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.

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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.

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

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

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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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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. 😉

 

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!!!

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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/

 

 

 

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Moms-Of-Mollies: Mind-Blowing Books For Us, Girlfriend!

Moms-Of-Mollies: Mind-Blowing Books For Us, Girlfriend!

Sure, Molly McBride is a children’s book character and this blog mostly addresses stuff about kids and parenting and why we no longer go to the Columbus Museum of crap  I mean ART, and great children’s fiction books, etc. But sometimes I want to throw in some stuff for my GFs (and dad’s, too, of course!) Today I’ve got not 1, not 2, but THREE inspiring books just for us for grown-ups.

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https://thelionofdesign.com/product/once-i-was-blind-softback-book/

First up is I Once Was Blind, But Now I See with Kimberly Cook. Kimberly refers to the subject of this autobiography she co-wrote with Charles Picirilli as her “own personal Padre Pio” and, I don’t want to give away too many spoilers, but, yeah. You’ll see why after reading it! I Once Was Blind is the faith journey of a man who falls in and out of faith many times, but each time he comes back to the Church, he comes back even stronger. This man’s temptations and struggles have ranged from as mundane as cigarettes to as shocking as the occult. But the clear, humble descriptions of Charles’ personal battle with each of the hurdles he experiences is truly inspiring.  Be prepared for miracles!


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Next I’d like to tell you about Broken Brain, Fortified Faith by Virginia Pillars. This award-winning account of a mother’s “lessons of hope through a child’s mental illness” was difficult for me to put down, but my family started getting REALLY LOUD about dinner. (The burned pork chops were totally worth it.) This is one of those stories that won’t let you go. It takes you into some pretty dark places but blessedly shows you the light that is our God. Pillars’ writing is straight-forward, and the book moves at a good pace. Mental illness is hard to talk about, and that leaves many people feeling alone in their silence. Broken Brain, Fortified Faith is like a comforting friend who understands and shares that pain.


 

I’m gonna plug my brother’s book for my third recommendation because it totally fits in with these inspiring, faith-strengthening grown-up reads. Dreams Of My Eagle has knocked the socks off both me and *cough* the Holy Father! (Nope, I am not EVEN name dropping.)

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William David Schoonover (my big brother Bill) went through hell and back. Twice. The first time he was alive. Donna, his wife of 34 years, died an agonizing death of metastatic colon cancer. She was only 57, a full-blooded Cherokee Native American “non-religious” Hospice nurse, but she had a deathbed conversion while holding a rosary. A ton of mystical stuff happened surrounding her death, stuff I totally witnessed, Friends. Also, Bill discovered some manuscripts. Donna had been secretly documenting her dying patients’ near-death experiences for much of her career. This hair-raising, goose-bump inducing tale of golden eagles that appear, pure elemental gold dust that appears and disappears, and Donna’s personal words made its way to Rome. And back. And Pope Francis’s own personal notes are scrawled in one precious copy of Dreams Of My Eagle that is now locked up for safe keeping somewhere in Southern Ohio.

Twice, you ask? Oh, that. Shortly after Dreams Of My Eagle got published and Bill was doing the book tour thing, he dropped dead. He was coded on the street for 20 minutes before paramedics arrived and transported him to Kings Daughters Medical Center in Ashland, KY . There he went from blue-black dead to the induced hypothermia protocol to funeral plans in the making, to . . . now working on his second book. Rumor has it, the first line of this new book might read something like, “They froze me for 3 days, but it was warm in Heaven.”

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Coincidence? Power of suggestion? You decide.

Want to share with us some more inspiring reads that’ll renew our faith? Please comment below!

Blessings!

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Holy Molly! Now She’s a Unit Study!

Holy Molly! Now She’s a Unit Study!

Calling all homeschoolers! Here’s an AWESOME unit study for the kids. God Bless Writer/Teacher/Catholic-Mom-Blogger Ginny Kochis of Not So Formulaic and her two junior staff writers (6.5-year-old B and 10.5-year-old G) for not only reviewing Plaid Jumper, but putting together this incredibly creative and FREE unit study.

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To quote just a few words of the abundant wisdom in Ginny’s post:

“The second installment in the Jean Schoonover-Egolf’s Molly McBride series, Molly McBride and the Plaid Jumper follows the titular heroine as she discovers there’s more to a person’s vocation than the clothes she wears. Discussions with her family, friends, and a trusted Pastor help Molly understand an important truth: God has designed each of us in a unique, unrepeatable way. That is the truth of our vocation, and what we wear on the outside can’t change that. My girls fell in love with Molly’s spirit, immediately identifying with her costume habit (pun intended).”

Be sure to leave a “thank you” to the Kochis Club in Miss Ginny’s comments.

Summer & Books: Coming this June!

Summer means . . .MORE TIME TO READ! Check this source DAILY in June for the best book for kids and YAs!

Things Visible & Invisible

Inspired by the A to Z Blogging Challenge this past April, I have decided to blog about books for the month of June. I will be sharing tidbits about my own books and the other books on the Catholic Teen Books website. Stop by every day to learn about a different book!

www.CatholicTeenBooks.com provides teen readers, parents, catechists, homeschool co-ops, youth ministers, teachers, and others with direct links to exciting, well-crafted books that raise the heart and mind to God and reflect the fullness and beauty of the Catholic faith.

The site is organized by genre and includes a wide range of books in the following categories:

  • contemporary
  • historical
  • mystery
  • speculative
  • saints
  • dystopian

Among those, you’ll find suspense, romance, coming of age stories, and lives of the saints with age-appropriate themes including the power of intercessory prayer, the communion of saints, the Rosary, virtue, Theology of the Body, and respect…

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“Catholic Etsy” Is a Thing Already

“Catholic Etsy” Is a Thing Already

Have you heard of Peter’s Square? I haven’t run into too many friends who have, actually. And this makes me kinda sad. But then again, the company’s 1-year anniversary is this month, so they’re pretty new! It looks like a great site, and I am considering setting up cyber-shop on there myself. One of my Catholic social media buddies Chiara Finaldi interviewed the online Catholic marketplace’s founder David Rummelhoff. That interview was published by Regina magazine and can be read here.

Here are some great points from Chiara’s article to consider:

  1. Fees are slightly less than Etsy’s.
  2. Vendors commit to giving at least ten percent of their proceeds to Catholic ministries.
  3. There is screening to prevent any unwholesome products from being sold. on the site.
  4. All vendors are Catholic, but the products do not necessarily have to be religious.
  5. Solidarity. We stand united when we support our Catholic brothers and sisters by purchasing from each other.

I really, really think you should check out Peter’s Square and bookmark it on your browser!