Wednesday, December 30, 2009

it must be something in the water (or hot chocolate)



:: it must be something in the water (or hot cocoa)........

.....the last (which was also the first) time my dad came to visit for the holidays, New York greeted him with a wonderful bout of bronchitis that shook him for much of the trip.

......this time we were blessed with a slip on the sidewalk that inevitably caused a compound fracture in his leg. He has unfortunately spent the last few days recovering in the hospital after having surgery and will hopefully be out of the hospital soon. The hospital currently prohibits children under 12 from visiting patients, and the boys are miserable that they cannot go and see him. We are ever so hopeful that he will be released tomorrow, and can't imagine how he must be feeling spending so much of his holiday laid up in bed. (the boys keep sending him phone images of their christmas lego kits in hopes of enticing him to heal faster.)

...Please excuse my ever-increasing absence, as I have a feeling we will all be trying to grab every second we can with him once he comes back from the hospital. There will be plenty of story reading to him in bed (preferably Lego catalogues) while he rests his leg before heading back home for more healing. (and might I add there has been plenty of preparation when it comes to telling two very bouncy little boys the importance of staying clear of his leg.........this shall be very interesting...)

....the next time he visits with my mum.....well, all I can say is that I won't be taking any chances.
He will be drinking bottled water the entire time :)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Is it too early to talk about Spring?



I have been a very busy girl lately, and many of you have been asking for an update on my upcoming fabric line with Robert Kaufman. Many a sketch has been made, and we have finally come up with the first three patterns to be launched this coming April. As much as I would like to reveal the patterns to you now, i'd much rather wait until the first batch of test samples come in so that we can all share in a little sneak preview together.
What I can tell you, however, is that the fabric will be printed under my mummysam name and the title of the series has been tentatively set at "A day in the life". The series is primarily based on my diary doodles I had done to document my days raising little ones (remember those?) and will include many an image of bottles, diapers, brooms, pots and pans, etc. I am ever so thrilled about this new venture, and cannot wait to share this journey with you as we get closer to the date!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

shouldn't I be talking about christmas?



This should be a post full of holiday loveliness, but instead it's about that jar right above you sitting alongside the dish soap. And unless you were raised on this stuff since conception in your mother's womb, you will probably run out of the room with a dreadful look on your face once I reveal what's inside.

I can't tell you how many days were spent in the elementary school cafeteria taking pleasure in "grossing" the other kids out with my daily lunch staple. They had never seen anything so black and thick, and the smell alone often sent them a few shuffles away down the bench. What first was a worry that everyone would throw themselves into a jealous frenzy desperate to trade, soon became a realization that the only ones asking to trade were probably encouraged to do so through some sort of dare.

I loved it. I loved it so much that I was determined to pass the affection for this British staple down to my children. (much to my husband's dismay....he would have been one of those kids shuffling away at the lunch table) They were both introduced to it during pregnancy through my daily breakfast menu of tea and marmite on toast. For nine months I devoured it, and for nine months my husband ran out of the kitchen covering his nose desperate to avoid the smell.

My boys love it. My youngest one loves it so much, that we have had to move the jar to the back of the sink in an attempt to prevent him from pulling everything out of the pantry to get to it.
Apparently this "in the womb" introduction works quite well......so well that now the poor hubby has three smelly marmite mouths to run away from.

How's that for a good holiday related post?

Monday, December 14, 2009

I love the smell.....


roger yearned for the sea, originally uploaded by mummysam.

If you ever get a chance to peek in on one of my morning sessions in the studio, you may very likely hear me shouting to myself, " what is it about that d** wax that always begs to get slathered on? why do you keep coming back to it? " I can't help it. I just love the smell.

I am a painter (or was so before the kids were born). I spent 70 hours a week slathering on layers of wax and oils onto canvasses. I would wake up in the morning, turn my wax on, and sip my coffee while the crockpot worked away, anxious to dip some brushes in and start painting. I loved the smell.


I hated the smell. I was pregnant with my first child and felt sick at the thought of even looking at the crockpot. Each time I even attempted to go near it, I would run out the room desperate to escape before it made me sick. What once kept me painting for hours on end, now pushed me away for eight more months. I hated the smell.

I loved the smell. In the mornings I would rush down to get a quick load of diapers in the wash before the baby woke up. My crockpot could be seen from the laundry area and every time I passed it, I had a such a strong urge to turn it on and revisit the smells that used to keep me down here for hours on end. I loved the smell.

I hated the smell. Apparently this second baby growing in my belly also has an aversion to the stuff. I had such high hopes. My little one napped twice a day, and I thought I could used one of those naps to start painting again. (I even turned the wax on before going to feed him his bottle....it would be ready by the time I came back down)
Again, I found myself running away scared of the smell. Oh how I hated the smell,

I loved the smell. And so did the boys. The crockpot got moved to the top shelf away from curious little fingers, and was left to sit patiently while this mum spent her wee one's naps napping herself.

I love the smell. The boys are in school, and I am sipping some coffee after turning the crockpot on. I have three hours to work before the little one gets picked up from preschool, and I am anxious to dip some brushes in. (I have even bought some new ones for the occasion.)
I can't help myself. I just absolutely love the smell.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Friday bliss.... (and holiday shop schedule)



Nothing beats greeting your 6 year old off the bus with mugs of hot cocoa and some freshly
whipped cream. With only a few seconds needed to guzzle their souls to warm bliss, you find yourself drinking your own hot cocoa at a much more appropriate "savor this moment" rate in the warmth of the kitchen while the boys play happily in the snow.
(oops...I spoke two soon. I may be guzzling mine down after all. I am being beckoned to fix a pesky glove that keeps slipping out from under big A's jacket, while another one is desperate to get their gear off because he has to go to the bathroom yet again. "I drank too much hot cocoa mummy." )

Note to self : As "picture book" as the beginning of this entry sounds, save the hot cocoa memories for later on in the day. My drink is now cold, the cream has disappeared, and I have just been called to the door yet again for that pesky glove.


** I want to let all of you know I will be closing the shop this Monday the 13th for the holidays, and will reopen in the New Year. The last day to place orders will be this Sunday. ****

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

this is when you just throw it all out the window...



I am a health nut, and a very "geeky" one at that. I have always been this way, and found it has heightened even more so since kids have come into the picture. Honey, applesauce, whole wheat flour and wheat germ often dominate many a baking recipe in this house. So far it has been working really well with the boys, but I know that soon things will start to change as they get older. ( It's amazing what happens when your little one enters first grade. "But so and so gets to eat them every day at lunch" and "why does he get to have that at snack all of the time?" has become a far too frequent question in this house.) I do, however, realize that I need to relax a bit. We don't need anyone getting shoved in a locker for his barley/carob rendition of a granola bar........that's just not fair to the poor kid.



And apparently when I say "relax a bit", I mean just let it all go. When it comes to holiday baking, I go all out. They are just too delicious to be tinkered with, and need the respect to be left alone as they were meant to be. Every bite is savoured, every spoon of leftover batter licked off. (usually by two boys who are smart enough to realize that this is there chance to have at it....)
I bake more cookies in this one month window than I do over the whole year. It is one of my favourite things to do during the holidays, and the smells that fill the house makes the atmosphere just that much more festive.

The only problem was that I started off our baking spree with these yummy little chocolate meringues. Try telling your sugar deprived kids that they just have to wait two hours for the cookies to bake until they can have at it. That's probably why they just decided to go for the batter instead.

do you have any cookie favourites for the holidays?

Sunday, December 6, 2009

I just couldn't help myself....



I just couldn't resist.
After seeing some absolutely lovely photography in an online Australian magazine
papier mache, (you will know which photo in particular I am talking about when you browse through their delicious pages.......) I instantly knew what to do with this year's christmas cards.

oh how good it feels to start the season on such a fun note!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

you better watch out....



After a morning was spent baking trays of gingerbread, (well, more like an entire day really....I should just get myself another cookie tray. Instead I find myself complaining that I cannot fit many pieces onto a tray, and ten sessions later wonder why I didn't just pick one up after last year's grumblings...) we all rushed to the store excited and anxious to pick out the necessary candies for our soon-to-be architectural masterpieces. (big A had plans of six buildings with secret passageways. He actually drafted up a plan, only to realize that this one tray business of mum's wasn't going to help him reach his goal. One building it is. )

We had a good time, and my ansyness to get things going probably brought about the demise of my husband's house as well as my own. Please do not try to frost your sides together with slightly warm cookie pieces! Luckily the boys were spared this inevitable collapse, and were able to go about sneaking in candies here and there as they decorated their buildings.

It was such a great way to kick off our Christmas festivities, and good for big A that mum was there to catch little M trying to sneak in a bite of his brother's one building wonder.

Yes big A...I know there needed to be secret passageways.
I promise.
I will get another tray next year.