Thursday, December 31, 2009

happy new year!

Mr. Scout and Miss Zoey say Happy New Year! Wishing you all the best for 2010!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

happy holidays!

Happy holidays to all my cyber friends and blogging buddies. I wish you all the best in the new year to come. I really love the idea of a brand new year and the possibilities that it holds, don't you?

Yesterday, I was incredibly honored, by fellow illustrator Christina Rodriguez, to be her featured artist on her Art Crush Wednesday blog post. Christina is an amazing illustrator and has illustrated numerous books, so it was indeed, a real honor. Thanks so much, Christina!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

IF - undone

"After the presents were all undone, the family gathered around to hear Mama and Papa's exciting news."

From Theodore the Tree, for Illustration Friday this week.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

IF - hatch

Where has the time gone? Holiday shopping, decorating, packing and driving around, that's where! I can't believe it's Thursday already and I'm just getting to Illustration Friday. Oh well, here's my entry for the word - hatch.

This elf is hatching a plan to get some gifts, even though he found his name on Santa's naughty list. A quickie and maybe a stretch for the theme, but I wanted to do something creative this week!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

cards for tokyo

Yesterday, I sent an order of these holiday cards to a Starbucks office in Japan. I've sent cards internationally to Switzerland, Costa Rica, Canada and Puerto Rico, but this is my 1st to Japan.
How cool is that? I adore Japanese illustrations, so I'm thrilled they would want to use my designs for their holiday cards.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

mini book tour

It's been a fun and busy couple of weeks as Maribeth and I are doing our own little mini book tour, reading and signing Theodore the Tree books, at various locations around the city.

Last weekend we were at the Phinney Ridge Neighborhood Winterfest and Santoro's Books. This weekend we were at Tottini's children's store and the Barnes and Noble at Northgate Mall.
Since this is my 1st children's book, I didn't know what to expect from doing these kind of promotional events, and I have been so pleased at the reception that we have gotten for the book and it's been a ton of fun! Yay for Theodore!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

reindeer coffee

I recently did this custom holiday card for a customer of mine at Starbucks. They wanted a reindeer drinking coffee and this was my solution. I think I like designing for the holidays as much as I like the holidays themselves. So much fun!

Sunday, December 06, 2009


For Illustration Friday this week, an oldie but goodie, from my greeting card line. A crunchy gingerbread man for the holidays. Of course, my gingerbread man is drinking a latte! Only in Seattle, right?

Thursday, December 03, 2009

elf yourself

Elf yourself, on Office Max's website has been around a couple of holidays now, but I've never done it. Of course, I didn't want to do a picture of myself (ugh!), so I elfed Scout and Zoey.
Pretty amusing. The videos take awhile to load, so be patient, if you even want to watch them.

These kinds of things are for people with too much time on their hands or for people who just like to see cats dressed up, doing funny dances.

Monday, November 30, 2009

IF - entangled

For Illustration Friday this week - When I saw the word was entangled, I immediately thought of a spread in the picture book I recently illustrated, Theodore the Tree. It's the last double page spread in the book and Timothy is having some trouble with a tangled up extension cord.

I had some time over the long weekend to do something new, so I decided to take Timothy and Anna out of the spread and make a holiday card with them and some other elements. (Since I seem to be obsessed with card designing right now and can't stop myself!)

So, it's a two for one Illustration Friday this week.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


Little 'ole me was honored to be interviewed by Sue, from the Nottingham Craft Mafia, for an article as the featured artist on their blog, and it was posted today. You can read it right here.

There are Craft Mafias all across the US and in the UK. The first Craft Mafia originated in Austin, TX and was created by nine crafty business women who came together through a shared love of craft. As it developed and spread, it's now a forum for networking, promotion and shared ideas, plus, of course, a love of crafts!

Isn't it so cool how blogging has brought people from all over together in the most amazing ways?

Friday, November 27, 2009

new blog banner

Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, it was time to take down my Fall blog banner and put up a winter one, so I revised my Frosty's Ice Cream Shop illustration a bit to fit the banner size and it worked out pretty well. If you're on Google Reader, click on over and visit. See ya Fall. Hello Winter!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

feliz navidad

For Illustration Friday this week, the theme word is music. Santa is taking a break this week, so these chickies can celebrate. Happy Turkey Day, everyone!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

I'm a PAL

I'm a PAL. Published and Listed, that is. With the release of Theodore the Tree last month, I now have PAL status at SCBWI. The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, for those of you who don't know. All these acronyms! I didn't even know what PAL stood for until a couple of months ago! I finally had to ask someone, because I kept seeing and hearing the term, but there was never an explanation for what it meant, everyone just seemed to know!

There is a certain criteria that has to met to qualify, no self-published books, etc., So now we know, PAL means Published and Listed and I'm so thrilled to be a PAL!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

directory of illustration

I recently signed up to advertise in the Directory of Illustration. I won't be in their book until 2011, but I'm online as of today. Yippee! It took me a really long time to resize and upload all my images to the specs they needed to be for the site and I'm only half way done! Hopefully, this weekend I can finish it up. You can find my DI portfolio right here.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

IF - unbalanced

I couldn't believe my luck when I saw the word of the week on Illustration Friday. Unbalanced! Perfect for my next card design in the Santa series - Skiing Santa! Poor Santa, he's about to take a header into the powder, big time!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

flying santa

I'm currently obsessed with greeting card designs. What can I say, they are really fun to do!
Skating Santa really needeed a companion card, so I did this Flying Santa. What's next, you say? Maybe a whole series - skiing Santa, snowboarding Santa, jump roping Santa, reading Santa, Santa drinking a margarita. I could go on and on, but you'd be bored and so would I.

This Flying Santa is based on a stamp design I did a while back for A Muse, Rocket Elf, which is currently on sale on their website. It was such a cute idea, I wanted to explore it a little more.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

IF - blur

I can't believe another week has gone by and it's time to post another Illustration Friday challenge. I decided to do another greeting card, because I had so much fun making last week's.

"Santa skates so fast sometimes, he's just a blur of red and white". I don't know, maybe that's a stretch for the theme, but I didn't really want to make a blurry object or person. That's what's so great about IF challenges - you can do whatever you want, there are no rules! Just imagine he is blurry, OK?

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

IF - skinny

For Illustration Friday this week I decided to make a greeting card, featuring a bird with really long, skinny legs. I first thought of illustrating someone drinking a tall, skinny latte, then I thought of a kid with really long, skinny legs, but neither of those ideas really formed a clear path for me. The bird plan just felt right and I'm happy with the way it turned out. Plus, it was just so fun to do! Don't you just love it when that happens!

Monday, November 02, 2009

a muse window sneak peek

What have I been working on? Playing with paint and glitter, making props for the A Muse window. Now that Halloween is over, it's time to start decorating for the holidays, so I made these oversized ornaments to hang in the window of Linda's shop.
She had the brilliant idea of painting them in lime green and pink instead of the traditional red and green. I think it's such a fresh, modern take on holiday trimming and they will look so fab in the window!

This is a little sneaky peek - the window will be going in tomorrow.

Friday, October 30, 2009

trick or treat

Monday, October 26, 2009

IF - fast

For Illustration Friday this week - Penquins like to go fast down snowy hills on sleds and skis!
I had so much fun creating penquins for last week IF challenge, I decided to do them again. This was created entirely in Illustrator.
Now, I have to choose between this one and last week's Frosty's Ice Cream shop for my holiday promo card. Which one would you choose? Which image do you think is stronger? Send me a comment and vote for your favorite! I'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

IF - frozen

I'm finally getting my If entry posted for this week. I started this on Saturday, but only had a bit of time each day to work on it, so it seemed like forever before I finished it! I'm really proud of myself for doing the entire piece in Illustrator, even the shading! I think I'm finally getting a handle on the brushes in IA. I even tried a bit of gradient shading on the penguins, which I think works pretty well.

I might work on this a bit more and send it out as a holiday promo card. It's not quite the right size for a card, so I'll have to do a bit of reworking. I should have thought of a card size when I started this!

Monday, October 19, 2009

bee's knees

Yesterday, I was raking leaves in the front yard and a bee flew up my pant leg and stung me above the knee. Of course, I freaked out and went running in the house, tore off the jeans, cursing all the way. I cleaned the sting, put on some Neosporin, shook out the jeans and put them back on to go out and finish what I was doing. That little devil was still in the pants! More shaking and he was finally loose. Who knew raking leaves could be so dangerous!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Muse - fall sneak peek

A Muse is sharing some sneak peeks of their upcoming new Fall release over on the A Muse News blog, so I thought I'd do a little sneaky peek myself. This is the new acorn stamp that I designed for it, with a little color added in for fun.

Don't you just love Fall?- the beautiful autumn colors, a crispness in the air and leaves to kick through on walks around town. Oh, and pumpkins - Pumpkins on the porch, pumpkin cookies and pumpkin pie...can't forget those! It wouldn't be Fall without pumpkins!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

IF - flying

For Illustration Friday this week. In Kidville, dogs and cats are best friends and often go flying together. I wished I lived in Kidville, don't you? It seems like such a nice place!

Friday, October 09, 2009

jack o grams

I just finished these double sided postcards that will be used as fundraisers for my daughter's school. She's in high school, so I tried to make them a bit more sophisticated then my usual kid stuff. I did the top one, with the pumpkin jack in the box, more for boys and the bottom one to appeal more to girls.
My daughter is involved in Student Government and they are going to be selling these to the kids at school to give to each other for Halloween. They came up with calling them Jack O Grams, which is really fun!
My wonderful friends at A & A Printing, here in Seattle, will be donating the cost of printing, which is so very cool.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

IF - germs

"Amos Finnegan was always pulling Sara's hair and running around with frogs and snakes and things like that. Sara thought all boys had COOTIES, but he had the most of anybody in the whole school!"

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Hey, check it out! I'm famous (sort of!) Shrinking Violet Promotions did a blog post today about Theodore, Maribeth and me!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

IF - pattern

A pattern of characters from Theodore the Tree, for this week's Illustration Friday challenge.
This will be used as the endpapers in the book and it happens to be one of my favorite pages. I've always been a big fan of patterns and use them a lot in my work, so I guess that's why.
I love patterns so much, I may just have to do something new for this challenge, later this week.

Friday, September 25, 2009

theodore bookmark

Here's a promotional bookmark the publisher asked me to design for Theodore the Tree. They will be set out at bookstores, coffeeshops, libraries, etc. to help get the word out about the book. I'll be getting my advance copy in the mail any day now! It's getting really close to the release day! Are you guys getting sick of my blogging about the book yet? I just can't help it, it's exciting stuff, to me anyway!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

IF - infinite

Funny little kiddos blowing infinite bubbles, for Illustration Friday this week. Practicing in Illustrator.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

promo cards

It's promo cards time again! It seems like I just did this, but it's been a year since my last mailing! Now I remember why I don't do this very often. It's time consuming! But, of course, it needs to be done, to get my name out there and hopefully get another book to illustrate.
I was so proud of myself in the fact that I was able to make my envelopes more fun by printing a line drawing of Theodore the Tree on the front. I'm fully aware of how many envelopes and post cards hit the desks of art directors and I wanted to do something to stand out and make them want to open the envelope. I hope it works. I know if I received a lime green envelope and it had a Christmas tree with a face on it, I'd want to open it. But hey, that's just the way I am!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

IF - welcome

For Illustration Friday this week, from my upcoming picture book, Theodore the Tree which is now available for pre-orders on Amazon and will be in stores Oct.1.

I thought this was a good page for the theme of welcome - Welcome to the new baby and Welcome to the new star ornament. The family gets a new ornament for their tree every year. It's a sweet story with a message, perfect for the holidays.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

website update

I've redesigned my illustration website, with the help of the fantastic webmaster, Darren Di Lieto, from He's awesome, if you are need of an illustration or art site. He helps you design it and hosts it, all for a reasonable rate. Anyway, check it out, right here. I've added some new categories - books and design work.

Speaking of books - Theodore the Tree has his own website! I designed some coloring pages that are available to download from there and of course, it talks about the book and the author and me! How cool is that!

Sunday, September 06, 2009

exciting news

Whooo-hooo! Theodore the Tree, my 1st illustrated picture book is now available for pre-order on Amazon. Written by Maribeth Stephens, it will be released on Oct 1st, 2009.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

random notes

Nikki turned 15 over the summer and got her braces off. She also is the proud owner of her learner's permit and is now navigating the streets of Seattle, with me in the passenger seat. So, if you're in the city and you see a charcoal gray Subaru Forester, with an auburn haired girl driving and a woman with short dark hair and a stricken look on her face, beside her, that's us.

Derek turned 18 a couple of weeks ago. He's 6' tall and wears a size 12 shoe. I'm 5'4", so he's a great help getting things down from high spaces.

Zoey, our new kitty is like a puppy, she chews on things! Her favorite thing is ipod earbuds! We've lost 2 so far and now we have to put them away whenever they aren't in use.

Scout, our older cat, has irritable bowel syndrone. He's on medication for it and is doing better. He used to barf a lot! I always thought some cats just did that, but I mentioned it to the vet and she said that's what everyone used to think, but it usually is what Scout has. Who would have thought!

We had 5 racoons in our backyard the other day. Not just one or two, five! This is the city of Seattle, not rural at all! There's a Starbucks a block away, for heaven's sake! Crazy, but true.

I changed my banner to the Fall one I did last year. It's time, the kiddos will be back to school on the 9th. whooo-hooo! I'll miss sleeping in, though.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

IF - magnify

Playing with line and texture for Illustration Friday this week. Max is trying to hide, but Seth the Super Sleuth is on his trail.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

2 more new designs

2 more new designs I've added to my greeting card line. I'm really happy with the way the top one came out. For those of you who don't know, I have a greeting card line of images all about coffee. I do live in the coffee capital of the US, after all! My main client is Starbucks and they use the cards to send to their employees for events such as birthdays and company anniversaries. Isn't that a cool thing for a large corporation to do? Me thinks so!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


I'm getting linked up over at LinkedIn. How about you? Want to connect? I'm not sure how or if this will ever help me in my professional life, but it's kind of fun!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

IF - caution

This Mom always uses caution when taking her kids and their friends to school, using a rope line to keep them safe. Even the dog is part of the line, she doesn't want him running into traffic!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

IF - wrapped

When I was about 8 or 9, we were visiting my grandmother and I took our dog for a walk around the neighborhood. A large dog, German Shepherd, if I remember clearly, was on a near by porch as we walked by and of course, started barking his fool head off when he saw our dog. She got so scared, she ran in circles around me, wrapping the leash around my ankles, then took off. I took a header, landing on the concrete sidewalk and broke my wrist!
I spent the rest of the summer in a cast and never took the dog for a walk again.

Friday, August 14, 2009

new holiday designs

Remember these sketches? here's what I ended up doing with them...2 new holiday card designs for my greeting card line. Thanks to everyone who voted for their favorite sketch! I think the penguins will be the best seller this year, I've already gotten a few orders for it!

Sunday, August 09, 2009

IF - impatience

For Illustration Friday this week. Mom's getting impatient with all the whining in the back seat!
I actually posted this one for a previous IF challenge, but I've got a busy week coming up and won't have time to create a new one, so this will have to do. Plus, it really does fit the theme word perfectly!

Sunday, August 02, 2009

IF - modify

When Emma decided her new favorite color was green, she modified her diet and would only eat food that was green. This, of course, delighted her mother, who happily fed her green veggies all day long.

Based on a semi-true story - when my daughter was about 4, she went through a mini stage of only eating food that was yellow. I was glad it only lasted a few days, because she didn't like most of the yellow foods I tried to give her!

Working on trying to get my working mojo back - this helped. Thank you, Illustration Friday!