Sunday, January 31, 2016

Dear Departed Drawings ~ Joel 18

Worked on Joel and Kendalynns faces, Spent about 45 minutes drawing.  Was a rough week in our house,  Two foot snowstorm with three foot drifts, backed up sewers, long work hours, husband asleep more than awake.  Then I imagine what it might be like without my spouse.  Just gone one day, no goodbyes, no last kisses, no last words.  Heart wrenching.  Something we all don't want to think about.  Makes us uncomfortable.  We look away, think of something else, maybe even change the subject.  Some people can't look away, some people are living it.  Learning what life is like without their other half.   Forcing themselves to go on, to get up and face the day without their spouse.  Every day.  This is real courage.  Keep on keeping on.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Dear Departed Drawings ~ Joel 17

Worked for an hour today on Kendalynns dress and a bit more of the background behind her.

May 30, 2014 
Always on my mind...always in my heart.  ~ Karen

Monday, January 25, 2016

Dear Departed Drawings ~ Joel 16

Worked mostly on Kendalynns face and a bit of background behind her.  I worked for an hour today by the light of the snow.  I love how snow reflects the light and everything appears brighter.  At night it seems even brighter than usual with the moon, stars and streetlamps to reflect.

May 29, 2014 
So many wonderful memories of a great love stolen too soon...I miss him soooooo unbelievably much... ~ Karen

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Dear Departed Drawings ~ Joel 15

Whoa.  Hey Joel.  Worked on Joels face for 30 minutes and a bit on his fingers and neck.  Joel departed a week after mothers day and a week before his wifes birthday. There is no easy way to say that.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Dear Departed Drawings ~ Joel 14

More shading on Joel.  About 45 minutes of work.  It is starting to look like him.  We are all missing him so much.

May 27, 2014 · Meshoppen ·
We planted Daddy's memorial tree and daisies today....think Buddy liked them too...  ~ Karen

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Dear Departed Drawings ~ Joel 13

I worked today for a half hour, filling in more background of the carousel.  Also making minor adjustments to shadows on Joels face.

May 26, 2014
I feel like I'm a jigsaw puzzle and I have lost so many pieces that I will never go back together time goes on I'm sure some of those pieces will go back together but since I can never find the missing ones I will never be whole.... ~ Karen

May 26, 2014
And this is why I have the most amazing family ever....she's already in love with her "daddy pillow" ~ Karen

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Dear Departed Drawings ~ Joel 12

Today I spent about 45 minutes working on Joel and Kendalynn.  By now you might be able to guess they are on the carousel together.  This photo was taken at the Wyalusing carnival in 2012 if my memory serves me.  Clearly they are filled with joy and happiness.  Smiling ear to ear.  I love this photo of them.  Still sharing Karens sentiments.

May 25, 2014 
A very special heartfelt thank you from the very bottom of my heart...once again thanks guys! Love you all! ~ Karen

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Dear Departed Drawings ~ Joel 11

Moving right along I continued to outline and put down more shapes.  I worked for about 45 minutes today.  Going to share more of Karen, her outpouring of love for Joel is touching and I often felt I was sharing the grieving process along with her, you couldn't help but to feel overwhelming compassion for her great and utterly heartbreaking loss.  Joel departed a much loved son, husband, father and friend.

May 24, 2014 
"If the people we love are stolen from us, the way to have them live on is to never stop loving them"....and I never will my love...til my last breath you are forever my heart, forever my love. 
~ Karen

Friday, January 15, 2016

Dear Departed Drawings ~ Joel 10

Working of more definition of Kendalynns face and Joel too.  I worked for an hour, paying close attention to detail.  I included the first official photo of the cross and the men who built it and stood it in place.  A group of what I hear (from my husband and Karen) are some amazing guys.  I felt they deserved every ounce of credit for their compassion, kindness, loyalty and love.

May 24, 2014
Love these men so much!!! Kendalynn and I could not ask for any greater a group of guys to take care of us!  ~Karen

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Dear Departed Drawings ~ Joel 9

Added more definition to Kendalynns face today, spent an hour working.  Still a long ways to go but a friend told me I am on fire!  And maybe I am.  I missed Joels service that laid him to rest.  I know it wasn't him laying in the funeral home, that he was already gone.  There wasn't much room inside the place, standing room only and even that was full.  We were late to the service with two little girls who would not nap and were cranky.  I told my husband to go in without me and take our oldest.  I sat outside on the steps with the baby and a friend outside with his baby too.  I still feel like I missed him, missed saying goodbye, missed hearing all the kind words said about him, missed the beautiful, fragrant sprays of flowers.  Little did I know I would hear him weeks later stomping around upstairs.  I could never forget that moment, sounded like elephant walking around at 2am.  I knew it was him so long ago.

Joel was on his way home late at night, his wife Karen was already waiting for him at home.  They had driven separately and she beat him home.  She waited, and waited, and waited.  The road they lived on was in the process of being paved and was filled with loose gravel.  Joels vehicle had slid on the gravel and met with a group of trees.  He was gone instantly.  Less than a mile from his home.  A tragic and heartbreaking loss.  Just minutes away from getting home safely.

This photo is the last photo taken of Joel, it was taken that night before the accident. Joel died in the wee hours of the morning on May 19, 2014.  Just a week after mothers day and a week before Karens birthday.   I have invited Karen to share her stories, thoughts, feelings about anything past or present here on the blog.  I will also share more photos and sentiments from Karen as she has granted me permission to share.  I can't promise you it won't be heart wrenching, but I can promise you it will be filled with love.

May 20, 2014
"To All: I am getting the messages and the kind words and seeing all of the great posts about my husband. I have not answered hardly a single one because I am just still so at a loss right now I can't believe this is happening. I lost my best other half...half of my heart...and the other half of my heart walks around outside my chest and is torn to shreds when she asks for her daddy who was her entire world. If you know us you know she'd rather him than me and now she's stuck with just me and it all seems so cruel and unfair. We love him so much and just don't know how to act or what happens from here. I am scared but do know that I am not alone and the messages and texts and phone calls do help even if I have not acknowledged a single one."  ~Karen

Monday, January 11, 2016

Dear Departed Drawings ~ Joel 7

Worked today on the background and Kendalynns face and arms.   This is 30 minutes of draw time.  When I draw, I first light sage and sage myself and surroundings.  I grab my favorite Lemurian quartz and meditate for about five minutes asking Joel to be present, to let God lead my hands and heart to complete this drawing.  It is usually an emotional experience where I see Joel enter my space, give me a hug, a giant smile and sits with me.  Then I draw. I have never had any formal art training other than my high school art teacher, who by the way is a phenomenal artist himself.  My drawing abilities are a true gift from God that I love sharing and spreading around.  What else is a God given talent good for?

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Dear Departed Drawings ~ Joel 6

Adding more shading to Joels arm and face.  Spent an hour and 15 minutes working.  Sharing a photo today of Joel and his wife Karen.  We have had the pleasure of getting to know her and remain friends with her after Joels depart.  Any time we are in town or vice versa, we make plans. Our children get to play together while we catch up during visits.  She is a lovely person and mother, we know how much Joel adored her and she him.  

Friday, January 8, 2016

Dear Departed Drawings ~ Joel 5

Today I filled in a bit more of Joels face, adding shadows.  I worked for about 45 minutes.  I remember the last time I saw him.  It was Mothers day weekend 2014, our tie dye business had been invited to vend our tie dyes at a small music festival by a stranger who found us online.  The event did not have a big turnout and we broke even for the cost and time spent.  The festival location was three hours north and not far from where my husband grew up.  We had made plans with Joel to meet up and he had some hand me down clothes for our girls.  I will not forget seeing his smiling face, receiving a giant hug and the bit of catching up we were able to do with him.  We saw him on Mothers day Sunday and left our earth the following Monday.  One would think we were never meant to make a business profit, but rather we were intended to see our friend for one last time.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Dear Departed Drawings ~ Joel 4

An hour of drawing time as I continue to lay down the first layer.  I don't have any awesome stories today, my mind is currently overwhelmed with all the new information I am learning at  She is totally free with TONS of free training THAT WORKS for homemade businesses.  I signed up for her email list and have been taking all her trainings in and she is for real.  I was able to take all the information I have gathered for the past 10 years and she surpassed it and elaborated on it, her trainings are so valuable.  So I have been spending time making my new Etsy shop ready to open this year, sewing, making batik, dyeing and creating an experience for my customers.  See you tomorrow!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Dear Departed Drawings ~ Joel 3

Already coming through so nicely.  Still just outlines.  I was only afforded 30 minutes today of draw time, but its progress!  I love the expression on their faces, happiness and joy.  I hope this portrait brings his wife and daughter much joy and happiness.  The last two years have been so hard for his family.  I have always loved this photo of Kendalynn and Joel, looking forward to bringing them to life on paper.

I remember taking this photo.  We were driving along, looking for the big marker, damaged trees. We wanted photos of the beautiful cross his friends and family stood among the trees in Joels honor, my husband wanted a photo with his cross.  We had driven a ways down the road and stopped near a house, looking, they called out to us and us to them.  They knew what we were looking for.  "Down the road, under the only dark spot among the trees" they told us.  We drove on wondering how we would find it among so many trees shading the road, then it appeared.  Truly the only dark, shadowy part of the trees on the road.  Dark indeed, a chill in the air with sadness lingering there as I snapped photos.  The world lost a kind, gentle, compassionate, loving soul that day.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Dear Departed Drawings ~ Joel 2

I spent an hour and a half today, finishing lining out the paper, straightening my transparency grid.  I saged myself and my space I lit incense and meditated with my Lemurian quartz before starting.  Just a simple outline and rudimentary shadows.  Just the beginning.  We must start somewhere. Let it be here.

Today I get back on track with drawings.  My word for 2015 was Balance.  At times I was tipping the scales trying to juggle my first attempt at homeschool preschool, working my handmade business, drawing the departed, being a housewife and a mother.  And time for myself.  While 2015 was successful most of the time finding balance, I realized I needed a better plan for 2016 to make sure everything was getting done regularly and as efficiently as possible.  My word for 2016 is Ritual.  I have been using a website called that my mother in law pointed me towards years ago.  I am finally making use of said website.

2016 brings several new adventures for me.  Getting back on track with drawings is a priority as well as launching my new shop on Etsy Sacred Batik and Dye.  I also am buckling down and sticking with Trim Healthy Mama to drop off my excess weight (the plan works!  I lost 30 lbs last year) and stay healthy, also restarting my morning aerobic workouts.  I am feeling confident with my homeschool preschool and will be tweaking it so I can work with my daughter AND work on my handmade business at the same time.  Using Fly Ladys routines I created my own rituals down to the minutes to clean, eat, shower, exercise, homeschool, draw, and take me time - to name a few things.  It starts tomorrow.  I am all in.  Do or do not, there is no try.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Dear Departed Drawings ~ Joel 1

Today is the first day of an incredibly missed husband, father, son, friend.  I remember the first time I met him.  His height seems intimidating but his smile is warm and friendly.  His handshake is giant but gentle.  Very compassionate and caring, always loving and I always felt safe with Joel.  I had always secretly hoped he would find a good woman to start a family alongside.

This year will be two years he is gone from our earth.  Gone too soon for many of us.  It's been a difficult time for his family, a loss so overwhelming for his daughter and wife.  His mother missing him so much.  His father joined him last year, another loss so profound for the family.  I had planned on drawing Conner or my aunt and uncle next.  But I had a specific request from Joel himself as he delivered a message through an acquaintance asking to be next.  My neighbor had a dream that Joel was hugging a little boy, described as Conner.  So Joel is to be next, I never thought I would be drawing him.  I thought we had more time, the last time we saw him.  Starting off the New Year with my husbands childhood friend, who is missed. Joel.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Dear Departed Drawings ~ Trees and Tents with Alice

Today is the first day of 2016.  Alice is complete.  There is no love like the love of a pet. The constant unconditional love they give us.  The memory never fades away.  I know Vayda misses her beloved companion so much.  We never forget them.  They are our protectors, our listening ear, our comfort in sadness, our calm, always loving us.  Nobody can replace that kind of love.  She is missed.

2015 for me was full of questions and I went to the deepest depths of my soul to find answers. Because I spent so much time this year seeking "why" I do things the way I do, feel a certain way....or simply - why are things the way they are, I only completed one portrait this year.  It was a very emotional year.

I am ready to move forward into 2016.   I have made peace with a lot of my childhood and my expectations of how people and experiences in my life should be.  Things ARE exactly as they should be for me.  I have finally accepted and come face to face with my guilt,  loneliness, anger, things I simply have no control over and accepted the things that are every piece of me.

Time to roll with it, walk this path laid out just for me and let my light shine.   I found people that I can feel "normal" around, safe, and be myself.  I have found that when we heal parts of ourselves we can finally see that tribe of people like us that we have been looking for our whole lives, ready to welcome us with open arms, who love us for who we are through and through.  Healing ones self is a long journey.  I realize some lessons are necessary and even protect us from a worse fate.  I am grateful for every lesson, even those that cut deep into my heart.  For they have made me stronger, more loving, more confident and prepared for what lies ahead.  I find myself leaping into the new year and new experiences.  I am still missing our loved ones and dear departed drawings are very much going to be a part of 2016.  One love.  

Let your love light shine

The beginning of Alice Day one
365 days of drawing Addyson Aegirine Aldies Review Alice all purpose cleaner Alta View Wellness Center Angel Numbers Angie Yingst Animal Symbolism Apartment life Are You Experienced art Art reading Aura Photo Aura Photography Backcombing Bacon recipe Bacon wrapped chicken Balloonport Beach Life Beach Life Series Because I hate Abbreviations Best Bone-in Chicken recipes Beverly Stephan Bissell Proheat Carpet Cleaner Blessingway Bone-in Chicken Borax recipes Brussel Sprouts Camp Innabah Candy Drawer Carnies Carnival Series Carpet shampooer Catering Chakra Photo Chakra Photography chicken recipe christmas cookie recipe Christmas craze Christmas Shoe box clairvoyant Cleaning Recipes Collective Consciousness colored pencil Conner Cookie recipe Coupons crafts with toilet paper roll Cremation Ashes cremation glass memorial bead Crew Crystal grids Crystal Healing Crystal Therapy Crystal uses Crystals and Minerals Darn it. Dear Departed Drawings Departed Dinner Recipe DIY Down to Earth Wear drawing drawing of a bulb syringe drawing of a snot sucker Drawing of a zombie drawing of an astronaut Drawing of feet drawing of genesee beer drawing of ghastly beer Drawing of Jimi Hendrix Dread bead Dreadie decorations Dreadies Dreadlock Methods Dreadlocks Dreads Dream Catcher Dustin Middaugh Eggleston Hall Engroff Epicurean Delight Evolution of a Drawing Video Family Family Vacation Feeding your family on a budget Feel the wind on your face Fels naptha recipes floor cleaner Food Coma Friend Frugal Shopping Gardening Glass Blowing glass dread bead grandma's cookie recipe Grandpa graphite drawings Hair Handmade Hape twist and turnables Hardiness zones map Harpers Ferry Healer Healing Herman Heroin Robbed Me HK Pinwheel Packs Holiday shopping holiday shuffle home home for the holidays home school Homemade Carpet Cleaner Solution Homemade frenzy Homemade powdered laundry detergent Homeschool Preschool hot air balloon chase crew Hot Air Ballooning Houd House Faery Thefts Humanitarianism Hyperrealism Insecurities Jack Daniels Distillery Tour Joel kids crafts Kings Fresh Meats Review Kole Kombucha Lancaster balloonport last minute Christmas shopping LeDrew crew Leigh Leigh D Baxter Life Life Purpose lithium quartz Little light Living with Strangers Lost shiny trinkets Love Lucia Married life Maryland Meditation Mineral Uses Monster Paintball MOPS Mothers of Preschoolers Moving Moving to a new house Mr. Kromer MUM Expo My Crystals and Minerals Mystic Native American Rituals Natural Healer Neil New house New Moon Circle new year resolution new years resolution Nines Numerology Obsessive Compulsive Disorder OCD Ocean Beach Spirit Cleansing Ceremony Ocean City Ocean City Maryland On the Road Again One Love Operation Christmas Child Pacific Northwest Glassblowing Packing Packing up your house for a move paint Parenthood Pencil Drawings Pennsylvania Dutch Pot Pie Pennsylvania Dutch Sand tarts photo realism Planting zones map Poppa. portrait drawing Portrait of Cosmo Portrait of Dustin Middaugh Portrait of Houd Portrait of Leigh D Baxter Prettying up Dreadies Reithoffer Show Renting Rides Roasted Parmesan Brussel Sprout Recipe Samaritans Purse Sevens Sideshows Smaller Dreads spiritual awakening spiritual experience Stick a screw driver in my eye Still Life with Circles Still Playing School Still. Summer fun Super washing soda recipes Survivor Mama Susquehanna Valley Balloon Company Sweet Pea Project Sweet Pea Sisters and Brothers Picnic Tarot Card Reading Tea tree essential oil Tennessee The Beach The Moon + Stone Healing The Pier The Walking Dead Things to do in Nashville Thinner Dreadlocks tissue paper hearts To Linger on Hot Coals Traveling Twist and Rip Twizzlers U-Haul uses for vinegar Valentines day craft Violet Wax Hands wax museums Wedding West Virginia WV year in review Your Inner Light