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.