Today is December the Twelfth. It is also the 16th anniversary of what we call my brother Matt’s homegoing. Tired of fighting cancer, he was glad to go Home. He even had a couple of dry-runs when he thought he was dying and then strangely felt better. SO not like Hallmark movie. I am glad for these dry runs, though, because as it turned out, he went peacefully in his sleep.
It is funny, you store things in the fibers of your being, in your subconscious, in your body and on the back-burner of your spirit.
This year it started with this little live pine tree I bought because I am cheapskate and would rather pay $20.00 for something that might survive, than $40.00 for something that will end up on my curb. So there was that. Then you can imagine me wrangling lights around this unruly little tree. And then my conscious mind and heart realized two things: One, this little tree was a Norfolk Island Pine, the same type of tree a friend gave my family after my brother died. The second realization I had was that the Handel’s Messiah CD was playing at exactly this spot:
I know that my Redeemer liveth,
and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth.
And tho’ worms destroy this body,
yet in my flesh shall I see God.
I know that my Redeemer liveth:
For now is Christ risen from the dead,
the first fruits of them that sleep.
That beginning part is straight out of the book of Job, baby. And if you don’t know Job, he lost everything, and was still able make this astounding declaration.
I think God knew I needed a little something right then. They say he’s not the God of the dead, but of the living. And I think he wanted to remind me that Matt is alive and well, just not HERE.
Miss you terribly Matt. I can’t promise how long I’ll keep this pine alive, but thank you God for the beautiful reminder, smack where I needed it: in every day life.
For some reason, today I am stressed out. It could be the coffee with caffeine, which never sits well. It could be drama. Thoughts of good news and great tidings seem to soothe my soul. I thought this image appropriate for a Christian believer would be appropriate for a few reasons today:
1. The mentioned soothing effect
2. These feet are a portrait of my friend Veronica’s feet. She’s the only one in our group of four old college roommates whose birthday is not in April, so she sometimes gets the birthday shaft. Veronica, I’m sending you the original piece. Do you remember it? It has colors. Do you remember them?
3. It is All Saints Day. I like the idea that I can be a saint while still being a sinner. I find it awe inspiring, somewhat offensive to my perfectionist nature, and massively encouraging.
I’ve been meaning to post this final painting. I met up with the family to hand deliver this, and recognized the subject (with her mother) because I’d spent so many hours staring at her face! You see, I interact with many customers before I meet them. Someone will see my work in a public place like Some Bagels in Richland. They grab my card or, write down hannahmcdonald.com and then email me a photo at firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s fun to do the local hand-off! I mail paintings, too.
Hello, this is my final post on the office of Dr. Ronald Snyder, or
I painted this bench bottle green and also dyed the seat cushion.
And here are the big shelves. And you can see the stripes.
I made these two pieces of artwork. The captian is painted paper on grasscloth and the other is a wallpaper remnant with a water photo I took, a postcard my friend Veronica bought me (and I shared), and a Trader Joe’s Chocolate bar wrapper affixeds with washi tape!
I really thought about giving the captain a pipe in his mouth but then I thought about it being a kids’ space…plus isn’t pipe smoke bad for your teeth? I dunno…
I gave you my favorite postcard, Ron. It’s called the Vashon by Marshall L. Johnson.
I have to say, I am still not sure how Ron found the space to carve out this wonderful room. And the idea to add the kid-height door was a stroke of genius! Kids love things their size. Good job, Ron and Ron’s contractor.
Genius, I tell you.
The blocks the magnetic toy on the small shelf, as well as the toy boat are from Aunt Franny’s Toy Store. Thank you Frances for working with us on getting our order and finding used options when you could.
This table you keep seeing was scored on Craigslist. It can store two of the striped bins, side by side.
Indoor outdoor rug from Ballard Designs
What’s that you say? You haven’t seen a picture of the room
In addition to this room, Ron asked us to tie the theme in to the adjacent waiting room. (It is on the other side of the wall with the short doorway).
I think she got the joke before I did.
Nice little lamp from….Goodwill!
The bridge was already in the waiting room and Ron pointed out that we added ‘water under the bridge.’ Again, he got the pun before we did. Or maybe I am a subconscious punster.
tying in the theme
V is for Victory!
Thank you Ron for a chance to outfit the space you so carefully carved out. Thanks to Sherry and Sandy for being my point people.
All this talk of the water is making me want to find a beach somewhere. I think Captain Ron is thinking about his boat….
There is great comfort and satisfaction that come from having chosen exactly the right color. That is not to say, I chose the ONLY right color. But the color is right. When you look at a room, you have to honor what is there if you don’t plan on changing this. This deep turquoise-y green plays well with its warm counterpart, the orangey oak in the trim and doors. It also happens to be chalkboard paint, which comes in quarts so yes, it took nearly two full quarts to do this one wall.
These hooks were a real lifesaver, so a shout-out goes here to Sherry who works in the office.
All of a sudden this wall screamed: I need stripes!! I had a feeling such a fancy would strike, so I came prepared with Frog Tape. It is fun to take a weakness like this loss of square footage turn it into a strength: a cozy reading nook and an extra chance to have large impact in a small space.
And…hoist the canopy! Remember those knots from earlier? And the hooks? This is where they come in.
Hello there! It all started with a conversation with Ron Snyder. He asked me, can you paint a mural for our new pediatric playroom? Sure…can I decorate the room, too? Then came a quick visit to the actual space for photos. Then a visit for measuring and talking. Then came a ton of Pinterest posts. I am not one of those Pinterest-ruins-my-life people. Pinterest is a powerful tool. Think of a bulletin board with hyperlinks. Cool! Then came a tangible moodboard, and some swatches of grasscloth and other blues and greens, a quick printout of a photo I took, etc. I took this tangible copy with me to the office to show the staff my thoughts. I tried not to schedule too many meetings since I usually charge per hour and I like to keep things efficient. At this point I would like to add an observation. People hear “hire a decorator” and get intimidated. A decorator can get a lot done in an hour. I know that our church hired one just to decide what color to paint a main accent wall. DONE. Anyway, Ron and I did some quick messaging back and forth to handle the quick questions. For example, he chose the theme, Shore Thing, in a quick Facebook message. Done!
I am very sorry to leave you hanging. I need to do this post in parts. We are having some major drama at my house!!! Stay tuned! The rope knot definitely comes in later. I’m posting it now because the picture is so bright and cheery. Unlike…my..house…right…now.
BEFORE above, and moodboard below.