Tuesday, October 26, 2010

KidLitCon, Murals, and Book Fairs (oh, my)

Hello, Hello! This blog post is full of words and pictures! Here goes:
I was lucky to attend Kidlit Con this past Saturday in Minneapolis. Wow. Just wow. I don't really know how I could sum it up... There are a lot of folks doing a far better job at recapping it at the Kidlit Con blog, so check it out if you get a chance. The best part of it for me was actually meeting a lot of the people I have only known online. The kid book community is amazing, so many smart, funny, talented people. I have just been plodding along as a new illustrator and had honestly not realized how huge the community is: teachers, writers, librarians, publicists, editors, illustrators, agents, publishers, parents, bloggers who just love kid books... it is pretty amazing. Also feel very relieved that reviewing books is not a must for every blogger. This was great to hear b/c I'm a pretty awful book reviewer. I pretty much love all the books I read and that doesn't make for interesting reviews. Might try putting together a list of books I like, an informal blog interview, or a giveaway sometime soon! Won't even attempt to mention all the great people I met at Kidlit Con, just feel very inspired to be a part of such a terrific community! On to the mural...
Here you can see I have been busy outlining my sketches in Mouse Ears (DC4B-10-5).
Gordy and the Unicorn are beginning to take shape. We decided to make all the flowers Sunny Spot (DC1B-10-5) and Sleeping Beauty Pink (DC2C-30-3). Oh, and the blue sky and green grass and trees are Mickey Sailor and Apple Orchard and Friendly Forest (same as in the other room). The yellow closet is Bee A Friend (DC1C-20-4).
The Unicorn's coat took two coats of Clock Strikes 12 (DC2A-20-1) and Gordy's coat is Honey Butter (320C-3).
As requested, there is a Mother Bunny with baby buns.
I was particularly proud of this part. Here is a baby bunny and when you open the door...
you see the cat! The Mother bunny is in Buzz Beta Sector (DC1A-50-2) and the babies are in Honey Butter. My kids both love the sleeping baby bunny the most!
Here is a view of the whole wall that will also hold a dresser, bookshelf, and quilt rack.
Look! A baby fox! (Donald Orange, DC1C-60-3)
The unicorn's mane and tail are a combination of Powdered Blush (130C-1), Cafe Pink (130C-2), and Oh Bother Blue (DC3C-30-3). Bunny, fox, and unicorn ears and noses are all a mix of Cafe Pink and Powdered Blush. Ready for the big reveal?
It is such a good feeling to have the kids in their own rooms again (Gus the cat is happy, too)! They are very happy, and we have almost gotten everything back where it is supposed to be (I will move the bookcases back in today and fill them back up with all of their books). This was a good experience for me, I had never worked on such a grand scale before. All told, I think I put in about 33 hours into this mural. :) Thank you all so much for your interest and encouragement, it made it really fun for me because I was excited to show all of you as much as I was excited to finish for the kids! Good times!
Lastly, Christina Rodriguez and I had a good time at the Twin Cities Festival of Books two weekends ago. I can honestly say it was really overwhelming, but getting to spend the day with Christina was fun. What a long post! Sheesh! Thank you for reading the whole thing! Stay tuned, my next blog post will be a giveaway!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Illustration Friday: Spooky

It is always nice to go trick-or-treating with your Mummy...
Here is a page for boys and ghouls to color!
Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Bang! Smash! CRASH!

Meet Lieutenant Gwynne! He plays the cymbals proudly for Colonel Windpipe's Musical Brigade! He inspired me to make a little coloring page for all the cymbal playing penguin loving kids out there! Crayons and markers are much quieter than cymbals! Yay!
Tomorrow I will be participating in my first ever Book Fair (EEK!) with my dear friend Christina Rodriguez. We will be at the Elva Resa table at the Twin Cities Book Festival. If you are there, be sure to stop by and say "Hi!" We will have coloring pages, books, and mints!

Twin Cities Book Festival
Date: Saturday, October 16th 2010
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Location: Minneapolis Community and Technical College, 1501 Hennepin Ave. South, Minneapolis, MN 55403

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Hello, Hello! Look at Baby Gordy! It is almost his birthday! On October 9th he will be ONE! His favorite time of year has arrived: our backyard has turned into an all-you-can-eat leaf buffet! This past Saturday was the Minnesota SCBWI Fall Conference. It was really fantastic. After handling all of the conference registration it was fun to see folks walk in that morning and see their smiling faces (although I felt like a nerd behind the desk). Jay Asher, the author of Thirteen Reasons Why, was our keynote speaker that morning and he shared his journey to publication with us. He is an excellent and engaging speaker, and also a very nice guy! Jay also talked to us about injecting suspense into any novel, which was super interesting. My plan is to file it away in my brain in case I ever decide to write anything... The rest of the conference was great: it was fun to listen to all of the speakers and try to let it all soak in. My portfolio review was with Janet DeCarlo of Storybook Arts. She is just the nicest lady ever! I had a review with her 3 years ago and couldn't believe that she even remembered me! It was great to have the opportunity to thank her for all of the great advice she gave me years ago. She was very kind and gave me a lot of great ideas for new things to add to my portfolio. It was just wonderful! That was probably my favorite part of the conference. I also got to listen to editors Heather Alexander and Jordan Brown give their impressions of the first pages of manuscripts submitted by conference attendees. It was wildly entertaining to hear what they had to say after these pages were read aloud to the lot of us. It was a great conference and the weather was gorgeous. Minnesota is absolutely beautiful in the fall! Oh, and Susan Marie Swanson read a quote by Naomi Shihab Nye in her keynote speech that really stuck with me:
"Be modest, brave, and hopeful forever." How lovely!
Onto Mural no. 2! We began with painting the blue sky and green grass (same colors as the other room). Actually, my husband did all of the painting... Isn't he great!?!
Better than Astroturf!
Grab your sunglasses! The closet is very, very YELLOW!!!
Here I am drawing on the wall again... Let the painting begin!!!

Yesterday was the first day of a little gallery show I am in with a bunch of great art friends: Barb Björnson, Anne Adix Fabie, Alicia Schwab, Sharon Wagner, and Sara Weingartner. Our art will be at the Good Samaritan Society (Westview Acres Apartment & Assisted Living Home, 433 W. 5th St., Waconia, MN 55387) until the end of the year. Such fun!