the end of 2010.

>> Friday, December 31, 2010

in the couple of minutes i have before the mini wakes up and i have to get ready to go to the office, i'm scrambling to finish up a jewelry order, eat something (three day old leftover pasta), take my vitamins and blog. priorities, right? and being the last day of the year, i kind of feel like i have to say something to mark the end of 2010. i've learned a lot - about life, about mommyhood, about the astronomical rise in the cost of precious metals. (oh why did i not buy silver when it was $15 an ounce?????)
i'm not going to make any resolutions (because resolutions are always meant to be broken), but instead, i'm going to make some promises to myself. promises that i hope i can keep.
- i am going to promise to try to run more when the weather gets better. (couch to 5K - here we go again!)
- i am going to promise to carve out some quality "me" time during the week.
- i am going to promise to try to cook more at home - mainly because the husband and the mini seem to love my cooking the best. (what a compliment!)
- i am going to promise to try to not be so hard on myself. (so what if the mini is still breastfeeding sporadically? studies show that it helps attachment!)
- i am going to promise to try to say "no" once in a while. helps me not get overwhelmed.
- i am going to promise to try to spend more time watching the world go by instead of trying to catch up with it.
- i am going to promise to make the time to kiss my husband more.
- i am going to promise to spend more time just cuddling the mini. she is growing so fast that before i know it, she will be stealing my car to meet up with her boyfriend.
- i am going to promise to be more grateful for the wonderfulness in my life - especially the people who have helped my little etsy business grow!
- i am going to promise to figure out how to be more organized. especially with my workspace here at home. it's a disaster
and yes, i will promise to buy precious metal when the price is low.
happy new year, everyone! see you next year!


sweet december!

>> Tuesday, December 21, 2010

... and yet another month has gone by! november and december have been very busy in my world, between the crush of work and the rush of holiday orders! rings and hoop earrings have been flying off the shelves and hopefully will be arriving in time to their destinations for the holidays!
i will be having a post Xmas sale in my shop for Boxing Day week, so starting on the 26th (but NOT before then!) you can use the coupon code BLOGSPOT25 for a wicked 25% off discount on your entire order! just enter it when you check out on etsy! and as always, shipping via regular canada post is on me!


sweet november

>> Sunday, November 14, 2010

i can't believe that it's november already. in the flurry of work, motherhood and wifely duties, the time seems to be just flying by. i have been stealing some moments though to play with some new gemstones and sterling. i was commissioned to create an alternative engagement ring for someone and it turned out wonderfully! the client requested a labradorite stone to be set in silver, then woven together with a thick simple copper band. just lovely! so i have taken that ring idea one step further and have been experimenting with copper and sterling and stone. i think that the combination is just lovely... but take a look for yourself!


metal meltdown

>> Friday, October 29, 2010

today was supposed to be a relaxing day with the mini at home. but it wasn't. she was in a brutal mood, as was i. she was clingy and whiny and just all around not herself. she threw up and it got all over herself and over me. it took an hour and a half to put her to sleep. the husband, unfortunately, was in a bad mood after misplacing his credit card and was exhausted from work as well and was sent to bed. the ancient humidifier attached to our furnace overflowed and i ended up scooping slimy water onto the floor. i didn't get my package of sterling wire in the mail like i was hoping to. the husband ate the last fresh bagel from our shopping excursion today and didn't share. i felt fat.
so what did i do once i had a second to myself? i found some amazing 14K gold filled wire that i have had in my stash forever. and i pounded on it instead of doing something self-destructive like eat a whole bag of skittles. yay me. and yay earrings!!!! (i also am making them in sterling, brass, copper and maybe some rose gold.)
and no, i'm not angry anymore. not much. :P


i can't believe it's october...

>> Thursday, October 21, 2010

every time i turn around, time has flown by and left me in the dust. it's been almost a month since i blogged last (how awful is that?). the mini turned 1 1/2 yesterday. (she's seriously all grown up - except for breastfeeding and diapers, that kid is ready to move out on her own) i've been 6 weeks at my new job - and seriously loving it. we've been in our new house almost 4 months - it's felt like we've ALWAYS lived here, funny enough! the fabulous tia ( from christopherandtia ) won my autumn giveaway. the tradeaholics' october design challenge vote is up - you can vote HERE.
creatively, i've been working on the design of an intertwined bangle - similar to my intertwined rings. thanks to an inspired customer, i've been bending and shaping and soldering wire into all sorts of interesting configurations - and the results are just stunning. it's always interesting to me how one idea leads to another - the intertwined design also lends itself wonderfully to a pendant! the colours also remind me of autumn - which i have decided is definitely my favorite season... the cool, crisp air, the dazzling jewel tones of the leaves... sigh.
anyhow - go vote for your favorite spooky halloween item over on the tradeaholics' blog and congrats, tia! your package is going out in the mail today!!!!!!!!


Autumn Giveaway!

>> Tuesday, September 28, 2010

seriously, the days are just flying by. sometimes i turn around and i can't even remember where the week went! i even find that this new job is even busier than my other job - and that job was CRAZY! however, i have to admit that i am liking the change and am adjusting slowly.

one of the best things about change is that sometimes it triggers little bursts of inspiration for me. i love simple designs in sterling and i have become obsessed with the idea of the eternity circle as an earring. i have been focusing on rings for the most part, but have made several pairs of earrings that i can't stop wearing!

so, in celebration of the change in the seasons, i'm giving away one of my newest designs - the simply rustic eternity earrings in sterling! all you have to do is follow my blog and leave a post here and tell me about the most recent change in your life! if you blog or twitter about this giveaway, you'll get an extra entry - just remember to post here that you've done that as well. i'll use the all omniscent to choose a winner on october 15th! don't forget to also leave your email address or a link to your site so that i can contact you if you win!

happy autumn, everyone!


happy birthday!

>> Wednesday, September 22, 2010

happiest birthday wishes to my sis, the fabulous littlepapercuts! have a wonderful day and know that we love you to bits!
see you soon!!!!! xoxoxox


so long muffin?

>> Sunday, September 19, 2010

my muffin top logo was a drawing that started on a kelsey's napkin while i was dinner with my friend felicia (one of my earliest jewelry models!). i am so attached to it, but i find myself more and more these days wishing that i hadn't named my business "muffin top". to me, it now sounds frivolous and trendy - which is what my first jewelry designs were meant to be. actually, the whole idea of selling my designs was kind of a pipe dream at the time. now, over three years later, i am hoping that my work is classically rustic and organic, and i fear that the little muffin doesn't "say" that. over time, my marketing materials have become more streamlined, which, in my opinion, leaves my little muffin logo sadly lacking.

so, in the next few weeks, i think i just might be rethinking the little muffin and replacing it with something else. right now, i'm not going to do anything about the name "muffin top designs" - all of my business paperwork is in that name and changing it all just gives me a headache - but i think i might just put my little muffin to bed. or not.


old office, new job, huge to-do list

>> Wednesday, September 8, 2010

so i've finally moved to my new job. it's at my old office - i had switched teams to be closer to home - but now that we've moved, the old office is now closer to home. (does that even make sense?) it's my second day, and i'm already swamped with stuff to do. yes, it's nice to be with my old team, with the "old" ways of doing things, but there is probably about 10 times more work involved in my position now. i am busy every second of the day - which i usually LOVE - but i think that i am a little stressed. between the new workload, transitioning to the new team, a new leak in our kitchen, a bout of sleeplessness and a raging eye infection, i'm feeling a little overwhelmed. i'm hoping things will eventually settle. it is the first time that i moved jobs for a reason other than being bored and wanting a change... but having more time to spend with the mini before AND after work makes it all worthwhile. funny how your priorities change when you become a mommy - before, a 1 hour commute was no big deal. now, it's unbearable!

*thanks to the fab redstarINK for making such a wicked "honey-do" notebook!


labour day... what does it all mean?

>> Sunday, September 5, 2010

(an undated photo of a Toronto Labour Day parade in the 1900's.)

according to wikipedia, Labour Day has been celebrated in canada since the 1880's. with roots reaching back to when the Toronto Typological Union staged a parade to bring attention to their strike demanding a 58 hour work week. as a result, parliament passed the Trade Union Act and soon all unions were in favour of a 58 hour work week. not shockingly, soon the work week was reduced to 40 hours so that the day could be broken up into "8 hours for work, 8 hours for play, and 8 hours for sleep." seriously, i used to work 50+ work weeks... talk about burnout! however, i know that there are many people who would probably work longer than that if there weren't labour laws... and i think that we need to protect our personal lives from interference from work!
as a working mom, with my own jewelry business on the side, i certainly feel like i "work" much more than 40 hours! but i am blessed to have the wonderful life that i have - and hopefully will be continuing to hack away at the work/life balance in my life! so... happy labour day! may there be picnics, sunshine and fireworks for everyone!


ch... ch... ch... changes...

>> Thursday, August 26, 2010

in the last little while, we've had a lot of changes around our life. we've done half the renovations on our new house, and the mini started to walk (and now run!) .

we've been adjusting to the quirks of the new house and the new neighbourhood. i started running again. we bought a new laptop.
in the next few weeks, there will be even more changes happening for us - i will start my new job at my organization's north office which is closer to home, hopefully enabling me to spend more time with my mini, but also brings a new learning curve - and a little stress and anxiety as i look towards a new set of responsibilities and leaving a team that i love. the second half - and the more intrusive half - of our renovations will hopefully start in late september and then we are DONE with home improvements. we are going to start working on a new household budget to even further work on reducing our debt load (thank goodness, i am definitely employing some retail therapy as all these changes happen. sorry, beb!) we are heading into fall as well - which i am definitely looking forward to (chunky warm sweaters, jeans and the crisp, clean air in the mornings when we go for our runs).
i've also decided to close up my beloved triplestitch shop. i've already closed my destash and my graphics shops. while i love crocheting and making things that aren't metal-related, i just don't have the time or the energy to promote it as much as i do my jewelry. so once the pieces currently in my shop sell/get traded/expire, i'm going to rethink my marketing plan for muffintop, and work on integrating some more metal clay pieces into my fall collection.
change is hard, even when it's GOOD change. but we're are definitely up to the challenge.


the tradeaholics' august's design challenge!

>> Wednesday, August 18, 2010

yup, i'm promoting myself. my clear quartz gemstone stacking ring set is my entry into the tradeaholics' august design challenge! the theme this month is "a diamond in the rough" - and seriously, i found it so inspiring!

you can check out the other entries and the voting here -

and yes, this time around you can vote for one or more entries! i love it when we have these challenges - everyone is so creative and it is inspiring! (not that i want you to vote for me, but you can if you want.)


our run to the farmers' market.

>> Thursday, August 12, 2010

yesterday morning, our run (yay - we did our distance!) took us to the farmers' market, despite the almost oppressive heat. not only do i love the fact that we're buying locally grown produce, but it ALWAYS tastes amazing. the mini ate half a fresh nectarine from one of the vendors, and sampled organic basil leaves (which she LOVED). a word to the wise though - don't run while your stroller is laden with all those goodies, it really makes you unbalanced!


team jacob.

>> Sunday, August 8, 2010

it's settled. the mini is definitely team jacob. we've been attempting to watch "new moon" and every time the mini sees jacob and the wolves, she goes CRAZY. she loves those wolves! and seriously, she calls them "puppies". really? this kid is fearless!!!!!
i think maybe a "team jacob" onesie is in order?


walk on, baby!

>> Tuesday, August 3, 2010

this morning, the mini wasn't walking. for some time, she has been standing by herself once in a while, and had taken maybe 2 hesitant steps at a time over the past couple of weeks. the husband was a little concerned (okay, maybe a lot concerned, but he gets overly concerned about a lot of stuff.) because all of the other kids in our family were walking by the time they were one. (he should know by now that our kid goes to the beat of her own little, mini sized drum.) but then tonight, things just clicked for her and she was walking, walking, walking! add in some laughter and a bruised nose and she was well on her way - WITHOUT the playskool walker thingy, WITHOUT holding hands! thank goodness our new house has carpet in the basement - i think that the cushy fibres gave her a little more courage to keep on going. oh my little baby, she's growing up. and to think that the husband was worried because she wasn't walking yet... yup, we're officially screwed.
(of course i had to write her an email to tell her how proud mommy and daddy were of her! yes, the baby penpal project is still alive and well... it makes me wonder what she'll think when she reads all the emails i have sent to her over the past year!)


the incredible 2011 diary project

>> Friday, July 30, 2010

it's funny how addicted to twitter i've gotten. not that i really think that anyone reads my tweets (but feel free to tweet me @muffintop5) but i have found the most amazing things via twitter. take this, for example - the fabulous onetruetree had tweeted about the fact that Lucy B's 2011 diary project still had spaces available. of course i was curious and clicked on the link... and found the neatest way for artists to promote!

lucy's "diary" is in it's 4th year and for each day of the year, an artist/crafter/musician/poet/artsy type person decorates a page. you can check out the details here - Diary 2011. of course i had to see if i could be a part of it. i emailed lucy - and she was able to squeeze me in! so, i tried my best to whip up a page (the deadline is tomorrow, so i was kind of limited in what i could do but i think it looks okay) for her. i'm friday, june 17th, 2011!!!

not only is it cool to be able to promote myself in such a unique way, but to share in this artistic venture with other artisans is really fabulous. this is so different and creative compared to a run of the mill advertisment on craigslist - this is definitely going to be my daybook for next year! thanks, lucy, for all the work and heart that you've put into this! i can't wait to see the finished product!!!!!!!!


running. day 3. i'm not dead yet.

so today was Run Day 3. and seriously, i can't believe that i've made it this far. i thought i'd be dead, or at least finding reasons NOT to run. today was pretty good - i ran almost a full kilometer before slowing to a walk! and the mini still loves being in the stroller while we tour the neighbourhood... i actually think that being outside with her is my biggest motivator. i really hope that one day, she and i will run together! and note to self - stretching and warming up really DOES help keep you from injuring yourself!
after the run, we went to the grocery store and the park and i drove our little route to map the distance - it's about 3 kms in total. i'm aiming to run at least 2.5 kms of that within the next couple of weeks. (or maybe a month.) if i don't croak before then!


stamping my feet...

>> Monday, July 26, 2010

... well, not really. i've been experimenting with some fantastic stamps that i purchased from my friend romazone on etsy - thank you, roma! i had tried stamping about a year and a half ago but quickly stopped when i couldn't "get" it. yes, stamping SEEMS simple, but it is really hard to get all the letters lined up and imprinted perfectly. needless to say, after having to scrap a bunch of copper and sterling blanks and smashing my thumb about three times, i gave up.

fast forward to now - i decided i was going to expand my creative horizons and try my hand at stamping again. and i didn't do too badly - check out the picture! not bad for a former stamping failure! and NO injuries! (yet.)


running & the art of jogging stroller maintenance

>> Sunday, July 25, 2010

today was my first official stroller run. i haven't run RUN since probably about 20 months ago. i think about it at least several times a day, but there were always excuses - there's too much traffic, the baby won't let me go, the treadmills at the gym are broken, my boobs hurt. (well, they really DID hurt! YOU try breastfeeding!)

but like i posted before, today was going to be D-day. i put on my old black nike running shorts and yesterday's hot pink tank top, loaded the mini into the stroller with a toy, and tied up my purple and orange running shoes. i pumped up the tires of the stroller and made sure the handle was at a good height.

we stepped outside and it couldn't have been more of a perfect morning. slightly overcast, warm, with a cool breeze. and off we went. i kind of adapted the "couch to 5K" program since i can't find my watch (it's in a box somewhere, i swear) plus keeping an eye on the time is kind of hard while you're pushing a kid in a stroller. i started with about 5 minutes of brisk walking then ran for about 1-2 minutes. then we'd slow down and i'd walk again, then run for about 1-2 minutes. i did notice that if i went too quickly, the front wheel of the stroller (we have a Valco) would wobble (not that the mini cared - she just loved it that we were going FAST) - which was solved by putting it in "locked" mode instead of "swivel".

it felt GREAT. not only because i wasn't in as bad shape as i thought i was, but because running with my daughter was really, really nice. she was like my own personal cheering section, making happy noises, barking at dogs, pointing at trees. we even had two bunnies run alongside us for about 30 seconds - and you don't see THAT in the city! before i knew it, 30 minutes had passed, we were done and i definitely was feeling that old runner's high. as i sit here, 12 hours later, with my muscles still feeling slightly sore, i am so glad that i did it. hopefully, it will become part of our routine - at least till the snow comes!!!!!!

now i just gotta get myself some decent running gear...



>> Friday, July 23, 2010

i seriously used to be a gym rat. almost 9 years ago, i was diagnosed with extremely high cholesterol and fatty liver. yeah, YUCK. when i write that, i am kind of disgusted with myself, for letting myself go, for the folly of youth, the siren call of Ronald McDonald, and that at 28 years old, my doctor told me that i was at risk for a "coronary event". that does NOT sound like a party, let me tell you. and getting better was also no easy task! a healthy diet, medication and a gym membership - courtesy of my loving husband - was the cure. now, i'm doing pretty well health-wise, and my cholesterol is within normal levels. YAY ME! (insert cheesy commercial smile here)

however, the last time i set foot in our gym was probably sometime in april. and i know that since the mini was born, i've been to the gym a total of 10 times. maybe. it's not about the weight - i'm about 20 pounds lighter than i was pre-pregnancy - but i'm flabby. i am surprised that i still have muscle tone. my muffin top has several muffin top friends. i miss exercising. i miss lifting weights. and most of all, i miss running. before i got too pregnant to run, i was pounding out a good 2 - 3K every second day on the treadmill, then jumping on the stationary bike and doing another 2 - 3K. i loved the way it made me feel. as i got bigger, i downgraded the running to a brisk walk - i saw it as training for labor. (yeah. as if you can train to give birth, LOL! but i am convinced it helped make it easier!) fitness-wise, i am so determined to get back to where i was before! so, i think i am going to try the "Couch to 5K" program (thank you, @kristinglas!) to try to get back into running. and this time, i am going to try to take the mini along for the ride in the stroller. it is really important to me that she learn how crucial exercise is. because it saved my life.

(thanks to the surlymermaid for such a gorgeous photo. and yes, i will be running in proper running shoes.)


setting stones.

>> Monday, July 19, 2010

lately, things have seemed very busy. if it's not work, it's unpacking. if it's not unpacking, it's the mini clamoring for attention. if it's not the mini, it's the husband (usually he's hungry or can't find something.) but i've been carving out some precious ME time lately to explore my newest obsession... setting stones! i'm proud (and sorta shy) to share this stacking ring set - from top to bottom, garnet, amber and turquoise, all set in sterling and accompanied by various simple sterling stacking bands. it's funny though - i would have thought that the mini would not be interested in what i've been doing, but she loves to watch the flame on my torch (she points and says, "HOT!) and takes off with my rawhide mallet whenever she gets the chance.

think it's been worth the sleepless nights this week? i'd like to think so! hopefully soon i'll have them in my shop - once i stop making them for myself!


that old house.

>> Friday, July 9, 2010

for the first time since we moved, i drove by our old house. the husband has been dying to see what the new owners have done with it - why, i don't know, since he had mentally "moved" in his head a long time ago. i had kind of been putting it off since i was worried i'd get teary and miss it even more. he even found some pictures on the internet from when it was listed for sale (and staged to the nines, as you can see from the photos on the right)
so, day before yesterday, on my way back to the office from the bank, i did a drive by. and the house looks almost the same, at least from the outside. the surprising thing? i realized that i don't miss the house as much as i thought i would. it doesn't feel like our house anymore. and when i stepped over the threshold of the new house (and hugged by the mini) that evening, i realized that home really is where your heart is, and not where you used to pay your mortgage.


summer giveaway winner - marciamenendez!

>> Saturday, July 3, 2010

oh! i keep forgetting to post - congrats to the lovely marciamenendez for winning my summer giveaway! the pair of rustic sterling wishbone earrings is hers! yay!!!!!


bye bye, bright city lights... hello, suburbia!

seriously, this has definitely been one of our more hectic weeks! moving is AWFUL, but we're done! we are now firmly ensconced in our new house, deep in suburbia! i have to admit that i have mixed feelings about moving from the city to the suburbs (i'm basically back close to the neighbourhood where i grew up - talk about going home again!) but the mini and the husband are thrilled. it seems like the mini is so happy booting around in the empty space! i never knew how QUIET things could be! i can actually hear the birds in the trees and the chipmunks doing running leaps onto our roof. weird.

even though most of our life is still in boxes, we feel settled. i've set up wireless internet throughout the house (even though it drops the signal intermittenly, it's still pretty awesome) and even gotten a head start getting my crafting area organized. how astonishing! of course, that's going to be turned upside down once the repairs on the house get started...


bag lady

>> Saturday, June 12, 2010

i am becoming a bag lady. i never used to be this way - i'd buy one tote/purse and then use it till the strap fell off or it got a hole. but lately, all i can do is think about what bag to get next! the above hobo - made by the lovely angie from stitchandswash - is one of my favorites, and now i just received a custom red hoodie bag from kinies. i also have several other bags that are in my regular rotation... but seriously, can you have too many bags?????????


new idea - FINALLY! introducing the knot & tangle ring!

>> Saturday, June 5, 2010

so thanks to the lovely katie shuttle, i finally got inspired! i am introducing my new knot & tangle ring - the latest addition to my 'knotted up' collection! i made one each in copper and in sterling silver and they are just lovely. a new classic, perhaps? what do you think?


summertime giveaway! i want your ideas!

>> Friday, June 4, 2010

i'm feeling a little creatively stumped. so i've decided to do a giveaway related to creativity! up for grabs is a pair of my fabulous argentium silver hammered wishbone earrings!
all you have to do is one (or all) of the following:
- follow my blog (1 entry)
- follow me on twitter (1 entry)
- heart my etsy shop (1 entry)
- take a look at my shop and give me a new design idea! (2 entries)
if you twitter or blog about this giveaway, you'll get an extra entry! so start typing away... don't forget to post a separate comment for each entry and make sure i can find you later if you win! (email address, url, etc.) i'll be using the totally random to choose someone on june 26th, so enter! NOW!
(fyi - this giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents!)


the little farm in the city....

>> Thursday, June 3, 2010

last sunday, the husband had a fabulous idea - why not go to the riverdale farm? it's located right downtown, and a mere 10 minute drive from us! since the mini LOVES animals, we thought it would be a great intro to REAL livestock for her! so we packed some snacks and the baby bjorn, and got ready for a late morning jaunt! (and check out those super-cool, elton john-ish sunglasses! she's stylin'!!!)

seriously, it was kind of cool - both for the historical aspect and the fact that there is this little tiny farm in the midst of downtown. we saw sheep, goats, horses, cows, a donkey and the hugest turkey ever! the mini yelled at all the animals and didn't seem one bit scared of them, despite the fact that most of them were 100 times her size! it really is amazing to see things through her eyes - even the flowers, the pond, and the chickens seem magical!!!!

next up... the ZOO!!!!!


it's been a month...

>> Wednesday, May 26, 2010

.. since i went back to work. i can't believe it. and we're all still standing! we seem to have settled into a loose routine where the mini and i get up early to head off to grandma and grandpa's house, then i drive to the office. i have to admit, i think about her all day, wondering what she's doing, if she's eating enough, and if she misses me. but the day goes by quickly, and then the husband goes to get her and we're all home again.
funnily enough, the first days weren't as bad as i anticipated. i've settled back in to work - it feels as if i never left! - and it is kind of nice to be able to sit down and not have someone hanging off my leg, trying to bite me or pull down my top. and the mini has been working on learning new things too - she has been using her sippy cup like a pro, LOVES ice cold water, and sometimes stands by herself. go figure!
lately though, things have been busy - we're waiting to move, we refinanced our mortgage, and the mini got baptized. i've barely enough time to think about new jewelry designs, but i'm hoping that once we move, i'll be able to have some good crafting time with my torch!


life is crazy. and so am i.

>> Wednesday, May 12, 2010

needless to say, the last two weeks and three days have been absolutely insane. we staged our house and put it up for sale. we went back to work. the mini went to grandma and grandpa's. and we are still in one piece!
first, i've been transitioning back to work. and it's been relatively seamless on the office side of things. but i miss the mini terribly. she seems to have settled in quite nicely with my parents, but today i think it really clicked with her that i leave her there for a period of time. my mom said that she kept looking out the window, and got excited everytime their front door opened. work is busy, but i am so anxious to pick her up (or get home if the husband picks her up) at the end of the day. sigh.
second, after 30+ showings in 5 days, our house SOLD! so now, all of our stuff is out of storage and back in the house ready for the move. it was good to know that someone wanted our little crooked city house - i so hope they love it as much as we do!
we've had a few meltdowns adjusting to this schedule, but i think we're getting there. seriously, kudos to all you working moms out there - i salute you! and all you stay-at-home-moms - oh, how i envy you!!!!!


only 12 hours left...

>> Monday, April 26, 2010

today is the last day of my maternity leave. i can't believe it's been a year. and to top it all off, our house is in the process of being put on the market, so we now sit in a drop dead gorgeously staged house - that is almost impossible for us to live in. the poor mini doesn't even know what to make of it all - not only am i a tearful mess, but our house doesn't even feel like our house anymore! ah, change. gotta love it.

keep me in your thoughts tomorrow as i head off to work... this week is only half days for me, but it already feels like an eternity. working moms, i salute you!


happy birthday, mini!

>> Tuesday, April 20, 2010

happy birthday, my baby. thank you for changing my life in so many wonderful ways. love you so much! xoxoxo

(p.s. if you could start sleeping through the night again, i'd really like that.)


third time's a charm

>> Sunday, April 18, 2010

looking for a new house is crazy. the first time we went house shopping, it kind of was fun... we'd grab a coffee and get in the car and meet our realtor and go look at people's houses. we had a little red leather journal that we wrote notes in, clipped pictures and added/deleted from our "non-negotiables" list. and after 23 house tours, we found this house - our lovely, crooked, quirky city house.

but now we're moving on. i didn't write much about this house search because it was sort of stressful. it's a lot harder to look when you have a toddler in tow - who really doesn't care where she lives as long as mommy and daddy are there. plus there is the added stress of putting this house on the market and selling it. thank goodness the toronto real estate market is booming!

anyways, after one failed offer (it was a 3 bed, 2 bath), and one failed house inspection (a 4 bed, 1 1/2 bath - it was SO close to my parents'! - but needed a LOT of work), we finally have our (probably) forever house. it's a 3 bed, 4 bath two storey detached (2 of those are half baths, thank goodness!) and only 10 minutes away from my parents' house. it's pretty much perfect, with a finished basement, a little backyard, and a sun-drenched living/dining room that the mini will love.

now we're busy packing up our house so that it can be staged and shown. and hopefully, by may, it will be sold to someone/someones who will love this house as much as we do. i am a little sad to be leaving, because this is our first house, but even good change is emotional, right? (don't even ask me what happens if this house doesn't sell. i don't wanna think about it.)

(thanks to kimage for this beautiful photo of the three little birdhouses - it couldn't be more perfect!)


wordless wednesday!

>> Wednesday, April 14, 2010


is it wrong to fall in love with sterling silver?

>> Monday, April 12, 2010

in the midst of planning the mini's christening and house hunting, i actually had some time to do some metalsmithing! (probably a reaction to the stress.)
seriously, i think i'm in love with these sterling stackers. totally edgy, these are less organic feeling than my original stacking rings, but just as cool. these babies are more substantial but sit quite nicely on my finger... hmmm... a new favorite perhaps?????
as for the house hunting, well, we're hoping that the 3rd times' a charm. we're currently working on our third offer, so keep your fingers crossed! then we'll have to gear up and get ready to sell our house! stressed? yeah, i totally am.


learning to share

>> Tuesday, April 6, 2010

two days ago, the mini was eating a mum-mum cracker and instead of gobbling the whole thing all at once, she made an effort to bring it to my mouth and try to jam it in. like she wanted to share! i was thrilled, thinking that this shows her ability to think outside of her little baby world and think that maybe mommy wanted to share her cracker too! yeah, i know that children really can't grasp the concept of "sharing" per se until they are 3 or so, but i couldn't help but be happy thinking that she "gets" that we are sharing with her. the husband says that it is probably closer to mimicking or imitating - which is great in and of itself.
i'm just happy to sit and share a cookie with her any day. mimicking or not.


funny what you find because of your giveaway - or, congrats, kristin!

>> Saturday, April 3, 2010

so last week i used the always dependable to choose the winner of my stacking ring giveaway. and it chose kristin! in trying to track kristin down, i stumbled on her fabulous blog, spinning athena, and you should too. not only is it full of her knitting adventures (i'm so jealous that she can knit! and yes, it's on my to-do list.) but also her witty insights on life (which i am jealous of too. i am so not that witty.)

so, thank you, kristin, for having such a cool blog! and for winning my giveaway!


trading in urban for suburbia

>> Saturday, March 27, 2010

we've decided that we're going to sell our house. this lovely, crooked, quirky, downtown house, our first, and the only home the mini has ever known. but it's too noisy here (the mini imitates the sirens as they go by the house - and believe me, they go by A LOT.) probably too small (especially if we are going to try to have another baby) and too far away from my parents', who will be taking care of her when i go back to work in a month.

i'm trading in being a hardcore "urbanite" to move back to the neighbourhood where i grew up. kind of ironic - when i grew up and moved away, i meant to never go back. and here we are, going to look at a house today that is 5 minutes away from the neighbourhood where i spent 18 years of my childhood.

i wonder if the mini will miss peering through the windows at the traffic on our busy street. i know i will.


paying to play... my first foray into blog advertising!

>> Friday, March 12, 2010

in my perpetual quest to be able to make enough money through my metalsmithing to be a permanent stay-at-home-crafty-mom, i purchased my first block of PAID blog advertising. i looked into other blogs as well as Project Wonderful, but finally decided to buy ad space on my friend tia's blog.

i just love tia's blog and the way she writes about things. it also helps that her blog totally rocks, her rates are really reasonable, and she gets tons of traffic. so, if you look to your right, you can see the beautiful little graphic that she made up with my knotted ring stacking set.

thank you tia! and yay for handmade craftiness!


trying to convince myself... reason #1 to go back to work

>> Thursday, March 4, 2010

so everyone knows that i'm anxious about returning to work. in an attempt to convince/console myself, i've been compiling the positives (in no particular order) about going back - besides the financial reasons. and here is reason #1. i've slowly been collecting jewelry from julie ellyn designs, whose wire wrapped creations are just stunning. the three pieces above are sitting in my jewelry box right now, just waiting to be worn! it will be lovely to wear something pretty without worrying about the mini ripping it off and eating it. at least if i have to go back to work, i'll look sparkly and blingy!

speaking of blingy - enjoy this treasury of bling!


bye bye, little pink snowsuit...

>> Thursday, February 25, 2010

the mini received this fabulous fluffy pink bear snowsuit from her aunt lori at her baby shower. i thought that she could wear it as a hallowe'en costume this year, but it was too big. she has worn it every time we've been out this winter though and i just love it - especially the ears on the hood and the little paws as feet.

but now it has to be retired. sob. on tuesday i tried to put it on her, and it was so tight that her arms and legs stuck straight out. so now it's washed and folded and put away with all the other clothes she's outgrown. as nice as it is to watch her grow, some days i wish i could freeze time.


totally twisted! a stacking ring giveaway!

>> Wednesday, February 24, 2010

i haven't done a giveaway in a while - thanks to the lovely julieellyn and epicureanstyle who hosted two for me!!!! but i think it's time again!
up for grabs this time is YOUR CHOICE of either a pair of twisted and shiny copper rings, or one delicate twisted sterling stacking ring. all you have to do is become a "follower" of my blog (if you are already, that's fantastic ) and leave me a message here saying that you are following! in honour of my not-so new twitter account, you get an extra 2 entries for following me on twitter. if you tweet and/or blog about my giveaway, you get another entry! AND if you purchase something, you get 5 extra entries! (just remember to leave a comment for each thing that you do.)

make sure you leave details (a link to your blog, an email address, etc.) so i can find you! so go enter! now! i'll be picking a winner on march 24th via so make sure that you leave a comment for each entry!!!


sterling silver sampling!

>> Tuesday, February 23, 2010

amidst all of the crib/sleep training drama, i've been working with some amazing sterling silver wire. half round, square, beaded, twisted, patterned, different gauges... such loveliness! in the stack to the left, i've incorporated several different types and the combination of textures is quite amazing. i've also been working with awesome domed floral patterned wire, which has made some lovely, baroque/medieval inspired bands! who knew that silver could be so versatile!!!
so... how goes the sleep training, you ask? meh, not so good. the mini has had NO problem returning to the crib, and i've somewhat overcome my "missing-baby-insomnia", but i realize that eventually halfway (or so) through the night, we end up together in my bed. oh well. i seem to have found a balance where we both get enough rest. when i'm better rested, i'm less moody and emotional about leaving her, plus i'm able to function well in the daytime. even the sleep training gurus say that nothing is worth it unless mommy is well rested... so i'm just going to go with it for now. survival, right????
i have learned a few things in the last couple of days:
1. thank God for the white noise machine
2. an early bedtime is best - darn you, cortisol!
3. i sometimes think i hear the mini crying when she's not
4. the battery in the baby monitor wears out very quickly.
5. an hour of alone time with the husband is quite restorative
6. the better she naps, the better she sleeps.
sleep. who knew it was so complicated???


sleep training

>> Thursday, February 18, 2010

since before xmas, the mini had been sleeping with me. she had caught a cold and was gagging or vomiting in her sleep, so i brought her to bed with me, figuring that i'd rather deal with sleepless nights rather than take the chance that she might choke or aspirate.

so, the sleepless nights are here. she's been in her crib for almost two weeks, but the first few nights, i couldn't sleep without her!!! it's weird how quiet the house gets. now, she's cutting another four teeth. seriously. and she has some power behind those teeth too. she still gets up a couple times a night, but i'll work on that in a bit. i'm psyching myself up for the crying.

it's been a little freeing to have my time back - i work on ring orders and crocheting, or spend some time with the husband - but i miss her next to me. who knew i'd be the one needing the sleep training???? i don't know what i'd do without my cheering section (thank you julieellyn and girly!)


wordless thursday!

>> Thursday, February 11, 2010

(i meant to post this yesterday for wordless wednesday in honour of the chinese new year and the mini's heritage but i forgot. do you think she's going to be a vegetarian? lol!)


unbelievably anxious.

>> Monday, February 8, 2010

i know i am not the first mother who tears up at the thought of leaving her little one to go back to work. and i count myself very lucky to have a job to go back to, especially in this economy, don't get me wrong. but as i head into the home stretch of my maternity leave (april 27th is D-Day, sob) i find myself sinking a little into sadness.
yesterday, we had an incredibly difficult day. we were all ready to head up to my sister's for our nephew's birthday party and then we hit some speedbumps. first, the mini's afternoon nap went wayyyyyyy too long. because of her bout with roseola, i was reluctant to wake her up - she needs her sleep to continue to recover! and that made us an hour behind schedule. then, as we were getting ready, the husband spilled coke all over his shirt and the chair - putting him into a crabby mood. then, after i had loaded the mini into her carseat, she puked into the seat, all over her bundle me blanket, and her coat. then, as i went to get her new clothes, the door of her closet fell off. yes, FELL OFF.
needless to say, i had to call my sister to cancel. i just couldn't take it. there were too many things going on, and too much vomit everywhere. i just couldn't THINK about going out at that point. i know that i probably should have pushed through and just cleaned everyone up and headed out, but all i wanted to do was sit on the floor and cry. because then it just made me think about having to go back to work and having days like this and not having the luxury to just stay home.
yes, i'm whiny. and as i write this, i'm teary. i honestly did think that i would be the type of mom who would be dying to go back to work... but, to everyone's surprise, i am NOT. while the mini is going to be in wonderful hands while i'm working - hello, grandma! - i know i am going to be a mess.
if anyone has any tips or advice, please please please share!!!!!


roseola... no, it's not the name of a hot chick...

>> Thursday, February 4, 2010

this week has been kinda hard. the mini had been running a fever on and off for the past few days, but finally yesterday, she wasn't warm to the touch. however, when i took her outside in her car seat, there was a smattering of dusty rose over her forehead. i thought that maybe it was heat rash - my mom INSISTS that the mini is cold all the time - so i dressed her very warmly - but as the day went on, the rash progressed down her face, onto her neck, and all over her torso. back and front. kind of like she was wearing a little diaper shirt of rosy polka dots.

i called the doctor, telehealth and my sisters - and between everyone and my mom, we determined that she has roseola! when i told the husband, he said - "roseola? is that a hot chick's name?" yeah. so not funny - at the moment anyways - since i was FREAKING out. but, it's a totally common, mild childhood disease that almost all of us have before we reach the age of 4. but it explained the fever, the extreme clingy-ness, and the restless sleeping. i tried to get a photo of the dusty pink rash, since the mini's skin is like porcelain and this is so abnormal, but it's so subtle that i can't get a good shot.

ah, it's hard to be a baby, isn't it?


i heart handspun wool!

>> Thursday, January 28, 2010

i think i'm in trouble. even though my triplestitch shop isn't bursting at the seams with sales, i am so addicted to making those darn cowls. with handspun wool. the chunkier, the better. there are so many talented spinners out there, that i am sort of inspired to get myself a spindle and some wool roving and try my hand at it. (yes, i know that there is an accident waiting to happen somewhere in there. so shush.)

isn't it a spindle that sleeping beauty sticks her finger with and falls into that long sleep? hmmmm. probably not a great idea at this point, since the mini is now officially crawling and cruising around EVERYWHERE. she is definitely keeping me on my toes! several skeins of handspun have ended up nearly hopelessly tangled by her little baby hands. i know that she is dying to take her first steps - sometimes she tries to let go of my hands, thinking that she can do it herself, but of course, she can't. the poor thing has very bruised shins, but she is so determined to move on her own that she just keeps going.

she also has four - yes, count 'em! - teeth, which means eating is now an adventure in itself! the projective vomiting (well, it wasn't really projectile, but it certainly made a mess and made me crazy) has slowed down considerably and she seems really eager to try new foods. no more baby food for this one!!!! i can't believe that she is over 9 months now... sob! my baby's growing up!!!!


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