8/03/2010

Once Upon A Time



It has been very hectic around here for the past few weeks, not only have I been trying hard to meet work deadlines, I have also had to plan three separate social events including a family party to celebrate my husband Tony’s early retirement from teaching. These were happy/sad occasions as it meant very many goodbyes not only to pupils and staff but also to a way of life that has dominated our lives for the last thirty-four years. Needless to say there was much laughter and a few tears, mainly from me as I read all the warm testimonials, letters and cards he received.

I wanted to give him a gift that would be appropriate to this new and exciting phase in his life and wracked my brains to find the perfect answer. In the end I settled for two things that I knew he would appreciate: one is a handmade notebook and the other is a piece of original artwork, both by wonderful people I met in the blogosphere and whose work we both admire.

The original artwork is a pencil drawing of a storyteller and weaver of tales entitled “Once Upon a Time” by Rima Staines of Hermitage fame. I was very honoured that she agreed to part with her original artwork, as every piece is very personal to her. I could have bought a print, indeed if you would like a copy she has them in her Etsy shop. The original artwork is something special, so beautifully rendered and imaginatively designed with very many tiny details to enjoy. I thought the theme of the work was very fitting for a man who has spent his career as an English teacher, one who held his classes spellbound with his stories and love of books.


The other gift is a handmade book that has a good thickness and is nice and bendy. It has been lovingly stitched around a recycled leather cover and has herringbone details on the spine. This is the work of Sarah Mitchell who has a wonderful blog called Little Paper Bird. It positively cries out to be used and I know it will be put to good use for note taking, ideas and thoughts. Again, if you would like a similar book she has them in her Etsy shop.

23 comments:

  1. A lucky man, indeed - and my best wishes to you both on the new phase.

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  2. Best wishes to your husband on his retirement! What beautiful gifts you've found, too. I just love Rima's work...

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  3. I love Rima's work... and that particular drawing is lovely. A moment to be marked... and a wonderful set of gifts to do that with. A handmade beauty and an image from a magical enchanter!

    Happy rest of summer!

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  4. valerie wow! i'm delighted that your husband's work - and teaching consists of the handing on of gifts in my view - was returned in kind. i love rima's work and each time i visit her blog i leave amazed at her deep and insightful creativity. congratulations to your husband. steven

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  5. Delighted that you both love Once Upon A Time so :))
    And a beautiful book too!
    Wishing you both much creativity in your once upon a times to come... :)
    x Rima

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  6. All best wishes to you both as a new chapter begins.

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  7. Oh now, that's a wonderful present indeed. I am an enthusiastic fan of Rima's work. What a brilliant artist she is!

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  8. Happy retirements and what a lovely gift. I've been very busy since I retired - best thing I had to do.

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  9. Thank you for sharing the information about two wonderful artists. Congratulations to your husband.

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  10. What lovely gifts you gave. All best wishes on this new phase of your life and congratulations to your husband for all his inspiration to his pupils!

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  11. Both beautifully thoughtful presents Valerie - shall investigate both sites. Best wishes to your husband - I retired early from teaching and have loved every minute of my retirement - hope the same happens to you both.

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  12. Good luck with your new phase of life, beautiful thoughtful gifts to celebrate this special time.x

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  13. A adore the quirky artwork of Rima Stains, and actually own one of her wonderful prints.

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  14. Best wishes to your husband Valerie. Beautiful presents to remember a time and to begin a new chapter :) x

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  15. He is a lucky boy. I have followed Rima's life for quite a while and admire it's jaw dropping beauty!

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  16. Best wishes to your husband and you chose two wonderful gifts. I love seeing Rima's creative blog, always fascinating art work.
    I will show more of the quilt after the show, glad you like it.
    It was fun to do.

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  17. Congratulations Tony - here's wishing you a wonderfully rewarding 'retirement' - somehow think you are going to be as busy as ever!
    Love the book and Rimas's picture that Val gave you...
    Judith

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  18. Congratulations to the hubby on his retirement!

    What thoughtful and personal gifts. Handmade is so special!

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  19. I have loved Rima's work for the last four years.
    Your husband must be thrilled with both his presents
    She really is in touch with magic.
    Did you see her recent wonderful post about the old ladies who painted their houses?
    All best wishes to your husband on his retirement. I must say really it's just a chance to get on with all the interested things you never had a chance to do before!
    Still way too hot here.

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  20. Oh my, an original Rima! I am slightly green I must admit.
    And I have a tiny Sarah notebook which has a very special use, and I can vouch for her beautiful handiwork and attention to perfection.
    What splendid presents, Valerie!

    Best of luck to you both in this new phase of your lives together. Love Ciara x

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  21. What wonderful gifts Robyn. So well chosen. I love Rima Staines's artwork. I notice she has oodles of links on her blog to some great sites. Definitely worth following some of those. The handmade book is gorgeous too. Good luck to your hubby and you on a new pathway in your lives. He must have some amazing memories from his years of teaching.

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  22. Perfectly fitting presents i think for such an occassion. How precious to own a rima original too! wishing you both much joy along your new path x

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