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Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Very Merry Christmas Sketch Thursday



Okay so this is not a sketch, however I did actually frost and decorate all of these today...so that should totally count for Sketch Thursday. I spent the entire day today baking cookies and it was the best day ever. There is nothing more relaxing to me than baking. I could do it all day long (obviously). I have been working on final sketches the last few weeks for When Blue Met Egg, which has been going really well (mainly due to the fact that I have an amazing team I get to work with at Penguin), but it was so nice to take a break today and bake up a storm. I probably ate my weight's worth in cookies and batter today, but it was totally worth the sugar headache. I highly recommend this form of relaxation.

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sketch Thursday Blast From the Past







I had the urge recently to ask my mom to dig up some of my old books from elementary school, mainly for entertainment purposes on my behalf, and send them to me. And let me tell you it was entertaining. Hot Diggity Dog, shown above, a personal favorite of mine, about a girl who is very negative. She has bad day after bad day until a friendly Pooch from the planet Hot Diggity (I have no idea where I came up with this stuff in third grade), gives her a look at what her day would be like if she had a positive attitude. What third grader writes about this stuff?? Me apparently! Reading this story now, it seems like the teacher gave us a prompt and the class had to create their own story from it. Thus the dog and planets. All of this I find rather funny now, considering my first author and illustrated project is about the exact same thing, sans the whole positive and negative theme. Pelly and Mr. Harrison Visit the Moon (Kane/Miller, March 1, 2011) is about a little girl who travels in her bathtub to the moon with her dog, Mr. Harrison. Now they may not be visiting planet Hot Diggity, but there are definitely some similarities between the stories. Funny how things work out.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Sketch Thursday

This week's Sketch Thursday is more of a project than a sketch. A lot of my friends have been talking about how expensive it's going to be to buy a tree this holiday season. Personally, I think you just can't beat a real live, full of pine scent tree, so the cost is worth it. However, I understand that in this economy shelling out $50-60 for something that is going to be thrown out in a month seems silly. So I decided I would try my hand at making my own tree out of cut paper, chalk, twine, and stamps. Although my tree isn't nearly as large nor does it smell as nice as a real tree, it is very festive, and a great project to do with your family. I spent the first snowy afternoon of December watching Christmas movies and cutting out paper. Sometimes, you just can't beat that.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Paper sources (no pun intended) to check out!

I received an email today from a fellow illustrator, Melissa Lind (www.melissalind.com), who asked me about where I get my paper. Being a cut paper illustrator I have traveled far and wide to find the best selection. I wanted to post about this because finding great paper shops can be really difficult depending on where you live. Before I moved to Ohio last year I lived in Boston, where I had access to lots of paper shops (some of which are listed below). But when I moved to Ohio I found that what I had in Boston was hard to find. I no longer lived within walking distance of Paper Source (probably one of my favorite stores of all time), nor was I a T ride away from Rugg Road Paper Company. Life was tragic. But then I realized that because I had obsessively been shopping in these shops for almost two years, I could easily go online and buy all the supplies I needed. Now, I want to mention that I was very opposed to this idea. I DON'T SHOP ONLINE. I am a tangible experience kind of gal. Especially with paper, I need to see it and touch it before I buy. However, until Paper Source decides to open a location in Ohio, I will be a digital shopper. And ultimately, my online shopping still allows me to support my ex-local shops, seeing as I know their inventory so well :)

So here are some of my favorite paper shops that I hope those of you out there who love paper as much as I do will support:

www.paper-source.com - They sell paper from all over the world along with lots of other amazing items. They also have multiple locations all over the country.

http://www.yelp.com/biz/mikis-paper-berkeley - Miki's Paper - Berkeley, CA - the most beautiful Japanese paper selection you will ever see in the states.

http://www.ruggroadpaper.com/ - one of my favorite paper stores in Boston, MA. They also sell handmade papers from all over the world.

http://www.thepapermermaid.com/ - I don't think this place sells online, but if you are ever in Rockport, MA you should pop in. Very cute!

http://www.katespaperie.com/ - New York City - paper mecca (as I like to call it), this is place where my paper fetish started. They have some of the most beautiful papers I have ever seen.

http://www.onpaper.com/index.php - Columbus, Ohio - great paper and a stunning shop. The first time I went in this shop I just wanted to live there (okay that sounded a little weirder than I intended it to...but you get the idea). It is very beautiful inside.

If any one has any other great paper shop suggestions, I am always looking for a new shop to visit!!

Smithsonian recommends A Garden for Pig!

The Smithsonian recently published a gift guide including great books about food for kids and listed A Garden for Pig as one of them! Check it out:

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Turkey Day!!

Because it is Thanksgiving tomorrow (my absolute most favorite holiday) and I won't have time to post a Thursday Sketch, what with all the eating I will be doing (elastic pants here I come!), I wanted to make a point to list what I am thankful for this year...

My family, who although I don't get to see very often because I am the black sheep who lives in Ohio, I love dearly.

The new friends I have made here in Ohio, especially one fabulous writer who has been such a great friend to me.

My Frank, who talked me into moving to Ohio, a year ago today, and I couldn't be happier with the decision I made to come here.

Frank's family, who has made moving here and not knowing a soul (other than Frank, of course) so comfortable and easy. They have been so wonderful to me and for that I am truly grateful.

My fabulous agent, Mary Kole, and all of the amazing doors she has opened for me this year, including a new book deal with Penguin and the wonderful Nancy Conescu.

And of course Blue, Egg, Pig, and Pelly, who have all been a huge part of my life this past year. I get to wake up and be creative every day and that is something I wouldn't trade for anything.

Happy Turkey Day!









Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Original Illustrations For Sale on Etsy

If you are interested in some of my original pieces, I have just posted six original illustrations on my Etsy site. These pieces were all developed using words from Illustration Friday, and created using cut paper, pencil, paint, fabric, and other various mixed media. I hope you enjoy them!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Perfect Day in Ohio


"Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns."
-George Eliot

That is the only way to describe the day we had in the Cleveland area today. I just love Fall.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Pelly and Mr. Harrison Visit the Moon Release Date!!!!

My first book as an author and illustrator, Pelly and Mr. Harrison Visit the Moon, will be out March 1st from Kane/Miller!!! This is the story of a little girl named Pelly, and her dog Mr. Harrison, who fly to the moon one night in their bathtub. They meet a little alien who shows them all the wonders of living on the moon. I hope you all enjoy it!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Garden for Pig at the Library!

I will be reading A Garden for Pig at the Lakewood Public Library, Madison Branch, this Saturday, October 9th, at 10:30 am. Stop by if you can!!

Lakewood Public Library
Madison Branch
13229 Madison Avenue
Lakewood, Ohio 44107

I hope to see you there!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Sunday, October 3, 2010

New Pig Review!

I just wanted to say thank you to Jessica Almy of Vegbooks, a site that reviews books and movies that promote vegetarian and vegan values for children, for the lovely review she wrote about A Garden for Pig.
To check out Jessica's review please click the following link:

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Donation Art


I just wanted to throw this idea out there for those of you illustrators who want to do some fun projects on the side to build your portfolio or even to just keep yourself busy drawing. I love being able to do short projects in between illustrating books when the opportunities present themselves, which is why I wanted to mention donating your art. Making a donation of your art, whether it is for a charity, a friend, or a cause you really believe in can be beneficial and worth your time. Obviously it is always good to donate when you are able to do so, but as an illustrator sometimes it can be difficult because the time involved in creating a piece. It sounds good in theory but there never seems to be enough time. I highly suggest making the time for a couple of reasons:

1. You get the opportunity to illustrate something new that you can usually use in your portfolio once you have donated the piece.

2. You gain more exposure depending on who you are donating the piece to or for.

3. Any materials or time you spend working on the piece is a tax deduction.

4. And last, but not least, it is just simply a good thing to donate when you can.

I recently had the opportunity to create the cover for a dinner invitation for Family Supportive Housing's fundraiser in San Jose, CA this November. A very good friend of mine works for Family Supportive Housing and she asked me to do the cover for them. It was such a fun project to work on because I was able to work on something new that was a quick project for a great cause. For any of you who have the time or get the opportunity to donate their art, please do. It's always worth it, for both you and the place in which you are donating.

For more information about Family Supportive Housing please visit:

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Illustration Doodle

Character sketches for Blue.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Garden for Pig


A Garden for Pig is out!! This is my new book that came out on September 1, 2010, written by the fabulous Kathryn Thurman. Please support your local independent bookstore and Kathryn and I, and pick up a copy today!!

Blog Neglect

I have been severely neglecting my blog, obviously. My last entry was over a year ago, which is just silly. And things have changed, for instance I don't even live in Boston anymore. I live in a very nice city outside Cleveland, called Lakewood. When I created this blog I wanted to write about bakeries and the amazing treats that I found trying different ones, but I would go eat sweets and then forget to post about them. I didn't feel like that was something I could keep up regularly either, mainly because I would probably be 400 pounds by now. So now I have a new plan: I want to write about the process of illustration since as a children's book illustrator it is pretty much what I do everyday. I have seen lots of illustration blogs, but not very many that actually talk about the process. How does a book get made once you sell your manuscript? What are the steps involved? I think it is important to pass that information along. No one ever really told me about what happens next until I was in the middle of the situation myself. Hopefully I will be able to successfully do this and keep this blog up regularly. I intend to write not only about the process of illustration, but also other random things along the way, such as what I am reading, and maybe even a bakery review or two.