Here’s a little story about how a project came to life in my head and then in my studio.
My dad owns a gorgeous classic 1966 Corvette Stingray convertible. It’s not your average car. And not just because it’s an antique or because it is beautiful. My dad worked his ass off for that car. And then he worked his fingers to the bone restoring it. He stripped that car down until there was nothing left but the frame. Removed every bolt, every nut, every teeny tiny piece of that car. Then he painstakingly cleaned and buffed and painted and chromed them all and put them all back together. The parts that weren’t original 1966 Corvette parts were replaced with ones that were (after months of searching ebay). He put his blood, sweat, and tears into that car. And I mean that literally. He sanded that car down so many times his fingertips bled. What he thought was going to take a few months took more than 2 years because of little problems popping up here and there but mostly because of the paint job of the entire car after it was assembled. Dad bought defective paint. Which meant it looked horrible after he sprayed it onto the car. So he had to strip it all back off down to the bare frame. And then he bought more defective paint. So he had to do it all over AGAIN. And then AGAIN. I honestly thought my poor dad was gonna have a stroke before it was all over.
Okay, so needless to say my dad is pretty proud of the finished product. He’s worked very hard and totally earned this beautiful automobile. And here’s where I’m going with this story. Pop has this great car that he worked so hard to have. If this was MY car, I’d be making up an excuse just to drive it down to the grocery store every night. I’d drive that sucker everywhere. But my dad doesn’t do that. The car sits in his garage with 3 inches of dust on it. Dad works 3rd shift, 7 days a week. He’s busy. He’s tired. I get it. But it makes me CRAZY. So a few months ago I sat him down and we had a talk. I told him how much it bothers me that he’s 60 years old and his entire life is work, that he’s got this kick ass car that never leaves his garage, that my daughter just finished softball season and he never made it to a single ball game, that he is LETTING LIFE PASS HIM BY. My Pop is my best friend in the world, we have this special relationship that fathers and daughters don’t usually have, so I can tell him like it is. I want my dad to be happy. Because dad being happy equals me being happy. So I gave dad this big long-winded lecture (YES kind of like this story….I’m sorry) about enjoying life, about driving that damn car even if it’s dirty (that was one excuse he gave me…..are you KIDDING me?), about making the effort to come to his granddaughter’s activities because she’s only a little girl once and time goes by so fast…… you get the picture, right? Dad said, “I get it, girl. I’ll try.”
A few weeks later I was reading an e-mail from Melody Ross. She is a (famous) scrapbooker (was the owner of Chatterbox) and while I ”know” her from scrapbooking, it’s not the scrapbooking part of her that I enjoy the most. She is a phenomenal woman. She has been through so much in life, has walked the road to hell and back, and she has come out the other side a different person, and I think she’d probably say a BETTER person. She is so INSPIRING to me I can’t even tell you! She has this event she puts on with her sister called Brave Girls Club a few times a year and oh, how I dream of going to one of these someday, but anyway until then I subscribe to her daily Brave Girl e-mails. It’s sort of like an inspiring little positive affirmation every day delivered right to your inbox. Sometimes it’s a sentence, sometimes a paragraph, ALWAYS inspiring and motivating. So a few weeks after the conversation with my dad I was reading one of these e-mails and one sentence jumped out at me. It was this: Decide to make every single day the very best day of your one precious life. And I went WHOA. And I instantly knew that I wanted to make a project for my Pop. I have been seeing Subway Art springing up all over the internet and loving it and I decided to make my own version of that with this quote.
I went to Michaels and bought a big ole canvas (package of 2 at 40% off! woo hoo), spray painted it black to color coordinate with dad’s garage, and then figured out how to lay out the quote onto my canvas. I experimented a bit with fonts and sizes until I got what I wanted. I cut all the words out on my Pazzles from cardstock first to make sure it all fit just the way I wanted.
After I got all the words on there (using a laser level to make them straight), I spray painted a couple of clear coats onto it to protect it from dust (and I was a tiny bit paranoid the vinyl would fall off later).
And here’s the finished product.
I absolutely LOVE it and so does my dad. He was pretty impressed! ha ha
I was planning to make myself one of these as a gentle reminder. I think we all need this reminder because it’s so easy to get caught up in the trials and tribulations of life and forget about the beauty of it and the fact that you only get just the one so you’d damn well better enjoy it while you can.
I got a reminder of that on Wednesday when my husband called me from work to tell me he was being sent to the hospital by his cardiologist. He was having chest pain at work lifting some boxes and moving things around and he mentioned it to one of the gals who works there and she promptly threw him into an examining room and did an EKG on him and then another. The doctor didn’t like the looks of the second one so he told him to hightail it to the hospital so they could monitor him overnight. Everything checked out okay (meaning no heart attack) and he came home yesterday, but the doctor told us before he discharged him that the chest pain was for sure a heart issue and it needs to be checked out.
Nine years ago (right after we celebrated our first anniversary and our daughter’s 1st birthday) my husband had a coronary artery bypass (open heart surgery). They bypassed around 4 blockages in 3 different arteries. What a ride that was. It was for real the scariest day of my life to date. Then three years ago he had a blockage in his carotid artery (in his neck) bypassed. So he doesn’t have a great track record! Chest pain in a guy like that is kind of a big deal….so Tuesday we’re going to the hospital bright and early and they’re going to do a heart catheterization on him. That’s the one where they run a line up through the artery in your groin all the way to your heart and shoot some dye up there to see if there are blockages. The cardiologist will be able to see if the parts where they bypassed have gotten blocked or perhaps if he has blockages in totally different areas. The answer is probably going to be a definite yes, but the decision of what to do about it will depend on how big they might be. If they’re small enough, a stent can be placed and he’ll stay in the hospital overnight. If blockages are too big, they advise the open heart surgery…..and I don’t ever want to go through that experience again. So if you don’t mind, everybody send me good vibes and prayers and happy thoughts, okay?
Know any funny jokes? I could use a good laugh right now, lemme tell ya!
*edited to add: For those of you who have been asking, my husband came through his heart catheterization okay. He does have blockages, but they do not want to do surgery on them and are just going to try to keep him from having any pain by having him wear a nitro patch on his chest during the day and we’ll see what happens. **edited to add: Ken is still doing well, went back to work after two LONG weeks off via doctor’s orders (he was chomping at the bit!). He wears his nitro patch on his chest when he is awake and has felt fine ever since his “episode.” Thanks for the well wishes everyone!
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