This year I decided to put more effort into choosing some Christmas/Summer solstice gifts for my nieces and nephews. We usually don't have much money to buy and post gifts, but lately I've felt like I really want to make more of an effort and plan ahead and also make at least part of my gifts. When I was a kid my Aunts and Uncles always sent me sweet little gifts and I thought it would be nice to send my nieces and nephews something at least every now and then, especially because I don't get to see them very often and I want to stay connected with them and know what they're into.
I decorated these two little sketchbooks as part of little bundles of gifts for C's nephew and my niece. Both of them are great little artists so their presents were mostly art supplies. The other nieces and nephews who aren't as into art were much more difficult to buy for! I know when I was a kid art supplies were ALWAYS my favourite presents. Other little gifts for my nieces and nephews included Roald Dahl books, new pencil cases and stationery, fabric pens, a fancy new lunch box, a dream catcher and I re-gifted a couple of great books. I had so much fun putting their gifts together and I set a little budget for myself so I didn't go crazy buying things.
My sister has recently started drawing. She started reading some great art books (like 'An Illustrated Life' by Danny Gregory) and I think they gave her the confidence to give things ago. Her drawings are great and her ability is getting better and better and I'm so proud of her because it's so hard to persevere with creative pursuits when you don't have a huge amount of confidence or practice. I was looking for fun art books for her and I saw the book '642 Things To Draw' in a bookshop and while I really liked the idea, I couldn't justify paying almost $30 for a book of blank pages with some prompts. So I thought I'd buy a nice hardcover journal, decorate the cover and make up my own prompts and write them in it for her. I filled the entire book with prompts from the top of my head (although I did ask C and my friend Tess for some suggestions towards the end). Earlier in the year I went through a long period of feeling totally lacking in creative ideas, so it was really nice to be able to think up over 100 different ideas of things to draw without having to Google for ideas. I think I'll have to make a book for myself and attempt some of the drawing prompts too.
Here are some of the ideas I filled the pages with: