7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #139: Featuring Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Tess Bailey

h1 November 1st, 2009 by jules

Spirit HorseHappy November to one and all, and I hope everyone had a great Halloween yesterday.

I love the first Sundays of every month at 7-Imp, in which either a student illustrator, a newly-graduated illustrator, or someone otherwise new to illustration stops by to share some art. This week we have Tess Bailey, who recently graduated from the Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a concentration in Illustration. Tess, who I believe is in Maryland now, is sharing with us this morning some of her thesis art work, which I think is beautiful stuff. Pictured above is Spirit Horse, probably my very favorite piece. Pictured below is Hawaiian Legend (click on that image to enlarge and see more details), followed by a little bit from Tess herself about her work.

My love for art began at an early age, inspired by my Aunt Beth, an established artist in Hawaii. I love exploring color and textures. I enjoy working with just about any medium I can get my hands on. I find it difficult to stick with just one for too long. So, I experiment a lot and sometimes uncover interesting techniques that really get me fired up.

This happened for me when working on my senior thesis collection in my last semester at Ringling. I began exploring the world of watercolor and played with different ways of creating textures and interesting effects, using this medium. As I played and experimented, I thought it would be fun to integrate these effects into a digital environment. So, I began digitizing the watercolor effects I had created and collaged them into my computer illustrations. For my thesis, I chose folktales from different countries around the world and illustrated them using this technique, incorporating colors and symbols indigenous to each country. I started scanning different watercolor textures I had previously made and collaging them together to form a colorful and expressive image.

This whole process reinforced why I love illustration. The possibilities are endless. There are no limits, no boundaries, and the more you play, the more fun and interesting it is.

Indian Elephant
(Click to enlarge.)

Mouse and Crocodile
(Click to enlarge.)

(Click to enlarge.)

Isn’t her work eye-poppingly, wake-you-up wonderful for a Sunday morning? Or any time, really. She vividly reveals the colorful spirit of folktales, almost like a Stefano Vitale in training — which is a huge compliment, in my book. (I love his art.) And I don’t know about you, but I’d love to see a story wrapped around Waterbike.

Many thanks to Tess for stopping by and sharing some of her art today. Best of luck to her. I hope we’ll be seeing her illustrations soon, gracing the cover of a book — or the pages therein.

{All illustrations are © 2009 Tess Bailey and used with her permission. All rights reserved.}

* * * * * * *

As a reminder, 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks is a weekly meeting ground for taking some time to reflect on Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week, whether book-related or not, that happened to you. New folks are always welcome. Please, come kickin’…

* * * * * * *

* * * Jules’ kicks * * *

Happy November to all…Many of you probably saw Eisha’s post on Friday. I’ll miss her like hell at 7-Imp, though of course we’ll still keep in touch like crazy. I hope she’ll come kickin’ with us on Sundays, if and when her kicks strike. To Eisha, I shout one final Spartan-like, “JUGGERNAUTASTIC!” Or more like: “Jugger-naut-easy-to-say-goodbye.” (Sorry that’s an inside joke, but I can’t not type it now as she says farewell.)

My seven kicks this week:

1). Little Willow coined the word “7-Impterview” on Tuesday, and I love her for it. And I’m so totally going to steal it. With her blessing, of course.

2). Speaking of 7-Impterviews, how great are those DiTerlizzis?

3). I watched Away We Go this week. (Now, that movie was different from anything Sam Mendes has ever done before.) I liked it. I understand that some critics gave Mendes a hard time for the the-love-is-the-syrup-that-holds-us-together scene, but the acting from Chris Messina was so good that I damn near teared up.

4). I chaperoned a field trip my kindergarten-aged daughter’s class took this week to see a performance in Nashville by the travelling Mermaid Theater of Nova Scotia. It was a one-hour stage adaptation of three of Eric Carle’s titles (Little Cloud, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and The Mixed-Up Chameleon). Now, I once co-founded a children’s theatre (which is still going strong), and I’m very particular about the whole endeavor. Too many companies condescend to child audiences and mount very didactic and dry productions (we all know a similar thing happens with children’s lit), the kind of thing no adult would ever want to sit through. But, holy wow, this was a great show. Absolutely spot-on pacing for the youngest of children. So good that the wee, wee kindergarteners were ooh’ing and aah’ing so much that it was hard to hear sometimes. But—and here’s the next best thing—they opened the show with an announcement that said they “are not a shush-y theatre.” Lucky kids.

Even their mission statement gets me geeked-out happy: “Mermaid Theatre’s emphasis on imaginative design elements, original music, and challenging texts provides a rich opportunity to acquaint young spectators with the visual and performing arts as well as with the pleasures of reading.” (Nerdy emphases are mine.)

You can see some photos from the show here (as well as this one above). Beautiful puppets with black lights on a dark stage — with colors that perfectly matched Carle’s style. Evidently, he consulted on the show. It was good, good stuff.

5). I’m still enjoying the delicious coffee that one Mrs. BlueTeaBerrry sent me from one of her recent adventures. Also, Adrienne has good stationery, which has delighted both me and my mailbox this week. She even ordered the notecards of an illustrator I’ve featured here before, which makes me happy for many reasons.

6). I read an advance copy of Laura Amy Schlitz’s The Night Fairy this week to my girls, and it was the first children’s novel that my youngest has sat through, listened to, and requested. She even wants to read it again. I hope to post about it soon-ish. (Illustrated novel! Illustrated novel!)

7). This week, for Halloween, my kindergartener got to wear her princess costume-of-choice to school one day. That morning, she put on her dress and I braided her hair. She thinks the latter is staggeringly cool. Braids even make her walk more slowly, as if they’ll disappear if she doesn’t walk with the utmost grace and care. After braiding, I watched her stand in front of the bathroom mirror and smile at her get-up. Now, I’m here to tell you that I nearly cried. I try so hard not to get all kids-say-the-darnedest-things on you guys every Sunday, so my apologies and bear with me: I just watched her stare and smile in wonder and stare and stare some more. She knew how beautiful she was. With just a pretend-fancy dress and one loose braid. It was like time stopped for a moment, and I realized that I may not have too many years of this, that before I know it she may start judging herself more harshly, given the culture we live in. Of course, I’ll fight it tooth and nail, and—if I’m lucky—she won’t do that. For now, I’m going to appreciate the inherent kick-itude of her seeing beauty in just about everyone and everything.

Did I mention I’ll miss Eisha at 7-Imp? Maybe every now and then she can pop in and we can talk like Spartans. Just for fun.

What are YOUR kicks this week?

40 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #139: Featuring Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Tess Bailey”

  1. “For now, I’m going to appreciate the inherent kick-itude of her seeing beauty in just about everyone and everything.”
    –Jules, to me, kick-itude means you are having fun and enjoying your daughter’s growing up. Every minute of it (or nearly –the father of girls 12 and 15 is speaking!)
    My kids were trick-or-treating last night with their own cohorts in different neighborhoods, stopping in occasionally for hydration and to rest their feet (and to compare booty with their buddies. I mention this mundane fact because a little earlier in the evening I got goosebumps and a lump in my throat when a large gang of princesses, a few goblins and a frog came trooping by… It was those princesses! Not very long ago, I was shepherding princesses around on Halloween night.
    A final little observation: Halloween is a holiday that is so obviously imaginative and creative on so many levels. And it dovetails so perfectly with great children’s literature (and a lot of other so-so stuff…but that’s culture). In some ways, it goes right to heart of what the work of children and their parents is all about: love, vulnerability, stretching wings, and like for Max the wisdom of simple comforts.

  2. I liked Rob’s comment above. Thanks, Rob.
    1) My 8yo daughter had a ball trick-or-treating last night even though she had a rash all over her face (which would have made me stay in my room all night).
    2) Watching the visual representation of Beethoven’s 7th on Kristin Cashore’s site and then exploring more visual music and sharing it.
    3) Making snack o’lanterns (and having them turn out!) http://familyfun.go.com/recipes/snack-o-lantern-784940/
    4) Getting through being both sick and on my own (with my hub out of town) during the week.
    5) Learning how to cut some simple pop-ups!
    6) This http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=33399177 and also Fungus Among Us
    7) My son made a wonderful teacher very happy by nominating her as his favorite teacher (in a contest).

    Also, loved the info about the Mermaid Theater!

  3. Happy Sunday!

    Thanks for sharing Tess’s art. Love those gorgeous colors, and I did perk up at the mention of Hawai’i. Yes I did :)!

    The Mermaid Theatre sounds wonderful. I see the princess with the braid worked her magic on you! The Night Fairy looks so good. Can’t wait to read it.

    Ditto on the praise for Rob’s comment. And Tabatha — those snack-o-lanterns look yummy!


    Though rainy, Halloween was nice because we met some new neighbors (who had invited us over to a party). They had an awesome haunted basement set up. Lots of work went into it; my favorite was the severed head on a platter — it even made grumbling/grunting sounds. Also, there was a father and son (about two years old), dressed as matching Brawny lumberjacks with red/black plaid shirts and facial hair.

    I got a new washer and dryer last week. (Our old washer was making loud clanging sounds like it was going to explode.) The new one is quiet, efficient, and has the best manners.

    Tony and Angela’s impterview. Love their generosity and joie de vivre.

    Gonna make an apple pie today. Love the smell of something cinnamon-y baking.

    Reading some fun restaurant books: Pish Posh, Julia’s Kitchen, Madame Pamplemousse’s Incredible Edibles, et. al.

    Fuzzy the Fox eating french fries.

    The theme song of “Three and a Half Men.”

    Happy November and Happy Week!

  4. Rob, isn’t it true, as cliche as it sounds, that time flies? Thanks for that. That made me happy to read. And I think “the wisdom of simple comforts” should be an assumed kick every week. (I’ve had people say before that they feel their kicks aren’t very exciting, but I mean it when I say my favorite ones are the simple ones, like, you know, “hot chocolate.”)

    Tabatha, I found Fungus Among Us. Pretty great. That Cupcake Column is pretty wonderful, too. And those snack o’lanterns? Those clever, clever treats always intimidate me, as if I couldn’t possibly pull them off, but that actually looks relatively easy…. Glad you are feeling better!

    Jama, that party sounds fun, and please eat a piece of apple pie for me. Are you making that with the yummy apples you took pics of from that pumpkin farm? And, yes, I thought of you when I saw Tess’ Hawaiian Legend.

  5. Hey, ya’ll. Here I am, checking things out from the other side. Since I haven’t posted kicks in a ridiculously long time, I’m going to include them from the past TWO weeks. Last week had a few that simply must be shared.

    1* Well, first, though, how great is that art? I LOVE the woman’s hair in the horse illustration.

    2* The Lincoln exhibition debuted on the 20th, with scarcely a hitch. Of course, we were running around like crazy for the last few hours, framing prints and vacuuming statues to get everything done in time for the reception. But it all came together, and it looks pretty good if I do say so myself.

    3* On the 21st, I went to this poetry/fiction/music reading.

    4* On the 24th, Brian and I celebrated our 10th (!?!?) wedding anniversary at Taverna Banfi, a restaurant that’s staffed by students at Cornell’s Hotel Administration school. The food was delicious, and the waitstaff was extremely attentive (adorably so). For dessert, Brian had this Rustic Olive Oil Cake, which was like a sweet cornmeal muffin studded with rosemary and pine nuts, and with an orange glaze. It was bizarrely good.

    5* I did some soul-searching and priority-reevaluating, and (with excellent advisory help from my BFF Jules) I decided to walk away from some of my more overwhelming commitments. Including, of course, 7-Imp. It’s bittersweet, but I’m more convinced than ever that it was the right thing to do.

    6* With all this new free time on my hands, I’ve been catching up with neglected friends. I went out for beers with two of them over the past week.

    7* My boss loaned me the first season of Deadwood after she found out I’d never seen it. Oh. My. God. Where has this show been all my life? It’s amazing.

    BONUS KICK: It’s Sunday morning, and I have nothing important to do and nowhere important to go. I’m drinking coffee with Bailey’s!

  6. Welcome, Tess! Cool colours and textures. My favorite piece featured here would be that of the mouse and crocodile.

    ((hugs to eisha))

    Jules: Yes, go for it! That performance sounds fantastic. Hurrah for the company for performing for the kids, not talking down to them. Hi to the princesses, for they are both royally adorable.

    Hello Rob!

    Feel better, Tabatha, and your munchkin.

    Jama: Happy cleaning! Woo hoo!

    My kicks for the past week:
    1) Libba Bray’s live chat with readergirlz
    2) Talking about books
    3) Legacy giveaway
    4) Getting over things
    5) Victorian dress
    6) Research
    7) Knee-highs

  7. I just love the spirit horse. I hope we get to see these great illustrations in folktale books one day (or any book for that matter)
    Jules, your daughter was so lucky to be able to bring her costume to school. It is so sad that so much of a case has been made agaiznst Hallowe’en. I regaled tales of being able to dress up to my students on Firday. They were sad that we could not do that.
    Rob, appreciated what you said about Hallowe’en and the creativity factor. Tabath, hoope you feel better. Jama, I can smell that pie…yum! And Esiha, I am sooo glad you checked in. I hope you will a lot. Will miss you!
    My kicks:
    1. Hallowe’en with the grandgirls. First stop an outlet mall in which “Tinkerbell” (an unknown child) said to “Cinderella (grandgirl) “Hi Cinderella” and GG replied, “Hi Tinkerbell”.
    2. Then we caught up with the other grand girls and just watching the interaction of the Princess Spider and Cinderella, (the cousins) hysterical! Baby gG was a chicken and just so sweet!
    3. Grandma Spider’s costume didn’t quite come together but next year….
    4. Not much of a football fanatic but am happy that both our Oregon teams did well yesterday.
    5. Dinner on Friday with the wonderful Bridget Zinn. Her birthday is tomorrow and she is doing wuite well. Tumors are shrinking and she is off one of the nasty chemo drugs. She still has others to take every two weeks.
    6. Seeing other Portland Kidlitters on Friday as well.
    7. Getting ready to sell photos cards and possibly some pendants at a local bazaar.
    Have a great week.

  8. Oh, Jules, you have to tell us stories like that about your kids. And I always love when I make your kicks. 🙂

    Jama, I replaced a loud old dryer and a barely-functioning dishwasher this year and am kind of embarrassed about how pleased I am with how wonderful and efficient the new ones are. I mean, they shouldn’t be that important, but I use them ALL THE TIME. It’s a relief to have them functioning properly.

    Also, somehow, I’ve RUN OUT OF CINNAMON. I must go to the store IMMEDIATELY. Cinnamon is fall, you know?

    Little Willow, Is Victorian dress a particular Victorian dress or Victorian dress in general?

    My kicks are all wrapped up in Halloween–costumes, pumpkins, friends, watching scary movies (Paranormal Activity, anyone?). I am all tuckered out from all the crazy fun I had yesterday, in particular.

  9. Watercolor… collage.

    Oh, I LOVE this. I think the Waterbike is my fave. Simply because I love the massive floor-to-ceiling sea life exhibits at the aquarium, and I’d love to walk/swim around in them. But a bike? With propellers? Even better.

    I adore November, and I’m so happy it’s finally here. I’m a little alarmed about Adrienne’s obvious lack of preparedness for the season. No Cinnamon!? Everyone needs to at least see to their nutmeg; it’s time for pumpkin lattes after all.

  10. It’s always a kick to come here on a Sunday. And maybe especially when Jama has an apple pie in the oven.

    Jules, please don’t strain to keep proud or amused mama moments to yourself. I love to hear them.
    It’s great to see Tess Bailey’s lovely artwork, hear news on the Lincoln exhibit and a Laura Amy Schlitz novel to look forward to, and Tanita’s cheer for November. Hey, I’ve got cinnamon, I can get into this month, too. My husband just read the new Charles Dicken’s biography (Michael Slater) and moved it to my side of the table, which is pretty crowded. It will be a while before I crack it, but we’re doing A Christmas Carol on dvd marathon, where I can keep up and knit, too. So far my fave is George C. Scott, though my husband favors Patrick Stewart and Mr. Magoo. You can’t go too wrong, though we’re leery of the upcoming version, which from previews, seen at our Wild Thing viewing, looked heavy on spectacle. Too many zooming ghosts.

    It’s the season to wear orange in the woods, though hunters are supposed to stay home on Sundays. I need those yellow leaves, milkweed fluff, red winter berries,the smell of damp brown leaves. And I stick clippers in my vest pocket, thinking ahead to wreaths

  11. It’s hard to feel kicky after the big announcement this week, but I do wish Eisha all the best. I’ll say it again, she’ll be missed.

    Here are my kicks.
    1. LOVE the mouse and the crocodile. Wow!
    2. Gauntlet thrown down (again) by one Liz Garton Scanlon and picked up by nearly every Poetry Princess. (We’re still waiting on one who’s swamped by work and grad school.)
    3. I wrote two, count ’em, TWO villanelles last night.
    4. Debuting Pat Lewis’ new poetic form this week.
    5. Homemade apple cake. Delicious!
    6. Not only did I get to hear M.T. Anderson speak last week, I had lunch with him the very next day. He’s got a serious geek-cool vibe and is so darn nice it’s ridiculous.
    7. William’s bird Halloween costume got finished on time and was a big hit. You can see it here.

    And if I’m allowed an 8th, it’s the anticipation of meeting Jane Yolen tomorrow.

    Have a great week all!

  12. Hey, there’s Eisha’s name at the foot of a 7-Kicks list — cool!

    What made Tess Bailey’s works here really jump out at me was — oddly — not what they depict (which is depicted just right, not exactly btw). No, I was blown away by the backgrounds. Like in that opening Spirit Horse. On first glance, I noticed it was kinda like, Whoa, looks like she crumpled up the paper, dipped it in water color, and after a moment opened it up to let it dry. Which would be pretty cool.

    But then I looked closer. Was that a frog stretched out in the orange towards the bottom? Then I realized, Hey look — the left and right halves are mirror images! (By this point I was spaced out with noticing and realization.) But THEN I looked up at the top half. Go ahead, look yourself. See? Somewhere between the bottom and top, the orange background switches from mirror image to… uh… I don’t know the term: the right and left sides are exact copies, not one side the reverse of the other.

    How’d she do that? (I know, I know. A computer was involved. But the computer didn’t do it on its own!)

    And Jules, the Water Bike book just HAS to be happening. (In that one, I do like the foreground even more than background. Put a kid on a training-wheeled bike, replace the training wheels with mini-propellers, and just watch him shoot off the end of the boat dock, pedaling — and laughing — madly.)

    Great comment, Rob.

    Jules, I know YOU don’t need to see this — you saw the show, after all! — but for anyone else: if you follow the link which Jules provided to the photos from the Mermaid Theatre show, you get to see some VIDEOS too. About which: awesome.

    One of the local kid’s costumes was a big hit at our house and I’ll claim it as kick #1, although only The Missus and The Stepson saw it (and dang, no pictures). It was a toddler — Missus gestured about thigh-high — and he was dressed like a Chippendale’s dancer. No shirt (don’t panic, this is Florida, temp last night in the high 70s/low 80s). Colorful suspenders and little hot pants. And — the genius touch — dollar bills stuck in all around the top of the shorts. His young dad stood in the background, laughing to himself.

    (I know: possibly budding psychological problem there, and he may grow up to hate his parents. But I can also see many happy future pathways for a little guy like that, at least just as likely.)

    2. Just caught this amazing video yesterday: Bobby McFerrin demonstrates the universality of the pentatonic scale. Sheer genius.

    3. Ibuprofen, and anyone ever who had a hand in inventing/discovering, testing, marketing, and/or producing it. Oh man, do I love you people right now.

    4. The end of Daylight Savings time. (I know I’m in the minority, but I love it when the sun is winding up its workday just when everyone else is winding up theirs.)

    5. That DiTerlizzi impterview (thanks, LW!) the other day was AMAZING.

    6. Garage sale over. Successful. House with breathing room. Aaaah. (But cf. Kick #3.)

    7. Eisha.

  13. Hey, Jules–and Eisha, too.

    Congrats on being named a Top Ten blog at SLJ. That’s an awesome kick for you!

  14. I love the Water Bike picture, Jules. And I love “7-Impterview”. It’s one of those things you hear, and you think “why wasn’t that always a term.” Joining you in missing Eisha, but I’m glad that she’s finding the right things to do for her. Here are my kicks:

    1. I’m enjoying having a little bit of leftover Halloween candy. I also learned that Kit Kats are very popular.
    2. In honor of Halloween, I watched my all-time favorite movie yesterday (Escape to Witch Mountain).
    3. Now I’m watching Casper, also in honor of Halloween (though one day late).
    4. I had a nice lunch with a friend last week, at one of my favorite restaurants (Blue Mango in San Jose).
    5. I’m reading the sequel to Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie, which I LOVED.
    6. I had a crazily productive week at work last week.
    7. I love the photos in Betsy’s article about KidLit blogs for SLJ.

    Happy Sunday, all!

  15. Eisha, how’d I do on my own? I know you weren’t here for the past couple of weeks, but how did I do officially on my own? I’m sorry, your kicks are always exponentially more exciting, so I hope folks stick with me.

    Congrats again on getting that Lincoln exhibit up. Rustic Olive Oil Cake sounds like it must be in my life, too.

    Oh, and Deadwood is the queueueueueueueueueueue.

    Little Willow, does #5 refer to a Halloween costume perhaps?

    Jone, I’m glad to hear an update on Bridget. I had been wondering. Good luck with #7!

    Adrienne, I’m wondering if I’d even be able to HANDLE Paranormal Activity, but seeing as I how my husband and I can’t even get out the door sans kids to see WWTA, I’ll probably be seeing that on DVD.

    A Cinnamon Emergency is no good.

    Tanita, happy November!

    Jeannine, the final paragraph of your kicks is a work of art in and of itself. I also am wary of the new movie adaptation of A Christmas Carol. Isn’t that one supposed to be 3D, too? Oh WHY must everything be zoomy and 3D?

    TRICIA! I had to sit here for a while, all speechless and type-less, after reading your kicks. Lunch with M.T. Anderson? And you get to meet Jane tomorrow? Holy wow. Have so much fun. I’m also very happy to hear the Poetry Princesses are at it again.

    John, I’ll say it again: I just love your mad art appreciation skillz. Seriously, you missed a calling in Art History. Or whatever. …I’m very glad you pointed out those videos of the Mermaid Theater’s show, ’cause you hear the GREAT narrator. I was happy that he read with such a great pace. And they adapted it in such a manner that they read the books verbatim.

    Oh my stars, the Chippendale’s costume sounds absolutely hysterical. And how much do I love kick #7? I’m also jealous of your garage sale. So much decluttering we must do in the Danielson household. Glad ibuprofen was there for you.

    Re the video: YouTube is temporarily down. Boo. But thanks for the linkage. Will explore later.

    Susan, thanks. That’s nice to see.

  16. Jen, I also love the babes in that SLJ article. I hear ya on the Kit-Kats. I’ve eaten my own body weight in candy this weekend. And. must. put. a. stop….to. it.

    A nice lunch with a good friend can make a week, huh? I’m gonna have that today myself — coffee at least. Woot!

  17. p.s. John, if you’re still reading, The Proposition is coming up soon in our queueueueueue, too!

  18. Tanita and Jules, I STILL haven’t gotten the cinnamon. I feel like someone should take away my cook status, although, seriously, the grocery store is so scary on Sundays with all those people and their big old carts.

  19. Oh, I just love you and you make me laugh. You do know how funny you are, Adrienne? Right?

    Big old carts scare me, too. And those ones shaped like cars for kids? They are UNMANAGEABLE. They just make you a nuisance to everyone.

    But a dearth of cinnamon? Dude. You might have to brave it.

  20. Adrienne,
    You need some Penzey’s, my dear. All my favorite spices are mail order (though we do have a retail store in Richmond now). If you get to NYC, they have a shop in the Grand Central Terminal.
    You’ll never have to brave Wegmans for spices again!

  21. Jules, that story about your daughter is lovely. I hope she thinks of herself as beautiful for many years to come!

    Those snack-o-lanterns are ridiculously cute, Tabatha. And they look yummy too.

    Eisha, I loved Deadwood too. Even if it leaves me with an unfortunate tendency to call people a name I won’t repeat on this family blog.

    All the Halloween kicks feel very seasonally appropriate! So many holidays (like Easter) make more sense when one is in the Northern Hemisphere.

    My (very long) list:

    1. When we went to drop off our order form for a freerange Christmas goose (OK that is a kick in itself…I have never eaten goose but have read so many British books with a Christmas goose) we discovered the farm was having an open day. Highlight was half a dozen Gloucester Old Spot piglets having a good time laying on top of each other’s heads.
    2. And talking about British food, I tried treacle tart for the first time the other day. It was a bit sweet for me but I still enjoyed getting to try it.
    3. I also picked up some bargain veggies from a stall at the farm
    4. I have a beautiful bunch of flowers on the table.
    5. We popped into Bletchley Park (the place the codebreakers were based during WWII) yesterday, too late in the day to have a good look around but the ticket lasts for a year so we can return. Very interesting to read about codebreaking even if I know that I completely lack talent in that arena.
    6. I was invited to an old fashioned club in the centre of London for work. It was very difficult not to laugh with delight at how much it was like being in a novel, including when my male colleague was gently chastised for taking his suit jacket off in the dining room and when my request for coffee instead of dessert was met with a “coffee is served in the lounge AFTER lunch” OF COURSE.

  22. Emma, speaking of names not to be repeated, doesn’t “treacle tart” sound like a spiffy new slam?

    Gloucester Old Spot piglets = The New Thing I Learned From You This Week.

    He was really chastised? Oh how funny! And rules about when to drink coffee would make me laugh, too. That sounds like a blast. Wish I could have seen you there.

  23. Jules, I try.

    And I just won’t go down aisles where they have those car carts. There are invariably fights and unpleasantness.

    Tricia, You are not the first person to tell me to try Penzeys, and I’ve noticed that Cooks Illustrated gives their spices good marks in their tests (and you know how particular THEY are). Maybe it’s time for me to break down and give it a try.

  24. Adrienne, Penzy’s indeed! We have a store locally and actually close to my house. Love it!

  25. jules, you did just beautifully, of course, like you always do. and your kicks are AWESOME. did i mention how much i LOVE the piper story? she is one beautiful girl, inside and out.

    adrienne, i know! wegmans on a sunday is pure hell. much safer to wait until tomorrow.

    emmaco, yes, Deadwood is a fabulous inspiration for cursing. and just language in general: in the 2nd or 3rd episode, when someone mentioned a hotel guest “might have checked out short a useful amount of blood,” b. and i had to pause it and laugh for a good five minutes.

    JES, thank you for that fabulous bobby mcferrin video. that’s pretty dang amazing.

    tricia! jealous! you got to eat with tobin! isn’t he awesome?

    jen, those SLJ photos were fabulous. i’d like to spend a few hours hanging with those ladies. especially with cosmos!

    also, i love all the halloween costumes and stories here. i sat on our stoop and gave out candy last night, and it was a blast. didn’t see anything to top the little chippendale, though.

  26. Lovely artwork. I’d like to get me one of those waterbikes!

    I was away for a couple of days in New Hampshire–so I just read about Eisha. She will surely be missed.

    Jules, I love reading the “growing up” tales of your beautiful daughters. My baby is nearly thirty. We still have grand times together. In fact, we keep getting closer the older she gets.


    I went up to New Hampshire for the Keene State College Children’s Literature Festival. Dr. David White had arranged for another fabulous line-up of children’s authors and illustrators: Lita Judge, Jane Yolen, Lois Lowry, Katherine Paterson, and this year’s Caldecott Gold Medal Winner Beth Krommes. It was a fantastic festival–once again!

    P. S. I was invited by NCTE to serve on a special committee for three years. I accepted. I don’t want to say anything more until an official announcement is made.

  27. Elaine, CONGRATS on the NCTE invitation! That is excellent news! A well-deserved honor for you, and very smart of them to ask you. The festival sounds great.

    You guys keep talking about Deadwood and making me want it to show up faster in my queueueueueueueue.

  28. Some great illustrations here, enjoyed the info.

  29. Here I am, a day late and many dollars short. My kicks in brief:

    1. I’m giving myself a much-needed kick in the pants by posting an original short-story (or part of a short-story) every day for the month of November. I hope to be a better writer by the end of the month.

    2. The Halloween Fairy brought lovely treats for the nature table. I’ve updated my Halloween Fairy post with a photo.

    3. Friday night, someone bought my full stitched and needle-felted Nativity set. I was so surprised. I figured it would sit in the shop as an example of my work.

    4. We’ve had some sun.

    5. I’m amused by how much my husband is enthralled by Project Runway. I realized once again that my fashion tastes belong to a different time-period: I appreciate Edwardian era dresses and 1920s cloche hats.

    6. My daughter thinks the phrase she made up, “Twenty-four imaginary eighth notes”, is hilarious.

    7. Butternut squash oven fries.

  30. Farida! I’m still impressed you’re going to write a story a day. Awesome. I can’t wait to read ’em. I liked your first one very much.

    I’m not surprised someone snatched up your nativity set. And #7 sure sounds delicious. I’ll be over for dinner.

  31. Thanks once again for all the beautiful art and ideas! So glad you and 7 Imp… aren’t going away, Jules!

  32. Jone: Please give Bridget my best. I hope she is having a wonderful birthday. 🙂 The Tinker Bell-Cinderella exchange is precious! Thnaks for sharing.

    Adrienne and Jules: It’s a dress of mine that I love and wear which has a Victorian look to it. Think Samantha from American Girls. I wore it to work on Friday, as it was warmer than other costumes I could have worn.

    Tanita and JES: How are you feeling?

    Jeannine: Have fun with your ACC marathon! Enjoy your fall crafts and finds.

    Tricia: Way to rock the double writing o’ the villanelles in one night! I cheer on the Poetry Princesses. How was the Jane Yolen event?

    Jen: I will always associate you with Escape to Witch Mountain! I loved DG&DPie.

    emmaco: Whenever I hear “treacle” – which isn’t nearly often enough – I smile and think of the treacle that’s spoken of during the tea party in Wonderland. Thank you for the pig pile imagery! I hope they are free and happy, and not for food. Smile at the flowers.

    Elaine: CONGRATULATIONS! That is a super kick! I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you.

    Farida: “24 imaginary eighth notes” is a spiffy phrase. Write it down, sing it out, make it something!

  33. I thought that after the kids were a little older, I wouldn’t be interrupted so much, but that is obviously a myth (as I am not even sure that I’ll be able to finish this adequately and I’ve tried once before). I am terribly impressed by Farida’s short story goals! Thank you for the Penzey’s tip. Congrats to Elaine. I’m sorry I forgot to say before how much I like the colors of Mouse and Crocodile — wonderfully vivid. My time is up!

  34. Tabatha, boy, do I know how that goes. I can’t finish a thought most days!

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