Funk.

Hellooooo blog!

You may notice I haven’t been around in awhile, and it’s not because I shut down my business, pushed it to the back burner because of the hair business, nothing like that at all.

I’m just in a funk and have no idea how to get out of it.

There’s a lot going on with my art that I just don’t share. But in order to fully understand where I’ve been and what’s going on in my brain, I have to share some of it.

Continue reading “Funk.”

The Wrong Direction Easter Eggs

This blog post is extremely overdue. However, it’s Easter weekend, so I thought it might be appropriate to finally post now!

The Wrong Direction is the 3rd installment of the children’s book series The Adventures of Boathouse Mouse, and I have the honor and privilege of illustrating them. This book came out in April 2017, almost a year ago!!!!

While I was illustrating this book, I had some fun with it and included Easter Eggs, just like I did with The Cat and the River ThamesIf you’re unfamiliar with Easter Eggs, they’re fun little details included in movies, whether it be hidden details or references to other movies (Disney and Pixar are well known for these!). One thing I’m trying to add in each book now is a cameo of the person I’m dedicating it to. I didn’t do it for Book 1, and Book 2 was my parents.

Book 3 was originally going to be dedicated to my daughter. I was going to go in age order for the kiddos, but once I read the book, there was one scene that changed my mind:

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Hey There Little Buddy!

Look whooooo’s heeeeeeerrreeee!!!!

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For those of you who are new to the blog, when I’m not doing crazy drawing challenges, I have the priviledge of illustrating a children’s book series called The Adventures of Boathouse Mouse. I work on them with the amazingly talented author RV Hodge, and after a very long break (aka the illustrator, aka me, took almost a year off for moving), we’re back at it! Book 4 is IN MY HANDS!

Continue reading “Hey There Little Buddy!”

Drawing a Day Challenge: DAY 25!!!!

Guys! I did it!!!! I was able to do 25 5×7 drawings in 25 days!

I’m a little shocked I was able to get to it some days. Like today. My husband had meetings all day, so it was just me and the three kiddos….and two of them were having a little bit of a rough time if they were together.

It was an “Is it bedtime yet?” kind of day.

But as I had been looking forward to this drawing ALL CHALLENGE, nothing was going to get in the way of my drawing!

It’s a good thing the playroom is the other half of my office, huh? Referee while I work!

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Title: If Boathouse Mouse Was Real

Medium: Graphite pencil and ink on acid free paper

Size: 5×7

This was the very first drawing to go on my list of things to do over this challenge! I’m not sure what exactly sparked the idea; I think I had gone through my binder that holds the text for whichever book I’m working on illustrating, and at the back I have my reference drawings for Boathouse as well as other design ideas. I have little sketches of realistic mice from when I was designing him, and I think that was what gave me this idea.

Continue reading “Drawing a Day Challenge: DAY 25!!!!”

Sick Day Painting

My youngest was home for a couple days this past week with a fever. After what felt like his thousandth movie, he decided he was bored and was looking for a change of scenery. He loves to paint, and as I was behind in Boathouse illustrating, I suggested breaking out our watercolors. He jumped at the chance, and we got to work.

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Sick day snuggles

It was so much fun watching him be creative! He puts colors together that I wouldn’t think of, puts more detail and thought into each painting than I would imagine, and even watching him try to work through his struggles inspires me.

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Fear & Life: A Boathouse Update

Did you guys see that RV revealed the cover of  The Wrong Direction on his blog a couple weeks ago? Here it is!

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I think it’s my favorite cover so far, but then again, I say that with each book.

However, I can’t say that book 3 is my favorite overall in the series anymore, but that’s only because I got to read a draft of book 4 over Thanksgiving break…but that’s getting ahead of myself a bit.

Continue reading “Fear & Life: A Boathouse Update”

Coming Soon: Boathouse Products!

Remember how I had three people ask me about Boathouse prints at the AppleUmpkin Festival? Well, now I can say that I have two designs available with more on their way soon!

For RV’s birthday, I worked on designing a couple prints for him as part of his gift. It wasn’t as easy as I had hoped; trying to get a wonderful composition from pictures that aren’t always the correct proportion for prints is fairly tricky!

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5×7 print; love this frame with the illustration!

Continue reading “Coming Soon: Boathouse Products!”

AppleUmpkin Festival 2016 Recap

What. A. Weekend.

I was really nervous about doing this festival. It was the most expensive festival I’ve done, a lot of vendor acquaintances don’t do this festival anymore due to bad sales, and I just didn’t feel mentally prepared for it.

Saturday morning started off really rough, which just made everything feel so much worse. Thankfully we set my tent, tables, and trellises up Friday night, so I just had to set everything else myself that morning. It wasn’t until I was about half finished that I realized that I forgot things at home, so had to just throw everything in the tent, zip it up, and rush home.

Thankfully we live 5 minutes away, right? 😉

Running home also meant I got to see my kids quickly and get more views of this gorgeous sunrise (aka painting inspiration):

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Once I was back and all set up, things went fairly smoothly Saturday. There were times I was swamped, and there were times it was pretty quiet. It ended up being the best day I’ve ever had for a festival, and after my rough week and start to the day, it was really encouraging.

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Sunday was a bit slower; there were quiet and swamped times as well, but the crowds seemed to mostly want to just walk the grounds, get food (oh man, the smells were AMAZING), and enjoy the music.

Highlights:

The weather. Seriously. We could not have had better fall weather! Bright sunshine, slight breeze, and cool temperatures? Perfection.

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Visitors! Getting to see friends from the community I hadn’t seen in awhile (my kids just switched to another district, and we don’t get to see a lot of our friends here anymore), a friend from college came to check out the festival, repeat customers came to say hi, and my aunt and uncle happened to be in the area for another event so stopped by to see me!

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Cute little helpers!!!! My youngest came and helped for a bit while the other two kids and the hubby walked the festival, then my daughter helped my close out the day Saturday. My super cute niece also kept my chair warm while her mom and dad watched my booth so I could have a quick break.

Fun shoppers who take their time making decisions. I had one customer take a while deciding which of the Harry Potter inspired necklaces she wanted. She chose the Hufflepuff one at first, but then realized she was a Ravenclaw so went back to look at those necklaces. That brought about another round of which one to get!

Later when my youngest was helping, I had a customer who couldn’t decide which pair of earrings to get. Her husband and I both suggested the purple ones, but eventually she chose multi colored ones. She ended up coming back right before closing and exchanged them for the purple ones we recommended she get! But what makes it even funnier, is that she came back Sunday and brought her mom to my booth. Her mom ended up buying the multi colored ones that her daughter originally bought Saturday!

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Excitement over Boathouse. My supervisor from the campus library I worked at during college bought a copy of each for her as well as to donate to the campus library, and a teacher at the school my kids used to attend came and got them for her granddaughters.

I also had THREE people request that some of the illustrations become prints!!!!

There was also a little boy who stopped outside of my booth and got so excited about the Boathouse books I had on display! He was talking about all the things Boathouse does in the stories, and that his teacher read them in his class, and how he really likes them!

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Meeting other artists. I had an artist come in who just happened to be there with his wife, and we talked for a bit Saturday morning about programs and processes, and then Sunday morning another oil painter who was a vendor on the other side of the festival stopped in and we talked about processes and our love of the color blue.

One of my originals is THE wish list for Christmas! A woman came to my booth and fell in love with Middlebury Sky. She grew up here, and misses the clouds. She lives in Philly and happened to be in the area for the festival, and now she’s going home to tell her husband that what she wants for Christmas is this painting!

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The Lows:

My neighboring vendors weren’t super friendly. Maybe I was just spoiled at Brockport…okay, I probably was spoiled there by making two great connections with other vendors, and that’s ruined me for all festivals. They weren’t awful at AppleUmpkin, but just pretty much kept to themselves.

Dew. We had a lot of moisture Sunday morning on our booths, and thankfully it stayed outside my booth rather than come in and make a mess. This was the only damage I had, and it only happened because the breeze would blow the side of my tent right into the price tag. No big deal, my tent just dripped onto customers for the first couple hours as they entered and exited the booth.

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Being away from home. Not being home for two weekends in a row was really hard on my family. Both weekends were really important and amazing, but we’re really looking forward to me being home this upcoming weekend.

Panic. Okay, so this is really a good problem to have, but I hate feeling unprepared. I almost sold out of a few different styles of my jewelry, and only had one jewelry gift box left! I had tissue paper as a back up, but still, too close for comfort!

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All in all, it was a great weekend, and I could see myself doing this festival again. I’m glad I did it, and it was by far the best festival/craft show I’ve ever had. I haven’t signed up for next year yet as I’m considering changing the direction my booth takes in terms of which products I’ll have available, and I want to know exactly what that direction is before I apply. But in the meantime, it’s time to work on Boathouse 3 and get ready for the next craft show I’m doing in November! Woo hoo!!!!

Our First Book Signing

Life is a funny thing.

We make choices every day, but we never know what the outcome will be later in life, what relationships will be made, or where we will be living or working.

RV and I were discussing this briefly this past weekend after our book signing. If his daughter had never met her husband, they never would have moved to New York, would never have gone to our church, would have never met me. RV and I may not have ever met, and if I hadn’t opened my business, Boathouse may still just be an idea in his head.

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RV’s daughter, Vanessa, and I

A world without Boathouse is a sad world that I don’t want to live in.

But on to the book signing!

Continue reading “Our First Book Signing”

The Cat and the River Thames Easter Eggs

I LOOOOVE Easter Eggs in movies. They’re little inside jokes, references, or messages hidden in a movie, and I just find them to be a fun little treat.

Well, I hid a few Easter Eggs in the second Boathouse Mouse book this time, and I’d like to share them with you.

And, because I’m silly, I just so happened to put them all on the same page, rather than spread out through the entire book.

To start off, here is Mozzie:

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Mozzie is my kitty, and he was jealous that Magnus gets to be the star of the book.

The next kitty is Lily:

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Lily is Magnus’s sister, and well, he couldn’t be in the book if she wasn’t included as well!

And the last kitty is Moe:

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Moe was my daughter’s cat. He ran away almost 2 years ago, and although it wasn’t unusual for him to escape and be gone for days on end, we fear the worst as he never returned. I have him sleeping because we’re assuming he’s sleeping eternally now.

The last Easter Egg is this fishmonger and customer:

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I’m starting something new with this book; whoever I dedicate the book to will be snuck into an illustration. I dedicated this book to my parents, so my dad is here as the fishmonger, and my mom is the customer. My mom hates having her picture taken, hence the customer facing away from the viewer (you’re welcome, mom!).

 

I hope you enjoyed these Easter Eggs! What has been your favorite Easter Egg in a movie? I love how in Disney and Pixar movies they always sneak characters from previous movies into other movies as toys, posters, or background characters!