Well, so much for my attempt at posting once a day this month (much less doing something artsy each day and writing about it!)--but I'm not unhappy or disappointed. I'm proud of myself for that!
So I am going to post up about a couple of notebooks that I made at the beginning of the summer for my cousin who was both turning 18 and graduating from high school. She has had a difficult childhood and IMO never got the support she needed from either her parents or the school system, and it's a testament to her strong will that she is still here, frankly. But I find it difficult to talk to her (always hear in my head how stupid I sound trying to talk to a teenager when I'm forty with two kids) in person, so I tried to put all my feelings, hopes, and emotions into what I made for her.
As always, I didn't have enough time, so they aren't very complicated. The saving grace is that everything was done by my own hands--at least I hope I can lean on that :-).
For one item, I made a portfolio cover (inside it holds manga illustration pads, since she is writing cartoons but has others do the illustrations), and the bookplate design I crafted in Photoshop Elements. I used scans from some old diary pages of hers and then wrote "COURAGE" over the top. The cover is painted with Lumiere paints, and I affixed a great multitude of carefully selected talismans and embellishments to the book rings.
I also made a smaller notebook that would be easier to shove in a backpack. It has painted grungeboard covers (I mixed up a custom shade of purple--her favorite color, again using Lumiere paints), and for the little special touch, I put some origami paper behind the keyhole decoration.
My hope is that she spent time at some point looking at all these things and knowing that I made it for her. I haven't heard from her about them, but my guess is that 20 years down the road she'll say something about it. It's okay that she hasn't said anything, too. I probably wouldn't have at that age either, and anyway, that's not why I made them--to hear a response. I made them because I needed to give them to her, end of story.