I have a disease. It's called "Leave things outside and not care until they are wrecked." I don't know why I do it but I do it. Too often.

My rubber boots were the victim this time. I was so excited last spring to wear my "pretty" rubber boots while playing in the puddles with my son. One day they got pretty muddy so I left them on veranda. For a year.

They yellowed in the sun and no matter how much Melaleuca I soaked and scrubbed them in they would just not get clean. "So what?" says the tall one. "They're just rubber boots. They'll get dirty anyways." He so just does not get it. Cute rubber boots are pretty high on the list of mom fashion.
"Can I buy new rubber boots?" I asked.
"Do these still work?" he asked.

So... I set out to makeover my ruined boots. I'm pretty sure you can spray paint everything so I painted them :)

Next time: Prime them first because the yellow didn't do a good job of hiding the plaid. I painted, then primed and then painted again.

Now the plan was to use paper doilies spray glued to the boot and then sprayed with white paint to make super cool doily designs but they wouldn't stay tight enough to the boot and the paint ran making an ugly blog. I gave up and decided to stick with yellow and embellish in another way.

I took an old sweater that doesn't fit anymore and cut off the sleeve (in a straight line).

Then I placed the sleeve in the boot and folded it over.

I was initially worried about the edge fraying and hemmed it but because it was stretchy it made it all wonky and so I cut it off.

I grabbed 6 yellow buttons from my collection and hot glued 3 on each boot on the outer side of the boot. I think they look quite cute and countryish!

So even if you do take care of your things and don't have to repaint your boots, the sweater sleeve cuff is a super easy, no sew embellishment that looks pretty cute and is cozy against your skin!
The girl one finally moved in with the boy one this past January. Our house does only have 2 bedrooms but if/when we build our addition I still want my kids to share a bedroom for at least a while. I love hearing their giggles when they keep each other up and finding the boy one sleeping with the covers pulled over his head because he was annoyed at the girl one's late night antics. I hope sharing a room will be part of fostering what I pray each day is a "besties" kind of friendship.

I've had absolutely no inspiration for that bedroom since I decorated for the boy one over 3 years ago. It's a small space 8 feet wide by maybe 11 ft long? Not sure on the length... but alas pinterest has come to my rescue with loads of inspiration and now we have a plan!

The first issue we have to tackle is fitting in 2 full length beds (for our lengthy children) and I've struggled with bunk beds b/c the only place they'd fit is in front of the only window... but... we've measured and have figured out how to make this little beauty "behind" behind the door way on the other side of the room!

While I love how pretty and white it looks in the picture I know myself well enough to know that a neutral color scheme wouldn't last a month in my house. Plus, it's a kids room and I want it to have a sense of whimsy. So, I'm sure there will be a little bit of this next picture thrown in there. Vintage fabric curtains and funky quilts :)

Ever since I laid eyes on these indoor barn doors I have been scheming about how to get one in my house! Now that we don't have room for the door to swing due to bed placement we'll be making a sweet barn door on the kids' bedroom. Yay!

With placing the beds where we will be, we'll also be removing the wardrobe and dresser from that space and will need storage. So, on the opposite wall with the window we will build narrow closets on each side of the window, with drawers underneath and a window seat under the window. Our window is a single so it'll look different and we won't have book cases like this picture but you get the idea!

I'm so excited to get started on this room. I'm so excited that the tall, dark and handsome one is on board with this and excited to build it with me. It's been so cool to see him begin to love woodwork and construction. I thought it was cute when my dad (the carpenter) called this morning to chat and his words were, "So I hear you're going to be doing some building? You feel confident to do it all?"

"Yup!" I replied. Will we mess some of it up? Likely. Will it be perfect? Nope. Will it be an adventure that we remember fondly every time we tuck our kids in? Most definitely.
If you have not yet heard of Pinterest I am honoured to introduce you! Beware though... the site you will enter can easily become an obsession!

Pinterest is a site where you can create inspiration boards and then literally "pin" any image you see on the internet to a board. When you click on your pin it will show you the original link so you can navigate back to it at any time. You can create as many boards as you like and organize them into categories! Oh my... settle down... my heart is racing - I love to organize! And even more I love to organize my chaotic creativity! Breathe...

So, once you get an invite ( you need an invitation either from the site or a friend - send me your email and I'll hook you up!) then you can create boards and browse other people's boards. If you like their boards you can follow them. Anything new they post will be "shared" with you. Love it!

Here is a pic of my home screen and all of my current boards.
You can take a better look at them here if you wish :)

What I am most thankful to Pinterest for right now is the inspiration I needed to make over my kids' shared room. I've been struggling to figure out a good use of space and great design for a boy/girl shared room. Now I've got the basics nailed down and just have to work out the colurs. Stay tuned for a bedroom inspiration post tomorrow!

You most likely notice that I reference blogs a lot in the column and the reason is that after over two years of writing columns every week I can at times be hard pressed to come up with new and fresh ideas. This week I found a great “boy date” idea at “A Blog Full of Weldons” and wanted to share it here.

Getting into the practice of going on dates with your children in order to achieve good quality one on one time is a) wise, b) fulfilling and c) fun. My three year-old son consistently asks either myself or my husband “Can we go on a date tonight?” and I love that he can tell us and initiate when he feels like he needs that one on one time. Living in a smaller community can at times feel limiting in the options available for these dates but this idea can be done absolutely anywhere.

Angie from the above blog decided to surprise her eldest son at his naptime by popping into his room and telling him to get up and get ready because they were going on an adventure. I love how she added to the fun by letting him out of something that is usually non-negotiable (at least in my house!) She then took him to the grocery store and let him pick out his favourite treat (just for him) and then headed to the thrift store. There she told him he could pick out any electronic item within a certain price range. He picked out an old clock radio. When they arrived home she explained that because he is always interested in how things work and “fixing’ things that he was allowed to totally take the clock radio apart. Things got really interesting when they found the screwdrivers just weren’t cutting it and he proceeded to use a hammer to totally obliterate the radio. They then examined every little piece of the device and her son was absolutely thrilled. The artist in me also thinks that you could extend the activity by gluing all the parts to a canvas and creating some abstract art!

I think this is such a fun and creative idea and she informed that her son still talks about it everyday!

As published in Estevan Lifestyles)

Thanks Angie for allowing me to share your idea!

I'm still waiting to do this with my own son - things have just been far too crazy around here. So, I'll save this sweet date for a day I really need it. Which will likely be sooner than later as it's almost the end of March and we're supposed to have another blizzard today (insert pity party here).

Since I don't have my own pics of this date (but be sure to check out Angie's) I'll give a you a few of my fave pics of "the boy one" from this month. He's growing up into such an amazing kid!

These are some of the newest dance moves he's added to his extensive repertoire :) He's got mad skills!

And more... this move involves punching.

I love how sweet he is with his little sister. He's always playing with her and reassuring her "It's O.K. Han. It's O.K." If he hurts her feelings he always kisses her better.

And here is rocking his new haircut and his daddy's glasses. He's so flipping cute!

Sigh... who wouldn't want to date this cutie?

My mom taught me to crochet when I was in junior high. For a long time all I managed were uneven squares that had no use and then I tackled an intricate pillow pattern in my Home Ec class. The pattern was confusing and taxing. I don't think I crocheted again until I was married. My mom and aunt had used a certain pattern for crocheting a pretty sweet afgan and so I set out to make my own. It turned out great! From there I made the occasional scarf but was still intimidated to do anything more because I couldn't remember most of the basic "stitches".

Then I discovered Youtube tutorials and Etsy patterns. I chuckle at the thought of my grandma watching me learn and then proceed to crochet things for my family. It's such a different process than it must have been for her!

Firstly, I randomly have the thought after having super hats given to my daughter by a friend (Thanks Shel) that maybe I too could figure out how to crochet a toque. I grab my laptop and go to Etsy to peruse the countless patterns for sale.

I pick a pattern I like, put it in my virtual cart, navigate to Paypal to pay for my purchase and then within an hour a pattern magically shows up in my Email inbox. I didn't have to get off the couch!

I look over the pattern and realize I have no idea what any of the abbreviations mean. No worries, I just google them.

Now I know what the abbreviations mean but I'm not confident that I'm doing them right. Again, not a problem. I just go over to YouTube and watch a video tutorial on each stitch. And so I sit there with my skein of yarn and a crochet needle hunched over my laptop. It just seems so ironic! As a teacher I wonder how the heck anyone learned anything before the Internet! I find it such a miracle that if you want to learn something you can!

I am currently in love with the teal/red colour combination. I wanted a bit lighter blue but this one still worked. The first set of ear flaps in the original patter were super mini and I didn't like them so I just tried single crocheting around them until they were big enough....

What I ended up with were huge half circles that my husband observed made her look like Princess Leia (sp?). So I unraveled and just made up my own pattern and achieved a look I liked.

I also didn't like the little flower in the original patter so I used this video tutorial to make this flower. I wanted something a little more obnoxious :) I highly recommend all of this lady's tutorials. Great quality and easy to follow!

And here she is modeling her new hat. I love it. (Oh, except for that I moved the flower lower.)

And then her bro-star wanted to get in on the photo shoot action so he gave his Hanny Pants some cuddles.

The hat came off and they just cuddled and gave kisses and tickles. They make my heart so happy :)

Techno Crocheting

by on 6:11 PM
My mom taught me to crochet when I was in junior high. For a long time all I managed were uneven squares that had no use and then I tackled ...
With the new year I always take some time to reevaluate my business. January and February are for good reasons a little slow in the outdoor photography world so I've started doing a little re-branding. While there is much more to come in terms of websites, sneak peek procedures, specialty print options (like super cool collages) I thought I'd give you a little look at my new CD packaging. I love it and think it totally reflects who I am today!

Fortunately February and March are big months for having babies (and I should know as I had both of mine in February!) and so I've been super busy doing newborn shoots. It's so fun, they are so cute and they stay where you put them for the most part :)

That said I am SO looking forward to spring and being able to get outdoors with a bunch of family shoots and of course GRAD in June. Stay tuned!

A Little Rebranding...

by on 6:58 AM
With the new year I always take some time to reevaluate my business. January and February are for good reasons a little slow in the outdoor ...

I stumbled across the blog "Happy Together" last week and saw this adorable little pom pom tulle skirt that she made for her daughter. You can find the tutorial here - it's great! It looked like a simple quick project (of which I am a big fan - it's immediate satisfaction!) I actually made 2... well to be honest I made 3. It's just so easy and fun!

The first one I made was with pom poms I had on had that were more primary colours and then I found these beauties at Dollarama in the Easter section.

See... 2 of these ones. I used a light pink tulle with Easter coloured pom poms. In the original tutorial she only added 10 inches to her daughter's waist size but I wanted mine to be quite a bit fuller so I just used the entire width of the tulle. That also made for one less cut and I'm lazy that way :)

One of Hanny's friends will be getting one as a gift!
I also thought it'd be kind of fun to have a hair clip to go with them so I cut a strip of tulle folded it over and pinched it in the middle to make a bow. I then sewed it to a small square of felt and then hot glued some pom poms to the middle and attached it to an alligator clip.

Here is Hanny wearing her little ensemble. I think it's so perfect for Easter. I like the look of the sheer tulle over cute little leggings but it's also cute to wear it under a dress and it acts like a little petticoat. I put it under a little floral spring dress and it makes the skirt fuller and the pom poms peek out of the bottom. Seriously adorable!

The pom poms sometimes gather in one area but you just have to give it a bit of a shake. Another bonus is that Hannah thinks her skirt is totally fun to play with and she grabs at the pom poms all the time but can't put them into her mouth!