Thursday, December 29, 2011


Karli with her painting
My niece Karli is such a sweetie-pie. From the time she was a baby, she's been loved by everyone who knows her. She's kind, compassionate, funny, and one of the best people I know. Next year, she'll be heading off to college, and I'm really going to miss her. We've always been close, and I wanted to do something special for her before she leaves the nest.

Her mom was telling me one day about how Karli's bed is always piled high with blankets, because she likes to snuggle under all the cuddly quilts and throws that have been given to her over the years by people who care about her. That gave me the idea for a special painting, one that would show all the things that have surrounded her with love through all of her 18 years.

"Well-Loved", 8" x 10", watercolor, pen & ink

My husband joked when he saw it, that it looks like a "Where's Waldo?" painting, and I have to agree it's busy, busy, busy! But I love it that way. It's full of life.

There's her crazy backpack, hand-colored and signed by all her friends, and next to it, her favorite pair of running shoes. She runs cross-country at Preston High, so I had to include those. Grandma Saundra made her the black and grey quilt with the Preston Knights logo on it, and Grandma Vi, who passed away two years ago, made her the simple tied patchwork comforter underneath it.

Aunt Michele made her the "Finding Nemo" pillowcase years ago, and it's been on her pillow ever since then, with only the necessary breaks for laundering. Karli bought the little wolf stuffed animal when we went to a wolf sanctuary last summer in Colorado. The limp, floppy, old brown dog toy has been with her almost every night of her 18 years and will most likely accompany her to college.

The zebra print pillow was a project she worked on here with me one weekend. The bright green blanket was embroidered by a family friend who's known her since she was a baby.

Her three dogs have been a huge part of Karli's life. Rudy the beagle is 14 years old now and his arthritis has slowed him down in recent years, but he's still as sweet as ever, with his placid disposition and gentle ways. Brewster, the baby of the bunch, is a bouncy Cairn Terrier who never runs out of energy. 

Kayli is Brewster's mama and is a bit feistier than her son. There's a lot of dog packed into that little package! The yellow duckie polar fleece throw was one that I made for Karli when she was little. She's been snuggling under it for fifteen years. The numbers on the wall are reminders of all the cross-country races she's participated in.

Next fall, when she's far from home, and maybe missing mom and dad and the dogs a bit, I hope she'll glance up and see this little reminder of all the comfort and security she enjoyed growing up, knowing she was and still is ...


  1. This is such a nice personalized gift and keepsake. There is a lot of life in this painting, and lots of memories. It seems like a great thing to send her off to college with. I really like how you've pulled it off together. Also, I enjoyed how you pointed out the points of interest to us. Quite a treasure!

  2. This is so wonderful. She sounds like the kind of girl who will cherish it forever.


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