Wednesday, December 30, 2009

*Snow Day*

I'm not much of a winter fan. That said I like living in a place with the four seasons so I know the next change is around the corner. Making the most of it we had a little playtime in the snow today. Luca wanted to build a mommy & daddy snowman too. (this one is him) Antonio & I won the vote & took him in for some hot cider instead. Maybe tomorrow...

Monday, December 28, 2009

And the Winners are...

Hello, hope todays post finds you basking in the glory of you new Christmas goodies & a time well had with family & friends. As promised I've picked two names at random for the Christmas or Chanukah book give away. See the top right hand corner of today's art for the names. (If you've been selected please e-mail with your address & I'll get the books to you asap) Congratulations & thanks to all who entered! Today illustration was my attempt at a new kind of Christmas tree. A bit eclectic but guess that me.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Nutcracker

Last night I took some time I watched the San Francisco Ballet performance of The Nutcracker. (Thank You PBS...) I watch it every year & am always amazed at how beautiful it is to me. I never make it through with out tearing up several times. I had not seen the San Francisco Ballet performance. The costumes & sets were magical, with tons of details- you could see the skill & love in each one. At one point snow gentle began to fall on the sugar plum fairies. The beautiful movement the lovely music the glittering snow- Oh, I was in my happy place. (same place Edward Scissorhands always takes me too when he's carving the ice sculpture of Kim/ Winona Rider while she peacefully dance beneath him) I hope you're finding time to watch or participate in things that make you happy this holiday season. Find your happy place!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Holiday Book Give Away

Hello & Happy Friday. Today I'm posting 2 books I illustrated for Scholastic. A Christmas Present for Me & A Chanukah Present for Me. (both available at Barnes & Noble) I'll be drawing two names next Wednesday & will send the winners their choice of either book. To enter just send in your first & last name. If your name is drawn I'll contact you for the address. A little holiday gift to you!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Festive Dots

Festive Dots hit the spot! 8 days until Christmas.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Happy Chanukah!

Tonight Chanukah begins at sundown. This is some art I made for the holiday. ( made some great cards with it) Next week I'll be raffle off a book for Scholastic "Don't Open Until Chanukah". In the meantime I wish everyone a Happy & joyous holiday.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Freshly Fallen Snow

Brrrrrr, cold here today with freshly fallen snow on the ground. Perfect time to work on the studio 2009 Holiday card. This is what I've come up. I've pieced together several seasonal prints I've previously made. If I go this route the card will be an accordion fold. I tend to to use the accordion fold format often because I don't have to choose just one piece of art. (a bit of a cop out) Later this week I'll post the painted holiday tree I have as my second option. I need to pick one soon. December always goes so fast!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Holiday Birds

Todays post is some holiday art I made a few months ago. The birds & patterns are painted with gauche. I like incorporating text in my art. When I don't it always bothers me like an itch I can't reach so I usually end up going back in & appeasing myself. Peace, Joy, Friends & family that's what this season is all about!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Deck the Halls

Today I'm posting my holiday decor available through The Land of Nod. Last April I was as busy as one of Santa's elf's working away on this festive fun. This years new additions: The Fancy a Spot Tree skirt, the Advent Calendar (move santa from pocket to pocket as they days go by) & the felt plush ornaments. I've decked my tree out in these & they're super cute I'll take a photo to share. So perfect for little ones. Fun to look at & Safe to play with plus they're not breakable like so many ornaments. Hope you have fun decking your halls!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Let the Countdown Begin

Here we are December 1st. (Happy Birthday Amy!) The official countdown begins today. A couple years back a made this art for PB Kids. Luca has hit a puzzle phase so I try to pull out the ones that are seasonally appropriate. This Advent one is perfect! Tomorrows post will be my holiday decor items available at The Land of Nod. Happy December!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving Treasures

Something wonderful happened to me last week. Luca presented me with a pot holder he a decorated at his morning in Montessori School. His tiny hand stamped in the middle, legs, & gobbler added completely the sweetest turkey I've ever seen. He was SO proud to give me what he made & I was so touched. I'm really looking forward to Thanksgiving. I'm taking tomorrow off to run arrons with Antonio & prep the giant Turkey he'll smoke throughout the entire night for the big meal. My brothers & parents are joining us at our house we're they'll be tons of food, lots of fun & my family. My Thanksgiving Treasures. Hope you & yours enjoy a day of Thanks!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Hello Dinosaurs

Today I'm showing the Hello Dinosaurs book I illustrated for Scholastic. The book is formatted in the middle of a glove- each finger is a different dinosaur finger puppet. (I've attached the felt mock I made- before production) We got a jumbo box of samples samples of this book so I sent them to school with Luca to share with his class. When Antonio picked him up he said it was the sweetest sight, a room filled with happy kids with a dinosaur hand puppet book on their tiny little hands. Hooray- Kid approved! Tell me who doesn't love a dinosaur?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Made with LOVE

Last Sunday night I gave my brother Kris & his new wife Ashley their wedding present from me. The painting was a bit late but with lots of distractions lately sometimes you just have to roll with the punches. I really enjoyed painting this for them. Each square is a message to them regarding LOVE. I painted or used collage bits to loosely illustrate the icon in each square & the painted in my handwriting or typed the word that supported the icon. Grow, Listen, Soar, Complete, Warm, Union, Family, Home, Many Years, Bounty. In the painting I incorporated their names, birthdays, the date they got married & both sides of the family. Hope you guys enjoy this little piece of me that celebrates & supports both of you!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Tea Time

Cold & rainy here today & we saw our first quick glimpse of fading snow flakes. All the leaves at our home & office have been neatly packaged up so it seems only appropriate that snow should follow next. I'm doing my best not to drink so much coffee & transitioning into tea. My favorite is still Earl Grey & I was recently introduced to a tea the was truly enchanting-Blossom Tea from Shanghai. You steep it in a clear glass pot & this beautiful bloom comes alive in the hot water. The flavor is gentle, slightly floral & a bit sweet. My favorite thing about tea is how it leaves you feeling warmed from the inside like a hot pair of socks fresh from the dryer. OK- on with the art. Liz (a super talent artist at our studio) recently finished this piece. It makes me feel all the good things a great cup of tea is capable of.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Weekend Plans

Happy Friday- (Friday the 13th) I've never been superstitious about this day but believe me I do have my funny little quirks & superstitions. Antonio, Luca & have a big plans this weekend raking, raking & more raking. We'll be doing our final fall clean up. Some motivation I found this Foliage inspiration page I put together for a scrap- booking project I worked on a while back. I'll have to take a picture of all the leaves- it's crazy!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Bright & Bold ABC

So todays post more ABC's. So I've mentioned I love the Alphabet. With Luca now signing it 24/ 7 it's even closer to my heart. This is an older piece but one I still like. Currently it's available as wall art through Oopsy Daisy. I have samples of all the art I've made for Oopsy Daisy so we use Luca's room as a rotating gallery. {Hope he's a fan!} On of the pieces up now in his room is this ABC wall art. He likes the olive and the muscle- funny little boy.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Changing Seasons

Last year I was requested by The Land of Nod to create 4 seasonal place-mats. I loved working on this project. Changing seasons for me is natures beautiful gift. Although I'm not a fan of winter I can't imagine living somewhere that I can't be part of each season. (summer my favorite)
I packed in tons of sweet little details on each place-mat perfect for exploring at meal time. If your looking for a fun gift check them out. Available at the Land of Nod stores (if you're in Chicago) or online. Happy Friday!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Halloween - Memory Lane...

Hope everyone had a nice Halloween. Today I wanted to share a few photos. Luca's costume this year was less exciting than last years matador look. This is my motivation to step it up again next year. (Wow- I'm understanding the pressure on parents around all these holidays) He did have a fantastic time Halloween night so that's the point of it all. I found an old polaroid of my brother Brad & I. (I have 3 brothers/ not sure were the others are in this photo) Anyhow, he was Darth Vader & myself Miss Piggy. Now we fall into November.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Halloween Just 2 days away

Wow- October has just flown by! I'm excited for Halloween. Just this time last year Luca starting walking. This year he'll be able to walk door to door on his own two feet. I ended up buying him a tuxedo for my brother's wedding a few weeks ago. I wanted him to wear it again. So this year Luca will be 007- Bond... Luca Bond. (Antonio & I love the old Bond movies) Should be cute I have it all planned out. No gun (don't like that idea) but he will have a cocktail shaker) I'll be sure to post a picture. I always love seeing all the costumes- especially the homemade ones. What will you or your little one be this year?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Robot Twins

Some friends of ours recently had twin boys. I made each a personalized piece of wall art. The canvases are a lovely little size (8 x 8" and 2 inches deep- which makes them feel more upscale) I'm LOVING the idea of robots for little boys it's sweet but not too sweet. The art is a mixture of paint & collage. I intertwined special dates, letters & information that means something to their new family. I'm currently working on some art for my new nephew's room so I'll post that soon.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

My Learning rugs at The Land of Nod

I'm really excited about today's post. Flipping threw the latest Land of Nod catalog I spotted my learning rug collection I proposed to them about a year ago. We went to Chicago to meet with them & I showed the learning rugs along with a few others. They were on board which is always nice. I'm showing my painted sketches I showed them along with how the end result has turned out. I can't wait to see them in person. The truly wonderful thing about The Land of Nod products is the quality of the materials they use. 100% hand-woven New Zealand wool. You can really feel the love & effort. Can't wait to run barefoot across mine with Luca.
*I have a fun Holiday assortment available through them too but I'll wait until we at least have Halloween under our belt!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Fall Ride

Luca saw a giant truck the other day. Wow- he was amazed by the size you could just tell as his eyes got larger & he let out a manly little grunt. He cracks us up he's turning into such a boy. He's at home with his daddy today but when my day is over I'm bringing him this. I found some old monster truck art I worked on for wall art. (digital collage piece) This is just up his alley. Having 3 brothers I was skeptical that being a mom of a little boy would be this much fun. Love when I'm wrong.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Who's in the Garden

Hooray- it's my book! Available now for pre-order through amazon. Or you can wait & pick it this spring (it's official release) at Barefoot books. Even better yet stop by their amazing store in FAO Schwarz. We took Luca last time we were in NY what FUN! Who's in the Garden is a peek-a-boo book so when the child turns the page there's a die cut hole that exposes a fun element from the next or previous page. The book is FULL of color & pattern & made with love. Hope you & your little ones enjoy it! Brings a smile to my face just thinking about it.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Luca's World

Last night I did a quick sketch of Luca & all the things he enjoys in his world. He's two now & his likes & dislikes are opening up. He's becoming his own little person. (or at least it's more evident to us) It's a joy to see what fascinates him, what flavors he enjoys, what sounds he likes to hear. I'm trying to document his likes- I believe we are who we are from the get go. So these early signs are my clues to help him develop in what ever area draws him in.

Friday, October 9, 2009


Dream what a beautiful word, what a wonderful thing & a necessity in life. Happy Friday & sweet DREAMS.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A Game of Cat & Mouse

Browsing through a Mini Boden catalog I found some art we sold them about a year ago. Always fun to see! I wish they made their little girl looks for big girls. I would wear it all.

Monday, October 5, 2009

31 days...

It's October my pretties. Are you getting ready for Halloween? This is always my Dad's favorite holiday. He dressed up almost every year when I was young in his home-made Frankenstein costume. (complete with 5" platform shoes & forehead extension/ he was good & terrifying)
I'm looking forward to a little Trick -or - Treating later this month. Last year Luca was just walking. This year he's ready to tear up the neighborhood.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fall Vignette

The last day of September- WOW. Time flies. We did a quick tidy up of the flat files today filed with all sorts of original art I haven't seen in ages. (like a walk down memory lane) Fun to see again now knowing who bought the art. (I like to know they've been placed in a good home) I found all sorts of bits I'll post over the next couple months. For now it's a seasonably appropriate fall vignette.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


I've been busy putting together new samples of work for some of my favorite publishers. The photos are not all I had hoped for but as the packages have already left the studio it's a done deal. I try to format my work in different ways to keep it fresh for the recipients. This time it's a clothes line format with main image on front/ pattern or secondary image on the back. My favorite part was the clothes pin animals I built. (painting clothes pins/ paint & paper collage for animal heads) They turned out so sweet & I'm kicking myself for not taking a photo close up. The goal was to get it down, have it look good & get it out- So mission accomplished. Why does today feel like Monday?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Home sweet HOME

We're back from a business trip to New York. We mixed a little work with play which is never a bad idea. Luca was able to come with us. I feel so lucky we're able to take him along. (although I know it's taxing at times) We arrived home late last night & all I can say is Dorothy was right "There is no place like home."

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Wall Play

Hello to all & Happy Saturday! I wanted to post some wall decals I made the art for. I received a box with these lovely samples yesterday. Can't wait to play with the Solar System & Alphabet in Luca's room. The company that produces them is Wallies. Check them out if you have a little one it's a really cool product!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Who doesn't need a little wonder in their life? I try to find at least two beautiful moments, sights or sounds each day. Makes my world a happier place.
Todays: 1. Wrestling sound of fall leaves in the trees as the wind catches them.
2. My lunch date with my boys & the smile on their faces when I walked in the door.
(busy day at the studio so they stayed home today... Missed them!)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Saturday at the Orchard

Today I wanted to post a little glimpse of our weekend outing to Vaughn's Orchard in Weston Missouri. We go every year. Luca is an apple lover. (I remember when I was pregnant eating more apples than I had at any other time in my life.) We started out with a tour of the orchard,
picking apples as we wandered along. Then a stop at the tractor for Luca to take a ride, next a sampling of apple goodness. Two apple slushy, 1 cider, 3 fritters & one candy apple. With a tummy full of sweets we hit the store to take home apple butter, apple cider & a hand made wooden bobbing head turtle toy for Luca. All & All not a bad Saturday. Always my favorite the candy apple we even have a print to memorialize them.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Announcing MAX!

It's with Great JOY that I announce the arrival of Maxwell Jackson McDonald. My brother Brad & his wife Amy had their first little one today. (not the brother that just got married:) Luca now has a cousin in Boston. I'm on overload with family excitement! We missed Brad & Amy at the wedding last weekend so now we'll plan a visit to the east to meet the new addition. They'll be terrific parents! Welcome MAX we've been waiting for you! Love Aunt Jill.....

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Luca's Birthday

So our little Luca turned two about two weeks ago now. Just posting a few of the highlights today. We spent the day celebrating him with his favorite foods, people & music. He is doing so well it's exciting to see his personality starting to bloom. He's surprising us, telling us just what he thinks, cracking us up & keeping us completely busy! He's by far the best thing I ever had a part in making. (and the journey continues)