Friday, December 31, 2010

art for WaWe and IF (resolutions)

The prompt this week for WaWe is artist’s choice and for Illustration Friday, it’s resolutions. My choice this week was to do a painting of a football playing moose that I had sketched a couple of years ago (and had always wanted to do something with). It also works for the IF prompt, because one of my New Year’s resolutions is to play more with my art, to make something of those sketches that look fun, but aren’t for my portfolio or a specific project. I know that playing with my art helps it to move forward and helps me to grow as an artist. Plus, this image reminds me of tonight, with the starry skies and fresh snow, both of which seem to promise that all my shiny, new resolutions will be kept all year.



I’m still trying to figure out what my other resolutions are …

What are your New Year’s Resolutions this year? How do you make sure you keep them?

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Mail for IF

The prompt for Illustration Friday this week is, “mail.” I thought about all the holiday letters that are being sent this month and came up with an image of swirling mail. (Or maybe it was a dream I had about not having my cards in the mail yet!) Here it is:



Here’s a detail:



Hope a letter or two is on its way to you!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Winter Activities for WaWe and Phenomenon for IF

The prompt this week for Watercolor Wednesdays is Winter Activities. I painted this image at the beginning of the month for this prompt. Then I got an email from Illustration Friday with the prompt for this week, Phenomenon, which I thought also worked for this painting. It would be a big phenomenon if penguins started to ice skate! Maybe they’d even start a penguin Olympics! Okay, probably not. Here’s my penguin skating with his birdie friends:

Monday, December 13, 2010

Holiday Book Drive for LitWorld

Just one book can change a life, so imagine what a difference that one book would make if it were put in the hands of a little girl or boy who had never before held a picture book, let alone had one for their very own.

That’s why I’m hoping you’ll be kind enough to donate children’s picture books, sending or bringing them to one of three drop-off points in New York. LitWorld, in partnership with The International Book Bank, will fill a 20ft container with the books (around 3,000 are needed) and ship them to Liberia and Sierra Leone. There, the books will be put straight into the hands of children (see picture below of LitWorld Ambassador Kimmie Weeks reading aloud from book donations). Some of these children will never have seen a picture book before; the majority are used to sharing what they do have: one book is shared among 75 children, on average.



About LitWorld: LitWorld is a non-profit organisation that advocates for global literacy. LitWorld believes stories are life-changing and sharing stories will create connections that have the power to change the world.

LitWorld works closely with teachers all over Liberia, providing professional development around reading and writing. We also provide schools with much needed books, supplies and school materials.

Currently the ratio of children to books is 75:1. Our dream is to change that to 1:1!
About The International Book Bank: An organization that has been delivering free books and educational materials to developing countries since 1987, with the goal of increasing literacy and advancing education.

About Liberia: As you may know, thousands of people were killed in Liberia’s 16-year civil war, leaving the nation in economic ruin.  Many places are still without electricity and running water. Unemployment and illiteracy continue to be endemic. The country is attempting to rebuild and recover from this long and arduous war. A large part of this effort is rebuilding the educational system. In order for that to be successful they need an increased supply of books and materials.
About Sierra Leone: Though Sierra Leone is well known for its diamond industry, it was ranked as the poorest country in the world in 1998. The dispute over the control of the diamond mines erupted in an 11-year civil war, which began in 1991 and ended in 2002. Sierra Leone faces the intense challenges of reconstruction, with poverty and unemployment leading the major issues. The Civil War deconstructed 1,270 schools, leaving 67% of children in 2001 without an education. Today, two thirds of the adult population in Sierra Leone are illiterate.

Info on where to mail or bring books: please visit the LitWorld website - http://litworld.org/holidays/bookdrive/

Connect with LitWorld online at www.litworld.org, on Facebook, and Twitter.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Winter Wildlife and Dec. Banner for WaWe, Tradition for CBIG, and Prehistoric for IF

The prompt for Watercolor Wednesdays this week is winter wildlife. I was thinking about a girl starting to make a snowman when I wondered what would happen if a baby polar bear crossed her path.



If you go to the Watercolor Wednesdays site this month, you’ll see the banner I did for the site:



Here’s a crop of my three favorite sand-snowmen that I’m posting on the CBIG blog this month. The prompt is tradition … it’s a tradition for my husband and I to go out to the beach on New Year’s Eve at midnight to welcome in the new year, which is what I imagine these three are doing:



The prompt this week for Illustration Friday is prehistoric and I couldn’t help wondering what a brontosaurus would look like made out of snow. Then I wondered if the giraffe and the brontosaurus are related (I’m a visual person and the long necks of both of them make them related in my mind). That’s how I came up with this painting idea.


The snow dino and giraffe don’t really look like snow creatures though. They both just look white. Maybe they rolled around in the snow before this picture.

p.s. Did you know that a giraffe is called a twigga in Swahili? (According to my MIL after her trip to Africa.)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving Balloons and NaNoWriMo update

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend! We went to see the balloons being blown up for the parade (pictures below), then had a big beef dinner (not a turkey fan), and a relaxing weekend. What did you do for Thanksgiving?

On to the real purpose for this post: balloon pictures! When you try to take pictures of the balloons while they are being blown up, you’re at the mercy of how the balloon is positioned and how many people get in your way while you are aiming the camera. These three pictures were taken with my cell phone and came out okay, although pics from other years have turned out better.

Hello Kitty
Hello Kitty

Kool-Aid Man
Kool-Aid Man

Wimpy Kid
Wimpy Kid

So just how big are those balloons, anyway? They’re HUGE! Here’s a picture I took of Buzz Lightyear in 2008. Three people happily posed for scale … okay, they weren’t posing for me, so I blurred out the faces, but it’s still a great picture to show the scale of the balloons.

Buzz Lightyear
Buzz Lightyear

You might be wondering how they manage to find space to blow up all those balloons. What they do is close off the two streets on either side of the American Museum of Natural History and line the balloons up along each street. Here’s a picture from 2008 that shows Horton in between Shrek and some holiday balloons.

Balloon Line Up
Balloon Line Up

Here’s another example. Remember the Kool-Aid Man picture above? Here’s the wide screen shot that shows him sandwiched in between Sponge Bob and a football and another balloon.

Balloon Line Up 2
Balloon Line Up

If you want to see the balloons next year, be prepared for lots of people. The crowd is always wall-to-wall, even before you get anywhere near the balloons, and especially once you get there. It’s inadvisable to bring small dogs and strollers to this event, although some people bring them (it’s an easy way for a pet, child or adult to get injured in the crush of the crowd). Here’s a picture of the 2007 crowd. It’s a little blurry, so it’s hard to see past the first couple of rows, but it’s all people, as far as the eye can see (and no balloons in sight yet).

Blurry Balloon Crowd
Blurry Balloon Crowd

After Thanksgiving weekend, it was back to writing my novel, because today is the last day of NaNoWriMo. Did you finish? I didn’t, but I’m ok with that (I’ve finished other years). This year I wasn’t able to start until Nov. 8th and I wanted to take the time to write a novel I like, instead of a novel that can’t be salvaged. I haven’t written much so far but I like what I’ve written. For the first time, I know what’s going to happen and how the book ends. I didn’t outline though ~ I’m still more of a pantser than a planner! The first chapter has been written, rewritten, and polished. Chapters 2-4 are about to get rewritten and polished, and the rest is back story that I probably won’t use.

You might have noticed my new fancy word count meter over in the sidebar. I made two to show how much I’ve written and how much I’m keeping so far (chapters 2-4 are in the keep section, even though they’re scheduled to be overhauled). Want your own handy, dandy progress meter for your blog, or website? Here’s the meter I’m using. It’s simple and works really well.

Good luck to all you NaNo novelists trying to finish before midnight! Type faster; fix later! :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Art for Charity Auction (Help Bridget Zinn Kick Cancer)

There’s an auction going on from now until December 4th (9pm CST) to help writer Bridget Zinn kick cancer. Winners will be notified on December 5th. There are lots of great items to bid on, including manuscript critiques, books to read, and art. A little bit about the auction, and below that the info about the art I donated for the auction and how you can bid on it.

Direct link to the auction: http://bit.ly/bridgetauction
Auction ID: bridgetkicks
Password: cancer

About the auction: All proceeds from this auction will go to Bridget Zinn and Barrett Dowell. Bridget was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer in February 2009. After receiving treatment in Portland for 18 months, Bridget and her husband Barrett are now traveling to Phoenix for one week every month for innovative treatment at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America. Not all of their costs for this promising treatment are covered by insurance. Bridget & Barrett’s friends and family are rallying to help them pay the bills so that they can focus on Bridget’s health and kick cancer. Artists, authors, and other friends and acquaintances have donated items in the spirit of love and hope. Link to Bridget’s blog.

What I donated: Here are the details on the cards, prints and recipe cards featuring my art.

sruble_HelloNoteCards
 
Hello Note Cards: This set of 20 note cards (2 each of 10 designs) features art with animals. There are sheep, bunnies, dogs and two little girls with their cat. These cards are great for sending notes to say hello, or thank you, or even to give as a gift. Printed on bright white linen paper with matching envelopes. All cards feature the caption, “Hello!” on the outside and are blank on the inside. Click here to bid on the Hello Note Cards.

sruble_HeartSheepdog
 
Heart Sheepdog Print: The Heart Sheepdog Print is 6″ x 8″ and will be printed on bright white velvet paper that’s used for fine art prints and brings out the vibrant colors of the art. The paper is 100% cotton rag, with an acid free base. There’s a 1″ white border around the art and is suitable for framing with or without a mat. Click here to bid on the Heart Sheepdog Print.

sruble_PaisleyWhale
 
Paisley Whale Print: The Paisley Whale Print is 6″ x 8″ and will be printed on bright white velvet paper that’s used for fine art prints and brings out the vibrant colors of the art. The paper is 100% cotton rag, with an acid free base. There’s a 1″ white border around the art and is suitable for framing with or without a mat. Click here to bid on the Paisley Whale Print.

sruble_RecipeCards
 
Snowman and Bunny Recipe Cards: This set of 24 recipe cards with 2 designs (you’ll receive 12 snowman and 12 bunny cards) are great for sharing holiday recipes or favorite recipes from family and friends. They work for any recipe: cookies, carrot cake, meatballs, tofurkey, or even snow cones.
Click here to bid on the Snowman and Bunny Recipe Cards. Note: The top two bidders will both win this auction.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sneaky Robot for IF and Snow Dog for WaWe

The prompt for Illustration Friday this week is sneaky. What’s sneakier than surprising someone with a water balloon attack?

That is one sneaky robot!
That is one sneaky robot!

Have you ever been surprised by a water balloon attack? (I have.) Did you get revenge? (I did. Mwahahahaha.)

The prompt for WaWe this week is snow, rain, or just brrrrrr. I thought the Snow Dog and haiku I did a few years ago fit the topic perfectly.

Snow Dog!

Snow Dog!

Here’s the haiku, in case you can’t read it in the image:
Big white puppy dog,
Looks just like a polar bear,
Likes to hide in snow
I’ve always liked this big white puppy dog and polar bears too.

What’s your favorite animal that likes snow?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

revising old art for CBIG, burning for IF, and my secret NaNoWriMo novel

I love creating new art, but once in a while I like to take an old piece and breathe new life into it.
The CBIG blog is celebrating NYC illustrator’s week by asking members to share a tip and an illustration. My tip is about revising old art to give it new life. When people think of revision, they usually think of text, but pictures can be revised as well. Many times the image gets revised as it goes from sketch to final, but sometimes you have a piece that just doesn’t work out, or a piece you always loved that doesn’t fit your current style. Those are prime candidates for revision.

Things to consider when revising old art: composition, emotion, color, character, and what the illustration is for (fun, portfolio, job, etc.).

Here are a few pieces I’ve revised recently:

First Snow of the Season

First Snow of the Season

What’s new: snow (instead of rain), the cat (instead of a stuffed toy moose and stuffed toy bunny), and multiple changes to the girl on the right. It’s a lot better than it was before, but not perfect. Maybe some day I’ll revise it again!

Paisley Whale Singing

Paisley Whale Singing

What’s new: almost everything! All I kept from the original image was the shape of the whale and the water. This is one of my favorite revisions. I also did a second paisley whale image. See all three pictures here. (Note: the original whale image was inspired by a whale I had done years earlier, but that image only showed the face, not the entire whale.)

Never play with a lit firecracker!

Never play with a lit firecracker!

What’s new: the clouds and grass (plain blue BG before), the expression on the dog’s face, and the caption. This revision is for Illustration Friday this week; the prompt is, “burning.” A person running into this dog might say, “The firecracker is about to go off! The wick is already burning! Everybody run!” (Note: the old drawing was based on an even older watercolor painting of a firecracker wielding wiener dog.)

Secret NaNoWriMo Novel: Speaking of revision, I decided to let my zombie novel sit for a while before rewriting it. I started writing a new novel for NaNoWriMo that I’m really excited about (I officially started Nov. 8th). I’m keeping most of the details secret for now, but I can tell you that it’s YA and it’s a romance. 

Do you ever revise an old image or story that didn’t quite work out the first time? Have you had success with it?

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween! Plus a roasted pumpkin seed recipe.

It’s after midnight, which means it’s officially October 31st. Happy Halloween! May your day be filled with pumpkins, treats, and people wearing interesting costumes. One of my favorite Halloween treats is roasted pumpkin seeds. YUM! If you’ve never made them before, here’s a recipe so you can try it this year. Pumpkin seeds are great to snack on while watching Halloweenie movies and TV shows, like It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, Corpse Bride, Hocus Pocus, Sean of the Dead, Night of the Living Dead, or Nightmare Before Christmas.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Step One: Obtain pumpkin(s). Decorate or wait to carve them (I painted one of mine this year).

pumpkins!

pumpkins!

Step Two: Put down newspaper. Get out carving tools and a large bowl to put the seeds in.

preparing for the pumpkin masacre

preparing for the pumpkin massacre

Step Three: Cut off top (or bottom) of pumpkin and separate the seeds from the gook.

we have seeds!

we have seeds!

Step Four: Grease a cookie sheet with a coat of non-stick cooking spray and sprinkle with salt. Pour un-rinsed seeds* on to cookie sheet, sprinkle with salt, and bake at 250 degrees, stirring the seeds occasionally. Bake until golden brown and no longer wet. I usually taste them to make sure they are done. You should be able to smell them baking.  *You can rinse the seeds if you want, but they have more pumpkin flavor if you don’t rinse them.

roasted pumpkin seeds - yum!

roasted pumpkin seeds - yum!

Step Five: Eat and enjoy. :)


Happy Halloween everyone!!

Friday, October 22, 2010

signs for creative people

This morning, the song, “Signs,” by Five Man Electrical Band got stuck in my head, which made me think, “I need a ‘Gone Fishing’ sign, only I want it to say, ‘Gone Painting.’” I could put it on my blog for times when I’ve got a lot of artwork to do and won’t be around for a while. Then I wondered if anyone would get a, “Gone Painting,” sign. Or one that says, “Gone Drawing.” Or, “Creative at Work.” Or one that says, “Am Writing.” Then I started to question my sudden need for a sign. I’d never needed a sign before.

 ACK!

Since I couldn’t think of which sign to make, Daria the chicken offered to make one for me. This is what she came up with:

Silly chicken!

Silly chicken!

Nobody would believe that sign. I don’t even know how to surf! Although, with the weather getting colder, maybe I should learn how to surf this winter. I could go some place warm and tropical and … ack! A surfing sign is not going to help me to get my work done. I shook my head to clear out the surf fantasies.

“Meow!” Remus woke up from his catnap and offered to make me a sign, which was weird. Remus likes walking though my paintings when they are still wet and making a trail of colorful kitty tracks, but signs aren’t usually his thing. I went to make lunch. When I came back, Remus was finished with his sign:

Ack, the cat got ahold of the computer!

Silly kitty!

I started to worry about what Remus was trying to tell me. I gave him a toy mouse to play with/attack, just in case. It looked like I’d have to make my own sign, one that shows people that I’m working, even when it looks like I’m not. I still didn’t know what to put on it, until I remembered the mouse I used to write about and draw pictures of. Here’s my sign:

THinking up the great mouse novel.

Plotting out the great mouse novel.

What kind of sign do you wish you had? Or have you already made your sign?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Ten tips to prep for and survive NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo can be a really great or extremely frustrating experience (my stats: tried 4x finished 2). Here are ten tips to help you prep for and survive NaNoWriMo this November:

Tip #1: Have a plan – it can be as simple as, “Start writing on Nov. 1,” or as detailed as a chapter outline with deadlines for finishing each chapter.

Tip #2: Start with a plot idea or an interesting character (or both) – you don’t have to know everything to start, you just need a spark.

Tip #3: If you get stuck, play, “What If?” – Ask questions like, “What’s the worst thing that could happen to my character right now?” or “What would embarrass my character?” or “What if my character witnessed something really horrible?” and “What did they witness?” (Note: for more “What If” ideas, check out two posts I wrote for NaNo last year on questions to ask your character and questions to ask when you’re stuck.)

Tip #4: Make a new plan (optional) – if your first plan doesn’t work, make a new one that works for you, even if it breaks the official NaNo rules.

Tip #5: No matter what happens, just keep writing.

Tip #6: If you revise as you go, keep two files. One with the revised version, and one for NaNo that has every word you write, because every word counts, revised or not.

Tip #7: Print out your work each day or have a daily writing file – it helps you to realize how much progress you’re making.

Tip #8: If you’re stuck, write yourself into a scene and ask your characters what should happen next. Or, bring in a character from another story to tell your characters what should happen (so you can get back to writing their book). It could help your narrative or just be fun to write while your subconscious is working on the real plot. Best of all, it counts towards your 50k goal.

Tip #9: If you need a break, take it, whether it’s for family (hello Thanksgiving), laundry (you have to do it sometime), or to save your sanity (chocolate and ice cream can help with that too).

Tip #10: Use NaNo to your benefit – if that means writing 50k of a new idea, great. If it means finishing a project or writing 50 easy reader books, that’s great too. Use NaNo in a way that’s beneficial to your writing. Nobody is going to call the NaNo Police on you if you don’t follow all the rules.

Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year? If you are: Good Luck!

Am I? Yes, sort of. I’m rewriting a book for NaNo. It’s got a new plot and a different MC, so it’s technically a new novel. I have already started, but since I’m getting ready for a portfolio review, I won’t have much done before NaNo starts. That brings me to a final tip:

Tip #11: Start when you’re ready to write. It doesn’t have to be November 1st.

Happy Writing Everyone!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

What’s your favorite mode of transportation? (Illustration Friday)

The prompt for Illustration Friday this week is transportation. If you could travel any way you wanted, what mode of transportation would you choose? I’d pick something fun, like flying by paper airplane, if it were possible.

Paper Airplane Night Flight
Paper Airplane Night Flight

Jumping out of the airplane might be fun too …

Parachute Chicken
Parachute Chicken

… as long as your parachute opens! Eep! Maybe I should stick to something closer to the ground, like skateboarding.

Skateboarding Chicken
Skateboarding Chicken

Then again, since I don’t have a skateboard anymore and I’m not a chicken, I’ll pick something I do on a regular basis.

Fun While Grocery Shopping
Fun While Grocery Shopping

But only until they invent paper airplanes that you can fly in. What kind of transportation would you choose, if you could choose anything? Have you ever had grocery cart races? (I have!)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Book Love: The Lighter Side of Life and Death / It’s Raining Cupcakes / Raised By Wolves / Paranormalcy

Today’s post is all about Book Love.* In my post for banned books week, I said, “Just Read. And when you’re done, tell someone about what you’ve read. Books are great things to share.” I’m taking my own advice and sharing four books that I read recently and loved. I hope you’ll love them too.

LighterSideLifeDeath Why I loved The Lighter Side of Life and Death by C.K. Kelly Martin: Mason’s brief romantic encounter with his best friend Kat and his relationship with an older woman were both wonderfully written, especially with the respect that he shows for both of them. The emotions, confusion and inner dialog that Mason has throughout the book make the romances feel specific to the character and yet universal. It’s not a surprise that The Lighter Side of Life and Death made Booklist’s 2010 Top 10 Romance Fiction for Youth list. The book isn’t all romance though. Mason’s relationships with his friends and new step family aren’t all smooth sailing. The secondary characters are well drawn and their interactions with Mason add depth to the story and make it all seem like they’re people you could meet in real life.

RainingCupcakes Why I loved It’s Raining Cupcakes by Lisa Schroeder: I should have been prepared for the emotion and depth in this book after having read her YA novels, but I wasn’t. I was lured by the cover into thinking it was all about cupcakes. There are cupcakes, just like the cover promises, and they all sound delicious! However, the heart of the story is really about Isabel and her relationship with her mother. It’s about finding a way to succeed even if you aren’t number one and learning to reach for your dreams. It’s always nice to be surprised by a book. Like Lisa Schroeder’s YA novels, the emotion in It’s Raining Cupcakes is spot on and the story strikes just the right balance between serious subjects and an ode to cupcakes.

RaisedByWolves Why I loved Raised By Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes: It feels like you are an insider in a world humans don’t usually get to see. You find out what it means to be a werewolf and to be Pack, yet the main character, Bryn, has the power to resist some of the dominance of the pack because she’s human. When she meets a newly turned werewolf and lets the pack into her head, the book gives the reader another level of understanding about what it means to be Pack. Another great thing about this novel is that the story doesn’t go exactly where you think it will; there are twists and turns that can’t quite be anticipated. I never thought another werewolf book could live up to Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause. I can honestly say that Raised By Wolves lives up to it … I might even like it more. The next book in the series, Trial By Fire, comes out in Summer of 2011.

Paranormalcy Why I loved Paranormalcy by Kiersten White: Evie is an orphaned teen living in a government facility filled with paranormals, a best friend that’s a mermaid, and an ex-boyfriend that’s a faerie. She’s the only one able to see through the glamours of paranormal creatures, so the government put her to work helping to capture and contain paranormals. It’s a light-hearted, girl power look at government control and the question of whether what they are doing is a good thing or not, with serious undertones and a possible romance with a hot guy. Evie longs to be a regular girl, but it’s clear that it will be a hard goal to achieve. Then again, if anyone can do it, it will probably be Evie. This is the first book in a trilogy. The second book, Supernaturally, is scheduled to be published in Fall 2011.

Read any good books lately? Spill – I love to hear about good reads!
*Book Love = books that I loved reading and why. It’s not a review. There are many blogs online that review books way better than I could. 
*Note to the FTC: I don’t get paid for Book Love or receive anything for doing this. I just like to share what I enjoy reading. If I am lucky enough to win a book or an ARC, I’ll mention it (but winning a book doesn’t mean I’ll like it or talk about it). Otherwise, I purchased the book because I wanted to read it.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

give the gift of reading: banned books week

Reading is the best way to stay grounded.

Reading is the best way to stay grounded.

I’ve been trying to think of what to post for Banned Books Week, but none of the post ideas have worked so far. I think it’s because I don’t understand why some people think they should be able to decide what everyone else should and should not read. I just don’t get that. Seriously.
Maybe it’s my parent’s fault. They raised me to think for myself and to question what’s going on in the world around me. They also encouraged me to read. They took me to the library, gave me books for my birthday, and read books to me. They didn’t forbid reading certain books. I was allowed to choose what I wanted to read, so I read every book that looked interesting.

Mom made the chicken pox disappear when she read The Wind In The Willows to my brother and me. It was was too advanced to read on my own, but perfect to hold my attention and make me forget about itching. It’s still one of my favorite books and is my favorite memory of being read to.
Dad got upset once about a book I read that gave me nightmares (it had skeletons on the cover and I liked anything that reminded me of Halloween). He wasn’t angry with me for reading the book; he was upset that it gave me nightmares. We talked about it and he helped me to understand the things that scared me.

Thanks Mom and Dad!

I looked at the list of the top 100 Banned Books from the last decade today. I haven’t read every book on the list, but I’ve loved the ones that I have read. My life and the way that I think about the world would have been different and not as rich if I hadn’t read them. This is why I don’t understand how people think that they can tell me (or other adults or children – especially children) what they can and can not read.

So I guess what I really want to say in my Banned Books Week post is this: read. Read books that look interesting. Read books that look challenging (in reading level, in the thoughts/ideas that they put forth, or in the emotional journey they take you on). Read for enjoyment. Read for information. Just Read. And when you’re done, tell someone about what you’ve read. Books are great things to share.

The gift my parents gave me is one that anyone can give. How can you give this gift? Encourage other people to read, especially children. Take them to the library, gave them books as gifts, and read books to them, especially if they aren’t able to read themselves. Don’t forbid reading certain books or frown when their choice is different than yours. People have different tastes in many things, especially books. Let them choose what they want to read. Reading is a wonderful gift, one that will be remembered and cherished with each new book that’s read.

Monday, September 13, 2010

proverb for IF and a shiny new website design

Check out the new sruble.com! My brand new website design is finally done! Yippee!!! (There is cause for cheering. I didn’t know if it would ever get done with all the glitches I had. Some duct tape and a few staples fixed it right up.)

The prompt for Illustration Friday this week was proverb. I couldn’t resist updating an old image to fit the proverb, “a rolling stone gathers no moss,” except my version is, “a rolling cat gathers no mice.” Poor kitty.

a rolling cat gathers no mice

a rolling cat gathers no mice

The other proverb that came to mind was, “what’s good for the goose, is good for the gander,” which obviously means that when one goose has an umbrella, it’s good for everyone.

spring geese

spring geese

I did this image a while back and for some reason, everyone thinks it’s a family of ducks. It’s not; they’re geese. You can tell by their pointy bills and the shape of their bodies, which admittedly are similar to ducks, but not the same, at least not the way I draw them. Besides, everyone knows that ducks don’t carry umbrellas. If you still don’t believe me, let me show you what my ducks look like. This is a duck that I drew around the same time as the geese:

duck

duck

See, nice round bill, up to no good = duck.

I can tell you’re still not convinced. Okay, then. I’ll have to bring out another duck.

birthday duck

birthday duck

Ta Da! You can tell it’s a duck, because no self respecting goose would ever wear this hat! Also because of the rounded bill. You secretly want that hat, don’t you? Me either, but I do wish the duck would invite us to the party. You know they’re going to have cake. Yum, cake!

What was the subject of this post again? Oh yeah, proverbs. Remember, a rolling cat gathers no moss, and an umbrella that’s good for the goose is good for the gander. What’s your favorite proverb?

Don’t forget, I also have a shiny new website. Hooray! I think having a finished website calls for a celebration. Who wants to join me for some cake?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Ice Cream Cows: Dessert for IF

The theme for Illustration Friday this week was dessert, so of course I thought, “Ice Cream!” Then I remembered that I did a series of images with cows and ice cream a while back for Project Cow (I drew a cow a day for a year; it was leap year, so there were 366 cows) and also for my cafepress shop. Feast your eyes on the ice cream cows!

Mint and Chocolate Cow

Mint and Chocolate Cow

The mint chocolate cow is my favorite of the series. The cow is chocolate with mint spots and the ice cream is mint with chocolate chips.

Sherbet Cows

Sherbet Cows

It seems like you can’t get just plain orange sherbet these days but everyone has rainbow sherbet. I broke out the flavors in this drawing of sherbet cows.

Neapolitan Cow

Neapolitan Cow

Funny story about the Neapolitan cow:  when I put the drawing on t-shirts in my shop, I didn’t realize that I’d made a typo. In fact, I didn’t realize it until I my mom ordered a t-shirt and I saw her wearing it. Ack! Luckily, nobody else ordered the misspelled version and it has since been corrected.

Marble Swirl

Marble Swirl

I had so much fun making the Neapolitan cow that I flipped it and added a swirl of chocolate and caramel!

Ice Cream Sandwich Cow

Ice Cream Sandwich Cow

How can you have ice cream cows without having an ice cream sandwich cow? You can’t. Therefore I made this drawing. This cow has a fraternal twin with cookies and cream instead of ice cream.

Raspberry Parfait

Raspberry Parfait

Last, but not least is the raspberry parfait cow. I have to admit that whenever I hear Prince’s song, Raspberry Beret, this is what I think of. The lyrics are changed in my head to: “She ate a raspberry parfait, the kind you’d find in an ice cram store. Raspberry parfait …” Sorry Prince!

I hope my ice cream cows made you scream for ice cream! Well not really scream, but you know, develop an insane craving for a scoop of your favorite frozen treat. Yum!