The Thirteenth Tale

I know I've mentioned my love of Patricia McKillip's many, many books, but one of my other favorite authors only has one book so far.

Diane Setterfield published The Thirteenth Tale in 2006. I discovered it a few years later and I've been loving it ever since.  It's a gothic mystery novel and a book-lover's book.

I don't even know how to tell you how much I love this book, except that I'm not afraid to over-hype it at all, because it can't be done. My sister says the story is so good you forget it had to be written, constructed by a human author who decided what would and would not happen. It just is


Reaching for a Star

Reaching - 8x10 Print
My latest print from Fairy Land. I originally drew the outlines of this fairy for an entry in a t-shirt design contest, but I didn't like her for that, so I turned it into a colored illustration. Usually I go for a darker theme when stars are involved, but I thought I'd shake things up and do a light pink color scheme. I never planned on printing it, but I posted it to my personal facebook page and immediately got requests for it, so I printed some up and now I'm adding it to my etsy shop.


Drawn to Tomorrow

Here's that sketch all colored in! I'll get some prints made soon, you can contact me via my etsy site or my facebook page if you would like to pre-order.


Oh Baby!

I love cute party supplies, so when  my good friend announced she was expecting I staked out my claim to throw her a baby shower. I know some people complain about pinterest making everyone go over the top, but really all it did was give me a project idea and inspire me to buy cute straws. The last bit may have happened anyway when I passed by them in Target.

The garland is something I've had around for a couple christmases - I made it into a pregnant-lady crown because my friend loves stars and anything with a little shimmer.

I made strawberry and peach kabobs with goat cheese. Because almost anything is better with goat cheese. I also made some without because I know a very few people who don't like goat cheese, but none f our guests disliked it, so I guess I could have made them all with goat cheese. I also had summer sausage and cheddar kabobs, which were almost as tasty.

 This flourless chocolate cake with almond whipped cream does not look like much, but it's phenomenal. If you don't believe me you'll just have to try the recipe for yourself. I've made it three times and each time people raved. I'm not such a wondrous cook that I think any praise lies with me. It's the recipe. Try it. You'll die happy.

Instead of  awkward games that have people sniffing the insides of diapers or eating baby food blindfolded, I decided to have us decorate onesies. Now, some people use puff paints and tht's what my horrified friends thought I was planning on doing. But for the sake of my carpet and to have a better chance at adorable, I have us cut out cute cloth shapes and iron them onto the onesies.

I bought one of those coordinating fat-quarter packs and a couple packages of steam-2-seam (more info and ideas here). It didn't matter if people just cute out the cute shapes on the fabric and arranged them or if they had their own design in mind - all the onesies came out 100% adorable and everyone had fun!


Happily Ever After Children's Literature Festival

So after a not so profitable (but super fun) day at South Bend's Art Beat last Saturday, I've signed on to be at the Happily Ever After Children's Lit Fest this coming Sunday (August 25, 2-6 in Niles, MI). It's a fundraiser to help local families adopt children with special needs.

I really hope to adopt some day and I've seen how good it can be when families open their hearts to adoptive children, so I'm really excited to be a part of this. The tickets are $7 (kids 4 & under free) and there will be several children's authors there, children's books and children's games. I'll be donating a percentage of my sales to the cause and I'm providing a coloring page too. I'll post it on the blog afterward for people who couldn't be there. It should be a fantastic day, so if you're going to be in the area come on out!

Update: I actually won't be there, I just now realized I double booked myself, but there are still going to be lots of fun things happening and it's still a super good cause, so you should check it out!


Tower Princess Sketch

I was chatting with a friend yesterday and discussing the potential for dire boredom during church business meetings. I always bring my sketch book though, so I assured him I would be entertained even if a discussion of the budget failed to hold my full attention.

He suggested I sketch a princess drawing her own rope out of the tower and I loved that idea. So I spent the entire meeting sketching and inking this picture. I'm really excited about it and I couldn't wait till it was colored in to share!  


Cat Lady

I'm not a cat person. Or really much of an animal person at all.

Sometimes people weigh in on what I should be drawing and I've had a number of people tell me that I really need to draw animals because they love animals.

Well, I tried, but I don't love animals, so it ended up a little snarky.


Wedding Poster

Last December I got an interesting illustration request. This neat couple was having their wedding at an old fashioned movie theater and wanted an illustration designed to be a movie poster for their wedding.  It was such a unique and fun idea and I was thrilled to work on it. But I never saw the finished product because the the theater has their own custom printing done.

But yesterday the bride emailed me some photos from the day!

It's so neat to see it, not just printed out, but in the theater's poster window! And with Jessica and Justin too! How cool.


Fly Away

Whenever I'm looking at people's bios I always see that they "love to travel". So at this point I just assume everyone loves to travel. Which is a little funny considering how much people also love to complain about traveling.

My worst experience was getting stuck in a traffic jam in Minnesota. Apparently no one had considered creating a detour for the road construction and so traffic was just stopped. One by one each driver figured out that they could wait until the road work ended in a week or two or pull an illegal u-turn and hope for the best.

The best turned out to be stop and go traffic through a series of tiny towns celebrating a boat festival. In a stick shift. We were so sick by the time we finally hit another highway we had to stop at a coffee shop and buy waters just so we could sit for a while. The whole experience added 5 hours to our trip.

By the time we were an hour from home we had the windows down so we would be too cold to sleep and the music cranked, repeating the same 3 loud songs over and over, which  we sang at the top of our lungs.

I have much better experiences with flying. The worst thing that's ever happened to me on a plane is the in-flight movies being School of Rock and Duplex.


Sweet Swing

I occasionally hear from animal lovers who wish I included more cute, fluffiness in my drawings.

I am not an animal lover. For the most part the word "animal" brings to mind the variety that might claw out my eyes or bite off a hand. Like a raccoon or stray dog.

But I do love bunnies.



More from fairy-tale land. I've also done another Rapunzel sketch and I think I might do a few more sometime in the near future. Maybe a whole little story arc. We'll see.


Jack & The Beanstalk

I love fairytales and I draw a lot of princesses and woodsy scenes, usually featuring girls or young ladies.
I do illustrate a series of Amish humor stories that have a lot of boys in them, but my personal style is pretty feminine.

I don't have a problem with mostly drawing and designing girly things. That's just my style. But recently a pregnant friend mentioned she'd love to decorate her nursery with my drawings, but with only a 50% of a girl she was hoping I might illustrate some stories with boys in them.  So here's Jack and The Beanstalk for my first ever boy-centric illustration.


Be Mine

Valentine's Day is one of my favorite holidays. I'm aware of all the arguments against it. They neither urge nor compel me.

I love the colors. I love the hearts. I love the myriad desserts that are valentine themed.

Embrace it.


Mint Green - Trendy

You may have noticed the mint green trend that's going on. I know I have an it's definitely influenced my artwork as of late.