Nathaniel the Tarantula

A little while back I wrote about my boy’s awesome idea for this year’s Halloween costume. I am pleased to report that, through a collaborative process, his idea developed from conception to the real thing.

Kids tarantula costume

BIG spider…

AND he’s a finalist in a halloween photo contest!

Vote for The Tarantula to win this contest in two easy steps:

1. View the great photo of our spiderific creation by Tangerine Photography.

2. Click LIKE to vote for The Tarantula.

Thanks for your support.

Here’s how it all started…

Kids tarantula costume sketch

“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!




Another project

I love, love, love the spring. My creative sap starts to flow. Whenever possible, I sit in my garden plotting my next book. It’s hard not to be distracted by the birds flapping in the birdbath or the squirrels spilling my clothespins, but I can usually manage. (Not today, though, since it’s pouring rain.)

A few weeks ago, in another creative burst, I made this skirt on my knitting machine. It’s my own design and oh, so warm and cozy.

I’m Baa-aack…

Hey there! It’s been a long while since I updated my blog. When that whole life-work balance gets out of alignment, something’s gotta give. But now I’m back, invigorated and committed to putting more time and energy into my creative life.

What’s been keeping me away, you ask?

That requires a multi-level answer that will take more than one blog post. Rather than starting at the beginning, I’ll just tell you about my favourite distraction from blogging:

I got married last month in San Pedro, Belize!

It was beautiful, and short and sweet. I designed and made my own silk dress, the groom wore a white linen shirt and pants, and our 4-year-old son was a pirate. It was his job to dig up the buried treasure chest with the rings.

Planning a destination wedding is no small task. We did our best to simplify the logistics (mainly by not inviting anyone except our parents), but it was still a monumental undertaking to book the rooms, the ceremony, the photographer, the flights and excursions that were suitable for a 4-year-old and 82-year-old amidst the regular stresses of life.

Then there was designing and sewing my own wedding gown…

The original design

Drafting the pattern (this is the bodice back)



The final product. Notice that a lot of the details from the original design were abandoned. Sometimes simple really is best.

Our little family