Friday, January 23, 2009

Illustration Friday - Climbing

I created the above image last night but as I was drawing it, I kept thinking about what would happen next in the story. Who was that person next to the house? Why is the boy climbing the cliff? The more I thought about it, the more I couldn't resist adding a second panel to the story...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Buh-bye old desk

If anyone is interested, I put my old desk on eBay today. Now that I have my shiny new desk there is no room for the old one. I put all the drawers and the tablet tray back on it for the auction. If you want it you'll have to come and get it because it's big and it's heavy. But thank goodness it can come apart. I'm auctioning off both the main desk and the long skinny one that's behind it in the photo.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Little Mommy

I received my new copy of Little Mommy by Sharon Kane in the mail yesterday. This was one of my favorite books as a child and it's been out of print for 40 years. (UGH! I'm dating myself.) I was really happy to see it back in print, as original copies were going for $100 on Ebay. UGH! I wish I still had my old copy!

It's a shame they didn't bring it back a few years earlier so I could have shared it with my daughter when she was little. But I went ahead and ordered a copy for my bookshelf. (One of the good things about being a children's book illustrator is that it gives me an excuse to buy picture books.) Little Mommy is a very quiet little book that goes through the little girl's day playing mommy. The illustrations are beautifully drawn but I think it was the orderliness of the little girl's world that appealed to me most as a child. The book follows the little girl's day as she does her household chores and tidies up after her dollies. Her play-mommy life is organized in a safe, cozy sort of way with a place for everything and everything in it's place. Just like real motherhood...


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Wow! My new desk has arrived!

My hubby is an amazingly talented person. For the past several months he has been working away in the evenings to build me an awesome new desk. But first let me show you the before pictures...

Above is my old desk. The desk worked fine for many years. I had a custom build tray for my Wacom tablet and everything fit great. But then I got my Cintiq and there just wasn't enough room. I ended up removing the Wacom tray and the drawers from the left side of the desk so I had more leg room. It just wasn't cutting it anymore. I was resorting to putting papers on the floor or where ever I could find a spot. On the adjacent wall I had another desk thingy that held the printer and scanner. There was no room from the all-in-one so that ended up on the floor.

In case anyone is in need of two big sturdy desks I'll be putting them up on Ebay this week. The drawers and the Wacom tray are included if you want it.

But now... Drum roll please...

Tada! I've got acres of desk space! No more using the floor for papers. There is a bookcase underneath for added storage and also to give some support to the top. He also made cabinets to get the all-in-one off the floor and the scanner off the desktop. Everything has it's own pullout drawer now. And on the end he made me a special cabinet for storing paper. I love the new light maple color, it really brightens up the room. I can't wait to put it to work.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Things to Sing About 2008

My Illustration for Kids friends, Jannie and Anette had this great idea to list their accomplishments for 2008 and their hopes and goals for 2009. It sounds like a good way to start the year to me...

There are some things that I'm proud of from 2008

I attended the Winter SCBWI conference in NYC
In NY I got to meet some really great folks like I had previously only know through cyberspace. Wonderful illustrators like Jannie, Leeza, Alicia, Kim and Courtney it was wonderful to meet all of you!

I spoke at the New England SCBWI conference.
I don't know how well I did. It was my first time speaking in front of grown-ups in years. But at least I got up there and gave it my best. And I had the opportunity to meet Brain Lies who I admire very much and Harold Underdown and I got to catch up with some old friends like Jennifer Meyers and Ginger Nielson and many more.

Book Signing with Jean Cochran

Finally, finally Jean Cochran from Pleasant St. Press and I had a chance to meet. She and her husband Alan are lovely people and it was a pleasure to finally meet them both.

Seeing my book on the cover of Publisher's Weekly
It was a small thumbnail but it was Publisher's Weekly and I was very honored.

Attending the Highlights Party

What fun, to be able to do work for an institution like Highlights and get invited to their annual illustrator party. How cool is that?! And I got to meet my long time internet friend Karen Lee and her family in person. What a lovely (and amazingly talented) family.

Finished the illustrations for On a Dark, Dark Night
Gee most of the things I've listed so far were social events but I also did a lot of work in the studio this year (honest!) I'm particularly proud of the illos for On a Dark, Dark Night written by Jean Cochran. I'm looking forward to the book's release this fall.

"May I Please Have a Cookie?" has been out now for three years. But I still get parents telling me how much their kid's enjoy the book. Some have said it has become "that book" in their house. Parents, you know what I mean, the book that you have to read ever night over and over again. I'm sure it drives the parent's nuts having to read it over and over again (sorry about that!) but it certainly makes me feel proud that some little person has really enjoyed my book. I hope to have more news about Alfie in the coming year.

2008 Ice Storm

Wow, it's been a while since I blogged. Things have been a bit busy the past month. We had a pretty bad ice storm here in New England back on December 11th. The above is a pic from my back yard. (The trees normally don't bend over like that.)

It was really beautiful, especially when the sun came out later in the day, but it wreaked havoc with the trees and power lines. Driving through town that afternoon was like driving through a war zone with power lines and trees laying everywhere. I've never seen anything like it.

Needless to say we lost power. Boy did we lose power! It took 10 days for the power to come back. We stayed with relatives out of town most of that time and when we returned the temperature in our kitchen was a chilly 28 degrees F. The flowers on the kitchen window sill were frozen in the cup of water. Luckily we didn't have too much damage, just 2 leaky pipes (some friends had all their pipes burst) Even our goldfish in the basement, made it through the ordeal. Although they were swimming VERY slowly when we returned. The whole mess certainly made for an unusual Christmas this year.

One casualty of the storm that I'm really bummed about is my Christmas cactus. It wasn't very large or anything but it was a cutting from my great-grandmother's cactus. I believe the cactus originally belonged to her grandmother. Which would make me the 6th generation to have this particular house plant. Kind of a weird heirloom isn't it? Hopefully someone in the family still has a piece so I can get a new cutting.