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12 December 2017

Coloring Page Tuesday - Two-fer! Santa and Happy Hanukkah!

     I never tire of drawing that jolly old elf! Ho-Ho-Ho! CLICK HERE for more Christmas-themed coloring pages!
     Oil lamps are lovely and tricky things to draw. I hope to share more. CLICK HERE for more Hanukkah-themed coloring pages!

     CLICK HERE to sign up to receive alerts when a new coloring page is posted each week and... Please check out my books! Especially... THE 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS IN GEORGIA! Click the cover to learn about this state-themed picture book! Makes a GREAT teacher gift!
     Don't live in Georgia? Check with your local bookseller - Sterling has a version for each state.
     I create my coloring pages for teachers, librarians, booksellers, and parents to enjoy for free with their children, but you can also purchase rights to an image for commercial use, please contact me. If you have questions about usage, please visit my Angel Policy page.

11 December 2017

Quantitative and Qualitative Methods...

Never did I think these words would be a part of my lexicon, but here they are. I took a week-long intensive on Research Design at the University of Glasgow last week. It meant getting up at 5:30am every day to commute from Edinburgh via bus (less than half the cost of the train). (But also meant I had a great view of the Super Moon on the bus ride home one evening.) I wasn't sure how the course would help me - I'm not a Social Scientist. But it turned out to be extremely helpful. It gave me structure for my thoughts and ideas on how to tackle them in a clear and well-defended way in my thesis. Who knew?
     I'll also be auditing Dr. Evelyn Arizpe's upcoming course on Children's Literature and Literacies Critical Enquiry. The reading list includes such awesome books as The City of the Beasts by Isabel Allende and Evil Star by Anthony Horowitz. How awesome is that? I've never enjoyed homework so much!
     All that said, I didn't play much this week. This must be remedied. Stay tuned for some holiday fun!

10 December 2017

VIDEO: Scott Fischer Inking Process

This is a great video of Scott Fischer doing the inking stage of a piece of artwork at Muddy Colors. Click the image to watch at 'Turn Down' Throwing Down Some Ink.

07 December 2017

Ruth Sanderson's FOUR FUR FEET

I'm thrilled to have my good friend, mentor, and boss at Hollins University here today. Please welcome Ruth Sanderson as she shares her newest illustrated book written by Margaret Wise Brown, for a special new project...

A UNIQUE AND REWARDING BOOK PROJECT
By Ruth Sanderson

      I was thrilled to be asked to illustrate Four Fur Feet by Margaret Wise Brown, a sweet rhyming story, to launch The Early Literacy Project at Hollins University, where I co-direct the MFA in Writing and illustrating for children. Two professors came up with the concept to create a series of books that incorporated hints to parents and caregivers when reading with a very young child. This has never been done to my knowledge. Hollins owns the copyright to many Margaret Wise Brown’s manuscripts, which were left to Hollins, her Alma Mater, so this story was chosen from the manuscripts available. Future books in the series will be written and illustrated by our MFA students, who will compete to win a significant tuition stipend equivalent to an industry book advance.
It was a challenge to figure out the look and placement of the little logo I designed of a ladybug adult reading to a child. I placed the logo along with caregiver hints on the bottom right of each page for continuity, much smaller than the story text so not to be confusing. I had to design the pages carefully as we wanted the art to be full bleed and had to leave plain areas for the text to fit. Another challenge in fitting everything and making it readable was the fact that the final board books were to be less than six inches square! I settled on 7pt type for the caretaker notes, small, but still readable.

TURN THE PAGE and THE EARLY LITERACY PROJECT
      Turn the Page is a non-profit organization in Roanoke, Virginia whose mission is “to provide every child in the Roanoke Valley with his or her own library of books during the crucial early years of life.” Turn the Page’s goal in part is to give books to every mom who delivers a baby at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital (CRMH). This fall, in partnership with Hollins, the nonprofit organization gave the hospital 5,000 free copies of Four Fur Feet! The Early Literacy Project at Hollins plans to do a study on a number of the children and families who receive these books, and whether/how the caregiver hints positively affect the children/families involved.


      The book itself is not currently available in bookstores online. I believe it will be eventually sold through the Hollins Store and at local venues in Roanoke. I am offering signed copies along with a print on my website www.ruthsanderson.com. ( The print of the fox and boats is shown here.)
Visit The Early Literacy Project Home Page to hear the book set to song!

05 December 2017

Coloring Page Tuesday - Star Mouse

     Catch a star... and take a nap, like this wee mousie. Zzzzz. CLICK HERE for more coloring pages!
     CLICK HERE to sign up to receive alerts when a new coloring page is posted each week and... Please check out my books! Especially... THE 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS IN GEORGIA! Click the cover to learn about this state-themed picture book! Makes a GREAT teacher gift!
     Don't live in Georgia? Check with your local bookseller - Sterling has a version for each state.
     I create my coloring pages for teachers, librarians, booksellers, and parents to enjoy for free with their children, but you can also purchase rights to an image for commercial use, please contact me. If you have questions about usage, please visit my Angel Policy page.

03 December 2017

Cold Ice and Warm Friends

One of my writing buddies and her hubby are in town - Janice and Tom Hardy. I've hosted Janice on my blog many times. She's the author of The Healing Wars Trilogy and some great books on writing at Fiction University. She's also been one of my first readers for some of my works-in-progress. (I'm one of her's too!) So, to have her in town to play is an absolute TREAT!
That said, I have been buried in work and studying, so I really needed a play-date. Friday, we met for lunch at Dishoon, overlooking the ice-skating-rink at St Andrew Square, then headed down George Street to see the Blue Dome...
And the ICE-SCULPTURES!!! The building is kept at a frigid -10° to keep the art safe. And I am so glad because they were GORGEOUS!!! The first sculpture you see as you walk in is the national animal of Scotland - the Unicorn. (Seriously.)
You follow a winding path that leads you past a Celtic Cross with fairies...
Wojtek the real ice bear...
Amazing deer...
A gorgeous sheep about to be a wolf's lunch (notice the ice-thistles)...
And being Scotland, of course there were the Kelpies...
Nessie!...
And Mary Queen of Scots about to have her head cut off, because nothing says Christmas like... yeah, it was a little strange...
There were photo-ops too, like Janice as an Ice Hairy Coo...
And thrones at the end that were - ahem - COLD!!! OMG!!!!
All said, the whole thing was very cool...Bwahahaha! Yeah, you can smack me for that one. Hehe.

02 December 2017

Being International at the UoG

One of the things I love about being at an international university is the various people, cultures, and countries I'm exposed to. For instance, this week the University of Glasgow hosted author Ahlam Bsharat who was in the UK to accept an award for her mid-grade Code Name: Butterfly about a young girl living in occupied Palestine. Ahlam herself is Palestinian and doesn't speak much English, so classmate Suzanne translated her Arabic for us... "Us" being about 20 students from every corner of the globe. I'm pretty sure at least 20 countries were represented in the audience alone.
     And that's what makes opportunities like these so important. It reminds us of the harsh conditions some people have to deal with, and makes them human and their situations real to us. It's hard to hate a country when you have friends there. And indeed, I now have friends all over the world. This is how PEACE grows.

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