and the winner is...

the names

ready, set


the winner is...

Congratulations Wendy Church I think you may have just got your wish! 

I will get the items to you via TamiJo and then you will have the difficult task of deciding which Giesbrecht boy gets the goods.

Thank you everyone for playing along and have a most wonderful Monday evening. xxx


"art on the go" giveaway

Happy Monday!  I'm having a bit of a slow start today.  I woke up with a terrible headache which kept us home from swimming lessons but things have subsided and I'm feeling much better.  Let's get on with the giveaway, shall we?

"art on the go" giveaway

I promised I'd do one back in my 300th post but needed a bit of time to figure out what would be up for grabs.  I've been making crayon rolls of late and selling them in local craft
fairs and since it is that back to school time I'd like to keep the
theme going.  If you're a fan of linen and cotton, you are going to love this giveaway.

the tote - giveaway

The giveaway, let's call it "art on the go" will entail: one mini crayon roll - it's a  bit smaller than the originals I've made in the past - which will come filled with large size crayons.  I really like the larger crayons because they seem to be a bit sturdier for the little hands and less likely to break.  Also included is a
9" x 6" doodle pad with 100 pages for endless coloring.  Finally, both items fit neatly inside a matching, fully lined art tote so nothing get's lost during transport or around the home for that matter.  Perfect for your little bug lover :)

crayon roll - giveaway

The giveaway details are pretty simple, leave a comment and you are entered!  It's that simple.  I'll leave the comments open for the week and announce a winner on the weekend.

crayon roll and tote - giveaway

Come one, come all and comment for your chance to win. Oh and please feel free to blog about it and share the love.    

"art on the go" - giveaway
ETA: Oops, I've been really busy getting ready for a garage sale that we are having this weekend (Saturday/Sunday).  So busy I forgot to close the comments.  Silly me.  Anyway, I'll officially close the comments on Sunday around 6:00 pm CST.  I'll draw the name and announce a winner on Monday, August 31st.  Hope everyone is well and enjoying their weekend.  Be back soon, xxx.    
Sunday 8:00 pm:  Comments are now closed!  Thank you everyone for participating. 



Just a little really, before I head off to dream land.

giveaway teaser

giveaway teaser.

I meant to do the giveaway this week, but with running the troop to swim class every morning, our end of summer schedule is really kicking my butt.  I forgot how difficult it is to get out of bed, organized and functional after weeks of lazy summer days & late nights.  Not to worry though, we have one more week of swimmers life and then it is back to regular scheduling for the kiddos, at least for a little while longer.
In the meantime, the giveaway post is now set for Monday.  I'll be back then with full photos of the goodies up for grabs.  Have a lovely couple of days and we'll talk soon, xxx.


summer, oh summer

Where for art thou summer?

Sometimes you just need to post inspiring pictures if for no other reason than to remind yourself what summer is supposed to look like.


hanging on

going pro


We are on day 6 (or 7) of straight rain here on the prairies.  It's strange I tell ya, very strange.  I'd take a leech over this rain any day.


Many, many thanks to 3trikes for inviting us to the lake, we had a fabulous day with you and your family.  I hope it warms up so we can have another water adventure day.  xxx

ps...the giveaway is still coming :)  



It's that time again when my mind is busy planning ahead for the
school year.  Part of it involves deciding what the kids will be
studying as well as keeping track of their extra-curricular
activities.  I'm not sure how you manage to keep yourself
organized but I need to see the schedule in front of me, on a regular
basis, or I start to forget commitments.  As a homeschooling family much of what we do is together, yet there are still those individual activities that draw us away according to
our own interests/hobbies.  From music lessons to dance, to movie
making and soccer, the interests are as varied as the personalities.
For this mumma it can get difficult to keep track of everything.

schedule weekly

Enter the calendar: I used to write the weekly comings and goings on a
monthly calendar but that can get pretty labor intensive when you are
repeating the same activities.  I've wizened up with age
and created a "weekly activities" schedule for our solid routines (I'll
keep the calendar writing to the irregular events like dentist/doctor
appointments.)  The schedule will eventually be kept on the fridge where everyone can view it, but for now it is on my desk getting filled up with activities to keep this crew happy during the long winter months.   I've made it available for download in case you
need a little help remembering your weekly activities.  Enjoy!

PS, stay tuned for a giveawy this week fo a back to school theme.  Happy Tuesday, xxx


circa 1973

I was 5 years old - today - all those years ago.

circa 1973

In two weeks time my wee girlies will celebrate their 5th birthday and then in (quite) a few more years they will be looking back from where I am today.  Life keeps going on, birthdays keep coming and going.  If any of you have figured out how to slow down time be sure to share your secret...okay? 



Is the number of years that the hubby and I celebrate being married today.


It's hard to believe that much time has passed already.  I was thinking about our journey and how much living we've packed into the past 16 years.  As it stands we have 4 healthy children, and 1 dog that barks too much; we survived a major career shift (hubby's) a few years back; and we've owned 3 different homes which we've spent alot of time working on.    Of course there are so many more things that I could type but ... a little mystery goes a long way ;) 
Most of all in our 16 years I love that we've become better together, stronger, the best-est of friends.  I have learned to trust the man who was once a boy all those years ago.  I love deeper because of him and somehow I feel braver just knowing him.  I am thankful that he takes his never quit attitude to heart especially when it comes to us.  I married a good man, who came from good people (thank you mom & dad). 
I love you Paul, thank you for everything and Happy 16th babe. 


art supplies

Some details in the "everything room":


In this room we try to keep everything in visual range, the idea being that if one can see it, one is more likely to use it.  Of particular importance for our family are the art supplies.  With 4 kids, you can imagine that “arting” (our family word) is high on the priority list.  There is always a creation in the works in this space, something this mumma completely supports and understands, ahem.


The kids medium of choice these days is drawing centered.  From oldest to youngest, there is a constant use of pencils, crayons, pencil crayons, & markers so accessibility is paramount.  I have always stored these supplies in various plastic bins, that have over time broken down, cracked or lost their lid.  This was always a temporary solution for me as I waited for my brain to think through an alternative.   I contemplated the coffee can – too tall for short crayons/markers,
small can – too sharp, jars – still packed in the garage (and still too
tall).  After awhile I considered small wood boxes but asking the hubby
to make one more thing in a no-renovation summer would be hypocritical
after all.

art caddy   sectioned

Enter the art caddy, with a little adaptation via cardboard and exacto
knife, it now holds our daily supplies.  It spins like a lazy susan to keep
all the hands at the table happy (remember accessibility) and it looks
completely at home in the everything room. 

new: art caddy

And the best part for me is getting just a little more organized for the home schooling year ahead. 

hands on

How do you store and organize art supplies in your home?   



We put a halt to our renovation efforts for July and August in favor of enjoying the long days of summer.  It's a short season and when we aren’t out frolicking in the sun, which would be on those endless rainy days, we migrate to the everything room.  You can see more on the progress of the room by starting here: original room, the redo, painting, and getting funky. We've come a long way baby.  

everything room

The everything room is easily the most organized room in our house and one of the first rooms we completed (well almost completed, there are a few finishes touches that need to happen but they are minor).

office area

books, books & more books

It's a room filled with everything and everything has it's place. Guitars and a piano, books, books and more books, laptops and a desktop, homeschooling, art supplies (more on that tomorrow) and of course any decent "everything room" in a house of kids has to have it's toy/play zone.

play time

I love how this room turned out and believe, over the coming years, it will adapt just fine to the changing needs of our growing family.

the table

Where does your family gather on rainy days ?

a short story

We took the dog for a walk.


We walked in a off leash dog park.  Off leashing is probably like off roading, but for dogs.


My dog liked that park.  It was big and he didn't have to listen to me.

running after the dog

He ran so far ahead that I had to use my 200 mm lens to take this shot of him...looking back at me.


In the end I think the dog walked us.  We went home tired...and happy.  With the dog on the leash.

my family

The end.


I did it for love

But I have to acknowledge that there was a whole lot of luck entwined
as well.  It was one of those right place at the right time scenarios.


A previously loved dress, filled with pink layers and girly appeal,
arrived at our house one day in early July.  There wasn't even time to
debate ownership as Miss J threw the dress on and began her
fashion debut.  It consisted of a twirl here and a twirl there while
Miss A looked on with eyes big as saucers and exclaimed
"mumma, I need a twirly dress too!"

thrifted fabric

As luck would have it, last week while thrifting some fabric caught my eye.  It was a pre-printed dress pattern, I assume someone had
good intentions to sew it up but never got around to
it.  Well anyway, while contemplating the work this dress would require it
dawned on me that the pattern looked very similar to said twirly
dress from July.  Hmm, things were starting to become very clear at that moment, Miss A was going to have her dress.


Once home I began the process of washing, ironing,
cutting and sewing.  I lined the upper bodice and topstitched.  The
lower half of the dress called for a simple gathered waist but instead I cut into three layers of graduating lengths and then gathered,
pinned and stitched.  Better all around for the twirl factor.


By next morning the dress was completed, washed and ironed.  I brought it to Miss A and she squealed with delight "mumma, it's an under the sea twirly
dress".  Her arms wrapped around my neck tightly and with hugs &
kisses she said "thank you mumma for letting me twirl too!"   Yup, I
did do it for love.

twirly girls



That is how many squares I cut this weekend.

352 squares

I painfully, well not really painful... it was more visually delightful, cut into my Amy Schimler fabric.  I'm finally starting one of the quilts for the boys room that I mentioned a few months back.  After much deliberation over the whirlygiggle or the zig zag, the J-man decided on some zig for his zag and the timing couldn't have been better.   Amy is hosting a quilt along over at the oldredbarn on flickr complete with lots of pics and instructions to help me along my way, strength in numbers right? 


This quilt will be a twin size so I had to make some adjustments to the
instructions but nothing too strenuous.  I want more zig zags so
instead of the 9"  blocks, I cut 5" blocks and doubled my amount.
Hence the 352.  That's a whole lot of piecing folks and I can still say
that smiling :)


weekend scenes

It's the long weekend for us and yesterday we made our way to an old park that was new to us.  It was filled with great spaces to hide in and explore.  Why we didn't make our way sooner to this park is beyond me but I'm so glad we finally discovered it. 






I'm looking forward to returning again and again.  Happy Monday!  xxx

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