Before I started working on stuff in the studio, I spent some time working on a gift for my brother and sister-in-law who are expecting a baby. As happens with most of my projects, I conceived of the idea and allowed it to become a significantly bigger project than I originally anticipated. I finally had to give myself a self-imposed deadline just to finish working on the project or I would draw it out indefinitely.
The main idea for the project was to make my sister-in-law a book as an alternative to the terrible pregnancy and early childhood advice books that I read when I was pregnant and after my daughter was born. Mostly my book is a silly alternative, warning her not to pay any attention to the stupid advice that shows up in those books.
The first page is a "what to do when you're reading 'What to Expect When You're Expecting'" kit. It includes scissor and a black marker to redact the stupid advice and a page to tape across her computer to remind her that the internet advice is also stupid and not worth seeking.
My daughter also helped decorate the book. I discovered that after I drew the illustrations, they were visible from the reverse side of the paper and I hadn't really planned anything for this space, so we both decorated pages with simple baby illustrations and whatever my daughter felt like making.
Some of my advice was real and hard-earned (Take time off from work; don't try to teach an online class right after the baby is born). Some advice may be obvious to everyone but still I didn't realize the importance until too late (Carry food with you at all times. Even if they say there will be food. The dog might get it during the night and then there won't be anything for breakfast except frozen lasagna and a jar of olives and then you'll wish you packed a granola bar). And some advice is just stuff I stumbled upon at the last minute (baking cookies as you go into labor means you will have fresh baked cookies after you come home with the baby).
Mostly I wanted to tell the prospective parents that we are thinking of them and wishing them luck and also that I don't mind if they call in the middle of the night because they need help. They live on the other side of the country, so, as much as I would like to, I can't offer to babysit anytime they wish.
I also finally broke down and started looking at Pinterest the other week, so in breaks while the glue was drying on the book, I decided to make the baby some S'mores themed onesies. I stole the idea for the campfire one from a felt version online, but the onesies came in a pack of two, so I created the graham cracker version to match.