This past week was my dad's birthday -- he would have celebrated 89 years. So, naturally, I have been giving him a lot of thought. He was a creative guy with a very dry sense of humor -- things I admired in him. I do think that he inspired me in those two areas. Creativity has always been part of my soul -- and it's not just about jewelry. I have spent the better part of my life looking for ways to channel my creativity. I do believe that he felt that creativity could be a salve, of sorts, for the soul and I carry that thinking through my life. It was always fun to share my ideas with him. He simply "got it." He understood the creative process and the isolation that comes with it at times. Here's a perfect example -- this image from a letter he wrote and illustrated to his sister from Iwo Jima, World War II, where he was stationed. Even under the most dire of circumstances, he was able to find humor in his surrounding -- this ditty about the mice on the island is a glowing example of using his humor as a way to cope with the trials and tribulations of life. So with the passing of his birthday, I want to thank him for the special gift of creativity that he gave me.