During our multiple pandemics of 2020 my eco-nemesis appeared.


Mandatory bags.

Mandatory bags at the grocery store.



In April 2020 I stopped patronizing stores that mandated plastic bags – Market Basket, I’m talking to you – and, brought my business to markets that gave out paper bags.


Alas, these paper bags piled up in our kitchen.


Around this time I also became the proud owner of a set of Derwent colored pencils.

Thank you, John Harrison, for the generous birthday gift!

For reasons I still do not understand moving colored pencil across a brown bag delighted me.


I began created small drawings on squares cut form all those grocery bags.


Mostly heads and somewhat skull-ish.


People were dying left and right on our planet after all.

The skulls, however, made me strangely happy. And I do not mean in a Dr. Mengele kind of way…


Simultaneously I ramped up my puzzle prize production.


Puzzlers who send me evidence of their finished puzzle earn a prize –

free shipping on a new puzzle OR a custom drawing in response to my nosy questions.


Initially, I made and gave nothing fabulous. A ballpoint pen sketch on an index card.

Maybe a collage with a business envelope.


And then, I decided to stop skimping.

Why? Maybe because rampant mortality made all our labors feel inconsequential.

Maybe because I suddenly remembered  Edgar Heap of Birds’ image: “Give Everything.”


So I did. I literally spent hours, sometimes days, on these images.


And then I set them free.



© Sarah Jane Lapp, 2024