New Blog Design and Site!

OK but I've been crazy excited to share Mer Mag's new blog site and layout with all of you. I've had a great run with blogger but I'm looking forward to a new adventure with my new site here on mermagblog.com. So please come on over and join me here as that is where we'll be from here on out.

And be sure to check out the new rainy day pillow wall hanging I made for Baby M along with a few snap shots of her new little corner of the world.

And now I have to kick up my heels and head on out to ALT! Such a fun and buys week in store. Follow me on Instagram for updates and catch me over here for a full report of when it's all through. Oh and wish me luck with my panel on Collaborating with Brands! So much fun info to share. If you are coming, stop on by on Thursday morning to say hello! Would love to meet you.



Little Bits: An Attempt to get Organized

One of my very favorite things about a New Year is the clean slate and the push to reorganize. You take down all the lovely Christmas decor and then you see your home in a whole new light and the itch to orgazine, to decorate, to make house, etc. starts to make itself known. And I love it.

The Little's room has slowly been progressing and I've loved adding a bit of girly touches to the the boys already colorful scheme that we have going on. I currently have it designed so that all three kids are packed together like sardines in the same room but we'll see if things stay that way. Presently baby M is still in her basket in our room but is rapidly growing out of it. Yet I'm nervous to put her in with her brothers straight away. Let's just that Little O is a bit over-excited about the whole big brother thing and I'm not sure he'd ever leave her alone.
We'll have to see...But whatever we end up doing, you can bet that January's focus is all about home decor and reorganizing! Hooray! Like these bookshelves that we finally put up. So happy to see our books and artwork up and making a fun bold statement in the kids room. Makes my heart light every time I enter in. They are, admittedly, a tad cluttered at the moment, but that is what I get for having too many kids books and items for display! I'll have to work out some sort of rotation schedule of sorts.
Now to conquer the opposite wall. The trouble is that I have so many ideas that I just can't settle in on one. My favorite one at the moment will take a bit of time...but will end up so great I think...We'll just have to see...

Either way...I'm super excited to get my home in order. The itch is strong and I'm more than happy to address it. What about you? Do you get the itch to re-decorate or organize in the new year?


New Business Cards...that you can play with!

Friends I've finally buckled down and made some bus cards for Mer Mag. And I have to say...I'm head over heels in love with how they turned out! Rowley Press did a phenomenal job of letterpress printing and I'm one happy happy happy gal.
And with all things Mer Mag...well it just wouldn't be as fun if you couldn't recycle it and turn it into a new toy to play with, right?! So that is just what we did.
After saving all the Mer Mag info into your smart phone, you can cut out this fun bear on the back, assemble and play with him! So fun right?

Oh and these have a new blog address on them...which could only mean one thing...Mer Mag is getting a face lift! And soon!!
And as ALT is...next week!...I'm happy to say that if I pass out while speaking during my panel ;) I'll at least have these lovely cards for you to remember me by.
So if you are attending ALT, please do stop by my panel (should be fabulous really, some great speakers lined up) say hello (and perhaps an encouraging word or two? :)!! I'd LOVE love love to meet you in the flesh.
And now I better get back to packing and preparing...so much to do...so little time! Eeep!


Christmas 2012 Recap: and some hand stamped PJ's

So yes, we are well into January...and visions of pink and red are on the horizon with the holiday of love just around the corner...but I'm just a wee bit in denial that the Christmas season is indeed over (we finally took our tree down and put away our Christmas records *insert sad tear here*). But as I mentioned here, I do love me a new year and am ready to embark on some great new journeys! The future looks bright my friends!

And that future is starting strong (and busy!) with some super fun illustration jobs, preparation for ALT - did I mention I'm speaking?! - and so much more. But as my blog is also a bit of a journal I feel I can't move forward without documenting just a bit from our joyous Christmas day.
I'm sure I probably feel this way as it is the most recent event, but for some reason, this last Christmas really felt like the best one yet. Just something about it was simply perfect. Perhaps it is because it was one of the few years where we actually awoke in our own home and celebrated the morning with just our own little family. Or perhaps it was because of our perfect new little addition, baby M. Or perhaps it was because all I really wanted in the world was to spend one perfect day just with my dear family, completely focused on spending time with one another. Probably a bit of all the above. But whatever the reason...it was...well...perfect.
We spent Christmas Eve with Jon's parents and didn't get back to our place till late that night, so the boys actually slept in on Christmas morning, which was perfect. Jon made an amazing sausage and egg baked dish to keep our tummy's happy while settling down to open our gifts. I was on top of things this  past year and had been collecting gifts for the boys throughout the year and I even had a lot of it wrapped before Christmas Eve. A record for me. It was oh so nice to embark on December knowing that most of the shopping was done (and ended up being oh so necessary as RSV made it's ugly rounds throughout our household). I did however have a number of last minute things to do, such as hand stamp these long john's for the boys Christmas PJ's. I seriously made them on Christmas Eve morning, willing them to dry in time for me to wrap them so that they could open them later that evening. It somehow managed to work out perfectly. And I laughed when A squealed in delight when opening his after his brother...proclaiming "yes! they are different!". Good thing I made two different stamp motif's. Who knew it was so important?

This year was also really great because I feel like the boys really got into the spirit of giving this year. Not only did we pick out gifts for each other but I had the boys really get involved with selecting gifts for my brother's family (we had his name this year). This meant that they had to think of their cousings, go to a store, pick out gifts for them, buy them and go home with no toys for themselves. I was seriously worried about Little O on this one as he's incredibly in love with toys (he feels like they are his friends that he develops deep bonds with). But you know what? He was amazing. He was head over heals in love with this snugly puppy dog that he knew from the beginning was to be for his 2 year old cousin. So throughout the store he played with it, cuddled it and befriended it, but all with the plan of giving him away. And it worked! He loved the idea of him going to his cousins house. He actually understood that this was a special thing he was doing for his little cousin. It was a gift. Amazing (and serious mom sigh of relief here).
Above are the wrapped gifts that they gave to me and I love how excited they were to give. Such sweet boys. Jon let them pick anything they wanted to give me (within reason and budget of course) and A picked out some lip gloss and Little O picked out a brush. So sweet. And it turns outs, just exactly what I needed. I had them pick something for Jon as well so they chose an Angry Birds game for him to play on the IPad (which of course they wanted to play with as well). They also got a few toys for their baby sister.
And OK, I got just a wee bit excited to embark upon the collection of beautiful handmade dolls for baby M. Yes she won't appreciate it for a while yet but I love the idea of telling her the story of her first Christmas and the special doll that she received then. And in truth, she was my little Christmas doll. Our family's favorite gift from 2012.

2012 was a wonderful year for us and we are so excited to embark on a new year with our little family of five. So so many exciting things for our future and I feel incredibly blessed to share it with those that I love and with all of you!


Our Colored Duct Tape Craft DIY's now on Parent & Child blog!


Remember our fun line up of duct tape crafts for Scholastic's Parent & Child magazine? Well you can now access them online here. So fun! Really great line up of fun indoor crafts you can do with your kiddos while stuck indoors this winter. So hurry and go check it out!MerMagParent&ChildBlogPress2


Our Mountain Pillow in the Design Sponge Best of 2012!

I'm finally catching up with all my reading and saw that our mountain pillow made it into the Design Sponge Best of 2012 round up. So fun!

Have to say, it's one of our favorites from last year as well. Makes me happy every time I walk by it.


Happy New Year!!

Happy Happy New Year Friends! I don't know about you but I'm ready to clean the slate and start this new year off on the right foot! Don't get me wrong, 2012 was great, full of wonderful opportunities and new additions (such as our very favorite, this little bug shown here) but I just love me some time to reevaluate, make some changes and get pumped to start up again. Don't you? And to do so we always choose a theme as a family for the year. I like to do this so that if some of my specific goals fall through the cracks, say oh about a couple weeks after I make them, then I always have a simple theme to fall back on...one that is easy to remember the entire year through...and one that will hopefully guide us through until the end of December.

I'm also big on alliteration. I find this helps me remember my theme even when it's July and starting fresh and goal making is not so much at the forefront of my mind.

Some past favorite themes have been:

  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Relax (remember this one?! still a fond favorite)
  • Creation and Compassion (tried to focus on creating more and consuming less and then reaching beyond myself and showing compassion to those around me)
  • Friends, Family & Fun! (this one might seem like a no brainer but for a workaholic, creative hermit like myself I needed the reminder that the most important things in life are bonds you form with those around me. I needed the push to put my relationships in life first. And to have FUN doing it! Turned out really great.).
  • Last year was all about Thriving...thinking this year might be a bit along those lines as well. Can't wait to nail it down!

What about you? Any resolutions? And what do you do to try to keep up on them after the will power to make it out the door to the gym subsides?