Friday, March 4, 2016

Leap into the unknown...

Well, there is one thing that I haven't done: memorial programs.

There was a core-group of us that went all through forestry school together, from the JC to the University, and Wes was one of us.  His wife is also part of our group, and she has remained one of my best friends.  Wes died in a totally fluke auto accident.  It has shaken us all up, obviously, but I definitely found peace in helping his family... all I keep thinking is, "Thank goodness I have art as a tool."  Though I haven't been feeling crafty, I am so satisfied with these.  I keep wondering if it's weird that I'm sharing these, but then I'm like, "Nope.  Lots of people like me surely find peace through work." I did. 

Here' the basic process:

A little "swipey-swipey" on Tim's SA treeline with Forest Moss.  

A little spritzing... I was able to ink-spritz-stamp, then re-spritz and stamp one more.
Then I'd just lightly swipe a bit more ink and spritz and stamp once more
before I'd wipe clean and start over.  

I tried to set with a heat tool to minimize the warping (textured  65# Vanilla Cream
cardstock... thinner than 65#, methinks.)  I recently bought a pack of cork-backed
placemats from Tuesday Morning, and they have been SOOO useful.
This was another good use: using it to heat over.

Here is a view of the first round. Ahhh, sweet variation.  

Happy Wes.  His wife took this picture on a hike, but what I'm trying to
 show in this picture is the lovely texture.
It really came out nicely. I'm proud of the result.  

I just like the way these look in a stack.
And you get to see another  glorious view of Wes's programs.  The reverse has
a map of the actual memorial site and list of  the speakers.
I also cut these at 8.5x5".  It is a nice size.  

This has definitely been therapeutic, though I'm not going to say it was easy at the beginning, or even now, looking at them. When the first set came off the printer, it was like, "Whoa, I'm really making these..."  Surreal, though it's sinking in.

I also had the thought, "Well, this is something I haven't done..." and thought of the later the Simon Says Stamp Monday "Leap into the unknown"... I hope none of you have to do this, but if you do, I hope this inspires you.  It was a labor of love, and fulfilling to know I was able to help.

RIP, Wes!  Love you, buddy!!!


  1. So so sad, Mimi. My condolences to every one of you. These are truly a beautiful work of love. Hugs, Autumn

  2. What a heartfelt tribute to your friend and so sweet of you to make these. Your time and effort just show how much you care and anyone would appreciate that. Hugz. ~Niki

  3. So sad to read this, Mimi. So first of all my condolences to you and to your friends family.
    This was a great way to pay tribute to Wes.
    And you are totally right, Art is really a powerful tool.
    Thank you for playing along with us over Simon Says Stamp! Monday Challange! and for sharing with us your story. <3
    hugs, Zoey

  4. Hi Mimi...what a wonderful tribute you have created for your's good to hear that crafting has helped through this difficult time...thank you for sharing with us on the Simon Says Monday Challenge...hugs kath xxx

  5. Oh my goodness, this really has brought tears to my eyes, Wes was the same age as my son and his loss is such a terrible tragedy. My thoughts are with you and his family at this terrible time xx
    Crafting is a great healer and I am glad that making these has helped you through this very difficult time, they are perfectly done and I am sure everyone will love to keep such a beautiful reminder of a wonderful young man.

    thanks for joining us on the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge
    Lols x x x

  6. Beautiful project as an idea and as a piece of art.
    Love the softness because the history is to be treated very softly.
    I've been knowing this feeling extremely well for a few months now.
    I'm still not ready to do the memorial but you've definitely encouraged me to do that. Someday...
    Wishing you inner peace.
    Hugs, Marzena

    Thank you for sharing this with Simon Monday Challenge.

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  7. Mimi, 5 years ago this summer I had to make the programs for my brother's funeral. He also died in a freak auto accident and my niece and sister-in-law had to learn to walk all over again. He was the only one that didn't survive. I was asked to make the programs and reluctantly agreed. It was a very painful process but as I went through the process, I too found it healing. After that, I put away my art supplies for almost a year. I read a story online about the healing power of art, (I can't remember where) so I got my supplies back out and just started creating. It was very difficult, but what they say is true, art is healing especially when you let your emotions out onto the page. It really didn't matter what I created, whether it was a card, canvas or journal page but just letting my emotions run out on the page with paint and ink was significantly healing. They are some of my most treasured pieces. I'm so sorry for your loss and I send my condolences to you, his family and all those who loved him. I'm so happy you shared your story with the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge family. Your story will help someone who reads your post and they too may find the healing power of art just as I did when I read someone's post 5 years ago. Big, Big hugs, Cathie <3

  8. I read your story and I know what kind of emotion you feel, one of my friend has died during an auto accident, he had 37 years. I think you are right when you say that art is therapeutic! Yes, it is! All people that love art feel better when they make art! Big hugs! thanks for sharing with us your work and your story on Simon Says Monday Challenge Blog!! Barbara

  9. Oh, Mimi! What a beautiful tribute! We have a neighbor that just passed away last night who has in his 30's with two little girls. He'd fought cancer for as long as he could and we are all feeling the hole that's left in the world now that he's passed on. But there have been so many expressions of love and many of them have been artistic. It's so hard to step outside of our own grief to do something creative sometimes, but what a boon and comfort it is to others! Your trees are GORGEOUS as an art form, but what added meaning they take on when we know the story and the context. What you did makes a difference and I'm proud of you for powering through your own sad heart to lift other people's. I'm thinking of you, friend!

  10. Crafting definitely can be therapeutic! What a wonderful tribute to your friend! How sad for you that his life ended so abruptly and soon. Sending you hugs!

  11. Mimi I love the result that you made
    it looks like a real tree
    great sharing my friend
    his wife will be happy to look at your art work
    hope you are doing well
    miss your visit

  12. Art with a purpose. To me crafting is therapy, the more relaxation I need the more cards I make. Guess we are similar that way.

  13. What a fabulous touch to these programs. So sorry for your loss. It's terrible to loose someone especially this young, and I'm so happy that crafting is helping you through it. My condolences to you and your friends! Thank you so much for sharing your story with us at Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge. Hugs, Sandra

  14. Mimi, what a beautiful labor of love and tribute to your friend! Thank goodness we have art to help us through the dark and difficult days we run into in our lives. It sounds like it helped/is helping you through this. My condolences to you and your friends. Funny bit, when I read your post, I went to school for forestry too, did it for awhile, then took a new path into teaching science. (now retired and arting) Thanks for "taking a leap into the unknown" with us this week at the Simon Says Stamp Monday challenge!