Have a crafty new year!

I’m taking a small break from illustrating after doing 3 books in the last 12 months. But I still need to keep my hands busy and so I’ve turned to some craftier projects for the end of the year.

20140107-211010.jpg Here is a piece I did with my 3 1/2 year old son.  He actually did it all, I merely supervised and helped glue it all down. (I had to show it off )

20140107-211033.jpg I found that I had a ton of old wooden spools around the house and  I needed a new tree ornament, so I created this.

20140107-211126.jpg  I was able to fit in a quick food illustration.

20140107-211142.jpg and a painting commissioned as a gift….the dock is made out of old telephone polls!

20140107-211746.jpg And then I got a little carried away with some crocheting….

20140107-211758.jpg this old naked doll need some new clothes.

20140107-211906.jpg Yes, these are crocheted covered rocks…seems like I was crocheting a new outfit for everything.

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My books are out!

I am so pleased to announce that the three books that I have been working on this year are now available for purchase!

Click on the cover images to view them on Amazon.com

  The Foodie Club Cover

Burkley Cover

Dancing Danica Cover

Another label for the Brewheister

Black Smoke Final

Foodie Club – Character Evolution

Squid Pasta2Small

This is the first concept piece I did for the Foodie Club by Dani Shear.

This piece is what ultimately won me the project.

Syd Chef

After I was chosen, I began sketching the main character, trying to find the right look and personality for the main character.   I experimented with different media and style.

 

Syd and Sunny Character Sketches3

These sketches were for a while the settled upon Syd and Sunny. But something still just wasn’t right…So I went back to the drawing board and

Syd Sunny v2 colorfinally I created the Syd and Sunny right for the Foodie Club.

New, new and new

Happy New Year! Before I start blogging about 2013, let’s start with finishing up 2012.

2012 was a banner  year filled with  a new book to illustrate, a new baby girl, and a new studio!

To start 2012 off, I was contacted by an author through Cedar Hill Publishing to illustrate a new book early last year.  I can proudly say that the book is finished and soon it will be on its way to the printers.  This was my first book that I chose to use acrylics as the primary medium.  I love painting with acrylics.  I am very happy with the way this book turned out.

Snuggle Moose Cover

Soon after I got the Snuggle Moose contract, I got pregnant with our second child.  Of course we were thrilled, but being pregnant certainly made it a challenge to get things done quickly. Because I am a stay at home mom and a freelance illustrator, I have to find creative ways to get my artwork done.  So usually I paint during the hours that my son was asleep.  Well, while pregnant my energy was pretty low and chasing around a two year old all day really wore me out. So I split my time that I normally would be painting with some much needed naps myself.

Another new thing that we did this past year was add on to our house to make room for our new little one.  So this meant that I finally got my studio space that I so desperately wanted!  We were able to add it on to the master bedroom, so that when I paint late into the wee hours of the morning, I can quietly slip into bed and not disturb anyone.

IMAG2017

Here is our custom built desk that fits into a little nook that out looks our back yard.  Love it!

IMAG2018

This is my main working desk with loads of storage and flat table space!  I love to spread out when working on a project.

IMAG2019

We also included an art studio space in the office for our kids.  Tons of markers, crayons and watercolors to use whenever.  I have to admit that I love using the old school supplies as well!  On the desk you will notice a drawing that Aidan and I did together.  It’s one of my faves.

When Julia was born, I gave myself a few weeks to adjust and then it was back to painting.  I was determined to get Snuggle Moose finished now that I had my energy back.  Thankfully Julia is a great sleeper and loves to be wrapped up on me while I paint.  It took a little getting used to with her in front of me, but I got it.

2012 was a great year and I look forward to making 2013 even better!

Published in the SCBWI Mag!

As a member of the SCBWI, Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, I receive their magazine, full of tips, articles, interviews and other goodies for people like me.

In a previous issue  I saw a call for tech tips and figured I’d put my two cents in, since I’m really pleased with my large format printer and my ability to print my cleaned-up sketches directly on my final paper. My technique allows me to keep the freshness of my original sketch, without losing any energy to transfering it on a light table.

So, I submitted the tip and forgot about it.

Until I received the June issue of the SCBWI mag, that is…

Check it out: I’m (kinda) (almost) famous!

You never get tired of seeing your name in print, and I’ve already gotten a few unsolicted emails from people who saw the tip and had questions.

Next step after I finish work on my current project (on which I’m totally making use of my own tech tip): publication in anoter type of magazine…maybe Highlights 🙂

The Spread

The Spread

After completing the character designs and color studies, I’ve been hard at work sketching out an illustrated for children and their grandparents. In doing so, I’ve totally taken up the most valuable real-estate in our study: the floor!

What have I been up to?

(more…)

Bartering a Bear for a Snake

One night as we were sitting down for family movie night, we started hearing a wonderful waterfall in our house. The washing machine was spilling water out the back!

After trying a coat hanger, a garden hose and Drano, my husband got the washing machine to stop spilling over…but the extra water was just leaking out of pipes under the house.

He gave up and called our friend, PR, who just so happened to build our house, for advice on a plumber that could help us figure out what was going on.

Our friend came out the next day and PR and my Husband (but mostly PR) fixed the problem. Turns out you can’t put a half of a brisket in the garbage disposal. So they took apart a pipe, snaked it, flushed it, snaked it again and cleared the clog.

Plumbing on a weekend can cost a pretty penny, but with the problem solved, we were willing to pay PR whatever he thought was reasonable.

Before we could offer anything, he said “I don’t want any money for this. But, would you illustrate a picture for the story I tell my children?”

So, of course, I said ‘of course!’

And that’s how you trade a Bear for a Snake!