Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Sketchbook Weekend

 I returned home late last night after a magical trip to Chicago!!!  Our trip was extended a bit because my Grandma passed away.  All the guys met us up in Chicago, and we headed to Wisconsin to celebrate her life and soak up as much time as we could with family that we get to see way too little of.

We made some GREAT memories as we traveled to see our sketchbook, and here are some highlights!

 After we made it to our hotel, we explored some of the terrain not usually tredded on by the "Potter" clan.  As you can see here, we visited "the ocean."  Yes, that's what I called it.  Mom quickly corrected me that we were not look at the ocean, but in fact Lake Michigan.  ...I'm an artist, what do you expect ;)
 Our "ocean" walk led us to Navy Pier:
 Where we spent way too much money in Garrett's popcorn shop and the little Candy Shop next door! :D
 We left with bags full of food, orange fingers (from the popcorn), and sailed out on a canal architecture tour!
 We had never learned about the buildings before, so it was very interesting.  Unfortunately, the sun was fierce, and it honed in on mom's back, leaving a rather intense sunburn above her shirt line.  To add to it, we had to walk a LONG distance from the pier back up to Michigan Ave. in the blazing heat.  It took quite a toll on mom. :/  She heroically made it all the way to Gino's East where I barely got her to the second floor booth.  Thankfully, salad and some delicious pizza later, she was back to new :)
 We carved our moment in history into this little booth, documenting the historical Sketchbook Project Trip of 2011 that will undoubtedly resonate on the walls for all of time :)

That night we rested up, (I'm pretty sure I fell asleep around 8!) and the next morning, after a delicious breakfast at the Ritz Carleton Cafe of eggs benedict, we made it.  All together now: "Hallelujah Chorus!"
 I think I had been so busy preparing to leave and complete orders that I had fully prepared my self for this experience.  As soon as we walked in the door and saw the sign and the books, we both had a complete freak out!!! a good way!!!

We were HERE!!!! it was happening. to us. right now!!!  We could see all the books, and Caitlyn and Eliza, and Shane!  We felt like we knew them from all of our research of the Library, and it was all coming to fruition!!!
 Did you see all of the books?!!!  10,000 of them!!!!  Oh, the stories they held, and the time that was put into them.  10,000 people who were brave enough to commit themselves to paper to be permanently archived for all to see!!!  And we were going to get to see them!!!

Naturally, Mom checked out my book, and I checked out hers.  Then, from the pleathera of unique covers, we were allowed to choose 2 more to view *squeal!!!*  Mom picked the polka dot cover, and I chose the red cover for her :D
 I check out hers, and iHanna's, and a magnificently decorated black and white sketchbook.
 It was such a joy to see the books that we had spent SO many hours dwelling, working, and experimenting over...and others had now seen them too.  As we were looking, I experienced a great blessing.  A fellow viewer of the books walked by and complimented my book as mom was reading it!!!! She had no idea it was mine when she said something, but after viewing it herself, she told me that it was the best one she had seen so far!!!! (please note this is not me tooting my own horn, but rather documenting a wonderful experience that encouraged me as an artist)
 We were also blessed to meet Jo and her children Shibon and Ian.  They had started this project while their husband/dad was serving in Iraq to complete as a gift to him upon return.  He was so thrilled when he got home that he wanted to participate as well!!!!  Jo's sister even completed a book!!!  We just loved making this new friendship with such a sweet family :D
 As we were getting ready to leave, we got to talk to Shane, one of the founders of The Art House.  We loved hearing about how their dream for this project has grown in this last year.  It was all we could do to not say, "we're moving out there and becoming part of your team!"...or maybe we did say it ;)
This project has done so much for both of us this last year.
For me, it has been a creative outlet as I entered into motherhood.  I looked forward to working on pages during nap time, and used it as a bargaining chip for myself to do the dishes and laundry :)  It has also been a way for my mom and I to team up doing something fun!  I cherish my time with her, and we have had so much fun along the way!
For mom, it has been a leap of faith.  Although she does not claim to be an artist, she is.  She pushed herself through her sketchbook, experimenting and thriving along the way.  She doesn't always see it, but she has been developing her style through this experience.  Now that her book is done, she continues to be inspired and works in her newly made work space with gusto!

After having such an amazing experience at the exhibit, we both ordered our sketchbooks for next year!!!  I chose the theme "Folds and Stitches," and mom chose "Encyclopedia of."  I hope you will join us on this amazing journey!!!


  1. i'm sorry to hear about your grandma but i'm glad you had a fun trip otherwise!

  2. Great read, Kel. I'm surprised you did not include Ms. Mini Diana or Sprinkles and trucking the streets of Chi-town on our adventurous own...but you DID an outstanding job recreating our joy and enthusiasm over the trip and Sketchbook Project!

    Once I clear the dining room table of all of our trip stuff...celebrate G's 87th birthday from the 17th, catch up on laundry, clean the house, go grocery shopping, write my notes and my tutorial for you :D...then...I will dig into my skethbook project 2012 with grand glee and big fun! It will be... filet, speck so. (I think the guys should use, "speck so" as a theme...or maybe next year I will just make that my own...oh, can't talk about it! tee hee! Must go to the grocery, do G and make my list! miss the t-man much. Love, mom oxoxo

  3. Bonjour, Sweet Kelly+Ann!!! I'm so terribly sorry about your beautiful incredibly sad to end your vacation...I'm sending our deepest+warmest sympathy your way+will keep you+your families in our thoughts+prayers...
    What a fabulous post about your Sketchbook journey! I loved reliving it through your eyes...thank you so very much for approaching us with both of your smiling eyes+kind hearts and then including us (+my sweet sis +following my lil' world) in your sweet tales of the Windy City both are breaths of fresh air that filled that room with such good karma! Once we settle down from our mini-Michigan vacation, I'll post pics of our lucky meeting with both of you and our experiences with the Sketchbook Project too!
    I absolutely adore your blog, Kelly...I can't wait to read more of your adventures. Both you and your Mom are such inspirations to me...I love both of your books and wished I could've taken pics of your journals! Thank you for opening your hearts to us...I can't wait to see more of the beauty you both are creating...xoxo Jo + my lil' munchkins ;)