Aug 19, 2016

Eight


As of this month, I've been working full-time as an illustrator for eight years. I went back today and read what I'd written about freelancing five years ago. I think it still holds up as advice, especially for newer illustrators.

The only thing I'd add is the vital importance of stepping back to assess what you want in life and in turn, your work. I'm learning (albeit, slowly) that it's okay to catch your breath and get your bearings, that it's not always necessary to be scrambling pell-mell towards the Next Thing. Dreams are good, but burnout isn't.

Also, I still stand behind the advice to eat ice cream when the job calls for it. Or donuts. Your choice.

Aug 10, 2016

Braids and Plaits


Some botanically coiffured ladies I painted last week that I've been turning into a pattern this week. Aside from that:

* A nice review from School Library Journal of Finding Wild

* I watched Iris last week and can't recommend it enough.

* I'm reading Mary Berry's autobiography right now and it's really smashing.

Aug 3, 2016

Queen Anne's Lace


A pattern inspired by afternoon walks on a nearby trail, the sides of which are lined with Queen Anne's Lace. It's a path I've never explored until this year and wish I had far sooner. Ten minutes down the trail and I can't hear cars, trains or planes, just perfectly blissful silence.

And speaking of patterns, I've added a bunch of new designs to my Spoonflower shop.

Jul 22, 2016

Summer Things


Some bits of summer, right now.

The past few weeks have been full. I turned in final art for Fort Building Time (I'll post more about that as the months go by). Aside from work, most weekends I've been helping to clean and pack up my grandparent's home of sixty plus years. Add in a badly wrenched neck and a mini-blogging hiatus made reasonable sense.

But aside from all that:

*I'm just finishing up this Tommy and Tuppence mystery. The opening is a bit uneven, but if you stick with it, the pace picks up brilliantly and makes for a fun summer read. Speaking of which, any summer book recomendations?

*A trip to Tandem Coffee for my birthday was splendid.

*And I'm getting ready for a shop update, mostly small watercolor originals (like the above), a few tea towels and an embroidery. I'll post here once that's all ready to go. I've also just sent off for a proof of some new designs and will have those available in my Spoonflower shop next month.

Happy weekend!

Jun 24, 2016

Midsummer

I'm in the home stretch with final artwork for Fort Building Time, so am in full blown mole mode at the moment. Life consists mostly of large quantities of iced coffee, zillions of podcasts and the occasional walk to get said iced coffee. Also, I've lately stumbled on the trick of listening to movie/television soundtracks while working (for times when music with lyrics is distracting). Speaking of which, any soundtrack recommendations?

And some Finding Wild news! I'm thrilled that Finding Wild made the Summer Kids' Indie Next List. And Finding Wild is also on Reading Rocket's Summer Reading Guide, a 2016 Bunk Reads selection and got a nice mention from the good folks at the TD Summer Reading Club. Confetti!

Happy Weekend!

Jun 7, 2016

Minty

Currently:

*I've developed a hobby an obsession with ice cream making. Mint chocolate has been my favorite so far, using this recipe and substituting 1/2 cup of maple syrup for the sugar. Of course this begs the question, fellow ice cream-ophiles: what's your favorite recipe?

* Lots of good news for Finding Wild! I'm tickled pink that the book is a part of Scholastic Teacher's 50 Sensational Books of Summer, on the SCBWI Summer Reading List and has received a starred review from Shelf Awareness. Jazz hands!


May 31, 2016

Farmhouse Flowers

 
I needed a break from the drafting table this afternoon, so took a couple minutes to mess about with a pattern.
I haven't had a chance to sew much this year, which I miss. But if I did, I'm pretty sure I'd turn the above into a sundress, pronto.

May 26, 2016

Measuring and Marking


My grandfather passed away last week. While he'd been in declining health, nothing was expected so soon and the news was a shock. Over the past few months, I'd been able to spend more time with my grandparents, giving me a wealth of memories and joy. I feel so very, very lucky to have had him in my life then and still.

As we've been taking care of things, I've been able to collect a few of his work tools. My grandfather was a civilian design engineer for the Navy, close to 30 years. I swear by his Eagle pencils and a small, homemade T-Square is quickly becoming my go-to for measuring.

And while I miss him profoundly, there's a joy and a connection that comes in giving his tools a new life.

May 10, 2016

Finding Wild


It's release day for Finding Wild!

Written by Megan Wagner Lloyd, published by Knopf Books for Young Readers and illustrated by me, it was a joy to illustrate. Thanks so much also to editor Julia Maguire and Nicole Gastonguay for the terrific art direction.

Apr 25, 2016

April


April in a nutshell:

*Tea to celebrate the Queen's 90th birthday, complete with fancy hats, delectables and the host's delightful collection of royal memorabilia.

*More stitching/painting in between deadlines. I'm planning a shop update next month (more, later).

* A trip to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum with friends. Despite the relative proximity, I never make it down to Boston (confession: I'm terrified of city driving). But thanks to the commuter rail out of Newburyport, the Green Line and traveling companions with a better navigational sense than my own, the trip was all smooth sailing.

* New episodes of Grantchester!

* And a visit from a brand new nephew. Which makes all in all for a pretty solid thirty days.