Tuesday, January 16, 2018


For the past three years I've purchased a piece of needle art from Handstories Hazel Monte
to give to one of my most hardworking 3-D students.
I adore Hazel's work and follow her blog religiously.
Her stitching and intuitive designs are remarkable and I love sharing her with my students.

This year I chose senior Inna Sikar.
I have adored Inna since the 7th grade Art Wheel class where her 
goodness & positivity shone brightly.
She brings joy to my classroom 
and the younger kids adore her because she is like a second mom to them.
She is one of the most giving, encouraging youngsters I've ever worked with.
She returned to me last year for the Beginning 2-D course where I got to know her even better.
One of the things that most impressed me last year 
and continues in the Beginning 3-D class she takes with me this year,
is her ability to read my mind and anticipate my every need during class.
Oftentimes when I go into Right Brain when I demonstrate I will forget my words,
 and she will remind and fill in for me which is so appreciated,
or when I need someone behind the checkout counter she will go back there and get out supplies without me asking her too.
She just gives and gives,
and is always so happy to help out.
She gives me all her effort on each assignment,
oftentimes turning in one of the best pieces in the class.
She also comes in after school to touch bases with me & check on me,
asking me if I had a rough or a good day.
And if it's been a rough one she sits and listens while I vent.
And then offers very real, uplifting advice,
so that I go home feeling her positivity & good heart.

So Inna,
I hope you know how much you are thought of,
how much you are appreciated,
and how much you are loved.
And as you sail off from here this June and make your way in the world,
know that you are taking a piece of my heart with you.
When you look at Hazel's piece,
 I hope you will remember how special you are,
and how very proud  of you I am
& how blessed I feel that you have passed thru my classroom & my life. 
And I bet those three 8th grade boys that sit & surround you feel the same way
with all the sage advice you give them!
ha ha


  1. I quite agree that this is a remarkable gift for an equally remarkable student ... Hazel Monte boats are so recognizable and yet each is absolutely unique. This one is sure to be treasured forever and a day ...

    1. I would love to be able to buy all of Hazels works, mount them and hang on a big wall in my home. They all are so rich in meaning, and they bring a smile to my face every time I study and peer at the ones I own. Her stitches are truly remarkable!

  2. What a blessing to know that such a special soul will have this piece, thank you, Deb. I wish I knew Inna, too, love to you both, ox.

    1. Even though I have never met you in person Hazel, but only thru the letter writing we have done back and forth, and also reading your words on your blog; Inna reminds me so much of you. I so wish you could meet her and enjoy stitching next to her. I'm pretty sure you would be kindred souls.

  3. how very touching, I love to hear stories like this, so often all we hear is bad things about the young, maybe she will stay in touch- I do like young people

    1. With Internet technology, nowadays so many of the alumni are reaching out to stay in touch. A wonderful thing.

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  5. It's nice to find out things about the people I care about, and how handpicked the buddy things are.Shes awesome