Friday, January 31, 2014

Calvin's hearts

Calvin loves to paint. 
I think handmade paper decorations are a must for Valentine's Day. 
We collaborate well.

Doing something cute with little kid paintings is much better than having 27 of them on your fridge.

My deer.

Calvin's hearts

My hearts

The Girl in the Lane Shop

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Handkerchiefs for my sisters

I have been meaning to share these handkerchiefs I made for my sisters. 

Every lady needs a pretty little hankie. 

I also just started on Flickr if that is your thing. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

What inspires me may inspire you: Calvin.

Thank you to all who celebrated Jamie’s Birthday with us. The out pour of love has been amazing.

As I mentioned in the last post, one year after Jamie’s birth we welcomed our son Calvin into our family. Today he turned two.

I am the youngest of three girls. My dad is the only son of five children. In general males are a bit of a rarity in my estrogen heavy extended family. Calvin is 110% boy. It has been a steep learning curve adjusting to this truck throwing, football obsessed, dinosaur roaring, very very filthy world of the little boy. I am learning and loving it.

Sneak peak at my work in progress. 
If Calvin is 110% boy its because he is 130% his daddy. He is also maybe about 13% me which if my math is right puts him at 253% Calvin. Yeah that sounds right. The kid looks like me but acts like Andrew. There is one trait I am hoping he picked up from me. In addition to the color changing hazel of our eyes, I hope he shares in my artsy genetics. I have always wanted at least one kid bitten by the artsy fartsy bug. He has been coloring in furiously lately. He always wants to paint and has known all the colors for a few weeks already. (All meaning the basics of course. Can’t really expect the just two-year-old to know cerulean. Heck I don’t even expect you to know cerulean. If you don’t, google it. Its lovely. I cannot and refuse to pick a favorite color but this one is up there. Ok tangent over. Back to bragging.)

detail from rainbow stegosaurus

Kids grow fast. I do not expect him to be obsessed with choo-choos forever. Although, I would not be surprised if he continues to sleep with a football for a very long time. My point is I cannot know if he will be an artist and I don’t really care. It has just made me smile lately. He doesn't have to be an artist. If he wants to be a brain surgeon, quarterback, rocket scientist I am sure I will learn to accept that.  

Calvin is named after Calvin and Hobbes. Shortly after he was born we bought Calvin his Hobbes. The poor tiger has been shrinking ever since. New evidence just in today.

1 week
1 month
2 months
3 months
4 months
5 months

6 months

7 months
8 months
9 months
10 months
11 months
1 year
1.5 years
2 years

Happy Birthday Son.

My Calvin inspires me. What inspires you?

The Girl in the Lane Shop

Sunday, January 19, 2014

What inspires me may inspire you: Jamie

Some of you know but some of you do not so here is my story, our story, her story.

In fall of 2010 I was five months pregnant with my second. My husband, Andrew and I went to the baby’s first ultrasound. This would have been where we found out if our baby was a boy or a girl but we had already decided early on to wait and keep this a mystery. We were told our baby had the fatal condition anencephaly. We later found out the cause was actually Amniotic Band Syndrome, a rare and random syndrome.  The head and face did not form properly and there was zero chance of the baby living outside the womb. Devastation does not even begin to describe.

We decided to continue the pregnancy. We decided but really there was no deciding about it. I could feel life moving inside me. I could not decide on what day that life would end. As parents we decided to give the baby time and a name. Jamie.

We carried. I say we because I could not have done it without Andrew, or Avia. She was almost five at the time. She brought me joy on the hard days. We hoped and we prayed because this is what parents do for their children. We cried too.

I was told with the diagnosis the baby would be stillborn anytime. The hospital bags were packed and we waited. Some days were long hours of feeling nothing and the many empty fears of not knowing. Never knowing. During these days I prayed harder, cried longer, and read my Bible more than any other time in my life.These days were cold and weary at the time but now looking back I see them as days of growth. As I mourned Jamie’s coming death I was becoming stronger. Some days were like any other day. Some days I laughed. Some days I didn’t. Some days, more and more days as they turned to weeks which turned to months, I got to know my child. I enjoyed just being with Jamie.

Jamie was born the day after her due date on January 22, 2011 at 6:30 in the morning. She lived 64 hours. She could hear, move, feel, make sweet little squeaky noises, and we believe smell, taste, and see as well. I was told she would not be able to do any of these things.

Many, more than I know, prayed for life for Jamie along with us. Thank you. We had hope. I do not regret any of this hope. It means we loved her and we did our jobs as parents in loving her. The job of parenting is different for every child. The job of parenting Jamie was to gently guide her from this world to the next. We were blessed Jamie lived to term, we were blessed she survived the labor, and we were blessed with every second of the 64 hours of life she had. Our prayers were answered. It was not the answer we were looking for and it was not the life we had in mind for our daughter but all life is a gift no matter how small.

This is not the end of the story. One year later on January 22, 2012 at 4:30 pm our son, Calvin was born on his big sister’s birthday. The story continues to grow. I do not claim to fully understand God’s answer. I probably never will in this lifetime and I am fine with that, but I trust in His answer more and more. More and more I see the good that He has done and continues to do because of Jamie.

Jamie inspires me in many ways. One way is in my art. White bears and snowflakes remind me of her. Rainbows become brighter after having weathered a storm. 

Mostly she ignites creativity in me because there is so much I do not know about her. I enjoy imagining what she would like, colors, creatures, flowers. I imagine what she is like in heaven, what she does, and mostly what she looks like. She had severe deformities so her face is very much a mystery. She appears now and again in many of the girls I draw. She is like my own little muse. Jamie is an important part of The Girl in the Lane because she is an important part of our family.

Andrew and I would like to invite you to join us for Jamie’s Random Act of Kindness Day. All you have to do is be nice to someone on January 22nd. We simply want people to celebrate her life and bring a little good to this world for her birthday. Please join us.

My Jamie inspires me. What inspires you?

Friday, January 17, 2014

What inspires me may inspire you: Avia

My daughter, Avia turned 8 today. 

I am no cake decorator. I really don't see the point of putting all that effort into something you eat. I am however a little too proud of the cake I made for her. It was simple, cute, and I didn't even need pinterest to come up with the idea.

If I had the imagination and energy she has in one of her little fingers, oh the things I could make. She is kind and smart and funny and beautiful. I’m her mom so I could go on and on.I’ll try my best to stick to how she inspires me in my art.

She has opened up the world of enchanted forests, magical moons, and yes, of course, unicorns to me. Many many unicorns.

She believes in bright colors and mismatched patterns right along with me, but she and I are very different. She makes pictures with words which I think I am starting to pick up from her. She also enjoys making a craft exactly like it is in the picture. This is a completely foreign idea to me. I typically make things my own way but her approach to creating makes me think. I need to work on following directions as well as she does so I can learn new skills and improve on the ones I have.

These are all ways Avia inspires me but mostly she inspires me because I love her. She is sweet and funny. She is young and lovely. Watching her just be herself makes me want to create something she will adore. She can be found in much of what I make.

Happy Birthday Sweet Pea!
detail of rainbow stegosaurus

My Avia inspires me. What inspires you?

The Girl in the Lane Shop