Monday, May 31, 2010

TV kids

nothing much going on this holiday weekend, so here are 2 photos of our boys Lance and Lester watching cartoons and animal planet a few years back. we lived in a smallish apartment then.
where we live now our TV is positioned much higher off the ground, so it doesn't catch their attention very often. besides, they have more windows here and lots more nature to watch outside--plus the frequent bug inside--even better than TV!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

horsies found a home

some things sit in your etsy shop for a long time and you start to think they will never sell (and some things never do), but then suddenly out of the blue (like most sales are), somebody wants them, and it makes everything feel okay.
i knew that some small person would really love these horse softies, so it was frustrating to have them stuck in a storage box instead of being played with.
finally they are going to a home in wisconsin, maybe a horse ranch?
or at least a house with a nice yard.
i hope they have lots of fun galloping in the tall grasses!

Monday, May 24, 2010

High Five magazine, June issue

i received my complimentary copies of the June issue of High Five magazine, which i have a piece in. it printed a little on the dark side even tho i thought i had overcompensated by over-lightening the digital scan i sent them (it was painted traditionally).
but still i am really happy with it. it was such a fun project for me--hard to go wrong with a little girl and a garden/flower maze as subject matter!
the last time i did a spread for them i was not super happy with it, so it's nice to feel good about something.
now if only that warm sunny weather would come to seattle! it's very confusing here for me with the chilly climate. i still feel we're in winter, so i don't realize so much time is passing...this caused me to miss a sketch deadline today (okay, can't totally blame it on the weather) because for a northeasterner, it feels like, maybe March, but def not the end of May (which i had in mind as the due date)...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

miss mouse reads in her new sweater

miss mouse got her new sweater, and a scarf and bloomers, and it's a good thing because aside from a few beautiful spring- and even summer-like days, it is mostly still damp, chilly and cloudy here in seattle!
hoping for warmer weather, she is reading my beloved old The Bunny's Nutshell Library--four magical little books, created by the genius Robert Kraus, published by Harper & Row in 1965.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

stitched illustrations by Miyuki Sakai!

i just opened my new Martha Stewart magazine and was blown away by these beautiful illustrations of plates that were created by "drawing" with a sewing machine. wow! at first i thought there was pastel underneath, for the lighter smudgy-looking colors, but no, it's more stitching with lighter colors of thread!
Miyuki Sakai is really a genius. she has taken free-motion stitching, which is usually used on quilts and fabrics, to a new level. i've always wanted to try the technique, but i don't have the right kind of sewing machine. sigh...
see more of her amazing stitched pictures at

Friday, May 14, 2010

dancing pigs!

the book i'm working on now is the first that i'm doing all the sketching in photoshop. because drawing is not really easy for me--it takes quite a lot of work to get to what i want or "see"--the flexibility of photoshop is really great, and i think i'm getting a better result. from now on i think i'll always work this way. have a nice weekend!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

learning to make a live link

theresia expained how to make a live link in a posting, so here goes.
this is one of my newer designs--"Sleepy Dog", available in my etsy shop. thanks, theresia, it was easy!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Daisy dog arrived safely in the UK!

theresia sent me this photo to show that Daisy Dog made it safely through the volcano cloud to her house in the UK. now she's hanging out with one of theresia's adorable mouse dolls, like the one i traded her for. one of the best things about Etsy is when you have the opportunity to trade with another crafter/artist. i think this was a happy deal for both of us!
this is MY mouse (theresia's original photo from the listing in her etsy shop) and i love her very much. i'll need to make her a sweater because it's still so chilly here in seattle!
see more of theresia's fabulous stuffed toys and pincushions in her shop:

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

mom and me in 1975

this is a scan of an old photo of my mom and me in 1975--can you tell by the hippy bag and the homemade pants? i remember they were really itchy.
the photo was framed and sat on my grandma's dresser for decades, thus the bad fading and yellowing. i've corrected it a bit, but there's only so much i can do without fading things out completely.
but it was a really happy time, and that's what matters.

more to come about the Real star of the photo: Lamby (silent "b" please!) and how she came to inspire my first picture book!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

New book for Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day! this book just came out that i illustrated for walker/bloomsbury.
it's called Mommy Is a Soft, Warm Kiss.
i'm missing my own mom today.
this pretty much sums up how wonderful she was when one of us kids got sick.
my mom really loved spring, and so do i.
it was soon after my mom died that i had to start on the illustrations for this sweet story, written by Rhonda Gowler Greene, which School Library Journal describes like this: "In rhymed couplets, the child expresses how important her mother is to her every day and all year round. Realistic, attractive illustrations show the parent and child engaged in many activities, with the mother the center of them."
i was worried that it was going to be too upsetting to work on this book, but somehow it was actually a comfort, like i was getting to spend more time with her.
thanks mom, for making it so easy to imagine all these lovely mother-and-smalldaughter moments. xoxo