Monday, November 23, 2009

28 days later.

Last year around Christmastime, I made some holiday wall hangings for Liam's room. They turned out really cute and I had so much fun making them I thought, "If only I had started this earlier! I could have made an entire book of pictures, like the ABCs of Christmas!" As soon as we took down the tree I forgot all about it, of course. But when I dove back in to the construction paper at Halloween, I remembered. And, there was enough time before Christmas to make it happen!

Well, sort of. I mean, once I decided that this was the year to do it, I had just enough time to maybe get it done. I looked at the calendar on November 2nd and realized if I made 3 or 4 pictures a day, every day, I would just barely get finished in time for Christmas. It seemed like a long shot but when I told my friend Erin about it later that night, she told me I should totally do it. Then we ordered one last pitcher of beer (always the one you regret the next day) and that sealed the deal.

I was making a children's book.

So, the next day, I got started. And then, four weeks later, I sent a big PDF off to be made into a book and thought, "Holy crap! Where am I? What happened to November? I missed my birthday and my sister and mom visiting and Thanksgiving and... wait, where's my son? Do I have a husband? Whose house is this? What the F happened!?!"

Okay, so I didn't completely miss out on everything. I still experienced November, just in a very abbreviated, one-track mind sort of way:

I (quickly) celebrated my birthday...

And (sort-of) hung out with my sister...

Go team Snuggie!

And spent (a little) quality time with my mom...

I was thankful on Thanksgiving...

He cooked the entire meal (for 12!) and it was soooo goooood...

And my son is doing really well.

Self portrait: "Two Liams in a circle"

Who said I couldn't multi-task?

Once I got started, the project took on a life of its own. Initially I wanted to make pictures for each letter of the alphabet - you know, like C for Candy Cane, T for Tree...inanimate, easy-to-draw stuff like that. I was trying to avoid people all together since I didn't know how to draw faces and didn't even want to think about making hands. But once I was knee deep in scraps of paper, I don't know what happened. It was like suddenly I was making things I had no idea I knew how to make.

For example, I made a Gingerbread House for the letters G and H. And it was fine. But it just wasn't doing it for me. So I went back to the drawing board and the next thing I knew I was working on a tiny paper Bill and Liam making a gingerbread house:

Then I got all kinds of crazy. Not only did I make a tiny little gingerbread house but I made really, really tiny candy to decorate it. And I needed somewhere to store the candy so I made itsy bitsy mason jars! (My first attempt at suckers is on the right; my second more perfect looking attempt is on the left. Who knew I was like this?!)

And, finally, the finished product!

(Or, at least what I thought was the finished product until I realized I still had to scan and Photoshop and re-size and mess up a few hundred times before finally, hopefully, fingers crossed, getting it totally finished and ready to print.)

This whole thing still comes as a bit of a shock to me. That I started it and finished it for sure, but more that I was so focused and detail oriented in the process.

I mean, this type of careful, perfect work is just not something I knew I was capable of. I'm used to this kind of stuff.

And, 90 seconds later, this kind of stuff.

And then, having no idea how to clean up such a mess, this kind of stuff:

I don't even know what Borax is or why I have it in my house. Why the hell I let my child dump it all over his coffee-covered toys and carpet is beyond me.

Now that's my style.

So, who the heck cut out all the tiny holly leaves to make a wreath?

I don't know, but I like her. She's focused.

So, anyway, that's where I've been ALL MONTH LONG. And all I have to show for it is a book! A real, honest-to-goodness BOOK that I wrote and illustrated and made from scratch. Amazing! I'm kind of in shock and really, really excited. And, fingers crossed, it should be ready soon. Like, before Christmas! If everything goes as planned it will be available on Amazon and probably Etsy and maybe even right here on this blog (if I can figure out how to make that happen, I totally will). I have a printed out copy that Liam asks me to read to him at least a couple of times a day - I'm hopeful that your kids will enjoy it just as much.

I'll tell you all about it really soon. I promise!

(Oh, and in case you're wondering, the Borax totally worked! Goes to show, just because you don't know what you're doing doesn't mean a thing. Go ahead and do it anyway - the results just might shock the pants off of you.)

Sunday, November 8, 2009


It has been two years since I started this blog! (And almost two weeks since I posted anything but who's counting...) Whew! Where has the time gone? It seems like only yesterday I was writing and posting on a regular basis. And now? Well... let's just say those were the good ol' days.

How about to celebrate this momentous occasion I'll tell you about some of the things I would have written about this week (or last week) if I had more time and/or time management skills? Sound fun? Let's go!

I saw a homeless man pushing around a vacuum cleaner in his shopping cart. What?! I could have written for days about something as ludicrous as that! (And I would have found a way to work in how much I love my new Dyson!)

I dropped and broke another camera. Now I have to use the good one if I want to take pictures and I'm afraid I just can't be bothered. Turns out I'm a point-and-shoot kind of gal.

Bill and I saw Leonard Cohen and he opened the show with Dance Me to the End of Love- the song we had read at our wedding! If that's not a post, I don't know what is!

Liam had a nightmare about Tivo!

I cooked and ate and enjoyed fish. This is kind of a big deal. You'd understand if I had taken the time to write about it in excruciating detail.

Bill fell in a stream while holding Liam. After he went on and on about how I shouldn't try crossing it because I would probably fall in and hurt myself or, at the very least, break the good camera. Ha!

Uh, what else... Oh, just freaking HALLOWEEN! Not only is it like the most fun holiday of the entire year, there are also costumes. Which means, the pictures? Extra cute. Here's what I probably would have posted a week ago had I gotten it together in time:

I'm involved in a messy affair with a ream of construction paper and several glue sticks. It takes up all my time and makes every surface of my home look like a paper shredder threw up on it. It's awesome. Hopefully you'll get to see our love child very soon...

When I'm not working on my project or doing all the other stuff I'm supposed to be doing, I am obsessing about how badly I want the brown fuzzy Snuggie I spotted at Costco. I was totally content wearing my bathrobe backwards before I saw that thing. Now I want the real deal.

Oh, hell yes.

Speaking of which, there are at least a couple posts I could write about Costco at any given time.

I took all of Liam's old clothes out of the basement, washed them and put them into proper storage boxes (the trash bags I originally used were not cutting it anymore). He used to be a baby, you know...

This parenting business is heartbreaking work.

So, yeah. I guess that's it. Happy anniversary, No Mommy Brain! If this is the beginning of the terrible twos, we're all in trouble...

THANK YOU for all the support and love and feedback you have given me over the last two years. If it wasn't for you (yes, you!) who knows if I'd still be writing. I appreciate you more than you may ever know.