Category Archives: Family Life

Vintage Wrapping Paper

I try to live a ‘green’ lifestyle, always doing my best to be conscientious about my consumption. One place where I noticed a lot of senseless waste was in gift wrapping. Huge piles of paper, that if lucky, would at least end up in the recycling. For a long time I switched to wrapping with old newspapers. They did the trick, but I missed having cute prints to choose from. I do appreciate a well wrapped parcel… This is how I discovered vintage wrapping paper.

One day while thrift store shopping, I stumbled upon a bin filled with wrapping paper. Some pieces were just single squares, others still in there original packaging. The vintage prints are so adorable!  This was the answer I was looking for. I could justify buying my wrapping paper from a non-profit thrift stores. Knowing that the money I spent would stay in my community, and be used in ways that help out so many people. Win Win!!!!
Here are a few of my favorite prints…
Heather D. - May 3, 2013 - 3:28 pm

Very clever! I wouldn’t have thought to look for wrapping paper at Goodwill, etc. but will now! I love that bunny print in your pick. Enjoy the weekend!

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Cobble Hill Mountain

I climbed Cobble Hill today, our local hiking mountain. I do this hike quite frequently to get my regular (I’m exaggerating somewhat with the words ‘frequently’ and ‘regular’!) exercise in. It’s a pretty walk through the forest with lots of cedar, arbutus and fir towering above. The trails are well established with many to choose from, including bike trails. I like to take the harder ones up to the top where you’ll find two pretty views. One of them is on the backside, overlooking a beautiful farm and gorgeous pieces of property, some on the river I’d love to own. The other view in on the front, where you can overlook the small town ‘Cobble Hill’ and the ocean.

I love to come here to wind down after I’ve finished a day at the studio chatting and laughing and eating and lets not forget doll-making. I’m so lucky to work in such a beautiful shop with wonderful friends. It really is like my second home and when I come here, to the mountain, I realize how lucky I am to live where such a gorgeous natural landscape is never ending. How spoiled am I to be so fortunate!

Don’t forget to appreciate where YOU live!


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Stray ‘Cat’

When I was a child I had a keen sense for stray cats.  Whether we were travelling, camping or just walking in our own neighbourhood I would come across a stray cat.  My desire to take the cats home was quite overwhelming but I was always met with a “No” from my mom.  I did have two cats, Tiger and Snowflake, so it wasn’t as if I was lacking in the department of feline love.  But somehow these strays spoke to me.  One of my childhood dreams was to have an animal shelter.  I have yet to fulfill that dream but over the years I have had the opportunity to bring home a couple of lost kitties.

Last summer I was at the river with my children.  As we were leaving we came across a white and orange cat that seemed to be injured.  As soon as he saw us he began to call us with his meow, almost a begging type of call.  We went to him and as soon as we approached he came right up to us.  I picked him up.  He was all scratched up and very skinny.  Right in that moment my daughter asked if we could take him home?  Without hesitating I said “Yes”.
We already have a cat and a young dog, again not lacking in the pet department.  But we brought ‘Cat’ home, named by my 4 year old.  Fast forward to today.  After much peeing, being chased by the dog numerous times, a very stressful neutering, and many months ‘Cat’ (also called ‘Chulo’ or ‘Fat Louie’) has adjusted very well into our home.  He is our cat and we are his family.  Pictured below is him sleeping in his favourite spot, who doesn’t like to use a Bamboletta as a pillow?



Kim Giovannini - April 22, 2013 - 1:10 pm

What a great story Shauna! I volunteer with a lab rescue and have kept our last foster, Tamber (a 12 year old yellow gal). I think the rescued ones love you a wee bit more. hehe

Darice/Healing Gems - April 22, 2013 - 1:15 pm

That was so kind of you. All of my animals are rescues and I love them to pieces.

Christine - April 22, 2013 - 1:36 pm

OT…. I had to chuckle to myself when I saw your doll with the froggy hat…. One was included in my bambo parcel (thank you) but my doll has been wearing it backwards and I was left wondering why the eyes are facing the back. It all makes sense now! 😀

Skye Copeland - April 22, 2013 - 4:03 pm

I love this story! I was always bringing home stray cats when I was younger and hiding them in my parents barn (my cousin usually was there to help). My parents would ask why there were cats out there and we would do our most innocent look and shrug our shoulders. 🙂 There are tons of stray cats around our house now (they’re very wild), I’ve named all of them and leave them food and water on our porch. Plus we have our own rescue kitties. 🙂

Belinda - April 22, 2013 - 5:20 pm

He’s a very handsome boy! 🙂 My cat Marley likes to curl up with my Bamboletta too.

Shauna - April 24, 2013 - 7:04 pm

I think that we should have a photo contest with our pets, rather than the kids. Sounds like our pets like the dolls as much as we all do 🙂

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Park Day

Last Monday afternoon brought blazing Spring sunshine here in the Cowichan Valley, so my little family took a trip to Centennial Park in Duncan to soak in the rays. There’s a water park within the playground next to the community gardens and courts, so we brought our bathing suits and towels just in case the water had been turned on.

My cousin, her 2 year old, my aunt, my 5 year old Emily (and her Little Buddy ‘Diamonds’) and myself joined the rest of the local crowd. It turned our the park was dry , but there was enough bubbles and street chalk to keep us and the kids busy. The girls covered the sidewalk in floating rainbows and beautiful children’s art. I couldn’t resist either and left my signature flower in chalk among the collage.

At the end of the day we all went home for dinner with enough rosey cheeks and smiles to last the whole year through.



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Little Onion

My bedside table is, most of the time filled with some random stuff. Some books, hand cream,  massage oil from Weleda (I love the brand) and some rescue cream. This week though, I had to add a few more little helpers…. those handy dandy things in times of a bad cold and crazy headache.
I never, well, allmost never, have a cold. I’m one of those lucky ones that gets away with just eating an extra orange and taking an extra vitamine C tablet and I will be good for another year. But not this week…. I have been sniffing and coughing, could hardly look out of my eyes and was not fun to hang out with at all….. but I worked hard to get better and wanted to share one of my old time favorite little tricks in times of a cold emergency. As soon as I feel my throat itch and breathing thru my nose becomes a problem, I grab a fresh onion, cut it open and place it on my bedside table. My parents taught me well. The onion will not solve the problem but will give you a great nights sleep since it keeps your airways open, and we all know, sleep is the best remedy.

Oh, and I will explain my toilet paper roll :), it’s a handy replacement for expensive tissue (since you need a lot when a REAL cold has hit you). Even at work I have to make sure my tissue replacement is close by 😉


Tanya W - April 8, 2013 - 1:16 pm

Thamar, we share the same love of the humble toilet paper roll 🙂 I used to keep one in my stroller for school drop off and pick up…always handy!

My mum used to use the cut onion when we had a cold and you’ve just reminded me!! Thank you~ such a great way to sleep better when you are sick.

Hope you are now feeling much better!! Take care.

Erin - April 8, 2013 - 1:41 pm

Not only does the onion help you breath, but it gets just filled up with all of your germs that are in the air. DON’T EAT IT!! lol

thamar - April 10, 2013 - 5:42 pm

Hi Tanya and Erin,
I feel much better now, thanks… no toiletrolls and onions
next to my bed anymore….
And like Erin said, eating the onion after the good night of sleep, not such a good idea ;)you might end up being sick again.

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