Category Archives: Reblogs

NOT JUST A PRETTY PICTURE: Women Illustrators and Why I Love Their Work

I think this is going to be an interesting blog series. These are some gorgeous children’s book illustrations! 🙂


Part 1- Animals

I admit, I judge a book by its cover. Especially in children’s literature. When the art grabs my attention on the cover, I know goodies await my eyes on the inside; think eye candy!

However, my first impression is never “Such a pretty picture…” when I see the covers. Instead my brain deciphers right away, what exactly about the cover entices me to open the book. There are numerous qualities on my checklist and these carry over into the illustrations of the book itself. Some books will have just one checkmark, others, two or more.

These qualities will be explored in my new series, ‘NOT JUST A PRETTY PICTURE: Women Illustrators and the Why I Love Their Work’ kicking off right now as part of the #kidlitwomen movement. Women have been rockin’ the kidlit world for decades and continue to do so. 

To start us off, my…

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Reviewing The Craft of Creative Fiction Writing by Pawan Mishra

A great short book with some good food for thought.

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug! 🙂


Reviewing Book: On Writing Wonderfully: The Craft of Creative Fiction Writing
by Pawan Mishra

Three words that come to mind after completing this book: short, straightforward and actually helpful.

37788871 Taken from Goodreads

Pawan Mishra has done an amazing job at covering some of the most important things concerning creative writing. He has answered to writers’ questions, doubts, and insecurities. Like every creative soul, writers too often suffer from the dilemma that their work isn’t good enough and Pawan has managed to guide them through that phase. In such a phase, writers tend to completely avoid writing but with Pawan’s 21 techniques, it should be a piece of cake.

14594440 Pawan Mishra, author.

Below are a few of the quotes I loved from this ebook:

A writer can do without food for a few hours but not without the sight of books.

If you are a singer, you must sing. If you are a…

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Taking a break…..

Here is some beautiful watercolor work from a beautiful artist! Happy Saturday!

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug! 🙂

My Life as an Artist (2)

“People say that what we’re all seeking is the meaning of life.   I don’t think that’s what we’re seeking.  I think what we are seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances with our innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.”     Joseph Campbell 1904-1987

watercolour/gouache – magical hummingbird 20-11-15 - 1 (1073)I will be painting, writing, celebrating life and enjoying the company of dear friends during the next few weeks……

watercolour10996309_10153250856200396_1092698130640243063_oOnce again I have been reminded through the untimely death of a good friend of the importance of making the very best of every moment we have.

watercolour20-11-15 - 1 (716)Not to put off what we really want to do….but rather to take on life’s new adventures with a sense of excitement.

watercolour11090885_10153267522075396_95320469508928867_oNot to wait for the perfect time to do…

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But She Is “Just” a Turtle

Read about Shannon and HER love for turtles! She even owns some! Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug. 🙂

Love & Feathers & Shells

originally published on Malti & Me on May 30, 2016

Oh boy.

Let me tell you what.

Being a turtle mommy, for me at least, has been like winning free tickets to the “learning curve rollercoaster” – that really fast, scary one I never wanted to ride in the first place.

If you’ve been following Malti’s adventures here and on social media, you probably remember that she recently went missing for 6 days.

Those were pretty much the 6 longest days of our life together to date.

Malti sitting securely in her mommy’s lap immediately post-rescue.

In our personal network, no one seemed surprised that I would ditch work, socializing and pretty much everything else for 6 consecutive days to search for my baby turtle.

(This, of course, is because our flock has the coolest network ever.)

But outside our network, and sometimes outside (literally) as I was searching…

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This is a great story! I laughed and…cried…happy tears.

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug! 🙂


country road, New EnglandBecause of me, my granddaughter almost loses a couple of fingers.

We’re driving down a typical New England country road, bracketed with August-green swaying trees. Hawks swing on the tops of those trees, squawking loudly.

To our right is an almost-hidden river where kayakers slowly swing their oars. To our left is dense wood filled with squirrels and woodchucks and chirping sparrows.

“Madre, watch out!” Sophie yells. I ram my foot on the brake.

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Dreaming in Color

This sounds so wonderful! Check it out! 🙂

Jill's Art Journal

The Dreaming Zebra Foundation is a (501)(c)(3) charity providing support so that children and young adults are given an equal opportunity to explore and develop their creativity in the arts.

How did Dreaming Zebra™ get its name?

The answer is that every zebra is unique, just as every child is one of a kind! Zebras are black, with white stripes that are as individual as fingerprints. At Dreaming Zebra, our mission is to encourage children…

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World Watercolor Month Starts July 1st

Marriage and the Midlife Crisis

This is encouraging and is right where my husband and I are at. Exciting times.

Have a wonderful day and give someone you love a big hug! 😊

Marija Smits

Last week it was my husband’s and my wedding anniversary. We celebrated with hugs and kind words and time spent pottering about with our kids, getting on with the usual chores. In the evening we had a takeaway and dessert. In quiet moments I reflected on our almost 20 years together (13 of them as a married couple).

Teika Marija Smits, photo by Andy Rhymer Teika Marija Smits, photo by Andy Rhymer

On the day of our wedding, it would have been good if, along with the marriage certificate, we were given a guide to negotiating the ups and downs of marriage, but as no one presented us with such a guide, like many other couples we bumbled along and came up with our own. Although it took a while to craft, it is, thankfully, short. It goes something like this:

  1. Love and respect each other.
  2. Communicate well.

And voila! That is it!

In the early days…

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How does the creative process work?

This is too beautiful to pass up sharing! I believe Janet captures the spirit of hummingbirds in her paintings as well as their physical beauty! 🙂

My Life as an Artist (2)

Like a flying jewel, the hummingbird darts lightly through the world, teaching us to appreciate the wonder and magic of every day existence……….


20-11-15 - 1 (1082)How does the creative process work?

Initially the seed of an idea is sewn.

The seed then enters into an incubation period which can be short lived, or take years to come to fruition.

The seed of an idea 20-11-15 - 1 (1076)As we go about our daily lives, just like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle being revealed, the seed sprouts ideas that give us more information…..This can happen at any time.

It’s vital to record these ideas, because even when we think we couldn’t possibly forget a moment of inspiration……we can, and do, which is why it’s important to always have a sketch/notebook at hand.

20-11-15 - 1 (1079)

Like a ghostly apparition sometimes the answer seems almost within reach – but then it disappears and returns to incubation….it was just a…

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Book Giveaway – Owl Bat Bat Owl by Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick

This is a wonderful post! Have a good day, and give someone you love a big hug! 🙂

Writing and Illustrating

Congratulations to author/illustrator Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick on her new book OWL BAT BAT OWL. She has agreed to participate in our book giveaways. All you have to do to get in the running is to leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know the other things you did to share the good news, so I can put in the right amount of tickets in my basket for you. Check back to discover the winner.


Can two very different families find their space in the world together? A wonderful wordless picture book offers stylish art, humor, and charm.

A mother owl and her three little owlets live happily on their branch. That is, until the bat family moves in. The newfound neighbors (owls up top, bats hanging below) can’t help but feel a…

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