Christmas cards

I was asked to illustrate and design 2 cards this year. One for Vickie Howell of DIY's "Knitty Gritty" and one for the production company Screen Door Entertainment.

click to enlarge image

A Christmas story

This post is about my new inspiration in the new year.

Last spring the family took a trip to Disneyland. At the end of a long day just after riding the "Pirates of the Carribean" my 3 year old niece Devin was grumpy and tired. She started crying. In desperation, I purchased a small bag of plastic jewels at the gift shop. I gave them to her telling a story that I stole them from the pirates and they were looking for me and could she hide them for me. It worked ...she smiled again. For the next half hour she would see pirates and we would have to hide behind anything available including trashcans.

On that day a world of play and imagination was created between Devin and I that I never expected. Since then we have....

-run from tree to tree hiding from pirates walking to the corner Starbucks for chocolate milk.
- seen pirates while out to dinner on family events.
-claimed her and her parent's room as "pirate free" in a very complicated and surreal pre-school ritual I could not understand.
-vanquished pirates hiding in the dryer and washing machine at my house.
-had numerous battles with pirates hiding upstairs in Grandma and Papa's house.
-searched for treasure in her backyard.

According to Devin, pirates can be anywhere ...on top of lamps, in drawers, inbetween books on a shelf or under chairs.

Sometimes when I visit, I'll surprise her with store bought toy jewels or craft store decor glass I claim is stolen treasure from the dread Pirates.

What is fun is that Devin herself in a random moment (sometimes weeks apart) yells "pirate!" and the game begins. It has always warmed me inside that we share a special game. Then came last Saturday Grandma and Papa's... Christmas eve.

Devin's Mom; my sister Megan, proudly announced that Devin had personally picked out and wrapped her gifts to everyone herself with no help from Mom.

Devin handed me her gift. I had to smile because a one armed monkey with no thumbs while drunk could have wrapped better, but I knew it was, in Devin's mind a "Martha Stewart" wrapping masterpiece.

Devin smiled at me as I looked upon this mass of pretty paper all twisted and crumpled with a lone bow dangling from the end secure with 10-15 layers of tape.

Devin said ...

"Dave...this to fight Pirates and get treasure...and bring home to me."

I unwrapped it and saw ...

Along with it's magic marker decor it had "runes" inscribed on it's hilt... my name and Devin's name in some ancient, backwards lettered language only spoken and understood by 3 year olds. I admit I started to tear up.

Megan explained they where at "jacklope" a unique and cool shop here in the Valley and Devin saw this wooden sword and wanted it for me.

Moments later Devin whispered to me...

"I saw pirates in Grandma and Papa's room!"

We went upstairs to once more battle pirates that Devin said were trying to steal Grandma's slippers... with my new sword at the ready!

No sword from the books of J.R.R. Tolkien is as powerfull, no sword since King Arthur's "excalibur" contains such magic.

This sword has reinforced what my Parents and family taught me but I have often forgotten; a single moment might define you in the mind of a person forever.

I will never forget... on that Christmas eve, I was a pirate slayer and treasure bringer to someone in this world.

Thank you Devin for reminding me to try and make my everyday choices and actions noble.

HGTV Outer Spaces portfolio 1 -kid's playspaces

As art director on HGTV's Outer Spaces (see "links") I had some amazing creative opportunities. None better than occasional make overs that needed a kid's play area.

click to enlarge pictures