Total rookie mistake. Here it is:
“Mom, I would like a backpack.”
“Well, OK, Joe. [wait for it] Would you like to help me pick out the fabric?”
“Yeah!! Do you have Spiderman? Or Star Wars?”
“Uh, no. But I have numbers. . .and animals. . .or would you like something blue. . .?”
“I would like a dragon.”
“Huh. Well, I don’t have anything with dragons. . . .”
“That’s what I would like. A dragon on it. That would be cool.” And away he goes.
Of course. A dragon. What?! So I start scanning clip art images to see if there’s one that I could even attempt, and in he comes again, just in time to pick out the dragon of his dreams, apparently. Aw, what the heck. I like a creative challenge. So, a week later, we have our dragon backpack:
I’d originally planned on just plunking an appliqued outline on the bag, but once I got started, it sort of got away from me. First he needed an eye, then the teeth, and if you’re going to add teeth, well, musn’t forget to shade the mouth. You see? Runaway train. Kevin suggested the fire, which is just fussy cut from an Alexander Henry print. Actually, he first suggested that I add Chinese characters, and a bonsai tree, or maybe a sunburst–you know, a whole Asian collage–but I had to put the kibosh on that pretty quickly. One man’s kung fu is another (wo)man’s hot mess. When it was all said and done, the kid loved it, and I was happy to have come through. Let’s face it: in a very few years, I’ll be longing for the days when he thought Mom made cool stuff, and the other kids didn’t beat him up over it. Gotta savor these moments!