My sister and brother-in-law picked up a Lightning McQueen jacket for Little Boy this Christmas, and he loved it so much that he ran around in it all morning, and we could hardly get him to take it off in order to put his sweater on underneath so we could go outside. You know it's a good gift when...
by LC McDonald
by LC McDonald
December 23, 2015
I bet the finishing touches are being added to your Christmas packages -- if not already. If you're still not quite done, and are looking for a fun way to let your friends and family know which gift belongs to them, try drawing little gift tag portraits. I did this last year for my husband's siblings and their spouses. It was a lot of fun drawing them up, and we got a few good giggles about how some of them turned out -- check out John Travolta and Michael Cain.
December 21, 2015
Sadly, I did not document where the original idea for these gift tags came from, but if you find it please let me know so I can share it. I made these gift tags to go with all of the handmade gifts that I gave last year because they made me laugh, and they are so very true. You can't return a handmade gift unless you give it back to the person that made it for you...which I actually wouldn't mind at all :)
December 19, 2015
Friday was Pyjama Day at work/school for us. He was very excited to be able to wear his pyjamas to school, and picked out his reindeer onesie the night before. All week he would ask me how many sleeps it was until Pyjama Day, or what day it was and what the consecutive days were until I would finally say "Friday". It fun to have little moments like that, and to feel the excitement.
I know that this series is all about portraits of Little Boy, but I wanted to share my pyjamas too :)
December 17, 2015
For this project, I used a tutorial that I found on the website Camille Styles -- here. All I needed was air dry clay and some gold paint, so I popped into the craft store to purchase some. If you don't have a lot of items at your house that would make a cool imprint in the dish, you could probably pick something up along with the clay and paint -- I used a necklace chain to make my design.
This tutorial was easy enough to follow, and actually inspired me to work more with air dry clay -- hence the brooches that I made for the shop. There's nothing much to be concerned about here, the only thing I needed more of was patience while waiting for the clay to dry out. Sometimes it's difficult to do projects that require you to wait 24 hours or more before finishing it.
December 14, 2015
For this project I used a tutorial for a galaxy shirt from the website Auto Straddle -- I also used it once before to make a galaxy sweater. This is a DIY that I really enjoy doing -- obviously, or I wouldn't have done it twice.
Pay attention to the type of shoes that you are buying. They should be able to have paint on them without causing any problems. I had a little bit of trouble with trying to get them to bleach well, but I'm also inpatient and didn't leave them as long as I probably should. Also, If you don't want to get any paint on the rubber part of the shoes, you should cover them with painters tape before you create your galaxy.
December 09, 2015
I created little tea bags of loose tea with tea that I had purchased from David's Tea, using this idea that I got from the blog Lia Griffith. Luckily, my mom had some cheese cloth that she let me use, and I used some shipping tags as the lables -- I put the ingredients of the tea on the back of the tag.
Be aware that the tea you choose may want to poke it's way out of the cheese cloth. I chose the one with thin tea leaves, so I had to push them back inside sometimes. You might also find it beneficial to have a double layer of the cheese cloth -- I just didn't have much to work with.
December 07, 2015
'Tis the season for wrapping present, and part of that includes a gift tag. My gift to you this season is free printable gift tags with some drawings from Little Shop of ElleSee. Some of them are currently on cards, and some of them are retired. I printed mine out on cardstock so that they were a little bit sturdier.
Enjoy the season!
December 04, 2015
He asked to play outside after his nap yesterday, and I was happy to oblige -- it was a beautiful day yesterday. We decided to scrape the piled up snow from where the cars go up and down the driveway. It was a good workout for me and he was a good helper, trying his best to scrape and shovel the snow and ice chunks.
December 02, 2015
I got this idea from a blog called Project 22 - here. I didn't end up doing the entire back of the shirt because it required a lot of rivets -- more than ended up being in a couple of packages -- so I did a different design of my own. I just mapped it out first to see what I liked before I started putting the rivets through the shirt.
Make sure you pay attention to the tightness of the fibers in the shirt that you purchase. I bought a shirt that had a really loose weave and it caused some problems when I went to close the rivets as there wasn't much for the claws to grab onto and I had to redo some of the rivets.
November 30, 2015
studded shirt - tea bags - air dry clay jewellery dish - galaxy shoes - gift tags - portrait gift tags
Last Christmas -- I gave you my heart -- I decided to either make a gift for someone, or buy handmade and purchase items from local shops. It took a lot of prep, and awareness of where I was shopping -- luckily Flock & Gather comes in quite handy. Keep checking back over the next few weeks to learn the stories and DIY tutorials behind each of these photos for your own DIY Christmas.
November 29, 2015
You know the phrase "a picture is worth a thousand words"? Since hearing it, I have always thought of how powerful some images can be without having any words associated with it. But then I realised that if there are no words to go with it, then you are missing out on the amazing story behind it.
When I read the View piece called "Back and Forth" about photographer Peter Schlesinger in the October 2015 issue of Vogue, I was taken by the beautiful images that he has shot. They have such rich colours, textures and layers and a language all their own. Then I reached the end of the article and read his thoughts on Instagram -- he said that he hates Instagram and that he "like[s] pictures that have more of a story behind them." -- and it got me thinking how unfortunate it is that he doesn't like Instagram based on the fact that he doesn't think there are any photos with stories behind them.
It's not that I'm defending Instagram or anything. There are certainly a lot of photographs on there that have no depth to them what-so-ever. But I feel like -- if you are looking in the right place -- you can find some accounts that share wonderful photographs that have rich colours, textures and layers that have a language all their own. I follow fantastic people that have beautiful stories following them, and they are sharing them with the world. Some of them have made wonderful new friends because they have shared a piece of their life with people that they may have never had the opportunity to all because of Instagram.
If you dig deep enough into Instagram and sift through all of the selfies and food photos, you will find photographs that look quite similar to the photos that Peter Schlesinger takes that have just as good of a story behind them -- or even better.
November 20, 2015
He is a fan of all things Mario. So when I spotted a goomba toque on Pinterest, I contacted my friend Karis of Odd Duck Creations to make one for him. He was so excited to wear it when I showed him what had arrived in the mail. He has barely taken it off since.
November 14, 2015
Yesterday was a day for the two of us. I took the following two days after Remembrance Day off of work, and yesterday we decided to go mini golfing. We quickly stopped at a local paper shop to find some Christmas cards, gift wrap, and some Christmas gifts, and then made our way to the mall to have some lunch and play some mini golf. This photo was taken when we got home. He was exhausted, and eating a candy -- don't tell the dentist.
November 12, 2015
By now most of us are familiar with the young woman, Malala Yousafzai. I remember being on my break at work and reading a report about a girl who had been shot in the head by the Taliban while on her way to school in Pakistan, and I remember being worried for her. Then, after her recovery, I remember when someone on my Facebook posted a video of her on The Daily Show with John Stewart, and I was amazed by how passionate she is, and yet so humble and forgiving. She has a beautiful heart, and is someone that I am inspired by and aspire to be like.
I learned a lot about the history of Pakistan in I Am Malala, and how they came to be at the place that they currently are. There are a lot of political steps, and missteps, that were taken that have put the country in a different place from the countries west of them. I also learned a lot about Islam, and the culture of Pakistan -- especially in the Swat Valley. I work with a couple of women from Pakistan that come from the Southern part of the country, and have experienced quite different struggles from Malala -- no less, or more, important -- but I really liked being able to speak with them about the history of their country and their experiences as Muslim women.
Her father is just as passionate as she is about education, and the importance, especially, of education for girls and women. I really like that Malala wrote about her father's past, and, despite his struggles, how he became a strong man that was incredibly valued within his community. He was a voice for equality, and helped give Malala her voice as well. I respect him very much.
There were a lot of parts in the book that made me emotional, specifically when Malala would talk about her love of education, and her call for educational equality. I realised how fortunate I am to have grown up in a country where it is my right to get a high school education, and where I can freely go into post-secondary education. I always had a desk, I always had books, and no one ever told me that I wasn't allowed to go. We really do not know how fortunate we are, and it is Malala's dream that every child is able to have the same experience as I had -- a dream that I think is attainable. Peace.
November 09, 2015
As the autumn weather approaches, I grab the Rubbermade tubs from the basement that I had just taken my summer clothing from, and bring it upstairs so that I can switch out all of the warm weather clothes for sweaters, pants, and long-sleeved t-shirts. It is pretty much the last goodbye to the summer.
Don't get me wrong, I love a good sweater, a warm scarf, and a beautiful pair of gloves as much as the next girl that is forced to transition to winter. I usually like to wear cardigans and sweater vests -- as I mentioned here -- but this year I found a light-weight sweater with cats on it that was too awesome to pass up.
Another favourite thing about transitioning to fall is being able to wear my boots again. I have a pair of tall riding boots, as well as these cute lace-up boots that I picked out a couple of years ago. I am also planning on going to find myself a pair of cute suede booties in a fun colour.
Accessories wise I find myself wearing more jewellery again -- because I don't have to worry about getting sunscreen all over them -- and I start having fun with different colours of eye shadow and nail polish. Another way to change with the season is to have some fun with your hair colour. Madison Reed has a colour advisor that helps you pick the right shade for your hair -- it's really fun to do too, and I love the colours that they suggested for me.
cat sweater: RW & CO
similar boots: Aldo
infinity scarf: Warman's Winter Wovens
November 02, 2015
It's time to start thinking about Christmas and the holiday season! Start playing those Christmas carols -- anything by Bing Crosby is a favourite of mine -- and start stocking up on Christmas cards. There are four new Christmas cards in the shop this year -- which is perfect because then you can create your own Mix and Match Set of 5.
This year, a few of the cards were inspired by Christmas carols -- it seems to be a trend of mine. Three gold stars if you can figure out which ones. Enjoy the beginning of the season!
November 01, 2015
He had so much fun Trick-or-Treating. He collected 9lbs of candy -- oh my word. Once he and Dad came home, he was also quite eager to hand out the candies to the groups of children that were coming to our door. Hopefully his feet won't get so sore next year, and he can stay out much longer.
October 31, 2015
October 30, 2015
This is probably the last year that I will do a couples costume with my son -- I'm pretty much Beverly Goldberg from the show The Goldbergs. Next year he will be in Kindergarten and won't want anything to do with me. My mom made this costume for him to wear in Disney World for Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party, and I thought it would be fun to dress up as Mickey -- seeing as he's Pluto's owner :)
I already owned the pants, the blazer, the shirt, the shoes and, yes, the Mickey ears. I even sewed the bow tie myself using this wonderful tutorial from the blog Pepper. Overall it was a quick costume to put together.
October 25, 2015
Autumn has arrived once again, and now we get to pull out our chunky knit scarves, gloves and peacoats. We have been experiencing some milder weather here as of late, and so I've been enjoying Autumn more than usual before having to pull out my winter coat. Here are a few of my favourite things this season...
I love a good sweater vest with a belt like the one here from With Love from Kat. As cold as I feel during these months, I prefer to wear a sweater vest or cardigan so that I'm not boiling hot, and I can take it off without having to worry about exposing myself at work. I also love a comfy pair of boots like the ones you see here from Free People. A cute pair of boots are a good way to complete an outfit while keeping your feet warm.
A warm beverage on a cool Autumn morning is the perfect way to start the day. This recipe from Real Housemoms is absolutely delicious. And what better way to complete your warm beverage experience than with a favourite mug. This one from the shop Sobi Graphie is absolutely adorable1
One of my favourite things to do is curl up under a warm blanket. This cable knit blanket from Le Souk is absolutely perfect. One of my favourite things to do while curled up under a warm blanket is reading a book. I just finished reading The Martian, and have now started the Harry Potter series for the first time.
October 17, 2015
While eating lunch today, Little Boy sat himself in one of the little chairs from his art table. It made him look so small while trying to eat his lunch, and reminded me of some photos that I took when he was a toddler wanting to sit at the table without his booster seat. His size has changed, but his need to be independent and try things that the adults do has not.
October 16, 2015
For as long as I have been going to Flock & Gather shows -- as a customer and now as a seller -- I have always admired Rebecca King Design. It wasn't until I did a small show this summer and had a booth quite close to her's that I finally made a purchase.
While setting up I noticed a single piece hanging at the back of one rack that was made from the most beautiful and fun pattern. I kept my eye on that piece all day until a friend of mine arrived to purchase some cards, and I asked if she wouldn't mind watching the table so I could go try it on.
Well, once Rebecca King put the scarf on my correctly -- I won't go into detail on how I had arranged it myself -- I knew that I had to buy it. I love it, and what makes me love it even more is knowing that it is a sample and I'm one of the first ones to own it. I feel like that's something pretty special.
One of the things that I like best about this piece -- besides the fact that it is so cozy and comfortable -- is the leather that goes from the cuff and up past my elbow along the bottom of the sleeve. I don't know if this is the intended purpose or not, but I think it's a clever way to prolong the life of the sleeve. Because somewhere along that area is usually the first to wear away.
October 12, 2015
I feel awful. This is the best portrait that I got of Little Boy this past week. Luckily I was taking some self-portraits for another blog post, and he happened to be in a test photo. He wanted to get a photo with one of his birthday cards that he got when he turned 4 earlier this year. It's hard to believe that he is already half way to 5.
October 10, 2015
This photo was taken soon after we purchased his new little friend Pascal. We started watching Tangled before we left on holiday, and he loved Rapunzel's little chameleon friend. He was very excited when we found him in a shop and could have a Pascal of his very own.
October 09, 2015
It is incredibly difficult to condense a 10-day vacation into a blog post that won't overwhelm your computer. I suppose that I could have broken it up and shared it over a few days, but, let's face it, that would get a little bit boring. So, here are 13 photos that I feel best describe our time in Walt Disney World.
We spent the majority of our time in the Magic Kindgom. It ended up having the most variety of rides for Little Boy, and the most rides that he was actually able to go on and was interested in -- he was not the biggest fan of The Tower of Terror. We were lucky enough to be able to get tickets to Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party, which ended up being a lot of fun for me because we got to meet a lot of Disney characters that are not out very often -- and I had an excuse to dress-up as a Disney character myself...Little Boy was dressed up as Pluto, but he got way too hot and we had to take the costume off before we could get a photo.
Little Boy enjoyed the parades, and meeting the different characters -- especially Goofy, Dug and Winnie the Pooh. Among his favourite rides were The People Mover, the tea cups, Winnie the Pooh's ride, and Peter Pan's Flight. He also really enjoyed the Star Wars ride, and was excited to build his own light saber.
It was a very different experience for my husband and I. We had been to Walt Disney World together two times before, and so we were used to a fast pace adventure where we tried to get on as many rides as we could before the park closed for the day. It was not the same kind of experience with a child. We still tried to get on as many rides as we could, but we were also a lot more careful about taking a break to have something to eat, having a drink of water, and heading back to the hotel room for a nap.
I can't say that everything went perfectly -- one night we survived on snacks until we got back to our hotel and had a supper picnic in our room at 10:30pm -- or that we were happy in the "Happiest Place on Earth" the entire time, but you always forget about the bad things once you have been home for a while -- like all of the tantrums while waiting in a 30min line...because that's the longest wait we were willing to do -- and then you start planning your next holiday.