Thursday, December 30, 2010

Thank You!

This post is for Labadia family. Years ago they bought a snowflake that I painted and donated to Robert's Snow, a fundraiser to raise money for cancer research started by Grace Lin. Since Robert's Snow, I have published several more books. I was contacted recently by the Labadias about my most recent book. Around Thanksgiving they welcomed their grandchild, Vaughan Timothy Labadia, into the world. Congratulations Rick and Mary Ann, and thank you for your support!

Sunday, December 26, 2010


Thomas made this short stop motion video with the help of an animation book he got for Christmas. Maybe if I can't be an animator, he can.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Enjoy this holiday season with some friends!
With best wishes, Liza

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Snow dogs

This is what it looks like if you love snow, but you're little and cold:This is what it looks like if you're not:

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Marcel the Shell with shoes on

This is just about the most adorable little shell I have ever seen.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My new handbag

I will do just about anything to avoid doing some things. This is why I decided that I just had to make myself a felted sweater handbag yesterday while I should have been cleaning. I followed the instructions that I found on this great blog: The Inadvertent Farmer .
The whole thing took less than two hours and was very simple. I used my felting needle to tack things in place, but then needed to hand stitch as well. Definitely try this with any old sweaters you have hanging around.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

sketch, sketch, sketch. . .

That's all I have been doing these days. It feels wonderful to sit and draw, but I am ready to paint. Right now, I am working on illustrations for a children's Bible. In this sketch, Jesus is calming a storm.

Friday, November 12, 2010

work in progress

Here's a sketch I am working on. Spring mailer?? It's not like me to think ahead.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Kitchen finally done!

This was formerly our front hall and Tom's makeshift office.

This was the old kitchen and is now our family room.

This was our big project this summer. We moved our kitchen into the front hall, turned the kitchen into a family room, and redid the floor. It was a long haul, but thanks to a very hardworking and dedicated carpenter, we wrapped this up in September. I am just now putting pictures up for people who saw this in progress and want a peek at the finished product.
There's a little bit of distortion in the photos (I put them together as panorama in photoshop).
The family room is a sunny yellow and the kitchen is avocado. Thanks to Susan Sargeant for the color inspiration.

Saturday, October 30, 2010


Oops. It turns out that no one knew what the purple cutout in the bow was. Thanks to Photoshop, I have now fixed it.
In case it is still not clear, this mouse lives in the wreath and she has cut fabric out of the bow on the wreath to make herself a dress. Let me know if this is still just a big mess.

with or without snow?

Sometimes it's hard to decide whether or not to add snow to my illustrations. Most of the time I like a painting better with it, but this time, those who have seen it so far prefer it without. What do you think?

with snow. . .
without. . .

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Happy Birthday Julia

My friend Julia and I spent the day together yesterday as parent volunteers on a field trip to Fort Ticonderoga. I am not sure I would have chosen to spend my birthday that way, but it was a beautiful day, and the kids were great. The foliage was perfect, and from the fort, which was set up high on a rise beside Lake Champlain, we could see for miles. Happy Birthday Julia!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Mary Had a Little Lamb

A little reader for this sweet nursery rhyme:

Friday, October 01, 2010

Great news!

October 1st, Kirkus reviewed our new book Ten on the Sled! It's such exciting news. Thank you Kirkus. I hope this book now finds its way into the hands of many little readers who can enjoy it. Here's what they had to say:

Author: Norman, Kim
Illustrator: Woodruff, Liza

Review Date: October 1, 2010
Pages: 32
Price ( Hardback ): $14.95
Publication Date: October 1, 2010
ISBN ( Hardback ): 978-1-4027-7076-0
Category: Picture Books
Classification: Seasons

A caribou, polar bear, moose, wolf, walrus, squirrel, bighorn sheep, fox, hare and seal all pile onto a toboggan, beginning a North Country riff on the familiar chant: “There were TEN on the sled / and the caribou said, / ‘Slip over! Slide over!’ / So they all slid over, / and Seal spilled out.” One by one, the animals tumble off, each with a different active verb (Hare hops out, Sheep shoots out, Walrus whirls out, etc.). The final line of each stanza is printed with lively disorder, swooping, jumping and sliding on the page. Woodruff adds extra humor by collecting all of the fallen animals in an increasingly bigger snowball that rolls down the hill alongside the toboggan. What with animal identification, counting, vocabulary building and print awareness all scaffolded on a can’t-lose rhyme, this one’s a keeper. (Picture book. 3-6)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Ten on the Sled due out October 5th!

I am counting the days until this book will be on the shelves. Kim Norman is the author of this fun story. I loved every minute of creating the illustrations for this book: researching the arctic animals, creating the characters, thinking about their relationships to one another, and even packing it up and putting it in the mail. I really hope kids will have a fun time reading it and looking at the pictures.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A view into my studio

I have enjoyed in the past looking at photos of other artists studios. Many are very creative and interesting, giving a little insight into who that artist is as a person. I thought I would give you a glimpse inside my studio on a neat day (believe me when I say that it rarely is this neat). I am not sure what my space says about me. You can decide for yourself. If you are interested, you can read an interview with me and see more photos at From the Mixed-Up Files, the blog of Jennifer Berman.
This is where I work:
come on in!
where I cut paper:
where I draw:
where I waste time. . . I mean work on the computer:

my studio is the corner room of our house:
and, most importantly, my studio assistant Emerson.

Off the Mat Into the World

My friend Michelle, is a yoga teacher and outreach is a part of her practice. She is trying to raise money to go to Africa in 2011 to help orphaned children with AIDS. I have finished an image that she plans to use on tee-shirts and stationary. Check out this link for more information about the program:

Monday, June 14, 2010


One thing I find difficult to draw is birds. I am listening to the birds sing right now. In fact, we have a purple finch nesting on a beam over the back porch, and I think it's the dad who is making all the racket. This reminded me that it would be good to practice drawing them. I think I will take out my sketchbook right now.

Monday, May 17, 2010

New Home Page Image

If anyone would like to weigh in on my new potential website ( homepage image, I would be most appreciative. Thanks!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


I have been doodling monsters. Now to get them into a story. . .

Monday, May 10, 2010

Nature by Numbers

This movie shows the Fibonacci sequence, a series of numbers that follow a mathematical progression, in nature. Amazingly, the seeds of a sunflower, flowering of an artichoke and the lobes of a pine cone are arranged in the Fibonacci sequence.

Friday, May 07, 2010

A Fairy's Kitchen

This fairy is baking on a rainy day for a tea party with friends.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Emerging artist

I wanted to feature the art of an emerging artist who is working hard on a series of dinosaurs/monsters. Here are two examples of his fine work. Good job Thomas!!


While at my parents' house, I had a chance to sketch something belonging to my mother. She has had this sprinkler since I was little and uses it to sprinkle water onto clothes before ironing them. It is a simple thing, but something about the thick green glass of the old Coke bottle and the dented aluminum cap strikes me as really homey and well used.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


The date is April 27th and we are getting snow. Luckily, I still have not changed my snow tires. The poor daffodils and tulips are looking kind of sad under their little blankets of snow. I am glad that I didn't put seeds in the garden yet either.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Pond Girl

I thought it was about time to put some drawings up, and watching that Quentin Blake video inspired me to take out my dip pen. I like to use a crowquill nib because it has a little flexibility, but not too much. This helps create all those nice scratchy lines.
My first sketch is of me when I was little. I used to spend as much time as I could at Gibson Pond, (incidentally named for illustrator Charles Dana Gibson- of Gibson Girls, who owned acreage and an elegant, but now crumbling, house up the road at 1200 Hope Street in Bristol) which was about a ten minute walk from my house. I loved to catch frogs, tadpoles, snakes and turtles, which I would bring home to my aquarium. My parents would usually let me keep them for a little while, and then I had to let them go. Things have come full circle and I am now able to go searching for tadpoles with my children, which makes me very happy.
Here's an older pond inspired illustration:

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Quentin Blake Video

In cleaning out my email inbox, I came upon a link to this video. Quentin Blake explains his process in creating two of his books, Clown and The Green Ship. He is one of my all time favorite illustrators, having illustrated many of my very favorite books written by Roald Dahl.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Golden Anniversary

Today is my parents' 50th wedding anniversary. They met in Rhode Island all those years ago, and thank goodness they did! Congratulations Mom and Dad!! xoxo

Monday, April 05, 2010

Guilty pleasures

I would say that this is one of Emerson's guilty pleasures, but he's actually not too guilty about his love for our blond dress-up wig. Must remind him of his mother or something.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Jack and Jill

I am working on a fantastic project. It's a little book of the nursery rhyme Jack and Jill. It should be out in September of 2010. This is the cover, and Jack will be holding a little sign in his hands with the title. Here's a sneak peek:

Sunday, March 14, 2010

We saw Avatar today, and I was surprised by how much I loved it. It was very entertaining and hardly seemed like 2 hours and forty minutes had passed when we walked out of the theater. From a creative standpoint, the movie was amazing. The colors of the landscape, the characters, the animals. . . I did a little character sketch of my own after we returned.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Yesterday I returned from a three day retreat for Writers and Illustrators called Kindling Words. It was so inspiring to be surrounded by such a creative group of people from all over the country.
Don Weisberg, President of Penguin Group, spoke about the state and future of publishing (both in good shape, he felt). He looks at the advent of electronic media as an opportunity, not a threat, for publishers. We need to learn to work with the changes not against them.
Betsy Partridge, a nonfiction writer, spoke about writing nonfiction and also about just writing. Most interesting to me is how she would find a way into her subject in unexpected places through her research.
Chris Raschka was the presenting illustrator. He spoke about his process and projects, gave us an assignment and we even had an opportunity to workshop with him.
I had a wonderful room of my own at the Inn at Essex, we ate delicious food, and I had our puppy pick up on Sunday, which made leaving a little easier.
Here are some sketches of Emerson that I did while listening to our presenters:

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

wilderness. . .