Letters, Life, Printables

Memories

Born---You---Mockup

My mom was a letter writer.

She would sit down and write several letters each week and send them off in the mail to friends, family…. to people I didn’t know. Even though I saw her regularly and we talked on the phone every couple of days, I would get a surprise in the mail every so often. She’d see an article in a newspaper, cut it out and drop it in an envelope. When the kids were little she’d send me a check to go buy them a pair of shoes. Sometimes, the letter would only have a sentence or two, “Saw this and thought you would like it, love Mom”.

I liked getting those letters in the mail. Something other than junk mail and bills in my mailbox is always a special treat. Now that she’s been gone for almost two years, I pull them out of my treasure box when I get to missing her. Last weekend I was going through my recipes and found an index card in her handwriting of one of our family favorites that she had sent me.

At the time of my son’s birthday last year he was living in Germany. Being away from home, family and friends, I wanted to give him something special – one of my memories. So I wrote him a letter telling him all about the day he was born. Sure, we’ve had conversations and he’s heard the story over and over, but I wanted it to be in writing. Something he can tuck away and some day pull out when he has children and read them the story.

I wish that I had encouraged my mom to write to me about her life so I could have that archive to pull out and read to my future grand kids. I wish I had asked her to write stories about when I was little to my kids. All those memories, those stories she had are now lost.

Maybe because of my mom I like to tell a good story and share my memories.

I believe it is important to share our stories because life moves at such a fast pace that it gets away from us. I’ve come to realize that lately I text message my kids and friends more than we talk on the phone. I understand that texting and email is quick and easy but it is also impersonal.

I totally understand that staring at a blank piece of paper, coming up with a topic and writing may be a little intimidating, so I’ve started creating letters with a topic to help get the story started. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It just needs to be personal.

I would love to see more people writing letters, so I have a gift for you, a free printable to encourage you to think of someone special and write the story about the day they were born, then send it through the mail as a surprise. I sure hope you take the challenge.

Here’s the link to download and print: On The Day You Were Born

I would love to hear about the story you share with someone!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

JD

 

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Uncategorized

A Mom’s Wish

My two grown children made a decision to pursue and change careers.

Last year my son took his love of brewing seriously enough that he quit his corporate job traveled to Germany and studied the fine art of brewing hops. Before he graduated he was offered a job as a brewer; and fortunately he works within a few hours of where we live.

As a gift for my son, I took a dictionary page for Brewer, painted some hops on it, and the word Brewer.

Brewer in Frame

My daughter chose to become an Accountant. Before she graduated she was offered an Accountant position with a local firm. Her ambition is to continue her education and become a CPA.

As a gift for her, I took the dictionary page for Accountant, painted an antique abacus on it, then added the word Accountant.

Accountant in Frame

And now both of my children tell me they love their jobs.

It is a sad thing to be stuck in a job that you don’t enjoy. I never wanted that for my children. I have always told them I wish for them to have a career that brought them satisfaction and some joy.

I’m happy to say that it seems my wish for them has come true.

Thanks for stopping by!
JD

 

Artwork, Paper Cutting

Dictionary Page Art – Cats & Quilts

I’ve got a friend who absolutely LOVES kitties and making quilts. Actually, she LOVES making quilt tops – I’m not sure she’s actually made a full size quilt yet.

I wanted to give her something special for her birthday this past January so I created art work on a dictionary page that contained the definition of quilt.

The picture and mat were fine but I wanted it to have something more so I began experimenting with paper cutting and designed a custom border for the picture mat.

I designed a vine, then added sewing, quilting and kitty elements intertwined among the flowers and leaves.

This is how it turned out.

cats-and-quilts-2cats-and-quilts-1cats-and-quilts

Were you able to find the scissors, thread and needle, pin cushion, spool of thread, thimble, and three kitties?

Thanks so much for stopping by!
JD

Artwork, Uncategorized

A Tribute to our K9 Officers

Last year our community lost two of our K9 officers.

I have three dogs who I consider part of our family. I’ve also lost several dogs throughout the years who grew old and sadly passed on. So when I heard about these brave dogs crossing over, I felt compelled to create an art piece as a tribute to their dedication and courage.

police-dog

police-dog-in-frame

This piece is now available in our Etsy shop.

Thank you for stopping by for a visit!

JD

Artwork, Uncategorized

Meet The Duke – Cat Herder

I am an artist. 

That’s a statement that has been difficult for me to say out loud; let alone write it down for someone else to see.

Most of my life I have been hiding in the art closet – figuratively speaking that is… I doodle, draw in a notebook when sitting in meetings at my full-time job, scribble on napkins in a restaurant, sketch while sitting in front of the TV and never really shared any of my drawings with anyone.

Then one day in a meeting a lady sat down next to me and said she always liked to pick the seat next to mine so she could see what I was drawing. Another lady sat to my other side, over hearing our conversation, she said the same thing. I looked at my notebook drawing of a dog and looked at it with that ever so critical thought and said “Really?”

They both shook their head and said “Yes, really! You are very talented.”

“Huh.” Family members have told me that throughout my life but – well you know – family has to say something nice – right?

Well, I took a deep breath and decided maybe I would start showing my artwork to a few friends and see what they thought… all of them gave me positive feedback. Then I expanded to a few more people, a few co-workers, etc.All the comments were very encouraging.

Then one day, someone asked me to create them a special piece of art – and were willing to pay me. Really!

I started here and there and made a few pieces for friends then about a month or so ago a project manager at work pulled me in his office and asked me to create a picture of a cowboy herding cats. He said that he felt managing a project was the same as trying to herd cats and he would really like a drawing of it. Also, I was the only person he knew who could do it.

He sent some photos that he found on the Internet; but I really didn’t care for the layout and told him that I would just come up with something – you know, artistic license.

I mulled over the idea for a while and, as a person who has managed projects and people, you have all kinds of personality types that must work together. There is always someone who is grumpy, a clown, the person who is distracted, the one that is all business, the one that sucks up to the leader, etc. I wanted to show that in the art piece.

I worked on it for a few weeks and finally finished. I presented it to him at work last week, and he just started laughing and kept saying “Awesome”. Several other people saw it and – not to brag – but everyone was very kind and had lots of good things to say.

So here it is…. please meet The Duke and his Heard of Cats.

duke-flat

My husband suggested I present the picture in a frame. I got lucky and found a barn wood frame at Hobby Lobby. It was a perfect match for the art piece.

duke-in-barnwood-frame

This is a digital art piece created in Photoshop and printed on an Epson R2000 printer using archival inks on Epson Fine Art paper. The print will be available in my Etsy shop this week.

Thanks so much for stopping by for a visit!

JD

 

Life

Welcome to my blog

tree

Welcome to my blog.

While trying to decide what to do here, how to combine everything I want share in this one space, I started reading a lot of books about blogging. In almost every book it would say if you want to blog then you should have a niche, and stay on topic.

Unfortunately, my mind runs in about a thousand different directions so staying on topic might be a little more difficult for me. Plus, I think life is a little more interesting when we stray off the topic and follow a new path once in a while because it gives us opportunities to see something different. We might stumble a little bit, trip over a few rocks, step in a pothole, and walk right into a big pile of poo… but hopefully, if you stick around and walk along with me, we might just discover something new, find a surprise hidden away, and possibly share a few laughs together as we take the journey along this crooked trail.

As always, thanks for stopping by!
JD