Wednesday, 24 April 2013

An Unexpected Surprise

As I write this the sun is shining, the birds are flitting back and forth between the feeder and the trees, and the squirrels are fighting over the birdseed spilled on the ground.

The thermometer in my window says 25 degrees centigrade, but it’s not a true reading as the sun shines on it directly. The air is cool, refreshing, and having the window open feels wonderful.

As a craftsman, I frequently make gifts for people, and have not always felt that the thought and effort required to make that gift was appreciated. When I did a season of craft fairs a few years ago, I heard people comment that prices were too high, or they could buy it cheaper.

And that’s a shame, as I feel there’s nothing nicer to receive than something original and made by hand. Sounds like my topic should be unusual, but it’s not. It’s about a cherished and much unexpected gift I received from my brother.

“B” is for brother, or so he told me after my post for the second letter of the alphabet. He felt he’d been slighted, when ‘b’ was for birdfeeders.

So, John, this one is for you.

My brother is a creative genius with Photoshop. I have long been a fan, and have absolutely loved the photos he has created over the years.

He has a new generation of fans, in my six grandchildren, for who wouldn’t love to see themselves in a fantasy scene, or with their favourite superhero.

Years ago he made a montage of his life. He took a photo of an old work bench and added all the bits and pieces of things important to him. It’s too much to take in with one viewing, for there are things obvious, like his computer, his television with the hockey game on, his favourite brew, and of course, his wife and family.

But there are also the subtle things, like his beloved cartoon characters, his camera, Snoopy [personal story there I won’t go into], and the Beatles. It’s like his personal Hidden Object game.

So, a few years ago, when he gave me my own desk, depicting my life, I was moved to tears. I understood how long this project had taken, the effort that went into making it, and I was overwhelmed.

It’s nice to know someone understands you like that, knows what you’re about.

This is my unexpected surprise. Thank you, John.

Check out his photos at


Blogger's Brother said...

I guess if you're going to make your sister cry, this is one of the better ways. It's always nice to do something for someone, especially when you know they realize the work it took. That's what casual soppers at craft fairs never understand. It's so obvious they've never taken the time and made the effort to creaet anything.

Blogger's Brother said...

Damn typo...meant "create"

Deborah Lean said...

Hey, did you mean shoppers, soppers are a whole different crowd of people.

J.L. Campbell said...

I agree with you that hand-crafted items are more meaningful.

Blogger's (Semi-illiterate) Brother said...

OMG! Multiple typos. I really shouldn't allow my comments to be sent until they're proof read and approved by someone smarter than me. Can you tell I'm from the shallow end of the gene pool of our family?

Blogger's Brother said...

Thanks for the plug, but it's actually...