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Results 9,076 - 9,100 of 144,302
9076. a drawing a day

Week three. Thoughts dwell on sleep, music, the cold, and things that warm. Days become imbalanced: very fast drawings done in a hurry, very slow drawings done with lots of contemplation. One day a coffee cup filled in for the lack of paper at work. I like the changing pace. 

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9077. Ballpark Mysteries

I was looking back over my old posts and I realized it's time for some updates on the Ballpark Mysteries series by Random House.  David Kelly has done a great job on these books and they just keep getting better and better.  For more information on the series check out the blog here.
'The Astro Outlaw' - Houston, we have a problem! Before a game at the Astros' ballpark, Mike and Kate get to meet astronaut commander Nick Rice at the nearby Houston Space Center. He's planning to display a very rare moonrock at an autographing event later. But just before the event, a nefarious outlaw knocks out the commander and steals the moonrock! Can Mike and Kate figure out who did it . . . when their only clue is a broken green feather?

'The L.A. Dodger' - It's spring break and Kate and Mike are off to Los Angeles to visit Kate's dad, a scout for the Dodgers. But all is not sunny in L.A.—strange things have been happening to Kate's dad. Pages have gone missing from his clipboard. He's gotten threatening phone calls. And he thinks he's being followed! Is someone after Mr. Hopkins's top secret scouting reports?

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9078. snowless days

it isn't snowing here - but we wish it were....
An old collage piece recycled as today's header. I hope you get to play in the snow!

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RT @scarlettapress: 12 Historic Bars Every Book Lover Should Visit

Unsurprisingly, Hemmingway frequented a third of them.

from Google+ RSS http://ift.tt/KQMQSG

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9080. My Favorite Books This Week Plus What I Blogged at Word Disco

True to my New year's Resolution in this post, I've been reading 5 books a week, rating them, and researching the agents who represent. Here are some of my favs so far:

The Santa Trap - Jonathan Emmet and Poly Bernatene, really funny with a satisfying ending

Tornado Slim and The Magic Cowboy Hat - Bryan Langdo, great illustrations

Crankenstein - Samantha Berger and Dan Santat, really funny illustrations that go with snappy story

Carnivores - Aaron Reynolds and Dan Santat, this book is funniest book I've read in a while. Great story and great illustrations.

Also over on Word Disco this week I discuss what happens when a sketch for a good idea leads to an existential crisis. It's all part of the job. Read that post here.

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9081. From the Job Board


UI/UX Designer – PennyPop (SF,CA)

You can subscribe to our job listings via RSSEmail or follow at Twitter and Facebook.



Also worth viewing: 50+ Designers on Twitter: Our Favorites to Follow

Not signed up for the Grain Edit RSS Feed yet? Give it a try. Its free and yummy.



Thanks to Mister Retro: Machine Wash Deluxe for being this week's sponsor.

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9082. bright new way

Last fall my ridiculously talented friend Travis Knapp recorded an album, and I loved it so much I put my art all over it. It's one of my favourite things I've illustrated; both the music and the way the printing on toned recycled paper came out. I'd already spontaneously done a pen & ink drawing a few months earlier when I first heard his Permaculture Saints, which you might recall from this previous post. That fit nicely on the back of the booklet-style cover.

Travis had a solid vision of the cover piece incorporating a musical "natural" symbol, and a wooded pathway into the sunrise. It took me about 100 tries with a brush to come up with the line work that was just right. Then a little brown paper and watercolour landscape to fit inside. He'd scribbled the album title on one of his layout ideas, and it turned out to be the perfect font.

The inside and lyrics booklet are punctuated with spot art of plants, birds and foxes. A friendly studio headed by Pat Burke handled the design and printing. I wasn't sure how my brown paper illustrations would print on brown paper, but it turned out just lovely. 

Travis is currently on an album tour, traveling America by bike with his banjo on his back. I ran into him a few years ago at the Ithaca Zen Center where he was the resident gardener and musician. You can tell in the first moments of meeting him that he's a fellow of unusually generous heart and extra bright spirit. Though he's got an illustrious background (including winning the BMI John Lennon Songwriter's award) he joyfully does his work without need of accolades or fanfare in the sparsely populated woods of New York state. But having seen the way his music and gentle way of being affect people, I think it's important to spread it around a little more. So I'm very happy about this album and his tour, and I hope you'll have a listen and follow his adventure on his blog.

After getting very acquainted with my Epson wide-format fine art printer this week, the sepia tone ink work is coming out far better than the laser prints I've been doing for ten years. So at long last, Permaculture Saints is available as a print, and it's part of a deluxe package with the album on my Etsy store. (Yes, my Etsy store! It's back!) 

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9083. New Pencil Sketch - Captain McQuaid

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9084. amongst friends...and new beginnings!

so happy to be done my first official painting of the new year! entitled "amongst friends" this piece is so special to me. and here's one of the reasons why....

most people know that i truly do not like surprises. seriously, i really don't. must be the structured, routine oriented, OCD side of me (well actually, that's pretty much most of me...and i'm totally ok with that). anyhow....one day, a bit over a month ago, i got a *surprise* knock on my door having to do with snow removal (go figure since i LOVE snow, the irony is almost too much to take). i work out of my home...it's also my studio and i work VERY INTENSELY therefore *surprise* knocks on the door, well let's just say they don't make me happy. i had begun this beauty a week or so beforehand and already had the birch trees completely where i wanted them...nothing left to paint but the girl (whose name is Wimberly-just liked the name and i need to name everything). when the knock came, i had a VERY thinned down container of black paint in my hand (holding it at the top of a large 16x20 canvas-just resting my hand)....3 guesses what happened next (remember, i work "VERY INTENSELY"). i jumped sky high out of my chair and there went the black paint....dripping all down the already perfectly painted face of Wimberly. i was devastated. devastated. 

no matter how hard i tried to get it off....water, paper towels, my finger....NOTHING was working. painting on canvas is not quite like painting on wood. at least with wood it can be gessoed and sanded and gessoed and sanded and such. canvas is not that forgiving. and i have worked on canvas for YEARS and this type of incident never happened to me before. (well then again most people don't knock on my door unannounced). let me tell you, i cried for DAYS....it meant THAT much to me. usually i work all areas in a base coat of color and then build on those. this time i went straight for the back ground and the trees and perfected them before moving onto Wimberly (might go back to the *old* method after this one....). so, that was what made the decision to possibly start over on a new canvas a very hard decision to make, as i had already put weeks into the trees and starting to build Wimberly. 

after days of crying and losing sleep...and gessoing and sanding several times over a period of days (yes, i sanded canvas) i decided it was time wasted and THAT is not something i do well....waste time. so, i trucked outside, in my pj clad and ugg wearing little self, through lots of deep snow, over to the dumpster in the parking lot and was about to throw this out....because surely i could not have this reminder in my apartment/studio of a botched up painting, if you will (yeah, i don't do failure very well).  i just couldn't bear to look at it every day....(hence the dumpster option). it was then...at that moment....at the dumpster....

that before my big brown eyes appeared a very small little cardinal perched atop the lid. i swear that bird looked at me as if to say "hey little girl....what do you think you're doing?!" it was then i heard my late grandfather say "you're being wasteful little girl (as he often used to say when i would attempt to throw out food i didn't eat-happened often)...don't you know what could be done with this?!" funny thing is, cardinals were OUR thing together, as was snow. must have been his december birthday. we ALWAYS used to count cardinals together outside, all bundled up, in the snow. best. times. ever. it was then, i knew, i HAD to save this painting!

and, that i did. took me longer than i wanted, but i did it. another couple rounds of gessoing and sanding (and boy did my right arm/hand take a beating through this) until the entire surface was perfectly ready for the face to be painted....again. mission accomplished!

 Wimberly is kind of like me i guess,  not a quitter....no matter what the odds may be and despite all obstacles. 3 neck surgeries and here i am...still doing whatever it takes to keep the right arm painting (and drawing). and that in turn makes for the HAPPIEST NICOLE EVER! :)

so...i dedicate this painting, the first of the new year (and a bit of a new style) to my beloved grand pop, who taught me a few things in his time...mainly that life without passion is meaningless. (must have been the sculptor/artist in him).



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9085. Unplanned Compositions

Unplanned Landscape, © 2014 Lisa Firke. Gouache on paper. 9 x 4 inches.

Unplanned Landscape, © 2014 Lisa Firke. Gouache on paper. 9 x 4 inches.

I've been going through the piles of warm-ups and unplanned compositions in my studio. I often make compositions like this one, working from all sides of the page and mainly enjoying the feeling of paint on my brush. I have started to wonder if I should be paying more attention to these accidental paintings. 

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9086. The Golden tongue

I always consult the Golden Tongue before making a big decision. Another from the Dream of Eudora.
Paper app on iPad. Click to enlarge.

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9087. The only way to have a friend is to be one.



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9088. Introducing Sanrio's newest character, KIRIMI-CHAN

Ahhhh how cute is this?!?! She's a SALMON FILLET!! WHAAAAAT!!! I don't usually get excited about Sanrio characters but this one... THIS ONE. So hilarious. I love it so much I could eat it, ha!
via Sanrio.

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9089. Candlemas Bells

At the moment:

* I'm listening to Bryan Ferry's The Jazz Age. Repeatedly.

* Becoming moderately obsessed with these ginger spice cookies.

* And am working on book sketches, a Valentine's printable and avoiding contact with the polar vortex outside my door.

And you?

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9090. Dummy Books Part 1- Making the Dummy Book

Making a Dummy Book- My Process

©2014 Shawna JC Tenney

In today's post, I will share how I make a children's book dummy by sharing how I am making my current book project, Brunhilda's Backwards Day.

In the next post (coming soon), I will talk about my process of getting the dummy book into printed and digital forms and sending them out to literary agents and/or editors. 

I have had many people ask for me to share more about my process. This post series was inspired by an email from Claire, a student studying art at Plymouth College of Art. Claire was interested in finding out more about my process from getting a book from initial roughs to a publishable project.

First before I start, if you have never learned very much about writing and illustrating a picture book, I would recommend reading Writing with Pictures by Uri Shulevitz. It is a complete comprehensive guide to writing and illustrating a picture book from writing the story to the roughs, to the finished illustrations. The book is a bit out-dated, but still a great resource. 

What is a dummy book? 

A dummy book is a model of your children's book. It is the entire book laid out with pictures in sketch form with the type. It is made in the size that you want the final printed book to be. There is no real standard size for children's books, but 8 1/2 x 11 is probably the most common. Most artists like to include a couple finished illustrations in their dummy book. This book is used to show to literary agents, editors and art directors.

1. Perfect Your Story First

In the past, I have had failed dummy books because I did not take the time to perfect the craft of writing and revising a children's book. It is an important skill to learn if you are wanting to write and illustrate your own books. 

Know Picture Books:

•Know the language of picture books. Picture books have a much different type of language than children's chapter books. Read 100 picture books.

•Know the format of a picture book. Know that picture books are typically 32 pages long. Know that 500 words or less is a good average word count for picture books.

Learn the craft of writing children's books: 

•Read books about it. Two books that changed my writing were Invisible Ink by Brian McDonald and Writing Picture Books by Ann Whitford Paul

•Find online children's book writing classes or communities. 

•Join the SCBWI and go to a local writing critique group. 

Also, check out my post on the Plot Line of a Picture Book.

2. Gather Reference

This is a step that you will be doing during the whole process of making your book.

 I set up a secret pin board on Pinterest to gather all my reference. As of right now there are 393 pins in the board for my current project, and I will add more!

3. Character Design and Visual Development

As the illustrator of a picture book, you are also the visual developer. It is important to design your character and your settings before you start the sketches for your book. 

Design your Characters and Setting

Draw and redraw your characters. Find the perfect combination of shapes that fits your character's personality. 

In the process of illustrating my book, I didn't take the time to design some of my characters up front, which made for boring characters in my sketches. They were not the main characters so I didn't want to waste my time worrying about making them interesting character. I was sure things would come together in illustration sketches. I went into autopilot. 

When my husband pointed out that they looked the same as all the kid character I have drawn in the past, and that this was my opportunity to make my new characters shine, I knew he was right. I had to go back to this step and perfect the characters. 

After doing that, the sketches and the story dynamics turned out a so much more interesting. 

Here are a bunch of cat studies I did. It took drawing lots of different shape combinations to find the perfect combination for my character! 

Here is some of my final character design for both Brunhilda and her cat. 
I also took time to design their environment.

4. The Story Board

Take 1: Pacing booklet

After I have written my story and have designed my characters, the next thing I do is make a "pacing booklet." 

I take 8 sheets of blank copy paper, fold them in half and staple them down the middle (you can also use a rubber band or string). This makes a 32 page booklet. Then I take my printed story and cut up the text. Then I tape the text into the book where I think things should go pacing-wise. Then I read through the book and see if the page turns come at good times. If not, I readjust until it feels right to me.

Take 2: Rough Thumbnails

Next, I make very rough and small thumbnails. I make a story board based on the size I want to make my book. I make boxes the actual size of the book in Adobe Illustrator (mine were 11 x 9) and then scale them down to the size small enough to fit all the spreads onto a regular 8 1/2 x 11 piece of paper. I print that out and draw my first very sloppy thumbnails on this page.

Take 3: Tighter Thumbnails

Next, I print out a larger story board with larger thumbnail boxes on 11 x 17 paper using my large format Epson Artisan 1430 printer(Before I had my large format printer, I printed out my thumbnail boxes on regular-sized paper and taped them to a poster board or large piece of drawing paper.) I place the text under each spread where it will appear in the book, so I know what is happening in each scene. 

Then I draw out tighter thumbnails, leaving space for where the text will go. 

When I do this, I am really thinking about the compositions. I want to make sure there is a good variety in my compositions- close ups, far away, different angles etc. 

If a thumbnail isn't working. I draw more thumbnails on an extra piece of paper. I cut out the new thumbnail and tape it over the thumbnail that wasn't working. Sometimes I will draw and draw and draw many thumbnails for one scene until I get it right. Sometimes I will think it feels right until I start sketching it, and realize that I need to go back to the thumbnail stage.

As you can see here on my storyboard, I have taped multiple thumbnails on top of each other.

5. The Sketches

Even when I feel like my thumbnail is great, I still need to do a lot of editing when I get to the sketching phase. Don't be afraid to draw and redraw, and get critiques from your friends and then redraw again. I like to draw my sketches traditionally with a pencil and paper and then scan them in and finish them digitally. I use the lasso tool a lot to resize things and move things around. Drawing digitally is much easier now with the help of my Yiynova MSP19U tablet monitor

Here is an example of an sketch that needed lots of revisions.

Take one: Here's is my beginning sketch. It was okay, but there was a lot of issues with the perspective. I was going for sort of the wonky-look, but it wasn't working out very well.

Take two: Here I got the perspective right, but there was a lot lacking in the story. 
Also the objects around the room were somewhat the same size. 

Take three: I am finally getting to where I want to be story- wise here. The perspective is working out, and I have payed attention to the overlap, and size and rhythm of the objects in the room.

6. Gray Scale and Color Studies

After I perfect my sketches, it's important to get my gray scale and color studies right before moving on to your final illustrations, or things might get messy.

These were my first gray scale and color study attempts. As you can see, the values weren't working out too well. Things were a bit confusing.

With the help of some friends (yes, can you tell I really think it's important to have a great circle of trust), I realized that it would work a lot better to have light values in the back and darker values in the characters to make strong silhouettes and really make things really pop.

7. Final Illustrations

You can fudge some of the steps. You can skip steps. But you aren't going to do your best work for your picture book dummy if you don't give your best effort to each step. 

The sooner in the process you get things figured out the better. For example, it's better to get your story written and revised the right way before you do the final sketch and painting, because then it's a lot harder time-wise and emotionally-wise to change things after that. It's a lot easier to get the design right in the storyboard/thumbnail stage than to trying to perfect the large sketch and having to redraw the whole thing if its not working. 

The key is don't just go with your first draft or your first thumbnail. Revise and revise, ask for critiques, be humble and revise some more. Don't be afraid to rewrite and redraw.

Good luck to you in your dummy book pursuits!

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9091. Pipe Dream.

©2014 Dain Fagerholm

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9092. The waiting.

The waiting. by dibujandoarte 
The waiting. 
Still life. About 40x80 cm. Acrylic on wood.

The waiting. Detail 1 by dibujandoarte

The waiting. Detail 4 by dibujandoarte   The waiting. Detail 2 by dibujandoarte   The waiting. Detail 3 by dibujandoarte
The varnish and the lights in my studio together with a low-quality cellphone cam, 
makes it difficult to take a decent pic. Though in some way i think it enhances the real painting hehe.

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9093. Our Pale Blue Dot from the Moon!

A view from the Moon!!!click here. 

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9094. Isabel Allende to Open the 2014 Evenings with Authors

ImageThis year, we’re kicking off our Winter/Spring Evenings with Authors with Isabel Allende. Allende established herself in the literary world with her bestselling (and first) novel, The House of Spirits. Since then, she has produced nearly 20 more works, all initially written in her native language Spanish and translated into 35 different languages. With the recent release of her newest novel, Ripper, Allende takes her readers to modern day San Francisco and into the lives of the of a mother and daughter who become involved with a string of murders happening in the city. While the thriller genre is new territory for Allende, her talent in storytelling allows for a seamless transition.

Regular tickets for this event are sold out. We do have tickets available for our overflow room where we will live stream the event and you will still have the opportunity to join Isabelle Allende for a book signing after the event. To purchase overflow tickets, please call Erin at 614-464-1032 extension 11. For tickets to our other 2014 Winter/Spring Evenings with Authors, please visit our website. 

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RT NCFL: In the #DC area on 2/18? Join HollyRod Foundation's Holly Robinson Peete at the Families Learning Summit luncheon | Details: http://buff.ly/1ehieB3

from Google+ RSS http://ift.tt/M0lmuN

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9096. Kentucky State Illustration

The lettering for this state illustration was meant as a little nod to Kentucky Whiskey and the wonderful labels that the bottles often have.

Kentucky state Illustration

When the pose of a horse is frozen it can lose much of its sense of speed, and some of the leg positions can look downright awkward. I wonder if the awkwardness is partially because there is such a history of depicting the legs extended, a pose that indicates movement but is actually impossible. John Frederick Herring’s horse here looks like it’s about ready to do a belly flop. Come to think of it, the dogs are doing it too:

John Frederick Herring - Foxhunting: Encouraging Hounds - 1839

John Frederick Herring – Foxhunting: Encouraging Hounds – 1839

The illustration used on the Caldecott Medal itself is another great example of the pose.

Muybridge set the story straight with his groudbreaking stop-motion photography. When I look at these in sequence, I see the speed of the gallop, but individually speaking, which frame says “speed” the most? I would personally have to vote for frames 2 and 3.

Edward Muybridge - Photos taken between 1878 and 1887

Edward Muybridge – Photos taken between 1878 and 1887

 Frederic Remington was truly the master of horses in action, and he got the legs right to boot. Look at how much movement and action is in this painting, titled “Stampede.” You can really feel the panic.

Frederic Remington (1861-1909) - The Stampede

Frederic Remington (1861-1909) – The Stampede

Granted, in my Kentucky state illustration a panicked mood was the last thing the design team wanted, but it would be fun to try an illustration with more emotion and action next time!

Illustration References:

  1. Horse racing photo by Softeis, Copyright 2005. Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Horse-racing-5.jpg . Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License
  2. This illustration was created for Mocavo, inc, which holds all rights to the image and has generously allowed me to post for non-commercial promotional purposes only.

The post Kentucky State Illustration appeared first on .

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9097. January classes start tomorrow

A little reminder…

Screen Shot 2014-01-23 at 2.34.38 PM


Section 2 of January classes start tomorrow. Did you reserve your space?

I’ve loved hosting my classes here instead of Schoology! Schoology is great and organized, but it’s nicer to have the classes here and be able to have the hands-on personal touch that allows me to have.

Ready to have some fun? Empath School here, Fairy Online School here.

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9098. 'Feral'

Daniel Sousa's beautifully animated short, 'Feral', has been nominated for an Academy Award this year…

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9099. Nice Reviews and Sneak Peek at Gary's Worms

I'm so excited to talk about the reviews Gary's Place is getting as well as talk about the sequel to Gary's Place.

First: We have the new updates in that fixed the ending of Gary's place and we submitted it to Digital Story Time and The iMums. Two of the top review sites for children's story apps. Digital Story Time gave us 4.5 stars and The iMums gave us 5 stars! I couldn't believe it! I had to start looking at the competition on those sites and found that many of the other apps in the 4-5 star range are being produced by big publishers like Harper Collins and Disney. It felt really good to be able to start and finish this project with Rick and my son Aaron with help from Tabitha Thompson's wonderful voice acting - and to be able to complete!

Second: Since we're finally rolling I'll share our sales stats from Google Play, Amazon, and iTunes in a future post. I don't expect to sell thousands of these overnight. I don't think digital publishing works that way for the most part. I've got my eye on the long term goal of steadily building a brand. I've had a few of my peers ask me why I seem to be so hell bent on making apps? Why work on a project like this without any guarantee of success? Why not spend more time in traditional publishing markets? Why risk? Do you hate traditional publishing?

I love these questions - keep em coming! :) No I don't hate traditional publishing - I illustrated 3 books last year and loved each one of them. I look forward to illustrating more in the future. I'm having the time of my life working in a medium that is expanding my knowledge and skill sets. I'm enjoying the collaborations I'm making with Rick and my son Aaron - who's very creative and is actually a major contributor on interactive, animation, and content ideas. I count myself extremely lucky to be able to afford the time to work on these. But probably the biggest reason is that in order to succeed in anything artistic there needs to be risk. I've learned to embrace it. This doesn't mean that I don't hear nasty things from the voices. There always there but I've learned how to cage them quicker and keep them locked away longer.

Many are afraid of digital publishing. Some are wishing it away. Some are ignoring it. I would just like to point out that it took nearly 50 years for the automobile to become mainstream. The early contraptions were noisy, expensive, unreliable, and inefficient. People  made fun of the early adopters. Many were hoping they would fail so everything would go back to normal. I can't predict the future but I doubt we will move away from digitally delivered and enhanced storybooks for children. This means that I won't have to worry about my creations going out of print.

Third: My plan is to steadily and slowly build a quality brand. Each new app will advertise the previous story apps and each previous app will be updated to advertise the newest story app. They say slow and steady wins the race - we'll see. I keep hearing about artists who make an app and never make another one because they didn't sell enough to justify the effort. I think this is a mistake if they could afford to continue. Think about some of the most famous picture book brands out there - like the Olivia stories...or the Skippyjon Jones books. They weren't created in a year or two - it took a LONG time. It took risk from their publishers.

If you've bought a copy of Gary's Place I'd love to hear what you think! Also if you wouldn't mind giving us a rating in the app store - that will help - good or bad!

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9100. Great excitement today!

I don’t often buy books without first viewing them, but I couldn't resist this collection.

I'm offered books on an almost daily basis. Many are not for me, but when they are I either pay a visit or ask the seller to post them. Once I'm happy with condition I send a cheque.  If they are not up to scratch they are returned, with an appropriate amount to cover the seller's costs.  

On this occasion, the collection comprised over 250 books, and the seller lived several hours away. I could hardly ask him to post them, but on the other hand, I didn't want to ask Terry to make the six-hour round trip, to collect them. So I found a courier who could collect and deliver – and hey presto here they are.

I’ve had several conversations with the seller, so I know what's in the collection, but I have no real idea of condition – so fingers crossed!

Essential supplies to hand, a nice blank page in my stock book, and here we go - 
Thanks for calling in, I always enjoy your company. Please help yourself to a ginger biscuit!

Crossposted at The Ibooknet Blog

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