Saturday, December 24, 2011

"Twas the Night Before Christmas...

...and our Dex has been stirring. We've had several Dex sightings today after setting up a webcam in our front window. Hoping that he is safe and warm again in our home tonight.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Dear Santa...

All I want for Christmas is our Dexi home again! Please, please, please!

I know that I have not been the best kitty mom since the arrival of our non-furry baby, but I promise to be a better one from now on. I've missed Dex so much these past few days and
can't bear the thought of him out in the cold on his own for another night. He is the most loving cat I've had the pleasure of knowing. He is part of our family. Please let him find his way back to us, safe and sound.

We could really use a Christmas miracle.

Love, Cathy, Matt, Suki and Whitney

Our boy cat, Dex, managed to get outside on Sunday morning and has not been back since, at least not that we know of. We've searched and searched around our neighbourhood, posted signs, called the Humane Society and Animal Services, talked to neighbours and crossed our fingers that he is okay. It was a cold one last night and I just hope he found somewhere to keep warm. I left food out for him and it was eaten last night at some point, but it could have been a raccoon, another cat or animal. I've set up a box for him on our porch with some of his things and hope it draws him back to us. I'm hoping and praying...

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Special Delivery

Christmas came early to our house this year, in the form of a red vintage kitchen, c/o Fedex and KidKraft. I was hoping to surprise Whitney with it on Christmas day, but I couldn't hide my excitement when the box arrived last week, so she knew it was for her. Plus we were supposed to put it together to make sure all the parts were there, so...

...many parts and several hours later, we had the cutest kitchen you've ever seen up and running and Whitney has been cooking things up everyday.

Speaking of surprises and gifts, I got a nice one over the weekend when I checked my email. My Owl and Pussycats calendar was featured among other 2012 calendars on Etsy Finds. And Stephanie over at Catsparella also included my calendar among some other great cat calendars.

So I was a busy elf this past weekend because of it.

I'm feeling more festive with each passing day. We picked up a holiday wreath this morning and since my office is by the front door, I keep getting little wafts of fresh pine every now and then. I can't wait to get a little tree this weekend and for Whitney to experience her second Christmas.

The shop is only open until this weekend and I may close it sooner, so I can focus my energies on the book. My publishers have been so patient and understanding with me so far, but I know I really need to buckle down in order to do some great work.

Good night for now.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

New Holiday Cards

After 7 years of pushing the same holiday cards, I finally got around to designing some new ones. They are now in the shop.

Dex even made it onto one of them. I think I need more practice drawing his mug though.

A few more holiday things to come before I really dig into working on "the book". Meow for now.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Slowly but Surely

I feel like I'm moving at a snail's pace keeping up with things these days. Christmas is just over a month away and I only listed my first holiday item in the shop today.

More things are in the works and will hopefully be ready for listing by the weekend.

How other moms juggle their creative workload with their mothering duties without extra help, I don't know. Most days I don't get nearly as much work done as I'd like (or plan) to, either because a little someone wakes up early from her nap, or else because that little someone wants me to play with her. But that's life. Plus how can I resist this face?

Whitney is getting better at playing on her own these days though... five or ten minutes if I'm lucky, as opposed to her previous window of 1 or 2 minutes. Funnily enough, a mother I met while out last week said the solution for a less needy child was to have another! Ha!

And if all else fails, get daddy to help out :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Hello November...

And hello again!
I can't believe we're already into the second week of November. We still have our Halloween decorations up but the pumpkins will be finding themselves in the green bin in the next few days.

The past several weeks saw a few birthdays celebrated, (grand)parents visiting, a few meltdowns, a first trick-or-treating and real Halloween experience and also some much needed work slotted into the spare moments.

Actually, I got quite a bit of book work done which I definitely could not have managed without my mom's help. For about 2 and a half weeks, she cooked and cleaned for us and entertained Whitney without any complaints. I know that Whitney can wear me out after just a half day sometimes, so I just have to say how amazing my mom was and is!
And I think Whitney enjoyed her time with her grandparents too.

Today, I'm focusing on computer work. I'll be listing a few new items in the shop shortly, so pop on by soon.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

New Items in the Shop

Some new items have hit the shop! There's something for Halloween.

And some things for all year round.

I love this time of year, with the cooler weather and all the leaves on the ground, although it has been a pretty warm Autumn so far. We just got back from New Brunswick visiting my in-laws and enjoyed what must have been the warmest day before Thanksgiving in all my years. It was almost 30 degrees celsius!

Hope my fellow patriots had a great Turkey day too! Happy Thursday to you!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

From Boobs to Books

It has been nearly a month since Whitney had her last nursing session and I swear in that time she has taken to books like a fish to water. I think it had something to do with my replacing the boobs with books before her nap and at bedtime. While it used to be a struggle to get her to sit still to listen to me reading a book, now it's a bit of a battle to get her to stop handing me books to read. But I love that she's so interested in them. It meant going back to the library - it had been months since we last visited one - and I'm finding so many great books for her and also ones to inspire me with my current book illustration. It's so great to discover new illustrators and rediscover ones that inspired me before.

Happy Weekend and Happy Autumn to you!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Hello again.

image via ankepanke

I've been focused on finishing up roughs for a children's book, while stocking shops and filling wholesale orders...
and weaning Whitney.
But I'll save that story for another post...

I wanted to share a little collaboration piece - well, it really only involved me sending my art to the woman behind the real work - that is now available for purchase right here. It's a planner themed around girls. So if you are a girl who's into planners, like I am, then this would be a great one for 2012. Or anytime. You can fill in the dates yourself. There are 3 different covers to choose from. My favourite is this one. What girl does not love shoes?

This would make a great gift for someone. Or pick up a copy for yourself. I know I'm going to.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Behind the Scenes

You know how you can't really know how a space is going to work for you until you live in it for a while? Well, that's how it's been for me (or us) and as life changes, sometimes you have to adapt to it. Or in our case, adapt the surroundings.

In the course of a week, we've moved things around on every floor of the house.
And now - after almost a year in our home - I think I am finally happy with the way we've arranged our living spaces. But check back in another month or so...

Here are some behind the scenes snapshots:

My computer desk had a brief interlude in the basement...

...or dungeon as I call it.

The dining table moved to where my computer desk was.

The living room before.

The living room in process...

... and being enjoyed.

Still organizing and arranging some things, and have purchases planned (ie. another Ikea trip), but I am digging our new set-up. It feels cozier upstairs and downstairs. I'll share more photos of the other spaces (our bedroom and my new office space) soon.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Zoo (Birth)Day!

This year we spent my birthday (last Saturday) taking Whitney to the Toronto Zoo for the first time. As we don't own a car and neither Matt nor I like to drive in the city, we ttc'ed it there and back. One way was about 75 minutes by bus, subway and bus again, so it was quite a long haul. Thankfully we have been blessed with a pretty easygoing and chill little girl - she must take after her daddy :) - who despite skipping her nap, was in good spirits right up until her bedtime.

She got to see so many of her favourite animals…

And enjoy some cake too.

If you're able to count all the candles on the cake, you'll see I'm now 36.

If I've learned anything this past year, it's to not be so hard on myself and on the ones I love. Of course that's something I'm continually working on.

I'm also striving to appreciate living in the moment, to cherish these first few years of our daughter's life, when everything is new to her, and she is learning so much and becoming her own little person.

Whitney has recently started talking in short little sentences and surprised me the other day by saying "Thank you, Mommy" after I gave her some crayons. It was so sweet and unexpected.

In the evening we watched this documentary which had me shedding many a tear and got me thinking about some things that I haven't really thought about yet. When you're in the moments of overwhelm, it's sometime hard to appreciate time with your little one. Especially as a self-employed work-at-home mom. But this movie certainly reminded me that our kids are only young for a little while. So if it means shifting my focus for a few years, then so be it. Not always an easy thing to remember when my ego (and work) gets in the way.

Anyways, hope everyone is enjoying their weekend so far. Bye for now!

Monday, August 1, 2011

A Mini Shop Update

Just added some new(ish) items to the shop. Summer is sailing by, but I will have new things to unveil for Fall and Winter, even if it means late nights and losing a little sleep.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Life with a Toddler

Well, I've been slacking again with blog posts. But I'm blaming the hot hot heat... which makes me want to do next to nothing. Living with a toddler keeps me on my toes though and it seems we are constantly having to rethink our furniture arrangements to keep her safe.

So I've not just been vegging in front of the tv the past few weeks. On the contrary, we moved our tv down to the basement for about a month to keep Whitney from pulling at the cables. Since there is no cable connection down there, every time we wanted to watch something, Matt would have to bring up the monitor and pvr after Whitney was in bed. Needless to say that got to be a bit of a drag and not wanting to get rid of our cable - we are suckers, no pun intended, for True Blood - we rearranged our living room once again to better suit our tv watching needs. Now we just need to find a toddler-proof tv cabinet and mount/secure our flat screen tv to the wall.

Here's a before shot of the living room:

Right now we are using an Ikea ps cabinet to house our media. While it works well enough - the locking door is convenient - and matches the rest of our living room decor, I'd really like something larger, a bit more elegant and not on wheels. When we find the new cabinet, I'll be share some after shots.

Luckily, Whitney has not paid much attention to the tv since it's been back upstairs. Although she knows how to turn the tv on, she still is not allowed to watch any programs. I'm hoping to keep it that way for as long as possible.

Besides, she's much too busy with her modeling gigs... kidding.
She did get to experience her first professional photo shoot earlier this month when a friend was looking for a toddler to model some of her new Fall clothing line.
Here are my favourite shots:

Photos taken by Emma-Lee Photography

Really though, our little girl is happiest being outside, playing with water these days.

Personally, I prefer to stay indoors. I'm keeping busy with book illustrations, stocking some new shops and filling etsy orders.

And speaking of etsy, I'll be back soon with a little shop update.