Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Leaping, part 2

A while back, I wrote how Keri Smith's article in HOW magazine inspired the heck out of me. One of the things she says is to find something you love and believe in. "It's as simple a letter saying, 'I like what you're doing. Can I be involved somehow? Here's what I do.' "

In that spirit, I contacted a new favorite magazine of mine, Kiwi Magazine. It's for families that are trying to live as healthy and organically as possible. I wrote them a note saying what a fan I was, and that my artwork was exactly what their magazine needed. I pointed out that not only did I make great illustrations, but that I lived the spirit of their magazine and that I would be perfect for them. I sent them over a bunch of links and images, including my old favorite "Balance" that I did for Illustration Friday almost exactly 2 years ago. I sold the heck out of myself, and then I was so excited and nervous, I couldn't get to sleep. But seriously, what was the worst thing that could happen? They already didn't have my illustrations in their magazine, right?

I heard from them the very next day! And interestingly enough, two of the people who worked on the magazine went to college with me (If that isn't synchronicity, I don't know what is.) So "Balance" is in the issue that's on the newstands now; and I'm working on another brand new one for the next issue! I could not be happier that I'm doing something I love and that I feel so strongly about, and helping to get the message out that you can try to make healthy decisions for your family without killing yourself over it. :) In fact, I'm really psyched that the illustration went on the "Kiwi Motto" page, because I totally agree with it.

You can get the real thing by checking your local Borders or here.

Has anyone else taken a leap like this? What happened? What could happen if you weren't afraid to try? If you just said yes?

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Illustration Friday: Red

Marker and coloured pencil. What do you think the fellow on the ground is saying to the other birds?

p.s. to iFri-ers: I'm a finalist in the 2007 Weblog Awards for Best-Designed Weblog! Woo hoo! If you like what you see and want to vote for one of your own, I would be honored.

Friday, January 26, 2007

2007 Bloggies

Wowsers! What a delightful surprise to see myself listed as a finalist for Best-Designed Weblog! (Color me quite thrilled! And tickled pink!)

I'm happy to be the splash of color and hand-drawn lines that you see here. The site underwent a massive overhaul this summer, and it finally looks the way I always wanted it to; loose and free and full of paint. And it's amazing that I'm not the only one who noticed!

Hugs and thank yous to everyone who nominated me! If you like what you've been seeing... please vote for French Toast Girl. Voting's open 'till 10PM EST on February 2, the anniversary of the day Paul got down on one knee and proposed (maaaany years ago). Good omen? I'd like to think so!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

One afternoon in January

5 minutes each, dining room table, copy paper, kids' Crayola pan watercolours. Creativity turns up when I least expect it.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Waking Life

Spent a day with three delightful and incredibly talented lads - 'Toine, Craig, and Kevin (two of which are single, ladies!) and finally got to cross a movie off my Big 35 list. Not only was it inspiring, I want to figure out how to make my hair do that. I've been enjoying looking up the animators and reading up on what they're doing now.

ps ~ Guys, this is for you.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Illustration Friday: Superhero

From an old pad I unearthed, sketched about 3 and a half years ago. Sophie was about 5 months old, and little did I know I was about to get pregnant with the twins. I think the text is readable... one thing that's hard to read on the pedestal are the letters that spell out "SUPAMOM."

As I was suffering from post-partum depression at the time (yes, even then), I am pretty impressed that I had the presence of mind to write, "Extremely large and strong heart." Eternally optimistic, huh? This was part of a bigger sheet with "How Sophie Inspires Me" at the top and lots more handwritten notes as well. I have no idea why I made this list, but I sure am glad I saved it.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The blanket's in the dryer

It's not so much that we're afraid of change or so in love with the old ways, but it's that place in between that we fear . . . . It's like being between trapezes. It's Linus when his blanket is in the dryer. There's nothing to hold on to.
~ Marilyn Ferguson
I remarked in a recent post that things have been a bit rotten lately. I have so many things on my mind and on my shoulders right now - sitters leaving, strained friendships, health issues, power struggles, all sorts of crappy things I have no control over that add up. Every day I've been waiting for another shoe to fall and wondering what new unpleasant surprise I'm going to get.

I was talking it over with my dad last night, who listened and remarked sagely, "Sounds like you're in for a lot of changes." Which sounds painfully obvious, but it made everything so clear to me. Instead of taking things I had no control over as a personal insult, I could see them for what they are - changes. Changes are neutral. Changes are something that are certain to happen. I was lamenting the lack of change in my house before the holidays and said that something big was coming, but I didn't know what. (I thought if nothing else, I was going to cut off most of my hair and dye the rest My Little Pony blue, but see? Now I'm distracted from it by all this other stuff.)

Seeing all of this as simply "changes" allows me to take the focus off myself, as in "why are these things happening to us?" and lets me breathe more. I'm trying instead to focus on my reaction to those changes. Do I meet them whining? Do I grumble to myself, or ask for help? Do I try to be SuperWoman and take on everything so that I shield the rest of my family? Do I allow myself enough outlets to blow off steam - talking with friends, doing yoga, giving myself permission to go to bed early, journaling out my feelings so that they're not all bottled up? Do I remember to give thanks for Paul and the kids often enough?

What are your best ways to deal with change?

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Walking in This World Starts Tomorrow!

I'm so excited - we're about to start on an adventure that's going to be eye-opening, soul-opening, and will teach you things about yourself you never knew before. But don't worry, you're not alone -- there are over 20 people who are all making the trek with us!

I have email addresses for most of the partcipants - if you still want to join, or if your name is here (means I have a trucated address or you commented but didn't give me an email - KarenJinks, Paula, and evi), please send me a note. All the participants that I could find an email for have already been sent an email this morning. If you think you should be on that list and aren't, again, please send me an email.

Okay everyone... start walking!

NOTE: as of Tuesday, January 16, I'm not accepting newcomers to the group. If you have the book and want to play along online, that's fine, and I welcome you to comment or join the flickr group. You can also use the badge above. If you wrote to me yesterday, or if your name is listed above and I still haven't heard from you, you're in; I just need to get your information.

Friday, January 12, 2007


Things around our house have been a bit on the stressful side lately. If a thing can go wrong, it is, all at the same time. I just finished telling a friend how when life throws crap at you, it's a sign that you're on to something good and other forces are trying to pull you in another direction; you have to attend to the mess but keep your eyes on the goal. Right after I said that, I thought, hm, sounds like I need to heed my own advice - since setting my start date for Walking in This World as this Sunday the 14th, everything's been piling on in heaps. Yesterday was particularly rough and at one point I just said a little prayer, "Please, God, if you can send some little good thing my way to cheer me up today, I would really appreciate it."

Within, I kid you not, one hour:

- I got hired to do two new illustrations for a magazine I love (more details to come)

- A package came for me from Snowflake with three SARK books - written on the outside was "To help you on your journey!" (I was speechless!)

- My Christmas present of this awesome out of print CD arrived and I had wonderful music to listen to all afternoon.

Here's to answered prayers and little good things.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Illustration Friday: Buzz

And while we're talking about buzz... the 2007 Weblog Awards nominations are open until 10 PM est Thursday, 1/11! (updated!) If you feel so inclined, I'd love it if you wanted to nominate this one. (hee!) So far I think my best bet is "Best Kept Secret" but hey, who knows? :) And don't forget to vote for your other favorites as well! (Like Illustration Friday for Best Community Weblog!)

Monday, January 08, 2007

Year's Best Fantasy and Horror

Spirits Unwrapped, which I illustrated last year, is mentioned in The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror 2006: 19th Annual Collection! And holey moley, I am mentioned in it!

Three of the stories received Honorable Mention and it was designed by talented bud Allyson. I am a huge fan of these collections and I'm breathless that my name is even in there.

Excuse me while I squeal:


k, I'm done now. :)

More pics:

Friday, January 05, 2007

Well you know my name is Simon...

May it inspire you to go get out some chalk and draw - and sing the theme song all day long!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Walking in This World Update

We have a starting date, folks!

You will need to have a book in your hands and be ready to start in 2 weeks - January 14 is going to be the start of Week One. So if you have the book, great, please DON'T START YET. If you don't have the book, you will need to get it.

Here are questions I've been asked:
Do I need to get the book?
Ummmm... yes. We're working through the exercises in the book, and there are 12 weeks of the program. You need a copy.

Do I need to do The Artist's Way first?
In WITW, the author says, "Newcomers will need to familiarize themselves with some basic concepts... " and then outlines them. So I think it's okay. I think it's better to take a chance and try than to not do it at all!

Last time we did this, I made an email list for all the participants, and I sent out weekly recaps and encouraged others to do the same.

This time, I'm taking it a little further. I've created a few places online for us to congregate and add information: This is a lens I've started on Squidoo. I will be updating it weekly and you can comment there as well (or link into it). You can also see from the links to Amazon that they have used copies of Walking in this World for $3.48, so I heartily recommend getting your own copy rather than trying to use a library's copy.

I've also made us a Flickr group! If you would like to share any photos, artwork, or collages made during your reading of the book, you are welcome to share it here! Or did something you saw on your Weekly Walk strike you? Post it!

I will be accepting people who want to join right up to the 14th, so if you've been waiting for that creative kick to start off 2007.... consider yourself kicked, and spread the word! :)

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Mom to Mom Interview

I'm thrilled to be featured as January's interview at Mother Rising. Go check it out!