Prepping for another round with MATS Children's Book Illustration course

I'm taking another deep dive into the world of children's book illustration with Lilla Rogers and Zöe Tucker's course through Make Art That Sells. It starts this Monday and what's super nice (though tricky to squeeze in) is the warm up project Lilla and her team send out to help you get ready for the class. This week we received adorable pictures of "Birdie" and can develop the character and story from there.

My Birdie lives in Peru and is out for a spin not far from her neighborhood. Huge cacti and bright blooms fill the landscape. She's carrying something in her hand.

Birdie arrives at the little pond and pokes a finger into the water to call her friends to the surface. They love when she visits and feeds them snacks leftover from her breakfast.

As Birdie gently floats the cracker in the water things suddenly shift. Her surroundings shake then grow and become unrecognizable. Birdie pushes through the thick stalks of giants irises and carefully avoids prickly cactus stems as she moves along, wondering what she'll discover next.

Those are the first three days of prompts - so much fun to imagine who this Birdie character is and where the story will lead. Check back for the last two days :)

You can see more about the course & prompts here and here you can see my feature from the showcase of the class...scroll down in the article to see my cover of Ada Lovelace & the Number Crunching Machine.

Have a lovely (crazy windy wintery) day all!

Devon

Women Who Draw & my illustration based on Charlotte Despard, Suffragist

**UPDATE** The directory was opened again last Monday and my profile is now listed on the site - yay!

I have so many ideas for continuing on with this personal project...highlighting women who stand up and fight for their beliefs.

Yesterday I made time to work on an illustration for the new directory "Women Who Draw"...which unfortunately is on pause for submissions as they received 1200 entries in one day - wow! I would love to have my work there. When it happens I will let you know - for now, I'll share the piece I made. It started after hearing Trump talk about getting TIME magazine's "Person of the Year" award and how he thought they should return to calling it "Man of the Year" award..because, you know, women don't matter right? It was just one more thing piled on top of the mountain of disgusting, selfish, idiotic, and downright mean comments he has spewed this past year. I've just had it, and can no longer listen to his voice - I only READ the news now. The feeling I get when I think of the situations that could stem from this new administration is a jumpy irritating nervousness beneath the surface my skin, throat tightening, jaw clenching, violence inciting, deep anger....and it's really hard to let go of. I've been picturing it as an illustration while and have had my first attempt. I'm really inspired by this photo of Charlotte Despard (suffragist & much more) and pinned it a long time ago. I made my modern era version with similar defiance. I love that she's so strong, even in her elderly body - it radiates out. This may become part of a series, as I love working from old photographs (and the subject matter is therapeutic!) and I want to work to increase the solidarity of women artists today - as women are still, and always will be, facing an uphill battle for equality.

Day 11/100 of #100daysofpattern

A video of my block printed triangles...that means I put my first video on youtube. I'm all about the first of things these days! Enjoy!

It's a simple pattern - a string of triangles or "flying geese"...I had made the block to go with a sailboat block in a shirt design I made for my dad. It turned out so neat that I made my son a shirt with it and have used the blocks individually in other places. I like to use speedy carve and it has held up quite well.

Have a lovely Friday!

Devon Xo

 

New site!

Hi and welcome to my new website!! I'm thrilled to be putting it together finally. It's going to be a little rough around the edges for awhile but that's okay - I'm letting go of some of that perfectionism. I'll get there - little at a time, and it'll be lovely.

So unfortunately, switching over the blog from my original blog home means I've lost all the comments from the posts (I think the posts go back to 2007!). But I was so happy to realize I could plunk it from one home to this one and at least keep all the words and pictures with me. There are some sweet memories in those posts.

Thanks for finding me here!

Xo, Devon

100% Handcrafted Düsseldorf Market

I'll be participating in the 100% Handcrafted Düsseldorf Market next Saturday. I haven't done a market/craft fair for several years, and this is my first one in Germany!! Very exciting.

I'm introducing new work: block-printed tea towels, bags and pouches, fabric buckets for indoor plants, fat quarters, soft sculpture and plushes - all printed by hand in my studio in Aachen on gorgeous organic linen and cotton fabrics. I'll also have a small selection of original art and prints.

Please consider coming if you're in the area! This is the start of something new for me. I'll continue to post updates...I'm considering opening a new online shop in the next weeks.

Devon xoxo

Stills 13/52


 









Linking up with Em from the Beetleshack

I have no idea what they are but we love these spring flowers. Bursts of sunshine.

Leafing out.

Picking wild garlic and various other treasures.

Kids just belong in trees don't they?

Our first outing with everyone on a bike!! (Griffy had his laufrad and did nearly all the ride)

4 in the picture :)

Happy bike riding bee-eyed lady.

Sitting on the dining table, making the whole room smell amazing.

End of Sunday chill out, after a really nice weekend.

Hope you all have a great week! We are getting ready to visit Spain again, this time with a day trip to Morocco. Can't wait!

xo
Devon

Stills 12/52













Linking up for Stills with Em from Beetleshack

My most favorite spot this week.

The reality of the rest of the house this week.

Those responsible for the reality of the house this week ;)

Stringing together letters and asking what the word says. This one is giggle worthy.

Jingly bells and convex mirrors - things I really like.

Mr. Fishy (named Lightning McQueen and Hello Kitty so maybe we should call him Lightning Kitty) has a new home and is awaiting a new bubble filter. We are slowly warming up to the idea of a real fish tank, this is a good start.

Backyard daffodils - happy faces of sunshine.

And the tulips are coming up for the second year now - hooray!

Sea shell wind chime my dad offered to me before he was going to disassemble it. I love the odd beachy vibe it gives our German backyard ;) Like a warm hug from home.

Have a happy healthy rest of the week.
xo
Devon

Stills 11/52




 
 


 

 Linking up with Em from Beetleshack


We got a little exercise with our aching flu-walloped bodies and it was lovely. A sun-shiney day.

He'll follow her wherever she leads.

Chilly chilly chilly natural springs are for dipping toes into on a warmish day.

Flowers are blooming and green is sprouting everywhere in Aachen...it's been a very tolerable mid to light jacket weather. I'd call it Spring!

Concentrated piggy pose.

The aftermath of our Easter sensory bin. Lots of ideas over at Imagination Tree.

Phylo got a gorgeous new collar.

We lost a fish today...this one is without his friend now and I'm not sure what to do. We had them in a large pot with water irises - from my dad. Upon thinking about their situation in hindsight I think it was terrible to have them in a pot (even though large) and without filtration (besides the water plants). Fail on my part. I think we're going to have to get a proper fish tank, asap.

 Happiness is coral tulips in a bright blue coffee pot.

Lots of xoxo,
Devon

Stills 10/52











Linking up with Em from the Beetleshack

The sun has been shining and we are soaking it up. We managed to pull ourselves together for a teeny tiny birthday celebration for Griffin. I'm so thankful.

Cake!

Leaving our (snowless) winter behind and welcoming spring - happy indeed.

Sparklers to cap off an excellent day.

New toys. Jared put together the hex bugs habitat. I did the hot wheels track this week.

Our garden is a magical place with the flowering plum tree.

Per Griffy's request, a bear cake :) Very hastily made, very very delicious!

There is a new article from Mother Jones regarding plastic. It's worth a read. We have decided that plastic is no longer a food/drink safe option for us.

The kiddos finally have enough energy and lung power to handle a few minutes on the trampoline. I'm praying we have a string of good health for a while.

Our little Griffy Bear...three years old in just a few days. I love you sweet boy.

Have a fabulous week xo
Devon

Stills 9/52






Stills from last week...a little behind as we were hit with a horrible FLU that knocked all of us flat. It has seriously been an unbelievable and humbling experience. It was awful because the kids and I had already been sick on and off for 3 weeks, and were just starting to feel better. We played with friends on Wednesday then went to the Karneval at the Kita on Thursday...by Thursday afternoon Bird was a mess, then zonked out. By Friday we were all miserable. It's been over a week and we are past the fevers but not out of the woods completely. Besides a really awful stomach flu many years ago, and the chicken pox at 16 years old, this has been one of the worst illnesses I've ever had. I hope hope hope we can have a healthy string of weeks/months/(whatever it is just please more than a few days) and actually do some more living rather than surviving.

The guys working on the playground left behind a few things while they took a break. When the cat's away...

Griffy and his stick

At the Karneval at our Kindergarten. I can see in the picture that Bird was already not feeling well. But they're oh so cute :)

The beginning of a really rough week.

Back soon with the current week of (slightly healthier) stills,
xo Devon

Stills 8/52









Stills...following along with Beetleshack.

Huge rosehips mingling with blackberry vines starting to waken.

The sleeping game.

Organizing all the crafty bits.

Phylo, who doesn't enjoy having his picture taken but shamelessly expressing his desire to go for a walk already.

Drowning in kids artwork...I love it all, don't know what to part with, have to deal with, it grows daily, hourly!

Back massages.

The animal doctor (Tierartz) at work.

First mini-daffodils. Rays of happiness.

This week...oh this week - and last week for that matter. Sooo sick...bronchitis, pink eye, hacking away, energy-less, head throbbing, why doesn't it go away??...hoping to turn a healthy corner in a day or two or I'm off to the doctor. It really gets me thinking seriously about my health...quitting sugar for good? Enforcing earlier bedtime? I think I really need to do myself some favors.

xo Devon

Stills 7/52








Linking up with Beetleshack :)

My silly gem...Karneval is just around the corner and the Kindergarten is gearing up. I'm loving seeing new decorations added each day. The theme appears to be "more is more"!

Coming up with her owns ideas, plans, strategies and telling me exactly how I can participate in them. Love her.

My new favorite shop downtown. I've been looking into essential oils for home and personal use and just bought a diffuser and a nice handful of oils to start with.

Fearless heart attack giver.

Every year the kids and I paint their upcoming age on the same canvas...#3 is just around the corner for Griffy and the work in progress has begun.

Me. Perfectly imperfect and happy. Germany has made my hair nearly black, my skin much more pale. A different version, still me. The ample supply of chocolate and bakeries does me no favors. But knowing myself more as I get older is fabulous.

Making family recipe noodle soup with Daddy. Note certain someone climbing into the action.

xo
Devon

Stills 6/52






Following along with Stills with Em from Beetleshack.

Snowdrops: I'm amazed and a little alarmed watching Spring flowers popping up. The purple crocus at the park are gorgeous. Last year at this time we were really deep in winter snow. Is it going to come?? Will the flowers be buried? This is almost too much for me to think about being from much warmer places.

Mini skate park without bike/scooter/laufrad...just running up and down the slopes when the big kids are off doing other things momentarily. Next time we'll be back with wheels.

Our little 5 year old Bird bought her first antique! :) :) We were at Tongeren last Sunday and she bought this super pretty tin box covered in butterflies and gold & red details with her own money. When the seller said "merci beaucoup" Bird skipped off with her tin box saying "merci mowcoo!". Heart melt.

Little curiosity shelf is all glued up and sealed since this picture. Loved making it, every bit of it. Took some time but I'm already loving seeing all the little things living inside - Hello Kitty, a random penguin, mini rubber ducky, race car, shell from Spain, etc etc. I think it will be a place for good imaginary play. I got the idea (and many more ideas) from the Creative Family Home book.

A beautiful morning here today. 

Rambles: Jared sprained his ankle at basketball practice last night and hobbled to and from the kindergarten with me. We had a decent German class and off he went to work. I put on an extra shirt and scarf and think I'm potentially getting a cold. Phylo and I took a short walk & picked up Griffin...he's napping in the stroller (he regularly naps on Tuesday) and it's nearly time to pick up Bird. Hoping it's nice enough outside to play with water and possibly glitter. Sounds exciting at least...can you tell I'm tired?

Love & sunshine,
Devon xo

5/52









I've been doing stills along with Em from Beetleshack for over a month now! That's definitely some kind of record for me. I already love looking at past weeks, and my mama guilt feels pretty subdued since this feels like a decent recording of our little ones' early years.

Looking down as we walk along...so many treasures...tiniest mushrooms, seed pods, all glistening with frost.

More block printing this week. One of the things on my "to learn in 2014" list is putting together a semi-complex quilt made entirely with my own printed fabrics.

A bit of first-aid training/play at the kindergarten. At pick up she came running to me with a bandaged head and wrapped wrist - the huge smile let me know everything was fine.

Ice and salt and lots of colored water in the afternoon. We also turned it into a mini-volcano.

Sink bath after cleaning up poop in the leggings. Sorry for sharing that.

She thought my belt needed a daisy.

Early frosty morning balloon launch. It was exciting, especially when the rising balloon nearly took out the tree a few meters from me. *Walked away quickly*

Turning a battered drawer compartment into a curiosity cabinet.

Have an excellent week :o)
xoxo Devon