"Courage" Portfolio Cover and Small Notebook

Well, so much for my attempt at posting once a day this month (much less doing something artsy each day and writing about it!)–but I’m not unhappy or disappointed.  I’m proud of myself for that!

My mom was visiting for five days (whirlwind trip that included attending an outdoor performance of Hamlet under an oak tree on the edge of a graveyard as well as the opening night of La Traviata), and trying to fit all the other stuff in simply wasn’t going to happen.  But I did feel that I was creative every day–on both Thursday and Friday we played our duets together (Mom on tenor recorder, me on a folk harp), and on Wednesday and Sunday I prepared nice meals for us to share.  Sunday evening, her last night, I made risotto with carnaroli rice and fresh parsley & dill, topped with roast chicken and drizzled with an aged balsamic sauce.  One of my favorite dishes–visually appealing, healthy, and delicious.  Then today I had to spend a lot of time doing finances with my husband; not any fun, but necessary, unfortunately.

So I am going to post up about a couple of notebooks that I made at the beginning of the summer for my cousin who was both turning 18 and graduating from high school.  She has had a difficult childhood and IMO never got the support she needed from either her parents or the school system, and it’s a testament to her strong will that she is still here, frankly.  But I find it difficult to talk to her (always hear in my head how stupid I sound trying to talk to a teenager when I’m forty with two kids) in person, so I tried to put all my feelings, hopes, and emotions into what I made for her.

As always, I didn’t have enough time, so they aren’t very complicated.  The saving grace is that everything was done by my own hands–at least I hope I can lean on that :-).

For one item, I made a portfolio cover (inside it holds manga illustration pads, since she is writing cartoons but has others do the illustrations), and the bookplate design I crafted in Photoshop Elements.  I used scans from some old diary pages of hers and then wrote “COURAGE” over the top.  The cover is painted with Lumiere paints, and I affixed a great multitude of carefully selected talismans and embellishments to the book rings.

I also made a smaller notebook that would be easier to shove in a backpack.  It has painted grungeboard covers (I mixed up a custom shade of purple–her favorite color, again using Lumiere paints), and for the little special touch, I put some origami paper behind the keyhole decoration.

My hope is that she spent time at some point looking at all these things and knowing that I made it for her.  I haven’t heard from her about them, but my guess is that 20 years down the road she’ll say something about it.  It’s okay that she hasn’t said anything, too.  I probably wouldn’t have at that age either, and anyway, that’s not why I made them–to hear a response.  I made them because I needed to give them to her, end of story.

About Elizabeth Ann's Studio

Artist. Musician. Mother. Wife. Me.
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