In just over a month, my “baby” Chi-Chi will be turning four years old! At the very top of his birthday wish list is a goalie stick. It’s going to be a long wait for this poor little guy, who begs and pleads for this coveted item every day. A month is no doubt an eternity to a four-year-old. No, I won’t be attempting to a “Wood Fairy” version of a goalie stick! I’m sure the Canadian Tire version will do just fine.
As one would expect, I feel a need to make something special for my sweet little boy – an offering of my love for him on this memorable occasion. I’ve been racking my brain for ideas, but was starting to experience a mild case of “toy makers block”. I’ve done some serious toy making the last two years so the idea bank is starting to dry up!
Just when I least expected it, a light bulb went off in my head! I’m sure all parents of young children find themselves in this position. It’s bedtime and you are completely exhausted and zapped from the activities of the day. You are snuggled in bed with your little one, nodding off as you try hopelessly to get through the arguably painful text of Green Eggs and Ham. On such occasions, when I simply cannot keep my eyes open, I shut off the lights and pull out my repertoire of homemade stories. These stories are great as the little ones don’t know the words (and therefore can’t correct you when you fall asleep mid sentence). Since there is no book, they can be told with eyes closed! Chi-Chi is quite fond of my series of stories depicting the adventures and antics of my childhood dog, the infamous Barney Beagle. Anyone who has ever known a beagle will be well aware of the trouble these softhearted little characters can get into!
Despite my love of “no book” stories, I decided it would be fun to write and illustrate a homemade treasury of the Adventures of Barney Beagle. It will be a sure hit with Chi-Chi as he absolutely loves these tales. It will also serve as a keepsake for all members of our family who hold fond (and not so fond) memories of this special little dog. When I first informed Hubby of my plans, he reminded me of a report issued by my Grade 10 art class teacher, “You are attempting to draw all sides of the object at the same time”. Ok, I will admit, I’m no artist! Despite this constructive criticism, I pulled out my watercolor pencils and some paper and set to work on the first set of illustrations. (Thanks to Robyn for a little inspiration here) I did a test run and scanned a painting into the computer, pairing it up with the accompanying text. I’m not yet sure how I will print and bind the final product. Any suggestions would be welcome!!
These sample drawings give a sneak peek of what’s to come. I apologize for the graphic nature of some of the subject matter. Yes, that is a picture of someone pulling a pair of stockings out of Barney’s behind. All I can say is that it is based on actual people, animals and events. Family members out there, I’m taking submissions of stories to be included so drop me a note if you think of any!
No doubt in thirty years or so I'll be hard at work on the sequel to this book for my grandchildren...... "The Antics and Adventures of the Infamous Chi-Chi and Muffy". Oh, the stories I'll have to tell!!