Monday, May 29, 2006

Cam Ward Stops Pucks, Easy As Cake!

My Sand-Cam made the Hurricanes website!

It's the 8th one from the left.

I really had to cake on the sand to build this week’s Illustration Friday artwork. It’s a life size replica of Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward making cake-work of puck stopping.

The sculpture must have worked because not only did Ward play last night, the Canes won in overtime. They are one game short of going to the Stanley Cup!

Bringing home the cup would be the icing on the cake ;).

Back in March I had the opportunity to play in the same crease at the RBC Center where Cam played last night. I even have a photo of it, click here.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Sunday Turtle Hunt

Went down to the pond today and spent some time catching turtles. We weren’t able to capture the elusive snapper again. I’m hoping to catch her again this summer. The first time I caught her I let her go after I got her freed from the net because she was so big and I was so chicken ;) Next time I’m hoping to have enough guts to study her a little, at least get a photo op for the blog.

This first turtle is a large female map turtle. The area around her hind legs felt hard and lumpy so I’m pretty sure she was loaded with eggs. She was a good size map turtle and I bet she has had her fair share of litters. Can you have a litter of turtles?

Next up was a teenage map turtle. This little guy was really cute.

Finally we caught this rather larger musk turtle. At least, large as far as musks go, they don’t get very big. She was very interested in biting my hand off. I chose not to let her do that.

Friday, May 12, 2006

The Crumpula
Cameron discovers that someone accidentally left the Gate of Heaven open and God’s favorite pet got out. Now it’s up to him and his clumsy friends to get God’s pet back to Heaven through the Gate. Only thing, the Gate of Heaven is a box of Crumpula Cereal!

Dropping the spoon into my bowl, I scooped the extra large, sugary yellow puffs into my mouth. Crunch, crunch, crunch. Not bad. Taste like candy. I tilted the box so I could see what I was eating. The sleepies were still in my eyes so all I could read was the name. Everything else was a blur. Crumpula? I never heard of Crumpula before.

I crunched another mouthful. Taste salty. Like french fries. No sour, like lemons drops. My lips puckered. Super sour! I never had a cereal that was sweet, sour and salty all at the same time.

I pulled the box close to my face but it looked blurrier than before.
The box shook in my hands. I’m not making that up. I didn’t shake the box. It shook me. It felt like a squirrel was trapped inside. I dropped the box real quick and shoved my chair back. The box shook again. It shook right across the table.

Bam! A cloud of smoke filled the room. Crumpula cereal shot in every direction, pelting me in the head. I covered my face with my hands. The bowl crashed to the floor. The milk carton toppled spilling cold milk in my lap. I jumped to my feet and found myself face to face with the shaggiest, slobbering creature I have ever seen.

I’m almost finished with this story. In the meantime, I have made some new desktop backgrounds for Pony Wombat and the Second Ark. There are also some desktop backgrounds for the Metal Marble.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

School Visit

Yesterday was my first school visit. I went to Farmington Woods Elementary in Cary and presented to both the kindergarteners and the third grade.

We had a lot of fun. First we talked about creativity. I brought a pillow case filled with neat stuff like sun glasses and hairclips and bubbles. Each time I pulled out an item the class would identify what they thought it was. Sun glasses? No, turned upside down. Mickey Mouse ears. Hair clip? No, when placed in the mouth, scary teeth :)

I shared my illustrations with them. I even showed them the t-shirt I won from the Society of Children’s book Writers and Illustrators. I explained how the Society sounds very important : ) I also showed them the t-shirt I won for eating twelve blazing wings in under 5 minutes at Buffalo Wild Wings.

With the third graders we did two creative writing activities. The first one I stole from Leah Palmer Preiss. I told the class to come up with ten things they thought of when I said ten words. The words were place, plant, color, person, etc… Then the students had to write a sentence using all ten words. It was a hoot to hear what they came up with. You would be surprised to find out how many times I was eaten by a Venus Flytrap!

I also had a chance to share some of my writing, both picture books and the first chapter of a longer piece. It was a good experience to read a story to so many children at one time and see their reaction.

Thanks Farmington Woods for having me! You guys were wonderful and asked really great questions.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Fat? Or PHAT!!

Like the way the new Illustration Friday site looks. I have often discussed with other illustrators how the IF site could be improved. It’s as if IF read our minds and made the changes accordingly.

I didn’t paint this week. I was too busy moving my studio. Stuff was all over the place so painting just wasn’t going to happen. But I thought the new IF looked so cool that I wanted to participate.

So here’s what I did do this weekend. I finished the final draft of Pony Wombat and the Second Ark. The story is Phat!

Plus, I started working on the site.

Pony Wombat and the Second Ark is about a third grade boy who has the idea to recreate the story of Noah's Ark. Using his vast pet collection and a rubber raft Pony pretends his backyard is the ocean while he waits for his pool to be filled.

The neighborhood bully, Morton, makes fun of Pony until the backyard pool cracks. The surge from the ruptured pool sweeps everyone down the street in one giant wave.

The seemly miracles occurrence gives Morton the idea to start a club that recreates Bible stories. Unfortunately Morton’s flawed understanding of the Bible ends in some silly disasters. It's up to Pony to stop Morton before things really get out of hand.