Monday, January 31, 2011

It's a Boy!!

I know you're all curious (and also that you'll forgive me for not blogging these past few weeks) so I'm thrilled to announce that Brad, Clementine and I have finally welcomed our newest clan member to the world.

Griffin Patrick Weir was born Thursday January 20th at 2:40pm at the Almonte General Hospital.
He weighed exactly what his sister did only 2 short years ago.
8lbs 14oz (though he was a week early due to the c-section so I suppose he might have been bigger!).

To say we were shocked to discover he was a boy would be an understatement.
I mean, you read my note a few posts back when all the answers came up girl girl girl.
I know old wives tales are not a science, but still.
We were convinced.
Brad would hardly even entertain potential boy names.

I didn't see Brad's face when little Griffin came in to the world, but I was told by a nurse he looked pretty gobsmacked and I think you can still see some tears glistening in his eyes in this picture, taken only a few moments after:

He's adjusting really well to the outside world so far.
I know not to count my chicks before they hatch though. I have vivid memories (read: recurring nightmares) of Clemmie's first week being pretty peaceful before the colic hit.

She's definitely going through a little something with all the changes happening around here, but she seems to love her baby brother.
So far.

Let the adventure begin!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Can I just say...

Holy WOW?!
Like last time, when Colleen and I put out the call for crafters for Handmade Harvest, we had our doubts that we would a) get enough submissions to fill the place and b) get enough quality submissions to warrant having a jury.
Why we doubt ourselves, or the talents of the area's crafter community, I don't know.

Without the slightest exaggeration, 98% of the entries we've received are fanflippingtastic.
Most have craft show experience as well as either websites or etsy shops, and so far, we're seeing a lot more diversity than last time.

I can't post anything until our jury has weighed in, and there are still more than 2 weeks until our Feb 1 submission deadline, but I'm really having trouble keeping a lid on the fabulousness.

If you think you'd like to be part of the Spring Edition of Handmade Harvest, I hope you'll consider applying as well.
Entries are arriving in our inbox daily, but we haven't hit our max by any means and we'd love to see what you've got up your crafty little sleeves.

For everything you need to know about applying, click here.


Friday, January 14, 2011

It's been so long since we started our back room reno that I honestly don't even know how long it took us to complete.

All I know is that in these pictures it looks pretty nice outside and in the reveal shots I'm about to post, it's winter.
And I know there was a whole other winter in between.
It's been a while.
Maybe a year and a half.

When Brad and I bought this house in 2008 it had what the sellers referred to as a three season room attached to what became our TV room at the back of the house.

Basically, it was a windowed in porch with an old hardwood floor and a pretty rickety door leading to the side garden.

We actually did use it as a computer room, but only in the warmer months, and also for storage.
Something that the house is still lacking, but can be a blessing at times since we've gotten really good at keeping nothing we don't need.
Sure, we have different definitions of "needs" at times but as a general rule, if we don't use it, we toss/donate it.

It was a sad excuse for an office but, like so many other eye sores that I've been working to eliminate, we got used to making it work.

That said, renovating this room and turning it into a usable space for Clemmie to play in has been the best possible improvement we've made to our house...and our lives.
We don't have a basement for her to spread out in you see.
Just a trap door in the floor that leads to the furnace and Brad's hockey equipment (a scary, stinky place indeed).

Putting in new windows, a door, raising the ceiling, expanding the doorway and opening up a window in the wall has not only created the space we've been craving, but it's also made the room we spend most of our down time in feel twice as big.
I can sew at my table and watch a movie while Clemmie plays house in the background.
We can both do what we want to do independently of each other, but still be connected.
I can be PRODUCTIVE and not feel like I'm neglecting her.
It's perfect.

Want to see?

Here's the room before:

Our home "office".
My ever handy hubby busting up the floors.
Yes, we tried to save them. We couldn't.
The old door leading to the TV room. You can also see the ceiling that we bumped up.

The old door leading to the garden.
The wall to the left in this shot is now a big window, and soon-to-be book shelves in the corner.

And NOW!:

Felt dot garland courtesy of Melissa's leftovers from the craft show, "grass" rug, easel, table and chairs from Ikea, mosaic by me.
The recessed wall treatment where once there were window shutters from a previous addition to the home.

Clemmie's favourite thing, her kitchen, from Ikea.

My new, old sewing table with view of TV room.

View from TV room.

So there you have it.
The elusive back room reno. Nearly two years in the making and totally worth the wait.
My friend Tim did all of the work.
The same Tim who put in our countertop and built the dance floor as a last minute "Tim I need your help, I forgot about the dance floor and now it's too late to rent one" wedding gift.
He's pretty awesome.

There are a few spots for art and shelves that have yet to be completed, but it really is so amazing.
We love having it and so does Clem.
And when I'm spending hours on the couch nursing a new born it will be so nice to be able to be close to Clem and still be able to engage in her playtime.


Monday, January 10, 2011

One week countdown!

What do people do who don't have friends like mine?
Cry probably.
Unless they don't know what they're missing, which I hope is the case, because I would cry every day if I didn't have such an amazing group of girlfriends to help me along in life.

Sunday, four friends (all of whom I've known for almost 20 years) and my parents came over to help me tackle my list.
Amazing what we managed to do in just 4 hours...
  • Lisa, Petrice and Kristen painted Clementine's room (I know! I was originally just going to touch up the existing paint, but when the offers to help came in I upped the work load - sneaky.) It's a colour called Juicy Passionfruit and it's just a tad brighter than I envisioned it would be. Like day glo bright with the amount of light that comes into Clem's room in the afternoon, but I think putting up a little more art and some white shelving will tone it down a bit. It's a happy colour to say the least.
Petrice doesn't look too sure about it...
  • Dad got rid of the bed in the spare room.
  • Lisa brought over her bassinet. (Now I just need a 2nd baby monitor and a baby gate pretty much)
  • Krystin painted a 2nd AND 3rd coat on the bathroom door. (Finally after 8 months or so that room is done.)
  • Dad assembled the crib in the nursery.
  • Mom began sewing up Clemmie's big girl quilt as well as a mini version for her baby. (Colleen is sewing Clem a mini sling - also for her baby. I'm putting together a little "bringing home the baby" gift for her so she can take care of her baby while I take care of mine.)
  • Dad hung the mosaic I made at Christine's in the playroom after months of it sitting on the floor. Looks SUPER cute.
  • Krystin helped me weed through Clem's old clothes and organize in "Save", "Donate" and "Consign" piles and then reclaim the closet in the new nursery from Brad.
  • And today I'm having the day to myself, so we can tick that one off too!
All that's left to do now is:
  • put up shelves in playroom (Tim's agreed to do this for us sometime in the next week.)
  • put up art and shelves in Clem's room.
  • find the perfect piece of art for empty frame in playroom (DONE! I blew up a photoMelissa took last May that I love love love)
  • blog (FINALLY!) about playroom reno
  • decide on counter top solution for kitchen reno - also DO it (in the interest of actually completing my list, I should probably just take this off...Tim to the rescue again!)
  • figure out a daycare schedule for Clemmie (DONE! She's going to continue with her full days at her friend Sophia's house on Mondays and Leslie is going to come to our place Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9-noon to help me out)
  • go to a movie and dinner with Brad.
Also, nap.
I plan to nap a little every day this week.
I'm doing well though don't you think?
A little sore, but I feel so great about all the accomplishments that the feelings balance each other out.

Less than a week until the big day!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Boy or Girl?

Today is my last day in the shop for a while.
I'll be around. I just won't have to be.

As much as I hate not being part of the day to day workings at Blackbird, I'm ready for the break.
I tired.
Really really tired and pretty uncomfortable.
But I'll leave the real whining for Brad.
And maybe my dad, because he's generally sympathetic.

I thought it might be fun to do a little gender predicting now that we're really on the home stretch here.
It seems to be a pretty even race according to my customers.
Brad and I both think it's a girl, but we have nothing to base that on except a gut feeling and the word of a needle swinging on a string.

One of the blogs I read took this from another blogger who had compiled many of the old wives tales about gender predicting. He ended up having a boy, but his results were a 7/7 split.
The other blogger got a 10 for girl, 3 for boy result and ended up with a girl.
So maybe there's something to it.

It's a snowy day in the shop and I've got time on my hands.
So here we go.

Short time to conceive = girl
Heartbeat clocked at over 140= girl (though it just went down to 138 at Monday's appt)
According to the
Chinese gender chart = girl
Sleeping on my right side = girl
Had nausea = girl
Craving citrus = girl
Significant weight gain = girl
Breakouts = girl
A bit clumsy = girl
Weight gain in my face (but not nearly as much as last time) = girl
Craving sweet over salty = girl
I'm (just a bit) moody = girl
Carrying high = girl

Well okay then.

That's a bit more affirmative than even I expected.
Now it'll be even more of a shocker if it's a boy. Which, for the record, would be equally cool.
I'm glad we waited to find out what we're having now. I was curious to find out at the beginning, but what a great surprise it'll be on the 20th.

Tomorrow is "get it done yester" day and my girlfriends Krystin, Kristen, Lisa and Petrice are coming over along with my mom and dad to tackle what's left of my to do list.
Brad is taking Clemmie to a friend's for a football/play date for the morning so I'm feeling really hopeful about getting things done.

The way I'm feeling today I just may hold a stick and boss people around.
Especially since I won't be able to get away with that much longer.


Friday, January 7, 2011

Calling all Crafters - Handmade Harvest Spring Edition!

It's been about 2 weeks since we announced the Call for Crafters for the Spring Edition of Handmade Harvest, and I just now realized that I haven't blogged about it.

In my defense, we have another website that it was announced on ( and I also sent the call out to the Blackbird mailing list, and it's posted in the shop window, and I'm also using a little telepathy, but I realize there are still many of you who use this blog as your source for information when it comes to the crafty things I have my hands in.

So here it is.
Saturday May 7th (that's Mother's Day weekend - strategic no?) between 10am and 5pm, the 2nd Handmade Harvest Craft Show will take place at the Agricultural Hall, located on the Almonte Fair Grounds.
We're currently looking to harvest 40 some crafters to make up the show.

After the huge turn out at the last event, Colleen and I thought it best we found a bigger location to hold the next one. We'll have space available for more vendors, loads of parking, and a lot more room for shoppers to spread their wings and load up on all the handmade goodies.

Applications have begun pouring in already, but we'd still LOVE to see what crafty talent you've got up your sleeve.
Deadline for submissions is February 1st and our jury will make final selections by Feb 11th.
All you've got to do is this:

Email with 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.
Applications will be accepted by email only.

Even if you're on the fence about whether or not you want to participate, apply anyway!
There's no commitment until after payment is made.

For all the details and to read about the success of our holiday show, visit or feel free to email any questions to

We're also currently looking for sponsors of all levels. Information with regard to how you can get involved and support us in our handmade adventures can also be found on our website.


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Whittling away

I had a relatively productive day yesterday.
At least, I got 2 things off my list from my last post.
Which is pretty huge (my New Year's resolution (one of them) was to be easier on myself as far as my accomplishments go) considering everyone around here is just a little under the weather and Clementine's eye leaked green goo all day and had her wanting to press at least one of her body parts against me at all times.

  • finished the curtain for Clem's "new" old room.
  • and hung the shelves in the bathroom so you can finally see a before/after...
What was once this:

Now looks like this!:
Ignore the droopy curtain. It needs a little tweaking yet.

I decided to forgo the hardware for the cupboards for another year or so because, although it's mildly annoying to have to risk a fingernail to open the doors or drawers, it's practically impossible for a kid to open them, and I've kind of started to enjoy not having to share my blush brush with a two year old.

So much better don't you think?

As for the curtain, I'm having the same Etsy seller make a custom bed skirt in one of Clemmie's quilt fabrics and I decided that I'd revamp her existing white curtain panel by adding the same material as a band across the bottom.

So, you know, I did.
And it looked so cute that suddenly the unpainted wood buttons on the tabs at the top of the curtain were just a little too plain jane.

So I went out to our local fabric shop (so glad I did because it reminded me that TODAY is the store's annual birthday sale. 40% off at Textile Traditions today folks!) and picked up some DIY buttons to cover in some of the other fabrics from the quilt.
I decided to just go ahead and hang it, even though it's pretty much the only thing that's complete in her room.
That and the crib.
But I promise to show you the final package when it's all done.
Hopefully in the next week (save for the bed skirt).

I put a call out to all my local girlfriends for a little Sunday afternoon "barn raising" in hopes that I could get a few more things ticked off my list, and four of them are coming out to help.
I have good friends.
I don't see them all that much, but I am so lucky to have them on speed dial.

Another thing I did - that wasn't necessarily on my to do list, but should have been long ago - was email all the committees I'm a member of to tell them I wouldn't be around to help for a while.
I have enough to think about between the new kid, and Clemmie (who is turning MORE two every day God help me), and the shop and the craft show and Brad (if he's so lucky).
And I just needed to turn off a few burners.

I feel good about it.
Excellent actually.
I wasn't contributing much in the last months anyway, but I still had the guilt of not participating.
(Dropping the guilt thing happens to be another of my resolutions)
So nobody's going to get a piece of me for a while.
This list of mine is getting shorter, not longer so don't even ask ok?

And besides, I need to spend some quality time with this one:

Even if she does like to make this face more and more often...

Just a good old fashioned tea party with a few of her best gal pals.

I have a feeling you'll be hearing more from me this week.

And now I've jinxed it.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

To do. To do. To do some more.

Sorry about that.

Got a little crazy around Chez Emily last month.
The store was incredibly, awesomely busy and, social butterflies that we are, we had a zillion and one places to go, people to see, presents to wrap.

Also, I was suddenly struck by the fact that this baby rattling around inside my GiNorMous belly (which has all along been arriving "next year") was suddenly set to arrive next month! And now, here we are on the 4th of the January, and I have a mere 16 days to go.
So tomorrow.
I'm basically having a baby tomorrow. Look out.

I have a c-section booked.
Rain or shine it's happening. None of this 41 and a half weeks followed by 36 hours of labour like last time.
So, unless you hear I've gone in early, think of me while you're pouring your coffee in your travel mug heading out the door to work at 8am on the 20th.

I'll be a head on wheels at the Almonte General Hospital.
Send flowers.
Or, you know, wine.
At the very least, send sympathy.

If you know me, you'll know that this realization that I'm going to have to go into new mommy hibernation so soon is just the kind of thing that sends me into major "get it done yesterday" mode.
This is probably Brad's least favourite of my many modes.
Or moods for that matter.

No one is safe from mamma and her to do list.
I've been pretty productive actually.

So far I've:
  • put together Clem's new crib/toddler bed
  • ordered new couches for back room
  • started Clem's quilt
  • had unexpected maternity photos taken by Sara McConnell.
Honestly, I can't believe I'm this big.
Other than struggling to get off the couch or into clothes, I don't even feel this monstrosity in front of me.
And it IS huge.

  • ordered super cute custom bedding (crib skirt, bumper and 2 crib sheets) from Heidi Rose on Etsy. Splurge! I hope it comes in the next few weeks!
Custom Bedding for blackbirdshop
  • shortlisted the baby names
  • launched the call for vendors for Handmade Harvest!
  • done ALL of my Spring booking for the shop. AWESOME stuff arriving in the coming month(s)!
  • hired a new gal (Amanda) to help Colleen in the shop AND worked out the schedule
  • managed to keep myself healthy enough to STILL be working (this is my last week)

Things left to do before the baby is born:
  • commit to baby names
  • get rid of bed in spare room and put crib together
  • pick up bassinet from Lisa
  • move Brad's stuff out of nursery closet and hang gender neutral baby clothes for whatshis/hername
  • finish Clemmie's "big girl" quilt (check out the gorgeous fabrics I ordered from Fabricworm on Etsy):

Reserved for Emily
  • sew fabric panel on bottom of curtain for Clem's room - DONE!
  • touch up paint in Clem's room (I would really love to repaint it... we'll see)
  • put up shelves and art in Clemmie's room
  • put up shelves in playroom
  • find the perfect piece of art for empty frame in playroom
  • blog (FINALLY!) about playroom reno
  • put ONE MORE coat on the bathroom door and put up shelves and hardware - DONE!
  • blog (FINALLY!) about bathroom redo - DONE!
  • decide on counter top solution for kitchen reno - also DO it
  • figure out a daycare schedule for Clemmie
  • stock up on some good books to read during late night feeds - DONE!
  • have a day to myself
  • go to a movie and dinner with Brad.
So there it is.
Maybe this'll help me tick a few things off.
Maybe Brad will read this (he says he doesn't read my blog) and take care of a few things without me asking.
Maybe one of you lovely people will volunteer to help me paint Clem's room.

Hey. Anything could happen.

Though I feel a bit shy posting what kind of feel like nudey shots of myself on the internet, I know I would want to see them if I were you. So I'll leave you with a few more shots from my shoot with Sara.

If you're in the market for a portrait photographer who won't make you feel like a narcissistic cheese ball by putting puppets in your face and cracking jokes in a baby voice, I'd highly recommend.

Em + one