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:

Continue reading “The Wrong Direction Easter Eggs”

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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!

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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!

Character Design: Commodore Thomas

Designing characters for the Boathouse series is challenging. Not only do you have to figure out what exactly they’re going to look like, but you have to design all the expressions, physical movements and limitations, and then take all of that information and be able to reproduce that look for consistency throughout the whole book.

I think it’s my favorite part of illustrating!

The Cat and the River Thames introduces a new location and various new characters, including some pirate rats and another boat builder. These were fairly easy to design; okay, so the rats gave me a little trouble, but it only took me a day or so to really get them where I wanted them.

But the book also introduces a bigger character, and let me just say, it was not easy designing him.

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Behind the Scenes: Illustration Steps

In honor of the release of The Cat and the River Thames, I’m going to let you in on a little secret.

You ready for it?

Okay. Here it is: illustrating, although fun, is very time consuming.

There are so many steps for each illustration, and if I were to rush them or skip them, the picture would look…well…awful.

As many people have asked me questions on how much work really goes into an illustration, I thought I’d break it down visually for you all by sharing a step by step process of part of a final illustration. I say part only because the book just came out, and if I shared the whole picture I’d give away some things 🙂

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Life Meets Photo Shoot

Have you heard the news? The Cat and the River Thames is now available through RV, myself, and Amazon! Woo hoo!

In celebration of the release, I made scones and tea for my family to celebrate, just like how we had shrimp and grits for the release of A New Adventure, A New Name.

The scones looked so pretty, and well, tea is always pretty, so I thought that a quick photo shoot of the food with the book would be a great way to promote the book for Etsy and Facebook.

And I think it turned out pretty well:

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But what you don’t see is the uncropped version:

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This is the top of my coffee table.

It is my favorite flat surface to photograph on in my entire house. The surface is this really nice stained wood, and it’s not super shiny so there aren’t big light reflection spots I have to work around. The light that comes through the window is super soft, and it’s pretty perfect for not having a “real” photo box set up.

But, I have three kids.

And they like to play on the coffee table.

And leave things up on said table.

So this momma has to work around it sometimes.

And this fits my life so perfectly now with summer vacation happening. I have work I have to do, but there are musical theatre workshop camps, swim lessons, business trips to Chicago, week away camps, family vacations, and just day to day life to work around.

But, we make it work.

It just takes a little more effort 🙂

 

PS – Dangle earring supplies have started arriving, with the last part coming tomorrow! Be on the lookout for more updates on when they’ll be available on Etsy