Dippin toes in…

Back in the early days of my illustrating, I thoroughly enjoyed participating weekly in Illustration Friday (back then founded by illustrator Penelope Dullaghan). Life got a bit hectic as I had babies and spent more time momming than drawing. Through the years my girls and I would often create art together. Usually it was unstructured and freeform and really lots of fun. As they’re growing into full-fledged almost-not-children-anymore, we’ve each gone along our independent paths of creativity, often in our own time and space. But today a Facebook post reminded me that Illustration Friday is still out there, so I sat down and looked at IF again and decided we should all participate together. Our first entry is over at a blog I’ll be dedicating to our artwork together. Swing by for a visit!


The Mom & Me Book Club


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While I also belong to a book club in my neighborhood (more affectionately known as the Wine Club…it’s really fab), I’ve recently informally created a book club at home with my two daughters (ages 8 and 10).  And we actually read. And we don’t drink any wine.

The girls and I had read together at bed time from infancy, but it had long been picture books. It was one of my favorite parts of every day, all snuggly and cozy and a time where they really actively wanted to listen. For a short while, my older girl would read her own chapter books silently on her own at bedtime, but I missed having that reading time together. When I suggested we read chapter books aloud together again, they were game.



We started with a modern day caper called Escape from Mr Lemoncello’s Library. It was fast-paced and had a wide array of interesting characters. The girls looked forward to resuming the Willy Wonka-esque story every night, often urging to go on for “just one more chapter.”


Once we finished it, I was very encouraged with this refreshed nightly tradition. The girls were looking forward to the next adventure.


Before I’d even had kids I started to collect some of my favorite books from childhood, simply to reread again and catch a whiff of nostalgia. Once I’d had my first little one, I started to stockpile my old favorites in earnest (sometimes having to trawl through vintage book sites and eBay).

Our next book was From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs Basil E Frankweiler. I wondered if they’d enjoy a story that was published nearly 50 years ago, but I had loved it so much when I was in 6th grade that I just knew we had to try. It had also been alluded to within Lemoncello’s Library, so that helped pique interest for them even more. I had nothing to worry about. They adored Jamie Kincaid and his kooky adventure with big sister Claudia. Even half a century later, the story resonated with my girls as much as it had for me. Adventure! NYC! The Metropolitan Museum of Art!

We are currently reading The Kindness Club. I find myself sucked into this tale just as much as my old classics. We are very invested in the characters already and find ourselves sussing out the situations (or at least trying) before they are revealed within the narrative. We are still getting into this story, but I think I like this pattern of reading contemporary stories and then going back to classic stories and then back to contemporary…perhaps I will try them on some Great Brain books next…or Tom Sawyer!

With summer break just around the corner and a lot of time we plan to spend unplugged / in transit / chilling, I think we may be able to plow through quite a few more Mom & Me reads together. We are all looking forward to it.


Summer’s Nearly Upon us!

The end of school year crazies have been upon us the last few months with lots of celebrations of all sorts going on. I don’t know how folks with more than two kids juggle the different schedules so well (i know of several friends with four kids in three different schools who handle it with such cool that i really have no legs to stand on when complaining about just two school schedules to tend to)! We are just about to close out the school year, as the final week of school is this week. So, I am hoping we get a bit of a breather in between travels and the various sports and activities of summer…until then, keeping going with Dory’s motto: just keep swimming, just keep swimming (and doodling when possible)!


Architecting for Barbie


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The new year for us always brings about a wild spate of purging the closets and shelves and reorganizing. One of the favorite projects for my girls and me so far this year was creating a home for their Barbie dolls, nestled into a set of built-in bookcases in their bedroom. All the fancy finery of wallpaper and flooring was achieved with fun Contact paper (aka, adhesive shelf liner paper). We’re furnishing with the random bits and pieces we’ve already got and we are crafting some other furnishings and filling in with nice eBay scores. It’s been a fun and evolving project that we’ve really been enjoying.


A Few More from Draw Something


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Really, I will be posting things other than DrawSome doodles someday. But currently our new house is being redecorated (by us…ridiculous amounts of ugly wallpaper and poor paint choices to undo) and we have to scoot our year+ worth of townhouse-living out of our rental and into the new house within the next several weeks. We are busy (and fighting summer colds, all four of us!)!! I’m usually too beat to play Draw Something (one of my favorite ways to unwind at the end of a day) more than once or twice a week lately. Meh.