Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Oak Relief

It is an odd time of the year to post a very fall looking leaf.  But I hope you will understanding my reasoning when you read my blog post today. This is not an April 2016 release, but it is a Technique Junkie Stamp September 2015 release -  I loved this stamp as soon as I saw it.  But for a variety of reasons, I was not able to get it until recently.   As I am sure any of the people who follow this blog on a regular basis know, my husband passed away very suddenly this last year.   And the oak tree and leaf had already become a symbol of my hubby and his family not long after his own father died in 1979.

My hubby was very creative with words and language.  He often expressed deep emotions and funny thoughts in written words.  Most of his family were "Word Smiths."  They enjoy the odd twist of  a phrase, enjoy employing words in unique and different words.  It is not my skill at all.

The day before his own father died from cancer (and the entire family knew it was coming) he sat very early in the morning on our sofa and watched the many oak trees in our yard.  If you have oak trees, you may have noticed that usually the leaves turn brown in the fall and quite often they do not all fall until spring when the new leaves bud and begin to leaf out. That year it was different.  The leaves fell -- every single one. And he sat down and wrote this poem. I was able to get the poem placed over this design (by a friend of my hubby's) and it was in the funeral bulletin.

So at my husband's grave site we had planted an pin oak tree.  For many reasons the burial did not happen at the time of the funeral.  It happened in the fall. Just a few days before the burial, I went by the cemetery. Every leave on the tree was bright red.   This is the leaf I picked to bring home that day and I included in the frame with the above poem/artwork.

I have gone through many firsts this year since his death. Most of the first are events in which his absence was really missed.   My kids miss their Dad, the grandkids miss their Poppa. And they talk about him from time to time.  So this card was created to remember him, to remember his family.  I will be making cards for each family (and it is a large family) to mail out near the date of his death.  I plan to use the card above as my inspiration.  I do not have enough of everything to make that many but I think I can improvise.

So how did create this card?  I inked it with Versafine black ink. I then covered the ink with African Embossing powder from Paper Odyssey in Arkansas.  I do not know if they are in business any more. Then I used  reinkers in reds and browns to watercolor the leaf and its surrounding areas.  I added a strip of acetate that had white dots printed on it.  I wrapped some thin gold thread around the acetate securing the thread with a glue dot that I carefully placed behind a white dot.  Then I layered it on dull red card stock (Riding Hood Red) and then on a lovely tan card stock. It is simple because I wanted the leaf to be the true focal point.

I hope you can now understand why I am showing this fall looking card at the beginning of spring.  Spring is a time of new beginnings.  I am adjusting to my new beginning and a new normal for me.  The grief is still very much there but it is not as raw as it was months ago.  There are times I can talk about it now without crying my eyes out.  There are fewer times that I do cry when I do talk about it.  Life goes on. God goes with me.  God is my helper at all times and especially in these times of grief.

Thank you for bearing with me and reading this long post without much stamping.

God bless and for goodness sake -- get inky!


Unknown said...

Beautiful, Judy. What a wonderful tribute to your hubby.
Very touching.

Hetty said...

Hello Judy, what a lovely poem, great memoris and wonderful thoughts go with your beautiful card. I am so lucky to have met your husband, when you stopped by at our house.

Anonymous said...

How beautiful, Judy. I'd love to see a picture of you two together. His poem is marvelous; as are the pin oak leaves being all red. I agree with April & Hetty. My favorite season is fall; my mother's is spring.

Mary Ellen Harrison said...

Just beautiful and so very touching. Thank you for sharing your heartfelt story.

Aimeslee Winans said...

Hugs! xoxo

C. M. Taylor said...

What a beautiful tribute. You are so very blessed to have such wonderful memories. Thank you for sharing.