Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Bit of Snow

I woke up this morning to it snowing outside.  The snow didn't end up sticking around but it was sure pretty to watch.  We had a wonderful, relaxing holiday.  My daughter and her husband came to our house Christmas Eve.  Of coarse our son was home too.  But, he lives with us so that was no surprise.  We have a big old house so, there is plenty of room for everyone.  Lois was happy to have company in the house and was busy keeping track of every one's coming and goings.   I'm lucky enough to still have my parents around and they were with us Christmas morning.  I don't know how everyone else does Christmas but, we open gifts Christmas morning and we do it one at a time.  For example, if my daughter is opening a gift, we all stop and watch and see who the gift is from and then someone else takes a turn.  It takes a long time.  So, we take a break at some point and have breakfast and then continue with the opening.  I know this may sound boring but it's not, and it's nice to see what everyone gets and also to see the reaction on their face is priceless.  When I was a kid, Christmas morning was mayhem.  So, I made a decision to do it different with my family.  When my kids were little I think they liked that the day stretched out and they got to enjoy every moment.  I mean it's just one day in our lives.  But, it is the most special day of the year.  

Thursday, December 16, 2010

New Illustration

Well, I finished a new illustration.  It was created for the Tomie dePaola Award sponsored by SCBWI. Which is the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.  But, you guys know that already I'm sure.  So, I'm attending the 2011 conference this year and part of the goings on at the conference is the Tomie dePaola award.  It's a really good award if you are lucky enough to win it.  The winner receives a trip to the conference plus $1000.00 in art supplies.  OMG!!!!  Makes my heart pump a little faster just thinking about it.  Oh how I love art supplies!  So, this year the award was all about illustrating a paragraph out of the book Heidi.  Oh, how I love Heidi!  I'm thinking this is perfect for me. I used to pretend I was Heidi when I was a little girl.  I didn't have a goat or a friend named Peter, but I had a good imagination and I liked cheese a lot.  Anyway, it's a classic story and I'm happy that Tomie picked this story to be illustrated.   Okay, so here is my rendition of Heidi going up the mountain to soon meet her Grandfather.  Hope you like it and I hope Tomie likes it too.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Tis the Season!

Happy Monday everyone!  I worked all weekend long and finished 10 more small paintings.  So, this morning I hauled them all down to the little gallery were my holiday show is happening.  They are really nice people at this gallery but I'm tired of painting and want to decorate my house.  I didn't used to put any holiday decorations out until after my birthday on the 11th but I do now.  I like it.  I don't know why I had that rule.  I think part of why I didn't put stuff out early was because my kids went nuts over Christmas and just about drove me crazy.  But, they are grown up now and think I'm pretty nutty so turn around is fair play I say. This will be a wonderful Christmas I think.  Last year I was recovering from thyroid cancer surgery and just laying around trying not to move my head too much.  This year I get to enjoy and do what ever.  It's heavenly.  Although I am very thankful that all went well with my health issues.  I'm going to Portland Friday morning to see my surgeon for my one year check up.  But, I'm pretty sure I'm fine.  Well, I'm off to eat a candy cane.  You guys have one too!

Friday, December 3, 2010

A Happy Day

Well, I just wanted to let my 25 loyal followers know that I did hear from the fabric company I've been talking to, and they did offer me a contract.  I have accepted and I hope something fun will happen soon with my designs. I signed with Quilting Treasures.  Once again it just goes to show that if you work hard and hang in there, good things will come.  Also, my good friend Janet put in a good word for me too and that helped a lot.  So, thanks Janet.  I hope you know what a good person you are.  But, on another note.  I have to paint my weekend away.  My little holiday show went up on Wednesday and I've already sold 15 paintings. I was so happy to be finished with that show, but alas, I must not be charging enough.  So, I'm back to painting again, so the walls will not be empty.  I had painted a total of 32 paintings.  It's a good thing and I am very pleased that folks are liking my artwork enough to pay money for them. Hope you all have a great weekend.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Finished Projects

I did it.  I finished some fabric designs and also my little holiday show.  Well, the show goes up Dec. 1.  I'll try and take some photos to show all of you.  Really, I stopped painting holiday art on Sunday evening.  Just couldn't do it anymore.  I love the Christmas season and I thought if I don't stop soon I'm going to be sick of all this fun stuff.  So, I packed up my paint and brushes and put it all away.  Done.  I'm kind of like that, I give myself a deadline and most of the time I stick to it.  Seems to keep me plugging along when I need to.  Here is a peek at the main floral design and a couple more from the fabric I designed.  I hope they like it.  I would really like to have a contract in my hot little hands.  Well, now that I'm kind of caught up with most of my work, maybe I will think about Christmas and what on earth I will get for everyone in my family.  My daughter is pretty easy.  She tells me things she would like.  My son on the other hand.  Jeez, he is hard to buy for.  That sweet little boy is a sweet man now.  But, he won't tell me what he wants.  Oh, well. I'll figure it out.  Have a great week everyone and thanks for all the support.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Everything Happens at Once

Well, our Thanksgiving holiday is over.  This is the one time of year that my whole family gets together.  It's quite the group.  I'm talking all my aunts and uncles, cousins, their kids, babies, plus some stray folks we bring along cause they don't have a place to go.  Okay, their were 40 people at my aunts house.  The noise level was pretty high.  So, this nice day to see everyone turns out okay but I couldn't hear anything they said.  So, I think it was a nice day.  Not sure.
I'm posting this piece of art because I feel like all my projects are due at the same time.  Why does this always happen?  My holiday show goes up Dec. 1.  Fabric project is due Dec. 1.  All the SCBWI projects are due soon as well.  Oh, my!  I can do it.  I think.  Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, November 19, 2010

It's Tea Time

What a cold Autumn day.  It's really cold outside and I think it is slowly seeping into my house.  So, I think it's time for a nice pot of tea.  Warms me up and wakes me up too.  What a bargain.  They said on the news this morning that it might snow by Saturday.  Now for some of you this is probably normal but we get a lot of rain in Oregon but hardly any snow.  Well, some parts of Oregon get snow just not my part.  So, I'm making a list for the market so if I'm stuck at home in the snow I'll have plenty of cookies and tea.  My favorite thing.
On a side note.  Lois and I met some other corgi's this morning.  Ollie and Jeepers, a boy and a girl corgi.  Their people were Juanita and Eric.  The people seemed nice but Ollie and Jeepers didn't seem to like us very well.  Now, I just have to say, it's not everyday you meet a Juanita.  I just like to say it over and over.  I kind of hope we become good friends so I can say her name all time in my regular conversation.  Hmmm, I'll give that some thought.  As my friend Doris Day used to sing, "what will be, will be".  On that note.  Have a great weekend everyone.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Back to Work

Well, the meeting with Quilting Treasures went well I think. Lots of good talk and a nice dinner.  I liked everything I heard and I think they liked me.  My mission if I choose to accept it, is to expand on some designs I've already finished  and send to them in the next couple weeks.  If the design team likes what I send then I'm in.  So, I'm working like mad. I even survived the one and a half hour drive in the dark windy, rainy night. Thank you all so much for all you nice comments and good wishes.  Now I can calm down and get these designs out.  Thanks again everyone!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Big Meeting

Well, I am a little nervous.  I am off to meet with the president of Cranston and Quilting Treasures Fabric on Wednesday afternoon.  I have talked with him on the phone and sent numerous emails back and forth.  But, now we shall meet and see if we like each other.  I already like him.  But, I'm pretty easy.  I mean that in the nicest way. I'm kind of like my dog Lois, and she likes everybody.  Anyway, I have been trying for the past year to get a new fabric deal and I hope this is it.  I have to drive to Portland which I never do.  But, I'll do it cause I want the job. We will chat and then have dinner.  I just hope I don't pass out from all the excitement.   Oh, I won't do that.  I hope.  Anyway, wish me luck.  I'll keep you all posted on the outcome.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Fall Fun

I just posted this piece on the Watercolor Wednesday blog.  But, thought I would show it to you guys as well.  I tossed it together yesterday when I should have been working on my holiday show.  Sometimes you just gotta do what you just gotta do.  Anyway here it is, not my best effort but still okay.  This picture of fall leaves reminds me.  Just this morning Lois and I were on our morning walk, enjoying the fall foliage and getting some fresh air.  We walked by a house on my street with really lovely trees in the boulevard. In one of the trees was a bra!  Just hanging there.  Hmmmm, I wondered.  Did someone just decide they had had enough of under wires. Who tosses their bra in a tree? I'm pretty sure it's not the lady who lives in that house.  I know her, and she is not a bra tossing kind of girl.  I don't think she's a drinker.  I kind of wished her husband would come out, just so I could see his face.  Lois and I always seem to find interesting things going on.  I'm so lucky.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Busy me

Well, I have not posted anything in awhile, because I'm chained to my work table painting holiday art for my upcoming show.  I did however finish a kind of traditional Rapunzel illustration for my portfolio.  I mostly like the witch hiding out behind the tower.  I have also noticed that I seem to illustrate characters with red hair a lot.  I have always liked red hair.  I don't have red hair myself but I guess I could take care of that pretty easy.  It's just a little bottle of dye away.  Maybe not.  I'm also getting excited for the SCBWI conference in January.  Although, I'm not excited about the flight.  I'm not scared to fly or anything it's just a really long trip and a really long day.  Not to mention I always fall asleep during the flight and I snore.  It's true.  I'm not proud of it and I really do try to stay awake.  I feel sorry for the poor soul who sits next to me.  Oh well, life is not always easy.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sneak Peek

Here is a little peek at the holiday art show I am working on.  The whole thing started last year when I was asked to do an art show at one of our local coffee houses.  I said yes and then decided to make it a holiday show since it was taking place in December.  I didn't really think I would sell anything but, it was fun.  Long story short, I sold out!  I was in shock.  So, this year they want double the paintings.  I don't know if they will get their wish but, I'll try.  So here are a few pieces I've been working on.  All are on canvas and painted with acrylics.  Sorry about my poor photos.  I'll work on that too.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Fall Chickens

I'm posting a painting of the chickens that live next door to me.  Well, they used to live next door.  I had not seen them in awhile so, I asked my neighbor about them and he said they were too noisy so he gave them away.  Not to worry though, he gave them to some folks out in the country who already have chickens.  I don't really like chickens.  I don't know why, because I like to eat chicken dinners just fine. I just don't like to hang out with chickens and don't want to own or babysit any.  It might be because you can't really tell where a chicken is looking or which way they're going to go.  They do have kind of a wild look in their eyes don't you think?  Well, anyway they are gone but I have a nice little painting to remember them by.
Oh, I almost forgot.  I did in fact survive the Episcopal Convention last weekend.  It was fun and informative and it's over.  Thanks be to God!  Have a great week everyone.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Thought I would post this purple witch for my Halloween greeting.  I will be gone for a few days to attend the Episcopal Convention in Oregon.  I am a delegate this year.  Really I was signed up to be an alternate but the people who were suppose to attend decided to go on a cruise.  Hmmm.   So, I'm off to Eugene Oregon for a few day of hanging around with some other wacky Episcopalians.  We are a fun bunch, I'll give us that.  Anyway, enjoy the trick or treaters and don't eat too much candy.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Feeling Better

Please let me apologize for ranting on and on yesterday about my tooth ache.  I'm fine now.  The dentist did a root canal (OMG) and I am pain free. Thank the blessed madonna.  Anyway, I think I'm back to normal.  Well, normal for me anyway.  So, now I need to get some of these projects I've started finished up.  Work, work, work.  Oh, and the lady at my dentist office was not mad at me, she thought I was being funny.  So, that worked out well for me too.  This little painting was  created several years ago but really looks like Oregon this time of year.  Happy Tuesday everyone!

Monday, October 25, 2010

I'm staying Indoors

Well, it's stormy in Oregon.  I had to dig out my long sleeve sweaters and my good socks.  I think I'll make a nice potato soup tonight.  That sounds nice and snug and warm.  Last night I got a tooth ache.   I hate it.  I haven't had a tooth ache since I was a kid.  And let me tell you, that was a long time ago.  Anyway, I called the dentist this morning.  The regular nice lady was not there.  So, I talked with a new person.  She kind of put me off.  Now, let me just say I don't think I am a pushy person and I'm not rude but this little lady was getting on my last nerve.  Long story short, I'm going in this afternoon.  Gosh, I told her I was in pain.  Sadly, I think I might have offended her.  Now, I have to go in and apologize.  Oh, well  I'm just happy to get in to see my dentist and if I have to grovel at that silly girls feet, so be it.  Why are tooth aches and ear aches so awful?  They really are horrible.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Last Sunny Day of the Season

From what I heard on the news this morning, this may be our last sunny day for awhile.  It's okay, I was born and raised in Oregon and I'm used to rain.  Probably wouldn't know what to do with out a bit of rain in my life.  So, here's to enjoying the last sun beams of the season.  Hope it's nice were you live too.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Going to Pots

I worked this weekend as a volunteer at The Going to Pots Sale in Albany, Oregon.  It's lots of fun and pretty easy to run.  Not that I was in charge.  I was not.  But, I'm a good worker bee.  Anyway, potters from around the valley show up with pottery they need to get rid of.  In other words they put a really good price on their items.  The Albany Arts Commission gets 20% for putting on the event and the potters get the rest as profit.  Pretty good deal.  I found some Christmas gifts as well as a new sugar bowl for myself.  I think I'll go make a pot of tea.  Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Cat Magic

I applied and was accepted into Watercolor Wednesdays.  So happy to be part of this group.  I hope I can keep up.  I will do my best.  Not much else I can do.  Anyway, this is the first design I think I'll submit. Hope everyone has a lovely weekend.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Holidays Continue

For those of you who may not know, I have a little greeting card company.  Yes, it's true and it is small, I'm not kidding. We call the small little company, Melissa's Art.  Anyway, in the card biz you take orders for Christmas in the Spring and send Christmas orders in the Summer.  So, I don't really understand what's been going on lately.  We continue to get Christmas orders.  Just sent another one out today.  I don't know, maybe people are just waiting too long or they got busy doing something else while they should have been doing the Christmas order.  I'm not complaining, although it sound like I am.  No, I really am happy to get any order I can get. I guess I'm just not used to getting the orders so late in the season.  Here is a small sample of some of my holiday cards and enclosures.  Thanks for taking a look.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

New Art

Well, this is a new piece of art I finished a few weeks ago.  I've shown it to some of my artist friends and they don't think it should be in my portfolio. I also showed it to an art director from Little Brown and she said the same thing.  Hmmmm.  So, I thought I would ask some real artists what they think.  This piece really looks like my daughter Meg when she was about 8 years old.  Such a funny little face.  She is all grown up and married now but, she is still my little funny face. I have often used my kids as models and still try to reach back in my memories for ideas and inspiration.  Anyway, tell me what you think.  In the portfolio or out?  Thanks!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

All Signed Up

Well, I just signed up for the 2011 Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators Winter Conference in New York.  I'm giddy.  Truth be told I have been twice before, and both times it was wonderful from start to finish and well worth the money I spent.  At least I tell myself that it was worth it. I did learn a lot.  This year I'm going not only to the conference but also to the Illustrators Intensive, which is a fancy way of saying workshop.  I am meeting my cousin Robin in New York and we'll attend together.  I grew up with Robin and we always have a wonderful time together.  Mostly we giggle a lot.  Anyway, that's my news and now I think I'll go put a cold compress on my head.  I'm not use to spending money fast and loose.  Cheers!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Happy Harvest

Well, I've been digging through some artwork and came upon this little scarecrow.  Thought I would share. I think I need to work a bit on his legs and feet.  Then again, he is a scarecrow and he might not have perfectly formed legs and feet.  Anyway, happy Monday everyone.  Enjoy the rest of your week.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Wonderful October

I love October.  What's not to love.  It's not too hot and not too cold, it's just perfect.  Lois (my dog) and I take two good walks everyday.  It's good for her as well as for me. Of coarse it might help if I would stop eating like there is no tomorrow. But, that's another story.  Anyway, we have noticed that all the apple trees are ready for picking.  Just walking past a ready to harvest apple tree is almost heaven.  The smell of fall and the slight hint of apple in the air.  Well, it's wonderful.  Hope you are enjoying this fall weather.  Now that I've gone on and on about how nice it is around here, my husband tells me it's going to rain like a son of a gun this weekend.  Oh, well we do live in Oregon after all.  

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

My Wish for You

May the light always find you on a dreary day.
When you need to be home, may you find your way.
May you always have courage to take a chance,
And never find frogs in your underpants.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Just Quilting the Afternoon Away

I don't think I have mentioned that I am a quilter.  Well, I am.  I'm not a really good quilter but, I give it my best.  Here is the thing, I'm not real fussy, so sometimes my seams don't match up.  I don't really care about that.  I just like playing with fabric and color.  I'm almost finished with a house quilt I started awhile ago. So, thought I would show you pictures of my quilt so far. The pattern is from the book Piecing the Piece O' Cake Way by Becky Goldsmith and Linda Jenkins.  They have a wonderful web page with lots more info about them and their projects. Anyway, I've been having a lovely Sunday afternoon in my sewing room. Yes, I have a sewing room.  It also doubles as a junk room.  I like it in there and now that summer is over maybe I'll spend more time in my sewing/junk room.  Oh by the way my daughter Meg is a wonderful quilter and she has a blog as well.  Stop by and take a look sometime.  Her corners match up.  She didn't learn it from me but I did try and teach her lots of other cool stuff.  Her blog address is:

Happy Sunday!

Had to hurry back to Church this afternoon for the Blessing of the Pets.  I attend St. Alban's Episcopal Church in Albany, Oregon.  We had a really good turn out.   I think I counted 20 dogs at this years event.  It's a very nice service and it's pretty short which is nice if you are trying to keep your dog calm.  I'll try to get my hands on some photos of the event and post them.  Now we are home and Lois thinks she will take a little nap.  I'm not far behind her.  Have a blessed Sunday.

Friday, October 1, 2010


This is my illustration for this weeks Illustration Friday.  I hope I can figure out how to post this to their page.  Well, at least I'm trying. I love looking at all the wonderful artwork that gets posted.  Really fuels my fire.  Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Well, I thought I would post this older piece of art.  I really like how the cat's expression turned out.  I have a good friend who has a nice black dog, I think it's a lab and a very big yellow cat.  They are best friends. This was my rendition of that colorful friendship.  I went through a phase that I liked putting borders on my artwork.  I may have to start that up again.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Just for Fun

I just love the ABC's.  So here is a fabric design I came up with featuring those good old letters we love to play with, as well as a few designs that go with the main stuff.   Thanks for taking a look.

Monday, September 27, 2010

My Little Sweetheart

Had to take my sweet dog Lois to the vet today.  Time to get the yearly dog shots.  She was happy to go on a field trip.  Then not so happy when we got home.  I'm sure a nice nap and a wee snack will fix everything in her world.  Yes, she is a bit spoiled.  I couldn't help it.  Look how cute she is.  If anyone wonders, she is a Pembroke Welsh Corgi.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

It was a very Big Fish

Well, I decided to post something with a little boy in the artwork.  Don't want you to think all I do is paint flowers, little girls and dogs that look like my dog.
My son took off on a fishing trip today.  He does this a lot.  He works for a fishing club in Oregon and they fish a lot, teach people to fish, take folks on fishing trips well, you get the picture.  He has the perfect job for a nice young man who likes to fish.  I have a daughter too.  They are both lovely people and my husband and I are proud as peacocks about them both.  We have a new son-in-law as well and he is pretty nice too.  I guess we're pretty lucky.  I have to go count my blessings now.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Back to School

No, I'm not going back to school.  I wish.  I loved school.  Well, I loved art school anyway. I thought I would post these fabric design of school related stuff.   I thought they were kind of fun.  Maybe some fabulous fabric company will see these and hire me to be their fabulous fabric designer.  Okay, it's official, I'm tired and I need to go home.  I'll try to be fabulous tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Sketchbook Project

I signed up to be part of a fun project recently.  It's called the sketchbook project and it is put on by the Art House Co-op in Brooklyn, NY.  It seemed like a really good exercise to me. I was hoping to get my creative juices flowing at a more rapid speed.  So far it seems be be working for me.  I signed up a couple weeks ago and they sent me a 5x8 sketchbook (for 25.00) and a theme.  My theme is "Down your Street". Perfect, I walk my dog Lois everyday. I thought I was sure to see lots and lots of fun things down my street.  Well, turns out I am  looking around with fresh eyes at my surrounding.  I look forward to our walk and to getting ideas down in my sketchbook.  I thought I would share a few of my recent sketches with you.
It's not to late to sign up for this project.  To learn more about it you can go to or google the sketchbook project.  I'm sure having fun with it.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Remembering Summer

Is summer over?  It's a rainy Saturday here in Oregon and I wish I could go out and play in my garden.
When my cousin Robin and I were little girls we looked and looked for fairies in the flower beds at our Grandmothers house. I never did see any, but she has very sharp eyes so she might have seen one or two at some point.  I'll have to ask her.  Anyway, this is what I hope fairies would look like in my garden.  I guess I'll just keep looking.

Friday, September 17, 2010

More Fabric designs

Just a bit more of some of my designs that go with my earlier post.  I could make a whole quilt just with these little flowers.  So sweet, if I do say so myself.  I'm still trying to figure this whole blog thing out.   So, hang in there with me.

Fabric Design

Here is a new fabric design I've been working on.  Now, if I could just find a fabric company who would give me a contract I'd be happy as a clam.  Anyone out there who needs a hard working fabric designer?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

My new blog

My friend Janet told me I really should start a blog and I think I promised her I would, so here I go.
The main reason for this blog is to talk, share and meet others who might be interested in my artwork as I seem to be very interested in other peoples artwork.  Anyway, I'm going to try and post bits of art I'm working on and I hope someone will see this and reply.
Here is a little illustration I did a little while ago.  Hey, but it's new to you.