Blog Archives

Crabapple in Opera Rose

The imaginary friend

Some lovely thoughts from my lovely friend, Julia, whom I met through blogging a long time ago. Enjoy!

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

Defeat Despair

Imagination to reality: meeting (again) in person, the smiles say it all.
Laurie, Matt, me, Kelly and Alys at Rustico’s in Old Town Alexandria, April 2017

“Writing is a job, a talent, but it’s also the place to go in your head. It is the imaginary friend you drink your tea with in the afternoon.” ― Ann Patchett

I think most everyone who writes can identify with this quote. But for those of us who blog, the line takes on a magnificent blur as the imaginary friend we reach through our writing may, from time to time, step through the mist and become real to us. And for many of us, this might happen again and again, with several different people who read our words, and whose words we read, leaving us with an entire family of friends we might never meet face to face.

Just last week I was exchanging…

View original post 337 more words

Kangaroo Feet!

Hello Friends,

Here are some kangaroo feet I drew yesterday.  I was looking at this picture of these unique feet in a book about kangaroos.  This is the whole picture!  Just feet…..

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

P. S. May the 4th be with you!  😉


Hippo “Peek-a-Boo” in Pencil

Hello Friends,

Here’s a hippo I did yesterday in pencil.  I decided to venture out and get to drawing some other animals for a change.  I am in the process of working on preliminary ideas for an alphabet book.  I have some other drawings of animals for each letter, but they are small right now.  I will share them eventually.

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

Kangaroo in Pencil

Hello Friends,

Here is a little kangaroo hopping around, probably somewhere in Australia!  This is for you, Christine Stoner!

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

Hermit Crab Watercolor

Hello Friends,

Here’s a hermit crab I doodled a while back.   It is just crawling along to say hello!  It came out a little on the light side, but that was what I was trying to do since I have always tended to paint a little heavy for watercolor.

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


Picture Book…Still in Progress

Hello Friends.

I know I have been working on this first picture book for a long time now, but it is coming about slowly.  Here are the paintings I have done of my illustrations so far.  They are really watercolor sketches on low-quality paper right now.   I plan to keep working on the colors; I’m not quite satisfied with the shades of grays or with how the yellows came out.  To me they look too washed out.  I have not finished all of the paintings of the illustrations yet either.  Also, I skipped painting some of the illustrations so I could do the jellyfish.  I am planning to do backgrounds for the title pages and do something for the cover, the back, and the end pages inside the book as well.

So here is my first picture book so far….

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





Larry is lonely.   He does not have any friends to play with.  Last week he had to say goodbye to his best friend, Alicia, because she wanted to go explore a different part of the ocean.  

“Bye, Larry.”

“Bye, Alicia.  I’ll miss you!”


Now Larry is sad.  He feels like crying.

So he does.

When Larry feels lonely,

he swims


and swims.  He is hoping to find a new friend.

Then suddenly he is surprised when his tummy starts growling.  He was missing Alicia so much, he forgot to eat!

Growl, growl!

So Larry decides to look for his favorite food.


Larry dives…



and deeper.

Diving is Larry’s favorite part of swimming.

He dives all the way down to the bottom of the ocean to rest.

When he looks up to see the sun shining through the water,

He sees a swarm of jellyfish!  Then they see him, too!

They swim fast to get away…

and when Larry almost catches one,

he sees another Leatherback sea turtle swimming in his direction, but she does not see

him!  Suddenly they are face to face.

They bump noses.

Larry smiles widely.  He thinks to himself, maybe she will be my friend.

She smiles shyly.

“Hi.  I’m lonely…I mean…Larry.”  He feels embarrassed.

“Hi.  I’m Lucy.”  She giggles.  Then she winks at him.  “Do you want to go catch jellyfish with me?”

“Yes, I do!  Larry answered happily.  “I almost caught earlier today!”

So Larry and Lucy swam away to catch jellyfish together.

Then Larry, the lonely Leatherback sea turtle wasn’t lonely anymore.

The End

Lenny, the Leatherback – A Poem

Hello friends,

Yesterday after I wrote about writing being tough at times, I came up with this poem, which is weird since I don’t really write poetry anymore!  Ha, ha.  And of course, it is about a sea turtle! (This is not the same “Lenny” as in my other story.  I just love this name!)  Enjoy.  🙂

Lenny, the Leatherback

Lenny, the Leatherback turtle was as large as he could be.

He loved his home,

But he was all alone

In the salty waters of the sea.


Lenny, the Leatherback turtle tried every day to make friends.

But jellyfish swam away fast,

Whenever he was about to pass,

They were so afraid he might eat them.


Lenny, the Leatherback turtle felt as lonely as he could be.

He dove down deeper…down, down,

And when he saw a clown –

Fish, he smiled and was friendly.


The clownfish smiled back at Lenny,

She didn’t seem to feel afraid of him.

She swam up to his side instead of trying to hide,

And asked, “Will you be my friend?”



Patsy H. Parker


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

Writing With Pictures

Hello friends!  I hope everyone is having a great week!  I am so far.  I have been busy with many things, but now it is “hump day!”  Yippee!

I wanted to share with you about a book I found at the library.  I like it so much that I bought a copy online and received it in the mail on Friday.

It is called “Writing With Pictures:  How to Write and Illustrate Children’s Books” by Uri Shulevitz.  Here’s a picture of the cover.

Writing With Pictures

Part One is titled “Telling the Story.”  Included in this chapter are the main aspects of putting together a picture book or a story book.  A picture book has a certain format, and the story ideally should be able to be told without words.  However, as we know, most picture books do have text to go with the pictures to tell the story effectively.

The story must be clear and readable.  There needs to be a sequence of events not only in the story but also in the pictures.  For instance, if you are writing about someone travelling in some fashion, you need to show a background that visually advances the airplane, car, or person.  The example Uri uses is a car driving down the street.  If the sequence has no visual frame of reference for how the car is driving, then he says, “we cannot tell whether the car is moving at all.” (pg. 21)

Part Two is titled “Planning the Book.”  This includes how to make a storyboard and a book dummy; the size, scale, and shape of the book; and the structure of a printed book.

In my picture book about Larry the Lonely Leatherback, I have been working on trying to keep it as simple as possible.  However, I am discovering that I  am not sure I have enough action going on in the story or pictures.  I don’t want to bore kids and parents to death!  I do have one sequence of something Larry does that I have not posted yet.  I like it, and I think the pictures and description of what is happening in the story are presented clearly.  However, I am thinking it may be one of the things that has made my book so long.  It is about 40 pages right now.

Some picture books can go up to 48 pages, however, the average length is 32 pages.  This length includes the end pages which are located at the beginning and end of the book and can be blank or have pictures, the copyright/dedication page, and the title page and the story’s pages.

Part Three is titled “Creating the Pictures.” It instructs us in the process of doing illustrations, covering topics such as picture space and composition, principles in technique, style, and much more.  Since I am primarily an artist, I have been concentrating mainly on the drawings.  Now I am working on my story to make it more interesting.  Writing AND illustrating is much more difficult than most people think.  I have read in many places that a lot of writers think writing a picture book is a piece of cake.  I am here to tell you IT IS NOT!  There is so much to think about.

How does the story flow from beginning to end?  How do the illustrations tell the story? What is the theme of the story?  My story is about a lonely Leatherback sea turtle finding friendship.  Friendship is a very common theme in picture books for the very young which is my target audience.  Yet what will happen to bring that about?  Even small children feel lonely at times even if they don’t know what their feeling is called.  I want to convey this through an animal that is not seen much in picture books.

Part Four is titled “Preparing for Reproduction.”  It covers printing basics, color preseparation which is somewhat outdated now, but can still be useful knowledge, and techniques for reproduction.

Finally in the Appendices, there is a section about finding a publisher.  Of course we have many, many more options now than we ever have, but again, still useful information.

I hope this post doesn’t sound scattered; that is kind of how I am feeling at the moment. The book I have been talking about has so much more to offer.  I have barely scratched the surface.  Also, I read a lot of reviews about it on Goodreads, but many were not favorable because they felt the illustrations he includes in his examples are “outdated.”  As far as I am concerned, that is really irrelevant.  I think this is a wonderful teaching tool for all of us who have ever wanted to write and/or illustrate a children’s book.  I am enjoying it, and I would encourage you to check it out!  There is a great deal to glean from this man’s knowledge.

Well, that is all for now.

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

Wow!!! Again…it is never too late…..

I realize I have posted thoughts like this before, but I hope to encourage some of you today.

My friend on WordPress and Facebook, Elena Caravela, shared an article that is a must read for anyone who has started learning to do any kind of art “late” in life.  Really, though, when is it ever “too late?”  Who determines when anyone is too old to learn anything? Unfortunately, I guess many people in our culture do which is sad.  I have had to learn to try not be one of those people!

All I know is I am 55, have written lots of stuff but never been published.  Why?  I haven’t taken the time or energy to go down that road yet.  However, I also do not want the thought of “I am not a ‘successful’ author because I haven’t had anything published” to be what drives me to write.  If getting published is what drives me, I may not do my very best. Besides, “success” to me is just doing what I love to do and enjoying it!

I’ve done lots of artwork but haven’t sold much.  In fact I have sold very little, but I also haven’t taken the time or energy or had spare money to get out every weekend and set up booths at art fairs.  I did that once, it was expensive, and I barely sold enough to cover my cost of the booth.  I realized it just wasn’t the right time for me to be doing that.  And that is OKAY!  Time with my family is valuable, and that always comes first.

I am currently working on my first picture books.  I plan to try and get them published at some point, but even if they never are, perhaps that will be a job for my kids when I am no longer in this world.  Ha, ha!  Kidding aside, I really do want to get them done so I can have them to read to kids (and maybe even grandkids someday) who may enjoy them.

My point is this:  It really is never too late to learn, to produce, to share.  However, not everything we attempt HAS to become an end product!  Also, not everything we do has to be seen or approved of by others.  If I like it, that needs to be enough for me.  The main thing is that we enjoy the process!  Everything we learn is through a process anyway.  No one learns to draw or paint or play an instrument instantly.

Find what you enjoy and stick with it!  If you try certain things and discover you don’t really want to put the time into them that it would require to get to a much higher level of skill, let it go or put it aside for later.  And if “later” never comes, so be it.  I don’t think it is the same thing as quitting something because of becoming discouraged.  Believe me!  I know how it feels to be discouraged!  I have had many meltdowns; just ask my husband!  😉

It is hard to be ‘me’ some days.  Let me explain.  First of all, I have A.D.D.  However, I never use this as an excuse.  It is just how my brain is wired.  I also struggle with depression ocassionally.  I am a person who is interested in many different things so it has been difficult through the years to pick and choose what I want to spend my spare time doing in between taking my daughter to town every day for her classes, working out at the gym, and keeping things at home running efficiently.  (In past years I taught myself to draw while I homeschooled the kids all the way through grammar school and part of their upper grades.)   I just thank God for charter schools!

So even though I have learned a little guitar and spent some time on the keyboard and done some singing in years past, those are NOT the things I enjoy as much as I do drawing, painting, and creating art and delving into pieces of writing.  I had to make a hard choice a couple of years ago, but I know it was the right choice.  (Creating this blog was even a start in the right direction.)  I don’t get hung up on how many follwers I have or worry about who reads my thoughts.  I just pray my words bless whoever does.

Anyway……this is the jist of it of this post:

Take time to evaluate what you desire to do most.  Think about this:  what things excite you?  If you are a person who has many interests, learn to pick and choose and do what drives you most.  And most of all, have FUN doing it!  

Here is the link to the article my friend, Elena, shared.  It is not very long even though this post was!  Enjoy!

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



John Wreford Photographer

Words and Pictures from the Middle East


Adventures in Art and Creativity

CCC: Hard Corps

Every Corpsmember has a story worth telling.

Leila Nabih

Illustrating, Writing and Reading Picture Books

Lili's Bookbinding Blog

Where I can share Bookbinding, Printmaking, Art, and Visually Pleasing Things


A Gallery of New Picture Book Talent

%d bloggers like this: