1 Reason Bumblebee’s Make Me Smile

Bumblebee’s are so cute.

When they’re not flying next to my head that is. Then I turn into an arm waving maniac, but today I found this especially sweet one outside!


Did you know that a French entomologist (fancy name for a bug guy) named Antoine Magnan wrote this in his 1934 book Le Vol des Insectes*?:

“First prompted by what is done in aviation, I applied the laws of air resistance to insects, and I arrived, with Mr. Sainte-Laguë, at this conclusion that their flight is impossible.”

That quote is about the chubby bumblebee.

I remember hearing that they shouldn’t be able to fly, but to find that their flight is “impossible” reminds me how great God is.

It doesn’t matter what I think will work, if God wants it to it can work. We just haven’t figured out how He did it yet.

So if you’re feeling down remember you can “do all things through Christ who strengthens” you. (Philippians 4:13) It might feel impossible, but just like the bumblebee if He wants you to be able to do it — you CAN fly.

   “Aerodynamically, the bumble bee shouldn’t be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn’t know it so it goes on flying anyway.” Mary Kay Ash

*Got the translation of Magnan’s work on Wikipedia

Don't be shellfish...Email this to someonePin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on StumbleUponBuffer this pageShare on Google+

The Grudge Keeper Book Review

It was one of those days, I felt grumpy at the world. As a generally easy going person I don’t like those days. The ones where everything someone says seems to be in THAT TONE, the one that sets my teeth on edge and I feel like I have to do what’s right even though my heart isn’t in it. Let me repeat, I do not like those days.

The fact that it’s hard sometimes doesn’t wipe away my responsibility to love others and be kind.


  • What if every time you felt THAT way you could take THAT complaint to someone who would keep a record of it?
  • What if every time someone hurt you it went on file?
  • Would you feel better?

I don’t know about you, but knowing Jesus’ sacrifice has wiped my slate clean is one of the most comforting thoughts to me. Because I am by NO means perfect.

This idea is the whole premise of the book The Grudge Keeper.

I feel like I should say it in a deep announcer voice. “THE GRUDGE KEEPER, by Mara Rockliff and Eliza Wheeler.”

To me it’s the perfect visual for little kids (and big kids like me too).

People in Bonnyripple bring every offense, big or small, to the grudge keeper. A little old man who fills his house with all the complaints, and wrongs, done in the town. Got a problem? Bring it to the grudge keeper.

It’s amazing to watch the papers build up. And — I will not tell you what happens — but when everything comes to a head and people realize they need to forgive, well, there’s a very satisfactory ending. (Resist, ruining the book…)

I think it would be a perfect lead in to talking about grace and how God will wipe our slates clean and get rid of our record of wrongs when we follow him.

That’s why I’m recommending it for the perfect library find, and giving this book a rating of: Buy (do not pass go and do not collect $200 until you do).  Just kidding… I’m rating it as one that I will get one day for my bookshelves.

Is there a book you’ve used to teach a lesson to someone younger then you? I’d love to hear about it!


Hebrews 8:12 ESV “For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.”

The Amazon link is an affiliate link.


Don't be shellfish...Email this to someonePin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on StumbleUponBuffer this pageShare on Google+

Brushes, Studios, and a New Book in Progress!

Tons of things have been happening between posts lately. Course it helps that there’s so much time between them.

Last month I went to a Bible Forum and got to see several friends and make some new ones. It was a great weekend, but I have to admit nothing much got done on the book writing/illustrating end.

But now I’ve actually been working this week on my next book!


Image from DailySquee

Yup, I finally had an idea that the writing got to the final editing stage while I’ve been sketching some super cute the images for the book. It’s so nice to have everything I work on in one place. So far I have the sketches for 8 pages of the 34 page book.

Which I just realized is basically a quarter of the way there. Wow. Can I say again how pumped I am?

Plus getting my sketches working on paper I also bought some digital brushes from FRENDEN for the art suite Manga Studio 5 (which I finally decided on for a belated b-day present). I’m excited to start inking the images.

Oh, everything’s coming together.

I think these inking brushes will look so much better then what I’ve been producing so far, though my art keeps getting better.

This end of the screen is back to being busy and I’ll be writing more about what the next book will be so stay tuned.

Talk to you soon!

P.S. If you don’t want the hassle of remembering to check back be sure to sign up for my newsletter!

Don't be shellfish...Email this to someonePin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on StumbleUponBuffer this pageShare on Google+

A Tangled Key to Getting Stuff Done

I really enjoy the song from Tangled by Grace Potter. It’s catchy and upbeat, two of my favorite things in a song, but as I was singing it I realized it had a key for why I don’t get the things done that I should.

by Disney

Okay, I do get things done, I don’t want you to think I twiddle my thumbs around here, but we all have voices in our heads telling us what we should have gotten done. And our reasons for not doing said things.

So, I was wondering what is it that tends to hold me back when it hit me — wham!

Take a quick listen:

She said, I want something that I want;
Something that I tell myself I need
Something that I want
And I need everything I see.

Most of the time I don’t get things done because I’m waiting for something I’ve convinced/told myself I need. Case in point — blog posts. I’ve meant to be timely on them, but I’ve given myself the slip because my computer’s on it’s last leg. So, I’ll do better once I have a new one.

Guess what self? You won’t.

Each day it’s about learning to create better habits, the one’s we want in our lives. And I can’t do that if the piece I need to accomplish it is always just a little farther out there.

On the plus side this argument applies to pretty much every part of life. Spiritual, physical, work… you name it.

So what have you been putting off and why? Maybe you’ve convinced yourself too that what you want is really a need — if so it might be holding your back from success.

 1st Timothy 6:6 (ESV) “Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment.”

Full lyrics can be found here.

Don't be shellfish...Email this to someonePin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on StumbleUponBuffer this pageShare on Google+

My First Picture Book – Harold Hark – Release Party!

I don’t think I can describe how it feels to write this. A huge part of me is psyched, yet it feels unreal.

About a year ago a silly question popped in my head. “We have Hark the Herald Angels Sing, but what if there was an angel named Harold Hark who couldn’t sing?” Usually I get stuck in the idea phase, but this one refused to stay there and it’s the picture book that I’m releasing today!

My Mom is wonderful. On top of everything else she encourages me to reach for my dreams. So when the idea for Harold Hark popped into my brain, and out of my mouth, she loved it and reminded me from time to time that I should really turn it into a book.

I’ve always wanted to be a writer, and illustrating had seriously caught my interest last year, but even though I agreed I probably should turn it into a book I had no idea what to write.

Most of my ideas don’t come as a complete package and filling in the blanks isn’t always easy. So I put it on the back burner.

To be honest, without Mom’s prodding it might have stayed there, but her gentle encouragement came to mind when I was trying to decide what to get her for Christmas last year.

I thought it would be cool to give her the completed book as a present. I could imagine Mom’s face lighting up when she opened the box so my creativity kicked in.

And so with no story, no idea what Harold would look like, only an iPad to do my digital drawings on, and a 4 day deadline — I set to work.

 Can you say pressure?

You’re probably thinking I’m crazy right now, but where I can get something done for others on time I tend to be a procrastinator when it comes to my own ideas. Knowing I had a locked amount of time I looked for an idea and sat down to write.

I wrote the story in a few hours and spent the rest of the day sketching ideas until Harold’s face appeared on the page.

Then with the help of my sister the book was edited and we decided 16 simple images would work best. I sketched into the wee hours and for the next day and a half I turned them into digital images with my iPad. And when every image was complete I uploaded my book. The next day I found out the “deadline” was a misunderstanding on my part, but looking back I’m glad because it gave me that push to complete it.

Harold Hark was carefully wrapped and under the tree well before Christmas, and on Christmas morning it was so special to watch my Mom’s face when she opened the box and saw it sitting there. She had no idea I’d actually made it.

It was an amazing moment to hear her read it out loud for the first time.

And now Harold Hark is published! (Click to Tweet)

 Click Here to buy a copy of Harold Hark at Amazon.com.

amazon button
I’m so happy and blessed to have my first picture book out, and I hope that the story will mean as much to you as it does to me.

 “Harold can’t sing. Which would be okay except he’s an angel, and angels sing… right?

Instead of doing the best job in heaven Harold’s stuck with a little job. But then an idea strikes — why not try more important jobs? Walk with him as he tries building the golden cities and picking up a sword to join the warrior angels. It isn’t until everything seems hopeless that you’ll both learn a secret to serving God. And how a change in attitude makes all the difference.”

And those of you who buy a copy, from 10/7-10/14/13, can email me a copy of your receipt I’ll send you a small thank you PDF package! One you can print as many times as you want . (Just can’t sell them.) ;)


Please tweet, post on Facebook or your blog, and pin about this! Harold Hark’s success depends on you!

I’d like to see how many people we could tell, who knows maybe we’ll reach the #1 position in Children’s Books at Amazon (wouldn’t that be so cool?!).

 Want to have some extra fun?

Check out the Harold Hark Pinterest Board and come back Monday for links to cool projects you can do with your kids!

Have a question? Drop me a line, tweet, or comment on this post and I’ll get back to you.

*The amazon link in this post is an affiliate link.

Don't be shellfish...Email this to someonePin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on StumbleUponBuffer this pageShare on Google+

Fabric Pattern Design – Cupcake

FYI – this post is just me having fun and challenging myself (I wasn’t hired to do it or anything).

I call this pattern group cupcake. Based on the cupcake liner I drew in the Design-Seeds Cupcake challenge I gave myself.

cupcake-pattern-collage copy

I liked some of the patterns I was finding while sketching it out, so much I had to make them bigger. On top of that I’ve been watching what people in the Make Art That Sells e-course have been posting. (Like this one from Chicken Girl Designs.)

It looked like so much fun I thought I would challenge myself to make a bolt fabric portfolio piece.

My rules were the whole collection could have up to 8 colors, but only 6 colors per piece. It had to include only the color family I found in the cupcake photo, as well as the patterns I came up with from it. (I had a blast by the way.)

cupcake-pattern extras copy

Couldn’t resist sharing the extras! Which do you like best?

What do you think?

Don't be shellfish...Email this to someonePin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on StumbleUponBuffer this pageShare on Google+

6 Color Design Challenge – Cupcake

Design-Seeds is such a great place of color inspiration.

Sometimes I’m surprised by the combinations, but seeing the images has helped me with seeing color ideas/possibilities. It’s also opened up my willingness to play around.

When I saw this cupcake I thought of a neat challenge (plus a fun way to relax after creating a bunch of images). Try and recreate the item but, here’s the twist:

Only using the colors she pulled out.

Halfway through I thought it wouldn’t work, but in the end I think it turned out cute. I would have chosen darker colors personally, but it was a fun exercise!


 What do you think: brighter colors or no black lines?


Don't be shellfish...Email this to someonePin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on StumbleUponBuffer this pageShare on Google+