Friday, February 26, 2010

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Reach Out and Read


Did you know that more than 60% of low-income families in the U.S. have ZERO children’s books in their homes? So sad. Thank goodness for programs like Reach Out and Read, a fabulous organization that brings books and authors to the kids that need them.

I did a school visit with them a couple of years ago and it was an amazing experience... picture a gymnasium full of preschoolers paying rapt attention to a thirty minute book reading and presentation (this is not a statement about my presentation skills, but rather that they were so hungry for this kind of thing). Kids stopped me in the hallways to say how excited they were to have an author in their school. I received the biggest stack of thank you letters and drawings and handmade books I've ever seen, they still sit proudly in my studio. Honestly it was one of the most touching and worthwhile school visits I've ever done.

Anyways, they are up for a grant for 250k from Pepsi. Click here to vote for them! Its a truly worth cause. The contest ends this Sunday (the 28th).

NOTE: When you follow the link to Pepsi and click “Vote”, you’ll be asked to log in. Once you do that, you need to click “Vote” once more for your vote to actually count!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

More good news

The f&gs* for Disappearing Desmond just arrived! Aren't they nice and shiny?



Wilbur says they smell pretty good.


*F&g stands for folded and gathered sheets, basically the signatures of a book before its been bound.

CCBC best-of-the-year list


Great news, ABIGAIL SPELLS has been named to the Cooperative Children’s Book Center Choice list. Hurray!

CCBC Choices is the annual best-of-the-year list of the Cooperative Children’s Book Center. The Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC) is a unique examination, study and research library of the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

For more information and the complete list of choices, click here.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Inspiration: The Wind in the Willows


Right now I am re-reading The Wind in the Willows, looking for ideas and inspiration. What an incredible book, I am completely engrossed. Its been a long time since I've read it and mainly my memories of it have been replaced by images from the various movies... but my what a masterfully told story. I've been jotting down some of my favorite turns of phrase, the ones that give me shivers and make me remember why I wanted to write books in the first place.

"...the river still chattered on to him, a babbling procession of the best stories in the world, sent from the heart of the earth to be told at last to the insatiable sea."

"But it was from one little window, with its blind drawn down, a mere blank transparency on the night, that the sense of home and the little curtained world within walls- the larger stressful world of outside Nature shut out and forgotten- most pulsated."

"He clambered into his bunk and rolled himself well up in the blankets, and slumber gathered him forthwith, as a swath of barley is folded into the arms of the reaping-machine."

Shivers.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Thursday, February 18, 2010

What can you do with an old bicycle tire?

Why, make it into a belt of course. Check out Psyclopath's shop on Etsy! Ever since What Can You Do with an Old Red Shoe? I can't help but spy reuse everywhere...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

BookMoot review

Thanks for the sweet review of What Can You Do with an Old Red Shoe?!

"Even if you do not turn an old shoe into a planter, the book should cause the reader to pause and reflect on our disposable, throw-away society.

The Great Depression is never far from my own thoughts as the economy continues to sink below the surface. These projects may come in very handy indeed in the not so distant future."

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Kirkus is back!

In case you hadn't heard (I hadn't), the head of the NBA (wha?) bought Kirkus! Check it out.

Etsy at last

As a long time fan of all the goodness that is Etsy, I have at last opened my very own shop. Hurrah! I've been selling prints of my illustrations (from books and other projects) at craft sales such as the RISD holiday sale for some time, but now they are available to everyone year round easy as pie.I just hope it doesn't tempt me to shop there more than I already do!

I'll be adding more prints from recent books and the occasional original painting now and then when I can. Check it out and let me know what you think.

Here is a sampling of what I put up... some inkjet prints from What Can You Do with an Old Red Shoe?, and some little framed bird giclées:











Monday, February 15, 2010

Getting ready

Now that I've got the go ahead to turn the sketches for A Photo for Greta into paintings, I've been spending every free moment in my studio getting ready. It kind of feels like I'm about to go on a trip and need to pack things up and put things away before I go. Once I'm knee deep in painting its impossible to keep track of things like filing and where the stapler goes, some part of my brain is always thinking about whatever is on the drafting table.

So I'm packing up, putting things away, cleaning like crazy. I hemmed the pants that have been sitting in the corner for a month, packed up my great aunt's costume jewelry collection (on the floor since the new year), and weeded out my sock drawer. I took care of travel arrangements for school visits coming up and started my taxes. My schedule is made.

Now TO PAINT!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Friday, February 12, 2010

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Inspiration via Denyse Schmidt

In keeping with my resolution to do more creative projects that do not have to do with my work, lately I have been daydreaming about making a quilt. This was largely inspired by the discovery of Denyse Schmidt when I opened a recent edition of in ReadyMade. I adore her minimalist, modern approach and gorgeous color palettes. Beautiful, no?







Tuesday, February 09, 2010

New Greta sketch


Still working away on my new project, now titled A Photo for Greta. You can see some of the other sketches here, here, and here.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Letters from kids

After a school visit, I often get the most lovely letters from the kids I spoke to. They always make my day.

(click to enlarge)



I especially love the drawings. Here is this third grader's version of Sarah from What Can You Do with an Old Red Shoe?. Love the granny shoes!

Friday, February 05, 2010

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Poladroid

Warning: if you do not wish to procrastinate, do not continue reading.

Guess what I just downloaded? The amazing Poladroid! Make any picture into a polaroid on your very own desktop. Sooo much fun. It even makes the noise and develops slowly before your eyes...









Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Review of Abigail Spells in The Eagle

"Charming in every way, this powerful little story will connect with children on multiple levels."

(click image to read more)



Thanks guys!

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

The Small Object

Recently discovered these adorable creations by The Small Object (thanks for the link Jeannie)! I love the sweet patterns and twine arms.