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

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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!

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Big Doings – New Computer

That might officially be the dumbest title yet, but I’m so excited this week I don’t care! (Which is why I commented on it, go figure.)

No, I haven’t published a new story, though I’ll admit one is in the works. Can I just take a second and say: watching animal videos to see how to draw the main character in my next picture book is the best? It really is so much fun, and inspiring.

Bunny trail.


Photo Credit: Foxtongue via Compfight cc

The real reason I’m excited is the hurdle of an old computer is out of the way. That’s right I’m clacking away on not just a new keyboard, but a whole new machine. I feel so special and blessed at the same time (been saving for a while). The reason I’m calling this a hurdle, instead of an excuse, is people tend to look down on the “I can’t do such and such, until I ______”. You fill in the blank.

Seems some can’t stand that type of talk, and I understand. Really most people come up with fearful or lazy excuses (guilty), but quite frankly sometimes you can’t do something without that little blank that’s driving you crazy. That was my computer, and I can’t tell you how glad I am to have that hurdle out of the way.

Now I’ll have to figure out how to accomplish everything I’ve wanted to do when I got — Ward. That is my sister’s idea for a name for the machine, which is a step above her high class suggestion of… *ahem* Herman. Which is an “Uhh… no. Absolutely not”.

Anyhow (spell check doesn’t seem to care for the attitudinal “Any-hew”), that’s what I’m up to this week.

Have you overcome any hurdles in your life lately, or is your hurdle really an excuse in disguise?  Whisper your confession below.

(Warning: whispers on the internet are a ton louder, just so you know.)

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Unplug that – Metal Thing!

Oh, my love/hate relationship with everything social media and electrical.


Sold on Etsy by TheManicMoose

I’m frankly a learning nut and love what I can discover and do online, but so often it takes over what I’m actually supposed to be doing. Which is why I’m now trying to consider a timer my best friend. I just can’t look at it. Then I feel the moments slipping away.

It didn’t feel like that as a kid. Time stretched out in front of me, and it felt like I had endless amounts of time to play or read, with an occasional movie. It was special for me to imagine and create worlds and stories, but I find the more I look at other stories — the more I’m inspired — but for some reason I take less time to write and create what my imagination comes up with.

I think that’s why this video by Random House that I found over at Alicia Padron’s blog connected with me.

It’s not just kids that need the reminder to unplug and play. How many times do I chill out in the evening over just one Youtube video — sorry that’s not even possible. Youtube videos are worse then potato chips.

How often? Way to much.

I think I need to go back to scheduling computer time instead of doing it all the time. That way I can have more time to imagine, which is why I love being a writer anyway.

Goal… find consistent time to unplug and imagine!

How do you find time to play/dream/imagine? Do you schedule it or work it in whenever you have a chance?

See ya next week!

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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.

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DIY Sketchbook

I stepped into the waters of DIY yesterday. Usually it doesn’t work to well for me, but this time I was pleasantly surprised.

DIY Yellow SketchbookScience projects never seemed to turn out quite right, as well as the simple a-line skirt pattern I tried… I don’t know how many times. So I tend to be cautious when I try DIY projects.

But when I saw this tutorial by Sea Lemon I wanted to try it.

I recently filled my last sketchbook (yes, almost every page is chock-full, and it surprised me too). Since I needed a new one, but didn’t want to buy one right now, and I decided to use a floppy sketchbook to make me a small book-like one.

One that could hopefully fit my next picture book. I’ve been working on ideas, but writers block has been messing with me and so I hoped that having a small sketchbook that’s like it’s own picutre book could help me.

And – YAY! – this time my DIY worked. DIY Yellow Sketchbook

My version

  • 15 pages from an old sketchbook (like this one)
  • 1 colorful folder (like these, but mine came from Staples.   I cut it to size once I sewed the pieces together)
  • Embroidery floss (I used cobalt blue, and waxed it with beeswax)

For the directions check out the video, because it totally works. Plus, I think I found a favorite new channel.

My book has some rough edges, but I like it and can’t wait to cover the front and inside with sketches — and hopefully work out my next book in it.

Do you have a favorite kind of book to work (draw or write) in?

*Amazon links in this post are affiliate links, see my disclaimer for details.
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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.

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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?

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Remington (Character Backstory)

remington4webYou might be wondering about this character. Course you might not be. Could just be my imagination, but then I’m very curious and tend to assume others are as well.

Remington is definitely my all time favorite character to draw. I have to say it that way since I get on new kicks/favorites from time to time, but given enough stress or a not great drawing day and you’d probably see this guy pop up in my sketch book.

I didn’t intentionally name him after a gun company. Basically all my drawings name themselves, sounds kooky, but let’s just say a name seems to “lend itself” to each character.

But when he popped out onto the page one day, with a cheesy grin and big eyes it was an instant draw. Course my funny side insisted on turning a messed up version of Remington into his brothers — Smith and Wesson. (Or if you don’t want those names — With and Swesson.)

I come from a long family of punsters and this is what we do.

Nutsy and Trigger by Disney

Now for the record I’m not talking about guns here, just the little characters I love to create. Somehow I always picture Remington as being slightly like Nutzy from the old cartoon Robin Hood. Which is probably why he brings a big smile to my face!

The only problem I have with him is anytime I try to draw him face on he never turns out right.

Any tips on how to draw things from the front so they look good? Love to hear ‘em!

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