St. Simons Island

This year's vacation was St. Simons Island, Georgia. I know people like to stay on the ocean, but I prefer near the pier - where the ocean meets the causeway. There's so much activity and the light - the LIGHT! Just the pier alone becomes like a Monet throughout the day.



     Enormous ships come and go from ports all over the world. They're so huge, it's hard to fathom. And with every one that passes we wonder, where is it from? Where is it going? What does it have onboard? What is its STORY?

     Ever present is the little tug that escorts the big ships to and fro.

And of course we ate - isn't that the definition of vacation? Breakfast was at Palmer's Village Cafe, walking distance from where we stayed in the heart of downtown St. Simons. (A long, meandering walk, to prepare for the caloric damage.)

And we discovered THE best BBQ I've EVER had at Southern Soul Barbeque. Seriously, we went back twice. TWICE in one week. What am I going to do when I crave it all the way from Atlanta?
     Ahhh, vacation. We used to not take them. But after ten years, that first one was more of a coma, so we've made a point to take them ever since. And St. Simons is a fave. The view was ever changing. The tide became part of our being. We ate enough seafood to grow fins. And the sound of the waves rocked us to sleep each night.
     *sigh* When can we go back?

Kayaking the Marshes

Another thing we like to do while on vacation is go kayaking. I have fallen in love with marshland. Again with the light thing - they are so gorgeous and changing. I'm torn between ocean and marshes.
     We've used SouthEast Adventure Outfitters twice now, and I highly recommend them. Last time we were there we did the St. Simons Kayak Tour. This year (because of the tides and wanting to try something new) we did the Brunswick Kayak Tour. It was a little shorter, but still a blast.
     We took off from a dock in Brunswick, Georgia. It was a decent sized group of us including a young boy named Jack who I was ready to kidnap and claim as my own!

     I love the smell of the marshes, and it's never better than down in the heart of them - briny and pungent. They are the world's filters and as such teem with life.

     From our vantage point, the view of the Sidney Lanier Bridge was spectacular. At certain angles it looks like sails of a ship.
     The mullet jump in front of your boat and the birds are so rare and wonderful (to us city types) we fancy ourselves amateur ornithologists.

     I should kayak more often - it makes me truly happy.

     Stan too...

Cumberland Island

Stan and I like to try new things when we're on vacation, this year it was Cumberland Island. It is the largest barrier island off the coast of Georgia and bears the brunt of most of the tropical storms that head our way. We took a 45 minute ferry ride over from St. Mary's, Florida.
     Cumberland Island was made famous by the Carnegie family before the Great Depression. In its Victorian hey-day they threw elaborate parties and all the famous and influential people of the time hung out there.
     But many of the great houses eventually burned or fell into ruin. Now, most of the island is a National Park and home to wild horses.
     In all I'd heard about Cumberland, I thought the horses were a rare thing to see. Well, no longer.
     We were on our rented bicycles for all of two minutes when three of them came ambling down the trail towards us.

     And as we rode around to the ruins, we saw tons more. They're not quite tame - you can't pet them - but they certainly didn't care that we were there if we didn't get too close. (Do you see them all in the background too?)

     Apparently, although scrawny, they have been quite prolific and we saw several babies.

     We saw turkeys too - also with babies.

     But the best part of Cumberland Island was the beach. I have never in my life looked up a beach and seen absolutely NO sign of humans. No houses, no umbrellas - nothing. Just sea grass, sea weed, and sand. *sigh*
     Makes us happy.

Sophia's Vacation...

You know I love it when parents share their children's coloring pages with me, right? Well, Sophia decided my "Vacation" family was going camping - one of her favorite things to do. And when her mom emailed Sophia's coloring page to me, Sophia asked her to tell me she put a map of the US in the mother's hands.
     LOVE IT!!!!
     And parents, if you have a blog where you post your children's work - you can share their creations in MY GALLERY too. It's not just for card-makers!!
     Here is Sophia's creation. Thanks to Marion for sending it in!!

Micro Car Museum

Stan and I just returned from vacation to St. Simon's Island in Georgia (more coming soon). We never take highways on vacations. In fact, we make a point to take the most interesting, meandering route we can find. We call it bimbling.
     On our drive down, we went through Madison, Georgia and stumbled across the most amazing find - the Bruce Weiner Microcar Museum. It's full of beautifully restored tiny cars. I had no idea these things even existed, did you? One would be enough of a thrill - but this place was stocked full of them.

     Some looked like UFOs...

     Some looked like submarines...

     Some I just wanted to take home. I mean, how ADORABLE are these??!!!!

     So if you should find yourself in Madison, Georgia, I highly recommend you stop by. Or make a trip of it. It's VERY kid-friendly and you'll love it too!
     If you can't make it to Madison, they offer a virtual tour on their website. Or check out Bill Geist's coverage of the museum:

Here's some good coverage by the History Channel:

(There are lots more videos to get a good idea of the place - check it out!)

Coloring Page Tuesday - Vacation!

Sign up to receive alerts when a new coloring page is posted each week and/or click here to view more coloring pages!

     Do you have one in your summer plans? Are you hitting the coast, or climbing the mountains, visiting family, or taking a road-trip? Whatever you do, I hope you have lots of fun!
     Click here to view the entire Coloring Page Tuesday collection.
     Click the image to open a .jpg to print and color. Send your colored image (less than 1mb) to and I'll post it to my blog! Click here to find more coloring pages.
     Did you know you can take Coloring Page Tuesdays with you on the road? I have three coloring books available through Lulu. Click a cover to buy Coloring Pages Tuesdays coloring books!

     Here is Sophia's creation. Thanks to Marion for sending it in!!

Crayon to Cotton

What an awesome idea! Costume designer Heather MacCrimmon made child fashions come to life! (Click the photo to see more.)
Thanks to Patrick Griouard for the heads up.

Geek out on your name in fonts

I'm a font geek, I admit it. And here's a totally egocentric way to admit it. Click the image to go see your name (or whatever you'd like to type) in a totally groovy font! (From Photo-Lettering.)
Thanks to SwissMiss for the fonts up!

Coloring Page Tuesday - Sunflower

Sign up to receive alerts when a new coloring page is posted each week and/or click here to view more coloring pages!

     This Wednesday's solstice will officially mark the beginning of summer. Here in the USA that means lots of sunshine and warm weather - perfect for sunflowers!

Click here to view the entire Coloring Page Tuesday collection.
     Click the image to open a .jpg to print and color. Send your colored image (less than 1mb) to and I'll post it to my blog! Click here to find more coloring pages.

     Learn more about my fun picture book Glitter Girl and the Crazy Cheese - click the cover.

Rhythm "Foli"

There is no movement without rhythm ("Foli"). This is worth your time...all the way to the end. From the Malinke tribe in West Africa, here is a short film by Thomas Roebers about the people of Baro in Guinea and how rhythm infiltrates everything they do.

Thanks to The Kid Should See This via Open Culture for the heads up.

Save Bookstores Day!

June 16th is Save the Bookstores Day! Like the idea? Then head to your local indie and buy a book! Want to do more? LIKE the idea on facebook.
     Per Publishers Weekly, the day was started by literary agent Kelly Sonnack, with the Andrea Brown Literary Agency. Great idea!
     Bookstores from the US and Canada are participating - how about you?

My Little Library

Is finished! And being picked up today... Remember I told you about the Little Free Library program back in May? Several artists in my town were asked to do one and they will be auctioned off to raise money for the Decatur Book Festival - an event near and dear to my heart.
     Well, MANY hours later, my library is finally complete. I rarely paint by hand (I usually sketch by hand, but do everything else in the computer), so this was an interesting exercise for me and is a rare piece of original art (most of my finals are digital prints). I used acrylics and colored pencil. Daren Wang (organizer) is going to arrange to have it get a clear-coat of acrylic spray to seal it since I really don't have a space to do that.
     All said, I'm pretty pleased with the way it turned out:

     The door has book spines painted on it (my titles, of course) and the library is a lovely salmon pink inside. ("Sweet Tangerine" from Ace Hardware for those who might be interested.)

     Notice book spines make up the trunk of the trees. (I think this is my favorite panel.)

     Along with fairies, I included a robin, an owl, a lizard, and reading mice.

     And voila!

Stop Motion Paper Animation

When you think of the work that went into this, it's rather mind blowing! The artists are Matthew Amonson and Jeremy Bronson of Studio Nos. And it doesn't hurt that I positively adore SmartBoards.

SMART TECH - The Magical Classroom
Click the link to Studio Nos to see more of their amazing work, including the famous Play-Doh video.
And here's a bonus video about frogs. Can you say WOW?
Thanks to The Kid Should See This for the heads up.

Brain Burps About Books 100th Episode!!

Katie Davis' brilliant podcast all about Kids Lit, Brain Burps About Books, turns 100 today! (Well, it's 100th episode aired today.)
    To celebrate, Katie interviewed all three current and past National Ambassadors for Young People's Literature - Jon Scieszka, Katherine Paterson, and Walter Dean Myers.
    And let me tell you - it is a GREAT episode! It is thorough, enlightening and inspiring. So settle in with a favorite activity to keep your hands busy and go HAVE A LISTEN.
     Here's the cow coloring page I created for Katie when I was a guest on her show (click to get to the big image on Katie's site to print out and color).