Sunday, June 14, 2015

If you're in Seattle July 11, I hope you come to our Star of Hope fundraiser party! This is the school and orphanage in Kenya that inspired my book, Kay Kay's Alphabet Safari. The party is a BLAST and all profits go to the kids. Check out the details here.

I beat the deadline for final art for Digger and Daisy Star in a Play! By one day, but who's counting? I love this series by Judy Young, and not just because it employs me. I do sort of ignore Vicki and Bennie when I'm in the final stretch.

Vicki was off coffee for a bit. I don't remember why. Something about her health and well-being, but I'm sketchy on the details. She seems fine now and we've put the tea back out in the garage.

My friend and famous author/illustrator Kevan Atteberry snuck this onto our cabinet door among my other stickies when I wasn't looking. I just discovered it this morning! Thanks Kev!

Just some random stickies
How do you find YOUR car in a big parking lot? Honking the horn doesn't work so well when there's a wedding motorcade going by.

Our frogs are singing to Vicki! Stupid frogs.tom

My friend Sue plays upright bass in the all-women big band, The Mood Swings. They couldn't find a drummer for their Valentine's Day gig on Whidbey Island. I played. I won't tell you who won this argument.

Vicki took some classes recently. It's been awhile since she was in the student seat, so I helped her out with an origami Yoda. Thanks to Tom Angelberger for the inspiration!

My sweetie's had a little physical therapy. Her doc thinks she's just too flexible. She got some sympathy from Elastigirl and some help from Bennie.

Remember how quiet and well behaved Bennie used to be? 
We don't either.

This social media thing really confuses me. It's not like people haven't tried to help, but they usually give up. Even Facebook wrote to me today asking if Bennie could take over my account.
Heidi and Amanda, thanks anyway! 

He said he was only a genius, not a magician.

Did I mention the Star of Hope Dance? Did I mention that if you can't come, you can still donate to the kids? I did? Shoot. Well, you can still click here.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Time to Catch Up!

Kay Kay launched in August! Hmm, I guess it really HAS been awhile since my last post. Kay Kay's Alphabet Safari launch at Secret Garden Books was a VERY fun party. Thanks to Secret Garden and all of my friends who came out to cheer Kay Kay on and support bookstores. You can see a video of the launch here. Meanwhile, Kay Kay's been on a bit of a roll, winning the 2014 Creative Child Preferred Choice Award AND getting a nice review from Kirkus ("The loosely energetic, cartoon illustrations are lively with capricious details ... Kids will enjoy the silliness, and there’s lots of potential for the classroom.") Hey, did I mention that 10% of my profits from Kay Kay go to the Star of Hope Centre in Kenya? And that Secret Garden Books donated 10% of my sales on launch night to Star of Hope? And that we're right in the middle of our annual holiday fund raiser? Check out the real story behind this story!

Let's hear it for Victober! Many of you know that Vicki gets a whole month to celebrate her birthday. Can you believe she's 64? Me neither! All the animals in her life turned out to sing.

And then in November... Vicki's right eye, over the course of three days, went BLIND! That's just not funny, but I still made fun of her with some stickies. Thankfully, massive doses of the steroid Prednisone have been clearing up her sight pretty darned well. She sees about 95% normal out of that eye and is still taking her meds. Some kind of post-viral neuropathy of the optic nerve (which means "gerbils chewed up your eye bones") is the culprit.
we got to know our health provider very well

I learned what was funny to her and what wasn't

I still think this is funny

I think it was sister Linda who said this. Vicki couldn't drive for awhile.

She hasn't gone all 'roid rage on me, but she kicks butt on the hills

You know what helps with the Prednisone jitters? Medical marijuana, that's what. Helps you sleep through the night, too. Vicki can hook you up.
Rats! After weeks (months?) of denial, I had to admit that we had more rats in the basement and that we needed to seal up the hole in the back wall. Turns out Vicki has a real Pioneer Spirit and wields a mean cement trowel! And Bennie has a hidden talent as well.

the rats got cocky, which, of course, was their downfall.

Little Bennie has a talent for killing rats! Well, at least one. Digger and Daisy were amazed.

Word to the wise. Don't ask

Happy Thanksgiving! We went to Bill and Marsha's, who are vegetarian. Everything was delicious, including the kale salad! And I found that you can eat yourself sick without turkey. So that's settled. We're Thankful for more than I can list here, but Bill and Marsha are on our list.

Christmas wishes. Bennie might be deadly to rats, but squirrels are still just a dream.

Sign up for Intro to Graphic Novels! I'm teaching a 6-week Monday night at Bellevue College, starting January 5! This is your chance to rock that Manga! Or reveal your inner Captain Underpants. Get the details here. Hope to see you.
Actually, the working title is "Smell Her Butt, Advice from My Dead Dog"

Make your own picture book! I'm teaching another Picture Book class at Kirkland Arts Center, Tuesday nights, starting January 20. Some of my past students will be joining me again, so I'm being forced to up my game. The goal will still be to complete a picture book dummy, but we'll also be exploring different media and writing. So come on and sign up here!

Happy Holidays from Star of Ho Ho Hope! Did I mention we're in the middle of our annual fundraiser? Please help us reach our goal! A little or a lot, every dollar goes a LONG way and is a big, big help. Star of Hope board member Marsha Donaldson visited the kids in November and took LOTs of pictures, which you can see here. Our push this holiday is to provide more desks for the class rooms and new outfits for the kids. You can see more and DONATE here! Thanks and a very Satisfying Solstice, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Cool Kwanza, Festivus and Happy Holidays and New Year to all!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Kay Kay's Alphabet Safari Launch August 8!

I'm pretty darned excited about Kay Kay's Alphabet Safari, the book inspired by the Star of Hope School and Orphanage in Kenya. Hard to believe that our then-19 year old son, Kyle's, trip to Kenya ten years ago would lead to our being so involved in Star of Hope and a book! The launch is Friday, August 8, 7 p.m. at Secret Garden Books in Seattle and I want EVERYBODY to come! Those Secret Garden sweeties will be donating a portion of my book sales from that evening to Star of Hope, so come buy a lot of books! (Ten percent of my profits from the book will go to Star of Hope, even if you can't come to the launch) If you want to see some great dance moves from Bungoma, Kenya, take a look at the video I made for our recent fundraiser dance here. And then come to the launch, prepared to dance!
The full cover (front and back) of Kay Kay's Alphabet Safari
the REAL Kay Kay paints Bungoma county on a wall

The kids love to watch Kay Kay work

Kay Kay paints the USA - showing the kids where we live

Kay Kay holds an early version of the cover of his book