Tomie dePaola Award

Tomie dePaolo Award Scbwi yearling Here's my submission for SCBWI's Tomie dePaola Award. I chose a scene from The Yearling.

I'm mostly happy with it. The plants and patterns on the trees were fun to do and I think successful. Jody, the son, I'm not thrilled with. I worry that maybe he looks a bit too cartoony?  I do like how the silhouetted framing worked out though.

Its one of those pieces I could have fiddled with forever. Fortunately, I was under the gun-- the deadline is today-- so I had to commit to something. Which  is good thing in my book.

Anyways, the main thing is that hypothetically the wonderful Tomie dePaola will actually look at something I drew! Which I get shivers thinking about. Strega Nona!

You can check out some of the other entries here .

Portraits in LMNOP Gift Guide!

My portraits are featured in LMNOP's gift guide! And what fine company they are in:  

2012_Gift-Guide_Mum LMNOP

Gosh, they have never looked better-- RIGHT? Man. Plus, don't you want everything on that list? Spot on. Check out their website for more gift guides rolling out over the next two weeks.

Thank you, thank you Jenny and the LMNOP crew!

You can order your own portrait here. But hop to it: The deadline for regular Christmas shipping is December 5th--next week!


Taking Pretty Pictures...

Did you know I'm on Instagram? I admit I haven't totally gotten the hang of the "social media" aspect of it yet, but it sure is fun to take pretty pictures. Right? If ya wanna, come say hi. Though be warned: 98% of all the photos are of my animals. So yeah... it's good stuff.

Advent Calendar Round Up

Advent starts next week-- do you have your calendar yet? Advent Calendars

Printable Advent Calendar

The Marion House Book advent calendar

Wooden Creations by Chris

I had never seen a puzzle Advent Calendar before-- had you? "...Starting on December 1st you add one piece of the puzzle daily, continuing until you add the final piece on the morning of December 25."

JHill Design modern Advent Calendar

Le Petit Pot Advent Calendar

Semi-DIY Advent Calendar Nina Max Daly

Matchbox Advent Calendar



And lastly, I am in love with this tiny matchbox one. Everyday, as you remove a drawer and then slide it back in reversed, a picture is slowly revealed! So sweet.

Most of these are semi-diy and/or printable. Click on the image for directions and ordering info!

If none of these catch your fancy, head over to Oh Happy Day which has gorgeous tutorials for making your own!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I had an illustrated turkey recipe planned for today, but in the flurry of pre holiday prep, I didn't quite finish it. Rain check.  Anyways, here's Miss Luna planning her Thanksgiving meal on last Sunday's walk. Just kidding! She actually wasn't very interested in those swans. Smart lady. Squirrels on the other hand...

I hope everyone has a cozy day with loved ones today. I sure have a lot to be thankful for...

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everybody!

'Tis The Season For A SALE!

thanksgiving sale custom portraits Head on over to the shop, for 35% (!!) off Custom Portraits! Now through the 26th.  If you wanted to order a portrait in time for the holidays, now is the time to do it!  (Holiday ordering dates and info here.)

Happy early Thanksgiving everybody! (--and Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday--phew!)

(Tip: If you'd like to be the first to hear about sales like this one, sign up for my newsletter and stay up to date with whats happening around here!)

It feels like the first time...:

Obama wins! Woo!

I was thinking we could all take our post-election vigor and channel it into helping folks still effected by Sandy-- especially with the incoming nor'easter. Here in RI, you can donate food, clothing and household items to The Jonnycake Center. They are doing an amazing job of distributing goods to those who need them in Southern RI. And for NY/NJ, check out this Amazon Registry list set up by Occupy Sandy.  You can shop for goods that will get shipped directly to volunteers helping with the recovery. Pretty genius.

Edit: My friend Sarah pointed out that it would also be helpful to donate goods specifically for people with food allergies. (This should have been obvious to me as I can't eat gluten!) She pointed me towards this post on Allergy Girl blog. It has a ton of info and resource information. Thanks Sarah!

Note: I know Red Cross is an obvious choice for donations and I certainly wouldn't dissuade anyone from giving their dollars to them. But the general consensus on the ground is that local organizations are the ones moving quickly and being the most effective. 


Time to Vote!

  Unless you went early, today is the day to get out and vote. You can check here to find out where to go, and to get information about the various races going on. And if you're looking for something to whet your whistle afterwards, perhaps a cookie or cupcake would do the trick?

Romney Obama Cookies Cupcake portraits

They're from the wonderful Eleni's bakery in New York and are illustrated by me!

Portraits for $100!

 Julia Staples portraits 100 To celebrate her new photography studio, my longtime, talented friend Julia is throwing an exciting event: The "100/100/100 Project": 100 portraits, in 100 days, for 100 dollars! Its a fabulous chance to get a professional portrait taken at a super low price. There are a bunch of framing options, and you can also order holiday cards from her as well.  I illustrated the frames for the photo cards, and I'm really happy with how they came out. Here's one of them:

So if you're in the Philadelphia area, go grab your spot!  (If you're not in the area and would still like to order a photo card, you can do that here and use your own photo.) Julia is also available to shoot on location.


Books + Goodies: Halloween

Welcome to the first "Books & Goodies" post! I've been wanting to do this series for a while now. The concept is simple: A fun book + it's corresponding goodies.  What better time to start than Halloween, and with a book by LeUyen Pham no less? (She's one of my favorites!) Maybe this will inspire some last minute costume ideas? Happy Halloween! Book + Goodies Vampirina Ballerina


Vampirina Ballerina written by Anne Marie Pace, and illustrated by LeUyen Pham.

 Fangs, Leotard, Tutu, Slippers, Bat Hoodie, Mask, Porcelain Flowers, Bow Headband, Collar

Portrait Shop is Open!

Custom Portrait from GaiaI'm happy to officially announce, I'm now offering a new line of custom portraits!  Just in time for the holidays.

Each piece is painstakingly drawn by hand, then printed on thick, archival paper, and finally placed in a gorgeous wooden frame (--There are three to choose from!) I aim to provide you with a timeless keepsake, of the highest quality, that will look wonderful--for years to come-- in any home.

Visit the shop here. Can't wait to hear what you think!

Portraits from Gaia Cornwall

And on another note, be safe everybody on the East Coast. I'm typing from soggy Rhode Island, where the wind just picked up. Wishing you all an uneventful few days.

Life is for Living

In Maine...My dad said something to me this summer that I've found myself repeating over and over again: "Life is for living."  It's become sort of a mantra as G and I navigate this particularly busy season in our life.

And then, when I start thinking about how we are inevitably at the beginning of this "season" that will likely last decades as it keeps ramping up, I can feel something similar to a panic attack coming on.  But if I catch myself and say "life is for living!" it somehow snaps everything into perspective, and instead of impending insanity, it just feels like we're on the right track.

I ran across this earlier today. I'm enjoying the similar sentiment.

“Life is an opportunity, benefit from it. Life is beauty, admire it. Life is a dream, realize it. Life is a challenge, meet it. Life is a duty, complete it. Life is a game, play it. Life is a promise, fulfill it. Life is sorrow, overcome it. Life is a song, sing it. Life is a struggle, accept it. Life is a tragedy, confront it. Life is an adventure, dare it. Life is luck, make it. Life is too precious, do not destroy it. Life is life, fight for it.” ~Mother Teresa

Video Monday: Som Sabadell Flashmob

Video Mondays Are you sick of these? Man, they do not get old for me.


On the 130th anniversary of the founding of Banco Sabadell we wanted to pay homage to our city by means of the campaign "Som Sabadell" (We are Sabadell) . This is the flashmob that we arranged as a final culmination with the participation of 100 people from the Vallès Symphony Orchestra, the Lieder, Amics de l'Òpera and Coral Belles Arts choirs.