Thursday, December 26, 2013

Gifts of art, gifts from the heart

I'm an artist and author. My books haven't cracked the NYTimes best sellers list yet. My husband worked retail for 25 years. We've lived well and we've lived tight. Right now we're in a modest income bracket. I'm also on deadline for the next Ellie McDoodle book.
That's typical this time of year.
And so, most years I make as many of my Christmas gifts as I can, at the last minute.
Most years my aspirations are much higher than my actual reach.
That's why it's been about a decade (or two) since I mailed out a Christmas card.
(I feel terrible about this.)
One of these years I'll have the perfect confluence of time and means. Watch out!
In the meantime, homemade gifts.
This was for my mom and her siblings, and any cousins who wanted them.

This is my dear Grandma Ruth and Grandpa George Codd, getting married:

 They loved to travel.

 This is the swimsuit fashion of the late 20s and early 30s, when I like to think they packed up and played at the beach of Saugatuck or Grand Haven:

 They took the entire family (their 10 kids and all their families) to Bob-Lo Island Amusement Park every year on Labor Day. Some of my best childhood memories are Grandma Ruth and Grandpa's parties.

Grandma Ruth was a golfer. 
I did not inherit that love. 
I've never tried golf and I'm terrible at miniature golf.
My grandson's favorite part of Grandparent University at
Michigan State University was the miniature golfing.

Grandpa and Grandma had a big Irish Catholic 
(part French and Swiss too) family.
That little one with the teddy bear is my mom.
I know Aunt Marj's arm is too long. This is just the
rough art scanned into Photoshop.

Are weddings predestined? 
Is it prearranged by the lovers before they are born?

Destiny or not, I am lucky to have been born into the Codd family.
My Grandpa Codd became my best friend in the years before he died; after he'd lost Grandma Ruth to dementia my cartoony notes to him became more important to him and also to me. I've started a blog elsewhere about them. I'll share it widely eventually.
I miss my grandparents.
My love for them makes me try harder to be a good grandma to my own grandkids.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Ellie McDoodle Diaries: Ellie for President

This book comes out in September, 2014.

Here's the first page in the first draft:

Here's the first page a few drafts later:

Astute readers will notice Ellie's relatives from book 1 are in the crowd scene on page 1 in book 6.
I figured it was time to bring them back for a visit.