Drawing on Sunday December 11, 2022 at 5:00 PM Eastern time. If I draw your name, I’ll send you a signed copy of THE SCIENCE OF LIGHT: Things That Shine, Flash and Glow!

Leave a comment below to enter to win a copy of THE SCIENCE OF LIGHT. No purchase necessary! You can write anything in the comments to be entered in the drawing, but it would be fun if you could tell me about a source of light that is linked to a wonderful experience for you: like seeing fireworks with your family, or toasting marshmallows at a beach bonfire, twinkling lights on a tree, the first firefly of summer…

To get you started, here’s one of mine: in Ohio, where I grew up, there were a lot of fireflies in the summer. When I looked out off the back porch, I could see them blinking in the grass, but they would also cluster in the trees, and the trees would gleam in the night.

Only one winner, and only US and Canadian entries, please!

A BOOK SIGNING this WEEKEND!! Saturday December 10 from 4:40-6:30 at Hudson Co-op

To celebrate the publication of my new book, The Science of Light, I’ll be signing books til they run out! Thanks to Hudson Co-op for hosting (Thanks Laura, Sue and Kat!) and to WordUp Community Bookshop for being the bookseller of note (thanks, Veronica!). There will be light related giveaway, a drawing for a copy of THE SCIENCE OF LIGHT: Things That Shine, Flash and Glow (Holiday House)

at Hudson Co-op, 817 W. 187th Street. Come say Hi!

THE SCIENCE OF LIGHT is an Orbis Pictus Honor Book!

THE SCIENCE OF LIGHT Things That Shine Flash and Glow (Holiday House) is an Orbis Pictus Honor Book! You can read more about the award here:

The 2023 gold winner is Blue: A History of the Color as Deep as the Sea and as Wide as the Sky by Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond and Daniel Minter. The four other Honor Books are Choosing Brave: How Mamie Till-Mobley and Emmet Till Sparked the Civil Rights Movement by Angela Joy and Janelle Washington, Fighting for Yes! The Story of Disability Rights Activist Judith Heumann by Maryann Cocca-Leffler and Vivian Mildenberger, Hardcourt, Stories from 75 Years of the National Basketball Association by Fred Bowen and James E. Ransome, and Seen and Unseen: What Dorothea Lange, Toyo Miyatake, and Ansel Adams’s Photographs Reveal About the Japanese American Incarceration by Elizabeth Partridge and Lauren Tamaki.

I am humbled to be in such amazing company.

The Orbis Pictus Awards are given each year by the NCTE, or The National Council of Teachers of English to honor the non-fiction books for children and their creators. Orbis Pictus refers to a book by Johannes Amos Comenius: Orbis Pictus: The World in Pictures, written in 1658 and thought to be the first children’s book–and a non-fiction one at that.


Resurgence: an Exhibit at the FIT Art and Design Gallery

I was so happy to be included in this show of amazing artisans at FIT’s Art and Design Gallery. Thank you to Nomi Kleinman for the invitation, and to Sally Ann Parsons, FIT, Sandra Woodall and The Cincinnati Ballet for lending us the costume. It was a wonderful journey.

Sandra Woodall’s wonderful design

Sally Ann Parsons and I set up the Knight on a mannequin in preparation for the exhibit.

Our Knight! In place at the exhibit!

Accompanying samples, photos and text about the collaborative process of making a painted costume.

Our Knight in good company…

Thank you to Sally Ann Parsons, Sandra Woodall and The Cincinnati Ballet for letting us borrow the costume!

Resurgence! An Exhibition of Artisans at FIT Art and Design Gallery

I was so thrilled to be included in RESURGENCE, an exhibition of artisans at The FIT Art and Design Gallery.  It was an exhibit of hand crafted objects including weaving, jewelry, millinery, leather craft, curated by Nomi Kleinman, chair of the Textile/Surface Design Department at FIT. My contribution was a knight from the Cincinnati Ballet’s King Arthur ballet–really a complete collaboration of artisans. Sandra Woodall was the costume designer. The costume was painted and felted by me, but draped and figured out and formed and stitched and finished by a whole group of talented artisans at Parsons-Meares, LTD, led by owner and artistic director there, Sally Ann Parsons.

Thanks to Sally Ann for encouraging me to get the whole costume for the show, and dressing the stand with me (not as squishy as a person so weirdly difficult). Thanks to the Cincinnati Ballet for so generously lending the costume. The students just loved looking at it.

The Bunnies of Grand Manan

Taking a little Media Break for a month, but am going to leave you with this picture of the bunnies of Grand Manan, from the Anchorage Trail. There were actually many more bunnies than these. MANY MORE! Golden ones, black ones, white, brown:

And on that same trail, a little bird fussed and fussed at us, almost every day. I finally used the Cornell Bird Sound ID app on my phone to identify it–a winter wren. We finally saw it–very small and very fierce.

Kimono Exhibit at the Met

Ainu Coat (Ruunpe), 1868-1912, cotton, applique and embroidery A traditional garment of the indigenous Ainu people from northern Japan

This Kimono show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art has kimono through the ages and also clothing that is influenced by the form. Really wonderful! Here are some of my favorites. I think the Ainu Coat (above) has so much in common with Northwest Coast indigenous artisan work from North America.And I am looking forward to sharing the spider and Mount Fuji with my classes at FIT and Purchase. 🙂

Man’s under-kimono with Spider and Web, 1912-1926 Crepe Silk with freehand paste resist dyeing

Thom Browne, 2016, Ensemble, wool, cotton, silk, wood, mother of pearl, leather, metal

Man’s under-kimono with Mount Fuji, 1926, silk with stitched dyeing

Issey Miyake, 1985, Seashell, cotton, linen, nylon

There’s a Decorator in Your Dollhouse

Patty Reider at StencilGirl recently asked the stencil designers “What Made You Fall in Love with Art?” The answer could have possible inclusion in a newsletter that is shared with the StencilGirl clients and followers. It got me thinking!Maybe more than falling in love with art was becoming enamored with Making Things. When I was ten years old, I discovered a book in our local (Huber Heights, OH–our little town, New Carlisle, didn’t have a library) library called There’s a Decorator in Your Doll House by Melanie Kahane (Galahad Books,1968). I checked it out every two weeks for years. A few times a year, the librarian would make me leave it in the library for a whole week in case anyone else might want to check it out—an eternity. But in its pages, I learned to capably make dollhouse furniture out of cardboard, wooden spools, cupcake cups and pipe cleaners. I cobbled together mismatched earrings to make a chandelier, I used a perfume bottle lid to make a pretty vase. Repurposing found objects as things for my dollhouse made me look at my world differently: Everything around me became a potential art supply. Every spare minute was devoted to making things, and in the time I wasn’t doing that, I was daydreaming about what I might make next when I was back in my “studio” (the basement). I still do this today, but its art I make now, and not dollhouse furniture, and not in my mom’s basement!

I don’t have any picture of the things I made for my dollhouse so long ago, but I have ALWAYS made little chairs out of champagne cages. I did NOT make these–they are courtesy of Martha Stewart and Pinterest. They also represent a higher class of “champagne” than I ever had my hands on 🙂

Back cover…fun things to make!

Mister Doggo

Miss Seitner’s PreK3 Classes Write a Book!

I was invited to speak to my pal Miss Seitner’s PreK3 classes last Friday via Zoom. They are learning about books–that picture books have an illustrator and an author, that sometimes that’s the SAME person. They are learning that a picture book doesn’t have an elf drawing a picture on every page of their books, but that there is a printing process that happens that allows multiple copies of the same book to be in homes and libraries and bookstores.

I showed them actual illustrations from Crow Made a Friend, and then we looked for those illustrations printed in the book:

We also showed them a book (my favorite–that hammer page still makes me laugh–Cowboy and Octopus, written by Jon Scieska and illustrated by Lane Smith) that had an author and an illustrator who were two different people. To clarify the author-illustrator process a little, we played a game where the students were the authors, and I was the illustrator of our book. Our collaboration. Our Hero is a dog-cheetah-cat hybrid who lives in a dark forest, and he is lonely…In the dark forest (I was told enthusiastically), there was a path. When I asked, “Does Mister Doggo go down the path to look for a friend?” they all said NOOOO!!! (like I was CRAZY). But he did see a lake…and there was an alligator…and it went on from there. We even talked about compromise, and what that means when artists are collaborating. 🙂

You’ll have to wait for another installment to find out what happens…