Midsummer

I'm in the home stretch with final artwork for Fort Building Time, so am in full blown mole mode at the moment. Life consists mostly of large quantities of iced coffee, zillions of podcasts and the occasional walk to get said iced coffee. Also, I've lately stumbled on the trick of listening to movie/television soundtracks while working (for times when music with lyrics is distracting). Speaking of which, any soundtrack recommendations?

And some Finding Wild news! I'm thrilled that Finding Wild made the Summer Kids' Indie Next List. And Finding Wild is also on Reading Rocket's Summer Reading Guide, a 2016 Bunk Reads selection and got a nice mention from the good folks at the TD Summer Reading Club. Confetti!

Happy Weekend!

Minty

Currently:

*I've developed a hobby an obsession with ice cream making. Mint chocolate has been my favorite so far, using this recipe and substituting 1/2 cup of maple syrup for the sugar. Of course this begs the question, fellow ice cream-ophiles: what's your favorite recipe?

* Lots of good news for Finding Wild! I'm tickled pink that the book is a part of Scholastic Teacher's 50 Sensational Books of Summer, on the SCBWI Summer Reading List and has received a starred review from Shelf Awareness. Jazz hands!


Finding Wild


It's release day for Finding Wild!

Written by Megan Wagner Lloyd, published by Knopf Books for Young Readers and illustrated by me, it was a joy to illustrate. Thanks so much also to editor Julia Maguire and Nicole Gastonguay for the terrific art direction.

Out Like a Lamb

 
The month flew by so fast I think I have jet lag. What, what?

* I've been working on sketches for Fort-Building Time this winter. Written by Megan Wagner Lloyd (the author of Finding Wild), it comes out Fall 2017. It's been a delight working on the sketches (getting to relive childhood fort-building memories has been pretty terrific).

* Eclectic Bambino makes the sweetest clothing for littles, and I was tickled pink to see her using one of my prints on this baby playsuit.

* If you're an Uppercase Magazine reader, keep your eyes peeled! A bookmark with one of my illustrations will be randomly inserted into copies of the next issue. And if you're not a reader, may I suggest picking up a copy, immediately? Uppercase is hands down my favorite creative publication and I can't recommend it highly enough.

* And I knit myself a pair of TARDIS mittens. The pattern is by SpillyJane and I don't care if it's nigh on April, I will wear these until the temperature makes it unbearable to do so.
 

July

 
Since our last transmission:

* I've finished artwork for Finding Wild, by Megan Wagner Lloyd. Coming out Summer 2016, it's been a delight to illustrate. I can't wait to share more in the coming months about this book.

* I have a backlog of prints as well as some scarfs that'll be winging their way into my Etsy shop throughout the month.

* Aside from that, I'm attempting to root a Bird of Paradise cutting, binging on episodes of Agatha Raisin and itching to sew the Dottie Angel frock pattern.

* And a belated Happy Canada Day and an early Happy July 4th!

The Magic Mistake

 
Today's the release day for the second installment in the "Oh My Godmother series," The Magic Mistake! Written by Barbara Brauner and James Iver Mattson and illustrated by me, The Magic Mistake was a real treat to work on. It's not every day that you get to draw a snarky fairy godmother with cat-eye glasses*, you know? And thanks to the nice people at Disney, especially editor Catherine Onder and Whitney Manger for the top notch art direction.
   
*Fun fact: Katarina's specs are modeled after a vintage pair my Aunt Polly gave me for Christmas a few years ago. Additional fun fact: The Magic Mistake is dedicated to the aforementioned aunt (who's pretty great, by the by).

"Put another pin in your hat, Dot. You're in for a fast ride"

 
I just started watching "Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries," which inevitably means drawing the eponymous Miss Fisher. Aside from the historical glosses (ahem, pants) Phryne's a cracker jack detective, DI Robinson is an A+ straight man and I'm pretty sure Dot and I would be BFF's in another lifetime.

And before I forget, the second installment in the Oh My Godmother series, The Magic Mistake is out in a few weeks! Speaking of which, if you're in the mood to win a signed, hardcover copy of said book, I'd get a move on over to Goodreads for a giveaway, ASAP.

Form and Function

 
The outdoors has a wonderful Miss Havisham-like quality to it this time of year. Overgrown, fading mementos of summer fill the garden. But I find myself noticing (and appreciating) the form of every flower so much better now, stripped of color. I picked a few seed pods and ghostly blooms last week and they wound their way into my sketchbook today.

And a bit of good news: The Year of the Book made the 2014-2015 Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List. Thanks, Lone Star State!

Thursday-ing

 
A window in my schedule means I'm doing a lot of experimenting these days. As far as a success rate, I'd say 90% has gotten drop-kicked into the trash and 10% seems to be moving in the right direction. And that's a ratio I'm okay with. But before I forget:

* If you haven't watched Kingdom, you need to. Now. It is kind and it is hilarious, but if you needed more convincing, there is Stephen Fry.

* I'll be signing copies of The Glitter Trap at RiverRun Bookstore in Portsmouth, New Hampshire on Saturday, September 21. More details here.