Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Waldorf Doll

My daughter was in one of the local Waldorf parent-child classes this spring.  The program focussed on a slow separation process between parent and child. Towards the end of the school year, the parents could leave the children alone with the teachers, but had to stay close. That is how I happened upon a parent craft circle that was happening weekly in another room. Everyone was making Waldorf dolls. The basic pattern for each doll was the same and the technique very specific and meticulous. There were three different skin color fabrics, and after the head and body were done, everyone chose how to make their own hair texture, color and style. The clothes and accessories were also endless and much fun to explore.Here is the doll I ended up making. The mornings went by too fast. We all had a lot of fun, and I can't wait for school to start again in the fall.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Weaving of a Dream, Marilee Heyer

For this post I decided to review one of my favorite NOT new picture books. I have quite a few. When I looked some of the books up on Amazon, I saw that many of them were out of print. How disappointing. These are fantastic books; they should NEVER go out of print. Why do books go out of print that fast? Luckily, Marilee Heyer's The Weaving of a Dream, is still available, even though only in paperback. The book is a retelling of a Chinese folk tale. The water-color and color pencil art is breath takingly beautiful. Heyer's attention to detail is unbelievable and she is a master at painting fabrics, patterns and texture. I heard Marilee Heyer speak at an SCBWI conference years ago. She has a background in fashion illustration, and has a strong interest in history, antiques, and combining Eastern and Western themes. These interests are represented in her work in the most wonderful way.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

What Makes Us Happy?

I just came across this wonderful article on a study done by Dr. George Valliant.
He has been following the lives of a group of men for decades, hoping to find out what makes a happy life.
The article is fantastic, the embedded video is endearing, eye opening, and wonderful to see.
Enjoy, and be happy.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Paper Flowers

Sorry for the hiatus. It’s been a busy two weeks. But I am back and it’s time to talk about Flower Girl. Where I grew up in Belgium, children exchange flowers for shells on the beach every summer. 
It’s been a tradition for as long as anyone can remember. The flowers are made with crepe paper, thin metal wire and plant sticks. The paper comes in all different colors and the sticks in many different lengths. The result is a colorful array of personal creations. I went back there not so long ago and there were bright little flower shops all over. My childhood beach memories washed over me like a big wave and I came up spitting bubbles and a new picture book idea. I did research, then started sketching and writing.  Here are a few images I want to share with you.   
I tried out a few different approaches. This image is watercolor and china ink. The image below is painted on newspaper covered wood.