autumn

A few pictures from last weekend when we actually left the house…

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02-gwen

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04-nicky

05-shoes

06-gwen

07-tanie-gwen

I’m so busy with work and parenting and homemaking these days that I barely have any time to make anything, but I did put together some new stickers this week! These “Too Sleepy to Live… Too Lazy to Die” Sleepy Skull stickers are available in the shop now.
trio-of-skull-stickers

to the limit

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02-gwen-taylor

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05-stump

06-bumble-bee

07-taylor

08-leaves

09-tanie-gwen

Well we’re really getting down to the wire here folks. Today I’m 38 weeks and 5 days pregnant, which is PRACTICALLY 39 weeks which is PRACTICALLY 9 months. Am I done now? Can I be done? I mean after this last week of work though. I have been super anxious that the baby would come early and mess with all my carefully-laid plans but I saw my obgyn last Friday and she said I was 1cm dilated and not effaced at all so I relaxed a bit. Then on Sunday afternoon *SORRY TMI ALERT* I lost my mucous plug and I kind of had a nervous giggle fit about it? For like an hour haha. With Sym that happened on a Saturday afternoon and on Saturday night my water broke, and with Gwen it happened a few days before I went into labour. God babies are so mysterious; you never know WHAT sort of shenanigans they are gonna get up to. All my research has told me is that if that happens (which it might not) you will probably go into labour either immediately or within two weeks, which is super helpful, with the most average amount of time being 3-5 days. So let’s hope for five? I’m seeing the doctor again on Thursday afternoon and she’s going to TMI ALERT AGAIN sweep my membranes so I like really really hope I will have a baby this weekend! Or maybe mid next week so I have a chance to go to Ikea and look at all the new stuff first. Priorities, okay?

ANYWAY the Sunday event really lit a fire under my (and Taylor’s) ass to finish up the last few baby-related things, like sorting out the EXCESSIVE amount of Gwen’s stuffies that were filling the baby’s crib, getting the rest of the baby stuff out of our storage room, and finally reading the instruction manual on the automatic baby formula machine Taylor’s moms got us. I am really, really, really hoping it works well as mixing up bottles of baby formula is such a pain in the ass but as someone without other options for keeping my babies alive, it’s a pain in the ass with which I must live. Remember when I was preg with Gwen and went to see the fancy head doctor at the special breastfeeding clinic for boobs and she was like “DO NOT EVEN TRY TO BREASTFEED, YOU WILL DO YOURSELF AN INJURY AND MAKE YOUR BABY CRY, PROB DON’T BOTHER PUMPING EITHER,” that was a pretty great day for me, filled with vindication. I was actually so relieved I broke down crying and the doctor thought I was upset that I COULDN’T breastfeed haha. TRULY THE OPPOSITE, MA’AM.

One thing I have not done yet that I am dreading is packing my hospital bag. I just like, really hate doing it? I don’t have many clothes that fit me right now and I’m pretty loathe to pack them up for how??? long??? And in all likelihood I’m only gonna be in the hospital for a day or two so I also don’t wanna buy like a toothbrush and deodorant to bring with me. It just seems like a waste! And my pillow! The hospital pillows are awful so when you take the maternity ward tour they are like “you should prob bring your own pillow” but I need it to sleep at night! So far all I have is mini bottles of shampoo and conditioner, a scrubby puff, and a bag of lollipops. Idk, maybe I will just make a really good list and pack only when I absolutely have to. It’s not like the hospital is far from here (I google mapsed it last time, it’s literally a two-minute walk).

Unrelated to baby: last week I finally got these new super cool iridescent blue-green crystals I ordered way back in mid-August and the first tiara made with them is available in the shop here.
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five faves

The other month when I closed my etsy shop it was partially because I was too tired/sick to keep up with it but MOSTLY because there was an imminent threat of Canada Post going on strike. So this week I FINALLY reopen it and WHAT HAPPENS? Canada Post might go on strike! I didn’t even realize it was a possibility again but THANKFULLY I got all my orders from this week out before the 72-hour strike notice was filed (I used to have a daycare client who was a mail carrier and he told me years ago that as long as I shipped to the US before the 72 hours started it would be ok). But still. How typical of my life! I’m going to leave my shop open for now since there is a chance mediation this weekend will prevent a strike, but what I’m really annoyed about is in the past couple weeks I ordered all the supplies I need to make my next line of crystal tiaras and none of it has arrived yet. Most of it is coming from overseas and takes weeks to arrive under normal circumstances so if there is a total work stoppage I have no idea when I’ll get any of it.

Anyway, on to the five things…

WHO’S WATCHING THE GREAT BRITISH BAKE OFF??? And if not, why not? Like re-evaluate your priorities and make time for this.

This pregnancy I’ve been really enjoying wearing all my terrible/ridiculous jumpsuits and overalls and now I think I wanna get some non-maternity ones for the fall? I haven’t found the right pair that I like yet so if you have any suggestions leave me a link! I’m specifically looking for a medium-wash denim and a black.

tanie new hair
I got my hair cut fairly recently but being pregnant and not losing any hair means the cut grew out into a shapeless mass almost immediately so last night I went and had WAY more layers put in. I’ll probably regret it in December/January when I start to go bald from postpartum hair loss but right now I love it so much. If you’re local and would like to love YOUR hair as much as I love MY hair go see Aleksandra at in.salon.

We haven’t needed to buy much baby stuff this time around (lol I am SO THANKFUL that Taylor wouldn’t let me get rid of any of Gwen’s stuff!), other than a secondhand rockaroo I found on craigslist I’ve only bought a few special clothes. I did want to get a few swaddle blankets though- Gwen’s old bedroom was the coldest room in the house so all hers were flannel, and the new room she’ll be sharing with the baby is the warmest room so I figure we might need a few lighter weight ones. On the weekend I picked up this swaddle from aden + anais and it is so soft I want to LIVE in it. Like why can I not get a Tanie-sized swaddle blanket? DO I NOT DESERVE SWADDLING???

Teen Titans Go! is one of Gwen’s fave shows right now, and we’ve been slowly catching up on old episodes with her. This song features prominently in an episode from last fall but I just heard it for the first time this week and I’m LEGIT OBSESSED.

I hope everyone has a great Friday & a great weekend! Yesterday was Taylor’s birthday but we are celebrating tonight so I’m off to clean my kitchen well enough that I can bake a cake for him (no Genoise sponge though) (GBBO people will know what I’m talking about).

shop update: tiaras!

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Petite Natural Clear Quartz Chunky Crystal Point Tiara

As I mentioned in my last post, I was (sort of jokingly) considering reopening my shop to try and sell some of the little crystal tiaras I’ve been making, mostly to justify buying more crystals to make more tiaras, haha. I figured “what the heck, just do it” and so for now the shop is open again! I’ve listed a a handful of ready-to-ship items only (nothing custom or made-to-order), including the finished tiaras I currently have in stock.

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Petite Natural Clear Quartz Crystal Point Tiara with Copper Wire (sold)

Each of these tiaras is completely handmade by me with the utmost care. I select each crystal carefully to create a cohesive and unique design for each piece, and take great consideration with the wire wrapping to achieve the delicate look of the tiaras without sacrificing strength and structural integrity. And they have ’em! I’ve messed up a few times and had to take a nearly-complete tiara apart and start over from scratch and LET ME TELL YOU it is not easy to disassemble these! That being said they are not a toy and should not be worn or played with by unsupervised children, and care should be taken in the handling and storage of the tiaras to ensure they don’t get bent or broken.

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Tiniest Petite Natural Clear Quartz Crystal Point Tiara

You can find them all in the new “tiaras” section in my shop; currently there are just two available because they’ve actually been selling kind of quickly, but you can get notified of when new pieces are listed by liking my facebook page or following me on instagram. The tiaras currently available have natural, unpolished clear quartz crystal points, and I only have enough left to make three or four more so if this is the look you like don’t wait on ordering! I have more crystals on the way but they are a different colour and I don’t know when/if I’ll have the clear ones again.

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Petite Natural Clear Quartz Crystal Point Tiara (sold)

summatime

poppies

wild rose

squirrel friend

This morning I read a blog post where the author complained that she is “so over” summer and is “ready to move on,” and I’m just like… it has been summer for one week, why are you wishing your life away? This same blogger keeps posting about how she CAN’T BELIEVE her kid is five years old already, and where does the time go and like… it passes while you are wishing it would pass faster! Stop rushing through every moment trying to get to the next season and maybe just take one minute to enjoy your life before it’s over, yikes.

After a truly terrible time last week I am finally starting to feel a little better. I really wish I could navigate this pregnancy without having to take medication that makes me sleepy all the time as it exacerbates my exhaustion. I have a lot of guilt right now about not being able to do things with Gwen and how much housework slack Taylor is having to pick up, but some days I honestly can’t do anything I’m so tired. The physical exhaustion is the worst; recently I was trying to fold some laundry, a whole load of little wash cloths, and I could only fold three before I had to go sit down. Hopefully my feeling better this week nausea-wise means I’ll start to feel better staying awake and also vertical-wise, too.

Last week was also difficult because Taylor was working this weird half-day,, half-night schedule where he’d wake up at like 3 or 4 in the morning and work from home for a few hours before going into the office for meetings. It was a nightmare! We saw way less of him and he was sleeping for a lot of the time that we usually spend together, which was a bummer. He also had less time to help around the house and with me being extra sick there was no one to pick up the slack, except for Symphony. I think she got very tired of me asking her every five minutes “can you help me with this one little thing…?” Not a great start to her summer vacation, haha.

dogwoodsky

A quick note about my shop: there’s a high probability of a Canada Post strike starting this upcoming weekend so I’ve decided to put my shop on vacation mode for now. Customers outside of Canada can still order items designed by me from my society6 since they ship from the US.

twenty-four

Sooooo city hall passed the motion to look into giving my block a heritage conservation designation! I’m so excited, like nothing’s done for sure yet (I guess the next step is research) BUT it’s one step closer to our goal. My friend emailed me a link to a local newspaper article about it and the reporter called it “a contentious decision” but like… there are like half a dozen privately owned buildings in the whole block so exactly who is it contentious to? A few rich dicks? Putting stronger restrictions on redevelopment in the neighborhood would affect almost zero people. ANYWAY. We won this fight and we’re gonna win the whole battle.

sleeping gwen

hydrangeas

animal hood gwen

Today I am 24 weeks pregnant. I’m celebrating by eating a lot of fudgesicles (the only food in the house right now) and wearing this truly absurd pentagonal jumpsuit I got in the mail yesterday. It’s not even maternity wear (I’m having trouble finding much in the way of maternity wear I can stand, ONCE AGAIN) but the loose & flowy and did I mention loose? like there is an abundance of fabric! design means I’ll be able to float around in this thing all summer, no matter how preg I get. I bought it in the black but I honestly might get the red as well? I wish I could get it in every colour of the rainbow.

Overall I am still doing well this pregnancy. I do still have to take Diclectin for my nausea; I fell asleep before taking it on Sunday night and all day Monday I was suffering. I wish it would just go away like this is first trimester stuff! What gives?! I’m also having a lot of pelvic girdle pain which is a drag because it make sit difficult to stand, or walk, or sit down, or lie down, or move between any of these states of being. After all the standing and walking I did on Saturday that night was truly miserable, so I’ve been taking it a lot easier since then. Unfortunately it’s also quite painful to sit on the floor, especially sitting on the floor cross-legged, especially sitting on the floor cross-legged with a small child in my lap, which is often my natural state. But other than those two things, the endless nausea and crippling pain, everything is going great! The baby is moving and kicking a lot, and I’ve even been able to see my belly push out in a weird lump from baby stretches. It’s always the creepiest thing and I can’t wait for it to happen more often so I can force everyone else to witness it, haha.

Oh and! I added a new item to my shop, the first of the suede & leather appliqu├ęd skull patches I made in the spring! I wanted to put up more but I needed to photograph them all and my camera was acting weird, there was a huge delay when I pressed the shutter button and I couldn’t figure why. Then I saw there were dozens of extremely close up pics of a pair of dirty socks on my desk and I realized… a toddler must have been here, and set a 10-second timer. Anyway, you can see the listing here.

GPW SL SF Patch

Advice My Mama Gave Me

Way back when my etsy shop was starting to get more popular, my mom gave me this sterling piece of advice, based on her own experience as an artist and craftsperson: Only do it as long as it’s fun. And for a long time it was fun, even when I was thirty-nine weeks pregnant and my shop blew up overnight and I spent the first month of Gwen’s life making banners all day every day and well into the night. It was fun bringing people’s ideas to life, and it was fun coming up with my own ideas and seeing them become popular. It was fun collaborating with other artists and let’s be real here, it was fun earning extra money doing something I enjoyed.

However recently it’s become a lot less enjoyable, and more frustrating. It wasn’t fun making the same three or four banners over and over again, seeing copycats* become more successful than me, and spending every spare minute working on banner orders and having no time to work on anything else. I slowed way down after my carpal tunnel syndrome diagnosis, and again when I started offering my most popular banners as ready-to-ship. When I got pregnant in January and was SO sick and SO tired I slowed down even more and removed custom orders from my shop entirely. Of course when that happened my sales went way down but in all honesty, it was worth the reduction in income to have my time to myself again.

Over the past little while I’ve been wrestling with whether or not to bring back my popular ready-to-ship banners or put all the custom listing and made-to-order items back in the shop. I have been making a few custom banners here and there for friends and friends-of-friends but they have been taking me f o r e v e r to finish, and I’ve come to the realization that I just really, really, really don’t wanna do it anymore. Part of it is because I have super limited energy right now; I tend to fall asleep on the couch during nap/quiet time ie the only time during the day I can get any work done, and most evenings I fall into bed as soon as I’m finished at my day job. Like really, probably half the time I’m in bed before dinner and some days I can barely make it until Gwen’s bedtime before I’m asleep. She goes to bed at 7:30 btw. Another reason is that I hate disappointing people, and while I haven’t sent out any items I feel are below my standards I am a little ashamed of how long it’s taken me to get these orders shipped. I actually just sent a message to a friend telling them I wouldn’t be able to make something for them (not even a physical item, just a design!) because I don’t have the energy to do it in any sort of reasonable time frame and I feel like shit about it. And that’s not fun either.

I’m not going to shut my shop down completely; I still have ready-to-ship banners and other cool things (at least I think they are cool) available for purchase, and maybe one day I will get around to adding some of the things I’ve made in the past few months but not listed. Things like my “Not Only Will This Kill You” mini banner and the awesome leather & suede skull patches I made. These are things just sitting around waiting for me to photograph and list them, and I haven’t had the energy or inclination to do even that! But yeah, after I finish any open orders I will no longer be offering custom orders for banners, patches, baby boots or any other items. Ready-to-ship items are still available for purchase in my etsy shop, and you can also find all kinds of really great and not at all terrible things designed by me on my society6 page.

I also want to thank everyone who has supported my work over the years; it was truly great and I have appreciated every order, tumblr reblog, blog feature and instagram like. You are the best, I love you all, and remember:

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*I know I was not the only person making banners but when someone follows me on instagram for a year, liking and commenting on pics of my work, then unfollows me, changes their username to something banner-related and opens a shop selling glitter banners it’s kiiiiiiiind of obvious.

boogers & braces

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03 tiles

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05 gwen & peppa

This week has been a weird one; most of us (especially Gwen) were/are sick with a gruesome cold, and for most of the week it’s felt like the wrong day. The former was a nightmare of coughing, sneezing, runny noses and nowhere near enough sleep for anyone. The latter was because Sym switched the days she stays at her dad from Tuesday & Thursday to Wednesday & Thursday- there was a good reason for it though, and that reason is PRETTY LITTLE LIARS. It’s basically the one show we watch together, it airs on Tuesdays and we’ve always had to wait until Wednesday or sometimes even Saturday to watch it. It was actually my suggestion she change her schedule and spend PLL nights here so I can’t really complain, but it made Wednesday feel like Thursday and Thursday feel like Friday and it all just made the week seem extra long.

Also this week (just yesterday in fact) Sym got a palate expander added to her braces, which sucks and she hates it. We have to adjust it twice a day for two weeks and she’s having a helluva time eating because every food gets stuck in it. I have no idea what to make for dinner now, like should I make her favourite foods so the hassle of having to clear it out of the expander is worth it, or should I just make a blended soup to reduce the amount of hassle? I’m reminded of the time my high school boyfriend’s older brother had his jaw wired shut and their mother would just take whatever the family was eating and blend it up with milk into like a ham-peas-barley smoothie. NASTY. Anyway I’m going to wait until she gets home from school and then figure it out together.

I’ve been adding more things to my shop and society6 but I don’t want to make constant picture posts about it; maybe just once a month? With my new shop policy I just have all this extra time and I’m feeling super ~inspired~. Most things I do post on instagram so you can follow me there to keep informed. This weekend I plan on working on EVEN MORE new things, as well as finally figuring out what the heck I’m gonna do with all the baby clothes; the bins of them are still all over my kitchen and dining room and even though I took some things out of them (I gave Gwen some of her tiniest sleepers to dress her “babies” in instead of her current size 4 pajamas) somehow they’ve expanded and no longer fit in the same bins? It’s a mess.

multi-shop update

TonalMFKBanners
Ready to ship Everything Is Okay and Feminist Killjoy mini banners are now available for purchase in the shop. I will probably only be making these once or twice a month from now on so once these are sold they will be out of stock until the next update. Don’t miss out on these perennial faves!

New! Fun! Products!

The main reason I switched the popular banners to pre-made ready-to-ship instead of made-to-order was to give myself more time to work on creative projects, as I’ve felt pretty stagnant for a while. This weekend I was able to make a bunch of fun new things that I’m really excited about.

FuckTheLemonssmall
When Life Gives You Lemons… I Say Fuck the Lemons and Bail Inspired by the classic Kunu scene in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, I’ve been wanting to make this for literally months. Dark green text and yellow lemons on a light green background. Available on my Society6 as a print AND MORE.

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Mountain Road This is available as a print BUT it’s actually designed as a rug! As you may know I’ve been planning on hand-painting a road play mat for Gwen since the fall but I never got around to it. Last night as I was uploading the “Lemons” print I was like HANG ON, Society6 does rugs??? I quickly finished up the rough design I’d started working on, adding mountains, trees, an alligator-infested lake and a sly little fox. This design only works in the 2×3′ and 3×5′ size (the 4×6′ aspect ratio is wrong so it crops weird). I ordered one myself last night and if I like how it looks once it arrives I will probably design more- those roads that drive off the edge need to go somewhere!

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Watercolor Ring Donut Banner Another idea that’s been brewing for a while! This fun new banner features six assorted watercolour donuts hung on red & white baker’s twine. The watercolour donuts are printed on a glossy paper and affixed to 2mm EVA foam. This makes them sturdy and prevents the donuts from curling up. Each donut is glued to the baker’s twine and finished on the reverse with plain paper. The donuts are 3″ wide and 2 1/2-2 3/4″ wide, and the full width of the banner is 42″, including 8 1/2″ of twine on either end for hanging.

I have lots more ideas that I’ll be working on in the upcoming months; follow me on instagram or like me on facebook to keep up with the latest!