I was home in Virginia during the end of June. This was the time that 'Grandpa Sees The Big Deer' had come out. Everyone was excited about it and asking me what was next. I had actually been talking with Grandma about putting together an Apple Butter book.
For those of you that are unfamiliar with Apple Butter, it's a mixture that is made of mushed apples, cinnamons, cloves, and sugar. The process for making it takes a few weeks, and is very labor intensive. My family has been making apple butter on their farm for well over a decade (originally started in 2004).
The history of making apple butter was kind of a mystery to me, and while I was home, I worked on uncovering what that mystery was.
But first, scripts and storyboards.
While I was home, I had spoken with a few of the regulars of Springdale Farm. They told me that once they had won a ribbon for the apple butter. This completely changed the entire idea of the story. I drafted up a story one night, and told everyone about it. They loved it.
I headed home to California to start working on this one.
I started off with parts of the story I was sure would make the final. Here are some of those beginning images.
My girlfriend told me that there weren't enough children or animals in this book. I felt similarly. A lot of the earlier story line read a lot like a 'how-to' article rather than a story about family and friends on a farm.
She had also mentioned that all of the people had their eyes closed (and this wasn't the first time I had heard this). I decided that this would have to be changed for this story, and as a result, it really is more inviting.
Some of the pages were almost done, but there were a handful of them around this point that looked like this one below.
It was now October. I was aiming to have this project done by the time they were doing apple butter weekend, which would have put the end date around OCTOBER 18 2016.
Around this time I had just decided to add their dogs into the story. I thought it would be a nice touch, especially since they both weren't doing too well (the dogs, my parents are fine I think).
Around November, I was finally wrapping up. The finished pages were looking a little bit like the ones below.
There was still a little bit of back and forth between Grandma and myself at the time. We were having a pretty stubborn battle of the exact wording of the project. It's okay though, we worked it out :p
At the end of November, the project was finally done, all the kinks were worked out, and we were ready to print. I've put some of the final pages below.
The prints turned out great, and they were home just in time for Christmas. Everyone got a copy in their stocking, and the grandchildren were once again excited to learn about the projects on Springdale Farm.