Wednesday, June 30, 2010

AlA recap

It was a great weekend at ALA! I only wish I could have squeezed in some signings and chatted with more folks, I think the heat might have melted my brain a little and slowed me down. Also being pregnant I was a little less mobile than usual.

Anyways, my ALA weekend started at a Random House cocktail party at the Newseum. My publisher was celebrating the launch of the Cat in the Hat PBS show, and hosted a lovely party (complete with Thing 1 and Thing 2 cocktails) up on the rooftop below. We only stepped out on the deck for a few minutes as it was 100 degrees, but I did get these shots...





Then is was off to a lovely celebration dinner with Grace and company.

Sunday I visited the convention center and strolled along the isles looking at all the publisher's displays. Then in the evening headed back to Libby and Alvina's hotel to change for the banquet, which Grace so generously gave us all tickets to. Choosing my outfit was less about finding the perfect dress and more about finding something appropriate that would fit over my belly, but I managed with a very stretchy dress I bought on Etsy.

I didn't take as many pictures as I should have, but I did get this one of the beautiful programs, filled with art from The Lion & the Mouse.



This is the banquet hall, SO big.



When they called Grace's name we all got up and cheered! She looked gorgeous with a glowing smile on her face. Such a perfect moment.



Then came Jerry Pinkney's speech, throughout which he had an irrepressible grin. I loved that he has his whole family stand up to be cheered for (librarians sure know how to hoot and holler!).



I found Rebecca Stead's speech incredibly moving. She divided it into four parts... how she became a writer, found the courage to keep working on her novel then accept the attention it brought, then ended with all the ways in which she is grateful. It was so humble and relatable. Especially the part where she talked about always fearing the moment when people sung her happy birthday and were all staring at her... she said winning the award felt like a million happy birthdays, but she loved it!



Here is me, Libby, and Elaine at our table. Again, I wish I had taken more pictures, but hopefully other people's posts (there are a number on BRG here, here, and here) will fill in where mine leaves off. Congratulations Grace and all the winners!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Back from ALA

Home at last after a busy week of travel! I'll have more to post soon from my trip to DC for ALA, but for now a picture of us Blue Rose Girls at the Caldecott/Newbery awards banquet. We all stood up and cheered as Grace accepted her well deserved honor for Where the Mountain Meets the Moon!

From left to right: me (and my 5 month pregnant belly), Libby Koponen, Grace Lin, Meghan McCarthy, Alvina Ling, Elaine Magliaro.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

On the road

After putting the finishing touches on A Photo for Greta, I am packing up my car and heading out for a week long road trip. I am a. very excited about this book and thrilled to have it finished after many years of developing the project and b. psyched for a long weekend and whirlwind road trip after many months of painting.

My car is packed and the first stop is New York. I'll meet with my publisher, drop off the art, and have a nice lunch. Then its back on the road and heading down to my hometown in Virginia to visit with my folks for a few days. My mom is doing me the very kind favor of looking after my plants next year while we're in California, so my car looks something like a greenhouse with 15 large leafy plants squeezed into the back of my Honda Coupe. I love my plants and couldn't leave them to wither.

Last stop will be DC on Saturday and Sunday, where I will join the BRG and lots of you (I hope) at ALA. If you are walking the floor or doing a signing or will be at the banquet let me know!

I'll leave you with some more Greta art:

Monday, June 21, 2010

Finishing touches

Just a couple more paintings to finish, and then I will drive A Photo for Greta down to New York and place her in the trusty hands of my publisher. Yippee! More to come on the making of the art, I'll be scanning everything in today so I will have much more to show you soon.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Miranda July's "Eleven Heavy Things"

I just love Miranda July. She is always writing great books and making great movies and generally being cute and melancholy at the same time. She now has a new public art installation in Union Square NYC consisting of large interactive sculptures like these:



(That is her on the left)




You can find an interview with her about the project here.

(Via Magpie and Cake)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

First books

One week til my deadline for A Photo for Greta! I'm at the stage where I go back over all the paintings and touch up little things, make sure the colors match, and make any last minute changes... there is much to be done so I will make my post short today.

Just yesterday I got a sweet little package on my doorstep, the first bound books for Disappearing Desmond. The book will be on shelves in August, more soon on festivities planned!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

What can you do with an old spool of thread?

Another fun reuse project from Design Sponge that fits right along with the theme of Old Red Shoe! Check out the how-to here. I love this one. Except then you can't use your thread. Small price to pay I suppose.



Monday, June 07, 2010

FCB Auction with Leo Landry

The Foundation for Children's Books in Boston is one of my very favorite organizations. They hold a series of lectures with various children's book writers and illustrators at Boston College, give workshops for book lovers of all kinds (at which I have been honored to speak), and do the very good work of bringing authors into schools that cannot afford them.

In 2009, fellow author/illustrator Grace Lin began donating paintings to the Foundation to be auctioned on eBay as a benefit for their programs in under-served schools. This year, 12 different illustrators will contribute to the "Small Graces" auction (I'll be donating a piece this fall). Each month a small, unpublished, original painting will be auctioned on eBay with 100% of the proceeds to support the FCB's author/illustrator visits and residencies in urban schools.

This month's painting (below), a gorgeous, signed watercolor by Leo Landry with a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson, is on auction now through through Friday, June 11. Leo is a friend and incredibly talented, I especially adore his book The Snow Ghosts.

Click here to bid on his beautiful piece! This is a really great chance to get affordable original children's book art for a great cause.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Greta's jacket

After mailing in the jacket painting for A Photo for Greta a few weeks ago, I just got the layout back from the designer. I love the pink type! Its so exciting to see the book coming together. A few more weeks on the art and all will be done...

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Book art

A very clever Paul Octavious sells the prints below! Awesome.





(Via SwissMiss)