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Family Idea for All Saints’ Day: Momma Draws

We all have *that friend* who can make anything and everything as perfect as Pinterest. I, however, once attempted to make a “simple” Minecraft Creeper birthday cake. It came out looking like 50 shades of mold growing on a box.

You know what makes me even more jealous? People who can sew up coordinating Halloween costumes for a family of 10. I knew a family who did the Incredibles one year. Yeah. We don’t have the best of luck here at the “McBride” household when it comes to costumes. Here’s “Molly” one fun Hallowed Eve about 8 years ago:

Dang, the things we do to our kids for holidays!

Ok, so back to current. Momma can draw, but when we start talking about 3-dimensional art like cake and costumes, I fall short. But if I could sew really well and really fast, I’d make Victorian Era costumes.

I fell in love with the Victorian Era a coupe years ago when I took on an illustration job for author Becky Arganbright. The book is about one of everyone’s favorite little saints, the Little Flower, St. Therese of Lisieux.

I had a blast researching the life and times of the Martin Family, from their charming house (now a museum!) and the plates they ate off of, to their garden tools and their clothes.

Oh! how I’d love to go to France some day and see these things for myself. I had to be content with my old pal Pinterest to provide reference photos for this project.


Drawing St. Therese was a holy experience. Through this particular job, I drew closer to this saint (and her saintly family) than to any other saint whose life I’ve studied.  I read everything she’d written that I could get my hands on, studied her artwork and her photos, and read every public letter anyone ever wrote to her. For several months before officially beginning the job, I did pencil and watercolor sketches of Therese, her mother Zelie, and her father Louis. For nearly a year, I thought of little else than the Martin Family.

Working on likeness: St. Therese Project
preliminary watercolor sketches of St. Therese
Pencil sketches of St. Therese’ First Communion and Confirmation Dresses
watercolor sketch of St. Therese’ First Communion dress
imagining St. Therese as toddler through early childhood
Watercolor sketch of Therese with her father Louis Martin
planning night scene of St. Therese
watercolor sketch of St. Therese in a typical Victorian Era dress, as well a her famous hair!
detail of Victorian Era watering can in the garden scene –later cut from the book


After a while, when I could draw her familiar face from memory, it was time to build the story board to go with Becky’s manuscript. Here are some early scene plans:

Second Round of storyboarding a scene from Flowers For Jesus
Third round of storyboarding for Flowers For Jesus
St. Therese of Lisieux, the Little Flower
Early watercolor study of Therese Martin using actual photo

So, if I could sew, I’d whip up the whole McBride and friends gang outfits to match the famous Martin Family, and I’m sure we’d be a hit at any Saint’s Day Feast.



Flowers for Jesus (Gracewatch Media) is available wherever books are sold and available in full PDF preview here.

How ’bout you? Any plans for family costumes for Halloween or All Saint’s Day? Don’t be afraid to share. I promise not to be jealous. Too much. 😉


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