Thursday, December 13, 2012


This is Emerson when he says uh-oh.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

bark, Bark, BARK!

Sometimes I think our dog barks just for the joy of it.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Reading with friends

What's better than being read to on a chilly day? 

Thursday, November 01, 2012


What is PiBoIdMo? Here's Tara Lazar's description from her blog:

What is PiBoIdMo? Why, it’s Picture Book Idea Month!
The concept is to create 30 picture book ideas in 30 days. You don’t have to write a manuscript (but you can if the mood strikes). You don’t need potential best-seller ideas.
You might think of a clever title. Or a name for a character. Or just a silly thing like “purple polka-dot pony.” The object is to heighten your picture-book-idea-generating senses. Ideas may build upon other ideas and your list of potential stories will grow stronger as the days pass.
Daily blog posts by picture book authors, illustrators, editors and other kidlit professionals will help inspire you. By the end of the month, you’ll have a fat file of ideas to spark new stories.

I did this last year and an entire month of coming up with picture book ideas was a really great way to spark creativity.

So, click on the link and join me in a month of picture books.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Killing creativity in education

Not only is this TED talk very funny, but it points out that we are doing our children a disservice by pushing math and science and leaving the arts behind.  Where will innovation come from without a strong emphasis on self expression and creativity?
I am beginning to see a change in the approach in our elementary school with the introduction of the theory of multiple intelligences. It's nice to know that children are being encouraged to appreciate the differences they see in themselves and each another.

Monday, October 08, 2012

someone's been eating homework. . .

What does your dog do when left home alone?  Our dogs just bark.  Thank goodness for that.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Thursday, August 30, 2012

warm up drawing

Here's a drawing of Rammy, the hungry ram that lives next to my mother-in-law.  I'll post a photo that was taken just before I ran for my life away from him. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Though I should really be posting some artwork, I thought it would be fun to post some photos of our recent trip to England.  We visited Tom's mother and attended his sister's wedding.  We had a great time meeting more family.  I have lost count of cousins by now, but there were many more over there.  We even gained three new cousins after the wedding.
We started our journey in Oxford.
Here we are punting:

Then we went north to Binham, which is a tiny village in Norfolk.

We stayed in Tom's mother's cottage, Priory Cottage, which is hundreds of years old.
  Here it is, just across the street from the old priory:

The cottage is very charming.  The outside walls are made of flint, and the garden is walled in.

Tom's mother has quite a green thumb.
This gate reminded me of the book The Secret Garden:

The cottages throughout the village are equally charming:

Not too far from Binham is a fishing village called Wells-Next-the-Sea.  We really enjoyed our time on the beach, even taking a dip in the North Sea:

People buy  or rent beach huts that sit on the edge of the beach where they keep their chairs and beach toys.  They are painted bright colors.  We were able to use Carolyn's old hut, lent to us by her friends, the new owners:

After a week, it was time to head back to Oxford for the wedding.  The bride and groom were both remarkably calm.  Many of their friends and family pitched in to help with the details.  The five children particularly impressed me with all their effort.The wedding took place in the church that C.S. Lewis attended.  He is buried in the little graveyard beside the church:

The day after the wedding, we had a nice lunch with more cousins in another lovely village.  I wish that some of these cousins lived closer, as I am sure the kids would all have so much fun together.  We will just have to look forward to our next visit.  
We continued on to London, where we tried to see as much as we could.
Hamley's, a seven story toy store:

The London Eye:

Big Ben:

The Tower of London:

Tower Bridge:

It was amazing, and I am exhausted.  Now I have unpacking and laundry to do, but as I shake the sand out of our bags and clothes, I will  have some very nice memories.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Sheep Camp

This past weekend, I took Edie to 4H Sheep Camp in New Haven, Vermont.  It was a fun weekend learning all about how to care for and show sheep.  The kids were great, taking care of their sheep, learning and making new friends.  Everyone was helpful and friendly.
The camp took place on Addison County Fairgrounds.  We were surrounded by beautiful rural countryside, like this:
We set our tents up in an old cow barn:

The sheep went in a barn next door.  Here's Sally and the lamb in the neighboring pen:

The kids learned about farm safety, sheep nutrition, showmanship,  blocking and fitting (getting the sheep ready to show), crafts with wool like needle felting and weaving, and the history of sheep.  Here's a photo of Edie and a friend fitting their sheep.  Edie's lamb is a Border Leicester, and her friend's lamb is a Romney.

The last day, the kids participated in a show.  They were grouped by experience.  Our friend Lydia came in second in her class.  She is second from the right in the front row:
The judge examined the sheep and looked at how the kids were able to control them and set their feet.
Here's Edie leading Sally in the ring:
And her final placement at the front of the line:
After a long weekend, Sally definitely deserved a treat!
Thank you 4H!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Thank you teachers

Thank you to all the teachers out there for another successfully completed school year.  Enjoy the summer!

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Art from the attic

Though I didn't really find this in the attic, I did find a box of old papers and photos in a closet while I was cleaning this morning.  My mother saved some of my art from grade school, and it was fun to look.
The first piece I have included is the cover from a book about me that I did when I was 7 and 1/2 years old.
At that time, apparently I was 4'3.5" tall.  My favorite TV show was the Hardy Boys.  My favorite song was the theme to Star Wars because there was no singing.

This is what my family looked like (well, to me anyway):

When I was ten, I tried my hand at poetry.  I even did an accompanying  illustration.  Why does that cow have black sunglasses on, you ask.  Must have been the glare from the water.  I bet they're
polarized.  Look out Jack Prelutsky:

I'm not sure I can say my artistic talent was any different from any of the other kids in my class.  I think I just liked to draw a little more than they did, and spent enough time working at it to make it into my career. 

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Character studies

These are two characters from a story I am working on.