Thursday, August 29, 2013

4 our Dad

This month, our dad celebrated his birthday!  It's a gift to be given each and every year, and we thank God for all 85 of dad's (and counting!) 

When I think about our dad, I see a shy, intelligent, artistic, perfectionist, athletic, honest man.  I'm sure all of us in the family have some of those traits of his. :)  Best of all, his family has always been extremely important to him.  For that, we are so fortunate.  

Dad's occupation was as a structural draftsman.  Occasionally, he did mechanical and architectural drafting as well.  He began at 16 years old, making 50 cents/hour.  Wow!  Throughout his career, the projects he worked on varied. They included many mid-rise buildings on Central Avenue in Phoenix, both the structural and architectural drawings of the Arizona State University Music building, and a hotel complex for Disney World.  He also created a book of typical details they used for structural drawings; in fact they are still using those details today!  

Throughout his life, he has always enjoyed drawing and painting.  His work is beautiful.  The amount of detail in each picture is astounding.  His ability to capture the person and personality in his portraits is amazing.  He has a phenomenal gift.  I could go on and on! :)  
He has also drawn a couple of praying hands pictures.  He drew these by looking at his own hands!  The small hands are his great granddaughters.  We sell prints of these beautiful charcoal drawings in our shop.

Just over 2 years ago, dad was diagnosed with cancer.  It was especially shocking to us because he's always been such an incredibly healthy man.  It was so difficult to see him in so much pain.  He wasn't even able to lie down in bed and would sleep sitting in a chair.  We worried about him (and mom) continually.  The good news is that it's been almost 2-1/2 years.  He still has good days and bad days, but he's doing better.  The doctor said he believes having his portrait drawings (that he has continued to do), in addition to the support of his family, has helped him immensely.  He has a true gift! 
 It's been a tough couple of years, but he's a tough guy! 
We love you dad!  Donna (& all)


Thursday, August 22, 2013

4 Painting

Choosing the right color for painting can be challenging.  Whether it's an entire room, one piece of furniture, or a small canvas, the color you choose helps to set the mood for that particular space.

We absolutely LOVE changing the look of things - especially furniture, and painting can give it a fun new personality.  Check out our latest transformation (with a wonderfully bold and vibrant color)!  Unfortunately, we don't have a "before" picture, but believe me - it was a really ugly white table.

Now, a pretty, one-of-a-kind drop leaf table!  

And unfortunately, I can't take credit for this!  Diana painted it.  She is such a talented artist, (inherited from our dad!) and also extremely creative.  Just give her a paintbrush (or drill/hammer/sander), and she will come up with something new.  She loves painting and creating, and it shows in her work.  Check out that beautiful detail!    

We both love red.  It's such a fun, energetic color.  And it looks great in a kitchen!  

We (I use that term loosely :) are always looking for new/old decor to paint and fix-up, so be sure to check back with us.  Diana is also talented at helping others with color selection, so don't hesitate to talk to her about that.   
Donna (& Diana)

Monday, August 12, 2013

4 Moving

Moving – does that word make you feel uneasy?  A lot of people aren’t comfortable with change, and moving means change. I’ve moved quite a bit in my life and I can honestly say that I get a little excited with it.  Not the part where you actually pack up and move, (in 115 degree heat!) but the newness that comes with a different space.  Change can be difficult, but it can also be great.   

Within the past few months, we’ve had a lot of moving going on.  Diana helped move one of her daughters, and I’ve helped move a couple of my sons (and a daughter-in-law) into different homes; exciting new times in their lives.  Then just over a month ago, we moved our shop.  That was never in the plan, (after opening only 5 months earlier) especially after completely renovating our cute tiny little shop!  The move was a huge decision, but ultimately the best one for us. We more than doubled our space, have a great location with additional shops and a restaurant next door, gained a great porch, and an enormous parking lot – easy to get in and out of!  Our new space didn’t require too much change.  We cleaned, painted, packed, loaded the truck and moved!  Yes, in the 115 degree heat of summer, but it was worth it.  We are SO happy with our new place and excited for everyone to see it.  

We were in a hurry to get everything done, so we didn’t take a lot of pictures, but here are a few from the move.  (You can click on the picture to view larger.)
We are planning to stay in our new shop for a while now, but we do continually change things inside!

And the next move…. coming this week!  Diana’s oldest daughter is moving from AZ to TX for graduate school.  We know this change is an exciting time in her life, and we will be there supporting her and yes, moving boxes – but in only 110 degree heat!  Embrace change and make it a happy experience!
  Love & Happiness... on our cute new porch!
Donna (& Diana)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

4 a fun, bright summer!

It's August and we're well into the warm (ok, HOT HOT HOT) days of summer. We grew up in the Phoenix area, so we are used to the 100 digit temps - ha!  I actually do LOVE the heat.  Strange I know.  Now don't get me wrong, I love the air conditioning too.  But I love being outside, swimming (in warmer water of course) and enjoying the sunshine.  I would guess it's also my favorite time because it reminds me of all the summers our family would gather at our parent's house - swimming, eating, playing - joyful times and such good memories.

And it's especially my favorite fashion time.  I just love summer style - shorts, strappy sandals, sundresses, little skirts, beachwear, and bright colors.  Fun colorful jewelry too... it just makes you feel happy!

Guaranteed to make you happy too... here are our 4 HOT summer day fun times!

#1 - Relax and be silly on your summer vacation (there's still time!) wherever you go!
#2 - Spend time together at home with family or friends; run through the sprinklers, pop popcorn and watch a movie together, play card games (our recent favorite - golf) or a board game (Ticket to Ride), let the girls style each other's hair (don't know if I'll ever be brave enough to show those pictures! :) play badminton or croquet - it actually can be fun!  Or just sit around the table and tell stories.  Just love being together, making great memories!!
#3 - Make homemade ice cream and peach cobbler - yum!
#4 - Visit a cute, little (air-conditioned) local shop you've never been to (or revisit it)... for example, 4sisterShop in Cave Creek!  :)

Enjoy the rest of your summer ... wherever you are!
Love & Happiness, Donna (& Diana)