The year for Christmas, my sister gave me a piece of ordinary.

Something everyday.

Something simple.

Something underestimated.

Something we see and overlook and walk and stomp and dance and tiptoe and tread on every single day.

A piece of floor.

But this wasn’t any old piece of floor.

This floor came from the local theater in her town built long ago before the internet or cell phones or movies or even talkies were a twinkle in a theater goer’s eye.

Once the hub of the town, the cultural center for people for miles around, in recent years, the theater had fallen on hard times.


A little forlorn.

A little sad.

In need of a face lift.

And now?

The theater is being renovated and restored and sparkled and shined back to its former glory.  In the process of the renovation, they removed the floor boards to make room for new and better. My sister asked if she could have them.

Of course she did.

We are related.

She brought home a load of flooring from the theater.  And then?  She cut the boards and make a handmade book for me for Christmas.

She drilled holes and wound the ends of the boards with twine and added the yummiest paper between the covers of the book and then stamped the year the theater was built onto the cover.

But that wasn’t the end of the gift.

It didn’t stop there.

Not even close.

You see, my sister is a teacher of all things and anything creative.  She’s a whirlwind.  She’s a force of artistic nature.  She owns a studio and shop and teaches classes on painting and drawing and creating and print making.  She’s creative and clever and brilliant and funny and collects art supplies, like I collect white dishes.

And full of surprises.

So, to surprise me, she closed the shop and invited the twins and I to a private hand lettering class.

We sketched and drew and created and spent hours laughing so hard the walls and ceilings joined in.

It was a day full of moments I will remember forever.

And then?

After I learned and practiced and wrote dozens of letters, I created something to remind me of the day.

I took that book made out of flooring and wrote my heart.

Just me and my pen and some paper and some vintage pages tucked between two pieces of old flooring.

An ordinary moment.

An ordinary piece of paper.

An ordinary piece of floor

Celebrating the day when all that ordinary was sprinkled with laughter and joy and friendship and family and….

….became the most extraordinary of all. 🙂

PS  You can see more about my sister’s shop here.

And if you ever want to take a creative class?  I know a really great teacher. 🙂

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  1. Image for Debbie Debbie

    Nothing like spending time with your girls (I have triplets! 2 boys & 1 girl). You are blessed to have such a close relationship with your family.

  2. Image for Marisa Franca @All Our Way Marisa Franca @All Our Way

    What a wonderful story! I'm still looking at your Thistles and thinking ballerina skirts. Well, you certainly have a talented family, one that knows the important things in life. The words that you wrote are so true! Have a wonderful day!! Hugs!

  3. Image for Rose Rose

    I don't know what it is about your stories, but every time I read them I get the chills. I was once told when your entire body get a chill your guardian angel is giving you a hug. So my guardian angel is always hugging me when I read your stories. That's a nice thought. I love your book. I'm going to show my sister this and I think she can make me one too. Have a wonderful day. Much love, Rose

  4. Image for Michelle Michelle

    I love this post so much I don't even know where to fun? laughter? creativity in action? giving new life to something old and cherished? It's all wonderful and warmed my heart!

  5. Image for Rowena Philbeck Rowena Philbeck

    That was an awesome gift. What fun you all had. The girls really look like you!! Memories for sure. You and your sister are both so talented. How fun when y'all get together with your ideas.

  6. Image for Nan, Odessa, DE Nan, Odessa, DE

    How blessed to have the flooring and the memory of the day! In my family, we call this kind of day, making a memory. I know you are giving thanks. PS like your quote, when can I purchase a sign with this wording?

  7. Image for Jane Jane

    This is just an all around great post, KariaAnne! You always have the best metaphors and tell a story like an old soul! And bravo to your sister...she is amazing. Love the pics of your girls...braces already?!!! Time flies! :) Jane

  8. Image for Pam Clark Pam Clark

    I love my handmade burlap pillow she made for me several years ago! And LOVED replicating her Red Key Projects with my students several years ago.

  9. Image for PJ PJ

    The cleverness of your family amazes creative and thoughtful! I love seeing pictures of your girls who are quickly growing into young women.

  10. Image for Terri Terri

    Seriously???? We are just now hearing about your sister's shop????? WOW... I have already checked it out.... and went to her Etsy page as well :) !!!! GEEEEZZZZ.... is the whole family "running over" with creative talent???????????????? LOVE THIS POST !!!! That floorboard idea is amazing and absolutely a gift from the heart !!!! (Twins are pretty as ever !!) Blessings !!!!!!!!!

  11. Image for Leslie Leslie

    Love the book and the creativity that you both possess. I've taken classes taught by both of you, and you both are amazing teachers. You both carry an enthusiasm that's contagious. I always love my days at MAKE....isn't it time you taught another?

  12. Image for Dorothy Ensz Dorothy Ensz

    This is a triple bonus post for me. I was researching hand lettering today, and here you are with some beautiful examples. Your story about having a sister-make day is precious. I have 6 creative sisters, and we love to "make" together. We just live too far apart. You are so fortunate to have one so near. 3rd bonus: discovering your sister's shop. Lovely. I enjoy your blog so much, and always look forward to new stories.

  13. Image for Peg Peg

    That sweet, little book is amazing!! Your sister is even more amazing!! And watching the mini-Thistles... blossom before our eyes, is a gift! : )

  14. Image for gina gina

    The girls are so beautiful. And so is the Christmas memory your sister created. Pure magic: joy, love, contentnent, faith, sharing, creativity. Blessed.

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