November 06, 2018

What We Love: Fall 2018

I purchased these adorable mittens that were a collaboration between Something from Nothing and Boolah Baguette. Something from Nothing makes mittens using old sweaters and fabrics, and Boolah Baguette makes the most adorable dolls and stuffed toys -- I've talked about her before here and here -- and together they made these darling mitts that have been keeping my hands warm during the last couple of months.

My son and I are obsessed with this song. The chill beat just gets in your body and you either feel like moving along, or sit there feeling the vibes. I love it! And I love the message too.

I have recently been falling in love with a lot of art that has simply clean lines with pops of colour, and the work of Lela Harris as Doodle Love fits in nicely with my obsession. I love how a few lines can convey a story so easily.

November 03, 2018

The Shop: Empathy Cards

Earlier this year, I made a birthday card for a friend that is not a fan of physical contact. We had a good laugh over it, but it wasn't until a conversation that I had with a visitor at my table during a spring market that I realised it could be a legitimate thing that some people might appreciate. 

I had just made some new sympathy cards (that haven't been released into the shop yet) and the visitor mentioned that she did not like the way sympathy cards are worded. She said that when her dad died, people would say things like "It's going to be okay" or "Feel better, soon" and all she felt was anger and sadness. She got tired of people giving her these cards that didn't acknowledge those feelings -- just a little band-aid on her emotions. It got me thinking, and I decided that I really wanted to recognise those emotions.

I started with the "it's okay to feel..." card. It is a phrase that I use with the children that I work with, because it really is okay to feel sad or's what you do with those emotions (ie. hitting people vs. finding a space for yourself). It initially ended with something like "just know that I'm here for you", but I decided that the card isn't about the person sending it. It's about the person receiving it, and it wasn't fair to add that little bit at the end. I mean, if the person sending it wants to add that little bit inside the card, they can. You know your friends and family better than I do.

I created the Christmas card about a month ago while a friend has been going through a rough patch after the loss of someone very close to her. The first anniversary is around the holidays, and I wanted to support the fact that -- although I love the season very much myself -- there are a lot of people out there that don't feel the same way as me because of loss, bad memories, etc. I had also intended to add something else at the bottom, but it felt too peppy, and like "yeah, it sucks, but cheer up, yo!" Again, that's not my place, and every card is blank to add an extra bit of sentiment if you wish.

Do you remember that scene in Inside Out when Bing Bong was sad and Joy was just trying to pump him up, but he continued crying until Sadness sat down and recognised his feelings and made him feel it was okay to be sad? Not everyone needs a little pep-talk after going through the emotionally draining things that life throws our way. Sometimes people just need someone to recognise how they might be feeling and feel their presence while they're sad. It's my hope that these cards will do a little bit of that.

October 27, 2018

ElleSee Paints: Purple Birches

Earlier this year I started getting back into painting (after I did some work on this painting that's been bothering me for a while -- update to come). I started small with a 10"x10" piece, but had so much fun that I quickly moved up in size when I purchase this 30"x40" canvas. 

It took me quite a while to figure out what I wanted to do with it. But I was inspired by some artwork I saw in a home decor store, and soon started painting these purple hued birches (birch trees are my favourite tree). Since I completed this painting, I have bought another canvas and have already started another project that I'll share more about next month.

You can see some of the other stages that the painting went through in the photos below. I shared a lot of the progress on Instagram if you're interested in seeing more.

I really enjoyed experimenting with the paint and mixing the different colours for the leaves. It's fascinating how art starts in one direction, but can end up somewhere else that you never intended.

October 22, 2018

Behind the Art: Hair Raising

This little guy is one of the first drawings that I made for the shop before I started adding more details into the animals that I was drawing. 

It came from the idea of a little porcupine finding a balloon and wanting to keep it, but that is something quite difficult given the nature of what is all over a porcupine. It seems to have worked out in the end because there was some static electricity involved and the balloon just sort of attached itself to the porcupine.

October 13, 2018

Shop Update: The Curled-Up Pup Enamel Pin

At the beginning of October, this little guy made the jump from the page to your lapel, tote bag, etc. when we released a soft enamel pin of our little logo, the Curled-Up Pup. You can find it here in the shop. 

Just as with our art print, $1 from your purchase of this little fellow goes to our local SPCA where our real-life curled-up pup was adopted into our family over 12 years ago.

This brooch was made by a company in Toronto named Artik. It is a soft enamel pin, with white and black paint and bright brass metal, that has a brass clutch back clasp to help keep it in place.

September 23, 2018

Waskesiu 2018: At the Beach

Being at the beach (any beach) is really a dream vacation for me. I could sit there all day listening to the water, paddle boarding, looking for little fish to put in my son's bucket, dipping my toes in the water to cool off. There really is nothing that I love more than water and other natural elements working together to make something so peaceful and inviting.

This was the year that my son peace-d out and decided he wanted to make friends with other children at the lake. It was a bit hard for me as I wasn't prepared for it, but I did enjoy my time to myself out on the water on the paddle board that I rented (I took my son out for the first little trip across the swimming area). I liked sitting on the board and dragging my feet beside it to keep me cool. It was a time for reflection, and the feeling of the board floating on the water reminded me a lot of when I tried surfing.

Even though there were moments of independence this summer, I know that my son enjoys his time at the lake (as do I) and I can't wait for more adventures next summer!

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