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Remembering Our “MOMS”

As Mother’s Day approaches I find myself taking pause and remembering my mom and all that she meant to me during her short life of 62 years. Not only was she my mom but, she was also my best friend.  She was the one that I never wanted to be like but find myself repeating her words to my friends and family. She was a pillar of strength to all that knew her. Her grandchildren have wonderful memories of their ‘gram’. I only hope that I can do the same for my children and grandchildren.

As part of planning for Mother’s Day I’ve created some great shirts for our moms and grandmas. For those of you who have your own vinyl cutters I will include a paragraph at the end giving you the fonts I used as well as the size of the designs to help you make your own gifts.

Now, start making a plan of celebrating your mom, adopted mom or even grandma for this year.

Here are a few shirts that I’ve created for some special grandmas with their own personalized names. Some shirts offer the words “Est. 2015” but I preferred not to include that on my shirts.  However, it can be an option.

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For those crafters, here is another option:

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(I didn’t say it was going to be easy! Create this in WORD or one of the special softwares$$)

Crafter’s Details


FONT USED FOR SHIRTS

– Cooper Black for “MIMI” or “MOM”

– Linotype Notec Pro Regular for the children’s names

IMAGE SIZE

–  11.5″ X 2.75″ (this is approximate size and may differ a bit for size of shirt and name being used.

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Returning to Life with New View

It is a beautiful spring day in Michigan and I am so happy to be back to enjoying life and creating in my studio. I have been unable to even get to my studio for  four months. In October I twisted my knee which led to falling and really hurting things. What proceeded from that point was my knee became septic with infection (MRSA), finding out I also fractured my shoulder and my knee required surgery.  After two weeks in the hospital and over a month in a rehab facility I returned home in a wheel chair to regain strength.

The most difficult part of everything was missing my second granddaughter’s birth, unable to prepare for Christmas and being the matriarch of giving joy and celebration of the holidays to my family.  I also wasn’t able to help my son after he had back surgery or care for his new daughter in a way that I did for my daughter’s little one.

This period of my life has given me a new prospective of being retired, family, starting a new business, and what is REALLY important to me.  It reminded me that God answers prayers in many different ways and we may never understand why. Things happen for a reason. In the process, I realized I don’t need to have the PhD behind my name and family was more important than dedicating so much time to that en-devour. My love and bond with my husband also became so much stronger. He never left my side when I was in the hospital and cared for me in ways that I never believed he would.  Just talking about all of this has tears running!

I am sharing this with you so that you take a step back and think about where you are today.  Many of you are beginning to enter your fifty’s and are beginning to think about life very differently I am sure.  What legacy will you leave for your family? Is it that you have a PhD?  Is it that you taught your grandchildren how to crochet or play the piano? These were some of the questions that I now have clarity with.

My life has been blessed and I am back to bring creativity to everyone – one day at a time – with love and affection.

Come along with me for this wonderful ride called LIFE…….

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Pumpkins & Harvest

What a whirlwind of a summer it was! My granddaughter turned one year old and we are now expecting our second granddaughter. But, this time it is our son’s little one.  She will become part of our family sometime after Thanksgiving. Yes…….it has been an exciting summer and start of fall for us.

I retired to be GRAM and that is exactly what I have been doing.  There has been limited time in the studio.  But, what time I am there it is productive. Right now we are designing ornaments for Christmas giving and also some holiday stethoscope covers.  Our steth covers are actually our best sellers on Amazon.  Who would have thought?  Here is our latest stethoscope cover for Halloween.  It has been fun using my newest purchase for the studio – a heat press.  If you look closely the Happy Halloween is heat pressed vinyl.

Continue visiting the site as I add new listings to the gallery.IMG_8091

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Dreams, Challenges, Family, Retirement

The last few weeks have been quite reflective for me as we prepare our life for retirement in a few years. If you ask me what that means…….I would have to tell you it is changing every second of every day right now. What do I want, where do I want to be, what do my kids want, what does my husband want, what does my father need. You understand don’t you?

A few weeks ago, after taking care of my granddaughter all day, I could hardly move. Picking up 25 pounds all day killed my back.  It took me 3 weeks to get things back so I could at least sleep. Then, I watched her and am hurting again.  But, I am not going to let pain stop my quality of life! Now I am going to doctors to fix whatever is wrong, probably my bulging disks…….

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Photo: Dana Phillips Photography

It all made me reflect the stages of life we have been given.  During our school days it was all about friends, doing what our parents wanted and getting good grades (at least for me….haha). Then after school it was about how we were going to be successful in life.  That might have included college, military, or going right to work for each of us.  What it was for me was doing some schooling to take over my dad’s business (a man’s world of manufacturing) and getting married. But, marriage took me to being the woman behind a successful man. My husband and I left my father’s business and started our own. It was whatever we had to do to be successful and achieve the material things we wanted. Does this sound familiar?

Along the way children were added into the picture. Now the success of raising good, moral, intelligent children were part of the success picture. Of course, there were bumps and bruises along that road. But, I have been blessed with two wonderful adult children. Now, we watch our children working toward their dreams and successes.

So, now where I am today. Preparing for retirement years to enjoy life, family, and the fruits of our success. I can hear some of you laughing out there. For those of you that know me, though I am retired from higher education, I have to work and create every day….this website is part of that….creating another success. BUT….this time it is different. I am doing Eighth Avenue Design because I enjoy what I am doing.  My success isn’t about making tons of money.  It’s about being happy and finding contentment.

So, each morning, after getting my sore bones moving, I head to my studio to create. I am not making the six figure salary. But, I have contentment and joy when I box up one of my creations and send to some corner of the world. I am blessed.

This has been a difficult journey but I am trying…….any tips?  Where are you at in your journey? What is your end game?  Please share.

 

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Celebrating America’s Birthday

It has been a while since we have posted in our blog. But, the studio has been quite busy! Our feature photo promotes the heat press shirts that were completed for the 4th of July holiday.  Yes, of course, I had to do one for my grand daughter……lol…….and excitedly, my son and girlfriend are expecting in December. Needless to say, this momma bear had to made something special for the new addition to our family.  I ended up making two designs for expecting mommas and gave one to my nephew’s wife.  It is such a wonderful time for this retired grandma for sure.

How many of you have grand children that are reading this post?  I never thought I would be so impacted by the arrival of a grand child.  But, they melt your heart.  The feel of their little hands in yours, their arms reaching out to you, or burying their heads in your chest……need I say more?  This is the best time of my life right now and I am trying to absorb as much as I can.

For those that follow this that would like the designs please email me at eighthavenuedesign@gmail.com and I will give you access to the designs for the three shirts.

Happy 4th of July!

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Creating with Chalk Markers

I have been able to learn a new medium while being part of my grand daughters growth and part of the photos.  I have be assigned the responsibility of creating her monthly boards that are included with her monthly photos.  I started out using dry chalk markers and just this week purchased a set of chalk markers by VersaMarker with a finer tip.  I have to tell you – I LOVED them!  The color is richer when they dry and I was able to get more detail.  You should try this.

I have been so thankful that my daughter has wanted me to be such a part of their lives as our first grand-baby arrived. I remember I was so thankful for my mother and she was a big part of my daughter’s life.  All I can hope is that my grandchildren want me to be around and allow me to teach them fun things.

Here are a few of the boards! It was fun to change with the holidays and seasons. The top three are with the dry chalk markers and the bottom two photos are with the liquid chalk markers. Love Love Love

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Regenerated – REQUIRED

Two weeks in paradise every February is what this girl needs.  Sun, water, no alarms, a6398B78D-C8AC-4CBD-AD02-7887E2F12619nd no planning! Just time for my brain to rest and explore shapes, color and nature.

Now it’s studio and design time, which there is never enough, between my granddaughter and family requests my life is pretty busy.  I thought I would have so much time after retiring.  Little did I know that my daughter would loose her job and need mom more than ever. How do I balance everything?  I have so much that I want to do on my blog and designing, But, I can’t resist getting on the floor with Ava. She is growing so fast. Yesterday was her 6 month birthday. REALLY!

So…..visit my Facebook page and Etsy page in the next few weeks to see new items.   Hopefully, after I have completed listing items in my new Amazon Handmade page I can start doing some tutorials for watercolor as many of you have been asking for.

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The Little Joys

This week was a bit challenging as my daughter was reorged out of her position after 12 years at a large international corporation. For the second time this year the company has eliminated hundreds of jobs in the name of reorganization while their job postings continue to increase.  Hiring new lower paying employees you ask?  What do you think?  I have owned a number of manufacturing companies and watched the equity firms come in, buy up thriving companies, only to close them because they aren’t profitable “enough” for their stockholders.

But, then I hold my granddaughter and think “SO WHAT!” We all have our health and families close to us.  My husband and I came out better on the other side of our diversities and my daughter and her husband will too.  She will get to spend some valuable time with her sweet little girl and research what she wants to do with this next stage of her adult life.

What diversities have you gone through? Have you had change in careers?  I think we all have a couple times.  Where our parents often worked for a company for 30-40 years, now our kids are being told to expect 4-6 job changes in their life time.  Thinking about everything with the half full mentality…..lives sure don’t get boring do they!

So……this week I am holding my little Ava a little closer and giving more hugs to my daughter……you do the same.

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Hearts, Kisses, and Candy Wishes

The studio is full of Valentine’s day fabric and designs with hearts and candy.  I love the colors of red, white, pink and pastels, and at the same time spreading the love. Don’t you? I have created two little designs for those Cricut and Silhouette users.  I placed them on bandannas for my grand daughter. But they can also be made for your pets or even placed on clothing for your little ones – heck even for yourself to wear!

The great thing about designing these is that my years of art classes get used and I can remind my 80 year old dad that my money and time from classes is really being used. Can you guess which color theory and design key I used for the bandanna in the picture?  How about you leave your thoughts in the comment section below and come back tomorrow and I will tell you.  LET’S HAVE SOME FUN!