"New" studio!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

I mentioned a while back that I re-did my studio. Previously, it was painted a horribly depressing beige... the walls were cracked, and it was generally a pretty ugly space. So, with the help my my BFF Abbey, we patched the cracks, painted furniture, evened things out, and painted the walls (two shades of) white.  I used all of the furniture I had in there before, which was an antique table from an auction sale, two Ikea book shelves, and a custom built sewing L-shaped table (got it as part of a trade). I added a small vintage cabinet to store boxes and odds and ends, as well as two rods to store spools of elastic. The new layout is SO much better, with the cutting table in the centre of the room.  Overall it just feels so much brighter and inspiring. I really, really love being in this room now. I like it so much, I now want to paint everything white! It just looks so good, especially in a house like ours, which is pretty dark (small windows).

Our house is  a smaller, three bedroom house. This room used to be the master bedroom... we decided (well, truly I decided) the space would be better used as my studio and we moved into one of the smaller bedrooms. Best decision I ever made.  Our bedroom feels nice and cozy and I now have a studio that's big enough for two people and a baby to work in.

It can be hard to make everything "fit" in a small house, but I've found that downsizing furniture scale as we can afford to do so and frequent de-cluttering sprees. So much of our original furniture was stuff handed down to us, and it just didn't fit our small space. As we've lived here longer we've invested in more storage and more compact pieces... it makes a world of difference. I'm really starting to love our little old house! 

Big thanks to Shutter Owl Photography for the beautiful photos!

Just for fun, a photo of me and Izzy.

Guess who's on the Etsy Blog?

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

My Shop, Ohhh Lulu Sews, is the Etsy Featured Shop!

You might remember that one of my goals a long, long time ago was to be an Etsy Featured Seller. I was SO honoured and excited to have been asked to be featured! Feels really good.

 A special thanks to Naomi from Shutter Owl Photography for the beautiful studio shots... Naomi was amazing, and so incredibly nice.

Anyway, I can't ramble too much today... I've got stuff to do (*cough* assembling kits *cough cough*). Head on over and see my face and read my post on Etsy!

Stuff & Things

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

When I was pregnant, and before that, when the subject of kids came up people would always warn me about how much work it was... "You think you're busy now... wait 'til you have kids!" I always hated when people said that because I'm never not busy. It was a constant slur of warnings about how much awful, drudging work it was. Never did anyone mention how sweet it was to snuggle with an adorable, warm little baby, how great you'd feel each time you see her smile or laugh... And though my time is divided differently now, and my priorities have shifted, I still have lots of time for the things I enjoy... There was a great article on the Huffington Post recently that articulated exactly how I have been feeling about parenthood. In so many ways, having a kid has been so much better than I ever thought it would be.

Time is a little tighter but everything is doable (I have way less time to spend on Pinterest Now...) I'm really enjoying my time with Izzy. She's pretty hilarious. Right now she's on this sticking-your-tongue-out-is-hilarious thing. She's learning how to make all sorts of different noises. Last night she said "Hi. Ikea" clear as day!!! haha... She loves it when you sing "If you're happy and you know it" and also likes it when I make animal sounds during "Old McDonald."  She has recently started to full out laugh, and it is the absolute best sound in the world.

Bambi & Jane Lingerie Patterns for Woven Fabric... shown here in Flannel

The last few weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind, with reopening my lingerie shop, working on new items, and updating my pattern shop with new photos and pattern bundles. I  have a bunch of new patterns on the way too, which I can't wait to show you!

Jane & Grace Woven Panties Pattern Bundle

The other kind of crazy thing I've been up to was renovating my studio. I did it on a bit of a whim. With the help of my bff Abbey, we completely tore apart the room, painting all of the furniture, the walls, did a bunch of organizing... and now I have this awesome new space. I'll do a full on reveal in a future post... I have to say, it looks pretty awesome and is so much easier to work in!


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Hey! It's been a while!!!

I've been enjoying a bit of a slower pace the last few days... spending time with family and friends and finishing up a few handmade christmas presents!

Isabel has been such an easy fit into our little family. I count my blessings every day. She is so even tempered and sweet. I think she got a lot of Dan's laid-back personality, which is pretty awesome (you may have noticed that I'm a little more on the high-strung, go-go-go side of things!).  Just yesterday, she went in for her two month Doctor's visit. She's grown a couple of inches and is gaining lots of weight!!! She smiles and laughs and is just a pleasure to be around.

I've been having a friend of mine come over once a week to help out with a bit of childcare, so that I can get some work done. I'm slowly working on a new collection which I hope to have ready for January. It will be made-to-order and I will only be taking orders sparingly, so as to not overwhelm myself!!! I am really excited about this collection. My little "maternity leave" break has recharged my creative side. I have so many new ideas I don't even know where to start...!

I just realized a few hours ago that tomorrow is Christmas Eve already. Dan and I decided to scale back a bit this year with our celebrations. The last few years we have spent the few days over Christmas driving all over the place trying to fit in all the celebrations... this year we have decided to stay closer to home. That means we aren't able to see everyone that we normally would which is a little sad, but it feels much less stressful. I'm actually really looking forward to the next few days... especially since it is Isabel's first christmas!

I've had fun over the last couple of weeks reflecting on the Christmas traditions that I loved as a child, and looking forward to passing those on to my little one. The last few years, I've had a real "bah humbug" feeling about Christmas, but now with the baby, I'm starting to feel that sense of excitement again.

I hope everyone has had and will have a wonderful holiday season!! I'm looking forward to being back a little more regularly in the new year. 

Vintage Postcard via Collectors Weekly

Canadian Collective

Saturday, November 22, 2014

A while back, I mentioned a side-project I was working on. I used to co-manage a team on Etsy, called Team Canuck.  After Etsy changed their layout, we had to re-think the direction of our team.  We "rebranded" and renamed ourselves the Canadian Collective. Over the last few months, Kathleen and  I have been busy making the Collective into a place where shoppers can find the best Canadian handmade & vintage goods that Etsy has to offer, as well as providing support to Canadian-based Etsy sellers. It's been a lot of work, but it's also been a lot of fun! The thing I've loved most about the project is getting to meet my "neighbours."

This weekend, we are running a group promotion. Twenty Five members are offering discounts, from 10-20% off... I'm offering 15% off in both my Pattern & Lingerie Shops! The coupon code is CanadianChristmas, and the sale ends Monday!

Here's just a small sampling of the shops participating in the sale:

From left to right: Teaka MarieTrowel & Paintbrush, Ohhh Lulu, G Brosseau PhotographyREBEL by FATEOhhh LuluGazaboo VintageDark RideCrafted by LindyOhhh Lulu SewsTwo MoxieSeeing StarsG Brosseau PhotographyB StudioKiwi Tini Creations...

Two Weeks

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Two weeks have already passed! It seems like Izzy has been here forever, and at the same time like I just had her yesterday.  I see what they mean when they say "it goes by so fast..."

Dan went back to work this week so Izzy, Oliver and I are settling into a routine (or at least we are trying). Last week and into early this week was a little tumultuous. Izzy and I were not compatible breast feeders and as a result, she wasn't gaining weight and was getting hungry and cranky... after hours and hours and hours each day of trying and struggling (she could not stay awake to breastfeed, and we tried everything), we decided along with the very amazing and supportive nurse at the breast feeding clinic, that we would pump and bottle feed Izzy. I was upset at first, but I have to admit that it is really working well for us. We have a happier baby and a happier me. Dan enjoys getting the chance to spend extra time bonding and feeding her, and it gives me more flexibility. The thing that really sold me on bottle feeding this baby was the way she lit up when she finally had a full stomach!  So now I've got to get into the routine of pumping, preparing the occasional bottle of formula and washing endless bottles... I never expected to bottle feed this early so I also had to learn how to prepare bottles, and how to feed her from a bottle! I was surprised at how much guilt I felt at not being able to figure out the breastfeeding thing. I was really grateful at how supportive both my doctor and the nurse at the breastfeeding clinic were. As I learned with my birth experience, baby calls the shots... so you might as well throw your plans out the window.  Do what works best for you and your babe.

One week

I've noticed a huge difference in her over the last few days.  She sometimes practices a variety of facial expressions (which may or may not be fart related). She loves to just focus on your face and stare. She is alert and curious and likes to go on walks with me and Oliver, wrapped up in one of her carriers. Now that we have a feeding system all set up, she is a pretty easy baby (knock on wood).  While my opinion may be biased, I think she's also one of the prettiest babies I've ever seen!

Two Weeks!
I've been so lucky to have so much support throughout the last few weeks, from friends & family near and far.  On Monday, I checked the mail and found a surprise package from my friend Kathleen.  She painted the beautiful piece for us below.  I absolutely love it, and can't wait to frame it up and hang it in the nursery! Kathleen wrote about her process for this piece on her blog.

Painting by Kathleen Maunder
I'm really hoping to get a little bit of studio time this week, but we'll see how it goes...

She's here!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

A week ago at this time, Dan and I were at the hospital, listening to the baby's steady little heartbeat.

Baby Izzy at two days old.

Birthin' a baby was nothing like how I expected. While this isn't a baby blog (and I won't go into graphic detail, don't worry), I'd love to share my experience because the idea of birth was something I found really terrifying... and in reality is actually a pretty amazing, not that scary experience (and the best total body workout of your life)... even when things don't go quite the way you plan.

  I felt like I went in to this experience with no real birth plan, but as the big day approached I realized there were definitely things I envisioned and things I really did not want to happen. I had some vague vision of labouring in the jacuzzi tub, rocking around on the birth ball, getting massages from Dan. I really wanted to avoid an inductions, as I heard they increase the pain and possible medical interventions... and I really didn't want to be stuck in a bed. But ultimately my birth plan was "get the baby out in the most efficient and safe way possible." After all, no matter what you plan on, your body and your baby call the shots.
My water broke early on Sunday Morning.  It was not nearly as dramatic as in the movies. In fact, it took me a few hours to realize I'd better get by butt to the hospital.  We went in at about 8 and got looked over. My doctor just happened to be doing rounds so he was able to check us out and send us home, with a plan to come in for monitoring every 12 hours or so. Between hospital visits, I felt great. We went out for lunch, ordered pizza, watched movies, tidied up the house... went back and forth to the hospital for check-ups. Finally at about 1:30 on Monday morning I started getting contractions. Never in my life was I so excited to have horrible stomach pains every 10, 9, 8... minutes! We waited until they were about 6 minutes apart, called the hospital, then headed in.  We took a seat and waited to see a nurse.... and the contractions stopped.  Completely just stopped.

We waited around a bit. There seemed to be a mini-baby boom at the hospital (a result of a brutal winter?), and things were very busy. I kept hoping that things would just happen "the way they should" but after 30+ hours of waiting for labour to start, we decided we'd induce. The crappy part was it had to be administered by IV, and I'm scared of needles and being stuck in a bed. I was surprised by how disappointed I felt about being induced, but at one week past my due date I was also pretty ready to be done being pregnant. 
So, I got a few jabs, was set up in a delivery room, got comfortable in bed because I knew I'd be there for the next several hours, and we started the induction. Contractions started very fast, were regular, and we were rolling.  I took a shot of some pain medication and we literally just chilled out with the nurse for about 4 hours or so, chatting, watching tv, and really just having a good time! The pain medication didn't really do anything for the pain, but definitely took away any anxiety. Between that, keeping your mind calm, and some practiced, yoga breathing, labour was really manageable and not scary. 

I guess it must have been about 3:30 when the pain got really intense and I decided I'd give that epidural a try. I have to say, the pain wasn't the worst pain I've felt in my life, but I am of the mindset that if I can avoid being in really bad pain, why not? I was pretty freaked out by the idea of a spinal catheter, but in reality the procedure was quick and painless. By the time it was in place, the nurse looked at me and said "something is different, I think you're ready to have the baby." Sure enough, the epidural hardly had time to kick in and the baby was on her way.  I was terrified that the epidural would leave me numb, but I still had a ton of feeling (and was walking around an hour after delivering).  I pushed for an hour and a half, between which we were joking and laughing with our nurse and doctor, and at 5:36 pm my beautiful baby Isabel was resting on my chest. In total, I was only in active labor for about 5 and a half hours.

I wanted to share this story because as I was pregnant, I read a lot of scary things about "medicalized" deliveries. I had a very medical birth. Induction, pain medication, epidural, etc., and it in now way diminished my experience. I left the delivery room feeling so proud of myself for doing what I had done, and so happy with my experience... In fact, my experience couldn't have gone better and I've basically been raving about giving birth all week (ha! I never would have believed it). We were all calm, and relaxed, and most importantly, we ended up with the most beautiful, healthy baby girl.  My advice to anyone about to have their first baby, or planning on having a baby is to go into things with an educated but open mind, and most importantly, do what you feel will be best for you and your little one.

Since Monday, I have spent hours just looking at her thinking "How on earth did I ever create something so beautiful?"  I can easily say, she is the most amazing thing I've ever had the pleasure of being a part of...

We brought Oliver home from my parents last night and had our first real night as a "family" together. Oliver is adjusting well to having  a very loud little sister, and Isabel doesn't seem to even be phased by Oliver's snorts and barks.

So, it's been an exhausting week, but I am so glad to have her out in the world with us! I'm sure I'll be spamming the blog soon with pictures... hope you don't mind. She really is adorable and has two very proud parents.

PS. I apologize in advance for typos, spelling errors, sentences that may just drift off... I'm running off of about 4 hours of sleep a day

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