Tomie dePaola contest blog


Some of my FB friends put together a blog with their entries into the Tomie dePaola contest I mentioned in my last post. I’ve heard there were over 300 entries this year (last year there were around 150), but here are some amazing illustrations from hardworking illustrators. I’m proud to be part of this group. Good luck everyone!! Winners will be announced soon. Click on the big acorn on the right side of my blog to get to the gallery.


SCBWI Tomie dePaola Contest


The Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators has a contest from Tomie dePaola. Every year he gives an assignment from one scene of a classic picture book and we illustrate it with our own vision. The one who impresses him the most wins a trip to the NYC SCBWI winter conference! You better believe I was interested in that prize!

Here’s the scene to illustrate:

So they went along and went along until they met Turkey Lurkey

“Good morning, Goosey Loosey, Ducky Daddles, Cocky Locky, Henny Penny,
and Chicken Licken,” said Turkey Lurkey, “where are you going?”
“Oh, Turkey Lurkey, the sky is falling and we are going to tell the King!”
“How do you know the sky is falling?” asked Turkey Lurkey.
“Ducky Daddles told me,” said Goosey Loosey.
“Cocky Locky told me,” said Ducky Daddles.
“Henny Penny told me,” said Cocky Locky.
“Chicken Licken told me,” said Henny Penny
“I saw it with my own eyes, I heard it with my own ears,
and a piece of it fell on my tail!” said Chicken Licken.
“Then I will go with you,” said Turkey Lurkey, “and we will tell the King!”

I had 2 ideas, but could only submit one. 😦 Here they are:

Idea #1 was a conversation on FB with Turkey Lurkey & all his pals. I loved it, but wasn’t sure it was right for the job. I was worried it was too much of a one-panel cartoon, and didn’t have enough story telling – what happened before & what could happen next. So, I went with my second idea:

Idea #2 has more story, and I like the wall & the fact that it’s not just a scene with the farm animals and that it’s wordless. I also like the little doggie sidekick who seems to be the only one noticing the king collie.
This was so much fun to participate in. I hope I win the trip! At the least I’ve created some nice illustrations for my portfolio. ^__^ Hope you enjoy them too.

New promo mailer

Last summer, I was going to the SCBWI conference in LA, and decided to make a dummy book with the 3 little pigs story. I didn’t like the violent endings for the wolf, so I decided to rewrite it and make it more preschool friendly. It’s a fun new twist with lessons on bullying, sharing & treating folks with respect. (without being preachy) After another round of revisions, it’s back on the drawing board & a new dummy will be finished soon & off to find a home with a publisher. (fingers crossed)  I loved those little piggies so much that I decided to use them in my latest promo postcard.
Now, here’s a little lesson for all my illustrator friends: Check, check & double check your files before sending them to a printer!! My computer is acting weird lately, and when I save a jpg for web, the colors are fine. If I export and save a high res jpg, the colors are faded. So, what do you think happened when I sent my file to print these postcards? Yep, the high res file is less saturated in color. I wasn’t at all happy with it, and asked for a reprint, but  I ended up 1,000 postcards that were not quite what I wanted. Oops. So frustrating. Printing is my least favorite. Hopefully the art directors will love my piggies in any shade of pink.
Web jpg
high res jpg
back of card

Challenges can be addicting


I love to try new things . . . well, not exotic foods or learning skydiving or anything like that, I like to try new CRAFTY things. 🙂 You know, those safe, colorful things that normal folks look at and say “Oh, you’re so crafty. I can’t even draw stick people. I could never do that.” Frankly (Mr. Shankly), I think most people have it in them to do way more than they give themselves credit for. You never know what you’re capable until you try.

Recently, I got the hankerin to learn how to crochet. I don’t know why I wanted to learn. It’s not like I don’t have a bazillion other things that need to be done around her. I have material to make valances for my kitchen that I bought last summer. I have photos to put into albums. And don’t get me started on the endless supply of laundry, dusting or dog hair tumbleweed clean up I need to tackle. I wanted to crochet. So sue me. Not only did I want to learn to crochet, but I wanted to make crochet critters! Yep, no potholders or baby blankets for this gal. (Did I mention I love a challenge??)

First I thought I should probably start off slow & make a hat. How hard could that be, right? Here is my first attempt:

I have no idea why it’s so wavy, but if there is a market for crocheted coral, I’m ready.
So, I tried again:

Flatter, but still pretty sloppy. I could stop there and make a coaster. Too ordinary though.
Heck, why don’t I just dive in and make a critter like I wanted to all along?? Don’t I always hear people say “Only have work in your portfolio like the work you’d like to do?” So why am I making a hat? I don’t like to mush down my hair anyways. By golly, I was going to make a monkey!!

One step at a time . . .

A monkey head – not quite as round as the pattern, but I was keeping the faith it would all work out in the end.

Shazaam! Behold the monkey noggin!
Voila! After a week of teaching myself with YouTube videos, reading the directions, and stitching/ripping/re-stitching . . . I created this cute little monkey with his favorite red shorts! We’ve named him Peanut. 🙂 (Mostly because he’s sort of shaped like one – his head’s kinda pointy at the top)
I could have given up several times – especially after that curly hat incident, but I pushed on. Sometimes you just have to take one step at a time and have faith in yourself. Tell yourself this is what I want to do, and I’m going to do whatever it takes to achieve this goal. Peanut is my first monkey, but he won’t be my last. I’ve learned a lot creating him. Each critter I make from here will be made better & will be easier to create.
So, don’t be afraid to try new things. Don’t give up when things are not working out on the first try – be patient. Keep working. You are totally capable of amazing yourself, ya know. Go for it! ^__^

IF: Silent


Here are a couple little owls I did for the Illustration Friday theme “Silent”. Moms know all too well that when your baby is sleeping, the world must remain silent!

I created this by sketching it with a #2 pencil, scanning it in and then adding color in Illustrator with different transperancy styles. Hoot! Hoot!

Giveaway at Allen Designs


Have you heard? Michelle Allen is having a giveaway over at her blog, Close 2 my Art. I really, really, really LOVE her artwork. This clock would look fabulous in my studio, so I hope I win. 🙂 However, I thought I’d share the news so you have a chance to win too. She is also picking 3 winners of some fabulous camera straps she created. Check out her site. Lots of very colorful & fun art that I know you’ll love. Good luck!