Today I held my first private art lesson with the medium being collage. The students were two sisters, ages 11 and 10. We each had a great time! Neither of them had done much art with collage before so I created a project that I felt would be a nice introduction: creating collages inspired by "energetic" and "calm" scenes or elements from nature. It was certainly fun to watch the girls work on their projects and I couldn't be more pleased with their results!
The 11 year old created her "energetic" collage using the nature elements of shooting stars and stars, as seen on the left. The 10 year old created her "calm" collage with a tree, river and sunset!
We didn't discuss how something "energetic"or "calm" are generally portrayed in art and design as I had initially intended to, but it didn't feel necessary when I presented the pile of decorative papers and various scissors (some had scalloped blades etc.). I was also just simply curious to see how they'd react to the first assignment altogether, without too much direction. And I feel they did a splendid job!
The class was so much fun and wonderfully exciting that it inspired my National Poetry Writing Month haiku:
After learning more about the girls, I'm planning an assignment around one of their passions -- illustrating and writing comic strips. Onto the next class!
How fun was it to receive this photo of The Adventures of Piratess Tilly and the handmade character plushies on display at the Bologna Children's Book Fair! Victoria Sutherland and her crew at Foreword Reviews never cease to amaze me with their hard work, energy and passion. I feel very fortunate, especially as an independent publisher and author, to have met Victoria at the Independent Publishers of New England (IPNE) Annual Conference last year. Little did I know then that I'd not only follow through with Victoria's enthusiasm over my book and entrust its journey in seeking foreign rights with Foreword Reviews, but that I'd join the board of directors for IPNE! It's amazing how one event can lead to a plethora of opportunity.
Here's to hoping The Adventures of Piratess Tilly had a successful trip to Italy! And for anyone interested in reading a bit about how opening day was for this years Bologna Children's Book Fair, I urge you to read an article from Publishers Weekly: Bologna 2016: A Busy First Day as the Fair Opens. Enjoy!
Wow! I am thrilled and honored to announce that The Adventures of Piratess Tilly is a Finalist for the 2016 Eric Hoffer First Horizon Award, which celebrates best first books! "Each year, the Eric Hoffer Award presents the First Horizon Award for superior work by debut authors (i.e the first published book of any type by the author). This is an additional distinction beneath the Eric Hoffer Award umbrella."
How incredibly exciting! Onward and upward!
Review on Amazon:
We LOVE this book! My five year old daughter loves it just as much as my eight year old son. First, I look to read stories with my children that have a strong female lead character. This is an empowering, uplifting and "feel good" story for both girls and boys. Written in Haiku, Tilly and her crew go on exciting adventures together. The watercolor illustrations are beautiful. I can't wait to read further adventures of Tilly and her crew.
Today is Dr. Jane Goodall's 82nd birthday. She has inspired so many, including myself. I took a primate biology class my senior year of high school and remember being awe-struck by her fearlessness, observation, brilliance, passion and perseverance. She continues to speak and share her decades of experiences in the jungle, while calling upon each of us to own our individual responsibility in caring for and protecting our environment. For those with children and teens, I encourage you to read more about Jane Goodall's Roots & Shoots community action programs. It's a wonderful way to inspire our youth and to keep Dr. Goodall's spirit prominent.
We owe so much to her grace and hard work bringing the world together in the name of Conservationism. I have taken a moment today to write a haiku in honor of Dr. Goodall. It's been combined with my very first collagraph, which was inspired by a riverbed. May each of us take a moment today to meditate upon her legacy and upon the importance of fighting for Mother Nature.
Happy National Poetry Month! Shortly after I started writing haiku and well before I wrote The Adventures of Piratess Tilly, I jumped into writing one haiku a day for all of National Poetry Month in 2013. I feel like challenging myself again so here we go! This particular haiku was greatly inspired by my daughter and is a bit unorthodox as there is a quote and a comma. ;)
I am so excited to announce that the locally handmade Piratess Tilly and Yuki plushies are now available for purchase! I am also looking forward to sharing the process of designing these dolls in a future post, as it was quite the undertaking for someone who doesn't sew. ;) I am very proud of the dolls and love watching my daughter play with Piratess Tilly and Yuki. It really does take the story to a whole new level when a child can interact with dolls based on the characters.
From the shop:
These adorable variations of the characters, Piratess Tilly and Yuki, bring the story to life in an enchanting, cuddly, hands-on way. They help to encourage exploration and imagination. Whether everyone snuggles up to read a book, go on a family vacation or head out on a backyard expedition; these soft toys are bound to inspire story-telling and creative play. Where will Piratess Tilly, Yuki and your little one adventure to today?!
Check them out here. Thank you!
Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a lovely holiday weekend. Part of our weekend included my little one coloring these Piratess Tilly and Yuki coloring pages! These particular coloring pages are based on the upcoming plush dolls illustrated by Kendra Shedenhelm. Head on over to the activities page to download these coloring pages for free or just do it here! ;)