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Results 1 - 25 of 45
1. Harvest

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today's FEATURED PRINT...her royal highness, Cinderella. or, as the adorable little mice liked to call her, "Cinderelly Cinderelly". :)

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3. this little guy....

©the enchanted easel 2015
i "heart" him! :)

{having a bit of a love affair with some mice this week....}

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4. not all dreams have to end at midnight....

"a girl can dream..."
©the enchanted easel 2015
especially for this lovely little flaxen haired beauty!

"a girl can dream..." my Cinderella tribute piece. 14x18 acrylic on canvas...and i enjoyed each and every single brush stroke i laid down on this painting. the pumpkin and cute little mice have stolen my heart, for sure.


{here's hoping the movie will be royally amazing!}

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5. Family Fun and Pumpkins!

Look for my tutorial on painting pumpkins in the October issue of FamilyFun magazine! And yes, this is the debut of the Krosoczka family Pugkin™!

Pick up the issue for the photos of Ralph alone...(This is why I couldn't share any of my pumpkins with you last year...)

FamilyFun even stopped by the studio to film this video—a lesson on drawing emotions on a character...or a pumpkin!

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6. Fall Fun Book for Preschoolers

A time for Fall Fun is the second in a Four Season book series for preschoolers and the young at heart.


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7. Picture Books to Help Get Ready for Halloween

Here are a few picture books that we're enjoying in my house, as we prepare for Halloween:

Pinkalicious: Pink or Treat by Victoria Kann (HarperFestival). We've been taking this little paperback story with us everywhere. When a power outage threatens to cancel trick-or-treating in Pinkville, Pinkalicious must channel supergirl Pinkagirl to save the day. She takes her clever idea to the mayor, and makes her case. This book comes with a page of stickers, which makes it extra-popular with my three-year-old. 

Just Say Boo! by Susan Hood (ill. Jen Henry) (HarperCollins). This was one of our favorite picture books last year, and has been brought back into rotation recently. It's about a family that goes out trick-or-treating, and all of the things that seem scary at first, but turn out to be fun. There's a toddler-friendly question and answer refrain, with which the answer is usually "Boo!". My full review is here

It's Pumpkin Day, Mouse! by Laura Numeroff (ill. Felicia Bond) (Balzer + Bray). This is a board book spin-off to the "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" series, in which Mouse decorates pumpkins to reflect different emotions (happy, sad, surprised, etc.). Though meant for the youngest of readers ("Mouse paints a happy face on this pumpkin", etc.), my daughter still enjoys going back to this one, because she likes Mouse's antics. 

Duck and Goose Find a Pumpkin by Tad Hills (Schwartz & Wade). In this oversized board book, Duck and Goose muddle about looking for a pumpkin (looking in ever-more ridiculous places), until Thistle clues them in to the fact that there is a pumpkin patch. It's typical silly Duck and Goose fun, and still makes my daughter peal with laughter. My full review is here

Vera's Halloween by Vera Rosenberry (Henry Holt). This is a 2008 title that I had kept, and just introduced to my daughter this week. It's part of a series of books about a young elementary school girl named Vera. In this book, Vera goes trick-or-treating after dark with her father and big sisters for the first time. She gets separated from them, and then a sudden storm leads to a bit of misery. It all turns out safe and cozy in the end, after she happens to knock on the door of a classmate, and the classmate's parents help her. I found some of the details a bit implausible in this one, but my daughter (who very briefly lost track of me at a church function this weekend) loved it. And I did like the subtle message that if something goes wrong, other parents will try to help (as happened with me this weekend).  

Splat the Cat: What Was That? by Rob Scotton (HarperFestival). This one is a little paperback lift the flap book in which Splat and his friend Spike visit a haunted house in search of missing mouse Seymour. The house is filled with mysterious and scary sounds, some of which are explained at the end of the book... While she's generally a bit beyond lift-the-flap books, my daughter likes Splat as a character, and has been enjoying this book.  

Honorable mention to Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds (ill. Peter Brown) (Simon & Schuster), which I haven't introduced to my daughter yet. Though not directly about Halloween, this is a deliciously creepy picture book in which a greedy young rabbit ends up stalked by carrots. It's quirky, unique, and just a touch scary, with a satisfying ending. My full review is here

© 2013 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook. This site is an Amazon affiliate. 

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8. Pumpkin Patch and classes start Friday

pumpkin2 pumpkin1 IMG_0262 IMG_0263 IMG_0264 IMG_0265 IMG_0266 IMG_0267 IMG_0268

Have Patience

In September, I only had leaves and lost hope.

Then the first little pumpkin showed up.

Then another. Some are still changing color from green to orange.

You are allowed to have.

You’ll see.

Just be patient.

Classes Start Friday

I’m in a bit of a transition right now, so I’m not sure if classes will be offered in November or not and which. I’m expanding and growing! So, if are interested in Fairy Online School classes, they start Friday! Here’s the catalog of classes to choose from. Hope to see you in class!

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9. Pumpkin Wine glasses/ Votive candle holders

Hand painted Pumpkin wine glasses/ candle holders
Now taking orders!!
Buy one for $35 or a set of three like this for $75

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10. Poetry Friday -- Pumpkins


Flickr Creative Commons photo by Liz West

And this:

A.E. Housman said, "Knowledge is good, method is good, but one thing beyond all others is necessary; and that is to have a head, not a pumpkin, on your shoulders and brains, not pudding, in your head."

And last of all, this:

Carl Sandburg, from Smoke and Steel, 1922

V. Mist Forms
13. Tawny

THESE are the tawny days: your face comes back.
The grapes take on purple: the sunsets redden early on the trellis.
The bashful mornings hurl gray mist on the stripes of sunrise.
Creep, silver on the field, the frost is welcome.
Run on, yellow balls on the hills, and you tawny pumpkin flowers, chasing your lines of orange.
Tawny days: and your face again.

Happy Friday, Happy Poetry, Happy Autumn.

Jama has the Poetry Friday roundup at Jama's Alphabet Soup.

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11. Happy Halloween!



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12. Storytime: Thanksgiving Roundup

   10 Fat Turkeys by Tony Johnston & illustrated by Rich Deas “Looky!” says a silly turkey swinging from a vine. Gobble gobble wibble wobble. Whoops! Now there are nine.” Girls and boys will gobble up this hilarious counting story about ten goofy turkeys roller-skating on a fence, doing a noodle dance, and more! Give …

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13. woodless graphite....

is a beautiful thing!

this is how EVERY painting begins....for me, anyway.

i draw/sketch out my idea in my sketchbook (sized at the same size the painting will be). in this step, i am extremely detailed and precise, making sure i have everything drawn/sketched out EXACTLY the way it will appear on the canvas. the more exact and precise i am in the drawing/sketching stage, the easier it is for me to execute the finished painting.

once the drawing/sketch is perfected, i then re trace over my own drawing/sketch with tracing paper....every line, every detail, everything...completely re traced. once that is done, i will take a piece of woodless graphite OR, if i don't have a piece laying around, i will use a VERY soft lead pencil (usually an 8B...6B at the very least). with that, i *scribble* very methodically on the back of my tracing....being sure to cover every line i have just traced so that i can transfer the drawing/sketch exactly as it appears in my sketchbook.

then, i lay the tracing (paper) with the graphite on the back over the canvas and press down with a 4H lead pencil to transfer the drawing to the canvas ever so perfectly.

and that, my friends, is how Nicole rolls...old school. that's how i worked in college...and that's how i work today. keeping it real and true to myself. 

i am a traditional painter. ALWAYS a (traditional) painter. :)

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14. background blues...

can you guess which princess is on the easel next?

{hint-there are pumpkins involved...hence the little vine sticking out in the attached pic.}

hop over to my Facebook page for the little giveaway i have going on....

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15. ~haPpY AuTumN~

just a cute little illustration of a scarecrow named fern and his adorable canary friend:)

this is FOR SALE as a REPRODUCTION here http://www.etsy.com/listing/81979891/fern-the-scarecrow-reproduction

after this one, i'm taking a little hiatus from painting pumpkins. just a little one...;)

~haPpY AuTumN~

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16. How many faces can you squeeze on a squash?

Probably more than seven, but that's all you're getting tonight folks.
Happy Halloween, enjoy the festivities.

Apologies for the slightly damaged condition of the pumpkin,
turns out they don't last that long once you've cut 'em up.
I had to photograph it quickly tonight
before it turned hopelessly into mush.

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17. Illustration Friday - Yield

Yield a crop of pumpkins!

This is from a picture book that I illustrated called THE GOODBYE CANCER GARDEN, written by Janna Matthies. It recently won the 2011 Best English Language Children's Book at the Sharjah International Book Fair - wow! And it's also been chosen for CCBC Choices 2012: The Cooperative Children's Book Center top children's book picks for 2012. It's being translated into Arabic and Danish. I hope I get copies of those!

Cancer affects so many families these days. This is such an important, hopeful book about one family's way of responding to Mom's breast cancer recovery. What an honor to illustrate.

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18. Pumpkins!

Getting tired of painting with so much green and brown - luckily today was orange (and a little green).

Notice anything new?  After I'd submitted my original proposal, I'd thought about adding some leaves around the pumpkins and along what will be a vine between the plowed field and the band of light green along the bottom.  So, I did...and I'll probably add a few more.

It's a 3-day weekend - no soccer games, to events!  Just time to relax and paint, paint, paint!  Oh, and probably BBQ.

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19. A Very Productive Saturday!

For the first time in a long time, I had a free Saturday.  I must have painted for about 8 hours overall (not without interruption, of course). 

I feel like I've spent a lot of time in the first two panels - especially because there were so many complicated issues on the tractor, the figure in the tractor, and the plow that hadn't been resolved.  However, there are a lot of details on these panels that I have yet to do, and they won't happen until the very end.  One of the last things I'll have to do is to get some of these panels exactly side by side with no gaps to make sure things line up. But, for now, I just measure where I can and "eyeball" it when I can't.

I started today by working on the pumpkins again, adjusting some of the shadows and highlights a little.  Then, I moved on to the wave of soil - a larger area of color to troubleshoot and blend.  Once you start working on an area like that, you don't want to stop - gotta keep blending before the paint dries.  And, working on this part took me back into panel #3 again.

Then, I moved on to the cauliflower.  I didn't like the highlight color I had used for the vegetable's leaves in the first layer - too blue.  So, I mixed a bit more yellow in and that worked better.  I also worked on the cauliflower itself, stippling with and a light purple for shading.  There's still detailing to be done or adjusted there.

The last thing I did was to "plant some crops" in the far field.  That took a little extra time because I tried a few different greens before I found something I liked.

I love seeing how everything is starting to build, little by little.

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20. Moving On...

Woohoo!  I think I've done enough grape leaves for now and I'm ready to move on.

I even worked on the giant leaves behind the figures, but I started to run out of the "highlight" mixture.  So, I may still go back to it...but probably on my last pass through of "final touches." 

Darn flash glare!  Notice that I added a couple of leaves to
overlap the grapes.

For now, I think I'll move on to the rest of the panel - giant grape touch up, the female figure's dress, the tabletop (remember, there's supposed to be a bottle of wine there), and I need to fill their glasses.  Then, on to the architecture around the chef, floor touch-up, a few more veggies and the splash.  It may seem like just a little bit left, but there's still a lot to do in the first couple panels - there are supposed to be trees, details on the pumpkins (more leaves, and stems), and crops growing on the rows under the wave - things like that.  But, after that, it's all touch up detailing.  There's light at the end of the tunnel.

Still toasting with empty glasses - hmmmm, white or red?

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21. Letters and Leaves...

Spent a good part of today kneeling and lying on the garage floor painting...and repainting...letters.

I think I already mentioned that I wasn't excited about painting letters and, yes, I did overfuss it.  The more I tried to refine the letters, the less I liked them (and the more they seemed to draw attention away from the mural).  In the end, I went back to fairly loose letters (sans serif).  The title simply reads:  Celebrate the Harvest - Santa Maria Valley (across the bottom of 3 panels)

I also worked on detailing the leaves around the pumpkins and building a little more contrast in that area.

Now, I'm a little more excited about working on the mural again.  I will be moving some panels tonmorrow to (finally) detail the field beneath the wave.  There'll be a little bit of greenery and some dots of red (strawberries) to pull a teensy bit more color into those first two panels.

At least I won't have to lay on the floor for the next phase!

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22. Summer is over!

Below is an illustration I did for the back cover of October's Highlights magazine. This one is based on our annual Great Pumpkin Day celebration. This year is our 12th year of getting together with friends and family to eat, drink and carve pumpkins to welcome autumn. It started with myself and two friends but has grown to some fifty guests, many of whom are pictured here.

I just wanted to remind you that Highlights is greatest children's magazine on earth. You really should get the children in your life a subscription.

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23. Into the Pumpkin by Linda Franklin

4 Stars
Into the Pumpkin
Kinda Franklin
Schiffer Publishing
No. Pages: 48 Ages: 4 to 11

It’s Halloween Party time again and the witches, bats, ghouls, ghosts, black cats, scarecrows, ravens, and spiders have come together for the annual bash. Questions remain. Where should they have the party, in the graveyard or the pumpkin patch? Will they dress up or go as themselves? Take a ride on a witches broom to find the answers to this year’s Halloween party.

You will hop on the witch’s broom for a journey like no other. Each creature of the night has a part to play. The bats are letting all know about the party, the ghouls are planning the treat or treating. The witch mails out invitations. Is she not a little bit late, or does she have magic on her side? Everyone has a job to do, right down to the scarecrow, who is the host of the night’s ball.

The biggest question, it seems, is where to hold the party. In the graveyard, the haunted castle, or the pumpkin patch. I like the haunted castle. It has great character standing amidst the ghosts. The graveyard is the spookiest and the pumpkin patch says nothing about the Great Pumpkin, so for me, it must happen at the haunted castle. Once the party is over, and the raven has sung all he came to sing, the witch sends us back home by way of the pumpkin patch. It is quite a journey on this Halloween night.

Told in rhyming verse, the Halloween party plans are whimsical. There is nothing here to scare a little one. The illustrations have a ghoulish, haunted feel, yet are bright and fun. It is the illustrations that make this book for me. I like the orange cast of Halloween and the feel of spider webs and wisps of clouds covering each illustration. This lends a feeling of motion and emotion to each picture.  All the fall colors of Halloween are there. The oranges, yellows, whites, browns, and especially the blacks come together in delightful ways. The ghosts are dancing in a circle and I can hear the music as they twirl.

The text is a poem broken down verse by verse on the pages and illustrated by the author. She has made an unusual book with a familiar theme. Most of the lines roll right off the tongue in the lyrical way I enjoy. I think the illustrations are what make this book a winner. Anyone who enjoys Halloween will delight in Into the Pumpkin. I see this book as a family favorite, visited each year alongside the Great Pumpkin and treat or treating.

Into the Pumpkin is party planning that will not frighten a soul. To those of you who collect picture books for the fantastic illustrations, this is a must have. The illustrations are wonderfully enchanting. Into the Pumpkin could have just as easily have been dark, ghoulish, and frightening; the thing nightmares are made out of. Ms. Franklin chose to go the opposite direction and made a story any child can enjoy at any age. Into the Pumpkin is a Halloween winner.

Into the Pumpkin

Author/Illustrator: Linda Franklin   website
Publisher: Schiffer Publishing   website
Release Date: July 28, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-7643-4183-0
Number of Pages: 48
Grades: Pre-K to 6
Ages: 4 to 11

Filed under: 4stars, Children's Books, Favorites, Library Donated Books Tagged: bats, castles, children's books, fabulous illustrations, ghouls, graveyards, Halloween, haunted houses, invitations, party, Pre-K books, pumpkins, witch's broom

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24. Happy Nearly Halloween!

I was so excited to find some cards I did for American Greetings in a local store!  BOO!!

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25. Population, Protests and Pumpkins

Exactly one year ago today little Ruaridh FIndlay Thompson's birth was heralded on the front page of the Scotsman as 'Edinburgh's one in 7 billion'
 It had been calculated that it was the day the 7 billionth child was born on planet Earth. 

Today, on his first birthday, Ruaridh will be getting lots of lovely presents and among the toys will be books.  He already has a good library,(shared with his 3yr old sister) of board books and flap books, audio books and beautifully illustrated picture books.

Ruaridh likes to make Brrrumh! noises to the cars in his books, he loves the tactile 'This is not my...'  series of books where each page has shiny, soft or bumpy aspects to each page, soft ears on a monkey or bumpy ridges on a tractor's engine. In fact he likes these so much that he touches the images on other picture books to see if they will feel different to the smooth surface of the printed book.

One of the great things about writing for children is that we have a new audience being born every day.   That means favourite books have another chance to delight a new audience, and  for the children there are also so many wonderful  books to discover.   If you are interested in Picture Books have a look at Picturebook Den another collaborative blog by members of the SAS (Scattered Authors Society).

Another place Ruaridh likes to go with his little sister is their local library, to listen to stories and borrow books.  When he goes to school it would be great to think that this encouragement to read a wide variety of books, that he is getting from home, will be reinforced in school by the school having a good and well stocked library and a librarian. 
Particularly when he gets to senior school, when a lot of children are no longer going to the library with their parents and reading can sometimes be thought of as something you HAVE to do at school, rather than a pleasure.
This is where school librarians come into their own.

Lobby for School Libraries - Scotland
Last weekend I attended the Lobby for School Libraries- Scotland,  at the Scottish Parliament.
I blogged about this a few weeks ago on ABBA .
Scottish authors Julie Bertagna, Jonathan Meres, Keith Gray, Debi Gliori, Anne Marie Allan and Sally J Collins  were there to support the lobby, many others  including Theresa Breslin (who sent a message from Russia) sent messages of support for libraries and librarians. In England there was great support from authors and librarians for the lobby in London on Monday.

In discussions about schools and librarians someone said they felt that English teachers in high schools do not read much or any young adult or teenage books, themselves. Obviously some teachers do and are great champions of books, but in my experience it is usually the school librarian, the person with all that enthusiasm, knowledge and willingness and time to engage with the children outside the classroom and exam pressures, who will manage to find the right book for the right child. 
Linda Strachan, Iain Gray MSP and Duncan Wright -School Librarian of the Year 2010
But that is not possible if they have no budget to buy new books or organise author visits or pupil participation in book related events.  If school budgets are cut or the money for books, libraries and librarians is not ring-fenced - in some schools libraries and librarians will not be considered a priority-
 which eems strange in a time when literacy problems seem to abound and engagement with books for sheer enjoyment is a sure way to encourage reluctant readers. 


Hopefully by the time little Ruaridh gets to senior school this will not be a problem!  For today he is blissfully unaware of all this and will no doubt have a lovely time with his little sister, enjoying his 1st birthday and his pumpkin birthday cake!

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