Sunday, 13 May 2012

remembering our moms…

cathy 2

lauraBoth of us have lost our moms — my mom Cathy died in 1998, and Victoria’s mom Laura in 2004. So Mother’s Day is sort of bittersweet for us. We remember all the wonderful things about our moms, but we don’t have them here to give them hugs and kisses, and to tell them how much we love them and how much they mean to us.

Our moms are a big part of who we are today. So in their honour, we’d like to share a little bit about them with you…

My mom, Cathy, was a teacher. And even though she was only 5’2”, she was also a basketball player :-) After I was born, she became a stay-at-home mom to raise me and my future brother.

Besides being sporty, she was very artistic and creative. She took ceramic lessons for many years, and then she later taught ceramics. She and my dad set up a room for her classes in the basement. There was a big table and chairs and shelves all around filled with jars of paint and greenware in all different shapes and sizes, just waiting to be transformed into pieces of art. It always amazed me how the drab colours in the jars transformed into beautiful glossy colours when the pieces were done.

These are just a few of the ceramic pieces that my mom made… first, a vase…


She painted the flowers and leaves entirely by hand. I have no idea how she did it, but I think it’s beautiful and very unique. I used to display it in the niche that was in the hallway. Now that the niche is gone, I have to find a new home for it.

And she made a pair of these lamps:

lamp flowers

She shaped and cut every petal and leaf and stem out of clay, and then shaped the flowers and leaves on the lamps. I definitely did NOT inherit my mom’s patience!! ;-)

And this is my most favourite piece that my mom made. Being a blonde-haired, blue-eyed, purple-loving kid with pigtails, my mom made this lamp especially for me — cheeky look on the face and all!! And I think my grandma made the lavender shade cover. I love the pompoms!!



My mom was upset that after the lamp had it’s final firing, she realized that she’d gotten a bit of purple paint from the flower on one of the hands. But I think that makes it even more special, because it was handmade with love by my mom :-)

This is my mom on her way to marry my dad on March 22nd many years ago!! I think it was 1956. My mom was 18 and my dad was 19 — I can’t imagine being married that young!!

cathy 1

I love my mom and I miss her a lot. I’m sad that she died before I was married, but she did meet my then-boyfriend and now-hubby, so she knew that I was happy and had found Mr. Right (or at least Mr. OK ;-) ). I think she would be proud of me and the things I’ve accomplished in my life. Thanks mom, for everything you did for me and for being so wonderfully kind and loving…

And now Victoria is going to tell you a bit about her mom, Laura…


People tell me that I look like my Mom and I remember for years getting annoyed at what others perceived as a compliment – I wanted to be and look like ME, not my Mom. I’m sure so many of you can relate to that! Now, with my Mom gone from my life I find myself looking in the mirror hopeful to catch a glimpse of her lovely face. Lovely. She used to joke that, because all of her names began with “L” she was “lovely Laura Lorraine Lambert”. She came by “lovely” honestly, she didn’t need all those “Ls” to make it so!! :-)Girly Mom

As I was preparing to write this post I came across this photo of her as a child and, because of stories I’d heard about her childhood fun-loving tomboy ways I had to share. I love to think of my Mom like this – happy and full of life! Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!!

My very first post ever on our original DesignTies blog was dedicated to my Mom – and in it I shared with everyone her love of interior design and all things related to houses. Michelle from A Schematic Life would understand Mom’s love affair with the magazine “Architectural Digest”; her bookcase was full of issues that she would pour over! Mom always told me Mom and Dadthat if she’d planned her life a little better she would have gone to school to become an interior designer, but she married young, had children and, when she did go back to work, had to get one of those practical jobs… the kind that so many of us have! I know I have one!!

When she was in her early 40s, however, she lived a piece of that dream – she attended and graduated from Emily Carr’s School of Art & Design as a Graphic Designer. I was so proud of her on her graduation day!!

One of the things my Mom and I used to love to do was drive through neighbourhoods and look at houses. Often we would bring a camera and surreptitiously (we didn’t want to get caught by the owners!) take pictures of our favourites. And sometimes, she’d use those photos to make renderings of the houses. My brother and I have a lot of her art (graphic designs, pencil drawings, paintings, etc.), but my most favourite are these three paintings, two of which are renderings derived from pictures she’d found in her issues of Architectural Digest!!

This first one is a house in Greece


This one… a dwelling in Africa


And finally, my favourite (Mom loved what she called “Grandma Grandpa Houses”) – a bungalow here in Vancouver, found during one of our neighbourhood tours…


Mom’s little paintings are simplistic in styling, but precious in their colourful details. I haven’t hung them yet (renovations aren’t yet complete!), but I’m hopeful to find the perfect place in my little cottage-in-the-city where they can be showcased and loved by all who see them!

Thanks for remembering Cathy and Laura with us!

And to all you Mom’s out there… Happy Mother’s Day!!!

kelly sig&



  1. I so enjoyed reading both of your recollections of your Mom's. What a beautiful tribute to two very wonderful ladies who raised two very beautiful and talented daughters.
    I love your Mom's lamps and vase Kelly and how special to still have your one she made you during your childhood. Cathy, your Mom's paintings are lovely and I love the colours in her African dwelling.
    Thank you both for sharing as you did in this post.

  2. Sorry Victoria, I meant to say your name when I wrote Kelly's Mom's name!

  3. Such lovely tributes !

  4. Really lovely, but so sad they are not still here with you to see all the wonderful things you both do. However your post is also positive & its always great to read about inspiring people.

  5. It's easy to see how both of you got your love and talent for design! Lovely tributes for your moms :)

  6. Just know that they are looking down and smiling.

  7. Thank you both, Kelly and Victoria, for sharing your moms with us and giving us a chance to meet them. I can see, talent runs in the family for both of you! Such a beautiful tribute...

  8. I enjoyed reading about both your mom's! I lost my mom in 2002 so I understand how difficult Mother's Day can be. I'm sure they would both be proud of you both!

  9. What a lovely post but sad at the same time. Both your moms sound like two wonderful and talented women. Thank you both for sharing this beautiful tribute!

  10. Such a lovely post for both your Moms and so sad that you have both lost your Moms. I am lucky enough to still have both my parents with us and this reminds me not to take it for granted.
    I can see where you both your creative and artist talent from. Such beautiful ceramic pieces from Kelly's Mom and beautiful renderings and artwork from Victoria's Mom and treasures for you both to cherish.

  11. Wonderful tributes to your Mothers. Both were amazing ladies. Hugs -Brenda-