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24526. Draw Something

Hello...do you recognize me? I am the #1 pbjunkie slacker coming to post. Hope you all have been well. I have been working on some fun assignments and still multi tasking with my favorite game, Words With Friends.

But have you all heard of the new rage in gaming?

"Draw Something" can be played on your Androids, Iphones, Ipads etc and is a mix of the game board Pictionary and the word jumble from your newspaper.
You play with a friend or a random opponent, taking turns drawing clues to words and solving them.

(drawing provided as an example- from app store)

On your turn you choose from 3 levels of difficulty and then draw the word with your finger or stylus. You press "send" and your opponent watches a video of your brush strokes and must guess the word using your drawing. Also provided is a jumble of 12 letters which includes the letters of the word. After your opponent has solved (or passed) it is your turn to watch their video and solve the puzzle.

It's a very simple and easy to learn game--- so I've heard.

I haven't started playing yet but my fingers are itching to try. I have stuck with wwf telling myself that if I'm drawing, I should be "working". But the flip side -what a fun way to exercise your drawing muscles without the restrictions of a deadline. A warm up if you will.
Yeah, I like that justification better. ;0)

2 Comments on Draw Something, last added: 3/22/2012
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24527. Draw Something

A friend recently told me about this totally amazing, fun app called Draw Something by OMGPOP. It's like Pictionary but you're playing against one friend at a time, on your phone. Once I started, I instantly got hooked! Now, I can't stop playing. Well, I guess I can long enough to tell you about it.
Below are some screenshots I took of some of my game drawings.


Rihanna (and her umbrella -ella -ella)


2 Comments on Draw Something, last added: 3/20/2012Display CommentsAdd a Comment
24528. Highlighting an Honor

For the past couple days, I had been receiving delivery attempt notices from UPS, for a package from Highlights which required my signature.  I couldn't imagine what it could be since most packages from Highlights are delivered via regular snail mail. When I finally received it, it was clear that it wasn't tear sheets, nor was it my birthday. Much to my complete surprise and delight, it was a pewter plate inscribed with my name, and the words "Puzzle Poem of the Year." Of the year. That's pretty significant. In addition, there was a letter from the editor conveying her appreciation on behalf of Highlights High Five. I was so elated it took me a few minutes to figure out which piece deserved such an honor. Thank you, Highlights! It's truly an honor and a privilege.

1 Comments on Highlighting an Honor, last added: 3/24/2012
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24529. Painting

5 Comments on Painting, last added: 3/23/2012
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24530. Press

Library Journal just posted 30 Graphic Novels for Earth Day 2012 and The Flying Beaver Brothers made the cut. Check out all of their picks here!

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24531. Bologna Book Fair – Pictures from Monday, Day 1

It’s after midnight so here are some pictures from morning and evening Day 1 – I’ll add the captions anon – in the meantime, do you know who’s who?

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24532. SCBWI Booth at the 2012 Bologna Children’s Book Fair

The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators’ Booth at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair is quite the happening place. Here are some photos of authors and illustrators we have met over the past 2 days!








PaperTigers’ Corinne Robson with Ken Quek, SCBWI Singapore and Festival Manager of the 2012 Asian Festival of Children’s Content (AFCC) to be held this coming May in Singapore.








PaperTigers’ Majorie Coughlan with author Dave Seow, SCBWI Singapore








The SCBWI Australian contingent: Serena Geddes, Lesley VamosDeb Abela, and Chris Cheng.













Chris Cheng and his book Sounds Spooky.











SCBWI New Zealand display, SCBWI Australia display

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24533. School Revisited

One of the coolest things about being an illustrator for children is getting to go talk to children about what I do. Recently while getting ready to visit a class I climbed out of the shower and rambled through my closet for something other than my usual uniform of pajamas to wear. Hanger after hanger of grownup clothes were paged through and then it dawned on me.

O.M.G. I don't have to wear a business suit... I can actually wear jeans and they won't care!

In fact as it turned out for the class below I COULD wear my pajamas. The teacher had informed me earlier in the week that the day I was scheduled to be there was "pajama day" for the kids so I decided I might as well blend in.

Winnie the Pooh t-shirt and hawaiian print pants it was.

We talked for an hour about where I do a lot of sketching (the bathtub) and whether or not illustrators like to be silly (they do.) In the end I let the kids be my art director and they helped me design a monster for a new book I'm working on. Here's the sketch with the input from my 22 art directors penciled in at the top:

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24534. Umbrella


1 Comments on Umbrella, last added: 3/20/2012
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24535. Conference Book Fair Opportunity

This year the book fair we hold on Saturday June 9th at the conference, provides a new opportunity. Newbery Award winning author Kate DiCamillo will be signing books on June 10th, along with her Agent/Author Holly McGhee. Their books will be on sale on Saturday and Sunday, but having Kate sign on Sunday allows everyone more time with the other authors selling books on Saturday.

Some of those authors happen to be editors and agents. I have listed the books they will be signing at the bookfair, below. If you have a favorite book that you would like to have signed, please let me know and I will give the title to the bookstore and if you want to pre-pay, we will hold it for you.

See bottom of post for tips on how to make the most of your bookfair time.

Newbery Winning Author Kate DiCamillo

Our own Ame Dyckman’s debut picture book, illustrated by the famous Dan Yaccarino.

Two Great Books Written and Illustrated by Dan Yaccarino.

Three Wonderful Books by Author/Agent Holly McGhee

Publishing Editor Margery Cuyler – Check back for other titles – Still working on list.

Two Well Reviewed New Books by Editor/Author Daniel Nayeri.<

2 Comments on Conference Book Fair Opportunity, last added: 3/21/2012
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24536. Studio Tipi

Beautifully stylish and folksy illustrations from Studio Tipi. They are from my home town of  Edmonton, Alberta, Canada :)



1 Comments on Studio Tipi, last added: 3/21/2012
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24537. Happy Spring Equinox!

 Just a peek at the sparkly corsages and boutonnieres -

- for reception #3 this weekend....

1 Comments on Happy Spring Equinox!, last added: 3/21/2012
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24539. Wondercon 2012

Wondercon 2012 was held in the Anaheim convention center on the weekend of March 16-18. As I set up my artist alley table on Friday morning, I found myself among many amazing artists, writers and crafters. As in previous shows I was offering a selection of jewelry pieces and prints of various sizes. Interestingly enough, many of my abstract art jewelry sold more than the characters pieces.

The highlight of the show was on Sunday around 5pm when my Boyfriend Shawn sold my original piece “Heartfelt” a bunny holding a heart while I was away from my table.

I will definitely do Wondercon again!




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24540. March Newsletter is out and about

Join our newsletter list. For March, Early Bird Specials on classes, fun affirmations, a great comment shared from the blog and a little extra. Go here to sign up.

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24541. LL7 Virtual Book talk on Tuesday, March 27th!

The time is almost here for the Mutant Mathletes! In just under a week, the latest Lunch Lady comic will be made available to the world! When Hector, Dee and Terrence join the Thompson Brook mathlete team, they have more than tough equations to contend with. Fortunately, our lady in yellow keeps close tabs on her kids and she's there to save the day when it needs saving!

I hope that you will all join me in my studio via UStream.tv/channel/StudioJJK on the day of the book's publication on March 27th. I'll be going live every hour on the hour from 10 a.m. EST to 3 p.m. EST. This time around, I'll also have a special evening edition at 7 p.m. for public libraries, book clubs and anyone else who may not be able to tune in during daytime hours.

Full information and tips on how to connect successfully with a group of students can be found on my website here: http://www.studiojjk.com/LL7virtualbooktalk.

I look forward to answering your questions and teaching you how to draw Lunch Lady and Betty! Also, as a special treat to those connecting, I'll be providing a link to exclusive behind-the-scenes content, which you can use with your students to learn about the revision process.

Want a copy of the latest Lunch Lady (or any of the previous books) autographed and personalized? Order them through my local bookshop here.
24542. Jim Madsen: Flying Banjo Pig

Link: Jim Madsen's art

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24543. UPA, UPA, and Away!

They’re out… and as Tony the Tiger would say: “They’re Grrrr-reat!

I will go out on limb right now and declare TCM’s UPA: The Jolly Frolics Collection the DVD of the year. This thing is loaded (full disclosure: I was involved in the process). It is beautifully and cleverly packaged and contains a 16-page booklet with brief essay by UPA historian Adam Abraham, capsule biographies of key UPA personnel, a UPA chronology chart with key events and a release chart timelime, plot synopsis and more…

The three discs themselves are packed with incredible restorations of 38 UPA cartoons. These restorations are so good, they will force many to reevaluate their opinions of these films. Cartoons I’d long dismissed as inferior – The Oompahs, The Miner’s Daughter, Baby Boogie and others – are suddenly vibrant, colorful and clear; what the filmmakers intended, and a lot better than I’d thought. Compare the frame grab of from my personal bootleg video copy of The Man On The Flying Trapeze (thumbnail below left to enlarge) with the restoration (below, center) to give you a small idea of the difference. Even if you have no interest in UPA, I think you’ll come to understand their importance through this set.

Sony went to great lengths to restore the cartoons on this collection – restoring original front and end titles (like the Fox & Crow title (below) from their first theatrical, Robin Hoodlum). Alas not every title could be restored (though most are), but what is here is from the original negs – and they are a pleasure to see anew.

I’m not even mentioning the bonus materials (Concept art, model sheets, storyboards, color styling sketches, background, publicity stills, movie poster galleries – and more, including audio commentaries and a Leonard Maltin introduction). If you’ve ordered it, it’s on the way. If you haven’t – what are you waiting for?

Adam Abraham’s important new history of UPA – When Magoo Flew – has also just been published by Wesleyan University Press. I’m not going to review it right now – but I will be giving a copy or two away in a pop-quiz contest sometime on Thursday. Adam will be in L.A. a week from Friday to sign copies of the book at LACMA, at the UPA tribute I’m hosting on March 30th. (Tickets available nowhint, hint!).

Adam has

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24544. Gladi’s song ~ part one

Filed under: songs

4 Comments on Gladi’s song ~ part one, last added: 3/22/2012
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24545. A Tail A Day. I Love Books

I'm having a reading renaissance. Well, not READING... I read all the time. But I'm talking about just-for-fun reading. REALLY. Just for laughs.

First, I read Tina Fey's book. Then I read Mindy Kaling's book. Now I'm reading Sarah Silverman's book, and after that I am planning to read Samantha Bee's book.

(it's a good time!)

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24546. The Mother’s Wisdom Deck

Last year at this time, I was standing at a journey’s beginning, taking deep breath after deep breath, and contending with doubts, “Can I do this? Can I uphold the integrity of the oracle so beautifully brought to life by the authors? I can think of several other mama artists who could do this better. Is it even possible in just 4 months while being a mama?” I knew I wanted to. I had been asking the universe for a project that would inspire me in a deeper way. I’d also been calling out for guidance and support on my path of mothering. But fears can be kinda loud.

I was staring at 52 blank rectangles, an empty map of what would be The Mother’s Wisdom Deck. I paged through drafts of Niki and Elizabeth’s card passages and came to Turtle – Grounding. The passage concludes with Turtle advising: “a time-honored way of coming back to earth: lie facedown with arms extended above your head. Make sure your forehead, knees, and hands are touching the ground. This is a full bow, a prostration to the powers above. In this supplication, you lower yourself before infinite Mystery and, in turn, come closer to your basic nature.”

Almost exactly ten years ago, after driving all night, I stepped outside of my car into a frigid, New Mexico mountain landscape, just five minutes walk from our home now. The sun was still on its ascent on the other side of the Sangres. Patrick led me down a snow-covered road lined with vertical blue, white, red, green and golden prayer flags. At the end was a white, wedding cake shaped shrine. Yes, it was my first visit to a Buddhist Stupa — what my daughter lovingly now calls, “Buddha’s house”. Two golden dear sat still and awake on either side of a peaceful Buddha. Goosebumps rose up on my already freezing body — the kind of chill when you are so overtaken with beauty and a sense of “wow”. I watched Patrick kneel on the freshly shoveled flagstone and a ghost-like breath rise out of his mouth. He lay on his stomach, facedown with his hands in prayer, reaching over his head. Aside from photographs in distant lands, I had never seen anyone do this before. My response surprised me. Feeling so much gratitude for that place I was right then and there, and the friend I was with, I dipped into my first full body prostration. I really wanted to throw myself down to the ground, but I am timid. I remember at first wondering, is this ok? I’m not Buddhist. And I distinctly remember the calm and grace I felt lying on the frozen stone before “infinite Mystery”. I didn’t want to get up. I went empty and prayed, and the sun spilled over the mountains.

Remembering that winter morning, I knew the only way I could trust that I could paint these cards –and begin this journey– was to get out of my head, out of my ego, and into my heart. To focus on “why” this project is so important to us: honoring motherhood as a spiritual practice. I lay in my studio in full prostration on a child-like rug of yellow and pink flowers. I felt anchored and prayed for intuition, endurance, clarity, and wisdom. Or maybe I pleaded. :) Either way, I feel like guidance presented herself.

I realize until now, I haven’t shared much of this pilgrimage here. It was a test of endurance. I learned to hone my intuition, reach out to my community, and surrender. When I was painting, Tulsi often reminded me of what was most important asking, “Mama, first tea party, th

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24547. I'm on Comics Are Great tomorrow!

Join me tomorrow March 21st at 12ET on COMICS ARE GREAT! where I will be doing a live video interview. Go to http://comicsaregreat.tv or watch the stream below. I'll be talking about all sorts of stuff and cracking jokes! CHECK IT!



Watch live streaming video from comicsaregreat at livestream.com

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24548. My New Website...

Venture over to joesutphin.com to see some cool art:)

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24549. Endangered Species

This morning, I heard a great panel discussion given by a group of independent booksellers from around Mississippi. I am fortunate to live in a state full of great independent bookstores, and I for one would like to see it stay that way.

While much of the discussion predictably focused on the evils of Amazon, I was most interested in hearing the booksellers' ideas of how to evolve their stores so that they can remain viable in a digital world in a country that is still in a recession. 

Many of the booksellers mentioned that they have expanded their children's sections (yay!), and John Evans from Lemuria in Jackson, Mississippi, said that he was focusing on community outreach--he  reaches out to schools, book clubs, and other groups, instead of waiting for those groups to come to him. He also said that social media has been a great way to reach his customers. The Lemuria blog has a huge following and is one of the best ones out there.

Richard Howorth at Square Books here in Oxford said that his bookstore offers a vital connection between authors and readers--something personal that you can't replicate online, and he also stressed that publishers rely on physical bookstores and the physical activity around them to create a market for their books. Author events and bookstore sponsored book clubs are some of the many ways his store fosters these connections.

All of the booksellers talked about tailoring their bookstores to fit the specific needs of their communities, and this is one of my favorite things about indies--each bookstore has its own unique flavor that reflects the culture around it. In a way, going into a great independent bookstore is like walking through a beautifully curated art collection.  

This is something that can't be replicated by Amazon or any other big box store. And I'm obviously not the only person who feels this way. Richard mentioned that over the past couple of years, the number of new indies opening is on the rise. 

Good news indeed!


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24550. March Newsletter is out and about

Join our newsletter list. For March, Early Bird Specials on classes, fun affirmations, a great comment shared from the blog and a little extra. Go here to sign up.

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