Thursday, December 20, 2012

Winter Wonder

T'is the season! Greetings to all!
Wishing you a year of wonderful stories.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

No Platters, Please

Tis the season... These wild turkeys strut their stuff in Gobble, Gobble. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Pond views

Turtles were out yesterday on the first sunny day after many days of rain. Color is creeping into the leaves.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Local Food

Great Blue Heron at the pond the last two days. This gorgeous creature is the master of patience--rewarded by a tasty bullfrog.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Hurrah! Hooray!

Jumping for joy! I have finished the art for my new book, Rainbow Stew, and delivered it to my editor at Lee & Low Books. It will be released next Spring!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Dragonfly Metamorphosis

I've been seeing these strange creatures on our little cabin. They look a bit like a cross between a cicada shell and a spider. All of them are hollow (as in not alive) and have an opening on their backs. Finally, finally, the mystery was revealed! They are the remains of dragonfly nymphs. Here are some photos of one "hatching" this morning. The process is truly amazing.

And here are two other dragonflies, in various stages of their transformations:

Thursday, June 14, 2012

A new brood of ducklings!

These are a new batch of mallard ducklings. They were on their way from a little overflow area back to the pond.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Baby Day at the Pond!

Mama Mallard brought her ducklings---lots of them!--out for a swim and a visit with the basking turtles.
Update: Twelve ducklings! Photo at top only shows eleven, but tardy one joined soon after.

On my way back to the studio, I found this teeny one in the grass, en route to the pond.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

School Visit Season

A busy and delightful spring school (and library) visit time is winding down. My travels have taken me to seven schools in three states where I had the wonderful honor of meeting terrific students, teachers and librarians while presenting a variety of programs. 
Here are a few photos of kids from Bath and Portland, Maine.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Many New Things

It's Spring in Maine, and time to start planning the garden. I've got a few things sprouting in peat pots in the kitchen window, and although it's exciting to see the new young shoots, it's still not warm enough to put them in the ground. In my studio, though, the garden is bursting to life. I'm working on a new book called Rainbow Stew, which Lee & Low Books will release next year. Three siblings visit their Grandpa, who invites them into his garden to pick all the colors of the rainbow, and then back inside to help make the yummy veggie stew. Since I've just entered a new decade (wince...) I've decided it's time to try something new: I'm experimenting with a new illustration style. I'm still using cut-paper collage (which I've used in 26 books) but since this book really needs lots of detail, I've added line. Here's a sample. I'd be delighted to hear your thoughts.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Woodies return

Couldn't decide if I should post here, or on my other blog, but finally landed here because I haven't posted for awhile. We've had alarmingly warm weather here in Maine, so the ice on the pond melted very fast, the peepers and wood frogs are going crazy, and the turtles are elbowing each other on the log to soak up the sun. This morning, the wood ducks returned. I love them--they look hand-painted. Very skittish, though, so I have to photograph them through the glass door 60 feet away. There were three drakes and two hens. At one point they flushed, and the hen flew up in a tree.

Last year we had a nesting pair, and thirteen ducklings arrived! Might these be returning woodies? I do hope they stick around and nest again!

From SCOOT! published by Greenwillow Books, 2008.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Home invasion and abduction

I'm working on a new book right now. Rainbow Stew (to be published by Lee & Low Books) won't be out until next year, but the artwork must be done by June. Many of the scenes take place in a kitchen, and I was having trouble configuring three kids and their Grandpa into various views of the interior. A smarter person would have used her very own kitchen in the first place, but since I didn't, it became increasingly more difficult to visualize everything in the correct location. So....I built a model: a doll kitchen, if you will, with cut-up cracker and cereal boxes. Worked like a charm. That is, until the invasion...
After trashing the doll kitchen, Freida and Suzie (captured in the act, above) continued their diabolical plan. They are holding the youngest child hostage until I pay off with Fancy Feast.
Ah, the trials and tribulations of a children's book maker....

Monday, February 20, 2012

Willie, Tillie and Dillie

My grandmother and her two sisters, identical triplets, were born 115 years ago today in the Ozarks in St. Clair, Missouri. There's more about them in a post I wrote three years ago here.
My grandmother didn't have an easy life, but she was strong, kind, funny and kept an open mind about the changing world. Happy Birthday, Grandma.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Band Wagon

I don't usually run with the crowd, so to speak, but some of these are just so clever. This one really tells my story, so I decided to post it.
A shout out to Karma Wilson whose writer version I altered. There's even a site where you can make your own, here.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

I had a very long list of things to do today: laundry, cleaning, washing floors.... but then I found some red and pink paper, a pair of scissors, and some glue. MUCH more fun than chores!
These will go to some sweet little friends of mine tomorrow. Happy Valentine's Day.

Monday, January 2, 2012


Happy New Year!
A friend of mine said I need to post more often. I told him nobody reads this anyway. If you're willing, please respond---it can just be an "X"!---so I can see if I'm right! Thank you.