“Step into my parlour…”

You know, for someone who wants the simple life, I seem to have a rare talent for planning complicated projects.

Hallowe’en is coming. It’s always been my favourite holiday, even more so now that I’m a mom. For about a month now, my 5-year-old and I have been dialoguing about what costume he wants me to make this year. First, it was a skeleton and I must admit I found the idea of buying a costume oddly inviting – waaay easier (and cheaper, too, as it turns out). Then, he suggested a ghost. A small section of my artistic side died at the suggestion of a sheet with holes cut in it. He must have sensed it because his next idea was a robot. Finally, lastly and no turning back or changing of minds, he has decided on a tarantula.


Since settling on the creepiest of all spiders, he has been asking every day when I plan to get started. We did some sketches, which he coloured, and purchased the fabric yesterday. I’ll post my progress.

Yes, it may look messy, but believe it or not, it makes sense to me.

View from the back.


Just trying to get my head around all the pieces we’re going to need to put this puppy together.


The black and rust-coloured fun fur is absolutely perfect. Now, all I have to do is turn 2-dimensional swaths of fabric into a 3-dimensional gigantic spider. No problem!




Valentine’s Day 2012 – The Aftermath

I woke up on the wrong side of the bed last Tuesday and I spent my day working hard not to spiral while watching the world spiral around me. Now, a few days later, I can put some perspective on this strangest of holidays.

February 14 comes at arguably the most crushing time of year for people who live in cold, dark climates. Perhaps it was invented as a bright spot to look forward to while enduring the grind of mid-winter survival. Almost like the full moon, it brings out the best and worst in people, whether they subscribe to it or not. The dream is a magic-filled day; the reality an arbitrary obligation to spend a couple hundred bucks on a Tuesday.

Which is also garbage night. And a school night.

February 14 comes with such high expectations, yet it takes me by surprise every year. My man and I have celebrated 17 Valentine’s Days as a couple and we hardly ever made a big deal of it. Flowers, chocolate, maybe a nice dinner. This year, I thought it was important to mark the first Valentine’s Day of our marriage, so I made dinner reservations. Then I realized that we had long-standing plans with friends on Saturday and we just couldn’t afford to do both. So, I cancelled the reservation with no back-up plan besides some panic shopping. I worked diligently all day to lower my expectations.

I arrived home late from work to a hungry family who greeted me with roses, hugs and a breathtakingly sweet song (performed by my breathtaking 4-year-old son).

No, it wasn’t an expensive candlelit dinner with wine. But I knew that when I cancelled the reservation.

As my son snuggled into bed that night, I could see the wheels turning as he tried to figure out why we celebrate Valentine’s and what he could expect next year. I explained that nobody really knows what to expect on Valentine’s Day, but it’s a good day for doing nice things for other people and thoughtful things for the ones you love.

That simple message is so easily garbled by the hoopla.

So, I have a year to think about what to do in 2013. How much do you want to bet that it takes me by surprise again?