Apologies for the lack of posting, it's been a busy few weeks while we get ready for family visits and the holidays. This weekend we got our tree at a neighboring farm. It's been a lot of fun starting new traditions with a little one in tow.
On the work front I am most excited that we have just found a wonderful babysitter to come to our house so that I can at last have concentrated work hours again. Until now, Bruno and I have been trading off with the baby (he works at home too), and it's been nearly impossible to finish any of the projects on my list. I am hopeful that the new year will bring lots of productivity!
Until then, hope the coming weeks are filled with lots of holiday fun for you and yours...
I have been obsessing about this ridiculously cute little guy for awhile now. He just never fails to make me happy. I mean LOOK at him. He's so pleasantly wistful. So contemplative. So approachable. I want to spend the afternoon with him (maybe longer).
It's such a busy time of year with the holidays looming and lots to wrap up by the end of the year. But this weekend we got to take a step back to do some celebrating; it was little Tilda's first birthday! What a wonderful year it's been. Here are a few pictures from the weekend. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Last week we lost our internet, a result of the big storm, so this week I am digging out of emails and catching up on this and that. Highlights of the week include a Skype visit with some first graders in Pennsylvania, beginning the somewhat daunting task of sewing a new slipcover for our sofa (my fingers bear the battle wounds of pinning velcro all night), and finally finishing a pair of baby legwarmers for Tilda.
On the agenda for this week: finishing the relaunch of my Etsy store, making some web site updates, and finishing the party decorations for Tilda's one year birthday.
New England got hit with a big storm this weekend, some of us are still digging out! It took us a bit by surprise, it is October after all, so we were a bit underprepared for loosing our power and water. Still, it was very pretty out here in the country. Tilda just stared and stared.
That lump in the yard is a picnic table.
It was surreal seeing the yellow and red fall leaves underneath all that snow.
The fall sale on Saturday was a lot of fun as usual; the main street that runs through the RISD campus was blocked off for the day and filled with alumni selling their wares. I had a table and sold prints as well as books. Below is my new display all set up. Sadly it did not last long before we had to take it down, the sale was hit with 30 mph gusts in some spots that sent many a book flying down the street. Thankfully Libby was on hand to help me hold things down (quite literally). We didn't have it as bad as some folks though, not the day to be a glass blower. Every so often the crowd was silenced by an explosion of shattering glass. Yikes!
I will have many of these new prints in my Etsy shop soon, stay tuned!
Just a note to let you know I will have a table at this Saturday's RISD Alumni Sale. There will be lots of fabulous handmade goodies at the sale: from hand-blown glass to fine art to knitwear and pottery. It's always a fun day signing books and meeting the other artists. Though the real reason I go may be to shop! It's hard not to covet all the beautiful handmade lovelies I'd like to take home and put around my house.
I'll be at table #149 selling books and prints. If you are in the area do come say hello!
Saturday the 15th from 10:00-4:00 pm
Benefit Street in Providence, in between Waterman and George Streets
Lately Wilbur and George have been all "put the camera away woman, I can't pose for your blog like 24 hours a day". Thankfully there are other more accommodating furballs, such as this little fellow. His name is Walter III (aka Trip) and his sunny little forehead just calls out for some love. Thanks for visiting Trip!
I know we still have two days, but it already feels like fall with the chilly nights and leaves starting to turn. I am still picking bouquets at our CSA, hoping to keep summer alive in our house a few weeks longer...
While unpacking boxes, I recently came across a stack of books from my childhood that I haven't seen in years. I LOVED this series. The books originally belonged to my mom, they were first published in 1913. I can't wait to reread them! Finding them was perfect timing, as I've been working on my own chapter book of animal stories.
Please pardon the radio silence as I get unpacked in our new home (again). This time we're settling for awhile an it feels great. Most of our place is still in boxes, but the living room is shaping up nicely. The house we're renting feels like a little mountain lodge.
This is the view from the living room window:
And a little fellow my husband caught the other day:
The place is brimming with wildlife; there are hummingbirds, dragonflies, frogs, chipmunks, and deer all over the place (I'm told bears as well, though we haven't seen any yet). The woods are full of edible mushrooms, my husband had some for lunch today that looked like this:
It's been a really nice change from city life, and a big sigh of relief to unpack things that have been in storage for more than a year. I realized pretty quickly as we started sifting through boxes that the vast majority of my things fall into one of three categories: books (of course), art supplies, and angsty drawings from college like this one:
I'd love to purge and lighten our load but I find each of those things very hard to get rid of, for different reasons. The books because I want to remember them and reread them and use them for inspiring new stories. The art supplies because of all the projects I might need them for. And the drawings because the more time that passes since art school the more I forget where I started on the journey to becoming an author and illustrator. And it's good to remember that beginning and how much has changed since then.
"A bunny misses her photographer father when he’s gone on assignments. Sometimes she wishes she were the subject of his photo shoots. When he covers the circus, Greta imagines she is a circus performer. Then he photographs a country singer, and she plays the part in cowboy boots. When she aspires to have an important job like his, her father assures her that she already has the most important job–being his Greta. The short, sweet text offers young children reassurance as it follows the rabbit’s thoughts while she dreams of ways to be close to her dad. The acrylic paintings of an anthropomorphic rabbit family are reminiscent of those in Margaret Wise Brown’s Good Night Moon (HarperCollins, 1947) and verify the warmth of the narrative . . ."
–Carolyn Janssen, Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, OH
Thanks SLJ! Read more about A Photo for Gretahere.
It's been a busy month with sadly not much writing or drawing going on. We are packing up for a move once again, this time to a little house in the country:
It's been a long time since I've lived in the woods, twenty years I guess? Since leaving home as a teenager I've lived in Richmond, Virginia, Providence, Boston, San Francisco, and most recently Northampton, Massachusetts. Lately though I've been feeling the strong urge to live in a remote, beautiful, quiet place. Maybe the work of taking care of a baby has become enough stimulation and I need more of a calm, relaxing environment. Or maybe I've just come full circle and want to raise Tilda in a place similar to where I grew up. Either way, I'm excited to see where the change of environment takes me personally and creatively.
I recently read this article for aspiring photographers by Cheryl Jacobs Nicolai. It struck me as very true for any creative professional. Some favorite excerpts:
"Don't look outward for your style; look inward."
"Never apologize for your own sense of beauty. Nobody can tell you what you should love. Do what you do brazenly and unapologetically. You cannot build your sense of aesthetics on a concensus."
"Accept critique, but don't apply it blindly. Just because someone said it does not make it so. Critiques are opinions, nothing more. Consider the advice, consider the perspective of the advice giver, consider your style and what you want to convey in your work. Implement only what makes sense to implement. That doesn't make you ungrateful, it makes you independent."
"Excellent technique is a great tool, but a terrible end product. The best thing your technique can do is not call attention to itself. Never let your technique upstage your subject."
"Never compare your journey with someone else's. It's a marathon with no finish line. Someone else may start out faster than you, may seem to progress more quickly than you, but every runner has his own pace. Your journey is your journey, not a competition. You will never "arrive". No one ever does."
"The first Penguin edition of EV Rieu's translation of Homer had a Greek sailor on the cover, with a disclaimer inside: "Not an authentic depiction of a Greek sailor". They then put a penguin on the cover instead – but forgot to change the disclaimer."
Some of us Blue Rose Girls got together this weekend to celebrate a number of birthdays, discuss books and publishing, and eat cupcakes prepared by guess who. This batch of chocolate gluten-free were delicious. It was so lovely to revive our weekend traditions (it has been a full year since I was able to attend a gathering since I was away). Thank you ladies!
This year there were some new attendees, my Tilda and Juniper (daughter of the über-talented Alissa Imre Geis). Juniper has bigger feet, but I believe Tilda has chunkier knees.