Monday, December 29, 2008

A tribute to Our Sacred Circle

Lets ski, lets be free. Me knows how to see thee. I see it up, I see it down, I see a bog about a town. The flavor is sweet and snowy. Lets now meet there in this town. It is a wonder to behold, bog and all.

I can see. I can see something I would not have otherwise seen, if not for thanking 6 people. I told them how grateful I am for all of them. I then understood our link. It was a need for me. I fulfilled this simple need and look at what I got! They say you loose your friends when you stop growing with them. We stopped growing-this group. I never felt badly about this it was just what it was-I feel good that I knew that too.

For a moment I understand where I am. I cannot see everything like those plateaus we periodically stand upon where we can see everything clear as a bell, where it all makes sense. This is a mini enlightenment, however, it is big bliss.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Holiday bliss 2008-It's Riveting!

I am ready to write another article. Finish coloring my poetry contest illustration entry. Get my dummy out to a new publisher and enjoy the holidays while my work dries and gets reviewed. If it were just that simple.

Let me tell you what I am really doing. I am flying around town buying gifts, forgetting somebody so I will have to go the next day to the same store and retrieve yet another item.

By default or my fault for being born into my family, I hosted an impromptu Christmas at my house. It was not hosting that is bringing this tone into my writing, it is the way it was presented. It was with gnashing, twisty-double standard anger that it was thrust upon me from a loved one. Sadly, I was happy to host, even wanted this for many years. However, sometimes it really is not the gift, it is the delivery. I would have taken it more easily from a cute UPS man. Or maybe, wrapped in a gift box marked, "Be Ready". So when I opened it there would be no surprise. I would have already been donning my welding gloves, full shield mask and suit of asbestos. No there was no warning and there was no getting into it with 'her'. I just left it that if 'she' called me at 9:45am on Saturday morning (15 minutes before the party) and said, you host it I would be fine with that. Instead she had to dig the spritz gun a little deeper, seeing if she could over throw my coolly and kindly iced gingerbread exterior. The red hot smile stayed and she was out of luck. We've missed all of our holiday traditions due to illness. We scrambled some of them in at the last minute but we were stuck contending with Mother Nature and Father-in-law. The second situation was harder.

Oh and onto us a child was born. A Nephew. It is a tradition in this family that each family (4) brings one weeks worth of prepared meals to the new parents. We took this week and made four meals in between grocery shopping, seeing Santa and getting to a dinner party by 6:30pm. We were only ten minutes late, 6:40pm.

Our babysitter got the kids each a book about cats. They love cats, there are stickers. Could this 16 year old be any kinder? However, I am a heel, I got her nothing and nothing for her sister who is always willing to step in to help as a back up. I ran to the store today. Grabbed two gift cards. Pulled the car into the garage, jumped out writing a card to each sitter as the mail person was just above us on the hill and headed our way. When I returned to the box with stamps stuck and envelope licked, there was no postal truck hovering with exhaust coming out making it look like a little house in the woods. It was not down the street. Was it speedy fast? I looked in our box and there was mail there. Then I stood back a bit in the street. I contemplated for a second, then opened my neighbors mailbox, alas! nothing there! Then as I walked to my house I said the "please get there by Christmas prayer." There is something very pathetic about this prayer. It is remedial at best.

To steal a quote from the look on my dog's face, "It is always something."

AND as I write this I combat a kitten's advances to have their imposed turn on my computer. The consequence is kitty jail because as most people who know me know, I believe you can train cats. He's howling, "I take it back, I take it back!!! Please!!!" I say back in a kind and gentle voice, I know, I know."

Too bad the request for hosting the displaced Christmas party didn't go the same way or maybe it did?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


This one is Smudge. He looks a bit pretentious but is nothing at all like that. He was just sleepy.

Sketching kittens and people with watercolor pastels. I sketched some people which you can see in the center and then I decided to go with color and silliness in my daily quick sketch. Nothing like a cat high five. Otherwise, I've been teaching and eating Christmas cookies. Oh, and raising kittens. They got fixed today and they are all boys. I've attached an updated picture of those babies.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Love Beast with nice shoes

More sketches or sketchy sketches, that all depends.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Duck not stuck in the muck

I've been drawing. I think it is funny how parents say "use your words." I know I'm with a few copyright lawyers who would have a hard time with this. Different reasons though. The title of my drawing is "Get control of your words." Too bad for this character, she's still in the early stages of learning how to do it. She has to grab them as they come out or grab them as they come in. Who knows.
I've been sick but I think I'm getting to the bottom of it. Happy for that.


Yesterday, I met with Pam Boyd. Pam has started a business called the Reading Goddess. Her idea came from finding a way to start a business doing something she loves, reading. Her passion for reading carries over to her company's whimsical logo, wonderful array of gift products and Pam's spirit behind them.

She recently hosted a launch party to get feedback on her brand and product. This is a business woman to watch! The turnout for this event was mind boggling. Woman filled the space, buzzing about what was the hottest item and what they HAD to buy tonight.

As a part of Pam's concept she's included a foundation. A percentage of the proceeds from all of her sales will go to helping reading programs in Minnesota-for now! I suspect it is only a matter of time before she is serving literacy programs nation-wide and perhaps globally.

Visit the Reading Goddess website at

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Drawing a blank

Seems when you have a good title you must blog. I was out of town this past weekend. It was supposed to be for an exorcism. Yes, you know, to raise the demons, to allow them to float out of the afflicted like a shoulder spasm might happen to a person of considerable age.

Yes, I know this is my professional writing/illustrator blog and I should be serious and only show the side of me which proves I am competent to work in this field, accurately and prolifically. Who says publishing houses aren't regularly doing exorcisms? I think we all might be better served if we knew what happened behind closed doors in publishing.

Well, see my demon is ever present. It wants to be seen and run the show. It wants to control my career. However, if you can't calm the demon, you will get demon work. This might not be so bad. I might be cast for the roll of drawing the evil twin or the nemesis in the story. Is it more fun to draw from the mind of the bad-guy? Someone once told me, "Maybe making art and being who you truly are artistically scares you." Maybe I am beginning to think they are on to something.

Thanks for reading......

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Three coins in the fountain

I feel guilt about being a cat heavy blog. Here's a side view, yes, she's a biggin!

I've been lacking creativity. Let's be honest, not sketching, not painting is not going to get you anywhere. At the suggestion of a friend, the past two days I've painted on cheap large roll paper. Yesterday and today are on here, enjoy, or laugh, make fun but always remember Santa is watching.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Cats galore

So we had a decoy pregnant cat. Scroll back and see her mug shot.

Then we added one cat and now we have seven. Really.

We were given an additional cat to foster and wow, she was pregnant. Looked like a little goat. One week ago she had five babies. So here is a picture of the litter.

Monday, October 6, 2008

A conference a day keeps the grumpies away!

Deb Malesevich can organize a great conference! I think perhaps she might consider arranging the Olympics? Her dedication to this event and love for encouraging librarians, teachers and writers to convene for the good of children's growth in reading is outstanding!

This past weekend I attended the Northwest Wisconsin Children's Book Conference. One of the things which struck me is how inclusive the conference was. It was the first conference I've been to where the people speaking were seated right with you. Connecting over a nice meal, what could be better? It was fabulous! An unexpected bonus of fun and energy was meeting Katie McKy. If you want a dynamic presentation for your school check out Katie at:

Her ideas for teaching also follow this theme of inclusivity. Not a real word? It is now. I will be lobbying my school for Katie to visit. I think her presence might change the life of many children. Better than church, it livens the soul.

The conference in its entirety was fantastic. Great speakers! Great vendors and wonderful connections for all. I highly recommend this, so watch for it next fall in Cable, WI. Even if you are just tossing around the idea of writing for children, you will likely be pleasantly surprised.

Plus, if you get nothing else from the conference, the trees are at their peak. So you can go and peek at them, step outside, breathe deeply and viola, you are getting something to be grateful for. Oh, ending in a preposition is so, hmmmm.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A fine, fine day

I will add my current project to the blog in early October. I've been busy making images for My Light Magazine. The Editor, our very own Jennifer Gladen! The critique and internet networking guru! Thanks to Jen I have had the opportunity to work on illustration for a magazine and gain publishing credit as well as have the proud feeling of working in my field! Check out My Light:

Also look for illustrations by Mical Hutson and Rosemarie Gillen. These two talented individuals are critique members of the Our Sacred Circle (past and present).

Boys, boys, boys

This is something I worked on for a magazine. Cheeky! The top one is a boy wearing a new shirt. The lower image......those are stains on his shirt and the lower one to the left is a hole. I guess I still have some work to do if I have to explain what is happening in my illustration.

I have a brochure out for a children's art class I am teaching. I made a stick figure for the front cover and wrote this slogan: "Help your children say they CAN draw stick people." I wrote it because it made me laugh. Let's hope some parents laugh too.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Hang on because here we go

I've changed the title of this post three times now. Perhaps I am feeling a bit indecisive. I think this speaks for my all around condition. I've had a halt on the career for a moment with school going back into session.

The good thing about this is it helped me to realize I had very little personal time this summer. This past weekend I focused on refueling. I got out of the house twice with other adults. Gathered the neighborhood kids and played at our local park-we played for three hours!

I sense when I try to think of what I really want to say I am falling short. I have many things floating about in my head. Let's hope these floaties make it to shore and become the seeds of ideas, passion and concepts that take root.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Walking on Egg Shells

This art is called "Gnomes." There are two gnomes in the image, find them and feel proud! The medium is dyed egg shells on masonite.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Lots of lines!

This painting is called "Adoption of the ordinary cat". Of course, it is inspired from Jinx. I have yet to color it but I loved the idea of a woman on her front porch with the cat hugging her as if to say, "I'm home!" I've been into texture on houses, brick, siding, etc.. With the rug and railing it is a tad busy! I like how graphic it turned out. The other thing I can say is I've always struggled drawing people and this is the first person I've ever had turn out, so hooray for that! I'll post it once its colored.
Here is our pregnant girl, Jinx. Some irony in her name? We will see once the babies are born! She is a very loving and nice cat. Jinx is spunky and finding herself right at home. I've left the window open so she can have some fresh air. Last night I was working and she kept running across the room and jumping against the screen. Nope, she is not trying to escape but instead hunting bugs which taunt her by fluttering on the other side of the screen.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

This week

I am working so hard I forgot to blog! Oh, it is just the opposite, shoot. I have been busy catching mice if that is any consolation?

I'm currently working on a painting titled "adoption" as we are fostering a pregnant cat and we will adopt some of her kittens, her, both? I am excited to have babies climbing the walls, our legs and whatever they can get their tiny claws into. Every time I tell the kids what kittens are like they giggle like crazy. Maybe I am embellishing? Poor kids when they learn the terror of having cats try to pounce on your every moving part.

I will post a picture of the painting as well as a pic of the cat pre-babies.

I just joined a local illustrator critique group. I am happy about having that connection and support. I am also working on an abstract oil painting. I will post it when it is complete.

Monday, July 14, 2008


This is the bear, the bear who caught a salmon who jumped right into his mouth. This bear was surprised, the fish too but perhaps the fish was surprised and alarmed all at once. Needs some cleaning up, better get to it so it can travel to its destination next weekend.

This drawing is from the summer MNSCBWI get together at the Como Zoo. My other drawing was of a zebra with his hands on his hips asking me to get coffee. I was a little foggy that day. I am branching out, it has always been tough for me to draw in public.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Image of Mount Rainier June 24th, 2008

Home again, home again

We are home! The dog licked us, the washing machine wants to kick us. We had a great time in Seattle and check out this picture. This is at Mount Rainier. (from left to right Jane, Me, Peter) Had to show the sensational amount of snow for late June.

Now, back to work. I got home to a pile of mail which included some reply cards from my last sample art card mailing. Great feedback and one press said "They will keep me in mind!" I'm happy to say it is one of my top pick publishing houses too!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Seattle journal from an aspiring first grader

My daughter Jane is keeping a journal while we are away. She just finished Kindergarten. I thought it would be fun to share her cover page.

My son Peter typed part of this blog post. Do you see I am building a workforce?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Journal like a second grader

I am in Seattle. It is fun. The trees are green. The water is big...........

Crab feed tomorrow. Just how do we feed crabs? What, we eat them? Good, I was concerned about getting pinched. I touched and fed some sea urchins today. I was spooked at the fish market by a trickster monk fish. They are scary looking.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Have you ever sat and thought about words? I know some people do because there are all of these people called writers AND I sometimes see forwarded emails which reflect specifically on words. Generally it is to poke fun at something.

I caution those of you in the front row of the audience, please schooch back a hair so there is room for my cape to swirl about-thanks.


This word looks like its definition. Plus, I am a little skeptical of the "liar" part because things which are pecu sound much like "pick you" gym class, innocent flowers, noses. All connotations I don't want bobbing around my brain. Add that with liar and it all feels bad.

Shall we lighten this word up a bit? I strive everyday to be unique. There is always some random way to make anything wonderful and perfect, it is just finding it, seeing it, being the one who recognizes beauty among slobbery. There have been many slobberies at my house, the police were no help at all. Couldn't even find the perpetrator(s).

So today, be distinctive, exclusive, unique, particular, special. Pretend you are a walking boutique with eclectic things to share. Then you can be peculiar, in a good way.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Friday has come!

My dog has a tick. Not the nervous variety but the climb on and eat blood variety. Yish, parasites. I've been working on some stuff I want to share so here is a sample.

-A good weekend to all!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

What today was about.

Today I played peek in the piles on my desk and do work based on what was found first. I found supplies to make a necklace and worked on that for a bit. I am lucky my husband understands my art process and overlooks the shameless amount of playtime necessary to fuel my creativity. Seems I alternate between beading and textile oriented forms of creativity. I just made a quilt for my son, Peter. He must fall from my gene pool because he is crazy about the quilt.

The kids and I went to the library today and found many books illustrated by Harry Bliss! Yay, fun, fun, fun. I did a puppet show for them crouching below a chair with a zebra on one hand and a frog on the other. The kids were laughing so loudly I made my mean mom eyes and told them we have to leave the library. They laughed harder.