PiBoIdMo Time Again!


I have signed up for PiBoIdMo 2014 this year. Once again, I’m hoping to be inspired, and come away with some great ideas for Picture books that perhaps may turn into an actual Book. Why don’t you join me?

Below is the list of guest bloggers. If it’s anything like last year, you will be pleasantly surprised to have a stack of new ideas at the end of the month.


See you on November first!!

Stepping outside the creative box.

Lately I feel like I haven’t been drawing much, but I’ve been creative. I am working a bunch on my graphic design business but I have also been quilting and knitting. I have been a knitter and crocheter off and on since I was a teenager, but I have never tried quilting, until recently.

Since I found Spoonflower (www.spoonflower.com) and Umbrella Prints (www.umbrellaprints.com.au) online though, the world of sewing and quilting has become more enticing. At Spoonflower you can design and print your own fabric.

It opens up a whole load of new gift ideas. For example, at Christmas, I gave my nephews their favorite dessert – Nana’s jam tart recipe printed on tea towels. For a girlfriend, I was able to give her a present of her recently deceased Grandmother’s recipes printed on tea towels. I have also taken drawings that my kids have done and printed them onto material for pillows. Not only can you make your own material, but there is a veritable treasure trove of other people’s designs to choose from in a wide array of fabric choices. With these, I have made custom designed pillows and custom quilts for my daughter and son.

When I saw through Elise Cripe’s blog (eliseblaha.typepad.com) that Umbrella Prints (www.umbrellaprints.com.au) was having a trimmings competition (www.umbrellaprints.blogspot.ca), I couldn’t wait to try my hand at it. I’m not a very accomplished sewer, that is my Mum. And of course you may consider it boring to make a quilt with trimmings but actually the amount of material seemed just right to make a baby quilt for the new great niece in my life. Check out my quilt.

IMG_0388IMG_0507 IMG_0477

It was seriously made with only 12 small pieces of fabric and a vintage duvet cover I found at the Thrift store, plus some binding I made. It came together pretty easy and I like the neutral colors. I doubt that making a quilt is very innovative, but I really couldn’t think of anything better than making something for a little girl to wrap herself up in and drag around for the next 4-6 years.

I have struggled a bit with the drawing thing, and trying to find time to be creative. I’ve been taking some Skillshare (www.skillshare.com) classes online. I start and get about 3/4 of the way through, but never quite finish. I always seem to learn something though.

So I have been “being creative” and trying to stretch my brain, but I seem to lose interest pretty fast sitting in front of the computer for too long. I think that’s why I like getting up and doing something a bit more creative physically, like knitting or quilting. I think that stepping out into another creative outlet is just as good as trying to draw everyday. I know it won’t make me a better drawer and maybe I’ll never be a really great drawer, but I hope I’ll always be creative, whether it’s working on a new logo, trying a new recipe, knitting a sweater or making a baby quilt from a few scraps of fabric.

PiBoIdMo 2013 Registration is OPEN!


, , ,


What is PiBoIdMo you ask? Picture Book Idea Month, which is officially starting November 1, 2013. I happened upon it through the Simply Messing About blog. They also mention participating in the Sketch A Day Month (SkADaMo) put together by Linda Silvestri all the information is on her blog. With all these neat acronyms it’s bound to be fun and exciting.


Check them out, follow the steps for registration for PiBoIdMo and the super simple rules of SkADaMo and have fun. Anything that gets you sketching or writing everyday can’t be all that bad!!

What I’ve been up to lately…


runningA bit of fun with pastels on a wood panel. But like a rookie, working with any new materials, I gessoed the finished piece and I noticed last night that the gesso is starting to peel. :0( I wonder what the best way is to preserve a pastel drawing without smudging?

I also drew this, although very rough, I wanted to capture a photo from a recent trip to the Oregon Coast Aquarium.


I hope to keep drawing, even if it is difficult to find inspiration at times. What is everyone else up to lately?


Daisy Draw

Lately I’ve been really busy not really accomplishing too much. I’m working on a new logo, trying to get some illustrations together for an idea I have for a book, renovating, and running. I just never feel like I have accomplished all that much in any ONE thing.

I have a New Year’s resolution, I know it’s a bit late for that, but here it goes anyway. I am going to accomplish at least one thing a day. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but trust me, I can not bite off more than I can chew. Whether it be to finish a logo I’ve been working on, finish an illustration, or just type up a recipe for a recipe book I am putting together. I’m going to just do it!

I think I need these small manageable goals. I’ll let you know how it goes. In the meantime, take a look at some illustrations I have been doing of my dog, Daisy.

Daisy Lying down


House Held Up By Trees by Ted Kooser, Illustrated by Jon Klassen

I just spent an hour and a half with one of the funniest, most unpretentious and humble author/illustrators I’ve ever had the good fortune to meet.

Jon Klassen is all that and more. What a great story teller, he completely sold me on his talent. I couldn’t have been more impressed by him.

He talked about his start as an animator and claimed how terrible he was at it! Even though, at the age of 25 he was working on big films, such as Coraline. But it was the work he did on his own time that fulfilled him.

He started illustrating other people’s books after he got himself an agent (who didn’t mind that he wasn’t Maurice Sendak or a rich lawyer’s wife). His beautiful illustrations for Ted Kooser’s, “House Held Up By Trees”, not only does justice to the author’s story, it takes it a little bit further by adding mood and a timeframe not readily evident at first. Until you notice the two empty chairs and notice the illustrations in the book go from dawn to dusk and back again.

Other work he has done include various book jackets and some illustrations for a series of books called “The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place” by Maryrose Wood. He mentioned that he didn’t like drawing people, because he wasn’t good at it. Unless they weren’t moving of course!

His two books that he author illustrated “I Want My Hat Back” and “This Is Not My Hat” are quite hilariously funny when you really look at them. I think listening to him talk about them and what he was thinking about as he wrote and illustrated them has made me appreciate them even more.

One thing that he said that I loved, was that he enjoys illustrating the back of books because as an animator, films don’t have a back!

His talk really hit home with me. It has given me the confidence to stop struggling with my illustration and trying to make it something it isn’t or will never be because I’m not a fine artist or watercolourist. Instead to find what works and is comfortable for me and embrace it.

Thanks Jon!


I Want My Hat Back, by Jon Klassen

Jon Klassen comes to Kidsbooks on Oct. 16th



Hi there, long time, no blog. I was pretty bummed that the Picture Book Illustration Level 3 class was cancelled due to low enrollment. I saw Lisa and she said that she was very busy and so not so disappointed if it didn’t happen ;0(

Are any of my fellow students going to take in this event happening on Oct.16, 2012 at Kidsbooks on Broadway? I really like Jon’s work and it looks like it might be some fun.

I hope to see some familiar faces then! Happy drawing.12864_JonKlassen_siteadRev.jpg


Registration is Essential!

For more information, call 604-738-5335
or email general@kidsbooks.ca

An invitation to teachers,
librarians and art students:
You are invited to meet Jon at a reception starting at 7 pm, followed by a presentation featuring his beautiful books:  newly-publishedThis Is Not My Hat as well as his best-seller I Want My Hat Back

Check out our flyer!

Tuesday Oct 16 at 7 pm
Venue: Kidsbooks on BroadwayTickets are $25.00 per person and include the new hardcover book This Is Not My Hat as well as the presentation, book signing and refreshments. Seating is limited and we expect to sell out. This is a unique opportunity to meet a fresh face on the art scene!

Purchase tickets here

Surprise, look who it is!

I received my copy of Uppercase (No.14) yesterday and always enjoy pouring through this very tactile magazine. The publisher, editor, designer; Janine Vangool has committed herself to maintaining a first class, PRINTED, piece of art, that graphic artists like myself can’t wait to drool over. I have to say 4 times a year is simply not enough for me.

Anyway, I sat down with my coffee and my new magazine and imagine my surprise to find a whole two page spread dedicated to Collage collage (collagecollage.ca), a wonderful, local kid’s art-making and crafty store where I recently attended the opening for Lisa’s (our illustration for picture books teacher and mentor extraordinaire) new online shop  (drawmealion.com). A few pages later there was a full page dedicated to Lisa herself. (Lisa Cinar, author and illustrator of the Day It All Blew Away and Paulina P. (for Petersen))

The whole magazine has several stories about Children’s Book illustrators and writers. Included is Kyo Maclear’s book Virginia Wolf, illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault, one of the books I picked up as a favorite when we were given this assignment in class to find our favorite illustrated children’s books.

I really enjoyed the article on Ward Jenkins, illustrator of Chicks Run Wild, wardjenkins.com. It just goes to show the lengths that people have to go through to follow their passion. More power to you! I feel your introverted pain in an extroverted world.


Character Development and Sketches

For this week’s homework, we had to do our character development for our picture book. So you take your main character and draw this person in profile and from the front and also with different expressions. It’s a way of mapping or referencing your character for the future so that there is continuity when you draw your character again.

We also had to take our illustration from last week (mine was a watercolor illustration) and recreate it using a different technique or tool. I used Illustrator to redraw my illustration. I use Illustrator a lot for work, so using it for this was an easy decision, but I find it’s not as fun as doing the illustration “by hand”. I love the look of a hand drawn illustration, it’s not perfect. Using the computer, you are forced to have all your lines parallel and points meeting up. For me, it’s a bit finicky.

I chose an earth tone palette from Illustrator just to restrict myself a bit and give myself some rules. It’s fun playing with color like this.

Here are some background sketches for my character.

Looking forward to next week’s homework!