Saturday, February 20, 2021

A Book for Rick

A few posts back I mentioned that I was making Rick his annual Valentine's Day "yearbook." 

Book from 2015

Traditionally I have written poetry and compile it into a somewhat creative book. (Some years more creative than others!) Sometimes it is handwritten, sometimes typed, always a one of a kind. Usually there are 10 or so poems that cover a range of topics: biking, travels together, Lizzie (or before that, Gypsy -- the "cat in the hat" who brought us together), the kids. You get the idea. 

2015

Books have been large and small. The pop-up book nearly killed me. And I confess, I never seem to start this until far too near to Valentine's Day. I work well under deadline but sometimes that can kick you in the teeth.

2016

This year my muse vanished. At least, my language muse vanished. I couldn't think of a rhyme to save my soul. Well, a few -- trust me. Stephen Sondheim would not be impressed. 

2015

And really, when you think about it -- what was there to write about? After mid-March, the only place we went was to the lake. You could come up with a poem about masks (basks, casks, tasks...) or social distance (I had a few thoughts on that), but nothing was gelling.

Maybe 2014

But what I did have was a collection of photos from the year. Rick's January concert. Our rare but precious visits with the kids. Lake time. Cycle time. Our walk on Mother's Day. I had photos to work from and I had paint. 

This book ended up being a challenge because there were a lot of paintings and I'm no portrait artist! But as Monique reminded me, "it's the memory that matters." 

One of my favorite photos from our walk had Rick gazing into a reflecting pond. So, "Reflections 2020," came to be. 

This year's collection!

It features one adequate poem and 19 pages of paintings (some of those pages had two paintings) and written material chronicling our personal and world events in the year.

Here are a few pages: Rick's January concert.

Our dinner out, celebrating 24 years together.

Our walk on Mothers Day.

The introduction of masks to our lives.

A distant dinner with the kids.

Events at the lake -- on wheels, by the fire...

Rick's birthday, with his Cooper Hawk and bread and wine.

The flowers he brought me from his kayak paddle.

Hanging out at the lake.

Rick's take on Covid hair.

Lizzie.

Autumn at the lake.

A mortgage payoff and a ride with a friend.

Our last time seeing the kids in 2020.

A big project. And fortunately, he loved it! Maybe the words will return next year!

Sharing with:        Pink Saturday   /     Love Your Creativity    /     Meraki Link Party       /     Tuesday Turn About    /     Let's Keep in Touch     /     Share Your Style     /     Timeless Thursdays     /     Rain's Thursday Art Date     

88 comments:

creativeseconds.com said...

Your books are wonderful ~ This year tells the story in pictures beautifully ~ No words needed. It's a different time and it's hard to explain how it all feels, I think we need to be away from it all for awhile to reflect on it properly.

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

This is so beautiful! Well done! You are so talented. Each painting is just so perfect. You may not think so because we are our own worst critic but I think they are perfection!

Martha said...

I LOVE it! You did such an amazing job Jeanie. You are so talented!

My name is Erika. said...

Wow Jeanie. This is truly amazing. I can tell who is who in every drawings, and I don't mean that lightly. You are really a wonderful watercolorist! I especially love the page with Rick's covid hair. I bet he loves this book. Thanks so much for sharing. It is really an inspiration. happy weekend. Hugs-Erika

David M. Gascoigne, said...

When you say that you met in Strathroy, was that Strathroy, ON? I am sure Rick treasures these books and is already looking forward to next year's edition. Get to work early!!

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

I bet he really loved it!

Rustic Pumpkin said...

What a wonderful and thoughtful keepsake to make! As for a year in which nothing happened, you've sure found plenty of super, life affirming things that did happen. It's just crammed full of goodness and happy memories of what must surely be the strangest year we've been through.

Waving~~~Deb in Wales

Misadventures of Widowhood said...

Oh my gosh, you are so thoughtful and talented, even during this year when we mostly all been on house arrest.

Some of those first photos look like you used handmade papers. I used to love making paper and buying specialty papers back in the day. Thanks for provoking that memory.

gigi-hawaii said...

Oh my, so beautiful. Rick must have been deeply touched by this. I am so impressed with your ability to paint a story of life during 2020.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

How wonderful! You are truly gifted and so very thoughtful! I know he will treasure it always. Enjoy your weekend! Hugs to you both!

Arti said...

These Love Books are wonderful keepsakes! And you've turned a very difficult year into a lovely memento. The paintings speak a thousand words. :)

Daniela said...

Thanks most sincerely for your visit and so lovely words, my dearest Friend, you truly touched me in the deep.
It' such a joy to be back in blog land and to be able and read your so wonderful posts, thank you once again for the wonderful images you've shared too, you're clearly an artist, without any doubt!
With much love
Dany at 'My little ole world'

Linda Sue said...

No words needed! Joyous , wonderful year of the weirdest time ever, you make it look fabulous! Great job, I am sure he was delighted. Just one of those paintings would have been enough- you went full board. Incredible. LOVE!!

DUTA said...

when I write for someone, I usually do that in rhyming verses. It's more festive than prose and it demands a greater effort (which pleases the recipient).
Pity, I can't draw and paint. You're very lucky in this respect!
Lovely photos! Rick will definitely be excited by your little book.

Valerie-Jael said...

What a gorgeous book, a real treasure. Love the paintings you made! Have a great weekend, hugs, Valerie

bobbie said...

What an absolutely joyous gift! I'll bet Rick was really touched by ALL his books ~

Lowcarb team member said...

Well done Jeanie, no wonder Rick loved it!
It is AMAZING.

My good wishes to you both.

All the best Jan

Red Rose Alley said...

Sometimes words are not needed.....especially with a book as special as this, that was hand made with love, Jeanie. All the drawings were so creative, and I especially liked 'Autumn at the lake.' And your Lizzie drawings always amaze me.

Have a pleasant weekend, Jeanie.

~Sheri

Sandra Cox said...

What priceless gifts, Jeanie. These can never be duplicated and hopefully will be a little chunk of family history a hundred years from now.

anno said...

<3<3<3<3<3<3<3

What a treat to see these paintings -- and what a wonderful gift! No words needed at all: the love and lovely occasions you've shared are plain to see. Sure seems like something both of you will enjoy for many years.

Thelma said...

What a beautiful book. Your watercolours are truly beautiful. A lovely talent you have.
A great treasure

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Dear Jeanie, hello! Your paintings are poetry in themselves and I know, sometimes the "muse" just doesn't strike but if we keep at it, we will produce. Have you thought of writing free-verse?

Thank you for visiting my blog; I am barely looking at the comments and I didn't expect to see many but I'm surprise there were more than two regulars and the regular spam that has been coming my way more frequently.

I hope I didn't offend you? Can you tell me why they were the saddest words you've read on Blogger?

I have had to make a tough choice. I have literally grieved over the change that have taken place in blogging because like I tried to say in a "poetic" way, it is the experience with the people in blogging that "taught me how to dance" and find my creative voice. With those people no longer interacting I have felt a deep loss. We move on.

Instagram is a gallery and a challenge for me to improve my photography, a long-desired skill I've been honing so I could do what I'm now attempting: making a book. I guess in this journey, one must accept that fact that things just don't stay the same.

Karen said...

I love your Refections. I wish I was that talented

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

I love this. How marvelous it is. Beautiful paintings of all the happenings of the last year. Wonderful memories.

William Kendall said...

Very creative!

Pamela said...

What a sweet tradition!

Joyful said...

Wow, Jeanie. I love the book! The watercolours are amazing.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

It's like the old adage "A picture is worth a thousand words," Jeanie! Your little watercolors sketches tell the story of the year past so well!

Yvonne said...

Oh, my gosh! I love this so much. What wonderful memories in your lovely drawings. What a treasure to give as a present to one you love.

Cindy said...

That's beautiful! I love the Lake pictures: Bike Riding and By the Fire. The hawk, wow! You're really good!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful keepsake. The thing this book shows me is just how much you love him! Sally.

Sue in Suffolk said...

Who needs words when you can paint such beautiful pictures.
Thank you for sharing that lovely gift you made for Rick

Salty Pumpkin Studio said...

Beautiful!
You captures bood moments in lovely ways.

Iris Flavia said...

Oh, wow, you do this every year? This must be huuuuge love ๐Ÿงก๐Ÿงก๐Ÿงก
And the title is perfect, reckon we will reflecton 2020 often.
It´s wonderful, BUT!!! How can you say youre "no portrait artist"?!!! You´re doing great!

Cheers, by the fire made me giggle.
Seriously: Who would not love this?!

I hope your next comes without masks, mostly.
What a very beautiful pressie!

Lisbeth @ The Content Reader said...

Such beautiful books. How wonderful to be able to look back over the years to see what was happening. A very good idea. Your own paintings make it all the better.

mel said...

What an absolutely gorgeous book -- and such a wonderful idea. The paintings are brilliant! xo

La Table De Nana said...

This brought tears to my eyes! So many familiar pics and you captured them in art.
He must know he's lucky..I know you are also..but this is so dear:)
Love it all.

Joanne Huffman said...

Absolutely perfect! An artistic and loving review of a very hard year.

Little Wandering Wren said...

I'm not surprised Rick loved it I would have been gobsmacked, all that effort! Also, it's amazing in a year that for all of us might have felt a tad underwhelming what treasures can be found. The paintings with your masks are a fabulous reminder of the year. What a special love story you two have. Have a wonderful week
Wren x

Pam Richardson said...

Jeanie, what an accomplishment each year and what a gift to receive. I love this and it chronicles the events of the year. There is much time and effort plus lots of love placed in this project and I am sure that Rick loves it. This is a great idea, but I am no artist. Lovely in every way!!

Dawn said...

Love your book and your art.

Sandra at Maison De Jardin said...

Jeanie, what a beautiful keepsake. Truly a treasure. You need no words when you go through these wonderful paintings, dear to you and Rick. Love is a beautiful thing and it shines in you and Rick.

Danielle L Zecher said...

You are always so creative!!! I don't think I could ever pull off making something like that. It makes sense that the 2020 book would be different. It was definitely a weird year! Here's hoping 2021 is much better.

Mereknits said...

This is the loveliest gift ever, you outdid yourself. Well done, it will be cherished.

Rain said...

Jeanie, what a romantic and fabulous idea!! I love it...ALL of your paintings are beautiful, but I especially love the one where you two are celebrating your 24 years together.

Linda @ Life and Linda said...

This book is so special Jeanie. What treasures and memories you have gifted Rick in this book. A work of love you have created. I know Rick is loving this lovely gift.

Victoria Zigler said...

I knew you'd come up with something wonderful, and I'm sure Rick absolutely loved it.

Nikki - Notes of Life said...

This is wonderful and I can see why he loves it! Very well done! What a great idea too :)

Rita C at Panoply said...

I love it too, Jeanie. The pictures are worth thousands of words, rhyming or not.

Hena Tayeb said...

Wow this absolutely amazing. You are so talented.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I feel SO bad. After all the wonderful things you have done for me, the lovely comments you have left me, I have just been so unable to visit like I should. I sincerely hope you will forgive me and also hope to catch up tonight.

Your latest book to Rick is wonderful. In a year when nothing has happened and there has been nothing to write home about, you have still found an incredible way to show your undying love for Rick. Each page reminded me of a post I had seen and brought back memories of your words and photos. Now I'm seeing them in watercolors and they are absolutely STUNNING, dear Jeanie.

I'm off to see what I've missed and hope to make up for my lack of visits.

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

You are so creative. I can certainly understand how a book of rhyme for the last year would be hard. I don't want to think of rhymes for pandemic. Lovely watercolors. Wishing you a day of sunshine and joy!

thepaintedapron.com said...

thank you for sharing your Valentine books Jeanie, what an incredible and lovely tradition! You know what they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, and your paintings capturing special moments throughout the past year are treasures. It seems to me that you've captured the memories perfectly, and you know what, how can words describe 2020 anyway! I know he will treasure this book...
Jenna

The French Hutch said...

You certainly did a fabulous job on this years book for Rick. I think it is awesome! What a treasured gift, your heart and soul displayed. I am sure Rick treasures these gifts Jeanie. I am so impressed. I think your book is beautiful and clever, no words needed here, they present themselves in your heart...........

Curtains in My Tree said...

Oh My your water color paintings and drawing are wonderful. What a treasure to keep and someone in the family years from now can even enjoy it. I would say you are an artist

Tammie Lee said...

Such a lovely gift, full of heart and art and care and memories.
A sweet idea too.
Congrats on your anniversary, how lovely that you found one another.

R's Rue said...

๐Ÿ’Ÿ๐Ÿ’Ÿ๐Ÿ’Ÿ

The Joy of Home with Martha Ellen said...

Jeanie, I absolutely love this years gift to your sweetheart! How very special each watercolor is presented and needs no words in my opinion. I love it and I bet Rick does as well.

Marilyn Miller said...

I love each and every thing you did in the book, but the picture that made me smile was Rick's COVID hair. Lizzie was so cute too. What a fun tradition and so glad you got one done. Good for you for keeping it up.

roughterrain crane said...

Your memories of 2020 have been visualized by your heartwarming touch. It must be great fun for Rick to look back on the last year expressed by your love.

BeachGypsy said...

Wow! Jeannie, absolutely priceless, this memorybook/card is amazing and how could HE NOT LOVE IT?! You did a great job my friend and what's especially cool is that I think I remember every single one of these pictures from the past year, so cool! In a way y'all have become part of my world, and I part of yours, by blogging friendships that form. It's alot like the pen pal days of long ago, but better in many ways. (except I do love to receive a "real letter" the old fashioned way of course). Anyway, it looks great, thanks for sharing it with us. I also make my cards for Mr. Front Porch, SO SIMILAR to what you do, only I've never attempted a book form such as this, and I do 8x10 "cards". (front and back) in a collage form. It's fun and he seems to like it better than "store bought" cards. Hope your week is going great so far.

eileeninmd said...

Hello Jeanie,

You are so creative, I love the book for Rick! The pictures all have special memories for you, Rick, the family and Lizzie! What a year it has been! Take care, enjoy your day!

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

I honestly think it's your most wonderful book yet.

Sami said...

Wow, wow Jeanie, who needs words when it's all so beautifully described with the beautiful watercolours.
I'm sure Rick was thrilled with his Valentine's book, so wonderful how you show him your love :)

Handmade in Israel said...

This is such a lovely idea! Who cares if you are not the greatest illustrator? This book will be treasured. It was made with so much love!

Anca said...

This is gorgeous. I love it so much. Thank you for sharing it. One year for Christmas I got a set of fridge magnets with pictures with us from that year, for my husband, and we still have it on the fridge. Now that I see your Valentine's idea, I might make something similar for Christmas, but not painted, of course, I do not have the ability to do that. :)

I saw that you asked about bloglovin, they are not showing my posts any more, since I changed the hosting and they are not replying to emails either. So sorry about that. xx

Anonymous said...

Oh, Jeanie. What a wonderful and loving idea. I'm sure Rick must just love it. It has such love and meaning and what a wonderful way to commerate your live together. Your paintings tell such a sweet story. I especially love the one of Rick reading to the little one. So sweet.. Stay well..xxoJudy

Debbie-Dabble Blog and A Debbie-Dabble Christmas said...

Jeanie,
OMG!!!!! You are absolutely amazing as is this incredible book for your Rick!!! What a gift from the heart!! I am pleased to say that I have FINISHED my photo organizing project!!!!! I can't beleive it myself!!! Thanks so much for stopping by all the time!!
Stay safe, healthy and happy!!
Hugs,
Debbie

Jeanne said...

What a cool tradition! And also a great creative exploration exercise!

Iris Flavia said...

Jeanie, the bread recipe is online at the end of this post here, hope you like it :-)

Sandra Cox said...

I especially love the Wearing Our Masks drawing and Lizzie.
Take special care.

Preppy Empty Nester said...

Jeanie... what a beautiful keepsake for Rick! And to think...
you do this every year! Such wonderful memories brought to life by your awesome talent! Have a great week. Thank you so much for sharing.

crackercrumblife said...

Jeanie, this is wonderful!!! What a fantastic, beautiful look back at a year that was definitely hard, but your book highlights all the good you found in it. Love it. :)

Sarah said...

Jeanie, this is wonderful! I'd say Rick is a lucky guy! I see these as priceless treasures. You amaze me!

Barb said...

What a great memory book! It's a tribute to your creativity and the important milestones in the past year. Of course Rick loves it! I would too - a testament of love and togetherness.

Pom Pom said...

24 years! Wowie zowie! What a sweet book you created!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Jeanie, that is FABulous! What a grand thing to do, especially this year. Wow!

Lynne said...

Oh my Jeanie . . .
WONDERFUL . . . beyond words!
Loved it! (You sure captured the hair bit!)

Christine said...

Beautiful post and art, just wonderful.

Rain said...

Jeanie I'm so glad you joined in! Your art is beautiful and as I mentioned, I love that book and the idea of it! Yes, it's been a dramatic year for sure, let's all wish for a better 2021!! :)

Lowcarb team member said...

Hello Jeanie
Many thanks for your recent comment on the low carb diabetic blog.
I just wanted to re-visit you and say I was so pleased to read that Rick had a negative Covid test and that you are now both nearing the end of your waiting period after the second vaccine.
Take care, my good wishes.

All the best Jan

Sandra Cox said...

Hope you are feeling well.

Jenny Woolf said...

I am mightily impressed with your beautiful books! What a treasure for Rick! A picture book is different, but then the year was different, and you know what they say about a picture being worth 1000 words! If I have a bit more time I might have a go at a photo book to celebrate a year of lockdown. We have got a lot out of our trips to the wonderful heath, seeing it through the seasons.

Polly said...

Oh My Word, Jeanie your paintings are beautiful, and your book is simply gorgeous, an heirloom to treasure x

Andrea @ From The Sol said...

I think your paintings are delightful and full of words that go through our minds as we peruse the pages. You don't have to write words to say what you want to say ... and you said it all in your "Reflections 2020". You are blessed with a wonderful marriage and family and we are all pulling our hair out with masks, social distancing, hand washing and group avoiding ... loved your picture of Rick's Covid hair ... my husband actually has a ponytail now ... not in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would see that. So, if I am not mistaken, this is my first visit to your blog and I have to say, it has been a pleasure and I sincerely hope we see more of you in the future. We are all blessed if we are still here, and hopefully it is just a matter of time and careful adherence to the CDC guidelines before we get to hug our grandchildren and children again. Stay safe, Jeanie ...

Andrea @ From the Sol

Sketchbook Wandering said...

Simply fantastic, Jeanie !!!!!

Naush said...

What a precious treasure !!! Thank you for sharing with us at Meraki Link Party.
Much Love
Naush

Stevenson Q said...

The way you are talented and creative does not just stay in the eyes of the viewer Jeanie, it gets straight to our hearts! Lovely and sweet memories drawn with a heart, lovely!

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