Sunday, December 18, 2011

They Draw & Cook

Love the site for They Draw & Cook. I enjoy cooking and will be doing this in the near future. Great site.

Saturday, December 10, 2011


Working on repeat patterns. Learning. Found some great youtube video.
The I uploaded my own works up to Spoonflower a great site for creating your own custom fabrics. I love browsing to see all the great designs.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Review of Twelve Colorful Things

Sweet review of "Twelve Colorful Things" on the 21st Century Housewife.

Rockabye Baby Jesus Coloring Sheet

For a free coloring sheet the release of "Rockabye Baby Jesus" by Heather Tietz art by Nancy Miller. Click the coloring sheet.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Pete the Cat

This is a wonderful book that incorporates song and colors. Gotta love Pete!

Crayola Doesn't Make a Color for your Eyes

Cute video and great song with kids!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Interview Author Brenda Sturgis

I interviewed author Brenda Sturgis, whom I got to know while illustrating Sweet Dreams. She was kind enough to answer some questions about the business of children's book writing. Enjoy!
1. How did you come up with the idea for "10 Turkeys in the Road"? After watching the book trailer I couldn't help but giggle. Humor abounds in the writing and the illustrations.
Thank you Nancy! The original idea presented itself one day when I was driving my daughter to school. There were about 10 turkeys blocking the road that we live on, (a country road in Shapleigh, Maine) strutting, creating a ruckus, and then they’d fly off into the trees. I woke up one night at 3:00 a.m. and the story was in my head, and I wrote the first draft fairly quickly. I sent it to my good friend, editor of Flashlight Press, Shari Dash Greenspan, and she liked it as well, and she added some funny illustration notes, the turkeys were doing all kinds of crazy things that she thought up. I reworked the text. I entered it in Smart Writers 2007, and it took an honorable mention, while the Football Game, now titled Touchdown, won first place in the same contest. In 2008, I took 10 Turkeys in the Road, on a road trip with me to RUCCL (Rutgers Council for Children’s Literature) a selective conference where you’re matched one-on-one with an editor. I was paired with Margery Cuyler, of Marshall Cavendish. She read the manuscript, laughed out loud and loved it. But said she’d like to see it about a circus. I went home and started a revision, had to change 10 entire stanzas each one had to rhyme with “One turkey flew away,” which is the refrain. I was able to rewrite the whole story to Margery’s specifications, it was submitted to her, and she acquired. She asked for two additional stanzas which I was happy to write for her, and the rest is turkey history!

2. What types of marketing techniques do you use to promote your work?

My website, designed by Donna Coons Farrell is turkey themed, and my daughter-in-law, educator, Whitney Reeves, (co-creator of The Bitzy Baby) wrote the lesson plans for me. My good friend and critique partner Carrie Clickard wrote the puzzles for me, and I created the book trailer myself with Movie Maker. I’ve contacted The National Wild Turkey Federation who looked over my puzzles and my website, and agreed to do a book review, also Avner the Eccentric, (he was in The Jewel of the Nile movie with Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner.) Avner was the juggler in the market scene. He’s a performer still and has agreed to do a book review as well. Also, I contacted The World Circus Federation and have agreed to donate two signed copies for a silent auction in Monaco. I work with Kirsten Cappy of Curious City, and we have a marketing plan in place as well. Book signings, school visits, and promo events are sure to follow.

3. What are some of the other book titles you've done?
I have a poem in the Sweet Dreams anthology titled Snuggled Child with Blooming Tree Press, illustrated by the fabulous you. Also have a lot of titles in project portfolio of picture books, polished and ready to find a home. Have had a lot of great feedback on several pieces but no additional sales yet, and am presently searching for an agent that will be a good fit both professionally and personally.

4. Can you tell us about any future books that will be released?

Nothing I can share just yet, but some good things are in the works!

Brenda, thank you for taking the time to share your work! To learn more about Brenda visit her site .

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Visual Illusion

 It's amazing how contrast and values work in this one.

Monday, July 25, 2011

IF: Perennial

This illustration of a camilia that I attempted for my grad illustration class on materials and techniques. Not my usual pastels. It's using CF Payne's technique. It was a bit washed out. Live and learn. This next one is a magnolia in Mark English's technique.

Live Oak Southwest Branch Visit

I had an amazing time at the Live Oak Southwest Branch this past week. The children's librarian, Alissa Boyd, is so welcoming and provides a lot of programs during the summer at the branch. It was great seeing all of the participation. 45 kids and 20 parents attended the reading of "Twelve Colorful Things" by Heather Tietz and illustrated by me! Reading, drawing demo, and I love throwing in an art project that goes with the book. The children in the story give a neighbor 11 pots decorated. We made pinch pots and each kid did an fantastic job of making theirs unique. I wished I'd taken photos of their work. The kids were so animated and we enjoyed our time together. I got a couple of hugs from kids and tons of questions and thank yous!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

IF: Stay

I thought of this illustration I did of my neighbor's dog that has to stay inside because of the weather.

Author Interview: Heather Tietz

I've had the pleasure of illustrating several books by Heather Tietz. She was kind enough to do a interview with me on her recent book Twelve Colorful Things.

Here's a little bit about Heather. Heather Tietz spent most of her childhood on the east coast of the United States making mud pies, lemonade stands, snow forts, tree houses and poems. It was her fourth grade teacher that inspired her love for poetry. After receiving a teaching credential from Cal State Fullerton she taught in Los Angeles city schools for several years. In her free time she pursued freelance writing jobs for magazines.

1. How did you come up with the idea for "Twelve Colorful Things"? It's a wonderful idea to bring months, colors, and number together.
"Twelve Colorful Things" has born back in my teaching days. Every year or so I scooped it up, toyed with the words and laid it back down to rest. The concept of 12 months, 12 colors and 12 numbers has stayed the same, but the story has changed tremendously over about 15 years time. In fact, it was the editors at Ambassador that inspired the biggest change to the book. They saw that it had potential, but wanted it fattened up so that it wasn't so dependent on the illustrations. I had about a week's time to sort of rewrite it again. I love what happened. Their suggestions really brought the story to life.

2. What types of marketing techniques do you use to promote your work?
I have a FaceBook Author page and a linked-in profile and a website of course ( I've haven't done much marketing outside of my little town. I've had a few small author signings, I've made a friend with an editor at my local paper, but I can't seem to get my local library or any bookstores to call me back about simply coming in to just read books during their storytimes. I think if I had the voice of a whiskery old man I could get a few doors to open for me. Unfortunately I don't have a lot of time to put toward marketing. I am a mom foremost, my extra time comes in uneven slices and is often eaten up before I get to use it for myself. Efforts put toward marketing are efforts taken away from writing.

3. What are some of the other book titles you've done?
In 2008 "Yes, Jesus Loves You" was published. That was my first picture book. Prior to that I wrote two crafts books for David C. Cook, and a handful of crafts for a third book published by a team of writers for a Vacation Bible School Curriculum. The invitation for me to write the FunStuff craft books for Cook actually came about because they had been interested in the "Yes, Jesus Loves You" manuscript. The publication of it fell through with them, but my name had been imprinted in the back of some editor's mind there, a few months later I was given a proposal for my first craft book with them.

4. Can you tell us about any future books that will be released?
Presently, "Rock-a-Bye Baby Jesus", illustrated by Nancy Miller, is due to come out before Christmas. The timing is so nice, since it is the story of Jesus birth. Other than that, I have a list of manuscripts I've submitted, I am just waiting to see if I can catch an editor's eye once again.

Thanks Heather for taking the time to answer these questions. If you'd like to learn more about Heather's books visit

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Another sea creature

Decided to try the collage style with some seahorses. Really enjoyed apply and figuring out the best textures.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Adobe Photoshop Wins

After struggling so much with Corel Painter I decided that I needed to try and work with a sample Photoshop illustration. It's one of those things I do love all the traditional options in Corel Painter, but I find that I'm so much more used to Photoshop. It can be overwhelming looking at all of the palettes and options in Painter. I even spent time taking some courses on it. I decided to try scanning in my work and trying to give a collage texture feel to this sample piece. It went so much smoother. I scan in textures that I've created traditionally so I enjoy that a lot. Photoshop is what I'm going with.

IF Midsummer Night

Here is my Midsummer Night Dream. I always think of falling asleep and fairy dust.

12 Colorful Things Wallpaper

Free desktop wallpaper to promote Twelve Colorful Things.

Twelve Colorful Things Book Trailer

I decided to create a book trailer for Twelve Colorful Things that was released recently. I used iMovie.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

IF Launch

Here's an illustration I did for an editorial piece about a child making his own homemade aircraft.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Sketching for fun

Simply sketches. Ideas for possible illustrations.

Beach Gesture Drawings

Took a sketchbook and tried some gesture drawing on the beach. Beautiful weather.

Gardening Illustration

Probono Job for kids gardening club in public schools. Done in Corel Painter.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Relief and finished!

Since I last posted. I've finished my book illustrations and started a pro bono job for a friend. The pro bono job is for a program that goes into public schools and helps them start their own organic garden. I'm doing an illustration for their website. It's nice to be back to a manageable pace. I'm looking forward to getting back to working on the computer illustration style. Rock-a-bye Baby Jesus will be out Fall 2011.

Friday, February 18, 2011


I'm taking some time away from my marketing efforts to finish a picture book project 2 months early. I keep thinking like the Little Engine that Could...I think I can I think I can...

Sunday, February 6, 2011


The more I  use painter I feel more at ease. Here's a screen shot of a thank you card I'm working on for clients. A bit of a self portrait. Liked using the real bristle brushes for the hair. Mainly I like working with the pastels.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Marketing Tuesday, Jan. 11th

I'm a day early. Decided with the holiday to take advantage of some spare time. I'm over 50 on my mailing list. I'm half way to 100. Yeah! I've been viewing other illustrator sites/blogs to find publishers. I'm still on a tight budget. But I think you get a bit more creative when you are on a tight budget.

I'm hoping to eventually get time to make a presentation of my work on Prezi. This is a nice way to make a presentation that isn't so slide based. It take some getting used to working on the canvas. I wanted to repeatedly use my quick key commands. It's browser based. So you don't have to worry about mac/pc or if they have the software. I think it has promise.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Marketing Tuesday, Jan. 11

I've been researching online for various publishers. I tried googling for "Illustration Submissions". That had mixed results there's a lot of things you have to weed through if you are looking children's book publishers. After about 5 pages of this I decided to see how current my info was in my 2008 Children's Market Book. I'm working on a budget. It helps to google the publisher to double check them on JacketFlap. That helps. Now I'm up to 30 for my mailing. I try not to get discouraged at my slow progress. I'm still working on illustrating a fourth book title the talented author Heather Tietz. This is my 3rd illustration job with the same author. It's been a wonderful experience. I love her work.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Marketing Tues Jan 4th

I started my Marketing Tues. on Jan. 4th. I decided to spend time adding names to my mailing list for my future promo card mailer. I found some listings off of the Children's Book Council site. If you click on the "For Members" section you can access CBC member list. They have a link to each members site and lists if they accept unsolicited submissions. Then I doubled back and check on the website to see their backlist and submission guidelines.

When I have some freelance money coming in I'll opt to buy the Market books. I noticed the 2011 Artists and Graphic Designer's book is now available online. I think that's better than having the hardcopy. They get outdated so quickly.

Monday, January 3, 2011

#31 – Now go and do!

Here's the link to Holli Conger's Site. Enjoy!
#31 – Now go and do!

Ideas for Interiors

I enjoy visiting thi site called Design Sponge. I think it helps to get ideas for interior spaces for illustrations. Sometimes you need something that looks more contemporary. Check it out. If not for your illustrations you get ideas for your own home space! I like how the organized the books in this picture by color. I wish I where that organized.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Promo Card

After a couple of years, I finally got motivated enough to create a new promo card to send out to ADs. I got really excited after following Holli Conger's website for Dec. Now I just need to wait for pay day and I can get them printed and mailed out. My marketing days I will have on Tues. Should be fun.

Wizard Sketch

I watched the movie "The Color of Magic" based on the novel by Terry Pratchett. It was a good fantasy movie. Complete with everything you would want to see in a magical world.

IF - Resolution

Here's a sketch for this week's theme resolution. Save more money! That's a personal resolution for this year.