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1. Itamonte




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2. 31 Days of Halloween: Diamond’s Comicfest and Boom! Studos Halloween Frightfest

stk650211 31 Days of Halloween: Diamonds Comicfest and Boom! Studos Halloween Frightfest

Comics biggest distributor Diamond has slowly been working to make Halloween a huge promotional day for comics shops, with special comics, contests and more. Let’s face it, it doesn’t take too much to get in the Halloween mood, and the promotion has been a big success. You can see a list of special Halloween comcis on the Halloween Comicfest website, such as this one spotlighting Boom! Studios spooky anthology with seasonal stories from Adventure Time, Fraggle Rock and more. This particular story features writing by Bryce Carlson and art by Frazer IRving in a VERY DIFFERENT Adventure Time story.

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3. Dear Author, Whose Book I Read and May Have Negatively Reviewed, Your Anger Will Not Silence Me.

By now, the flurry of comments on the Guardian essay of last week have turned into their own weather system. I won't link to or add to the storm, but should you want to sort of track the round-up, Leila has stood in the eye of the hurricane, Beth... Read the rest of this post

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4. Gasp Part 2

Last Wednesday I came home to a package from Random House.  I hoped against hope that it would contain a copy of FIREFIGHT by Brandon Sanderson, a book I desperately wanted.  And it did!  I was so excited and kind of shocked.  I don't really have a contact at Random House but had emailed a few people hoping against hope that it would get to someone who could help me (or not).
Finally, I connected with Rachel who forwarded the email to someone who was able to help me and Viola!  I got myself a shiny new copy.

I am still buying a few copies for my library but I can't even have this copy here at school because there are a few readers who would happily pry it out of my hands--and I am not done yet!

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5. Amelia Calavera - Day of the Dead Sugar Skull




Dia de los Muertos (“Day of the Dead”) is a holiday celebration which is held from October 31 to November 2, not only observed throughout Mexico but also in other cultures around the world, including most Latin American countries. This popular tradition is all about the boundaries between life and death, and how people honour and celebrate their deceased loved ones as a way to reconnect with them.

Amelia Calavera was inspired by this colorful celebration and by the beautiful botanic imagery from early 1900’s. © Sandra Vargas

Prints, Clothing, Throw Pillows and more, available here.

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6. shark & unicorn: spooky



Here's my Shark & Unicorn comic strip that ran last weekend in The Funday Times section of The Sunday Times. The film theme for the issue was The Book of Life, but I was asked not to use the word 'ghost' or 'haunted'. (Thus the 'spookies'; I had to be a bit creative.)



Actually, The Book of Life looks interesting, I'll include the trailer:

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7. werewolf

Halloween is a coming! #inktober day 21

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8. What Make This Book So Great

In the long ago time of February when I came down sick with a really bad cold that caused me to miss several days of work, Bookman brought me home some “chicken soup.” No, not fake vegan “chicken” soup. It was a book. And not one of those “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books. If Bookman had been silly enough to do that I think I probably would have barfed on him. A chicken soup book doesn’t have to be a specific book, just a book to help a person feel better. The book Bookman brought me was What Makes this Book So Great by Jo Walton. I didn’t finish it when I was sick and have only picked away at it from time to time since then. But when I caught a mild cold two weeks ago I picked it up again and managed to finish it just as I got better. Was finishing the book and my return to health a coincidence? Don’t be too quick to discredit chicken soup!

What Makes this Book so Great is a collection of essays that originally appeared at Tor and I think you can still read them there. The essays in the book are generally short, about three pages or so, perfect for cold weary brains. Walton takes a light and breezy tone, she only talks about books she likes, and it is like listening to a friend who is really excited about this book she just read and wants to tell you all about it and why you might want to read it too. Fun stuff!

There are also a few essays not about books but about book related things like wondering whether people skimmed while reading, mulling over why some people have a hard time with fantasy and science fiction, or outlining the difference between literary criticism and simply talking about books.

But most of the book is about books, specifically fantasy and science fiction books. As someone who has been reading SFF since she was a pre-teen, I’ve read my share, but there is so much I haven’t read and so much I haven’t even heard about before. Even my husband who is also a reader of SFF was stumped on occasion when I’d ask him, have you ever read … ? Which means this is a really good book for discovering “new” books. I have a tidy little list because of it.

You don’t have to be a fan of fantasy or science fiction to read this book but it helps. However, if you’re new to the genre and looking for some ideas about books to read, this would definitely be a good book to browse through.

Now that my chicken soup book is finished, I hope that means I will manage to avoid getting sick again for a long time.


Filed under: Books, Essays, Nonfiction, Reviews Tagged: Jo Walton

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9. Shorter is Sweeter

When you write picture books, you need to pare the text to the bare minimum. 

http://picturebookbuilders.com/2014/09/shorter-really-is-sweeter/

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10. Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2014 Time-lapse

I’m pleased to announce that our wildebeest time-lapse video has been commended in the new time-lapse category of the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.

I have edited a new version of this footage, which you can view below:

The scenes shown in this footage are among the most awe-inspiring I have ever witnessed! We found that time-lapse was the only medium that allowed us to convey the magnitude of the migration. This footage was shot over five days in Northern Serengeti, Tanzania. It shows the migrating wildebeest crossing the Mara River while moving south into Tanzania from Kenya.

The Serengeti Ecosystem supports 1.5 million wildebeest. These wildebeest are forced to migrate around a 40,000 square kilometre area in order to find fresh grazing pastures. The migration is full of danger and hardship for these resilient creatures. Thirst, hunger, exhaustion, predation and the Mara River are just some of the challenges they must face.

Wildebeest pour down the banks before leaping into the Mara River.

You can read more about this project in my free ebook: My Top Ten Wildlife Experiences.

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11. if you want to know what Philadelphia school teachers do, meet Elaine Roseman, English Teacher

I am one of many writers who answered the call to spend some time getting to know a Philadelphia school teacher, so as to share that light and living.

The storytelling initiative—"WE Are Keeping the Contract"is not a form of vitriol. It is not a negative campaign. It is an honoring of people who get up each morning and, under increasingly difficult conditions, listen to and for young people.

I met Elaine Roseman by phone. She told me her remarkable stories. I wrote about some of them here. I invite you to scroll through the poetry and prose already written, and to return in days to come for more.

These teachers, I think you'll agree, matter.

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12. WD Poetic Form Challenge: Gogyohka

You knew it was coming: another poetic form challenge. And, as you may have guessed, we’ll focus on the concise (but liberated) gogyohka this time around. Click here to read the guidelines on writing the gogyohka.

Since it’s such a short form, I’m expecting a lot of submissions. Plus, I’m hoping I can fit in a runner-up or two this time around. So start writing them and sharing here on the blog (this specific post) for a chance to be published in Writer’s Digest magazine–as part of the Poetic Asides column. (Note: You have to log in to the site to post comments/poems; creating an account is free.)

Here’s how the challenge works:

  • Challenge is free. No entry fee.
  • The winner (and sometimes a runner-up or two) will be featured in a future edition of Writer’s Digest magazine as part of the Poetic Asides column.
  • Deadline 11:59 p.m. (Atlanta, GA time) on November 3, 2014.
  • Poets can enter as many gogyohkas as they wish. The more “work” you make for me the better, but remember: I’m judging on quality, not quantity.
  • All poems should be previously unpublished. If you have a specific question about your specific situation, just send me an e-mail at robert.brewer@fwmedia.com. Or just write a new gogyohka.
  • I will only consider gogyohkas shared in the comments below. It gets too confusing for me to check other posts, go to other blogs, etc.
  • Speaking of posting, if this is your first time, your comment may not appear immediately. However, it should appear within a day (or 3–if shared on the weekend). So just hang tight, and it should appear eventually. If not, send me an e-mail at the address above.
  • Please include your name as you would like it to appear in print. If you don’t, I’ll be forced to use your user/screen name, which might be something like HaikuPrincess007 or MrLineBreaker. WD has a healthy circulation, so make it easy for me to get your byline correct.
  • Finally–and most importantly–be sure to have fun!

******

Win $1,000 for Your Poetry!

Writer’s Digest is offering a contest strictly for poets with a top prize of $1,000, publication in Writer’s Digest magazine, and a copy of the 2015 Poet’s Market. There are cash prizes for Second ($250) and Third ($100) Prizes, as well as prizes for the Top 25.

The deadline is October 31. Enter as often as you’d like; win as much as you can.

Important note: This is separate from the gogyohka challenge. The Writer’s Digest Poetry Awards is open to all forms, styles, subjects, etc. So enter your haiku, free verse, and so on.

Click here to learn more.

*****

roberttwitterimageRobert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of the poetry collection, Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53).

He edits Poet’s Market, Writer’s Market, and Guide to Self-Publishing, in addition to writing a free weekly WritersMarket.com newsletter and poetry column for Writer’s Digest magazine.

He loves learning new poetic forms, sharing them with the Poetic Asides poets, and then with the world (through Writer’s Digest magazine).

Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.

*****

Find more poetic treats here:

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13. From Above

I often glance up at the clouds
From miles and miles below
And marvel at the shapes and wonder
Where they seem to go.

From gossamer to cotton ball,
They shift and drift on high
To pique our interest in
The giant canvas of the sky.

Yet looking down upon them
From the window of a plane,
They hardly seem to move at all,
But in their spots remain.

Suspended wisps or mountain groups
They float, so blinding white
And surely everyone should gawk
With absolute delight.

Still, jaded passengers refrain
From even one quick glance 
But oh, I love to watch the clouds
When I'm allowed the chance.

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14.

Feck! Feck! Feck! Feck!

It's vampires you MUST NOT invite into your home NOT policemen!!!!!

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15.

Sandyland is NOT #Hawaii but Snap by Carol Snow is a must read. http://buff.ly/1rmteZI #YAlit CHILDREN'S BOOK REVIEWS - SNAP by Carol Snow

from Google+ RSS http://ift.tt/1yhoMLU

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16. Meet Gourdon!

Come in and meet Gourdon, our friendly pumpkin mummy!   He doesn’t say much, but he’s reminding us that Halloween is just around the corner…..



Posted by Sue Ann

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17. Oscars 2015: Best Animated Short Film Contenders

Cartoon Brew looks at some of the likely contenders in the Oscar race for this year's best animated short film.

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18. Ruff Life - Ground Breaking Comedic Spy Novels launched It's A Ruff Life, 2nd edition, Diamond in the Ruff, Ruff in Hollywood, It's A Ruff Life Dognapped! Ruff Resort

Things are really getting exciting around here.  We don't know if you're aware but... get this - we have launched our first 5 ground breaking comedic spy novels for ages 9-11. It's A Ruff Life, 2nd edition, Diamond in the Ruff, Ruff in Hollywood, It's A Ruff Life Dognapped! and Ruff Resort

The books are fast, furious, exciting, 'bellasome, bellatastic' and filled with pizazz, not to mention high class canine fashion.

Don't forget our Facebook like button at the top of this page

Click on the Amazon links at the side of this page and take a sneaky peek at what we've been up to.

Don't forget you can still enter the Goodreads competition.  The link is below and you have just 3 DAYS left to enter.




Goodreads Book Giveaway

It's a Ruff Life by B.R. Tracey

It's a Ruff Life

by B.R. Tracey

Giveaway ends October 25, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

When you've done all that visit our website Ruff Life Online

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19. Lift-the-Flap Questions and Answers about Your Body

“When can I grow a beard?”
“Where do doctors go when they’re ill?”
“How do cuts get better?”
“Why do I look pale when I’m ill?”

7277410-MLift-the-Flap Questions and Answers about Your Body by Katie Daynes, illustrated by Marie-Eve Tremblay answers all these questions and many more in a brilliantly framed and formatted book for the 3-7 year old crowd all about the human body.

Rather than going through topic by topic like many body books do (covering, for example, your brain, your senses, your digestive system), this book is themed around the type of questions kids of this age are so good at asking: Why does x happen? How does y work?

Thus we have spreads asking and answering questions around when things happen to human bodies, how parts of human bodies work, and why bodies behave like they do. This framing of the information about bodies is a effective device; the book sounds like a child asking the question, making the questions and answers seem doubly relevant and interesting to young readers and listeners. It also allows for a rather eclectic approach to the issues covered and for the young age group this book is aimed at I think this is so clever; it creates the space for some more difficult or whimsical questions, such as “Where do my ideas come from?” and also allows dipping in and out of the book with great ease.

where

The colourful cartoony illustrations are fun and feature children asking lots of questions and doing different activities. It’s interesting to note that no child with any disability is included in the book; I do wonder if this was a conscious editorial decision. The robust physical properties of the book (with pages more like card than paper) are ideal for young children; it’s easy to handle and will certainly cope with repeated reading and enthusiastic lifting of the flaps.

I love the very last page of Lift-the-Flap Questions and Answers about Your Body, for it turns the tables on the reader/listener and after asking a few questions which your child should be able to answer having read the book, it states “Now here are some questions this book can’t answer. See if you can…”

usbornebodybook

This gave us the idea to create Mini Me Booklets – a mini book kids can fill in about themselves using these questions as prompts. I’ve created a printable template which you can download from here. Once you’ve printed off the sheet, you’ll need to fold it and cut it to create the booklet. This video will show you how:

As well as some pens and pencils you might give your kids some photos of themselves to cut up and stick into the booklets (my kids adore seeing photos of themselves when they were younger); if you do this I suggest that the photos are sized so that the area to be cut out is no more than 65mm high (to ensure it will fit in the booklet).

minibook1

minibook2

minibook4

minibook5

I was particularly heartened by what M wrote in one section of her Mini Me Booklet:

minibook3

Whilst making our Mini Me Booklets we listened to:

  • Pee keeps our insides clean by Marc “Doc” Dauer (from a whole album about how the body functions). It’s a much catchier song than the title would suggest, and you can listen for free here on the album’s Myspace page.
  • The Bloodmobile by They Might be Giants
  • Dry Bones sung by the Delta Rhythm Boys
  • Other activities which would work well alongside reading Lift-the-Flap Questions and Answers about Your Body include:

  • Creating your own lift the flap book with all the questions your own kids come up with whilst reading this book. Here’s a simple template you could adapt.
  • Learning what blood is made up of by creating a sensory tub to play with. I love this idea from I Can Teach My Child.
  • Making a role play hospital at home with teddies and dolls. Here’s a couple of ways we’ve done it in the past, including an operating theatre and home made x-rays.
  • What’s the funniest or most surprising question about bodies you’ve ever been asked by your kids?

    Disclosure: I received a free review copy of Lift-the-Flap Questions and Answers about Your Body from the Royal Society.

    royalsocietyprizebuttonEach year the Royal Society awards a prize to the best book that communicates science to young people with the aim of inspiring young people to read about science. Lift-the-Flap Questions and Answers about Your Body is on this year’s shortlist for the The Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize. The winner will be announced 17th November.

    0 Comments on Lift-the-Flap Questions and Answers about Your Body as of 10/21/2014 8:28:00 PM
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    20. A Brief (Not Really) Administrative Note

    I've added this to my review policy, but also wanted to include a post here as well.  I've been getting a ton of requests lately for promo posts, book blitzes, cover reveals, and the like.  To be frank, I'm just not interested in those sorts of posts.  I don't like to read them on other people's blogs and I'm not going to have them on my blog.  I post only reviews of books that I've read in their entirety.  So if I don't finish a book or never get a chance to read it, you won't see it reviewed here.  You also won't see any purely promotional posts.  So please, do not keep emailing me requests to reveal your cover or feature your trailer.  I'm sure it's all amazing, but that's just not where my site is headed.

    A lot is going on in the book blogging community that may affect the way I accept review requests in the future, but for now, I'm still open to all review requests from traditionally-published authors, publishers, publicists, and media types.  I'm not currently accepting any requests from self-published authors and I don't typically accept e-book submissions.

    I try to respond briefly to all review requests, even if I choose not to accept the book for review, because I appreciate the time and effort put into sending these out and the hopes the author has for the book.  That said, and you can find this a bazillion other places, but for your convenience:

    Do Not:

    • Address to the email "Dear blogger", "Dear site manager", or "Dear {insert name of some other blogger you are mass emailing}.  My personal favorite comes from a publicist who regularly addresses emails "Dear Dexter" (Dexter being my dog).  I don't mind that one too much because they send me fabulous books, but it's just an example of how very off some emails are.
    • Forget to BCC the other names of bloggers you are mass emailing, ensuring that I see you have put no time or thought into who you're sending to
    • Send the entire book as an attachment
    • Forget to include pertinent information about the book, like its title (yes, that happened in an email yesterday), the author's name, and a brief summary of the book
    Do:
    • Address the email to me by name or mention the name of my blog.  Bonus points (and a guaranteed reply and thoughtful consideration) are awarded to those who mention what they like about my blog and why they think it's a good for fit for this book in particular.  It doesn't have to be an essay, but if you say "I saw you reviewed X and enjoyed it, my book is similar", I'm much more likely to sit up and notice.
    • Include all of the information relevant to your book without sending me the entire text or its equivalent.  At the very least, include a title and author name with a link to the Amazon or Goodreads page.  I also like to see cover photos and publication information, but I can find those myself if you include a link.
    • Feel free to talk books to me, or to include something more personal.  I recently had an interaction with an author who pitched a book that, due to a family loss similar to the plot of the book, I wasn't ready to review yet.  She replied to tell me that my family and I are in her thoughts and it meant the world to me.  Her book is now on my TBR list, despite the fact that I couldn't read it at the time, because she showed that she thought of me as a person and not just a publicity machine.
    And that's the crux of it.  With all the turmoil going on in the blogging world,  I guess I just feel the need to reiterate, as many bloggers are, that I'm not a publicity machine.  If I agree to review your book, I'm not signing a contract.  My main goal is to tell other readers about books I read and whether or not I think they will enjoy those books.  I love giving amazing authors publicity, but that's not why I blog.  Please keep that in mind as you send me requests and I'll keep my reviews honest and focused on the books themselves and not on the authors.

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    21. KidLit Book Review - Rude Dude's Book of Food by Tim J. Myers



    Written by: Tim J. Myers
    Illustrated by: Jess Smart Smiley

    • Grade Level: 6 - 8
    • Paperback: 144 pages
    • Publisher: Familius (September 5, 2014)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 1939629217
    • ISBN-13: 978-1939629210

    • Tim Myers engaging and humorous storytelling technique makes you feel like you are sitting in the audience at a one-man comedian show. Whoever thought food history could be so chuckling out loud fun?

      With world history, healthy eating and get moving tips, and food history sprinkled throughout with “penciled” illustrations, Myers storytelling is an adventure not to be missed. The added appeal to Myers, Rude Dude is the classroom friendly lesson ideas designed around the common core standards.

      I honestly did not know what to expect from Myers food book and was happily surprised of his one of a kind approach to such a broad topic. Applause, applause…all around.  Add Tim Myers unique book to your book collection today and you will find yourself devouring it as if it’s your favorite meal. I’m off to cook something yummy, now that the author has awakened the grumbling in my stomach!

      About the author: Tim J. Myers is a writer, songwriter, storyteller, and senior lecturer at Santa Clara University.  His children’s books--12 out and three on the way--have won recognition from the New York Times, NPR, and the Smithsonian.  He’s published over 130 poems, won a first prize in a poetry contest judged by John Updike, has two books of adult poetry out, and won a major prize in science fiction.  He won the West Coast Songwriters Saratoga Chapter Song of the Year and the 2012 SCBWI Magazine Merit Award for Fiction.  


      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Best wishes,
    Donna M. McDine
    Multi Award-winning Children's Author

    Ignite curiosity in your child through reading!

    Connect with
    A Sandy Grave ~ January 2014 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ 2014 Purple Dragonfly 1st Place Picture Books 6+, Story Monster Approved, Beach Book Festival Honorable Mention 2014, Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

    Powder Monkey ~ May 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Story Monster Approved and Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

    Hockey Agony ~ January 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Story Monster Approved and Reader's Farvorite Five Star Review

    The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.
    ~ Literary Classics Silver Award and Seal of Approval, Readers Favorite 2012 International Book Awards Honorable Mention and Dan Poynter's Global e-Book Awards Finalist

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    22. Survival reality TV shows

    There's an excellent background article in the new TV Guide (Oct. 27-Nov. 9) about all those reality survival shows on TV now.  The only one I watch is Survivorman with Les Stroud, which is the most realistic one, I see, though the article doesn't mention the Bigfoot episodes...  Interesting info on Cody Lundin of Dual Survival--and the episode that dissed him after he left.  You may have guessed that the producers of some of these shows want to create more drama by faking it, making people naked, and putting them at risk...  And you may learn a little about survival by reading this article.

    Note: I bought Cody Lundin's book, When All Hell Breaks Loose: Stuff You Need To Survive When Disaster Strikes, when doing research for Strike Three, my post-apocalyptic novel. 

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    23. 50 States Against Bullying: VIRGINIA

    My tenth stop on the 50 States Against Bullying campaign was Centreville High School in Virginia. When I approached the school, I saw this sign over the entrance.


    The Great Gatsby! Since I was driving to my next stop instead of flying, my schedule was up to me, and I was all set to extend my stay in this town to see this play. Turns out, this is their homecoming theme. Which is a great theme! But I was kind of looking forward to an evening at a high school play.

    Inside the library, more #ReasonsWhyYouMatter notecards were on display with uplifting proclamations of what makes students at this school unique.


    My presentation took place after school, so there were community members and students from other schools in attendance, which I always love.


    As I was driving to my next stop, I passed so many museums. I love museums! So next time I'm in the area, I need to fit in some Tourist Time.

    Unfortunately, the traffic to my next stop was crazy, and my tummy was rumbling because I hadn't eaten since breakfast. Fortunately, I was sent to my next hotel with a nice helping of homemade pot roast from the Centreville librarian! Unfortunately, my didn't have a microwave. Fortunately, this stuff tastes great at room temperature!


    High school librarians rock.

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    24. Sparrow Photo - brand identity, logo, watermark. For an...





    Sparrow Photo - brand identity, logo, watermark. For an exceedingly good time, peruse her work at: sparrowphoto





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    25. Plate-itudes

     

    Plate painting is fun. And by fun, I mean I am now gripped with a desire to paint ALL THE PLATES.

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