Playing With Grandma

Playing With Grandma

Tee hee!

PLayingWithGrandmaComic

 

Advertisements

Time For Bed

Time For Bed
Time For Bed
When Momma says she’s going to bed now…

 

 

Yep. That’s about right.

Family Idea for All Saints’ Day: Momma Draws

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.

IMG_2061

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.

IMG_0602
Working on likeness: St. Therese Project
IMG_1946
preliminary watercolor sketches of St. Therese
IMG_0661
Pencil sketches of St. Therese’ First Communion and Confirmation Dresses
IMG_2064
watercolor sketch of St. Therese’ First Communion dress
IMG_0915
imagining St. Therese as toddler through early childhood
IMG_1185
Watercolor sketch of Therese with her father Louis Martin
IMG_0644
planning night scene of St. Therese
IMG_2354
watercolor sketch of St. Therese in a typical Victorian Era dress, as well a her famous hair!
IMG_1187
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:

IMG_1066
Second Round of storyboarding a scene from Flowers For Jesus
IMG_1086
Third round of storyboarding for Flowers For Jesus
IMG_1109
St. Therese of Lisieux, the Little Flower
IMG_1338
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.

fusain-annould-1917-60x80cm

Unknown

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. 😉

 

Family Idea for All Saints’ Day: Momma Draws

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.

IMG_2061

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.

IMG_0602
Working on likeness: St. Therese Project
IMG_1946
preliminary watercolor sketches of St. Therese
IMG_0661
Pencil sketches of St. Therese’ First Communion and Confirmation Dresses
IMG_2064
watercolor sketch of St. Therese’ First Communion dress
IMG_0915
imagining St. Therese as toddler through early childhood
IMG_1185
Watercolor sketch of Therese with her father Louis Martin
IMG_0644
planning night scene of St. Therese
IMG_2354
watercolor sketch of St. Therese in a typical Victorian Era dress, as well a her famous hair!
IMG_1187
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:

IMG_1066
Second Round of storyboarding a scene from Flowers For Jesus
IMG_1086
Third round of storyboarding for Flowers For Jesus
IMG_1109
St. Therese of Lisieux, the Little Flower
IMG_1338
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.

fusain-annould-1917-60x80cm

Unknown

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. 😉

 

Faith and Kung Fu Series Packs Positive Punch

Faith and Kung Fu Series Packs Positive Punch

As “Molly’s” big sis approaches the teen years, Momma’s learning to look in all the right places for great teen/YA series.  I’m so happy to give 2 thumbs waaaaaay up for T. M. Gaouette (pronounced “gow ETT”) and her Faith and Kung Fu series which appeals to guys and gals alike.

The series kicks off with Freeing Tanner Rose. Tanner Rose is a 14-year-old starlet already well on her way to a life choked with the typical Hollywood vices. She’s put into a sort of rehab situation (staying with a college friend of her mom’s) when she meets the very wholesome 16-year-old Gabriel, martial arts lover and actively practicing Catholic.

Aaaaand they pretty much can’t stand one another. Gabriel keeps finding himself in situations where Tanner’s superficial personality embarrasses him to death in front of his friends. It’s such a antithesis to the typical teeny-bopper story where the geek gets made over by a cool kid and geek thus becomes popular.

I wish there had been books like this when I was a teen! I happened to grow up in a really, REALLY less-than-wholesome peer group situation, and I had no reason to believe there were any “good” kids my age ANYWHERE. It seemed everyone around me was a Tanner Rose. Now, I’m not going to go into any gory details here, but it wasn’t until years and years later that I discovered there actually were some kids out there who didn’t smoke, drink, do drugs, etc. It would be so nice if every teen experiencing this feeling could read this book and realize that there really are kids out there like Gabriel and his friends. Check out this conversation between Tanner and Gabriel’s friends Faith and Nina, talking about Gabriel:

“He should totally think about modeling,” Tanner said. 

Faith snorted. “Don’t hold your breath. He’s not like that.” She noted the look of confusion on Tanner’s face. “It’s not that complicated, Rose. Gabriel’s not into looks. I don’t even think that he realizes he’s handsome. And he’s definitely not interested in dating. None of us are.” She turned and grabbed a large bag of chips from her backpack and pulled it open.

“Sometimes you have to exploit your talents before they disappear,” Tanner said.

“Yeah, but Gabriel would say that looks aren’t a talent.” Faith popped a large chip into her mouth. “And besides plastic surgery, people shouldn’t be credited for their looks. That’s all God.” She tipped the bag toward Tanner who took a chip and ate it.

“But it takes an effort to maintain yourself,” Tanner said.

“Yeah, but that’s different,” Faith said, looking at Tanner. “Personality is what really defines a person, and even a beautiful person can be ugly if they’re horrible inside, and vice versa.” She shoved another chip into her mouth and raised her eyebrows, as if waiting for a response. But Tanner didn’t have one ready to go. So they looked at each other, the sound of crunching filling the conversation void.

“Well, the people I hang out with don’t really pay attention to personality. They just care about looks and money,” Tanner said eventually.

“That’s too bad.”

“Why?”

Faith shrugged and wiped her hand on her towel. Her mouth was still full, so Tanner waited. Finally, she said, “Because those things just can’t compete against a good character.”

T. M. does such a wonderful job of making the characters so real and likable that, even wholesome as they are, I’d like to believe my teen-self would have wanted to emulate them. I love it that there is so much detail about the girls’ clothes. Teen girls love to read about what other teen girls are wearing, and the way T. M. contrasts the flashy, slinky outfits Tanner sports against the cute, modest way Faith and Nina dress will surely send the right message to today’s YA readers. Positive peer pressure!

Talk about getting inside a young girl’s head! Imagine you are a 14 year-old girl with a lot of insecurities and problems, away from your family and friends, in the home of a really good-looking 16-year old boy. You’re flirting, trying to act extra mature and worldly to impress him.

“So you’ve never…?” Tanner asked, looking up at him. He shook his head, his eyebrows raised in amusement. “Someone as hot as you?”

He laughed softly. “It’s dependent on looks? he asked. “Besides, you’re fourteen. You shouldn’t be thinking about sex, let alone calling boys ‘hot’ to their faces.” He shook his head and glanced out at the house. She was suddenly embarrassed and she didn’t know why. Shouldn’t he be embarrassed that he’s a virgin at 16? she wondered. But Gabriel showed no embarrassment or shame. In fact, she was certain that he seemed proud of it.

“Have you ever kissed a girl?” she asked.

“Nope,” he said with that same un abashed tone.

“Must make for some pretty awkward dates, ” she said with a smile. “You’ve probably broken a ton of hearts.”

“I don’t date,” he said, looking at her. Tanner was reminded of her conversation with Faith and Nina during their camping trip.

“What?” she said and this time she laughed. “Are you kidding me?”

“Nope.”

“Why not?” And then a thought crossed her mind and she added, “Oh, your mom won’t let you?”

Gabriel shrugged. “I don’t know if she would. I’ve never asked her.”

“Never met a girl you wanted to date? What about Faith or Nina?”

“I don’t date, Tanner.”

“Why?”

“Because it’s a waste of time and emotions..” He held her gaze and shrugged before adding, “I don’t want to get involved with anyone I wouldn’t consider for a future wife, and getting married is just not an option right now. So, until God opens that door for me, I’m not interested.”

Tanner let his words replay in her mind, and it surprised her how affected she was by them, and she didn’t know why. She didn’t know if it was because he had the courage to make such a statement or if she wished she had the resolve to make that same vow.

Burn! Poor Tanner.

Well, I won’t spoil it for you. Buy Freeing Tanner Rose to see what Tanner ends up doing, then get book number 2 Saving Faith.

Oh! and Book 3 is coming very soon! We can’t wait.

My daughter has also read and enjoyed T. M. Gaouette’s The Destiny Of Sunshine Ranch. Maybe she can be a guest blogger and fill you in on it!

I’m just thanking God for T. M. Gaouette and all these amazing Catholic authors of teen/YA lit. I do believe they will change the world!

Finding Patience: Winner In My Book

Finding Patience: Winner In My Book

Isn’t it great when you make a new friend?

The other day I realized that the author of one of my youngest’s (yep, the “Molly” prototype) favorite new picture books is a Seal-mate! I got to chatting with Ginny Lieto, fellow Catholic Writers’ Guild member and winner of the Guild’s Seal of Approval for her children’s picture book Finding Patience.

FHC-Cover-Lifesavers-Font-233x300“For children, it is difficult to wait for anything! Wouldn’t it be nice if your child or grandchild exhibited a little patience? Help is on the way! Adventures of Faith, Hope, and Charity–Finding Patience is a book for children ages 4-8; an age when patience seems non-existent! This book offers parents and educators a practical, yet entertaining way of introducing and reinforcing patience through the power of prayer. It is through prayer that Faith, learns how God works within her, in His time, to help her grow in patience.”

Like my Plaid Jumper, Finding Patience has a back-to-school setting (and uniforms!). It is a great read-aloud to kids ages 3-4 and up, and I think most 8-9 year-olds would even enjoy reading it on their own. This engaging story has darling illustrations by Carole Hahn Panzer and comes complete with every kid’s favorite thing: puppies!

I do have to say, there was a part that really grabbed me emotionally. Barely moved into a new house in a new town, the main character Faith had a hard first day at her new school. Due to her shyness she sat alone in the cafeteria during lunch. This is the scene when she gets home that first day;

“Faith sobbed, ‘Nobody likes me!’

‘No, no,’ replied Mama. ‘They just don’t know you yet.’

‘I want to go home,’ cried Faith, ‘to be with my friends.'”

The first day I showed up for cafeteria duty at the real “Molly’s” new school, I realized she’d been sitting there eating alone almost daily. That really hurts a Mama’s heart! But things got better for both “Molly” and Faith. It’s hard to not leak a spoiler, but trust me when I say that the end of Ginny’s super-sweet book is very clever! WTG, GF!!!

IMG_4757

Ginny is such an interesting woman. (I’ve met a ton of amazing folks in the Catholic Writers’ Guild!) Like my hubs, she hails from the Garden State. She left New Jersey for  North Carolina, and now, besides writing, blogging and public speaking, she teaches theology online at Saint Joseph’s College in Maine. Like mine, Ginny’s life has taken some wild career turns. In a former life she was an accountant. “I believe that God’s plan for me is far better than anything for which I could conceive,” she writes in her blog. Like a lot of great writers, she draws upon a rich, sometimes unpredictable, source of life experiences that includes career changes and big moves. But her leaving NJ was difficult. Blessedly, she has great faith and a strong support system. Ginny recalls the words of her husband Nick fondly, “I’ll go anywhere as long as I am with you.”

Awww!

Adventures of Faith, Hope, and Charity–Finding Patience is an absolutely wonderful debut children’s picture book by my new friend, the very talented Virginia Lieto. Seriously, that woman could write the phonebook and make it interesting! Follow her blog, FB page, twitter, everywhere you can find Ginny’s wisdom.

And definitely buy this book. Then share it with a good friend, just like my “Molly.”

 

Ways to follow Virginia Lieto:

Website: http://virginialieto.com

Link to book: http://amzn.to/2s5uR3Z

Social media links:

Google +: https://plus.google.com/u/0/112075609426695922253

Facebook: http://bit.ly/2s5jgSi

Twitter: @virginialieto

Linked-In: https://www.linkedin.com/in/virginialieto/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/virginialieto/boards/

 

 

 

SaveSave

SaveSave