Friday, February 15, 2008

Belated - but not departed!

Happy Valentine's Day, belatedly! And even more importantly, a belated but no less sincere and gigantic thank you to Roz for giving me this great award! It made my day - and the last couple weeks too. I've been swamped with work, travel (for pleasure and work), kid stuff, snow days, and now a miserable virus too (probably inevitable after spending a full day with a class of snuffling kindergartners plus about 7 hours on planes at the beginning of the week, not to mention all the time I've spent standing in snow and slush this week, scraping and chipping to clear paths and vehicles).

Anyhow, to pass on the award, here are the details:
1. Write a post with links to 5 blogs that make me think and/or make my day.
2. Acknowledge the post of the award giver.
3. Display the “You Make my Day Award” logo
4. Tell the award winners that they have won by commenting on their blogs with the news.

It's hard to pick just five (kind of like choosing just five chocolates from the mega-assortment box), so I'm glad I don't have to count Roz's excellent blog as one of them (but make sure you check it out too, if you haven't already, especially if like me you adore fabric illustration). Anyhow, here are five blogs that spark my muse, all on different subject matter:

1. Julie Stiegemeyer of Jottings and Such (Julie introduced me to blogging and is the author of my Cheep books as well as tons of other charming children's books, and an incredibly dear friend and all around kind person).

2. Amy Karol of the much-read craft/mothering/interesting stuff blog Angry Chicken and author of the useful book Break-the-Rules Sewing. She's probably already received this award a zillion times, but it is one of my favorite blogs.

3. Danny Evans of the father-parenting blog, Dad Gone Mad. I recently discovered this blog, and I've been completely enjoying his male take on little people and parenting adventures. Warning for those with sensitive ears (eyes?) - he's a master of the irreverent phrase and creative use of four-letter words.

4. Kitty Griffin of Chocolate Ferrets and Writing for Kids which is a brand new blog (so it doesn't have many entries yet). Kitty is an amazing children's book writer (for all ages) as well as a screenwriter and some-time writing instructor in the MFA program in writing for kids at Chatham College in Pittsburgh. She's an outstanding teacher and mentor -- and she should consider this a gentle nag to post more! We want more! (says the, um, procrastinator/overwhelmed person who hasn't posted in more than 2 weeks....)

5. Susan vanHecke who's the talented author of the folktale I'm currently illustrating. I just discovered her blog recently too (I'm just plain embarrassed to say it didn't occur to me to look her up when I started working on her book), and I've really been enjoying it.

I also owe Susan a big apology (and some chocolate too) because I'm late with the art for her book (but I'm working hard on it! Really! It's just very complex and detailed!), so the pub date will have to be pushed back. I've been late with artwork before - I'm still new enough to book illustration that it's hard for me to gauge how much time I need - but this is the first time (and I hope only time) I've been so late that I screwed up a pub date. I feel terrible - but that just means I'll have to make sure the final art is as near to perfect as I can get it and thus worth the wait.

Okay, back to the drawing table. Well, to the kitchen table, where the sewing machine is parked and calling to me, snuffly nose and all.