Friday, December 19, 2008

my winter image

Friday, December 12, 2008

OOps That was the wrong one, the unfinished card

You can download the image if you like from their website.

Lion Brand Card

Friday, December 5, 2008

I had a rough afternoon when the kids stayed home and had friends over. I think I had to sketch something like this to get it out of my system.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A Tuesday sketch

Today I needed a break. This is playing with a tiny, and I mean tiny, sketch I made weeks ago on a walk.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Snow or no snow?

I am wondering if you all might weigh in. Snow or no snow. What do you think?
I have done the snow with the computer, so it's not permanent.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


My book Alef-Bet is coming back in print this spring! Thought you might like to see one of the illustrations. I did these in 1993. It brings me back to the time when my kids were small...


Friday, September 26, 2008

Friday Fun

I'm still playing. I started to fool around with a looser style this winter. Just playing and maybe, it will take me somewhere.

For those inclined new essay in this weeks newsletter

Well, time to visit the writing table and make some scratch marks.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

New Years

Monday night starts the Jewish New Year. I thought I'd cend an ecard out. I've been warming up for the illustrations I will do in the new book. After a long walk this morning, a beautiful almost fall day, I decided to just play. I had planned to use drawing below, but I was having too much fun with this one.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

baby boy mouseling......

Here's another piece from the book I'm working on. I am getting into it now!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Friday sketch

I've been drawing my way around stories these days. Here's a sketch from one of the dummies I've been playing with.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Finally Arugula!

I'm done with my book and it is time to clean up around here!

Friday, June 20, 2008


I've been watching Amy and Sarah posting and planning on doing the same. It's been a veryhard and strange time here for the last few weeks. The river has finally crested and now all is being focused on getting things cleaned up and back to normal. I wrote a piece about the flood for Lion Brand.

But this morning, before, I did any other work, I gave myself permission to play and draw a bit. I scanned in a page of sketches, turned up the music, tuned out the outside and played in Photoshop. Humbly yours, M.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Math Fun Covers

The covers for the Math Fun books that I was working on
all winter are up on Amazon (that was fast!).

They took a few liberties--changing some colors,
flipping images and whatnot-- but then, this was never
meant to be fine art so I'm not going to be bothered by it.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Spring and motherhood

It's time to update the website. I thought I would send out a mailer to make the announcement. Here's the image:

Friday, May 2, 2008


I threw a handful of beans across a clearing in the front yard, scarlet runners from last year's plant. I'm testing the Jack and the Beanstalk story. Hoping to heaven, I'll find the hen that lays the golden eggs.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

"before" picture of Mac!

This is my daughter Sophie's cat Macaroni. Brother of Tortillini, Ziti and Noodles.
Mac has been known to house his very own "micro habitat/environment" on his tummy, in all that fur. His tummy habitat has been home to slugs, earth worms, thistles, pine needles...well you get the picture!
Mac now gets a "spring cleaning cut" at this time of year. This is an illustration of "before spring cleaning".
Stay tuned for "after spring cleaning" !

Friday, April 18, 2008

More Math Fun

Last week I finally finished the last of the three Math Fun
books I've been working on since January for Picture-Window
Books. It was a fun job but I'm glad to be done with it!

Chicken Man

Deep in Israel's Jezreel Valley, lived a man known to his mother as Rody and to all the rest of Kibbutz Hanan as Chicken Man.

CHICKEN MAN, winner of the National Jewish Book Award and my first trade picture book

is back in print. It's based loosely on my experiences working on Kibbutz Mizra.

My friend Rodney worked in the kibbutz chicken coop. He told me all about the chickens,

especially Clara, a chick on the third floor, who wasn't like the others. He lovingly

imitated her nervouse wobble and cluck. I envied Rodney. The chicken coop seemed like

friendly, funny place to work.

I had been working in some very boring and unappealing places like the cemetery and

laundry (diaper section, don't ask.) A family crisis forced Rodney to return home to South

Africa and I begged to take his place in the chicken coop. When I read the work list

and learned that I had been given his job, I was ecstatic.

The next day, wearing Rodney's old hat, his long sleeved shirt, and his rubber boots, I

stood in front of the four-story kibbutz chicken coop eager to begin work. I was soon to

enter scared ground. The enchanted chicken coop.

Haim, the kibbutznik in charge of training me, took me to the chicken coop's elevator.

Together we rode up to the fourth floor, where the oldest and sickest chickens resided. A

dead chicken was in our path.

Haim picked it up. "Happens." He shrugged.

Not in Rodney's stories, I thought.

The other floors of the chicken coop were very noisy. The chickens pecked and poked

and were unwilling to move, making it impossible for me to gather their eggs.

"Sometimes you have to push the chickens off. Like this," said Haim.

It looked to me like Haim was hurling a chicken across the room.

"Doesn't that hurt the chickens?" I asked.

"They don't mind it," he said. "See. Then you take the eggs."

My head itched under my hat. My hand was already covered with scratches from the

pecking chickens. My nose was rebelling against the pungent air. I stood still a moment

and then I knew. Every part of my body knew. The chicken coop was a terrible place to

work. I thought about Rodney and his stories about Clara and the other chicks and

smiled. Rodney was a great storyteller and a great teacher.

I learned that day there in a four-story chicken coop, on Kibbutz Mizra in the

Jezreel Valley, that even amid hurling chickens, piles of hay and eggs, flying chicken feathers and

sticky chicken droppings, noisy clucking and pecking, there were stories to be found.

Just found this cool photo from our trip. Can you see the moon? It was taken from under the Eiffel Tower.

I finally found a use for my old National Geographics as reference. It was worth saving them all those years. Here's the last piece from my latest project that goes along with my previous post.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

trying again with the puppet link


Looks like the link I posted was more like a partial link. Here's the whole one.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Check out this! My middle daughter helped our good friend, and puppeteer Monica Leo post her work on youtube.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Graphic Essay

I had hoped to create a new image each week. I may still do this, but probably not today. This image is part of a graphic essay I just finished for Lion Brand. My first. It was fun to do, but took quite a while for me to figure out all the technical stuff. I think I'd like to try and do more of this kind of writing and illustrating. It is an extension of the illustrations I did for my Jackson Friends books.

Amy is my inspiration for the "knitting spring." Her yarn. We did a yarn exchange and what she sent me, what she hand dyed was so glorious that I really did feel like I was knitting spring.

And one last bit of news. A pod cast with yours truly. Talking about my favorite subjects; children's books, family and knitting.

Monday, April 7, 2008

testing 1,2,3

bear with me, i'm a brand new blogger!

About 2 years ago I had the pleasure of visiting the Island of Frenchboro off of the coast of Maine. I did an illustrator residency program for 2 days at Frenchboro's one room school house. The 15 children were wonderful along with the two teachers. This is a pastel sketch I did for the school as a memento of my visit. I hope to go back was a wonderful experience.

ok, i did it! i'm no longer brand new blogger!


Monday, March 31, 2008


This job is one of my last minute details to wrap up before we leave. I wanted to share the color version before I send it off.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Cats and links..

The thrill of the Math Fun books that I have been
working on is waning, but with only 8 spreads to go, I
hope to be done in the next week or so.

Meanwhile, I thought I'd give links to a few blogs
that I love to kill time with when I really should be
I love her work, and her life seems so idyllic to me.
She is an illustrator in Alaska. When it is cold and miserable
here I look at her blog and feel warmer. Although it is so starkly beautiful.
Not an illustrator, but a food writer in France. Reading her blog is like taking a
little vacation.

Anyway, back to work... and taxes..

Monday, March 24, 2008

Greetings from the heartland!

This is card I did for Lion Brand Yarn Company.For Valentines Day. Drawn in Photoshop. It's available on their website in a pdf /card format.

It's fun to see other's work posted. Thanks for inviting me to join the group.

I'm going to try and use this as an opportunity to do so new work that explores ideas I have been thinking about. Hearing Vera Williams talk about her work and studying her books again, finding the joy and the color has made me want to play with images. And now that I have figured out how to post. I think I'm ready.

Friday, March 21, 2008


Thank you Sarah for the invitation to join this blog and to Amy for putting it together. I am always happy to meet more children's book folks.
Amy, I finished the toy box image we each had to do. I'll post it along with a sketch from a magazine job I am working on.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

jointed jester from template page

This is the jointed jester and below are the caterpillar and dragon. I originally made these to fit in a cigarette sized box and they were dispensed from an old cigarette machine called the Glad-iator in the Langdon Street Cafe in Montpelier, VT.
Later I made the template to share the process of creating jointed figures with others. They are joined with tiny brads.

jointed caterpillar from template

Jointed Dragon

Variation on dragon from the template.


Template for jointed characters!