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Where Home Is: A Gift for A Military Family

One of my dearest girlfriends is a military wife. We’ve known each other since we found ourselves in the same class in elementary school. We became fast friends – treating each other’s pencil box as if it were our own. We clicked. It was like Anne and Diana. (Though I’m sure that we each secretly thought ourselves Anne of Green Gables and not drunken-off-homemade-wine Diana Barry)

We grew up together – faced the trials and tribulations of being teenagers together – and then we graduated from high school. And since I was 19, we haven’t lived in the same town. I went to school, fell in love with a boy who lived five hours away from my hometown, and I moved to HIS hometown. She fell in love with a boy who was in the military, and she moved across the country. And then back again. And then to a different country. And now she lives four provinces away from the town where we used to live.

I have nothing but undue respect for Leona and her family. To move every three years (or sometimes less) is a feat that I cannot imagine. To pack up a life that you’ve had to grow from seed – to move to a brand new place with brand new people and to recreate that life – it requires an incredible amount of tenacity and strength. And it also requires a likeable personality. I am amazed at how Leona is able to make friends with ease in each place that she moves to. This life-in-flux can also bring frustration, and sometimes loneliness. Moving is emotional, and I don’t know that anyone could ever be blasΓ© about packing up her life and moving it to another neighbourhood, or city, or even another country.

Leona was in my thoughts when the idea for this project came to me. It has been bumping around in my brain for a few weeks now, and when I learned of Lauren’s Silhouette Challenge, I knew that I had to make it right away. I hopped onto my computer and started printing out maps. I printed out a map of the town where Leona and her hubby got hitched. I printed out another map of where they started their family. I printed the map of the town where they had their second babe. And then I printed out a map of the town where they currently live.

Art for Military Family - Suburble

I picked out a corresponding scrapbooking paper (I just love trellis – I can’t get enough of it!) and then started working on my design. I cut the word “HOME” out of the fancy paper, and then the phrase “is wherever we are” from white vinyl. Behind each cut out letter is a map. It’s the story of their home-making.

Art for Military Family 3- Suburble

 It’s simple, but I love it. It really reminds me of all of the work and effort that Leona and her husband have put into this life, and most importantly, their children’s lives. They make a home wherever they find themselves.

Art for Military Family 4 - Suburble

And I know that she will continue making a home, because she’s good at it. She’s a strong woman, and an amazing friend.

And to Leona:  SURPRISE! I’m terrible at planning and I haven’t put this in the mail yet. Sooo…. I hope you like it! Also, this is to make up for my absolutely unintelligible Maid-of-Honour speech at your wedding. It rivals how many tears I shed at my OWN wedding!

This month I am participating in The Sihouette Challenge

TheSilhouetteChallenge-TTC&Friends

Get inspired! Check out these other amazing projects happening in the Challenge:

DIY Business Cards {Silhouette Tutorial} by Create & Babble

Make Your Own “Rubber” Stamps by Coley’s Corner

This Month’s Facebook Silhouette Challenge by Tanya’s Creative Space

3D Tea Gift Box Download by Creative Turn

File Cabinet Makeover by Super Sweet Life

Jewelry Box Creation by Joy & Gladness of Heart

Retro Chair Silhouette by Tried & True

Toddler Train T-Shirt by The Thinking Closet

First Silhouette Project! 3-2-1 Blastoff Shirt by de Jong Dream House

Placecard & Card Medley by An Elegant Touch

Using my Silhouette in the Shower (Bathroom Organization) by Whole New Leaf

Pretty & Personal Birthday Bundle by The House on Hillbrook

 Interested in joining us for our group posting event next month?  We’d love to have you.  

Simply contact Lauren from The Thinking Closet by email.

ABOUT AUTHOR
Tara

48 comments

  1. June 10, 2013
    Laurie@Vin’yet Etc.

    This is the sweetest thing ever!!!! That’s such a thoughtful and touching gift, your friend Leona is a lucky lady! Growing up in and now having my own Military family I know how special these friendships are, they are a blessing and it’s so heart warming to see you cherish that gift! Thank-you for sharing!
    Laurie@Vin’yet Etc. recently posted…Buzz offMy Profile

    Reply
    • June 10, 2013
      Tara

      I thought of you when I posted this, Laurie. I was going to send it to you today!

      I have such great respect for military families – I can’t imagine how much work it is to set up house every three years or so! I’m also incredibly grateful for the cheapie long-distance plans of today. They have helped our relationship immensely! πŸ™‚

      Reply
  2. June 10, 2013
    Laura Jane @ Super Sweet Life

    Love the map underneath the overlay – what a great idea! The project turned out great!
    Laura Jane @ Super Sweet Life recently posted…File Cabinet MakeoverMy Profile

    Reply
    • June 10, 2013
      Tara

      Oh, thank you Laura Jane! I really like it too!

      Reply
  3. June 10, 2013
    Jen @ de Jong Dream House

    I adore this! As an international family. I love map art. I can’t wait to make my own version! Pinning now!
    Jen @ de Jong Dream House recently posted…First Silhouette Project! 3-2-1 Blast Off ShirtMy Profile

    Reply
    • June 10, 2013
      Tara

      Jen – let me know if you make this! I’d love to see how yours turned out!

      Reply
  4. June 10, 2013
    Kirsten @ One Tough Mother

    I love this so much! In all of my crafting, the projects I tend to love the most are the ones I give away to special people in my life. This is beautiful – both the gift itself and the love behind it. Great job. πŸ™‚
    Kirsten @ One Tough Mother recently posted…Inside My Craft Room – Updates & SuchMy Profile

    Reply
    • June 17, 2013
      Tara

      Thank you so much, Kirsten! It’s true- the crafts that you give away to others tend to be the most cherished. I’m so thrilled to be giving this to Leona.

      Reply
  5. June 10, 2013
    kelly thompson

    i love this- I like the map underneath and the trellis design and the blue colors! what a great gift!
    kelly thompson recently posted…jewelry box creationMy Profile

    Reply
    • June 17, 2013
      Tara

      Thank you so much, Kelly! It was a lot of fun creating this!

      Reply
  6. June 10, 2013
    mel mccarthy

    This is the most thoughtful gift. It’s stunning! Love the combo of the cut out letters & the vinyl ones (and of course the perfect paper you used with the map).
    mel mccarthy recently posted…a coloured traced doodling card (& my first video) πŸ™‚My Profile

    Reply
    • June 10, 2013
      Tara

      Oh, thank you, Mel! I really like how it turned out. I have to say that I was a bit worried when I had everything in pieces in front of me, but now I’m very happy with it!

      Reply
  7. June 10, 2013
    Shari

    What a great idea Tara, and I love your description of Leona, she is a pretty amazing lady… but so are you! Love you guys!

    Reply
    • June 10, 2013
      Tara

      And I love you right back! πŸ™‚ Hopefully I can get this in the mail to her without smashing it into bits. I’m thinking that bubble wrap will be my friend!

      Reply
  8. June 10, 2013
    Lauren @ The Thinking Closet

    Wow, Tara. I don’t think I realized before what a gifted writer you are. I hung on every word in this post, and perhaps my favorite sentence was, “We became fast friends – treating each other’s pencil box as if it were our own.” Chills. I admire your friend for her resilient spirit. That has to be a challenge, moving so frequently, and your wall art is such a wonderful reminder that home is not a building…it’s a state of mind…or heart, rather!

    A beautiful post on a beautiful creation for your beautiful friend.
    Lauren @ The Thinking Closet recently posted…Toddler Train T-Shirt & Silhouette Giveaway WinnerMy Profile

    Reply
    • June 10, 2013
      Tara

      Oh, what a wonderful comment, Lauren. I do think that writing is my favourite part of the whole blogging process. Though I do admit that I don’t get to spend enough time re-reading what I write. So sometimes I cringe when I read some my posts…

      Yes, Leona has an amazing spririt. She takes the changes in her life in stride; I’ve learned a lot from her.

      Reply
  9. June 10, 2013
    Tanya

    This project is soooo sweet! I love it. It will be your friends FAVORITE gift. (well, besides money..j/k) Can’t wait to see your next project.

    Reply
    • June 10, 2013
      Tara

      Oh, thank you, Tanya! I hope that she likes it! πŸ™‚

      Reply
  10. June 10, 2013
    Jeanie @ create&babble

    This is such a unique, pretty and special gift for your dear friend. I love it!
    Jeanie @ create&babble recently posted…DIY Business Cards {Sihouette Tutorial}My Profile

    Reply
    • June 10, 2013
      Tara

      Thank you Jeanie! I really enjoyed putting this project together; I hope that she likes it!

      Reply
  11. June 10, 2013
    Amy of while wearing heels

    What an incredibly beautiful post about friendship. How wonderful that even though you’ve been in different towns since you were 19 that you were able to keep in touch and remain friends for all of these years. I love this sweet project. It’s so thoughtful and meaningful. Very sweet.
    Amy of while wearing heels recently posted…Moss Number and Letter GarlandMy Profile

    Reply
    • June 10, 2013
      Tara

      Oh, thank you, Amy! Leona and I have definitely had to make our friendship a priority in our lives; we can’t just pop into each other’s kitchens for a cup of tea. Thank goodness for email and the telephone. It’s been the lifeline of our friendship. And still, when we see each other (about once a year), it’s like no time has passed at all. There’s something so incredible about childhood friendships.

      Reply
  12. June 10, 2013
    Coley

    What a great gift! So creative & sweet!

    Reply
    • June 10, 2013
      Tara

      Thank you Coley! I’m glad you like it!

      Reply
  13. June 10, 2013
    Beth @ Whole New Leaf

    Such a great idea! I pinned it for future inspiration! Thanks for sharing!
    Beth @ Whole New Leaf recently posted…Using My Silhouette In The Shower (Bathroom Organization)My Profile

    Reply
    • June 10, 2013
      Tara

      Beth – Oh, thank you for the pin! I’m so glad you liked it!

      Reply
  14. June 11, 2013
    Lynne N

    That is really a wonderful gift. I like the map behind, I would not have thought of that, but is fits so well. I know she will enjoy that.

    Reply
  15. June 12, 2013
    Jenna

    LOVE this! Using the map for the letters is brilliant! Such a great idea! Jenna @ Rain on a Tin Roof
    Jenna recently posted…Lilly Pulitzer Style Soiree Link PartyMy Profile

    Reply
    • June 14, 2013
      Tara

      Thank you so much, Jenna! It was a project that was simple, but really meaningful, so I was really pleased with how it turned out!

      Reply
  16. June 13, 2013
    Megin

    Super cute! I love that sentiment and the map showing through is really cute.
    I just wanted to stop by today and say hello, friend!
    ~ Megin of VMG206
    Megin recently posted…Titi’s Spot for the Pin Hop ~ Co-hostMy Profile

    Reply
    • June 14, 2013
      Tara

      Oh thank you Megin! I’m so glad that you liked it (especially from a paper-savvy lady like yourself)!

      Reply
  17. June 14, 2013
    Krista @thehappyhousie

    Love this sweet gift Tara. I really need to get me a silhouette…
    Krista @thehappyhousie recently posted…Simple Summer Decorating with Sisal, Burlap, and BloomsMy Profile

    Reply
    • June 14, 2013
      Tara

      Thank you, Krista, and yes you do! Time to start entering some contests! (Or isn’t there a store on the Island that carries them? I seem to remember that…)

      Reply
  18. June 14, 2013
    Lisa @ Wine & Glue

    This is absolutely gorgeous, Tara! I love it!! I couldn’t imagine being a military wife. And I am for sure not nice enough to make new friends every few years.
    Lisa @ Wine & Glue recently posted…Cherry SangriaMy Profile

    Reply
    • June 14, 2013
      Tara

      Thank you so much, Lisa! I, too, am boggled at how adaptable a military wife must be. Though I think you’re fibbing when you talk about your temperment. You seem pretty sweet (and kind) to me! πŸ™‚

      Reply
  19. June 15, 2013
    Lynden Blossom

    What a Lovely, Meaningful, Thoughtful gift for your Dear Friends! I’m sure they will really appreciate it! An idea that can be modified for many projects – ;-}
    Lynden (Mother of a Marine Capt.!)

    http://aneleganttouch-lynden.blogspot.com
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/An-Elegant-Touch-/162889457132788
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lyndens-Cookie-Lee-Jewelry/209062415911124
    Lynden Blossom recently posted…‘Sending you some Puppy Love’ CardMy Profile

    Reply
  20. October 15, 2015
    Maria Slater

    Thank you for this great gift idea! My BFF married recently to a marine and they are soon moving for the first time as family, so I’m searching the best moving away gift and the best way to say goodbye. Thank you for this cute idea, I thiunk I might use it. Greets!

    Reply
    • October 20, 2015
      Tara

      Oh, I’d love to see pictures if you do create this gift, Maria! And thank you for the wonderful comment. πŸ™‚

      Reply

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