Yes, no sad posts tonight, although I am in so much mood to down some much-needed adult beverage, but nope.
Instead, I’m gonna tell you what I did for my kid’s birthday. Prepare to judge and call me indulgent, as if I care LOL
The whole thing started back in May this year, when I was watching old episodes of Jimmy Fallon on YouTube. You know, the one where he announced that he’s launching a book called “Your Baby’s First Word Will Be DADA”. I was watching while doodling, and this idea came into my head.
Hey why don’t I try to draw and write a story book for my kid for her birthday present?
You have to know that the only person I love competing against is myself, and Shera’s birthday is beginning to be a personal competition event every year where I made it a must to bake her birthday cake and sew her birthday dress myself. First year: my own first buttercream cake and clown-neck dress, second year: fondant Mickey-Minnie cake and a matching dress to go with, third year: cookie monster dress, cake and cupcakes.
Seems like I like to top things up each year and have no plans of stopping. Making her own personalized story book, starring her, with a matching dress and a matching cake sounds like a cool project this year.
So I turned off YouTube and started making character sketches.
And much like four years ago, Princess Shera was born.
I mostly documented the process on Snapchat and being the Gen-X that I am, I of course forgot to download the videos because who would erase videos 24 hours after they were posted? Yeah, Snapchat and millennials I guess. But wait a minute, I found my first drawing.
Anyway, I started off drawing the scenes I had playing in my head. Storyline? Nope, I didn’t have any. I thought I’d just deal with it later. The most important thing is the drawing. I might be violating all children book-writing rule here (if there’s any), but I felt like drawing first before doing anything else, so I did.
This is the third drawing I did. Yeah, because the second one and most of the rest… you know what, I blame Snapchat. LOL.
I used watercolor because I am an impatient person, and also because Copic markers are so darn expensive. But it turned out pretty ok. Still far from the likes of Oliver Jeffers, but I thought, as long as I’m keen and have perseverance, I’ll make it.
And this is me, coloring. Excuse my poor skills. LOL.
So yeah, I kept on drawing and drawing, slowly putting the storyline in my head. Amazingly I managed to stay consistent in drawing the characters (there aren’t too many, thank God). Reminds me of the days when I used to do comics in high school.
When do I draw? Mostly after work and before bed. Yep, what used to remind me of school assignments turns out to be my salvation from work and stress. Drawing is the cure to my tiredness. I didn’t even care of the sluggishness I feel in the mornings when I worked on this personal project. Didn’t care at all because I was having fun.
In this part I was almost finished with the raw drawing. My lines got careless and rushed only because I couldn’t wait for the book to be finished.
September came and my dad died. The drawings were all finished but I was paralyzed. The storyline embedded in my brains was still there, but not yet written. October came and I forced myself to write things down, and for some reasons, my head was only working in English that time, hence only English is used in the book.
My best friend, Marisa, was an angel, she help me layout the book until it was ready to print.
The labour of love was finished exactly 4 days before Shera’s 4th birthday, and here’s a sneak peek.
Yep. That’s the final product. Shera, of course, gets the hard-cover version while her friends at school got the soft-cover ones. I get asked a lot by people whether I’m going to publish the story book. Truthfully I don’t know, but if it can spread some joy to children everywhere, then I don’t see why not.
Being the indulgent mom that I am, I didn’t stop there. I made sure her birthday cake featured her character from the book. Unlike the previous years, I surrendered to the help of professionals and ordered a fondant-covered chocolate cake from @belle_kitchen. They surprised me with a cake featuring Princess Shera herself, standing on one feet! I almost fainted when I got the cake. They took cake decorating into a whole new level.
Of course, with the cake comes the dress and this year, I had to give it to my mom. She was the one who sew my princess’ birthday dress, inspired from Isla Fischer’s “Confession of a Shopaholic” pink bridesmaid dress. The colorful tutu lining screamed fun and Shera was excited to put it on.
One more detail: If I was going to give out books for her friends, how was I going to do it? Aha. Goodie bags! Ordered a batch from @sugar_souvenir, and was I glad they can personalize each bag with each kid’s name.
In short, here’s how things turned out.
All in all, the only thing that mattered was Shera’s happiness. Here’s her reaction when she first really got into the book.
That was all I need.
Oh well, I hope she’ll look back to this when she’s older and see how much I love her. :-*
Now, what shall I make next year?