Monday, December 6, 2010

Pack Rats and My 3rd Annual Birthday Gift Giveaway


My 2nd birthday, 1966.

Several years ago when my mom was moving she gave me some boxes of things she had saved from my childhood. This was the first hint to me that she was such a pack rat, which was confirmed after she died a few years ago; the crazy stuff she still had? Yikes! For some reason I had never noticed that she saved EVERY.SINGLE.THING.EVER. Maybe because we moved nearly every year while I was a child and somehow it didn't seem like we had very much. Anyway, in one of the boxes she gave me, I found the entire outfit (including the birthday cards that are on the table, but NOT the cake, thankfully!) that I am wearing in the above photographs. And by entire, I mean ENTIRE; the shirt, the jacket/sweater thingy, the skirt, a slip, underwear (I was potty trained already? wow!), those same socks, shoes and even the blue hair ribbon which was attached to the bobby pin which still held a few strands of my hair. Possibly slightly creepy, but mostly very sweet. My mom was an unwed mother in a time when society was very different and even though things changed and became more difficult as I got older, she was at her best as a mother while I was very young. She made most of my clothes (including the whole outfit I am wearing in these photos), she was very creative and despite having little to no money, few friends and family, she always managed to put together a good day for me. Although I think this was probably the birthday that was the most fully documented, heh.

So.

Time for my 3rd annual birthday gift giveaway. I am not as crabby as I have been in the past (and if you read that post, check out the link for the previous birthday post, still my fave) so this time I am including those of you who live in Canada. I am continuing to draw the line at shipping overseas (sorry) but if you have an address in North America that I can ship to, please wish me a happy birthday here in the comment section of the blog which will make me feel terribly popular and like I haven't lost most of my readers due to spotty postings. My super enthusiastic daughter, Ginger, has agreed to draw the name again and I'll announce the name tomorrow. My birthday gift is the choice of a painting from my sales blog and if there is not currently a painting that speaks to the winner, the choice can be made at a later date. I want the winner to get a painting that they reallyreallyreally want.

Y'all have until midnight tonight. GO!

67 comments:

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Tracy! Cute pictures!!

~Robin Hythecker

Anonymous said...

oh. i want to win ! Happy Birthday Tracy ! do i get extra entries if i tell you how wonderful your paintings are ?

Joanne DeWald

Sweetland Retreat said...

The happiest of happy birthdays to you!!!

-Jamie
jamieribisi(AT)gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Tracy..Love the photos!!
Aunt Shirley

Carrot Top Studio: said...

Happy Birthday and blessings for the year ahead. I enjoy following you on FB!

Heather said...

Pick me, pick me! :)

Happy birthday! My lil' blog is turning 1 this month & I'm having giveaways all month long. Nothing as nice as one of your paintings, however.

Congrats!

Lyndsey said...

Happy Birthday Tracy!! :)

Darlene Twitchell said...

Happy Birthday Tracy!

Pretty Lady said...

You're going to get an avalanche of comments, you know that?

Happy birthday! I have been coveting one of your paintings for years, but have had no disposable income in all of that time. Once I'm an art buyer for the medical establishment I plan to place bulk orders, however. :-)

Pattie Wall said...

How sweet your mom saved the whole shebang! Wow! What a mom!
Happy Birthday Tracy - and best wishes for 2011!

Alissa said...

Happy Birthday Tracey. You haven't changed a bit!

karen katz said...

I love that your mom saved the outfit along with the cards...talk about preserving a memory! A VERY sweet story! Have a great day, Tracy. xxx, kk

Jeb said...

Happy Birthday!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Tracy! I hope you have a great birthday. Thanks for sharing your stories. You're quite the writer as well as one of my favorite artists! I always enjoy your blog.

Terisia Chleborad

Rose Welty said...

Happy Birthday! Always glad to see a post from you, whenever they appear!

Kim Morin Weineck said...

Happy Birthday, Tracy! I, too, am one of those who jumps to your blog whenever I see a posting - even if they are 'spotty' as you describe.

Keep painting. Gorgeous, glowing work just makes my heart sing!

Have another great year!
xoxoxo

sfsing@aol.com said...

Ho! Ho! Ha! Ha! It's Merry Birthday Time!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Tracy from central California!

I hope that we can see a Tracy Helgeson art treasure in
California.

May you have a groovy birthday week!

Sandie Sing

Laura said...

Happy Birthday Tracy!!! Adorable pics. Here is to a year filled with health, love, and fun-enjoy the adventure.

Jeanette said...

Happy Birthday Tracy, I hope your day is fabulous.

Amazing how your mother kept all those things, it must have felt odd to see them and the photos.

Oh, and thanks for including your friends from further north (Canada!) in your giveaway. :)

be*mused jan said...

Wishing you a wonderfully happy birthday, Tracy!
Your story about the birthday items your mother saved is so poignant. I'm a saver, (though not in her league!) but am doing a lot of weeding out these days. However, I can always find a place for one of your paintings!

Cathy said...

Sweet pictures. I hope you have a lovely birthday today.

Anonymous said...

So wonderful of you to think of others' happiness on your birthday! Who wouldn't LOVE a Tracy painting! Your pix made me want to go through my old photos... too cute!

~have a Great Day!
susan and blaine

Kim Hambric said...

Thanks for the peek into your past, Tracy. I hope your birthday is fantastic. Generous people should have the best birthdays!!!

Tom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tom said...

I think it's a beautiful birthday memory. You're very lucky to have such a very loving mother who went out of her way to fill your days with happiness, as I'm sure you know. Enjoy your birthday. Enjoy the keepsake birthday party-in-a-box stash. And enjoy wonderful memories. - Tom Hlas

Julie R. said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Tracy! I love the photos (such a doll you were, and are), and so sweet to have that memory boxed up and saved. Hope it is the best of days, enjoyed with your family. Looking forward to seeing the annual pic of Ginger picking a name, too. :)

Deborah Paris said...

Wonderful photos and a great story! Happy Birthday!

Melissa said...

Happy Birthday, Tracy!
Thanks for sharing so much of yourself with us over the years!
Melissa

Rebecca said...

Happy Birthday! I love the story about your Mom - she sounds like a special lady.

Cheryl McCarley said...

Happy Birthday Tracy! Love the pictures!

Cheryl McCarley

Melody said...

Happy Happy Birthday Tracy .. what a sweet kid

Rebecca Crowell said...

Tracy, have a wonderful birthday! I always enjoy hearing about your life as artist and mom--and can relate to the juggling act that requires! Great photos of little you.

Shanster said...

Happy birthday! Isn't it wierd to look back at things from way back when now that you are an adult? I find it a bit unsettling... sometimes neat - sometimes not so much.

Have a good day - I'm glad you are here!

Ruth Armitage said...

Best wishes for a day that makes you feel as beautiful, darling and happy as you were in that photo :) Thanks for another year of wonderful posts & artwork!

collage whirl said...

Happy Birthday Tracy! The pictures are darling and it sounds like your mom really treasured you. Thanks for sharing :-)

ohboya said...

Happy Birthday! (From one Tracy to another). I wish you a wonderful year! Thanks for sharing yourself with us. One could ask for nothing more! CHEERS TO YOU!

~Traci Boya

Natalya Aikens said...

shameless shameless shameless!! love it! Happy birthday and you better save that outfit for posterity!
hey! word verification is Resess!!

zipperhead said...

Tracy -

Happy Birthday!

I hope that the next year is filled with laughter, health and creative energy. You are a wonderfully talented and kind person who has made the world better.

Best Wishes - Tamara

Victoria Veedell said...

Happy Birthday! I hope you have a great day.

Anonymous said...

did i remember to say "Happy Birthday" tracy ? maybe this will slip by as an extra entry. : )

Anonymous said...

that was me above. i forgot to write my name.
Joanne DeWald

GiselleG said...

Last year I think I missed your deadline by posting by midnight West Coast Time. Silly me. I'm not taking any chances this year.
I want to wish you a fabulous birthday, with your family, chickens and cake.
As for coveting your work, well you know that already. There's still room on my walls! :-)
Happy Birthday to you!
Giselle

Lisa said...

Happy Birthday! Love the outfit - you were (are) most adorable.

SamArtDog said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO TRACY. HAPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU! (So drop my name into the box 4 times), I'd never drop your blog anyway. How would I keep up with your chickens?

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday fellow Sag! (I never thought I fit the profile though...) I just bought one of your paintings for a Christmas present because the one I own was admired!

Amy Eckler

Jane said...

Happy Birthday Tracy! Many many more years of wonderful paintings. The new pieces at Carrie's look great!

Melody said...

Happy. Birthday Tracy ... What a cute kid

Ellen said...

You have such a recognizable face even at 2. What a cutie. Have a most splendid birthday!

Elaine Mari said...

Happy Birthday Tracy, What a beautiful post, such an appealing little girl you were.

Kristin L said...

Happy Birthday! Crabby or not, I still enjoy your art. :-)

Jeffrey said...

Happy Glorious Birthday Tracy!
Keep painting, Keep Posting,
Keep on.....oh, and save that picture for a future People You Know......

Cindie said...

Happy Birthday, Tracy! Best wishes for a fabulous year.

Ann K. said...

Happy Birthday, Tracy! I wonder if there is a painting hidden in that story about your birthday clothing.

My wish for 2011 (I'm a Sagittarius too)is for you to come back to Phila so that I can finally meet you in person. As for your wish for 2011, I hope it comes true, whatever it is.

indigomar said...

Happy Birthday to YOU!!!

Judy said...

Happy Birthday!! Am I now entered in the contest? Judy Beebe

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Tracy. I truly enjoy our conversations at our girls sporting events! They never fail to enlighten me and make me smile.
~Julie Cring

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Tracy! Your blog and paintings have brought joy to my days! May that gift of joy be returned to you from all those you have touched!-- DM

Tracy said...

I am so happy and honored that so many of you are interested in living with one of my paintings;) And also I am incredibly touched by all your kind words and comments, thank you! One of the best birthdays evah!!!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Tracy! That outfit is too cute! I LOVE the shoes. It's so nice that your mom saved all of it.

-Nicole

Denise R said...

So cute! Love the photo and love your work and blog everyday! Hope you had a wonderful day and thanks for all you bring to others like me out here in blog reading world!

Colleen Kole said...

Happy Birthday-I have been lurking for awhile. I really enjoy you work.

loriann said...

Happy Birthday Tracy!
Adorable photos.

Marion Boddy-Evans said...

Happy Birthday from across the pond, from the Isle of Skye in Scotland. I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog, and sporadic is better than never. Hope the next year is a great one for you.

(And I do have a USA address I could use ...)

Alicia Hunsicker said...

awwweee.......missed the cut off for the give away.....but wanted to wish you all the best on your Birthday and for the rest of the year......All good things! xoxo~ Alicia

Veronica Funk said...

Oh man...I'm too late. Happy Birthday anyway! Hope you had a good one. By the way, I think I had the same outfit :)

Pam Holnback said...

Please add my name! Happy birthday.
Pam Holnback

Sherri Woodard Coffey said...

How wonderful that your mother saved those memories, complete with clothes! But her legacy is much more--look at what a great person you've become. She obviously did something right!