Create March/April 2019

March really got away from me, guys. While I did work on my #Create2019 series, I didn’t give it nearly the time or the effort that I wanted to. We had so much going on, and it is really hard to try and draw with a 13 month old wanting to sit on your lap every time you pull out the paper, pens, and colored pencils. It also just so happens that every time I pull out all of said things, the other 3 children want to join in on the activity. Not a bad thing, but it is terribly distracting. And, not to mention, after sitting at the kitchen table homeschooling for a good portion of the day, I really like to spend some of my time elsewhere in the house. 😅

In case you didn’t pick up on the large hint I just dropped (and the picture at the top of the post), my creative endeavor for this month was to get better at drawing. And believe you me, it won’t take much for me to improve, because drawing is not my strong suit. I did not inherit the amazing artistic skills of my 2 sisters. I’m creative in a lot of other ways, but drawing is not on my list of things that I’m good at.

That being said, I really, really enjoy doodling here and there. I have this book, How To Draw Modern Florals. I really like it, but it is a little more time consuming.

When I wanted to do something less heavy, I turned to Pinterest. There are some really fun/easy options for how to draw little doodles for bullet journals. These turned out to be my favorite.

Here’s my Pinterest board for all the tiny drawings if you want to check it out. Otherwise, you can search for whatever you want and 1,000 different things will pop up. These are the ones I was able to do.

Like I said, not much, and far from perfect. But I did learn a few things about myself. When I’m feeling short on time, and there are a lot of distractions, drawing really stresses me out. However, when the house is dark and quiet, and there are zero distractions, it has the opposite effect. I really enjoy it, and it’s a huge stress reliever. I guess there’s something to be said about the right place at the right time, huh?

Anyway, I’ve decided to stretch the whole drawing thing into April, because I didn’t get to spend near the time on this project as I would have liked. And while I was originally planning on doing something baking related, Blake and I are doing the 21 Day Fix this month, and what fun is practicing baking if you don’t get to eat it? So I’m pushing that back to another month. …Just don’t tell Autumn…because the things I want to bake are certainly not 21 Day Fix approved. 😂🍰(I would, right now, like to make the disclaimer that I am not a Beachbody coach, we are only participants, and I only mention it because it’s relevant to this specific month). 😅Hopefully later on in the month I can post some more pictures of some other drawings I’ve done. Hopefully. As always, thanks for coming along for the ride!

Create February 2019

Do you guys know my sister, Shannon? She’s an amazing, kind hearted, loving, funny, talented woman. She’s also an artist. There’s a whole line of paintings that she’s done called Cat and Mouse. The picture above is one of them. They are a couple of sweet, unlikely friends that bring a glimmer of hope and light to the world. While I love all of her art, these two characters hold a special place in my heart. I think she would tell you the same thing.

Do you know my sister, Danielle? She is an equally amazing, kind hearted, loving, funny, and talented woman. Funny enough, she happens to be a budding artist as well. But beyond that, she’s also a talented writer. Now me, I have this blog, I love to write…can anybody maybe see where I’m going with this? Go ahead. Make a guess. And then peak down to the next paragraph to see if you’re right.

My sisters and I have often talked about creating children’s books together. I think I’ve always had it deep down that I could (and that I wanted to) write a children’s book. It feels like something that has always distantly called to me. Danni has been writing her own books since she was young. And Shannon just creates the sweetest little pictures. It only makes sense that we would team up, and try to make something happen. We have specifically talked long and hard about creating a Cat and Mouse series. While we’ve both taken a couple of shots at writing to these precious pictures, we haven’t quite “landed on” anything yet. Danni did write a really sweet, rhyming prose for them. But for me, it’s always been one of “those things” on my to do list that I really want to do, but may never actually get around to doing.

Enter my #create2019 goal. I knew that I had to put it on my list. And put it on soon. I decided that February would be the month. I was all excited, and rearing to go. Then I sat down and tried to write. Nothing came, so I put it off. I talked with Shannon about what she wanted her characters to be like, what kinds of stories she wanted, what kind of layout she had been dreaming of. In her typical Shannon style, she was super laid back about and said something like, “Just write what comes to your heart.” Ok, so it may not have been that exactly. But I think you get the gist.

The thing is, these two characters are extra super special extraordinary. Shannon’s normal job is as an ASL interpreter (which is pretty bad a** if you ask me). This being the case, she sees a lot of really hard, unfair things. She has seen so many ways in which life can be unfair. When she has the worst of days, she comes home and she paints Cat and Mouse. She paints a little light, and a little hope into the world. There’s a lot of heart and depth behind these guys. It’s more than just a drawing. So think about that. And then think about trying to write a children’s book that honors those things about them. Think about trying to write a story that uses these special friends to help soothe the soul. Yikes! That’s a lot of pressure. And I froze. I just got stuck and could not put to words the meaning that they hold.

I wrote a little something, and didn’t know how I felt about it. My sisters said it was cute and asked why I wasn’t sure about it. I said I didn’t know. Then last night, Shannon texts me and says, ” I think I know what’s missing from your stories. I think it’s missing you. Your heart, and what you’ve seen and been through.” She essentially told me to stop over thinking it. Stop looking at it as a children’s book, stop worrying about it being perfect, and just write! She told me to try every different format, to go here and there and everywhere and just find what works. So I did.

You know what? It worked. I typed up a few different ideas before I decided to try something totally new. I opened up my notes and started to type away. This may sound a little bragg-y. That’s not how I mean it. I love what I came up with. It’s simple, and deep, but not overstated. It gives me chills and makes me teary eyed when I read it. I sent it Shannon’s way and she said, “It’s perfect!”

I wish I could share with you now, but I can’t. It will have to wait. Maybe, just maybe one day you’ll see what I wrote. I hope that’s the case. But for now, it’s for me. And for Shannon and Danni. And a select few others. Either way, I finally feel accomplished with my February goal. I honestly thought that for a moment there, I would have to check it off as a “tried but failed.” So thanks, Shanni, for giving me the push I needed.

As far as the other Cat and Mouse prints, along with a slew of other Shannon Sweeney Originals, you can look at, or purchase them here.

I’m so excited for my March goals! And I’m excited about what the future may hold for Cat and Mouse. Now, does anybody know how to publish a children’s book?