Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Say Hello to My Little Tree

One thing leads to another.

I was so excited about my cute little felt food for my THE SIMPLES LOVE A PICNIC table display, but I felt like something was missing.

A sign.

I had originally thought I'd simply prop a copy of the book in back of Ben and Lulu, but they are large and it's a square shaped book (meaning it's not as tall as some others) so it would be hard to see.

Then it hit me - a tree!  I should make a tree!

Type A Julie:  But Julie, do you have time to make a tree?

Type B Julie:  I don't care.  It'd be sooooooo cute!

Type A Julie:  You'll have to buy some foam board.  $$$.  Plus, you'll have to go to the store to get some and you can't afford to lose any time.

Type B Julie goes down to the basement and finds an old poster glued to foam board.

Type B Julie:  I can use this!

Type A Julie walks away.  Type B Julie goes to Crafty-town.   (That is to say that I started crafting, not that I went to a craft store called Crafty Town, b/c that's a good name for a craft store.)

Here's how it went: Draw.  Cut.  Paint primer.  Paint tree.  Paint letters.  Done!

After I shot this Vine, I decided that the basket covered up too much of my tree and made it look like Lulu and Ben were sitting in front of a big green dot.  (Good thing I didn't buy the basket.)

Here's what it looks like sans basket.

I am absolutely sure that when I set this up on my table at Project: Read I will seem like the biggest over-achieving spaz ever - but I don't care.  I think it looks really cute.

And anyway, I am an over-achieving spaz.

Happy Wednesday everyone -
I hope you're having a good week so far!
Thanks so much for paying me a visit!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Crafting on a Monday

Spring Break is over and Magoo has gone back to school, so I have to get my picture book mojo back in swing.  But there were too many other little things that needed my attention today and I couldn't muster up the work ethic, so I decided to just roll with whatever I felt motivated to do. 

The first thing I did was make felt food!

You see, I have an author appearance in two weeks.  I'll be in Cambridge, MA at PROJECT:READ at the Cambridge Health Alliance.  When chatting with the coordinator, she told me that I could bring props for my table.

Normally I have no props.  But this time I do!  I remembered Lulu and Ben, the softie characters I made from my book characters.  And they alone are pretty cute - but how much cuter will they be with a basket of felt picnic foods?!?!  Soooooo cute!  (Not picture: felt donut.)

So that was fun.

Then, because this Thursday is Nature Fest at Magoo's school and I have volunteered to do collage birds with the kids, I had to prepare an art-to-go kit.

I gathered up a bunch of scrap mat board and patterned paper, pencils, Sharpies, and glue stix, and I made a lovely little panel of directions for kids who don't want to listen to me.  (It's cool - some kids just want to GO GO GO!)  (On the other side is a 4-step owl.)

It was a cute & crafty Monday on my end.

I hope you all had some spots of fun in your day too!

Thanks for stopping in!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


It will be a week of balance for me.

I have two books I'm working on.
I have started the Spring yard work.
I'm working on the Fifth Grade Yearbook at Magoo's school.
I'm scheduling author appearances.
I'm making three more pieces for my art show in June.
It is April break so Magoo is home and I need to schedule his free time and his social calendar as well.
I'm changing all my passwords because of HeartBleed.
Oh, and social media.

At least I have found that when I'm waiting for my computer to import an image, I can get a little ukelele practice in.

The rest of it, I'm working on.

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Winners Are In....

Hi all!

I posted the winners on the bottom of the previous email, but I also wanted to post them in a separate post.

Here they are:


SIGNED BOOK:  Ame Dykeman
SIGNED BOOK:  Leandra Wallace
SIGNED BOOK:  Erin  (Erin, I don't have contact info for you.  You posted on my blog on April 8th.  Please send me an email at


Congratulations and BIG THANKS to all who played, posted, and tweeted.  I really appreciate it!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


YAY!  Today is the day!  THE SIMPLES LOVE A PICNIC is out and ready to buy in the stores and online.  For those of you who've purchased it - THANK YOU SO MUCH!  I really hope you like it.

But if you're not ready to shell out the buckos just yet, you're in luck!

Because THE SIMPLES LOVE A PICNIC is my fourth picture book, I'm giving away FOUR COPIES!  And there will be one Grand Prize Winner.  Not only will they receive one of the four signed books I'm giving away, but I will also do an 8" X 10" collage portrait in the style of The Simples (of up to four figures.)

Want to get a Simple Portrait of Mom, Dad, Timmy, and Lucy?  I can do that!
Do you have three kids and pet?  I can do that!
Do you want an illustration of your five kids, three uncles, and Great Aunt Betty?  No!  That's too many people to fit in an 8" X 10".  :)

Here's an example of what I'm talking about.

You send me a photo and I'll make it into a Simple Collage Portrait!  (That's my fifth grade school pic.  Stylish!)

Get the picture?

So again:  THREE lucky winners will each receive ONE SIGNED COPY of The Simples Love a Picnic.  And ONE GRAND PRIZE WINNER will receive ONE SIGNED COPY of The Simples Love a Picnic and a custom made 8" X 10" Simple Portrait of up to four figures.

The contest will run until Friday morning, 9am.

Here's how you enter.

Leave a comment on this blog post.  You will get ONE ENTRY.

Blog about the book coming out or this contest (make sure to let me know about the post by including a link here or in an email to me at  You will receive FIVE ENTRIES!

Tweet about The Simples Love a Picnic or this contest and receive FIVE ENTRIES! (Make sure to include @JCPhillipps in the tweet so I see it.)

Post something on Facebook about the book or this post (make sure to tag me so I will see it) and receive FIVE ENTRIES!

The more you spread the word, the more chances you have to win!!!

Good luck and thanks for stopping in!

UPDATE:  THE WINNERS HAVE BEEN SELECTED (by me dipping my hand into a bowl and pulling out names on slips of paper) AND THEY ARE...

BOOK:  ERIN (who posted on this blog on April 8th and I don't have contact info for you.  Shoot me an email at


Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Simples Love Worksheets

Hi all!  I've missed a couple blog days so I'm playing catch up with two new sets of worksheets:  Graphing and Prepositions!

If you're not a teacher, this post will probably not interest you, so let me just remind you that THE SIMPLES LOVE A PICNIC is coming out Tuesday and I'll be running a giveaway starting that day, so come back.  (But you can go now, b/c it's gonna be worksheets for the rest of this post. :)

The first set is about graphing.  There's an ilustration of ants taking over a picnic and gathering near certain foods.  The studnt would look at that illo and graph the info on this graph sheet.

Go to my Teachers Pay Teachers store here to get the full FREE download.

My second set of worksheets is on Prepositions.

There are two worksheets.   The one below asks the students to look at the squirrel in each panel and circle the preposition that best describes where the squirrel is.

Go HERE to down the FREE Preposition worksheets.

I have two more sets to unroll this week, but I'll try to get everything up on teh Teachers Pay Teachers site today.  So if you're a teacher and you CAN'T WAIT, then click here to go to my TPT store.

It's a beautiful Spring day today in Sunny CT!  I hope you are all out enjoying the weather and having a fabulous Sunday!

Thanks so much for stopping in!  Remember - THE SIMPLES LOVE A PICNIC comes out on Tuesday!  And I'll be doing a giveaway right here!  Come back!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Simples Love Coloring Pages

Five days to go until the launch of THE SIMPLES LOVE A PICNIC and today I'm offering free coloring pages!

Click on the image to enlarge, then hit PRINT.

If that doesn't work, perhaps you'd like to visit my Teachers Pay Teachers store and grab them there.

In other news ...

My editor at Houghton Mifflin sent me a link to a nice review of The Simples from the blog, In The Know Mom.  It's a nice write up, because not only does the post say nice things about my book, but it also looks at some other great Spring books.  So if you want to put away the winter books (and don't we all) and buy some fresh books for the Easter basket, there are some great suggestions here.

Also, the fabulous librarian/blogger Mr. Schu honored me with a brief interview called Four Questions and Two Sentence Starters with J. C. Phillipps.  Mr. Schu is great because A. he loves books B. he highlights book trailers and C. he's a twitter fiend! 

Big thanks to Mr. Schu  and In the Know Mom for the shout outs!
And big thanks to you all for stopping in!

Have a great day!