Exploring and Creating

In the Nelson family we get all birthdays, major holidays and my parents anniversary done in a four month period.  We now start in November with my sister-in-love's birthday and from there we celebrate my mom in December, my birthday in January, and dad and Steven in February.  It is quite the task to be creative for all of those occasions, but we all manage to deliver every time!

After my birthday passed and I was done milking the birthday month it was time to move onto the last two Nelson birthdays and focus on dad.  My goal for dad's present was to make him something unusual yet held a lot of memories.  So I walked across my driveway and opened the large metal door into my granddad's shop to start exploring.

One of the fun things about moving in to and renovating my grandparents 1972 house is that my granddad's shop is just across the drive and still very much in tact from when he was living in this house and running the farm from it.  Over the years my dad and brother have scavenged tools and parts from it and one of our friends currently parks his boat in there, but so much is still untouched.

So I set out with no idea of what I wanted to create, but I knew that if it came from my granddad's shop and was made with love he would love it.  After I walked in one of the first items I saw was an old metal wheel hanging on the wall by some chains and pulleys.  It intermediately stood out to me, and I knew that would probably be what I was going to use.  I kept looking and exploring, but in the back of my mind remembered the wheel.
Enjoying the Journey: Exploring and Creating
I had so much fun looking at all of my granddad's tools and work benches that I almost forgot why I was there.  After just the little bit of time I spent in there I promised myself that this spring when it warms up I will spend more time in there.

After exploring I came up with the perfect idea for the wheel and I grabbed it along with a few other small treasures and headed back into the house.  I cleaned it up and headed straight into my office to start cropping and printing some pictures.

In my guest room I have some great old pictures hung above my piano from my dad's family, my mom's family, and our family.  I knew that I wanted to use them for my dad's gift but didn't want a traditional frame.  So I set out to turn this old wheel that my dad later said thinks came off an air compressor or something similar because it once had a belt on it.

The final product was far better than I could have ever hoped for.  To say my dad loved it would be an understatement.  I knew he would like it, but I dare say he loved it.  Now he keeps asking me where he should display it, so that will be our task for the week to find it a home.
Enjoying the Journey: Exploring and Creating
Pictures from the top going clockwise.
-My dad and brother when Steven was about five sitting on our sail boat.
-My dad's father.  He passed away my parent's first year of marriage, so we cherish photos like this a little bit more.
-Steven and I.  When we were little we would spend all day exploring in his little Jeep.  He would wrap his arm aroud me and hold on tight because my parents put the fear of God in him to not hurt me.
-My dad's mom and dad.
-The five of us at Steven and Caitlin's wedding.
-Teddy and I rocking away in an ever so stylish outfit of overalls and jellys!

And now a few other treasures that I found while exploring...
Enjoying the Journey: Exploring and CreatingEnjoying the Journey: Exploring and Creating  
Enjoying the Journey: Exploring and CreatingEnjoying the Journey: Exploring and Creating  
 Enjoying the Journey: Exploring and CreatingEnjoying the Journey: Exploring and Creating


Stephanie said…
Lauren, this is fabulous! I am completely in love with the idea :) My Grandpa has all kinds of old items like this and I know he would love something like this....you have given me a great idea for his birthday this year :)

Thank you, friend. Have a delightful week!
What you did with the wheel is amazing! That is such a thoughtful idea!

Ashley, Married to the Game
Lauren, that is an awesome gift! You are so creative and so thoughtful!