Hi guys, I have a card for you today and if you have the time, I have also added some personal thoughts at the bottom of the post about my Dad. He would have been 92 today. I will warn you that it will be a long post though so get yourself comfortable if you are planning on staying with it to the end.
First up, let's talk about the card. I love black and white and pink, and for some reason it always reminds me of Paris. I probably love it because it reminds me of Paris, which is where my daughter took me last June for my birthday! I started with a black and white striped background which I added a pink and white decorative paper down the centre. I cut two Moroccan border dies to add to each side. I cut a romantic rectangle in black for the background to my focal element. I cut the largest size of labels 25 and then used the embossibility folder to give it pattern and texture. I left the card in the die and placed it atop the opened folder. The folder must remain open for this technique or your die will cut into (and ruin) your folder. Very important not to close it! I topped it with my tan mat and I had to add a few pieces of card to act as a shim. Remember that the folder was open so it was not the usual thickness. I had to account for this so I added the tan mat and shims. Once embossed, I inked it with Spun Sugar distress ink over the top while still in the die. This gave me that nice crisp white edge. I layered it on to the rectangle. Next I stamped my sentiment and cut it out with a smaller size of labels 25. I very lightly inked this too. I cut two Damask Motif pieces and used them to clip on to the side of my sentiment piece top and bottom. I nipped the ends of these pieces off and attached them to the sides of the label die to create an interesting shaped frame around it. I glued all of these in place and added the piece to the centre of the card to complete my focal element. With a little bit of matting and layering and piercing around the edge, the card was complete.
Now, about my Dad.
I had the amazing opportunity to be part of a lovely ceremony in honour of my Father last Friday. I would like to tell you about it. When I was last home, my Mother had a memorial service for my Father at Bushnell Cemetery in Florida. It is a military cemetery and my Dad was a Lt. Col. in the US Air Force. There was an honour guard there and they presented my Mom with a flag in honour of my Dad's service.
He was stationed here in the UK at Molesworth for part of his duty. He was a fighter pilot and part of the 303rd bomb group that made up a large part of the Molesworth base back in World War II. At the entrance to the base, there is a beautiful monument to the 303rd bomb group. I've included a picture for you to see. I drive over periodically to put flowers on it. It is a nice connection for me with my Dad.
Several years ago, I made a presentation on behalf of my Father at Molesworth. He had spent over a dozen years researching the whereabouts of every man (over 3300) that was in the 303rd bomb group and tirelessly recorded the research in a set of seven binders which are now on display in the library at Molesworth. When my Father passed last year, I phoned my contact at Molesworth (Mr. Peter Park) to let him know. Peter arranged for the flag that was given to my Mother at his service to be flown over the base at Molesworth for the day on Friday March 2nd.. In a touching ceremony, that flag was taken down, folded and presented back to me at 4pm that day. The first Friday of each month, the enlisted men are in their dress uniforms and it also happened to be the anniversary of one of my Father's missions over Frankfort some 68 years earlier. My Dad flew over 30 missions while stationed at Molesworth, which was more missions than any of his peers and nine of those missions over the heart of war torn Berlin. To say that I am incredibly proud of my Father's bravery is an understatement. The fact that I am even here is a miracle since so many never returned from those missions to keep us free.
My Dad has always supported my in whatever endeavour I have undertaken. I will never forget when I was much younger and he was retiring from his job as a stockbroker and financial planner, he wanted me to take over his clients for him. Now mind you, I have three brothers, but he thought that I would be well suited for the job. I said that I wanted to do something more creative and start a rubber stamp business. There was no argument, he simply said to me that he wanted me to do whatever would make me happy. He knew that I would have been more successful financially if I had followed in his footsteps, but at what cost. I have never looked back at that decision. Thank you Dad for allowing me the security of choosing a career path that has always made me incredibly happy. I feel truly blessed.
My Dad used to send me these incredible emails that either had beautiful pictorial slides, amusing anecdotes or life lesson stories. I always looked forward to opening emails that he sent and usually having a kleenex nearby as they were always very sentimental and touching. I'm a big softy for those kinds of things. When I started my blog, the third post that I ever made included the except below. I would like to reprint here. I think it is very true and I have often gone back and reread it when I needed a boost. With your permission, here it is cut and pasted from my original blog post of June 2009: