Character Sketch — “Lily”

Lily is one of the characters in my Investigator Anne series.  She’s smart and she loves all things to do with nature, plants, and animals.  She always wears a flower in her hair, and she often helps solve the mysteries by contributing knowledge about her interests.

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In this scene in the upcoming book, Lily and Anne are having a discussion about lemons and invisible ink.  What is the connection you may ask?  You’ll have to read the book to find out.

Anyway, I just reached my halfway point with these illustrations!  I “only” have about 50 more illustrations to go.  Stay tuned, I’m in the groove and so excited to complete the book.  It’s a fun story and I think you’re kids will love it.  My kids have read it already, so it truly is kid-tested and kid-approved.  As always, I’ll keep you updated on the progress!

Mother’s Day Sale

Today is the last day to order these gifts to get 20% off and to also get them in time for Mother’s Day! Discount code is MOM2DAYSDEAL

Perfect Mother's Day Necklace - Floral

The phrase on this necklace is precious and timeless: “Mothers hold their child’s hand for a moment, and their heart for a lifetime.”

Don’t forget, you can print FREE matching Mother’s Day cards here!

Necklace for a wonderful mom

This necklace says: “this Mom is loved by many.”  I think it’s a very sweet reminder for any mom.  I love how my watercolor flower paintings turned out on these products.  The jewelry is sterling silver, and has a very sweet, loving message that I think any mom would appreciate.

Mother's Day Breakfast Plate

I keep thinking how great it would be to give my own mom a plate to enjoy her Mother’s Day breakfast or dinner.

Mother's DAy Apron

I love how the aprons turned out too, I’m especially loving the convenience of the pockets.  This white apron says “this Mom is loved by many.”  Wouldn’t it be so cute to have kids or grandkids sign it, or press handprints on the pockets?

(Just click here, or click on any image to order on the store)

Super Easy Mother’s Day Cards

Handmade says so much!  Even if you don’t consider yourself a crafty person, you can totally make these.  These are the easiest cards you and your kids will ever create.

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This Floral Heart Mother’s Day card is already painted for you.  Just click on the image below and print it on your handy dandy color printer.  Cut it out, then write a meaningful message for your momma.  Super easy.

(Just click on the image you want, and then print it)

FlowerHeartCard

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I left out the personal Mother’s day greetings on the card templates, so that you can customize them yourselves for your mother or grandmother, or other special mother in your life.

 

FloralCard

 

FlowerSampleCard

The kids will love these.  Whip out some paints and have the kiddos create their own finger print flowers. The stems and border are already done for you!

 

ThumbprintFlowerCard

Just have the kids dob their cute fingers three times around each flower head.  Try using three different colors to make the card fun and bright.  Water-based paints are best – (use watercolor paints or slightly thinned acrylic craft paint)

Bee-utifulSampleCard

Mom’s are busy bees…and they are also bee-utiful.  These bees are also fashioned with fingerprints.  Just print the template, cut, then dob on some fingerprints.  The bees’ stripes and eyes are already there, just press some painted fingers over the design.

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Mother’s Day is just around the corner.  Take time to make the mothers in your life feel special!  To view and print all the cards, click HERE.

Investigator Anne – Sketch

Yesterday I worked on some illustrations while my kiddos were job shadowing me.

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This is an illustration for the scene where Anne is trying to figure out the meaning of a cryptic message the crew discovers in a forgotten old building, dating back to the days of the Pony Express.

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Investigator Anne book #5 is called “The Grave of the Indian Princess.”

Yesterday, I gave my kids a mock assignment for “Take Your Child to Work Day,” and told them to draw the Indian princess.

Here are some of my kids’ assignment paintings:

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Gizmo Sketch

I’ve been up to my eyeballs in sketches and illustrations for the newest Investigator Anne book, so I thought I’d post a little teaser.

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I’ve been sketching the spot illustrations for “Investigator Anne – Case #5 Grave of the Indian Princess.”  Usually there is anywhere between 80 and 130 illustrations in the Investigator Anne books.  I feel like it’s important to have a lot of pictures in early chapter books.  It helps to break up the wall of words that can look so overwhelming to young readers.

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After the sketches are done, I finish them up with a cleaner drawing.  Gizmo is a fun character to draw.  I love his big goggles and inventive personality.  He is always creating some kind of gadget.  In this book, his newest, one-of-a-kind invention, is just as brilliant as ever.

BTW, you may wonder why this style is so different from other styles I’ve done.  It’s obviously very different from the watercolor I recently finished.  The reason is simply that this style is a relatively quick way to illustrate a book with so many pictures.  There really aren’t many chapter books out there with a full-color illustration on nearly every page.  I use this style mainly to save the book buyer’s money.  My books are always a low affordable price, and this is just one way of how I can make it that way.

Kids Creations – Happy Earth Day!

My kids have an Earth Day art contest at school today!  These are their beautiful entries that they submitted yesterday. These paintings are each created on the backs of cereal box cardboard, in honor of recycling and preserving this beautiful place where we all live.

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Congratulations to Eliza!  Her class already voted yesterday and she won the art award in her class!

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I love all the details the kids put into these, and the textures are beautiful.

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Anne and Mary’s classes will vote today on their class art winners, so we’ll see how they do as far as the prize goes.  As far as I’m concerned, these paintings are SO beautiful and I’m so proud of their work and creativity!

Watercolor of Em

Lately, I’ve been working on book illustrations for the Investigator Anne series, book #5.  Sometimes I need to do something different for a little change in my routine though.  Here’s a little watercolor I did of my Em.  It was super fun and I think I’ll use this style for a book illustration style in the future.  I have some ideas in mind.  But for now, I’ll post this to keep me inspired.

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This is Em playing with the little kitchen Mr. Everything and I made for her.  I feel like these moments change so fast, I’ve got to capture them in some special way to remember them forever!

Bunny’s Easter Surprise – eBook

Bunny’s Easter Surprise is a delightful children’s eBook about the beauty of springtime and of Easter.

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In the book, Bunny and his friends set off for an exciting Easter Egg hunt.

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They learn very quickly that Easter is about more than just candy and goodies.

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This book is a wonderful addition to your Easter library.  It is a book about the beauty of new life in Bunny’s garden.  While the book does not talk specifically about religion, it opens the door to talk to your children about the true meaning and beauty of Easter.

Find this eBook HERE.  Enjoy, and happy Easter everyone!

Cookin’ Up Some Cuteness

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She’s got the oven mit on.  My daughter is about to make a scrumptious meal.  No biggie, she’s quite a good cook.

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Check out the cute kitchen I made for her birthday.  I’m super thrilled with the way it turned out.  But first…

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The “before” pictures.  I found this winning cabinet at the local Goodwill for just $8.  It even has wheels on the bottom, which I was pretty thrilled about.

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Mr. Everything helped me cut a hole in the top for the sink (a silver bowl).

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I used Annie Sloan chalk paint (Provence color) to paint the cabinet, plus a homemade mix of gray, and the off-white color is Country Grey.  I bought the small silver bowl at Walmart for $5, and the utility faucet on the clearance shelf at Home Depot for $15.

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The stove burners are furniture Sliders and the stove knobs are painted wooden drawer pulls.  We drilled the holes slightly too big so that the knobs can twist and rotate, like the knobs on a stove.

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Mr. Everything also helped me drill those holes in the side so Brother can pretend to fix Em’s kitchen with his cool tools and toy power drill.

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A few weeks later I found the taller cabinet and painted it to make it into her toy fridge.  It was the perfect size!

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I love the fridge handle, a lift-up pull!  Perfect.

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I just love how this kitchen set turned out, and love that my Em enjoys it so much.  But enough of my creative drabblings…it’s dinner time with Miss Em.  She’s cookin’ up something good.