To: Diane… From: Dad

To help celebrate Father’s Day this weekend, I have a “reverse” Father’s Day gift to share with you, a gift that was from my dad to me.

My dad passed away last December. He was 87. This is the first Father’s Day that he won’t be around and I didn’t need to find him a gift, or take him his favorite sticky buns.  But I just received a gift from him.

My dad was a DIYer and loved woodworking.  His dream was to build a boat, he built many models of sailboats and lots of other items that my mom, or one of my siblings or I asked him to make. He always got right to work to make whatever we requested. The finished product was always perfect in every way.

When I asked him if he would make a pencil organizer based on plans I found in an art magazine, he happily took the plans and made it for me.  It was a Lazy Susan with hinged blocks of wood placed on top with holes drilled to hold the pencils. It was the best pencil organizer, EVER!

How to organize colored pencils in a studio

When I started to blog, I did less and less illustrating and the pencil organizer was not necessary for me to keep in my studioffice anymore, so I put it into storage in my basement.

Last week, I began purging and cleaning out the basement, getting rid of everything we no longer needed.

When I found the Lazy Susan base of the pencil organizer, it made me smile and I gave it a hug, fondly remembering my dad making it special just for me.

I got a little teary eyed and when I turned it over and saw what he did… I had forgotten...I really cried when I read what he stamped to the underside. Happy tears remembering my dad and all the things he did for me.

Lazy Susan made by my dad

I knew I had to find a spot to use and see it every day.  It won’t bring him back, but having something he made just for me fills my home with love and meaning.

Lazy susan

I put it on the center of the kitchen table that I stripped last summer – I loved it, but not the color of the polyurethane finish.  It was too yellow and didn’t look like an integral part of the table.

Lazy Susan-

So I stripped it to the bare wood…


…and added liming wax so it matched the table. I applied it with a rag and then wiped it off so it would leave a slight white cast to the wood.


Perfect…just like everything my dad ever made.


My dad’s gift to me…the second time around…one that I will cherish forever.

To all the Dads, Daddios, Pops, and Fathers in your life….wishing them a Happy Father’s Day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. My dear dad loved to do woodworking also. He made me so many beautiful items; shelves, a framed mirror and bench which sits in our entry, cabinets, an ironing board, the list goes on and on. He even made toys for our son when he was little. There isn’t a room in our home that doesn’t have something in it he made. They are all treasures and remind me of him. ((HUGS))

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Pat – Having the pieces your dad made all around you truly must make your house feel special. They are the best treasures to have and enjoy everyday. They are like getting a big hug from him, every time you walk by or use one. XO

  2. I’m crying :) what a sweet story and a gorgeous piece :)

  3. Sheryll & Critters. says:

    Beautiful remembrance. I cried too… my daddy is gone also and I miss him every single day. There is no one or anything that compares to a loving dad.

  4. Oh my – the love-drops are still rolling off my cheeks… I am such a sentimental girl as well as a “Daddy’s Girl” – he’s turned 84 today and I’ll soon be 59 – I so appreciate him and all the time I get to spend with him. Things are a-changing tho’ – he and Mom don’t come into town much anymore and I don’t drive so my sweet husband generously takes us out to visit whenever possible. My Dad took up cross-stitching (imagine that!) when he retired 29 years ago and has made magnificent ‘artwork’ for everyone in our family, all appropriately ‘signed’… from Poppa to his grandkids, from Daddy to me, Dad to my brother and Bud to Mom… He’s a precious man and I love him so very much.
    As mentioned, today is his b’day and with Father’s Day tomorrow, we call this the ‘pair of socks’ weekend – he gets one sock today, the other tomorrow, each with gift cards inside! And, of course, he always gets a kick out of our ‘ingenuity’ – every time! Linda <]=/=/=[

  5. I had to stop to wipe my eyes before I could read the comments. Having something like that and the way you repurposed it is inspiring. My Dad’s best gift to me was when I was 16. We were having hard times and my Dad started rolling his own cigarettes rather than buying them. While he was at work one day, I rolled a cigarette from his supplies and proudly showed it to him when he got home. He said it was a good job, but then said he wasn’t going to use it, so I said ‘Then I will’, and pulled out a match to light it. My Dad grabbed the cigarette, the matches, the papers, and his tin of Prince Albert tobacco and tossed all of it into the trash. That very moment he quit smoking cold turkey. After that, how could I ever start smoking?

    1. Diane, such a sweet tribute to make everyday use of a special gift. My brother just posted a pic of my dad (passed in March of 2001) and it made me feel so happy that you used a part of him in your home. Long distance hugs from me and my family…

  6. Thank you, for sharing this. The love you still have for your dad leaps of the screen. So precious.

  7. What a lovely story Diane….your Pops was a gem!

    Your Dad gave you many things but the best thing he gave you was love…a love that you return to your own family by making a beautiful home for them and through the loving things you do for your hubby and daughters. You have been very blessed Diane. Love makes the world go ’round!

  8. Dear Diane,
    I remember when you posted about your dad passing away. How touching that you happened upon this piece he made for you now as we celebrate another Father’s Day. Thank you for sharing how special your father was to you and reminding us how special our fathers were or are to those of us who enjoy your blog. Vikki in VA

  9. Shannon @ Fox Hollow Cottage says:


    Have a wonderful weekend.

  10. Betty Baker says:

    Hi Diane – Memories are the greatest things and some of us have only memories of our fathers left. Always loving, kind and generous – I was Dad’s girl and every Father’s Day my thoughts are filled with thoughts of him. He left us too soon but has remained in my heart forever. Thanks for sharing your Dad’s story. Betty from, Ontario,Canada.

  11. Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions says:

    A lovely post, Diane! I love that you have something your Dad made for you that makes you think of him with love. My Dad has made things for me over the years, too, and I know I will treasure them even more as the years pass.

  12. Linda @ It All Started With Paint says:

    What a beautiful story! I may have welled up a bit too. ;)

    I love that you found the perfect spot for it so you can celebrate your dad every day!

    :) Linda

  13. Kim bailey says:

    Diane, my Dad passed on to Glory,four years ago today, the 13th. There is never a day that passes that I don’t say,”Daddy said…” Or “do you remember when Dad ..”
    It really made me smile to see the inscription beneath your lazy Susan. What a true treasure. Our Daddy’s are a gift from God.

  14. Michelle James says:

    Wow! I was very teary eyed reading this. I love, love that you made your dad’s gift work for you again. I wany a lazy susan for my kitchen island/eating area. I am a bit jealous. You always do such great work!!

  15. Thanks, Diane, for sharing your story. It is making me re-think how I feel about Father’s Day. My dad (like your dad) made things for me out of wood. So many things, and like your father, made them so beautifully, and put his heart and soul into them. Today, I’ll go around the house and find them, touch them, and turn them over to see his signature on them. A beautiful way to remember him and perhaps not feel so badly that I don’t have my “Daddy” with me this weekend. (He’s been gone since 2002.) A great way to remember my dad!

  16. Love this repurposing of a cherished gift from your father. I also would like to say you are my favorite blogger and I hope you never stop. I have utilized so many of your ideas. My latest is the baby sunscreen mixed with a dab of foundation. What a genius suggestion! My skin has never looked better. I think the sunscreen adds the right touch of luminosity to my foundation and I have been receiving compliments from random strangers everywhere.

  17. Diane, that was so very sweet and personal, thank you for sharing it with us.

  18. What a sweet story, Diane, and a great piece to remember your dad. I smiled about the part where you gave it a little hug. I do the same thing when I find something that my mom or dad treasured.

  19. Christy Keyton says:

    oh my goodness – this made me cry! What a lovely way to remember your Dad. I miss my Daddy too. We will have an extra special Father’s Day this year – our son is getting married on Sunday afternoon. My husband is getting a new daughter for Father’s day!

  20. What a treasure and so sweet of your precious dad. He was very talented – like father, like daughter. You picked the perfect spot for it too.

    Your table looks great !! I think I will try that on our table – it is so boring the way it is now.

  21. Rose@ says:

    Such a touching story.
    My dad has passed as well, he too could do anything you asked of him
    He smoked a pipe most of his life – and after he passed I took his pipe
    He smoked cherry tobacco and it always smelled so good.
    It had that smell for almost 2 years, but I still look at the pipe and remember…
    Happy Fathers Day Dad –

  22. Mary Alice says:

    Sweetest story ever. I also own things that my Daddy made for me and I cherish them also. :)

  23. Serena @ Thrift Diving says:

    Sorry, the was suppose to say DIANE. Blame the iPad!! ;)

  24. Anne Boykin says:

    What a wonderful gift! Thanks for sharing your lovely story with us!

  25. Serena @ Thrift Diving says:

    Diana, what an awesome gift from your dad, and so bittersweet to find his gift. He is smiling at you right now :). Enjoy it a second time around (and you’ve inspired me to make a holder like that of my own!)

    Serena @ Thrift Diving

  26. Oh, thank you for sharing that! What a wonderful gift….the gift of love that he gave you.

  27. Awww! I got goose bumps reading this post. I love how you did your own DYI, in your Dads foot steps, so you can once again use, love, enjoy but most of all remember him everyday.

  28. Diane, that is so wonderful…rediscovering something so special your Dad made just for you. I almost cried seeing the stamped message under the lazy susan. I’m so sorry for your loss, but it’s wonderful you will think of him every day as you sit at your kitchen table :-)