IMperfect: An Adventure in Sketching

I am very excited, because tonight I get to meet one of my blogging heroines, the one and only Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond! I've been following her blog for a couple of years now and this week she begins her book tour to celebrate her new cookbook! I will be going to Full Circle Bookstore to get my cookbook signed and to tell her what a huge fan I am of her writing and photography. I feel like I know so much about her life and yet, we've never met! Isn't that the cool thing about blogs? You build relationships with people you may never even get to know face-to-face. On the other hand, sometimes you 'meet' someone through their blog and are so compelled by their posts that you just feel driven to meet them in person for coffee or something, anything.

That's how I felt when I first learned of Mandy. My mother-in-law told me about this cool artist that was about my age, so I started reading old blog posts Mandy had written, and I developed a kinship with her long before we ever met. It was like I was seeing myself a few years in the future. And then one day, she commented on my sister-in-law Erin's blog and I just couldn't stay silent any longer. I had to let this stranger know I had similar ideas, thoughts, feelings, fears. To let her know that she wasn't alone. To find a sort of artist camaraderie.

That was February-ish, and Mandy has become one of my favorite friends. She challenges me spiritually, encourages me artistically, and cheers me on when I feel like I can't find my life's meaning. Maybe I remind her of herself a few years ago, in the same way that I hope I'll be more like her in a few years when I've matured and learned more. Whatever the case, she's one of my best friends and I love her dearly.

Mandy is never short on ideas. Trouble is, when you are as super-duper creative as she is, you can't always get around to making your ideas into reality as fast as you'd like (especially when you have FOUR super cute and creative kiddos like Mandy and her husband Tony do!)

So what do you do? You get a sketchbook! Mandy asked me to make her a custom book and gave me no guidelines besides saying "I like blue." As an artist herself, she knows that people create their best work when they are not boxed in with too many restrictions.

I had been saving this amazing handmade paper for years. After each polka dot had been coated in wax, the paper had been dyed the most amazing blue color.

cover

And since Mandy said "I like blue," I made sure the PAGES were blue, too. Two shades of blue 12 x 12 cardstock created the bookblock.

blue

I included a chocolate-brown satin ribbon as a page marker and used this whimsical green paper as the paste pages.

pastes

It reminded me of dandelion, after kids have blown of all the seeds. Something about it was just cheery and childlike and fun and reminded me of Mandy and her kids.

dandelion

The theme Mandy has chosen for 2009 is "Imperfect" and several of her blog posts share vivid illustrations from her own life. She shares the ins-and-outs of everyday life and how no matter how imperfect they life is (or more to the point, how imperfect WE are), God is always so good and has our best interests at heart.

I carried this theme over to her sketchbook and added the phrase "imperfect" to the spine using alpha brads.

brads

Because sometimes we make mistakes, either intentionally or accidentally, and we need to remember that there is no such thing as perfection. And life is a lot easier if you can poke a little fun at yourself. :)

brads2

Isn't there a special person in your life that deserves a custom-made journal? I can make them one! To get your book in time for Christmas, please have your orders in by November 15th. Email me for more information!