Behind the Art: Feels Like Home

February 27, 2022

Sometimes I like looking back at my early card designs to not only understand how my work has evolved, but to also appreciate the level of simplicity that I used to have. Not that most of the cards I make now have become overly complicated, but, comparing Feels Like Home to this thank you card, there's a way to draw and write that I used to have that I just don't do anymore, and I don't think I can go back. All that to say, it's not a bad thing that my designs have changed, they are still part of Little Shop of ElleSee; they're still simple, but just different. 

This design was created to invoke the feeling that you get when you think about home, especially when you've been away for a long time, and how the people in your life make you think about that feeling; the feeling of being warm and safe (of course, only if that is how you feel in your home). I like to visit those feelings that can't be touched by a long, complicated message, or even on that is intended to be funny. Sometimes you just need three words and a little drawing. Simple.


Inspired by Reggio Emilia: Part I

February 20, 2022

I heard the words "Reggio Emilia" for the first time many years ago from my first room partner. I knew that she wanted to "implement Reggio Emilia", but I had no clue what that meant as I had just started learning what it even meant to be an early childhood educator. 

She gave me a textbook to read through called Working in the Reggio Way: A Beginner's Guide for American Teachers by Julianne P. Wurm, but I didn't end up looking at it until several years later when I found it shoved on a shelf along with the textbook Authentic Childhood: Exploring Reggio Emilia in the Classroom by Susan Fraser and Carol Gestwicki.

I had already completed my schooling when I sat down to read through each textbook, but I still did not know what the words "Reggio Emilia" meant, and had only heard whispers from the folklore that follows them around in North America. 

I quickly learned that Reggio Emilia is, in fact, a city in Italy, and there is so much more to adopting the philosophies behind the program that has developed over nearly 80 years than simply switching out plastic toys for natural materials, making lovely presentations to encourage children to play, and taking photographs of what they are doing.

While there were aspects of it that intrigued me, like setting up the environment to be engaging enough to act as the third teacher, I still didn't quite understand everything that was involved; there were always little pieces that I understood, but I could never quite get them to fit together to make sense of the puzzle. 

As I've been going through everything again, I have started to realise that the work I have done on my journey to understand anti-racism and anti-hate has helped me to understand that putting myself aside (my beliefs about children, my own traumas, etc.) is a necessary piece of the puzzle.

Through this work that I have done -- and, believe me, am still learning -- it is easier for me to understand that seeing children as capable means so much more than helping them learn how to do up their own zipper, or clean up their spot at the table; it means that I see myself as a collaborator with them, not just the person that is telling them what to do; it means asking questions in a way that gets them to think a little bit deeper and come up with ideas and solutions themselves. 

It's been a slow process, and has taken a lot of learning and reflection, but, with the help of my room partner, we are starting to understand how we can put the philosophies of the Reggio Emilia approach into place in our classroom.

Inspired by Reggio Emilia: Part 2

Inspired by Reggio Emilia: Part 3


What We Love: Winter 2022

February 13, 2022

My husband noticed this little fellow from the shop Misfortunes by Noa Geffer hanging out on my computer screen one day and decided to get it for me for Christmas, and I love it so much! I really don't know what I like about it, but I find it so endearing. Maybe because it is such a strange interpretation of a dog, and I find that the colours and the ear remind me of Ivan, and because it makes me laugh, but in a fun way. It's so sweet.

I first heard Dear Rouge when they opened for Lights back in 2018 for the We Were Here Tour, and was recently reminded of them again when Stolen Days showed up on a playlist I was listening to. I love the quality of their sound, and how they give me a vibe of 90s punk rock.

I find this little rainbow ceramic serpent from the shop PearsonMaron to be such a creative and wonderful interpretation of the rainbow. Not only do the vibrancy of the colours remind me of skittles, but I love the combination of a snake with the shape of a rainbow...which is essentially what they look like as they move along the ground. So cool!!


My Curly Hair Journey: 1.5 Years

February 06, 2022

Y'all!! The amount of growth that my hair has done in the last year is unbelievable. The way my roots have started to curl and lift...beyond exciting!

When I got my hair cut to clean it up back in September 2021, my hairdresser let me know that there had been a lot of new growth and so we decided to cut the ends up to match. It instantly looked thicker, and it, surprisingly, didn't need to be cut very short to meet up with the new ends. 

I have kept up with staying away from coconut and aloe vera, which has proved to be quite difficult, but doable (I'll be sharing my routine and products soon, so stay tuned!). Right now, for the winter months, I have been doing a clarifying wash with apple cider vinegar weekly, and making sure I add a lot of moisture to my hair.

These photos were taken the morning after wash day. I had just sprayed them with water, scrunched them up again, and let them dry. These are the first second day curls that I thought looked better than wash day, and I was so happy to see some of the holes in my hair slowly being filled in on the side of my scalp.

It is no lie when they tell you that it is a long journey when you first start doing the work to care for your hair. My hair has changed so much, my routine has changed so much, and it can be a lot of work sometimes (a lot of the time), but I love the evolution of my hair so much. It's worth it!

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