Hello, My Dear...

After many years of wanting to start my own blog - I've finally gone and done it! Its been something I've kept in the back of my mind for a while now - sort of a "bucket list" type of thing that I can finally check off my list. What will you find on this blog? All sorts of things! Crafts, decorating, maybe even some recipes - and of course we'll be "celebrating all things vintage" For now I will just introduce myself and tell you how this all began...

We can go back to January 21, 1925 - that's when my lovely Grandma Doris was born. She was the eldest of seven children and was always a nurturing, loving spirit.  She grew up on a farm and being the oldest was the first one to help with farm work, house work and caring for her younger brothers & sisters. She learned how to cook on a budget (she could whip up the most delicious meals - especially her potato salad!). She also learned how to sew, knit, crochet - all while helping out on the farm. Even with school - it was her job to care for the horse and buggy while her siblings got to enjoy recess. She was a hard-working lady, who just did what she had to do with no complaints. 
Grandma Doris as a baby

Grandma on the farm
She went on to marry my Grandpa Elmer in 1946 and had three children - one of them being my Mama Carole. Grandma & Grandpa continued to farm until they moved to town in 1989 - and that's where she continued her crafting, cooking and being the best Grandma around. My little brother, Troy and I spent many summers at her house and I can still smell the amazing meals she would whip up for us - like it was no trouble at all! Grandmas really are the best!
Grandma & Grandpa - June 1946

The craft room in her house was amazing! Full of bits and bobs of the different ventures she took with her crafting. She dabbled in the usual sewing, knitting and crocheting - but she also took interest in making jewelry, pottery, cross-stitch - you name it - she probably tried it. There was always something on the go in that craft room. So you can imagine what a dream that room was to me as a young creative girl. I loved peeking in there to see what Grandma was working on and she would always set me up with some little project of my own. I attempted crocheting but it was difficult to learn because Grandma was right handed and I was left. To this day, I attempt it, but haven't been able to get the hang of it. Grandma always had something to work on, whether it was a crocheted blanket for her Great-Grandkids or a myriad of little creations she submitted for the local bazaar. Her hands were always working away on something. I couldn't believe how fast she could knit - never missing a stitch as she watched the Lawrence Welk variety show on TV. 

Grandma & Grandpa - such a lovely couple!

My entire family encouraged my creativity, but I think Grandma did so the most. Whenever we were out at a restaurant, she would pull out a pen from her purse and told me to draw on a napkin whatever I saw around me or whatever was in my head. We would play a game of "guess what I'm drawing Grandma" as it was coming to life on that napkin. What great memories!

I was mostly self taught in drawing and painting - only getting the daily inspiration from my favourite childhood television show - Mr. Dress-up. Every morning, I watched in awe as he put his black wax pencil or marker onto that giant sketch-pad. (where did he get that amazing sketch-pad of endless crisp white paper??) I always tried to draw just like him - quick little sketches and cartoons. He made such neat little crafts too and he always had that blue sticky tape for his projects - where did he get such cool things? Needless to say, I was mesmerized by Mr. Dress-up and my Grandma.

Me doodling away on the kitchen floor
Throughout elementary school, I was always so excited when we got to be creative. I made sure my pencil crayons and markers were ready for any challenge. As I got into junior high and high school, I think my excitement for creative projects grew even more - because they didn't happen too often. I mean who really needs to learn about equations - when there's drawing and painting to be done?! When art classes were no longer offered in my later school years, I chose to do them by correspondence. That was an agonizing wait for those remarks to come back from my teacher via snail mail! Then in Grade 12, our school's secretary noticed my creative ambitions and decided to set me up on art summer camp at a local college. That's where I ultimately decided to go into design school after graduation in 2003.

Me sketching at art school camp
I still remember my first day of college - I was as nervous as could be! I was the classic small town girl in the big city fumbling my way through my first day. When I came home from that first day, I wondered if I had made the right choice. Was I doing what I was supposed to be doing? Then the phone rang, and it was my Grandma. She asked me how my first day went and said she was thinking of me all day. That phone call helped me continue on. Through many ups and downs and sadly losing my Grandma in my second year of schooling - I finally finished four long years later in 2007. I was prepared to enter the world with a Visual Communication Design education - now what?

I took my practicum with a local wedding and event design business. I've always loved weddings - even as a small girl.  I remember when my parents attended a wedding -  I couldn't wait to hear about every. single. detail. My Mom told me about what the bride wore, the bridesmaids dresses, the cake, the flowers the decorating, the favours - the list goes on and on and we chatted on and on. My Dad's main concern was whether the food was good and if they had hired a good Ukrainian band to play!

So there I was, armed in the big city with a design background and a love of weddings - everything should have gone off without a hitch, right? Not so much. Although I gained a ton of experience with that first event planning business - I quickly found that my boss wasn't quite what I had envisioned her to be. So I carried on, found a few tag-alongs and we started an event planning business of our own. That went on for a good eight years, but sadly in that time I lost my Dad suddenly in 2008. That was hard to deal with - along with the demands of event planning - so I decided to get back to my roots. My boyfriend (now husband) Brent and I moved back to the small town he grew up in. And that's where I am today. I now have a new wedding & event planning business of my own and guess what I decided to call it...Dear Doris, Vintage Design. Taking me all the way back to the very lady who encouraged me to continue on my creative path.

I began this business with my little brother, Troy. I'm the creative one and he's the handy one. He can whip up anything I can sketch for him. My Mama is my go-to assistant with all the weddings I design. She definitely got that creative gene from her Mother. Mom and I have setup quite a few weddings and events together and there's no one else I would rather have by my side! She helps me tone down my ideas when I get a little too adventurous. In a nutshell - she keeps me from being tacky! Thanks Ma!

Why vintage? I have always loved anything old, worn out - something that has a story. My Mom and Dad both had quite the collection of antiques. At one point our basement at home was transformed into an "antique room". It was like walking into a little museum - they had a bedroom, living room and dining room all decked out in antiques. It was amazing! I have always said I would love to go back in time and live in a different era - probably the 1940's. I know times were tough and it wasn't as glamorous as it sounds - but man - it would be something to get dolled up in hats and dresses and drive around a big, beautiful boat of a car. So that's why I have focused on vintage - I want to share my love of all things from yesteryear.

Now, comes the question - what on earth am I going to blog about? Well, I'm not entirely sure yet. Like my Grandma, I have all sorts of projects on the go - so my plan is to include you in on whatever I'm currently working on. Maybe it will help you out, maybe it won't - but at least I can get all these ideas out of my head and out into the real world. With my Grandma's spirit beside me - I plan on "celebrating all things vintage" with all of you.

Yours truly,



  1. Loved this Terralyn!!! Can't wait for the next instalment.

  2. Dear Terralyn,
    I loved reading your stories about your Grandmother. I share many of the same memories with you. I can't wait for the next entry! Good luck with your next project!
    ❤ Sheila


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