Thursday, May 27, 2010

Jam Packed

What a weekend!
My girlfriends Melissa and Marie Lou decided to visit baby Evan (A name! He has a name!!) and stayed with me and Clementine in Almonte.
I had the entire weekend off thanks to my lovely accommodating staff and we packed it full of fun.
On Saturday afternoon, the four of us went to see this happy little family:

Who knew the kid had so much hair!
He was a very good boy the whole time we were there.
Unlike another kid I won't mention.

Clemmie loved having her aunties sleepover.
Melissa brought her camera and my girl was more than happy to oblige to a weekend of photo shoots.

Why am I wasting my time with my cheapo? Look at these fabulous pictures.
It's so worth it to have a great camera.

Be still my heart.
This one is just so...her. Look at that face.

On Sunday the girls went in for a 2nd visit and Clementine and I headed out to her friend Sophia's 1st birthday party.

There was a bouncy castle and cupcakes.
So basically, it was awesome.

Kidz Katering did the cupcakes again and they were delish as usual.
Like tiny little heart attacks in ladybugs clothing.

Now that I'm back from my weekend, my latest project is going to be a cloning effort.
If I can figure out a way to workshop it I'll be sure to let you know.
I need more time. Too many ideas, too little time.

We had another workshop last night.
Freezer paper print making.

Honestly, when I blog about these workshops and put the pictures together I am so amazed at how great everyone's creations look.
Colleen and I go in to every class no really knowing how the hell we're going to pull it off.
But we always do!
Despite the insane heat (30 degrees felt like 41 yesterday!), and no air conditioning in the store, our loyal crafters showed up to spend the evening elbows deep in fabric ink and freezer paper.

Probably not the best night to have to use an iron and hair dryer, but in the name of crafting you do what you've got to do.
You know that.

Amanda, who is basically a professional workshopper now (I think she's been to at least 4 of our nights - thank you Amanda) came fully prepared.
She printed her hand towel with the same floral print as her bathroom wallpaper.

On the canvas bag we supplied, she printed the silhouetted faces of her kids.
One on each side.
I love that she kept it all black. Simple and so adorable.

Others brought in onesies and clothing items and created some really fun stuff.

I would totally buy these.
Well, ok. I could make them so I probably wouldn't.
But I know LOTS of people who would.

Don't you think it's time you came to one of our workshops?
Look at the amazing stuff we're making.
We haven't settled on the next one yet, but you know it'll be great.
Hear about it first by joining my mailing list.

Also, the Handmade Harvest call for crafters officially hits the papers June 1st and we've already had quite a few amazing submissions.
Crafters have until August 1st to submit your stuff. In the meantime, read more about it here.

Back to work!
xo Em

Friday, May 21, 2010

Josie and the Baby

My girlfriend Josie had her baby this week, and I'm over the moon about it.

I'm going to try to go visit her, John and little no name (she'd better hurry up and name the kid before John starts calling him "Junior") later today if they'll have me.
Otherwise we'll be going sometime tomorrow because my Toronto girls have decided to make the trip!
The timing couldn't be better.
Brad is away on his annual camping trip until Tuesday and Clemmie and I are coining this "Girls Weekend 2010".
I know.
Real original.
For the record it was her suggestion.

Look at this baby.
What a little schmoosh face.

He looks identical to Josie to me.
And she's pretty yummy.

So we did our Butterfly Workshop the other night and I know I said the pendant one was my favourite, but I may have changed my mind.
I think mostly because everyone was so chill and I actually got to sit and chat with people.
Sitting and chatting being two of my favourite pastimes and all.

The happy crafty mess...

As usual, people took the project in their own directions.

And, also as usual, they all turned out beautifully.

Heading into what I hope will be a busy long weekend here at Blackbird, so I must run.
I'll leave you with this photograph I took when I was walking with the girl Wednesday morning.
Not sure I understand the octopus, but it made me smile when I spotted it in the park.

Have a wonderful long weekend!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Calling all Crafters!

Well. It's official.

The venue is booked. The logo is designed. The website is up.

Introducing the first ever Handmade Harvest Craft Show.
Brought to you by Handmade Nest and sponsored by Blackbird.

The Call for Crafters starts now and runs until August 1st, 2010.

So, if you're a talented maker of fabulous funky things (we know you're out there) we hope you'll consider applying for one of our 30+ spots and join in the handmade fun we're going to have here in Almonte Saturday November 6th, 2010.

The application process is easy.

Simply email us your name, business name (go ahead and make one up if you haven’t got one), contact info, web or blog address if applicable, a description of your handmade goods and a minimum of 3 photographs.

All submissions are due via email to, by mail or in person to Blackbird (home of Handmade Nest) no later than August 1st, 2010.
Handmade Nest . 79 Mill Street . Box 1670 . Almonte . Ontario . K0A 1A0 .

Be sure to read the submission info on the Handmade Harvest website to ensure your application is considered.
The crafter fee is $75 per 6ft table to be paid no later than September 1, 2010 if accepted.

Applications must be completed in full with photos in order to be considered.
Crafters will be notified by August 15th with full payment due by September 1st, 2010.

Looking forward to hearing from all of you!!


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

And the winner is...

Yeah. Me neither. That was like so three weeks ago.
We're on to new things now here at Blackbird.

But for those of you who are curious about the winner of the contest, I thought I'd post.
The photos turned out really great.
I think our winners here had the distinct advantage of sharing their eye colour with the upholstery.
The winners of our First Annual Mother's Day Mug Shots Photo Contest are...
Perry and Xena Santry!

I hand delivered Perry and Xena's prize on the Saturday before Mother's Day: their photo on stretched canvas courtesy of our photographer Shawn DeSalvo.

I believe by the end of the two days Shawn took photos of something like 17 groups of kids.
And one dog.

Meet Penny the Pug.
She's kind of like my step-cousin-dog...possibly once removed (I never know how those things work), but that's a story for another time.

These two are my talented friend Jenn Symons' kidlettes.
They're really this sweet outside of photographs too.
I should pay closer attention to her child rearing technique...

And here are cousins Eilidh, Emalea and Calen McBain.
Three future heartbreakers.
They're all too gorgeous not to be don't you think?

It's not even 7am yet on Wednesday and I've been up for an hour thinking about all the other things I have to tackle today.
And I can hear Clementine on the monitor going "no wayyyy go wayyy...kitty? babba baba...dada?" so I guess I better go hop in the shower before she ramps things up.

Have a wonderful day.
It looks like another sunny one.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Lupus Schmupus

I remember when I was pregnant with Clementine having a heart to heart with my girlfriend Andrea about all the "what ifs" running through my head at the time.

What if my baby was handicapped?
What if she was sick?
What if she was a psychopath and would end up murdering me in my sleep on her 13th birthday?
What if she made fun of my outfits?

Andrea, who I have never known to be a religious person, simply said to me "I really believe God only gives us what we can handle in life".

My friend Lisa was diagnosed with Lupus about a year and a half ago.
About a year after that, her son Owen was diagnosed with Epilepsy.
Sure. Like Lupus isn't enough.

Lisa has always been one of my strongest friends. She's a supreme athlete.
In school, she was a straight A student.
She's pretty, a great friend, a good daughter, an amazing mother, probably a nicer wife than I'll ever be (though I hold on to the hope that she can pure evil behind closed doors), and totally sensible.

So okay.
Maybe someone like Lisa can handle the adversity life is throwing her way.
But the girl totally doesn't deserve it.
She's taken care of her health her entire life.

Why should I - someone who has been known to call a block of cheese a meal, drinks too much wine, self medicates at the first sign of any sort of discomfort, and more often than not chooses the Amazing Race over the great outdoors - get to have a clean bill of health?
It's not really fair.
I mean, I'm thankful that all that good karma I've been generating over the years is working, but I really wish there was someway I could help Lisa get rid of her Lupus.

It's not going to happen.
Lisa will always have Lupus.
Hopefully it won't always be at the forefront of her life, but it'll always be there.
Did I also mention she just had a 2nd baby?
Well she did. And somehow she managed (with the help of another friend Petrice, Andrea and their handsome husbands) to create something really positive out of the whole situation.

They organized the Ottawa Lupus Gala and Walk a Block fundraiser this past Saturday.
Brad and I took Clemmie for the walk, and later I went to the gala alone.
The always glamourous girl.

They did an incredible job organizing this thing.
Had it been me we would have had it in my backyard or something with three legged races followed by a bonfire, but get these girls on the job and the walk starts at City Hall, the gala is at the poshest locale in Ottawa and they raise around $40,000.

Truly amazing.

Since I went alone I ended up, happily I will say, at the "odds and sods" table.
I sat with some friends, but I also ended up sitting beside one of the photographers who actually shot our wedding.

For obvious reasons I didn't get much "get to know ya" time with her at our wedding, but I did this time, and I really enjoyed chatting with her.
Besides being a really nice person, she's a fabulous photographer.
Her style is photojournalistic. My fave.

She's out on her own know, but the shots from our wedding (which she took with another photographer - Jennifer Buter), when she was still with Reportage were amazing.
Not that I've actually ordered any of them...but someday.
A girl can dream of having an extra grand to burn can't she?

On a closing note, it's never too late to support Lisa.
Especially if Lupus is something that's touched your life in some way.
Donations to Lupus Ontario can be made by clicking here.
Even a little bit helps a lot.

xo Em

Thursday, May 13, 2010

New Workshop

Hi friends.
I don't have much time to blog today, but I really wanted to tell you about our next workshop.
I'm really excited about this one!

Read all about it here.

Talk to you all soon.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Handmade Harvest

I had the day off Thursday because our sitter was away, so I invited Colleen over to spend a little nap time hashing out some details for the craft show.
Col and I like to talk to each other in sort of half sentences.
We never complete a thought, and yet miraculously, the comprehension seems to be there.

I'd like to think she and I can cover more topics in less time doing this, but I sometimes am left with unanswered questions.
Not Thursday! Boy were we productive.

While she was here, Melissa emailed us her take on the logo.
She is so amazing.
It's exactly what we wanted.
And we didn't even know what we wanted.
Spurred on by the actualization of our logo, we called the venue and asked if we could pop by for a visit to take some pictures and start visualizing the event.
The place is even MORE beautiful than I remembered.
I suppose I can tell you where it is now.

Drum roll...

The Handmade Harvest Craft Show will be held Saturday November 6th, 2010 at the Almonte Old Town Hall.
Doors will open at 9am and close at 5pm
There will be door prizes, gift bags and all sort of goodies.
Maybe buttons. We're thinking buttons.
I love buttons.

Know what else we're thinking?
We're going to host a HUGE workshop in the venue the night before.
Like 50 people huge.
There's a great stage and it'll be so much fun to be able to spread out in the space and create.

Look at my insane child running and screaming in the corner of this picture.
She loved the huge space and every time I would run to a corner of the room to take a picture she'd chase after me.

Check out the gorgeous windows.
This place will be so much fun to decorate.

The official call for vendors still isn't out yet, but as I said previously we will be asking for email submissions that include descriptions of your craft as well as some photographs.
Vendor submissions will be accepted no later than July 1st 2010 so if you are interested it wouldn't be a terrible idea to start thinking about gathering your stuff together.

On the same weekend as Handmade Harvest, the Christmas in the Valley Artisan Show will be held at our newly renovated Community Centre (read: Arena) just down the street so it'll be a fantastic weekend to come to Almonte for some handmade holiday shopping.
I know I wouldn't miss it.

To reward Miss. Clem for her good behaviour, we took her the Superior Restaurant for lunch.
The Superior doesn't always live up to it's name (I mean, superior to what? Making lunch my damn self I suppose), but it's a great old diner that I don't have to stress about Clemmie getting a little rowdy in.

I'm not dissing the "Supe". This place holds a place in my heart really.
In high school my friends and I used to sit there and share a poutine and a bunch of "just waters" between seventeen of us.
And Brad and I ate lunch there the day Clementine was born.
About 30 minutes after the doctor instructed me to only have a light lunch since I'd be going into labour shortly.
Advice I didn't heed exactly - resulting in an ugly scene with me tossing up a cheeseburger into a bed pan a few hours later.

On this visit, Clem drank from a straw for the first time.
She loved it so much she drank half the glass of water in one gulp. She was exhausted and red faced after the whole ordeal.

Isn't she yummy?

Last night I went over to Josie's for a play date.
John is away and I figure this is probably the last time we'll get to spend some quality time without a baby around.
Naturally, I brought a craft.
I generally don't like to put unflattering pictures of myself on the internet, but it's all I've got. Sadly.

Now you know what I look like when I'm not working.
And now, so do I.

We made Butterfly Art.

I hadn't made one yet and thought I probably should if I'm going to play teacher at the workshop.
I took a slightly different approach and cut up a book instead of a magazine.
I made them fly off the frame as well.
You know. To be different.
We sold out of spots for our May 19th Workshop and have decided we will add a course on the previous Monday May 17th if we get enough interest.

So far we have four people on a waiting list, so do let me know if you'd like to come that night instead.

That's all for now.
Busy day in the shop with last minute Mother's Day shoppers.

Have a great Mother's day.
xo Em