ok so it happened, I turned 40 
yeah nothings changed (ok a few achy muscles and a lot more grey hair, but what was I expecting?)

when I was in my twenties turning fourty seamed like it was forever away and I feel that the twenty years I spent working and figuring myself out has been quite a journey.  I'm an optimistic person, sure life had some hard twist and turns, but I always survived them because I had strong amazing people who always had my back.

my parents divorced when I was a teenager and it affected how I viewed relationships, I knew that the person I spent the rest of my life with had to be someone that I respected and that I could love unconditionally. 

I spent seven years in post-secondary education, back than my goal was to be a sculptor.  I wanted to have my masters degree so that teaching could supplement my income while I made art and applied for grants.  after grad school I moved to montreal and lived there for a bit and eventually moved back to toronto because I didn't speak any french.  I had art exhibitions and made art for a good while after art school and got jobs teaching.  I met john while teaching at the AGO and to be honest I didn't like him at first, I thought he was a know it all but realized as I got to know him that he did know it all - but he's nice about it and knows how to listen.  the more time we spent together the more I knew we were right for each other and when we got married it was the happiest day of my life.

our union inspired us to explore design, neither of us knew what we were doing, but started making things that we wanted in our home or to carry, and slowly and steadily we built our little business with both of us working full-time jobs and on our evenings and weekends we worked hard at making work and doing a craft show here and there. slowly people started to noticed and the business started to grow into what it is today.

the other happy days for us were the days our children were born - we had the hardest time coming up with names for them - I don't know how we decided on lliam but I knew I wanted it spelt with two ll's because I thought when he would spell his name the double loops would be fun to do (I know silly) and his middle name is harper after his great great grandfather harper bass (he always knows I'm serious about something when I call him by his full name) - piper was originally going to be called pippa and nobody liked it and so I decided on piper because I liked that it was different name and her middle name is dylan (after a certain singer). they are truly amazing children, they love each other so much and it's nice to know they have developed a good relationship and it makes me happy to know they have each other.

I'm lucky that my life is where it is today and happy to see how all of our hard work has developed a company and home that we can be proud of.  I don't think I could be where I am without the great people in our lives and I know that the next 40 years will have other challenges and happiness, even though I miss having more energy, the knowledge I've gain the past 20 years is so invaluable.


  1. sweetness. happiest of birthdays to you!!! xxoo

    oh what a post ! Thank you for letting us know about your past, your life before all of us got to know you !
    Made me smile to read that you didn't like J at first, because when I met C (my husband) first, I thought he wasn't smiling at all & he didn't interest me LOL
    Big hugs oxoxo

  3. So sweet blogpost!AriadnefromGreece!

  4. well said my dear friend. I hope i will be there to share in your ups and downs, over the next 40 years or so. We will be there sipping tea and eating stroopwaffels and talking about our children, grandchildren and still making things with our two hands:) Of course we will be hoping on a plane every once in a while to visit g.

    1. Amen to that! Happy birthday dear Arounna! Can't wait to see you and give you a big hug in person :) You and your beautiful family are an inspiration to me. Love you lots xoxo

  5. Happy, happy birthday. Wisdom is a precious thing (or so I tell myself as I cruise towards turning 40 myself).

  6. Happy Birthday dear Arounna! Your life is indeed filled with love, creativity, purpose and meaning :o)

  7. PS - And these pictures are truly beautiful. The wedding one is a delight to look at!

  8. Wishing you a very happy Birthday and many more joy and blessings years to come.

  9. a lovely retrospect. happy birthday arounna!

  10. Happy, happy birthday , greetings from italy

  11. Happy birthday Arounna! I hope your day is filled with loving, gentle care - from those surrounding you, and yourself. A nice, long massage will help those extra aches ;-) ! I am so glad I discovered you, your family, and your work. Here's to many, many more wonderful years!

  12. What an impressive journey!!! Kudos girl and Wish you a Very happy hearty Birthday!!! N'joy!!!

  13. Happy happy birthday!!! xoxoxo

  14. What a lovely post. Happy birthday to you. You have worked so hard and your success is well deserved.

  15. Happy Birthday Arounna!Thanks for sharing your inspiring story.Wishing you all the joy and blessings in this wonderful journey of life.

  16. It's so nice to read more about you and John and learn a bit about how you ended up where you are now; and the images are gorgeous too.
    Don'tcha know 40 is the new 20, really it is... in my head anyway :)

  17. Forgot to add a big Happy Birthday :)

  18. Happy birthday Arounna! It's lovely to hear about your story and journey, and I so admire how you have built up your family and creative business with J.

  19. Beautiful words ;)
    Happy Birthday! and regards from Chile!!

  20. dear you
    i have been away so i have missed this post
    happy birthday! i wish you a wonderful year

    i com here often, to look and read
    loving your words like on this post
    but also understand your struggle with
    work, love, art and the blogworld
    you are an inspiration for me
    and am glad you will be keep on blogging

    from the Netherlands
    Patrice A.

  21. What a beautiful snapshot into your past, thanks for sharing and here is a late Happy Birthday to you!

  22. Lovely post! Thank you for the inspiration. I am making my way to that landmark , trying to start my own business and work a full time job! Your words are inspiring to keep on going! Thank you!


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