I'm BEYOND excited to share this! I finally figured out what I want to make for our Christmas craft! And NORMALLY I like to keep that kind of thing pretty quiet so the people who will be receiving our gifts stay in the dark. BUT. I. JUST. CAN'T. This is too fun not to share. I call this project LOVE-YOU-BECAUSE and here's how it came about:
Last week I got an email from a incredibly nice woman saying that the best holiday craft she ever did was putting together a tiny album full of pages telling the recipient why she loved them. I loved the idea, but we have a LOT of people in our families and that sounded like a lot of work to craft individual albums. AND I want the girls to do the work so that Christmas crafts do not become Mom-does-'em-crafts. I also loved the idea of interviewing the girls about each of our recipients and getting their take on WHY they love the recipient. Because toddlers are hilarious. And random. And that kind of thing would be priceless to give and even MORE PRICELESS to read in a decade or so (because I KNOW that Penn is going to have some crazy answers!). I'm also really digging the way their drawings have progressed - it's amazing. And I'm also trying to give from the heart and not-so-much from-the-pocket book. And I was really inspired by THIS guy's work. And these very rad posters. And I needed to combine these ideas to make magic.
Because that's what I like to do.
So I decided to print myself a book at Blurb and in the evolution of that book design it became pretty apparent that with a few easy design cues and a FAT BLACK MARKER this book could be something that the girls could give to their grandparents. BUT ALSO A BOOK that I could give to Dan. Or A class could give to a teacher. Or a parent could give to their kid. Or a husband could give to a wife. For the holidays. Or for a birthday. Or a graduation. Or a coming-home gift. Or for ANY occasion that required a gift. BECAUSE LOVE IS THE BEST KIND OF GIFT. I tried to think of what I was given for my graduations or big birthdays... and I couldn't remember. BUT I COULD TOTALLY tell you where the cards are and what they said. And if we're talking truthfully - I STILL cry when I read them. AND I WISH THEY SAID MORE. Because that's the HEART part. It's the HEART stuff that drops me to my knees.
And so the LOVE-YOU-BECAUSE project was born.
PART1 of LOVE-YOU-BECAUSE is a really cool book. I say really cool because it's 20 pages of LOVE. Fill in the blanks. Draw. Doodle. Cross things out. Make the I/WE into the words that work and GIVE LOVE. Get the book, get a handful of black markers, open up your heart and create a masterpiece that is both a gift and a time capsule and a card and an epiphany and a really awesome thing to do for someone. My small people can do it. YOU CAN DO IT. It's an ENDLESS-OPPORTUNITY book. That's what I call it.
IT'S ALSO LESS THAN $10. That's pretty rad. It's also LESS than taking your recipient out for Starbucks.
PART2 is the after-party! After I finished the book I started designing a whole bunch of cool things to match it. Gift tags. Greeting cards. Wrapping papers. Cupcake toppers. Some digital files for my photos. BECAUSE I'M A JUNKIE LIKE THAT. I like everything to look cohesive + matchy-matchy. And cool. And really, it makes my life easier when I can print it at home and be ready to go.
PART3. Somebody said - I wish I could do something like that... (!!!!!!!!!)
I LOVE SHARING! So I've made the book available on Blurb. Now YOU can give love as easily + beautifully + cheaply as I'm going to do it. Fill out the books yourself. Make your kids do it. Put your dog's paw print in there. Buy one for your husband TO FILL OUT FOR YOU (that's what I'm going to do). I've made it as cost-effectively-awesome as I could figure it out + I am sharing it. Because this is the season of sharing.
MORE SHARING. If you're interested in filling out a book you might want the other printable things... I'm putting the final touches on my digital files: the greeting cards and the wrapping paper and the gift tags and the cupcake toppers and the photo enhancers and goodies AND MAKING THEM AVAILABLE TO DOWNLOAD for your personal use.
AND EVEN MORE SHARING. Oh yeah. I am including a printable version of the LOVE-YOU-BECAUSE book in the LOVE-YOU-BECAUSE Plus pack so you can print your own LOVE-YOU-BECAUSE books at home.
The LOVE-YOU-BECAUSE book is available now. The LOVE-YOU-BECAUSE Plus Pack will be available on Thursday morning in my ARTSHOP. If it's ready earlier - I'll let you know via Twitter. I will also be posting more info + pics this week so you can really SEE what I'm talking about.
I love sharing + I love the holiday season. FA LA LA LA LA LA.
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THE Joy print GIVEAWAY WINNER. Grady picked a winner from last post's comments and it is being revealed today on Brandy's blog (just to make things interesting) where she's been cooking up something AWESOME. And artsy. And born from the gigantic heart of hers. You must check it out. (If you're the winner - make sure to email me so I can send you the Joy print for your walls!)
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Today: I am working hard. I HAVE A DREAM that December comes and I am relaxed and sipping (heavily spiked) eggnog by the fire instead of working hard to keep up and Christmas shopping ONLINE in the middle of the night. This is a big week.