Saturday, December 15, 2007

Persnickety Pup....Products for Dogs and Cats

Check out my friend's wonderful dog and cat collars and other products. She creates them herself and is incredibly talented. All of her work is top quality..I can vouch for it due to knowing her personally.

Monday, December 10, 2007

You Make Me Smile Award

My illustrator friend Ginger Nielson gave me this You Make Me Smile Award and I had to post it here. What a wonderful idea and kind gesture. Check out Ginger's wonderful children's illustrations.
Thank you Ginger. You make me smile too.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

A beautiful House for Sale in Oregon

Anyone in the market for a home in Oregon? Check out this beautiful home for sale in Oregon. My friend Sherry (talented children's illustrator) is blogging it for her parents. The house and the people are wonderful. I'm hoping maybe the eyes of the new owners will see the post there and buy it!

Mayra Calvani on The Author/Illustrator Relationship

Below is an article by Author Mayra Calvani. (I am illustrating a children's picture book written by Mayra)
This is Mayra's blog-tour stop on my blog.

For anyone who leaves a comment, she will be giving away a $20.00 Amazon gift certificate on Christmas day to the winner of a drawing if you leave a post after you have read the article.

On the Author/Illustrator Relationship…
By Mayra Calvani

For most authors, working with an illustrator for a picture book can be a thrilling yet stressful experience. Having created the imaginary world in their stories, authors often wonder whether or not the artist will be able to grasp the essence of the setting and characters—not only physically, but tone-wise as well. After all, it is up to the artist to bring the story visually to life. Sometimes the artist may have a different idea for the artwork than the author, and this can create problems.

When working with the big publishing houses, authors hardly have any saying as far as the artwork goes. The art department assigns the illustrator who they think will be better suitable for the book, and that’s that. With small presses, the author has more influence in the matter and often authors and illustrators work side by side. This, by the way, doesn’t necessarily lead to a better book. It’s okay for the author to indicate her vision for the book, but it’s also important to allow the artist to be creative and do her part. Likewise, an illustrator should keep in mind the author’s vision for the illustrations. Mutual respect and communication are essential in any relationship, and for authors and illustrators working together this is no exception.

Of course, an author has the most control over the artwork when she hires an artist for a self publishing project. This is how I found Amy Moreno. Initially I was planning to self publish my children’s picture book, The Doll Violinist. I had sent it out to dozens of agents and publishers, without success. I got some good comments on it, but apparently the editors and agents found the story’s tone too ‘quiet’. Nevertheless, I had faith in my project and set out to find the right illustrator for it. My plan was to keep submitting while the artwork was being done, and in the event that I didn’t have a publisher by the time it was finished, then I would publish it myself.

But to go back to Amy … I spent about three months searching online, studying illustrator’s styles and querying the ones whose work I liked to learn about their fees and work schedules. I found Amy via ( I believe in the sixth sense, and I instantly felt a connection to Amy’s beautiful illustrations and renderings. I got in contact with her. To make a long story short, I sent her The Doll Violinist and she loved it. Amy’s background in music and the cello was a huge plus, as I really wanted someone who would understand the musical aspect of the story. After I described her what I was after and we exchanged ideas, I asked her to send me a sample illustration, which she did. When I saw it, I was spellbound—in that single black & white drawing, she had perfectly captured the essence of the story. This was in the fall of 2006. She’s still working on the illustrations, 24 in all, and in the meantime I have been sending off the story and sample artwork to various publishers. The Doll Violinist won an Honorable Mention Award at the Writer’s Digest Writing Competition and was one of 12 finalists this year at the ABC’s Children’s Picture Book Competition, so I’m still hoping that it will catch the attention of a publisher. Working with Amy has been a thrilling and rewarding experience as we see the story, setting and characters come to life. Since the story takes place in Victorian Europe, Amy has done a tremendous amount of research for the fashions and architecture of the time. She spent a long time studying the postures of violinists and even bought a violin so she could get the violin illustrations perfectly right! Thanks to her skill and vision, I know the book will turn out a beautiful product, whether traditionally or self published.

In the case of The Magic Violin, however, it was my publisher, Lynda Burch of Guardian Angel Publishing, who assigned the artist, though she asked my opinion before a decision was made. As soon as I saw K.C. Snider’s website (, or I was very impressed by her drawing and paintings, especially of horses, which are her specialty. So I accepted her suggestion to have K.C. illustrate my book. K.C. was wonderful to work with, even though I made a few mistakes initially. For one thing, I didn’t give her enough information about the setting and especially about the correct postures for a violinist. This created some delay as I found errors in the artwork which had to be fixed. I blame myself for this. If I had spent more time communicating, I would have made both our lives a little easier. She was very open to suggestions and wanted me to be happy with the result, so I’m really grateful to her for that. Part of the reason for this lack of communication was my hectic schedule, so this has been a valuable lesson—to always give my writing projects 100% of my attention. Fortunately, I’m happy with the results and especially with the cover. I think K.C. captured something special and even magical in that cover.

Every children’s picture book is an adventure and I can’t wait to dive into the next one. Finding the right illustrator can be difficult, but once you do, it’s really a worthwhile and exciting experience. The secret? Mutual respect and communication.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Free Rice - a U.N. Cause to bring Rice to Poor Nations

Check out this fantastic site Free Rice, by the United Nations. You play a game trying to guess the right definitions for words, and for every one you get right, 20 grams of rice are donated through the UN to end world hunger. It's great fun for an important cause, and it doesn't cost anything except the time to try to figure out the definitions.

Cakespy's website and Etsy shop

Cakespy left a kind comment on my blog, allowing me to find her blog and ETSY now I'm blogging them. Look at those Dee-lic-ious cupcakes on her blog! Love her ETSY shop too.
I recently updated my ETSY shop and have more to add finally. It has been on my t0-do list for quite awhile. If you've never visited ETSY...go and visit..but be warned, the all handmade item site is very addictive. I think it's one of the best venues online to see wonderful handmade items at excellent prices. It costs very little to have a shop there. They take a percentage from sales, and only a small amount to post each item.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Town of Cochrane Mural-Mosaic

The Town of Cochrane displays an amazing mural composed of many small paintings. Click on the squares to see the individual paintings that compose the large image.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Send an online Thank you card to the troops

I blogged this awhile ago, but recently found it and wanted to reblog it.
You can send a free online thank you note to the troops here at Let's Say Thanks.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

May you be filled with a sense of thankfulness for the blessings in your life, loved ones, friends, your home, school, church, place of worship, community, your talents, gifts, hopes for the future, goals, and dreams, and just the ability to draw breath, see and taste, walk, run, much....

Here's a pic from our backyard this morning. We're getting ready for a houseful of 14, so we've let the leaves lay there for all to enjoy. I love the Autumn leaves. The turkey is in the oven...yum....

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Crack Scull Bob's blog- Educational Illustrations

I love this guy's sense of humor, and his illustrations are even better. Check out Crack Scull Bob's blog.
I started my own blog about Educational Illustration. (I know...I I need another one)

Craft Skull Monkeys

Here's a blog by illustrator Amanda Kavanagh whose work is fantastic.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

VWater Flash Ad

Friday, November 16, 2007

Golden Autumn

Every time I look out my kitchen window, I see this gorgeous tree. It has lost several big limbs in the past few years due to their sheer weight, but it is still incredible. Today the leaves were bright yellow. This photo was from yesterday. It doesn't do the tree justice.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Scott E Franson and His Post about Lookybook

Check out Scott E. Franson's blogpost about Lookybook. Lookybook seems to be an online site that allows whole picturebooks to be viewed, page by page. I haven't read any more other than taking a short peek at Scott's post. It's fascinating, but I hope there are clear copyright protections in place before books are posted.

Yaytime-Advice for building a career as a freelance artist

Check out Yaytime. Dave Roman gives Advice for building a career as a freelance artist.
George from the yahoo illustrator's list gave the info...thanks George

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Children's illustrator Brian Selznick's Video Interviews

Check out Brian Selznick's fun interviews through Reading Rockets. I got a kick out of the first one about GI Joe Island and the trolls he used to have. In the next one he talks about how he didn't want to be a children's book funny.

Support Homeless Youth

Monday, November 12, 2007

Article on C.S. Lewis and George MacDonald and Writing for Children

Into the Wardrobe, a C.S. Lewis website has an interesting article about C.S. Lewis and George MacDonald and their writing for children.

Find Out Your Hobbit Name

Check out this site that gives you your Hobbit name. There's a link at the bottom that leads to another page for an Elven Name.

One Laptop Per Child in Developing Worlds

Check out this site One laptop Per Child that has a program going on to donate laptops to children in developing worlds.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Christmas and Holiday Cards for Recovering Soldiers

When you are making out your Christmas and holiday cards this year, how about including the following on your list:

A Recovering American Soldier
c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center
6900 Georgia Avenue,NW
Washington, D.C. 20307-5001

Order Customized Holiday Art for Cards and Gifts!

I'm offering Customized Holiday Card and Gift Images created from client's photos from now until early December. I mostly do pen and ink renderings, but can create colored pencil work as well. You can also give customized art as a special gift for loved ones. I do not create the cards, but the artwork for them.


I've been working on my story at Nanowrimo. It's a blast even though at this point it's a lame rambling sort of tale. I'm up to nearly 10.000 words so far. There are fun aspects to the event of National November Write a Novel in a Month. YOu are supposed to write the story without editing it at first and then go back later to deal with the editing. I like that aspect. I would be tempted to edit it to death at the beginning and kill all the creativity. There are writers of all ages and from all over the world taking part in this. The forums are interesting too.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Hanock Piven and Halloween

Check out Hanoch Piven's work on Drawger. He's got halloween images up of course. I am fascinated by his art.
Have a happy and safe Halloween all!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

National Center for Children's Illustrated Literature

Check out the National Center for Children's Illustrated Literature. They currently are showing an exhibit called, Golden Legacy: Original Art from 65 Years of Golden Books.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Maira Kalman Talks about Her Illustrations

Check out this terrific video of Maira Kalman talking about her children's book illustrations and art for the New Yorker. She is a riot.

The Picture Bookies Blog

Check out our Picture Bookies Blog. We're discussing difficult or challenging art projects we've had in the past and how we tackled them.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Sherry Rogers Highlighted on Loree Griffin Burns' blog

Check out Loree Griffin Burn's blog. She is highlighting Sherry Rogers, whose beautiful snowflake is up for auction at Robert's Snow.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Digital Artist Video with Maurice Sendak

Maurice Sendak is interviewed here in the video titled Descent Into Limbo. Fascinating. You've GOT to listen to it. He tells the history of how he got started and what happened in the children's publishing industry from the 50's on throughout the years.

Dan P. Carr's wonderful Art

Take a look at Dan P. Carr's daily paintings. His blogs has great art and links.

Video about Illustrator Quentin Blake

Take a look at The Digital Artist Videos...there are many great ones about children's illustrator Quentin Blake. It's a fascinating interview to watch...about the BFG and many of the books he has illustrated.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

02-Desenho- Great Illustration Links

02-Desenho has a treasure trove of illustration links. Some of the blog is in Portuguese, but it's fairly clear as to what the links are...and if not...have fun being surprised.
I'm going to save this link on my favorites..

Monday, October 08, 2007

Rebecca's New Blog...Caspia Cottage

Children's Illustrator Rebecca Sweet has a new blog, Caspia Cottage.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Spam from Mrs. Ruth Dodo

Another inventive spam email....
These just crack me up. I can't imagine how they combine the aspects of these spam messages, having their Gold-mine-managing-husband die on the way to Pavarotti's funeral? This one sounds it comes from a poorly written soap opera. There was much more of course, but I spared the sad details of the money grubbing untrustworthy rich relatives, and poor Mrs. Dodo's sickness and her desire to entrust me with their millions and give it to orphans and the poor.

-----Original Message-----
From: Ruth <>
Sent: Sun, 7 Oct 2007 7:55 pm
Subject: Hello

Hello     I am Mrs. Ruth Dodo from England; I am married to 
Mr. Dodo the Manager of PG  Gold corporation Ghana. 
We were married for 40 years without a child. 
He died in  a car accident in Italy with his driver 
on their way to Late Luciano Pavarotti 
the singer funeral who died Thu, 6 Sep 2007 
Best regards, Mrs. Ruth Dodo   

News on the ABC Book Competition

I'm not sure if the news is public yet, but I wanted to thank everyone who generously took the time to vote for The Doll Violinist. Huge congratulations to the winner! Out of the other entries there were two others I would have voted for myself. My first choice other than ours, didn't win obviously and..the other preference won! (I don't want to spoil the news, so I won't mention the name)

Suffice it to say we didn't win, and we actually came out pretty far down the line.

I am so grateful though to the support and encouragement of so many people who took the time to vote and to care for the art and story, and to ask how it was going. Wow. You are all amazing. I am blessed beyond belief to have seen the care and time taken to give a hand and vote.

On to new adventures!

What The Heck Does An Illustrator Do-blog

Julie Olson's blog What The Heck Does An Illustrator Do? caught my eye the other day and I saved it to blog later. Olson is a children's illustrator with some good bloggings to follow. Her work is charming too!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Will Hillenbrand...Children's author/illustrator

A local illustrator friend referred me to Will Hillenbrand's wonderful website. Hillenbrand is a children's author/illustrator. His site offers great info for teachers, and about the art process. I enjoyed the pics of him working with the kids during his school can tell how much he loves kids, and how much they must enjoy having him speak.

Monday, October 01, 2007

The Winners of my Prize Drawing

I have drawn the two winning papers for the prize drawing mentioned at the beginning of the ABC Book Competition voting event (taking note of each email address of anyone who voted, each time they voted throughout the past two weeks)

The first place winner of a customized pen and ink rendering of her home or the building of her choice is...................................Drew Allison!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The second place winner for a $15.00 item from my cafepress site is..............................Sarah Scales!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you so much to all who supported The Doll Violinist and Mayra Calvani and I in your time, care and voting, I am so grateful and honored to have seen the time taken in voting for us. Hopefully we'll all hear something soon about the results of the voting in the contest.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Last Day to Vote at the ABC Book Competition

The ABC Book Competition voting ends today....whew...that seemed very long to me.
If you haven't taken the time to go read the stories and view the art, take a look at this year's entries. Mayra Calvani and I are the team for The Doll Violinist. We've both got prize drawings at that occur tomorrow for those who vote for us and email us regarding their vote. See info further down in my blog for details if interested.
Thank you so very much to all who have supported us and voted during this LONG two weeks....we are sincerely grateful.
May the best team win!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Human Flip Book

Ooh..this is such fun. Check out the Human Flip Book.

The Humor of Being a Mom

Video Description

Anita Renfroe sings a melody of mom-isms to the William Tell Overture

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Childrens Writers and Illustrators of British Colombia

Check out the CWILLBC...Childrens Writers and Illustrators of British Colombia.

Cheryl Rainfield's Blog

Check out Cheryl Rainfield's blog . She is an avid reader, teen fiction writer, book-a-hoic and blogs about children's and teen fiction. Her latest post is about children's book reveiws and discussion podcasts. Cool things there.

Monday, September 24, 2007

ThisNext ThisOne: Etch-a-Song

This looks like such fun.

ThisNext: ThisOne

One Product.
Once a Day.
Monday, September 24, 2007


Read more about Yamaha TENORI-ON


Etch-a-Sketch and Light Bright haven't got a thing on the TENORI-ON.

Designed by Toshio Iwai, the TENORI-ON is a "keyboard" instrument... >> more

For people who like:
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Previous Ones

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Friday, September 21, 2007

Gameday Customs Ultimate Tailgate

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Benefit HerGlossiness

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Fully Modular Recycable Trainer

Read more about Gameday Customs Ultimate Tailgate
Read more about Benefit HerGlossiness
Read more about Fully Modular Recycable Trainer - 1409 3rd Street Promenade Ste A, Santa Monica CA 90401.
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