Thursday, December 27, 2007

It's far better to give...

I love Christmas! I love the mission of finding exactly what someone wants and getting it for them. I am not a fan of giving gift cards - I love receiving them! - but I like putting thought into what I give. I did give a gift card this year, though, to my dad. He is tirelessly finishing the basement in their new house all by himself. For this reason, the gecko level and a Lowe's gift card seemed to be perfect for Daddy! And of course, he played with his level like a little kid!
For my mom, I did a portrait of my Pop-Pop, her dad. Pop-Pop died in 2003 after being very sick for a long time. She has been missing him ever since.
This is Pop-Pop...
This was my Mom's gift...
My mom, my dad and my sister cried when they saw the portrait. I don't necessarily like to make people cry on Christmas but I think their tears were shed for the "gift" of seeing Pop-Pop again.
The Lord has given me the gift of artistic talent and I was happy to use it to bless someone else this Holiday Season.
This is the first photo-realistic portrait I have ever done. A nice barista at Barnes & Noble (while I was sipping and sketching) asked, "Do you do that for commission?"
I said, "This is for my mom, for Christmas."
He said, "You need to start charging, not your mom, but you need to charge for that!'
I chuckled. It is satisfying to do "a good job" and as a mom it is hard to guage the job you are doing.
With my pencil, I create, I can bless others and that is what Christmas is all about.
I told my husband that I was considering taking the barista's advice and offering portraits as gifts for people and charging a decent fee for the 20-25 hours of work they take.
He rolled his eyes and said, "You would have to give up writing, you don't have time to do both."
Do I? God gave me both gifts, do I give one up for the other or just take a course in time management (which is NOT one of my gifts)?
Would I have any takers?
Now as far as receiving...
My family hit it right on the head this year! I got a snazzy coffee maker (I have been drinking instant for years now), a hair dryer (mine "bit it" this week), and a mother's ring with all three kids' birthstones and names engraved on it (our adoption of our youngest will be final in a couple month so we are celebrating early with the ring). The ring was not in yet so the older two wrote a sweet poem to tell me of my gift....I will have them re-recite it when they get up so I can add it to this post. It was sweet!
Hope you all got what you wanted - we know the Avery's did! And that's what Christmas is all about - Miracles!

27 comments:

Liz said...

I think the portrait is amazing. It is fun to create things to give as gifts. There's so much more meaning when you create a personalized gift.

Kristabella said...

Wow! You are crazy talented! What an amazing gift!

Glad you had a good holiday! Yay for good coffee makers!

nickernoodle said...

How sweet! I had tears in my eyes just reading about the gift. Good for you! That is probably the best thing she could have ever asked for. Glad you had a good Christmas. Happy New Years to you!

SubWife said...

Wow, that was amazing. I am all thumbs and can't draw at all. You have a talent,and I don't think you should give it up. Husbands could be quite discouraging at times (I suppose wives too):(

Manic Mom said...

What a gorgeous drawing of Pop Pop!

ANd hey! I NEED A hair dryer but I didn't want to give it to chance to ask for one and not get the right kind!

Love your cute new profile photo!!!!

Melinda Zook said...

It truly is a beautiful thing. You really have a wonderful talent. Sounds like you had a good holiday. May this year bring you more wonderful things!

Patti said...

Shel,
Great portrait of Raymond. I forwarded it to my mom. Congrats on tbe adoption too. Fabulous news!!!

Grandmother Goddess of the Garden said...

Go with the time management class...God gave you the gifts to use! The portrait is beautiful! Hoping the New Year brings you the time to do what you should!

Grandmother Goddess of the Garden said...

I think you should do one of Julian.

Tracy said...

The portrait truly is amazing. And just think of the joy you would bring other people by drawing their loved ones. You can't put a price on that!
I didn't know that you had adopted. I swear, the more I learn about you, the more amazing I think you are.
I've been wanting a mother's ring forever. I still haven't opened all of my gifts yet, as some of them are at home and we are still on vacation, so maybe I got one too. God knows, I've dropped enough hints!

Dawn-Enigma Artist said...

Michelle, you can do both! See you just did! Awesome portrait!

Heather said...

Girl, you've got some serious talent with your portraiture sketches. And like I always say..."Barista know's best". I was absolutely mesmerized by the picture of Pop-Pop. I bet your mother was overjoyed at her gift this year. What an awesome prezzie. Makes my jewelry design look like chopped liver. Speaking of jewelry design. I'm excited to announce a new line of glass soldered charms coming out in early 2008. The jewelry line will be called: Charming....My good friend and I are co-designing these little beauties. I want to send you one as gift for being my kindred spirit...and a fabulous Faith Creations customer! Email me your fav colors and fav sayings....Anything you want this special charm to say? Be thinking and shoot me an email soon. Okie dokie!

Heather said...

I'm with the person who said you should do the portraiture of Julian...In your FREE TIME of course!

spepper22 said...

I would SOOOOO pay you for one of those!!! You are an awesomely talented woman.

Just-Me-Jen said...

I vote for time management, too - you have talent!

Missy said...

What an amazing work of art! My parents had something like this done for me of my daughter, a few Christmases ago and it has always been my favorite gift. I would definitely pay for something like this, you have such amazing talent!

Lizzy in the Burbs said...

That is a wonderful portrait of your Grandfather, Michelle! You are very talented at writing and drawing, I see no reason why you can't do both, you go girl!! I definitely think you'd have "takers" if you decide to do this as a business. In fact, I was at a craft fair this past fall and there was a gentleman who had a display of portraits he had done and was taking orders from people who had brought photos with them. He looked VERY busy! Also, just wanted to say how happy I am for Julian and his family that they had a beautiful Christmas together, that's so great!

Renae said...

The portrait is breathtaking. Thank you for sharing it.

Dawn said...

I knew you could write and paint scenery, but crap - I had no idea you could draw so amazingly well!!! Wow you are one talented woman!!! WOW!

ALF said...

Wow - you are very talented! Sounds like you had an wonderful Christmas.

Deb in OPKS said...

Come on, fess up. You just traced that, right? Seriously, it is really great. I can't draw to save my life!

Shellie said...

So much to do and so little time. I think I underachieve at everything because I can't find the time to refine any gifts :? Maybe just do one one day and one another??? My favorite gift was God's gift to the Avery's this Christmas. Just what I was praying for. The video made me cry.

Pam said...

You have some serious talent there! I can hardly draw a stick person! You got some wonderful gifts this year! Enjoy! And can't wait to read that poem!

cyn said...

Well done! You are extremely talented! What a very special gift.
Happy new year!

Zoe said...

you are incredibly talented! how sweet the ring is!

Karla said...

Holy cow! You are talented. Enjoyed some catching up on your blog.
And praise God for Julian.
Happy '08 - KR

Jennifer said...

That is awesome that you can do that - you are obviously gifted with creativity. So no, don't waste it. Enjoy.
What a priceless gift.