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King of the Doodles September 14, 2012

Posted by J. in Genius.
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Morgan Carmichael is a genius and I want the world to know it. His wife Erin makes some truly badass signs that I covet pretty hard, and not for nothing but she’s a pretty hot little trick in her own right. But I confess: I’m in love with Morgan’s doodles. In LOVE. LURRRRRVE.

First though, a little backstory. I thought for sure I’d blogged about this, but apparently I did not. Bad Poops. No biscuit.

So back in the Spring, during the Easter season, my Emmy Bo celebrated her First Eucharist. It was kind of a big deal.

Emma was chosen to bring up the gifts.

One of the things our First Communicants do is they make a personalized pew banner to hang on the end of the family pew. It’s made of felt and hangs by a ribbon. They put their last name on it and some imagery of their choosing that has to do with the Eucharist. the way we do banners in my house is that the kids will sit with me by the computer and I’ll work up a draft of what they want in my print shop. They pick the images and where they want them to go, and then I print it and use the paper as a pattern. We go to Joanns and pick out the felt, trim, and assorted bling and then we sit at the table with scissors and felt and glue and put it together.

Well, as you know, Fr. Albert left our Parish late last October. We all took it kind of hard. Okay, really hard. Emma kind of freaked us out a bit. She didn’t have much of a reaction. For awhile, she didn’t seem fazed that he was gone. It was making us concerned. Of all my kids, she really spent a lot of time in his back pocket. She was his young padawan. He was her biggest fan.  But there were no tears. No concerns. No, “I’m going to miss him” before he left, and after he was gone…just nothing. I was getting worried that she was going to act out on it in an inappropriate way, and so was he. Every time we spoke on the phone, he’d ask if there’d been any reaction and there wasn’t.

Until one day she was sitting here at my computer and all of a sudden I heard crying. I asked what was wrong, what happened, and she started sobbing, “I miss Fr. Albert so much!”

Oh, thank GOD.

But then as she began preparing for First Communion, it occurred to her that he wasn’t going to be here to give it to her. “I want Fr. Albert to give me my First Eucharist,” she’d say. I explained why he couldn’t. And she insisted that she wasn’t going to do it, then. I played the white dress and big party gambit. Nothing. I played the “But you’re Fr. Paul’s first Communion class–it means so much to him!” card.

“I don’t care.”


Finally, we hit on a plan. She would make First Eucharist here with her Parish family and friends, and then the following weekend we’d travel down to his new Parish and she’d receive her second Eucharist from Fr. Albert and we’d go out to dinner with him to celebrate. Or as she called it, “Her REAL First Eucharist.” I didn’t argue.

Sweet. It flew. We had a plan. And we needed to make a pew banner. Fr. Albert was full of suggestions.

“I think Emma needs to have Jesus riding a dinosaur on her pew banner. How’s this one? Can you work with it?”

I made the “mistake” of joking with Emma that Fr. Albert thinks she should have a dinosaur on her pew banner. Ha ha. He’s funny. So we sit down to design hers and pick a great picture of a lamb laying down in front of a cross. Jokingly, I say “We can make the T-Rex looking out from behind the cross! Ha ha! I’m funny!”

So we’re in the car on the way to Joanns and we’re making a list of colors of felt we need. “What color is the dinosaur going to be?”

“Sweetie, I was just kidding about the dinosaur.”

She got very quiet. I looked in the rear-view mirror and she’s puddling up with tears. “But I want a dinosaur on my pew banner,” she said in a very little, very sad voice. “That way it will be like a little bit of Fr. Albert is still here with me.”

Well, how do you say “no” to that? You don’t. You put a goddamn dinosaur on her pew banner is what you do. “Emma….googly eyes?”


Fuck yeah!

And that, my friends, is how your daughter winds up with a dinosaur on her First Communion pew banner.

But that’s not the end of the story.

See, when Mary made her pew banner, she and I sat up at Tanta’s house and made her banner all together. When it was done, I had a bunch of big pieces of felt left over. We were sitting there chatting and we asked what we would have put on our banners if we’d have had to make them back in the day.

Now, one of the things we always joked about with Fr. Albert is what the state of religious education was when we were all growing up. “Jesus and Balloons” he calls it. A lot of nothing. Content with not context. Hot air, as it were. So we said we’d put Jesus and balloons on our banners.

Then the muse struck. “We should make one for Fr. Albert. As a joke!”

She found me a picture of South Park Jesus and I started cutting and pasting felt, gave him a bunch of balloons and put his name on it. He said, and I quote, that he loved it so much he was going to have it stitched into a vestment. It hung in the sacristy for ages until he moved it to his office. He placed it carefully and it still has a place of honor in his new digs.

So when we were planning Emma’s banner, I got the idea that he needs another banner in honor of the occasion. But I had to ramp up my game. I could top South Park Jesus and Balloons.

It’s no secret that the man is a Family Guy fan. He can and does quote it often and freely. And I was stuck with inspiration, but I cannot draw to save my life. So I contacted my favorite doodler.

“Can you make me a rendering of the Last Supper, but with the cast of the Family Guy?”

Morgan can, and he did. It was the best ten bucks I’ve ever spent.

Click here to order a custom doodle of your own. Seriously. HOW AWESOME IS THAT?

I got out my felt and started cutting and almost immediately, I knew it was going to be magical. And needless to say, he loves it. It also hangs in his office and he said he couldn’t wait for Monday to show it to everyone.

Yeah. Fiber ARTIST. That’s right. ARTIST.

I’m crazy proud of how it came out, but there’s no way in hell I could have pulled it off without Morgan’s mad talents. He took what was in my head and doodled it. I was impressed when I got it and I still am.

Support your local artists, friends. Like their Facebook pages. Tell your friends. Spread the love. Thanks!

(This PSA was brought to you by The Jennifer “Poops” Lacey Fiber Arts Empire.)



1. Camille - September 15, 2012

Ya know…I wondered about the wee green beastie on Emma Bo’s felt masterpiece that day, but in the excitement of the big day and the promise of free food to come….I forgot. Love the backstory. Know what else I love? Beeeeeeeeeeeans…yum! xoxox. Auntie M.

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