Wednesday, November 21, 2018

ABC Book Update: An Homage to Two Mothers

I have been working rather feverishly lately, trying to finish up the ABC Book project started long, long ago--back in 1993, when the youngest of my five boys had just recently joined our family.

This is what he looks like now.
That "Motherboy" selfie was taken a few weeks ago, when we met up with him at Notre Dame to watch them beat Florida State, giving the Irish 10 straight wins (and to my two daughters-in-law who went to FSU: sorry-not-sorry!).

As you can see, the boy for whom I started an ABC picture book in 1993 is a little too old for it now.  He's a tall, fair, and handsome 25-year-old Army LT who just returned from a 3-year stint in Germany.  Not a baby anymore.

But there are a lot of other babies and wee children on Team Pearl these days, so a few years ago I picked up where I left off and decided to finally finish what I'd started for him.

If you've been coming here lately, you know that along with all the original artwork I've done, I've been re-purposing old artwork (cleverly sneaking it into the rhymes whenever possible!), with a two-fold purpose: to preserve it for my kids--who will never hang these pieces up in their homes, but still might like to have them--and to save valuable time!

Once upon a time, I painted acrylic portraits of both my mom and my husband's when they were little girls, and I gave these framed canvases to them as gifts.  When my mother-in-law died in 2009, her painting came back to me.  And when my mother sold her house and most of her belongings and moved in with my baby sister a year ago, her painting came back to me as well.

These two canvases now hang in the "potty room" in our master bathroom.  (I don't know what else to call it!  It's a special little room, with a door, where you can get some privacy when Mother Nature calls.  Someday I've got to give you a tour of this bathroom, which is so roomy and well-appointed it's almost embarrassing!)

Here is the artwork my husband and I can study while we're in that tiny room, doing...whatever.

I have completed the pages for the letters V and W, and at the same time honored both my husband's late mother and my mom in the process by incorporating those two paintings.

Each letter has two pages of illustrations.  Here is second of the V pages, featuring my husband's dear mother.

And here is first of the W pages, featuring mine.

I do sometimes worry that there isn't enough unity of style in this book: some of the illustrations are relatively muted colored-pencil drawings, while others are vibrantly-hued acrylic paintings.  But then I remind myself that it's really just a gift from a Grammy to her grandchildren.  And in some ways, the fact that there is a lot of history in it might make it an even better keepsake for them.

I recently completed and scanned the N and W pages, so I'll be sharing those soon.  Now I'm down to 6 pages of illustrations left to complete, and one of those is about half-finished already--so really 5 and 1/2.  I can see the light, as I emerge from the tunnel after 25 years!  And I am so excited!

Feeling thankful, readers!  And I hope you have a blessed and happy Thanksgiving!


  1. Yes! The history in it is going to make it so special!

  2. Yay! I am so excited to hear of your strong progress, you can do it! Happy Thanksgiving Laura, may it be blessed and full of love.

  3. Looking good! I remember your style from high school,still have my yearbook that you did most of the illustrations for.

  4. Very, very cute, Laura! These are so good.