Monday, November 30, 2009

Turkey Day '09

Every year for Thanksgiving we drive out to Rhode Island for a big Gordon-side family dinner. This is one of the easiest holidays for me because I have to prepare very little and because it is always so much fun. And there's a trampoline. Is there anything better than a trampoline? Uh, no.

I was a little under the weather this year - otherwise I would have been right up there with the kiddos.

Magoo can't remember anyone's names, but he always has a great time. He made a pair of awesome pilgrim kid puppets at school. Here he is showing Sarah Morton off to Gramma.

We always feed the kids first and then shove them off to watch TV or something while the adults eat. But they come back up for dessert. Here's Cousin B dishing out helpings of the cranberry bread she made at school. Mmmmmmmm!

And here's the whole group of adults (minus me, the photographer) in a photo composite of the dining room table.

Larry has said it's like The Last Supper. That means Sean is the Main Man chowing down in the center. (Click on it for the full effect.)

I hope you all had wonderful Thanksgivings wherever you wound up.

(Hi Eunice!)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


On Friday, Magoo graduated to Purple Belt. And here's what he did:

Front kicks.

He stood up in front of the entire group of students and parents and did a solo Seven Combination.

They also worked on punches and blocks. (It took so long for this clip to load that i opted not to show the punching video, but he was awesome.)

Now that he has a purple belt, he's able to attend sparing classes. We're all very proud of him!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Fan Mail

I've said this before, but one of the absolute best things about doing school visits is the thank-you letters you sometimes get from students after the event. Many of them are like the one above - very ego-stroking for me. "Best story ever" you say? Thank you so much. I'll be sure to forward this to the good people at the Caldecott Awards.

But I also love the way kids word things.

"A other?" An alien, perhaps? Or one of the native people on LOST? Whatever it is, this kid seems to know my secret.

And you gotta love the spelling.

I HAVE to use the word "snelny" in something. Just you wait. That's the best non-word ever!!!

This child had a bad seat and a good attitude.

What could be better than that?


I hope you all feel like super stars today!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Out O' Town

I'm out of town for a couple days. I'll return next week with regular posts. Thanks.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Good News

Two good tidbits this morning:

One, the art show was a great success. I made double the $$ of last year and sold most of the new pieces. (I did sell the birds, Loop-E-Doli and Planet V on Sunday.) No pie though.

Two, I was just informed that Wink is going to be translated into Hebrew!!! How cool is that?

Have a great day, everyone.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

My Space at Open Studio

I got there bright and early at 8:30 am to set up for a 11:00 opening. Here are some shots of my space.

This is the Wink area. Wink art, Wink T-shirts, Wink cards, Wink books. If only I had a plush toy! Ahhhhh.

Lots of people took interest in the book and I think I sold about twelve copies!!! I sold a few shirts. I was expecting the size 6's to go, but I sold the onsies and one adult woman's shirt. Go figure. Cards sold OK. I never mind if I have extras of those because family members always want them and they make good teacher gifts. And I sold Grandmother off the wall. Of the four collages up there, I would have NEVER guess Grandmother would be the first to go!

This is the watercolor wall, a.k.a the wall of fish and one bookstore cat. First thing I sold on Saturday? The huge koi painting! Oh yeah, Mama! That put me in a great mood. The others remain and I will be SHOCKED if the cat doesn't sell. Every single year I paint one bookstore cat and I sell it every single year. Could this be the year people are just sick to death of bookstore cats? Hmmmmm....

This is a wall of collage. I sold all the ones based on kidlit: Wynken, Blynken and Nod - SOLD. Red Riding Hood - SOLD. Three Pigs - SOLD. Puss in Boots - SOLD. Guess what I'm making more of next year?

This is the wall of "all talk but no buy." Every single one of these collages has gotten compliments but no one has loved them enough to take them home. I'm gonna do some serious deal-making today and get, at least, one of these sold.

The rack holds some original art and some prints. In years past, the prints practically fly out of the rack into people's hands. I've sold a ton of them. But last year no one was interested and this year seems to be the same. It's funny how things go. But I had so many prints left over from last year that I didn't bust my hump on them this year - good thing.

All in all I had a fantastic selling day yesterday. Even if today's a dud, I've already done better than last year. So if you're local and you came out yesterday - thank you so much. It's always fun to chat with people I don't see often and chat with those I see all the time.

There was one highly disappointing aspect to yesterday. I didn't score a single pastry. No muffins. No cookies. What gives artists?!?!? Usually someone somewhere has goodies for us! :) But if this year is like years past, today is pie day. Lyman Orchards brings an assortment of pies so people can order them for Thanksgiving. Oh I HOPE it's pie day!!! Please, please,please. ;)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Art Show This Weekend!

It's 6:07 am. The car is loaded with art, prints, cards, books & t-shirts. We'll leave at 8:20am. and I'll set it all up.

Open Studio Weekend is today and tomorrow, 11 - 5pm, at ArtSpace, 555 Asylum Ave. Hartford.

It looks to be a rainy weekend, so if you're in town, why not come by and look at some art?

I'll post pics (maybe) tomorrow morning! Wish me luck!!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Eyeglass Case

Because the theme for the art show this year is 20/20, the group running it (Artists in Real Time) wanted to try something different. They asked participating artists to decorate an eyeglass case to sell at the show. All the funds raised go to Art Space.

So here's my case:

I'm very happy with how it turned out but I will say it was a wee bit more time consuming than I originally planned. I was looking for something to take about 90 - 120 minutes. This probably took closer to 3 - 4 hours.

I was going to stop with the top and leave the bottom black - but the perfectionist in me just couldn't do it! I was COMPELLED to finish it.

But I'm happy with it and I hope it finds a happy buyer.

In health news, Magoo is back at school. I kept him home yesterday but he probably could have gone. His cough lingers, but by this point he should no longer be contagious, his fever is gone, and his energy is fine. I sent him with a water bottle and a good attitude for learning!

Countdown to art show: 4 days. My goals today: finish t-shirts and make wash & care cards for them .

Friday, November 6, 2009

Friday Art 'n' Stuff

Last night I read Magoo Seen Art by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith. It's about a boy looking for his friend Art. The people he asks misunderstand him and direct the boy to NY's Museum of Modern Art, MoMA.

I love it, although I think the basic concept might have been lost on Magoo.

Anyway, we get to the painting above, Sea Grasses and Blue Sea by Milton Avery, and Magoo says, "It's upside down."

I'm curious as to what he thinks it is. So I rotate the book and say, "What does it look like?"

Magoo smiles, "Just right."

Unfortunately Magoo isn't feeling just right. He caught it. He caught the flu. I don't know if it's swine flu or regular flu, but he seems to have it on the mild side. He has a cough and a fever in the evening - although his temp is normal at present. I kept him home today but he's been a trouper. As long as he can watch TV or play a game, he's been in good spirits.

Which means I got a little work done. My goal today - make sure everything that is to be frames is frames and wired and priced.

I have twenty-one pieces, including the big ninja collage in the main gallery.

Now I have to finish the t-shirts, make t-shirt labels, price them, finish the cards, bag a few prints, make some signs, and pack it all up and I should be good to go next week.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

November Happenings

It's crunch time for the art show. (November 14 & 15, locals!) My studio is a mess. In one corner I have a table set up that's collecting finished t-shirts, cards, books, framed art and unframed prints. It started off fairly organized - but, like everything else, the clutter - it does grow.

And because it's November, my writing crit group, The LitWits is doing NaNoWriMo - which stands for National Novel Writing Month. Last year I wrote a YA (young adult novel) which this year I am making into a graphic novel. So while other members have daily word count goals, I have art goals. I love it - but it keeps me busy.

AND I'm starting to think about Christmas. November is going to FLY by and then I'll be in my yearly scramble. I'm hoping by just thinking ahead I'll save myself some aggravation. We shall see.

I hope you all are having a lovely Wednesday!

Sunday, November 1, 2009


The day before Halloween, I finally got off my duff and carved the pumpkin. Every year I dread doing it. I do not enjoy the scooping of the guts. Then, once that part is over, I can have my fun. This year, since the movie came out, I decided to do Where The Wild Things Are. I'm a newbie when it comes to the shading part - but I thought it turned out pretty well.

Then it was THE DAY! Magoo went as Indiana Jones! (Cue music) Da-da-DA-duh, Da-da-DUH...

We have been SO LUCKY in West Hartford. We have had mild nights for trick-or-treating for, like, three years now, and last night was just lovely. We even had a full moon.

And since I was safe from the sun - I could show my true vampire self!!! Mwaaa-ha-ha! See how I put my son in a trace. Actually he's thinking, Please stop taking pictures of me.

I hung back and let Indie and Harry and Harry have a great time running from house to house. Magoo kills me because he can't eat candy, but that doesn't mean he won't debate - endlessly -between a Snickers and a bag of M&M's if given the choice.

When we got home, I took the candy and traded it for a big lemon cookie. He was quite the happy camper.

I hope you all good Halloweens too!