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we sang you home.

by Richard Van Camp
illustrations by Julie Flett

we sang you from a wish
we sang you from a prayer

we sang you home
and you sang back

we give you kisses
to help you grow

and songs to let you know
that you are loved

as we give you roots
you give us wings

and through you
we are born again

our everyday miracle
our everyday smile

our forever home
is inside of you

thank you for joining us
thank you for choosing us

thank you for becoming
the best of all of us

we sang you home
thank you for singing back

welcome to the world
we love you!

a reminder of how kids awaken a new us. they leave us changed and for the better.

my creative hibernation.

I so badly need to go into hibernation. I’ve been filling my head with ideas and images for the last 3 years; collecting pieces I love on my phone, in notebooks, in Google docs… I’ve been squirreling away stuff. I keep telling myself that I’ll need it later. Now it’s time.

I’m ready to do a brain dump. To go back through everything I’ve gathered and create something with it. I don’t know what it will look like, but I’m excited and hopeful. It feels important, and at the same time, I’m also afraid. What if it ends up being nothing?

I know that I care about stories and making things with layers of meaning. I’m not sure how these pieces will come together, but I’m hoping that by the spring, I’ll be able to answer this question.

I also know myself. I can easily list 10 projects or more that I would love to tackle this winter. I want to sew a lap quilt made of wools from home. I want to sew a Canadiana quilt. I want to host more mitten making workshops. I want to make an online course: How to Sew Upcycled Mittens from Sweaters. I want to help my Mom finish her online course: Sew Your First Quilt. I want to do more printing with wood. I want to learn how to sew my own clothes. I want to offer my Writing Acts of Kindness e-course….

See how this brain of mine works?! I am very good at filling my time with a whole bunch of projects that could easily veer me away from doing the work that I need to do.

So in thinking about my creative hibernation, I’ve asked myself, What will inactivity look like for me this winter? Meaning, how will I stay focused and settled? Because I need to keep my head clear in order for everything to come out.

This is my plan:

  • no work on the weekends (I need to turn it off, even though I enjoy it)
  • sticking to work blocks versus family time (not grabbing time here and there while the kids have a snack or watch TV)
  • saying no to things that are not aligned to my goals (even if I really want to do it). Note to self: I need to really pinpoint goals so I can use them as a filter.
  • slowing down and being intentional with my time and work.
  • one thing / one place at a time. “I am eating lunch versus I am eating lunch and scrolling Instagram and thinking about my next project.

So if you notice lots of projects popping up in my Instagram (@verylainie), please ask me how my writing is going. It will be the reminder I need to stay the course rather than avoiding it – because I’m afraid.

Here’s to an interesting winter…

If you’d like to follow along with me as I figure out what this looks like, you’ll find me on Instagram (@verylainie).

the Lainie List.

the boys getting ready on Christmas Eve. Tate cut carrots for the reindeer. Thatcher got the cookie plate ready for Santa.
  1. this song made me laugh at Tate’s Christmas concert. it’s really cute.
  2. who knew that a picture of tea tags could be so cool.
  3. this has sparked my next art project.
  4. Reuben de Maid’s first makeup tutorial (he’s 13 years old)
  5. The DO Lectures: Tina Roth Eisenberg
  6. How to Email Busy People
  7. love this fabric shop.
  8. Merchant & Mills Patterns
  9. I want to learn how to sew: The Victor, The Dress Shirt, The Tee Shirt, The Top 64 (as a dress)
  10. The Story of Your Year
  11. Wreck this Journal
  12. Mom’s Peanut Butter Reindeer Cookies
  13. Daddy O Doughnuts are ridiculously good. keep up with the changing menu through their Instagram account.
  14. FIKA Cafe. I want to go here.

my makeup story.

I recently decided to become a grown up…

my makeup bag as a 38 year old woman. it’s pretty embarrassing.

I have a make up bag that was a Christmas gift from a friend. Tweezers. Mascara my Mom bought me last Christmas. I have eye shadow with a brush that has fallen apart. I don’t remember when I bought the blush (there are only a few small pieces left inside). I have a compact. I usually pick fair because I’m a pretty pasty redhead. There’s under eye stuff; I bought after having our son, Tate. I saw Marilyn Dennis talking about it on TV one day. I found it at Shoppers Drug Mart. And there’s lip gloss that I’ve worn once. I hate how tacky it feels on my lips.

I recently ordered this through a friend (hence why I feel like a grown up).

I don’t know what colours I should wear for eye shadow. I thought I’d try this.
I decided to try this tinted lip gloss. I hate the feel and taste of a regular lip stick.
I’ve upgraded my under eye concealer to the fancy gold stick thing. I ordered a defining brow pencil (I have no idea how to use it. I just know that as a redhead, my eye brows are barely noticeable). I ordered blush and the other items in the picture were complimentary. And today (as I write this), I went to MAC to buy my first makeup brushes. I was asked if I liked full coverage or contouring. Sorry, I have no idea. I’m just learning all of this stuff.  I came home with three brushes and feeling very uncomfortable with how much they cost. Makeup is expensive! 

I have wanted to learn about makeup since I was in elementary school.

My mom never wore it. My grandma didn’t either.

My Auntie Lyd did. I remember asking her if she would teach me how to properly wear makeup. She once talked to me about blush and how it went along the cheek bones. I didn’t get to learn more from her. My Auntie Lyd died in a house fire when I was in grade 8.

The first time I wore makeup, I was in grade 9. My cousin Troy had asked me to be a junior bridesmaid in his wedding. My older cousin Laurie (who I thought was the coolest) took me to a pharmacy and picked out what I needed. It’s pretty much what I buy and wear now. A Cover Girl compact. Blush. Eye shadow. Mascara.

20 years later, I’ve decided to buy something different and figure out how to wear it. And I don’t know why.

And why now? We have three small children. My time is limited. And financially, I shouldn’t be spending money on something like makeup. And yet, I want to.

Maybe it’s because I’m tired of looking frumpy. Maybe it’s because I want to feel good. I have no idea. But I do love how it looks when people wear it well. I love the colour and how it can bring a healthy glow to someone’s face.

I also want to teach Charlie how to wear makeup when she’s older (if she wants to). I want it to be seen as something that is fun and more about how she feels when wearing it. I think growing up I picked up on a lot of negative messages shared by those around me. People who wore makeup were self-absorbed or caught up in their appearance. Wearing makeup was to draw attention to yourself. For me, I just want to feel more confident wearing it and more knowledgeable.

So if you happen to know of some good videos I could watch or a place to go to learn more, let me know!

my word for 2019.

Why this word?

these two lines stood out to me…

“the heart is regarded as the center of a person’s thoughts and emotions”
“the central or innermost part of something.”

I’ve had something on my mind for over a year now and I haven’t made it happen.  It’s something that is close to my heart which is why I probably keep myself busy with other projects.  You can’t fail or struggle, if you haven’t gone there yet.

In 2019, I’m going to make it happen.  It will be a part of my creative hibernation. 

Want to choose a word for 2019?  Susannah Conway has a great 5 day email course, Find Your Word (it’s free).  You need to try it.  I love it.  She has a way of taking a complex idea and breaking it down into simple and meaningful steps.

It’s been a game changer for me.  I constantly come back to my word throughout the year.  It helps keep me grounded and focused, constantly working towards my goals; where a typical new year’s resolution kept me going for a week. 

the art of creative hibernation.

The Art of Creative Hibernation
The Art of Creative Hibernation

I wrote a book because I need to go into hibernation.

The Art of Creative Hibernation was my way of thinking through what hibernation might look like for me.

I need some solid time to sort through all of the stuff I have been squirreling away in notebooks, Google docs, on my phone… time to take my learning and pull it together. 

I need to stop procrastinating and make something that really matters – something that will be useful to me, to our kids, and to others.  I have no idea what it is, but I’m going to figure it out.

My hibernation might include certain days of the week where I’m not on Instagram or other social platforms at all.  It will involve not doing any “work” on weekends, getting a membership to a local yoga studio, and a lot of writing.  A lot.  And it needs to involve some type of new routine that has me focusing more on my health.

You’re welcome to follow along as I try and figure out what this will look like.  Maybe it will inspire a hibernation of your own… 

The Lainie List

I love when we roast marshmallows in the house.
  1. Big Ideas Inside: A Creativity Pad for Dreamers
  2. 24 Days of Kindness for Preschoolers
  4. Pantone’s Colour of the Year.
  5. I like to Move It.  Tate’s new favourite song.
  6. Craft a Life You Love
  7. 52 Lists for Togetherness
  8. love these.  Buckskin Chopper Mitts from LL Bean
  9. South Shore Annexe Craft Table |
  10. The residue of creativity
  11. How to Be an Artist
  12. Why Is Japan Still So Attached to Paper? – The New York Times
  13. Slow-Cooker Maple Pork Shoulder with Apples
  14. Thatcher’s favourite song right now.
  15. Gingerbread Man Cookie recipe
  16. Royal Icing recipe

my 2018 Christmas Wish List.

  1. a drop-in six pack at
    (Thank you, Mom!  She gave me an early Christmas present.)
  2. a lighting kit (ask Eric)
  3. a tarot set
  4. Pentel pens
  5. bath bombs from anywhere
  6. a desk lamp from IKEA (this or this) (*update Nov. 12th – I bought myself one of these lamps last week.  Sorry, Mom 🙂 She has always said, don’t buy yourself anything before Christmas.)
  7. new moccasins
  8. iPhone holder (for video)
  9. a Get to Work Book or #10.
  10. Powersheets from Cultivate (my first pick)
  11. a business plan for my WordPress account
  12. Kraft cards and envelopes



For our family, a magical part of Christmas was being able to wish.  It didn’t mean that it would happen; it meant that you got to imagine what if…

Every year during a visit to Flanders, we would sit with Grandma Lainie and flip through the Sears Wish Book.  We would go through page by page as she asked us what we liked.  I don’t know if she ever bought any of the things we talked about; it didn’t matter.  Just going through the book with her was fun.

Grandma Lainie continued to make her wish lists even in her 70s.  I wrote my own list last year: My Christmas Wish List.
Along with it being fun to wish, it’s kind of neat to see how our list captures who we are and what we enjoy.  What’s on your list this Christmas?!


I’m going to camp for the first time.

I’m going to camp for the first time – at 38 years old.  I leave next week.

I will be 3 hours away from Toronto, with 80 women I have never met before.  It’s called the Imperfect Boss Camp.  A group of creative women – entrepreneurs, designers, photographers, bloggers, artists… coming together to learn from each other.  I’m excited and nervous.

I have no idea where I’m sleeping.  I don’t really know what the 4 days will be like.  I’ve never been to camp before, and yet, I’m excited to be surrounded by others who love creative things like I do.  And with no wi-fi and limited cell service, I hope to unwind and just be.  I’ll have to let you know how it goes once I get back.

I may be a Wendy the Worrier but there’s a fearless side to me too.  I actually like the fact that I don’t know anyone there.  It will force me to meet new people.

I’m going to camp for the first time, and this kid is excited.


I was never the kid who went to camp.

Growing up in Northern Ontario, we were surrounded by trees and lakes.  Going to camp was something we did every weekend when we went to our family cabin.  Swimming.  Fishing.  Water skiing.  Why pay for camp when you can do the same things at the lake?  But it wasn’t the reason why I didn’t go…

I didn’t like the idea of sleeping somewhere else overnight and the only camp offered in our area was a Bible Camp – not my kind of thing.  The packing list for Sunny Cove Camp (the Bible camp) further sealed the deal; when I saw that electronics were not allowed (no walkmans or CD players), I was out.

And now at 38, this introvert is packing her bags to go and share a cabin with strangers, three hours from home, in an area with limited cell service.  Who says that we can’t change…