A very special lady named Lori Anderson created a special blog hop based on the idea of remembering and honoring someone special in your life. And when I read the story about why she decided to have the hop and what this particular blog hop was based on, I wanted to be part of something extraordinary, too.
Thank you, Lori! I loved the idea for this blog hop, and I am so glad I got to participate, even with the very limited 'free time' I have to make jewelry. Christmas time is so busy, but having this project to look forward to helped me think about January and the new year.
I struggled with who I wanted to honor... I thought about my Grammy, and all the family living down south (in the contiguous states- for those of us in Alaska everybody is south!) that I miss so much. I thought about some of my Company friends from my days in Texas. And I thought and thought.... I've been thinking about it for quite some time, and I finally had to just sit down and choose.
So, I chose my dad... .I think I chose my dad because I've been thinking about him a lot lately. He passed away about 7 years and 2 months ago. Sometimes it feels like it was just yesterday that I saw him walking down the stairs.
This is my dad, my little sister - Beth- and me:
My dad was a botanist, a forester, and a rock-hound. Most of my memories of him are tangled up with being outside and searching for something- rocks, flowers, trees... I remember tromping through the woods in Oregon, the deserts in Southern California and the tundra of northern Alaska with him. I remember walking on the beach in Oregon and looking for agates. I remember digging through red desert sand trying to find rocks with him. I remember camping and taking our huge old turquoise Dodge so deep into the woods that we thought we'd be stuck forever.
From him I gained an appreciation and love for the great outdoors. I gained a wonder and delight in the simple things- the beauty of an agate, the mystery of deep dark woods, the majesty and awe of our the Northern Lights. My dad never saw an impossibility in being a scientist and a Christian. In fact, I think his scientific study gave him a greater appreciation for the intricacies & detail that God created. He loved sharing the trees and flowers with us, and would always spill out the Latin names for everything.
He also was a talented singer who loved to share songs with his family and church. I gained a love of music an singing from him, too.
From him I gained a love of animals and compassion. He would frequently remind us to be gentle with the dogs and cats we'd meet. My dad believed that we have a responsibility as care-takers of God's creation to do our best by the animals and people in our reach. He was 'green' way before it was cool.
My dad was a talented painter who focused his artistic passion on the flowers he loved so much in his botany job. After he retired from the Bureau of Land Management, he started pursuing a BA in Fine Arts from the University in Fairbanks and he was working on his final exhibit when he passed away. I have only recently started playing with paint, but part of the reason I tried was because he didn't really try until he was in his 60's and 70's. And he was good. He took those flowers and leaves he loved and turned them into fantasy style landscapes, where everything looked alive with personality.
His tiger lilies:
His calla lilies:
A forest scene:
I wanted my necklace for him to have the colors I associated the most with him- the blue of the ocean and the green of the forest, the brown of the earth and the trees.
And I wanted some of the rocks we had found with him to be in the necklace; however, I don't have a rock saw here at home to turn the rocks into beads. I had to settle for wrapping one of the petrified tree branches he found, and I think I'm happier with that than if I had made the piece all smooth and polished. I included flowers for his him, and a key. I believe my dad opened areas of interest to me that I wouldn't have normally had, like geology and botany.
Thank you, Lori!!! This necklace was a joy to make. I struggled and struggled to sit down and make it, but when I finally started it just flowed effortlessly. I honestly would never have thought of making a necklace for my daddy, and this was a very special project for me.
To see more blogs from this hop, go HERE.