping by, and hopefully you liked it too!

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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Happy Birthday...

Ugh.

I forgot how much the third trimester *rocks*.

Let me preface this by saying that I am very aware that my pregnancies (all three of them) have been a lot easier than what a lot of women go through. So I try very hard to not complain. I want to WIN at being pregnant, handle it like a champ, look for the positives........

But let's be honest. It isn't fun to hand your body over. I'm short, so I have no room for what I'm feeling is going to be a big baby (they said that about my first, and she was tiny. Who knows?) and I'm definitely at that stage... you know the one; drop something on the floor, look at it, and say to yourself  'screw it' and leave it where it landed.

And the peeing. All the peeing! And by peeing, I mean dribbling. Kind of. Every hour.

Then there's a kick or a roll, and I remember that there's a pretty good reason to go through it all, and remind myself I'm just lucky my body can do this for me. Suck it up, Princess.



SO. Here is one major perk of being slow, tired and less than mobile. I have every excuse to just sit on my butt and if I am sitting on my butt, I might as well stamp. Win win!



My oldest and I were out shopping (which means walking a few feet, finding a piece of something to sit on, parking it for a few minutes, then starting the process over again) the other day, and we found a really pretty card that looked like watercolour florals with gold accent outlining. We both loved it and felt we could make our own versions. This is mine.

I am so in love with Altenew's Painted Flowers set - it is showing itself to be such a versatile set! For this card, I stamped a couple of the blooms, and blurred the edges with some water. Then I embossed the outlines with gold powder, but I left the heat on longer so that instead of the result being raised, it just looks like it's painted in gold.



I really love how these stamps worked for this effect, so I might have to try some more colour combinations!

Also, I have decided I am sequin challenged.

I finally edited the photos from Josie's fifth birthday party last month, so I'll share those with you in a few days! It's been awhile since I shared a party on the blog, so I feel this one is well overdue! Stay tuned...

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