dad playing pianoMy father, Paul Chaddock, was an amazing man. Full of life and love and when he passed in 2009 he left an enormous hole in our family. He loved God, his family, golf and music and I have wonderful memories of my dad playing the piano while my brother and I fought for the opportunity to sing along side.

This picture was taken in 1973. My aunt, his sister, was getting married and he played the piano, I sang Oh Promise Me, my brother was an usher and my mom, the matron of honor. We joked afterwards that as a foursome we could go on the road and hit the marriage circuit. Dad was a combination of Johnny Carson, Tim Conway, Marcus Welby, MD and perfection. Okay, maybe not perfection, but he was definitely a colorful guy.

Not long after he passed away my mom and I were going through his clothes and she suggested that I take a few of his shirts to my son, who was 18 at the time. With each patterned shirt came a memory; golfing, playing cards, hanging out at the piano, attending church, or just having a few laughs.

As a person who loves to crafts, I looked at the shirts – the ones my son rejected as not cool enough for a teenager and couldn’t shake the memories of my dad so I decided to do something with them. I used a few stuffed bear patterns and created a unique bear with the fabrics from my dad’s shirts for each member of the family.

IMG_4558 I made the Always Bear for my Mom. The red fabric was from one of his dress casual shirts and Always referred to a song that I thought was “their” song, but I was wrong. But I still loved the sentiment that he would always love my mom and the feeling was mutual. She now has the bear sitting on a side chair in the living room and every time I visit; it makes me smile.

I made the Angel Bear for me. I had recently created a quilt for my bedroom using red and yellow – bright, fun colors. I had previously created a pillow from a picture taken the year before my dad passed and if you look closely, you can see that he is wearing the shirt I used to create the fabric for the body of the Angel Bear.   I used that same Hawaiian print shirt to make a bear for my son. IMG_4564IMG_4562 I chose a different shirt altogether to make a bear for my daughter which she has in her bathroom on her sink – she says hi to Papa each morning. Her favorite colors are pink and purple and this shirt of my dad’s was a great complement to the color palette of her life. The bears are a sweet simple reminder of someone we love dearly. They combine two things I love most; my dad and crafting.