Precious Carvings and Popeye

I had my dad on my mind today, as most days. Pop lives far away in Texas, and I miss him very much. When I get a chance to visit him, which isn’t often enough, he always lets me take home stuff. My favorites are his wood carvings. Sometimes he carves then paints and sometimes he just carves. Although, I don’t think he carves or whittles at all any more and I am sure he misses it, so I thought I’d share a little of his work.

I have a mighty little viking that he whittled hiding in my colored pencil cup, keeping an eye out for children who borrow art supplies with no intention of putting them back.
When my sweet Aunt Erma, my dad’s only sibling, passed away a few years ago, I visited her home and brought back this handsome lanky soldier that my dad carved for her some time ago. I think he is just beautiful and he makes me think of the love they always had for one another.This little horsey makes me smile.If he’s sitting at just the right height, he gives me a look kinda like my dad would. You know the look.Dad even gave him horseshoes and his own personal brand. And this head is very cool. When he gave it to me to take home, he expected me to paint it. I think about painting it all the time. I’ve thought about it for probably 8 years. Maybe making it into a puppet or something. But see the patching around the eyes? That’s where my dad replaced the eye sections and made them more to his liking than the original eyes he made. He puttied and sanded smooth the seams so perfectly that by only touch you would never ever know they had been replaced. I guess I just don’t want to hide what a great job he did of fixing them and think he’s perfect just the way he is. I think he even looks like my dad. And then there’s the sign he carved that I walk by a dozen times a day as it hangs on my daughter Jamie’s bedroom door. I adore it because my dad IS Popeye, right down to the big sailor tattooed forearms. I think for a quote that came from a cartoon character, it’s quite profound.I asked my dad if he would mind if I shared it with my readers, I think he was delighted. So I made it small enough for your sidebar. If you’d like to take it or the larger one, feel free.

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43 Responses to Precious Carvings and Popeye

  1. #1 - coasterkim says:

    Your dad is a very talented artist. I love all those pieces, especially the soldier and the horse. Thanks for sharing them!

  2. #2 - Nancy Y says:

    Such beautiful pieces of art! Your dad is amazing! And you are right, that is a profound quote. I'm going to put it on my sidebar with your link. Thank you so much!

  3. #3 - Sue says:

    What a talent! Creativity must run in the family:)

  4. #4 - mizdarlin says:

    that little horse is wonderful! Chock full of personality
    My stepfather made beautiful stanined glass, and i have some items he made for me, very precious and amazing they are, too!

  5. #5 - daisymay aka Chantele says:

    Your father is very talented. Daisy Dayz Home

  6. #6 - Corbin Katherine Shane says:

    Not sure if you noticed…but your Daddy's *Brand* is Just Something I Made….come full circle, if you will.

    Capital J (left to right) – Capital A (upper right corner straight down the middle) – Straight Stick I – and if you tilt your head to the left, l@@k center, you'll have the Capital M.

    Thank you for always sharing!

  7. #7 - Whskr @ Dash Kitten says:

    This is an awe inspiring post. Full of love for your dad and his work. This is a marvelous thing. His talent is AWE-some and it all filled me with such admiration.

    Treasure this stuff – it's amazing. Each piece an handmade miracle.

  8. #8 - Rose says:

    Oh my goodness, are you kidding me?! Those are such treasures from your dad. The viking, the soldier, the horse, the head. All of them are so awesome.

  9. #9 - Brynwood Needleworks says:

    Your day is one talented man. I love that he shares his art with you, too, and it's plain to see the acorn didn't fall far from the tree. Thank you for the button. I'm going to add it to my sidebar.

  10. #10 - Dana Gustafson says:

    Awwww, sweet Cathe! Obviously the apple does not fall fall from the creative tree in your family!

  11. #11 - Char says:

    what a touching post, thanks for sharing!

  12. #12 - Yvonne says:

    I have some very cool wood carvings from a man in Dumas Texas. It wouldn't be your dad would it? His name is George.

  13. #13 - Createology says:

    Such a special bond your share with your dad. His carvings are true treasure and you are super fortunate to not only have them but to enjoy them while your dad can enjoy you having them. Happy carvings…

  14. #14 - Deb says:

    Oh Cathe…those are just wonderful!!! What fabulous treasures!!!

  15. #15 - Elisabeth says:

    Love your Dad's work – especially teh horse with that look I often practice on my children, I mean unleash on my children 🙂

  16. #16 - Annie Nygard says:

    Absolutely awesome. It's so great to have these kinds of family heirlooms, your dad is quite talented! I especially love the viking. Thanks for sharing!

  17. #17 - . says:

    Dear Cathe Holdens Dad,

    I find your carving awe-inspiring. I have a particular affection for your viking and the police man. Oh Geez, they are all just so darn cute.

    Thank you for putting your creative self out there! TOO DARN CUTE!

    Cathe, Thank you for blogging and for SHARING.


  18. #18 - pam says:

    Thank you so much for sharing these wonder5ful carvings. I envy people who have this ability! Did you get the genes?

    Love the horse and what a great Viking. Lucky girl.

  19. #19 - Kokopelli says:

    Thanks for sharing! Your dad is a real artist. Love the Viking peeking out from the pencils. And I laughed about the soldier. So cool!

  20. #20 - Sal says:

    aww this post got me teary-eyed. it's so sweet and touching. my dad's all the way in south-east asia and i miss him dearly. I love all the pieces he made and like you I wouldn't paint the head piece either! love this post. thanks for sharing xo

  21. #21 - Rose H (UK) says:

    What beautiful heirlooms to keep! Your Dad is so talented. The Viking hiding in the pencils is superb. Just to touch each one must bring your Dad right there at your side. Thank you so much for sharing – it'll make me smile all day :o)

  22. #22 - . says:

    Those are such a wonderful gifts of time and memories. Your dad is a very talented man. I wish I could get what my dad made, only problem was that he built houses (wont fit in the letter box : )

  23. #23 - jdavissquared says:

    Your dad is so talented. He must be so proud that his creativity got passed down to you!
    I love the Popeye quote as well. You're right, very profound for a cartoon character!

  24. #24 - Tamra says:

    Great post!!

    Carving is a dying art. My uncle carves the most beautiful hummingbirds among other things.

    These little pieces are so adorable and will be a constant reminder of your dad for generations.

  25. #25 - cristinoel says:

    Love the horse and norseman! I had wanted to learn how to carve but just have never done it. A klutz should not do those things.

  26. #26 - Tina S says:

    I adore the Viking!!!! Your dad is amazing!

  27. #27 - CraftCrave says:

    Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [04 Aug 12:00pm GMT]. Thanks, Maria

  28. #28 - Debbie Sews Retro says:

    What wonderful treasures your Dad has provided you with! He is certainly a talented artist. Thanks for sharing.

  29. #29 - Krista says:

    These are gorgeous carvings. I can't even pick one I like the best. I love the policeman, so stoic and I love the story behind the carved face. I wouldn't change a thing, it looks perfect to me too. I can see where you got your artistic talent!

  30. #30 - Lallee says:

    I love this post. How talented your dad is! I especially like the viking tucked in with your pencils.

    My dad has been gone many years. My brother has a box about 2 feet long that my father made and carved. I have a carved letter holder. We don't know anything else he made like this. It is such a good job, we have wondered why he didn't do more!

    Thank you for sharing!

  31. #31 - Callie says:

    Wonderful carvings. Your Dad is very talented. Love the horse. Thank you for posting the photos. I remember one of my great uncles carving things. Sure wish I had some of them today.

  32. #32 - Ann says:

    What a craftsman Cathe – I love your Dad's creations and I think my favourite has to be that wonderful Viking – definitely family heirlooms.

  33. #33 - fanciful devices says:

    awwwwwwww! cutest ever! I have carved items of my uncle who passed, he was a lot like me and I love to admire them everyday.

  34. #34 - joanne says:

    Tell your dad "hello" from a local SA fan of yours. Love his carvings. Lucky you!

  35. #35 - kat says:

    i love the head – don't paint it!

  36. #36 - GrapeSugar says:

    Cathe, I love your site! I heard that Popeye quote years ago, and often repeat it to myself if I am having a bad day, feeling down on myself, or gearing myself up for a big meeting. During my dating years I'd say as I was on my way to a date! lol. It is one of my favorites and I love the carving your father has done, thanks for sharing it, I may just grab the little one for my blog.

  37. #37 - Dahn says:

    These figures are just charming. It looks like creativity runs in the family.

  38. #38 - LKP says:

    sorry for the caps, just totally stoked about not just this post, but for the little popeye quote-he's been a life-long fave of mine. thanks again! your dad's extremely talented. makes sense where you get it!

  39. #39 - Nicole says:

    Your dad is so talented. Thanks to him and to you for the Popeye quote. My dad was a sailor with tattooed forearms; I miss him hugely.

    I put the sign on my blog, can I link to you? Is there some etiquette where I need to make sure first before I do so?

  40. #40 - Cynthia Sandberg says:

    What a sweet post! I do love Popeye, too
    Thank You!

  41. #41 - margaret says:

    wonderful memories and lots of talent. appreciate them.

  42. #42 - Judy Lindsey says:

    In the fist picture where did you find such great looking colored pencils I never find any really good ones!

  43. #43 - Deborah says:

    Wow, your dad’s art work is so wonderful!! Very talented indeed.