Last week I was able to photograph baby Kensie who is the new addition to the Aspinall family. Her super cool Aunt Steph gifted them with a newborn session (hint: it's a wonderful gift idea!) Kensie is such a sweetheart and has such an animated face already. She's bubbling with her little personality. Here are a few of my faves from the session!

Big sister Sadie looking all serene :)

~ Monique
Last weekend we celebrated both my 30th birthday as well as Fathers Day - on the same day. In truth we spread out the festivities over the whole weekend and took turns spoiling one another. It worked out pretty good.

I was so proud of myself for being on the ball this Fathers Day and ordered one of the tall one's gifts on June 6! Amazingness right? Yeah... it's still not here. Canada Post has been on strike and were just legislated back to work today. Thus... I'm still waiting for the sweet gift to come in the mail for him.

That gift (which I'll reveal when it gets here) was more of the DIY gift and so we also ordered him a motorcycle jacket from I had it delivered to Noonan, ND (for the fast/free shipping) and went down to get it only to discover that the owner of the hardware store (where we send UPS packages) decided randomly not to be open that morning. GRRR. So back to Canada I went, giftless.

I could have gone back on Monday to get it but alas South East Saskatchewan experienced the flood of the century on Sunday and part of the road to Noonan was completely washed away down stream. Actually, quite a few roads were under water or washed out and one of the most landlocked, waterless areas of the world became an island for a while. We still kind of are...

All that to say... I still wanted to give the tall one something on Fathers Day so we made a shirt for him together as a family. A "grunge family tree" shirt :)

This really doesn't need instructions but I'll walk you through our process anyhow.

First we painted the trunk of the tree onto shirt with a paint brush and set up a plastic lid to smoosh our hands into! The tall one had to restrain the girl one and she was not to happy about it :(

We used the parents hands to form the bottom "leaves" of the tree and had the kids place their hands near the top. The boy one was being very patient :)

Ta da! 

 I'm pretty happy with the result and so is the tall one. It's something he'll enjoying wearing because of the significance as well as the aesthetic.

You definitely don't need to wait for Fathers Day to make one. I think it's a sweet gift for any occasion!
Being outdoors whenever the sun is shining is allowing for so much discussion on nature and wildlife. As many of you know we already have a "Wormen" farm in the corner of the garden. More recently it's become more of a "Wormen Rescue Center". The little jiggers keep ending up in the sandbox and getting all dried out. The boy one then lovingly picks them up with a shovel, dumps them into the Wormen Farm and then goes to grab a watering can to give them a shower. It's quite the little venture and then we get to watch them inch their way under the dirt. Gross and fascinating all at once!

My kids also like to chase the birds in our yard. Apparently we have a lot of Wormen and the birds are hopping around our yard with them dangling from their beaks all the time. Though they're not lacking for food we thought we'd build a little bird feeder today.

First we gathered some supplies. Forgive the blurry pic - I was in a hurry.
  • Wire
  • Wood
  • Glass bottle (I had Starbucks Frapp's bottles but couldn't find them so we made do with an old jar.)
  • Paper (for stencil)
  • Tape
  • Drill/Screws/Bit
  • Salmon tin can

 I cut out a little image of a bird and taped it to the glass, then sprayed with frosting glass spray. I thought it'd add a cute, subtle touch and I really liked it! You can faintly see it there.

I just eyeballed all of my measurements and cut the wood. After I screwed the bottom piece of wood to the backing and then screwed the salmon tin down as well.

Using some type of hole drilling bit (not sure of the proper name) I drilled holes for the wire to go through and then threaded the wire in place to hold the jar. I slipped the jar out, filled it with seed and popped it back in.

Since I had the lid left I used it to hold the seed in place while I tightened the wire and got everything into place.

Then we released it and realized that the whole jar mostly empties into the can! Oh well, we'll fill it more later.  The boy one then showed me where we wanted it screwed to the fence - near the Wormen farm :)

Next we attempted to make a wire contraption to hold bits of yarn that the birds can use when building their nests. I started by wrapping wire around the OFF can for the general structure and then "wove" wire through the sides and on the bottom...

... a wire artist I am not! Ha ha.

The girl one helped me out by smooshing together all the yarn its into a ball and stuffing them into the holder.

Finally we hung it next to the feeder. We debated putting in the trees but weren't sure if the birds would find it there. This way it's all in one convenient location... like a little birdie Stop n' Shop!

DIY | For the Birds

by on 1:31 PM
Being outdoors whenever the sun is shining is allowing for so much discussion on nature and wildlife. As many of you know we already have a ...
So I've gotten a few emails and comments asking about the status of Elsie. Well... she's not where I thought she'd be by almost the end of June, that's for sure!

I did get her to the point where she was all "de-moused" and totally cleaned out, ready for bleaching but then I discovered her front end was in a bit poorer shape than we had initially thought. Turns out the adventure here shook a bunch of stuff loose and then the extreme moisture here accelerated rot and mold growth. Oi. I was so bummed to learn we had to rip the front end apart as well. I was so excited to start painting!

It never seemed like a good time to work on her as we decided the house and actual yard should take priority but today I couldn't wait any longer. I put the kids down for their nap and I headed out to Elsie with a hammer, a pink flat screwdriver, my drill and a shop vac and got ready to do a little demo... in a dress.

This corner was nasty. I had to rip off the top of the seat and then take out the storage shelf behind it. There was so much rot I could crumble the studs. Good riddance! The demo would have gone a little smoother with a mini pry bar (I'm so buying one tomorrow!) but I did manage by hammering my pink flat screwdriver into the tight spots.

 Now I pretty much have everything removed that needs to be and the job is actually way less extensive than the back was as just the one corner was really rotted out. It'll be easy to re-frame and slap some paneling. My goal is to start painting by the end of June. :)
 Since the demo pics are kind of boring I thought I'd share a few more inspirations for Elsie.

Yo-yo headboard. I'm wondering how I could incorporate this into the camper somewhere... not sure if it'll happen yet but I think it's pretty cute!

I'm having a hard time finding the perfect durable fabric for the seat cushions and so I think I might experiment with overdying the fabric that my mom re-upholstered them with. I like the fabric but it's more creams, reds and oranges... I'm going to change that ;)

I adore these cushions! Firstly the teal/red combo and secondly the adorable bunting! Not a fan of the bike print but I'd make them with a cute camper print or a silhouette of my kids heads or something :)

 And lastly, I think it'd be cute to frame a sweet print like this in the camper. Retro and colourful - I love it!

Hopefully you'll be seeing Elsie looking a little more finished soon!

Maybe I should rename my blog to "Things I Saw on Pinterest and then Made". What can I say? It' s just such a great compilation of inspiration!

Now, it's not like I need any more furniture or anything but I already had this little white kids table sitting on the veranda. I didn't really know what to do with it but couldn't quite part with it. Then, I saw this cute idea on Pinterest.

A chalkboard table with a built in chalk bowl! Genius!

First I started by eyeballing the center of the table (I could have measured but I'm actually a pretty insane "eyeballer". It's a gift really.) and traced out the bowl.

Next, I assembled the necessary tools from the newly organized shed.
- Drill
- Jig Saw
- Drill bit set

Pick out a hole cutting bit from the set and insert it into the drill.

You want to drill a hole into the table to give you a place to insert your jig saw blade to allow you to cut the circle. Note that I drew a second circle inside the traced circle that I'll be cutting on (so that the table will catch the lip of the bowl). Also, in the picture I drilled a hole in to the center but I should have done it touching the line I needed to cut to make it easier to get the blade inline with where I needed to cut.

Next, put on your safety glasses! Time to use a saw!

Pop you jig saw in there and start cutting! Tip: press the trigger and get the blade moving BEFORE you touch the wood with the blade otherwise it'll just jump around. Also, go slow and steady. If it starts jumping, you're going too fast and it can't cut as fast as you're guiding it.

All done! Now sand the edges down a bit.

Next whip out your trusty can of chalkboard spray paint and start spraying. Remember: short, even bursts in a think layer.

After it was painted I let it dry for 24 hours. Before you let your kids at it, you need to rub the entire surface with a piece of chalk and then brush it off to "cure" it.

I absolutely love this project and it was so easy. We keep it on the deck and veranda and the kids go to it immediately. It's a great way to encourage "art time" while we're playing outside!

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting the Rowlands and capturing Jillian's baby bump! See the pretty lake behind them? Not a lake, it's the result of the flood. I guess we'll at least take advantage of parts of the flood if we have too! Here's a little sneak peek...

This is one of my favourite pics - the shadow of the bump!

Sweet :)

And to end off, this one is just plain funny!

Congrats and I'm excited for you to welcome your new baby into the world likely very soon!

~ Monique