Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Seneca Falls Library 
Children's Book Fest
On Saturday, May 9th, I gave a presentation to
the children that earned M.I.R.A awards ( nominated by
their schools in Seneca Falls area as most improved reader).
The mayor of Seneca Falls, Diana Smith, passed out the 
awards. I shared the process of creating my picture books
and showed examples of my illustrations. After the award 
ceremony, I engaged the kids in flamingo crafts.
Every student who earned awards received a copy of my 
book, Marco Flamingo, and a copy of Marley and Me 
(the theme of this years festival). There were other events 
as well.  Jill Fogel engaged the kids in musical fun, there 
was a book basket drawing (look at these magnificent 
baskets below), and donated books were available for 
10 cents!

Thank you, Jackie Grey (director), for inviting me.    
I was very impressed with the programs and events 
hosted by this library---very creative and dedicated staff.

Gretchen Koch, board member of the library, assisting with the book sale.

Danielle and Devin
My husband's cousin, Karen, has two granddaughters
who are readers, writers and illustrators.  Danielle at 
age 10 has written and illustrated more stories than 
anyone I know!  She is destined for publishing.  Her
work is personal, humorous and complex for a girl 
her age.  Although she loves to illustrate with colored 
pencil, her computer art designs are dynamic.  Devin,
Danielle's first cousin loves to read and do art work too.
On my blog, I love to promote children's art and

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Visit to English Village 
Elementary School

This Elementary school is amazing!  It is a signature 
school that implements a dual language program. 
Children are immersed in both English and Spanish 
throughout the day.  Students K-2 learn to read, write, 
listen and speak in both languages (50% of the daily 
instruction is in English; 50% in Spanish).

I did a presentation of Marco Flamingo/Marco Flamenco 
on  April  27 and discussed my amigo flamingo. I showed
the process of creating the book.  One of the two teachers, 
Erica Wesley, was my student at Gananda Elementary.
I linked her website and if you can read Spanish you're
prepared to understand!

I seriously have to wear something new to these visits. 
You'd think this was the only blouse I have....well, almost! 
Here I am (wearing famous blue blouse) with Erica.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Grandkids Artwork 
with a Little Twirling Thrown In

Taylor Twirling

                                                                 Anna's Drawing of Mom (Emily)

Taylor's Drawing of Sister (Anna)

Anna's Composition
Cat Story
One day I started feeding and sheltering, 
(on my porch, in home made igloos) three 
starving feral cats (it was winter). 

One I named Smokey (he was a solid smokey grey), 
the other Grizzly (thick, matted grey cat with no ears
---well stubs--his ears had been frostbitten, and the 
last cat (who showed up months later) I named 

Smokey, disappeared after the summer
of last year, Grizzly ( in the care of a baby sitter)
disappeared three weeks after my husband
and I left for Charleston for the winter.  We don't 
know Smokey or Grizzly's fate, but Hunter has 
become an adorable pet.  He doesn't scratch or bite
(he has FANGS), and is very affectionate.  He has 
his own spot in the house, complete with bed, 
scratching mat and toys.

We try to keep him in the house as much as possible 
because he is a KILLER, more so, I believe, than 
most cats because he had to survive without humans.
I had contacted the Feral Cat Society in our town and
had each trapped.  FYI it costs $30.00 to have feral
cats neutered, administered shots and wormed.
The downside is that the vet cuts the tip (quite a bit)
of the cat's left ear so it is recognized quickly as being 
neutered and free of rabies.  Feral cats are not adopted, 
but returned to the person who brought the cat(s) in
or returned to their original location or colony. 
So now we have a pet with a clipped ear as you can 
see in the photos below.

I am teaching Hunter how to "catch and release"
because if anyone knows me well, I am a bleeding heart 
when it comes to animals.  I can't blame Hunter for his 
instinct to hunt, but I see a trend of him now bringing 
the prey into the house and releasing for me to take care of!

Hunter has inspired a children's book!

Gardening Tip
I've lost many bird feeder saucers.  They've shattered from the
weight of squirrels knocking them over or high winds blowing 
them over. I even tried ceramic glue to attach the saucer back 
on the pedestal without success.  So, finally I thought of a great
use for the base.  Invert it and plant it about 9 in. into the soil,
fill with dirt and use as a planter.  It worked beautifully in my 
herb garden.  I like the tapered shape and the ample root space
for the plants.  I think I'm more creative in the Spring than any 
other season.  How about you?  I do more writing and painting
then too.

Meet Kara

My neighbors, Sue and Pete, have a granddaughter, Kara, who is in 
Kindergarten.  Her teacher read MarcoFlamingo to the class and Kara 
was so excited to learn that I lived close to her grandparents that Sue 
arranged a time for Kara to meet me.  What a delightful child!  She had 
prepared questions to ask me.  And when I said I'd include one of her 
art works to post, she ran home to her grandparents and whipped off 
this expressive lion.  Oh, to illustrate so quickly---my, oh, my, if I could 
only do that!  I love the full circle of creating children's books---
children inspire writers....writers inspire children...children inspire 
writers...to eternity.