Featuring colorist Ronda Francis

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Downloadable Turkeys!

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

Since I won't be eating any turkey tomorrow I drew some that you can download and color--one for the big kids (and adults, let's be real) and one for the little ones.

For the little ones

For the older set, and adults.

Have a wonderful day!


Monday, November 23, 2015

Kid Art, Creativity, and How-To Kitty

Pablo Picasso said, "We are all born artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up."

So true!

Children gain self-esteem and emotional fulfillment when they are allowed to create without judgement. 

They do not have preconceived notions or endless loops of internal negativity to get in the way of their thinking. 

If we foster the creativity in a child we are allowing them to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. The Whole Child of PBS states: "The experiences a child has during their first years of life can enhance their creativity."

For all those parents out there that want to do art with their kids but think I do not have a creative bone in my body--maybe you do, but need a little help finding it. 

Make it easy. Get some paper and some pencils, crayons, or paint and go for it. Don't worry about the result. Enjoy the moment and  just go for it.

For those that need a bit of a nudge, here are some prompts:

* A lovely November morning
* A yellow bird
* A cup of tea
* A monster in the closet
* A rocket ship in space
* A new planet
* A flower no one has ever seen before
* Constellations in the night sky 
* Your pet
* A pet you wish you could have
* A cool car
* Snow flakes with faces

Choose any of these items and draw one on a page, a few, or 50. Just have fun.

And here is a quick how-to for Kiki the Cat :) Show me your version when you are done!


Kiki starts with two circles, kind of like a snowman, except the bigger one is for her head! (Only slightly bigger--mine almost look the same size and that is fine.) Draw lightly here because you will be erasing some of these lines later.

Now draw some VERY light guidelines on her face so you know where to put her eyes and nose.

Her face is looking right at us, so her nose will be right in the center, on the lower guideline.
Make the nose with just a tiny triangle, and then draw another short time down from the bottom point of her nose. Then draw the top of her mouth--it looks like two very shallow Us. Her eyes fit between the top and bottom guidelines. My Kiki will be looking to the right. (Her head is facing forward, but her eyes are looking off to the side.)

Lightly draw two triangles on her head for ears. If you draw them wide apart she will look calm, if you draw them more on top of her head she will look alert, or surprised. 

Her front paws are just small ovals with the tops of the ovals erased. Her back paws are kind of like parenthesis with tiny cat toes. Her tail looks a bit like a large backwards C.

She's starting to look like Kiki now!

Now we can darken the lines and make her look fluffy. I also left some white spots in her eyes for highlights, and lines under her for a shadow. I also added some very light whiskers and I shaded part of her ears.

Voila! Kiki!

I will be adding more Kiki how-tos in the weeks to come.

I'd love to see what you draw!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Make This Adorable HAPPY BOX From a Cereal Box

Just a quick weekend post to show off this great craft from a cereal box by Craiftingeek!

You will need:

A cereal box

An Exacto knife


Decorative paper

Glitter and other crafty decorations

I thought this was great, and of course you can update it in whatever fashion you choose. Flowers, under the sea, holiday--the sky's the limit!

Have fun!


Thursday, November 19, 2015

A Visit From a Deer

I was talking to a friend as I was driving home last week. I looked left and saw a deer approaching my car.

I slowed down, worried that he might run in front of me.

He didn't run out, in fact he walked right up to my window. I felt like he would have gotten in the car if I opened the door.

"He's literally inches from me," I said to my friend.

"Get the camera! Take a picture!" she said. I'm glad she did, I would have just stared at him.

I moved a bit and he started to walk away, but I was able to snap a few shots.

His mate started to run and hopped the fence, and he followed.

I felt like he had a message for me. My friend said it was a very special blessing.

I had to agree.


Monday, November 16, 2015

My Book Shelves and The Shelfie Hop

I looked around this weekend and realized there is not one corner of my house that does not feature some type of books.

I have The Great Artists (van Gogh, Raphael, El Greco, etc.) under a coffee table, paperbacks (tons of Stephen King, 100 Years of Solitude) in a tiny bookcase in the living room, and hardcover biographies of Tim Burton, Kurt Cobain, Charles Addams and Edward Gorey in the armoire.

My son has floating shelves from MoMA that give his room a very modern look.

(I also realized he is more well read than I am at this point, and he is only 18. Kurt Vonnegut, Ulysses, Nabokov, Tolkien, Cormack McCarthy, and C.S. Lewis are few that he read in the last year.)

Buy MoMA Floating Book Shelves  HERE

Some first editions (Bram Stokers Dracula), my book 100 Unfortunate Days, and other antiques sit between beautiful cut out tree books ends.

Buy cut tree bookends HERE

There are more books resting in piles on the floor, piled neatly on tables, and tucked into corners. I only posted four pix--I had to stop somewhere.

Just wanted to share.


LOVE these book ends. Buy them HERE

Visit the rest of the Hoppers :) Some have prizes, giveaways and all have awesome shelves!

Happy hopping!


My Friends Are Fiction
Between Fantasy and Reality
The Literary Hedonist
Books and Ladders
Let’s Take A Shelfie
The Bookkeeper’s Apprentice
In Love With Handmade
Ex Libris
Just Another Bookish Blog
Here’s to Happy Endings
A Tree Grows in Bookland
Please Feed the Bookworm
Perks of Being a Book Nerd
Bookmark Lit
Christina Writes
By Breenah
Novel Ink
Adventures of a Book Junkie
The YA Book Traveler
The Bookish Emporium
Books In My Suitcase
Big Books & Grande Lattes
The Green Reader
YA Indulgences
Hope To Read
coffee-inked tales
The Reader & The Chef
Yellow, Green, & Read All Over
It Starts at Midnight
Blame It On the Books
Wandering Bark Books
thoughts and afterthoughts
Here be Me Shelf
A Reader Under the Sea
Books and Prejudice
Lauren Skidmore
The Best Books Ever
Cruising Pages
Loving My Lit
Pretty Deadly Reviews
Chasing Faerytales
Savings in Seconds
The O.W.L.
Word Revel
Follow the Yellow Book Road
Rebelle Reads
A Perfection Called Books
The Magical Adventures of Cassie the Weird
Once Upon A Dream Books
Reading Among the Stars
The Reading Nook Reviews
The Novel Orange
Betsy’s Random Assortment of Thoughts
Fiery Reads
The Fox’s Hideaway
Rattle The Pages
Beauty and the Bookshelf
Bookish Bevil
Spines & Covers
Quality Fangirls
Ohana Reads
Bookish Unicorn
Mia in Narnia
There were books involved…
Literary, etc
The Book Addict’s Guide
My Thoughts…Literally!
Books and Swoons
The Psychotic Nerd
The Novel Hermit
Writer of Wrongs
Only True Magic

Sunday, November 15, 2015

November Haiku as We Wait for Christmas

This has been a glorious November. 

For the first time in many years it feels like we are having a fall. The leaves stayed green and on the trees for a bit longer than usual, and we were able to hold on to summer for a while.

But the wind came through the other night, and I thought I heard some freezing rain.

My yearly winter denial has once again been crushed, and Christmas is right around the corner.

I love the holidays, but there is still that tiny part of me that will be crossing my fingers for an early spring and looking forward to that first warm ray of sunshine.

Stay bundled up and cozy.


My website.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

A Thankful Tree!

I've always found plenty of crafts for Halloween and Christmas, but Thanksgiving lagged behind.

Not this year!

I am finding so many adorable things from so many creative ladies.

This thankful tree from Simply Vintage Girl is so charming. 

It is rustic and modern at the same time. The jar is filled with unshelled nuts, but I think pine cones, rocks, or even your favorite candy would do the trick too.

The tags are pieces of wood painted with blackboard paint. Pieces of cardboard written on with colored pencils, markers, Sharpies or even crayons would do the trick.

Find the complete How To HERE

Have fun!


Tuesday, November 10, 2015


As I was looking though the Lamberts Lately blog I came across THIS on her Create It Thursday linky~the cutest cornucopia from Growing Up Gabel! A perfect November craft and lots of fun for Thanksgiving.

It's easy and probably delicious.

I can't wait to get all the ingredients, which include Laffy Taffy, Tootsie Rolls, and ice cream cones.

Get ready to have fun, and grab the kids so they can help too.

Thanks Lamberts Lately and Growing Up Gabel! Cute, cute cute.

Instructions HERE.


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The Future's So Bright

Today it dawned on me that my future has a direct correlation with how I feel today.

And what I do today.

And what I don't do.

SO--Facebook? You have been cut to 5 minutes.

Drawing and writing? Business hours.

The rest of the time will be delegated to activities that are positive and NOT time wasters. (We only have so much.)

Most importantly--the endless loop in my mind will be carefully monitored. NO MORE personal negativity.

Tough goals? 

You bet.

I have a feeling it will be worth it.


Sunday, November 1, 2015

Welcome November, Fall, NaNoWriMo and PiBoIdMo!

I realize that the first day of fall in North America is in September, yet for me the summer does not officially end until today, November 1. 

It is the same every year. Until then there is a feeling in the air; summer is hanging on for dear life and does not want to let go. The sun wants to keep warming us, the leaves hang onto their small places on the trees. 

Until today.

Something chilly takes over. The sun rests.

I know this isn't actually true, yet there is something in me that believes our ancestors thought this too. 

Maybe they lived by instinct a bit more than we do, or maybe it just had something to do with the end of harvest season, but now it feels like winter is around the corner, and we should take a bit more care to be home, snuggled up with our loved ones under a big puffy blanket drinking something warm.

So welcome November--welcome fall.


(November also kicks of NaNoWriMo and PiBoIdMo for fellow picture book writers--check out Tara Lazar's explanation and sign up HERE. Yes! We kids book writers can have fun with this too!)

See you there!