(Free Printable) Prayer Reminder for the Christians in Iraq


When it comes to praying I can have good intentions and a bad memory.

There are so many things I can pray for, but if I don’t write myself a note (or am reminded regularly) I forget certain requests when I pray. Lately I’m trying to remember certain prayer requests on a regular basis, especially since there are so many things that need prayers today.


The Christians in Iraq are one of them, so I made myself a printable to remind me to pray for them, and thought you might like to join me.

It’s an outline of Iraq with the Nun symbol on it. The top flick of the symbol sits over Mosul where most of the problem has been occurring. I’ve found the simple reminder of pray encouraging me to do just that more often over the week.


If you want to join my in praying for our brothers and sisters in Iraq CLICK HERE to download a free printable version to tape on your walls or stick to your fridge.

So how you remember to cover prayer requests?

If you prefer having a professional print, I’ve put the print up in my Society 6 shop. I do make some money from each sale in my Society 6 shop, but the reason I made it available in both ways is so you can get a copy in the way that you prefer and will work best for YOU.

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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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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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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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Happy Fall!

Okay, I admit it. I like cold weather. Don’t look at me like that.

It never fails I tell people I like fall and winter – still like snow though shoveling mounds of it isn’t that fun – and they get all arms crossed “I’m shivering because I’m cold just thinking about it” kind of look.

Anyway. I don’t mind what weather you like, but me and my sis thought this sketch would be an appropriate “Happy Fall!”


For this sketch I used my new cyan colored InkJoy Pen. (Affiliate)

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Sketch – Lieutenant Gret

Hi, everyone! Don’t have much more time then for a brief sketch. And the picture that inspired the brave, Lieutenant Gret. With a wave of his super feather finger he moves armies to do his bidding. (you simply must read that in an impressive voice)


He’s based on this cool picture I found of an egret – hence his highly imaginative name I might add!

If you like fun, cute animal images (with no snakes or spiders EVAH) look at or follow my Animals – Cute Pinterest Board!

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5 Unknown Facts About Little Red Riding Hood

In every story about me people seem to leave some things out – important stuff.  You’d think since I’m such a well known character they wouldn’t, but there you’d be mistaken.

5 Things that weren’t in the story.

  1. 1. My name is not exactly Red. My name is Poppy. Yes, Poppy means red, but writers didn’t think Poppy Riding Hood had the same ring. I don’t think so – Poppy Riding Hood… sounds quite nice.
  2. My grandmother wasn’t sick.  She loves to say, “I’ve never been sick a day in my life!”. And scary thing is she’s right.
  3. If she wasn’t sick what happened? Come closer, that’s right get you ear against the screen. She twisted her ankle chasing a rabbit. They’d been getting into her garden and chasing one she missed one of it’s holes and wrenched her foot something awful. Grandmother isn’t one to sit still so I was sent to make sure her foot stood up.
  4. The wolf never swallowed me. That would just be disgusting. (People believed it?) But he was about to turn us into a nice dinner over the fire.
  5. This is what I really look like:



Hope you enjoyed this post. This sketch of Red Poppy Hood was done digitally on my new tablet. Still getting used to everything, but I had fun making up this post. What do you think?


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4 Illustration Tips I Learned from Cheer Up, Mouse! by Jed Henry

A librarian friend told me people ask her if they can go into the Children’s section. I want to stand up and shout “yes!” What better place to learn neat things, read thrilling tales, or enjoy great illustration?

Some treasures are hiding in the kids section of your library. Tweet it!

Like this picture book.

Copyright Houghton Mifflin Books for Children

Cheer up, Mouse! had me at the cuddly animals, honestly who can resist animals smiling? Okay, maybe you, but not me. Besides I wanted to know one thing.

Why was the mouse sad?

By the end of the book that question wasn’t so important. In my opinion the whole message of this book is what we generally do when someone’s unhappy.

“Do what makes me happy and you’ll be happy too!”

I don’t know about you but I’m guilty of that. Yes all the animals mean well, but the story gently leads you to this conclusion:

Helping a friend is not about what I want, but what they NEED. Tweet it!

Big difference. So necessary.

Copyright Houghton Mifflin Books for Children

Since I’m still new to the world of illustrating picture books I’ve been picking up several of them when I go into the library. And here are 4 things I gleaned about illustration from this book:

1. Pictures convey everything — Mr. Henry made every picture count, and to tell the truth your could remove the words and still have a great book that makes an awesome point.

2. Use every inch of your character — The animals use every ounce of their body to tell the story. How? By revealing their emotions in the slight change of the eye, the way the ears sit on the head, even the action line through the body.

3. Intelligent backgrounds — I struggle with backgrounds, but this book simplifies the backgrounds in a way that leaves the story perfectly set with just the right amount of white space. Plenty for the eye to see, but not filled to the gills

4. Small Perspective — Each drawing gave me the feel of being the size of the animals in the book, which just made it more fun to read! It drew my attention to how much the perspective plays in a book.

I’m definitely going to keep my eye out for more books by Jed Henry — have any suggestions of ones to try?

For readers — what got you to pick this book up?

For illustrators — what tip would you draw from this book?

If you want a more in depth (*spoiler warning*) review check out this one at Kirkus.


Cheer Up, Mouse! is Written and Illustrated by Jed Henry, and published by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children. The pictures are not mine, and fully belong to the publisher.
The views are my own and unsolicited.
*The Amazon link is an affiliate link.





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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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