Applesauce Day Visit!

Hey elementary teachers and children's librarians in the Indiana, Ohio, Michigan region!  Are you doing an Apple unit this fall or trying to think of fun fall events for your library?  You might want to consider having an Applesauce Day! 

When I was in first grade, my teacher Mr. Whalig decided to have each of us bring in some apples to make applesauce.  Some parents also came to help and we made applesauce right there in the the classroom.  This was the late 80's so hot burners and a class of rowdy first graders were totally compatible.  Each child brought a different kind of apple and I swear it was the best applesauce I think I've ever had.  And that's saying a-lot, if I can remember the taste now that I'm in my 30's.

Even if you don't break out the hotplates and foodmill, there are tons of fun apple activities that will inspire kiddos to learn more about apples, apple picking and making delicious things out of said apples.  This could also be a great science lesson about the development of the apple from the first buds of spring, pollination, development of the fruit, the care and tending of the orchard, to picking and even storing the apples through the winter. 

Applesauce Day, written by Lisa Amstutz and illustrated by yours truly would be the perfect way to cap off your Apple Adventure.  I'd love to come lead a fun apple related activity or art lesson, do storytime, and answer any questions kids have about being an illustrator.  Just shoot me an email via the contact form on my contact page!

New Year's Goal

As I'm writing this, my toddler is in her "baby cage" banging on a metal pot with a wooden spoon.  Coral has croup, which is an ailment common in babies her age.  It doesn't phase her during the day.  It only makes her cough like a barking sea lion at night, ensuring that neither of her parents get much sleep.  She appears to sleep right through these coughing fits somehow. I'm grateful for that, but I'm not looking forward to tonight!

And now we welcome the new year. Full of things that have never been.

-Rainer Maria Rilke

I've been working like crazy.  I just don't have much to show for it.  That's one of the few frustrating things about being a book illustrator.  You have to wait ages to share your work with the world.  I've completed one project and I'm starting finals on the next one but I'll have nothing to post for a few more weeks at least!

But I did want to share a little snippit of something I've been working on.  It's my goal to get my own book published this year.  I have a lot of book ideas in various stages of completeness.  Some made it pretty far (art, character studies and manuscript ready) only to be flung back to the drawing board when I realized the art or story was just not working.  I'm hoping that someday, those stories re-appear, but right now, they need to percolate for a while.

A sneak peek at a children's book idea I'm working on!

A sneak peek at a children's book idea I'm working on!

But there is this one little seed of a story that grew out of a random thought I had one day.  I wrote out three pages of manuscript that pretty much stunk.  Then I took a step back and sketched all the scenes I would want to illustrate from this manuscript.  Lo and behold, I had a book!  I really love this idea.  I'm not "in love" with it, because I'm ready and willing for my agent to give me feedback and help, but the idea of illustrating some of these images has literally kept me up at night.  I am itching to make this book.  I will be an author/illustrator!  I will tell my own stories!  This year is going to be the year!

Fall Sketching

Believe it or not, this is a sketch!  I'm working on two children's books right now.  Sometimes you have to break away and do something that isn't your assignment so you can gain some new energy and freshness.  This did the trick for me on Friday.  A quick two hour assignment I gave myself.  I may go back and repaint it in a more finished style, but I kind of like how things turn out sometimes when I go faster.  Less time for me to fiddle it to death!

I smell something yummy!

I smell something yummy!

Have a great weekend and I hope your Thanksgiving Day preparations are going well!  Let the feasting begin!


Happy November

We had a great time last night Trick-or-Treating.  Well, Coral didn't get any candy even though she was the cutest little dinosaur on the block, but I stole some from my Mom'n'law's bowl!  I love, love, love York Peppermint Patties.  Even better, Trader Joe's version sweetened with honey!  So good!  Hope you enjoy a wonderful fall with your family and friends this year!

Coral and her Aunt Beth hanging out at the library!

Coral and her Aunt Beth hanging out at the library!

Make sure to pick up some fall themed picture books at your local library or bookstore while you're enjoying the crisp air and beautiful autumn color!  I really love "Hocus Pocus, It's Fall", by Anne Sibley O'Brien with vibrant illustrations by Susan Gal.  Of course I have to put in a good word for my own fall board book, You Are my Little Pumpkin Pie, written by Amy Sklansky.

This is a favorite at our house right now!

This is a favorite at our house right now!

A fun fall treat for your baby!

A fun fall treat for your baby!

So, however you celebrate fall, I hope it's cozy!

Fall is Here! Time to get Cracking

I'm working on several projects right now that are very exciting!  While I can't show anything from either of them, I can give you a little sneak peek into some side projects I've been working on.  I've made it a marketing goal to do quarterly postcard mailings to all my clients and prospective clients.  I have a Google doc address list, and an Avery label plugin that allows me to transfer said list directly to a printable address sticker template.  I am LEGIT!  I already did a mailer for summer, and now it's time for fall.  So here it is!

This was one of my favorite pass-times growing up: jumping in the leaves I had just raked into a nice neat pile!

As usual, Moo delivered some wonderful looking high-quality postcards!  And yes, I am sending them out with Wonder Woman stamps.  I couldn't resist.  It was that or Christmas Birds, and although I love me some festive Christmas Birds, it just didn't seem right for this postcard!

These beauties should be heading out by the end of this week!  Let me know if you'd like to receive one!