let them play.

I was able to head "home" for the weekend for a quick visit with my husband and all my siblings and their spouses to surprise my Dad for his birthday. It was so precious to be all together without our kids, and to reminise being kids ourselves...something that I don't think has ever happened with all my siblings being adults.

Funny how we as adults can just go back to being kids again when we are all together. My mom bought cold cereal and ice cream like she would have while we were under her roof. It was adorable.

Reflecting on what it felt like to be a child, with all those floods of memories and funny stories, reminded me that kids are kids. And meant to be kids. Not adults-in-training. I grew up in a house full of play....and looking back...hard work and education felt like play to us. Learning how to create an awesome history project was play. Music lessons were play. Learning French was play. Even math practice was play (up to a certain point:). And our creative free time was just as much learning as play.

Being home reminded me that education and learning was such a vital part of my parents' parenting style.. But it was hidden in a family culture of expecting excellence as well as creative play.  I grew up with parents who are truly children at heart and were so curious about the world in a playful way, yet my father has degrees from Cambridge, Oxford, among others. It's something that I want to achieve as a parent....to let them play. And to not forget that children are children and through playing and fostering curiosity, they will learn and absorb the entire world around them.

Whoever wants to understand much must play much.

- Gottfried Benn

It's also important for me to let go of that tendency I have to feel those pressures of adult life, and remember to play myself. The mind is full of expansion when we are open and curious, always learning. The world is still my playground, and I hope to never....not ever....loose that sense of wonder.

lighten up

dance with me web  

{click here to purchase print}

These two popped into my sketch book today, and I thought I'd give them a little bit of screen time.

These days are filled to the brim with deadlines (3 books and some editorial) as well as new products I'm working on getting into the shop (horray!).

But it seems that whenever I'm up to my eyeballs in deadlines, new characters show up in my sketchbook, begging for some attention. Kinda like my kids who would rather have tickle fights than see me working (which I try mightily to only do when they are busy, at school or asleep).

Anyways, say hello and consider this eye candy for a tuesday morning.

Have a good one!



New Holiday images

I'm getting ready to load up some "print your own" holiday cards....for any of you that like the comfort of your own home, your own time table, and filling in last minute gifting requirements:)

(I fall into that category big time!)

I just love this time of year. It gets me every time.

Stay tuned!

Poetry Corner



Glad that I live am I;

That the sky is blue;

Glad for the country lanes,

And the fall of dew.

After the sun the rain;

After the rain the sun;

This is the way of life,

Till the work be done.

All that we need to do,

Be we low or high,

Is to see that we grow

Nearer the sky.

Lizette Woodworth Reese

So, I'm curious? How many of you read your kids poetry? Not Dr. Suess or Shell Silverstein, but poetry written through the ages?

I'm not very good at it, but we have many poetry books that I try and pull out and read over a fire, or out on the lawn. Addie memorized and performed Robert Louis Stevenson's THE SWING  for her class talent show this spring. So wonderful to say out loud!

Even without pictures, my kids really love poetry! In this overly visually stimulating world, I'm amazed at how my kids will sit and listen to poetry....words that paint pictures.  And when we take the time to memorize, it's even better. I don't know about you, but I miss poetry in the world. I miss reading it, hearing it...it almost seems like a lost artform that might just be considered a bit old fashioned, and not part of what we read to our kids all the time. Not flashy enough, maybe? Too much work to catch the meaning in the first try?

I'm going to be increasing my exposure to poetry and hopefully to my kids as well. When I was a child, I wanted to be a poet. And it's because I was exposed to a lot of poetry. It made me want to write and write and write.

This poem came from a favorite book of mine called SILVER PENNIES. Do you know it? It's a vintage collection of poetry for children that my mother had on her shelf, and I would read through it on rainy days.  Do you have any favorite poems you read to your kids?

I'd love to know!

Happy Summer Days:)


Drawing Drawing Drawing


Hello! I hope you had a lovely, lovely weekend. 3 Day weekends are bliss. This weekend, my husband took the kids out of the house on a fun Daddy trip so that I could play major catch up on work & art. Like I mentioned before, we've always played tag team at home, and since this year so far has been a bit different than most, I have weeks and weeks of art making to catch up on  (books, fabric, portraits....and much more!) So this weekend was a welcomed guest. But the kids are coming home in 10 minutes and I've better go put the icecream away. Hee Hee.

So, at the beginning of the year, I made the goal to draw every day. Or at least as often as I could. It's so theraputic for me. It's what I love. It's how I think. But like anything, it takes setting aside time. I try to have  a sketchbook out when I'm with the kids, but it usually gets overthrown by their drawings. Which, of course, I love seeing monsters and dinosaurs in my sketchbook. But I need time to refine my skills daily. It's how I come up with ideas. Ideas don't just HAPPEN. They come when I'm putting pencil to paper. I have to be actively getting things out of my head for anything good to ever come.

How about you? How do you make time to do those things that truly make you feel like  YOU? It's seriously something that takes conscious working out.  But so worth it.

We have 2 days left until school is OVER! I can't wait. I really love summer time with the kids home. Summer period.

PS: I will be posting daily sketches to INSTAGRAM, but I'll be sure to upload batches of them at a time here on the blog from time to time. Instagram  is a mother's helper! So easy to keep up with you all. Are you doing #365drawings? There are a lot of you on instagram now. Hope to see more of you! xoxo




poppies and things

poppies.web Do you feel it?

Do you love the changing of the season?

Ohmygoshohmygosh. I'm raising my hand super high.

I'm so ready to shed off winter for good. And I'm starting to see and feel color again. I like winter. I really do. Especially here when there is lots of white snow, and we get winter light warming us in the library, and the winter animals that come out....But I'm kinda-sorta-officially done.

Give me flowers and give me color.

This illustration came to my head this week, and I had to put it on paper.

I'm still in the throws of catch up mode here at home. On all fronts: making books and making my laundry room (closet) look like it wasn't attacked by some alien explosion. But I've snuck in rearranging furniture, planning out new plants to put in the yard, and thinking about new art for the walls. And stitching and eating fresh greens.....

And stocking up on more band-aides and ice packs again cause little knees and feet aren't used to all this excitement.

I'm starting to feel like me again:)


This print is available here in the shop.

PS: I almost forgot to mention! Today is  big birthday for my darling, amazingly efficient assistent Ann who runs the shop. She really deserves a big high 5 for everything she does. We've had a lot of hiccups this year with some transitions happening behind the scenes, and I couldn't run this machine without her. Say Happy Birthday! And Cha-cha-cha:)

Hugs and kisses for spring!




16.365 Take the time.

16.365 Hello Monday! Hello to-do lists, and getting back in gear after the weekend. Hello jumping in full force before I'm ready. Hello Laundry I didn't do over the weekend.

You too?

This is my thought today. And my 5 minute warm-up before working (did I tell you I'm working on another book right now?)

And I'm skipping ahead because I'm not posting every.single.drawing-a-day.

Taking a moment to be grateful for the little things.



10 & 11 of 365 Drawings

3 bears line I'm actually drawing every day this year! This project has been great for me. I actually can't show you a lot of what I'm drawing though. Mostly cause it's top secret:) But I am hitting pencil to paper, which is a big deal. Mostly cause kids and house and life demands so much.

These two are totally different: one was made 3 years ago, and I just brought it back to life, and the other, inspired by some designs I saw in the Mini Boden catalog this month (it's a good one this time...well, as always I guess.)

I know a lot of you have taken on the #365Drawings project. Would any of you like to do a link party? I'm not really sure how to do that, but pipe up and I'd love to keep you in touch with all the other artists who have joined in.