And the winner is…

There were 176 entries in the art print giveaway, and so many wonderful traditions people shared in their comments! I loved reading them, y’all, it was inspiring and really gets one in the spirit of Christmas. And a big thank you to Sew Mama Sew for the giveaway week! It’s always so much fun to find other creatives and enter their giveaways.

This morning after the giveaway had closed, I used Random.org to select the winner.  And the comment number selected was . . .

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Number 118: Afton from Quilting Mod!
Afton’s favorite Christmas tradition? “
I love decorating gingerbread houses.”

I’ll be sending you an email and you can pick your favorite art print our of my Etsy shop!

Thank you, everyone, for entering! It’s been a lovely time getting a peek into your homes and traditions this wonderful season. I hope you all have a beautiful, restful Christmas and a joyful New Year! God bless!

It’s a giveaway!

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It’s Giveaway Day at Sew Mama Sew!  And guess what– the giveaways are going to last all week so we’ll have plenty of time to browse and enter.

I’ll be giving away one print from my Etsy shop, The Breezy Tulip Studioyour pick!  Take a look through my Etsy shop and see what you like!

To enter, leave a comment about one of  your favorite Christmas traditions!  I love this time of year, and I’d love to hear about the ways your family makes it special.

This is an international giveaway.  The giveaway will be open through Friday 12/12 midnight, and the winner will be announced and notified on Saturday 12/13.  Best wishes!

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This Giveaway is now closed!

It’s Black Friday!

Hello, everybody!  I’ll be sure to update you soon on our lovely Thanksgiving and the new projects (or at least what I can say about them for now), but in the mean time….

We’re having a Black Friday through Cyber Monday sale!  Check out our shops’ sales below–

Clementine Pattern Co.: Save 20% on your entire order by using coupon code GRATEFUL at checkout. (Ends Tuesday, December 2nd)

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The Breezy Tulip Studio is also having a Black Friday sale: Save 20% on your entire order by using coupon code GIVETHANKS14 at checkout!  (Ends Tuesday, December 2nd.)  Here’s the two new prints in the shop:

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“Preparing for Christmas”

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“Home from the Sea”

Noble Rose Press products are on sale as well!
Our coloring book and Paper dolls are $7 each!  And the Titanic paper dolls, “Audrey Bunny,”
and “For Such a Time as This” are $12 each.

 

It’s almost here!

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The last time I wrote about the storybook bible, I was still drawing thumbnails.  Now, after months of hard work, prayer, and waiting,  “For Such a Time as This” is headed to the bookstores and is available for pre-order on Amazon!

“For Such a Time as This” has been a wonderful project to work on.  I have loved exploring ancient Israel and imagining what daily life looked like for women of the Scriptures like Sarah, Abigail, Mary, Priscilla, etc..  All the study behind it gave me a close look into what they might have experienced, much like an adventurous inductive Bible study, if not actual time-travel!

Here’s a book trailer for “For Such a Time as This”!

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October 1st is the big day when it appears in book stores!  LifeWay Christian book stores, Barnes and Noble, Noble Rose Press, and others are where you’ll be able to find it!

I’m so thankful for the opportunity the Lord has given me in being involved with this book.  Our hope is that it will give girls (and their parents!) a greater love and curiosity for the Bible, that they will want to dig deeper, grow more in love with Christ, and to be transformed into His likeness.

(Thank you, Emily Rose, for the photography, as well as all the additional work you put into the book!)

A moth sighting

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This last Saturday afternoon my mom discovered a visitor on our red raspberry bushes . . . a nearly-3 inch wide Eumorpha pandorus moth.  We’ve never seen this kind before, let alone one so large on our property.  So it was quite a surprise to find this fellow patiently waiting for dusk.

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Because there aren’t any conservation concerns for this moth, I considered keeping him for an insect collection.  But the more I thought about it, the more I realized I prefer my specimens either already dead or happily alive.  When I checked on him that night, he had already taken wing.

“Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who delight in them” (Psalm 111:2).

A Book Contest and Storytelling

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From The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
Images courtesy of Project Gutenberg

Have you heard? Generations With Vision is hosting Nurture Little Hearts Book Contest!  It was announced in January; the deadline is July 1st.  Their desire for launching it is one I hear frequently, and you’ve probably thought yourself:

Christian families want more nurturing, helpful picture books for children. . . something besides Curious George, Dr. Seuss, Meatballs Raining from the Sky, Wild Kids Doing Wild Things Where the Wild Things Are, and Cookies for Ungrateful Mice. Christian parents tell us they have the hardest time finding nutritious, nurturing, fun books for their little tots and totettes. There are not enough solid, biblically-based, family-oriented picture books for children. That is why Generations with Vision is launching a Christian Children’s Picture Book Contest for 2014.

What a great opportunity for Christian aspiring authors and illustrators!  While it might be a bit late to get started on this year’s contest, it’s never too early to start learning, writing and re-writing, and experimenting with illustration and design.  I hope they do this again next year!

Excellence is a skill, and art is really a just craft that can be learned — of course you must love it to want to pursue it; but natural inclination requires hard work for it to grow.  Don’t be intimidated by the elites who make art look like you need a secret password to get into their world.  (Actually, you don’t want into that world.  The answer is to start rebuilding culture now — Christians have the answer: beauty and truth according to God’s standard.)

When you think about it, this is God’s world, and the art of storytelling began with Him.  He weaves stories and truth and beauty all throughout His divine and natural revelation (that is, in the Bible, and in the natural world).  The Bible is full of rich imagery that symbolize deeper truths; this is a tremendous key in Christian art that we can recover.

I’d love to introduce you to one of my favorite resources on how picture books work” Writing with Pictures by Uri Shulevitz.  I recommend it to everyone interested in children’s books.  He presents an overview of picture books’ uniqueness from other book forms, their strengths and variety, and most of all how they work and communicate.

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 Images courtesy of Project Gutenberg

He starts off defining the picture book as different from a story book which “consists mostly of narrating what is seen and heard. . . . Take, for example, Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of Peter Rabbit:”

Mr. McGregor was on his hands and knees planting out young cabbages, but he jumped up and ran after Peter, waving a rake and calling out, “Stop thief!”

These words are accompanied by an illustration of Mr. McGregor planting cabbages.  Although Beatrix Potter’s images add a visual dimension to the story, The Tale of Peter Rabbit can be fully understood without them.  In addition to telling the story, the words themselves contain images.  The picture simply underlines the description: “Mr. McGregor was on his hands and knees.” (p. 16)

He then goes on to distinguish between the story book and the picture book:

Picture books are “written” with pictures as much as they are written with words.  A picture book is read to the very young child who doesn’t know how to read yet . . . By telling a story visually, instead of through verbal description, a picture book becomes a dramatic experience: immediate, vivid, moving.  A picture book is closer to theater and film . . . . (p. 16)

Further elaborating on Mr. McGregor’s example and the relationship between pictures and words, he says on p. 53,

A picture book favors a direct approach.  A description such as “Mr. McGregor was on his hands and knees” would be either shown by a picture or avoided altogether.  When an image such as this is clearly described, with the visual details presented through words, to show it again through a picture would be redundant and possibly boring.  In a picture book there should be no such repetition; the visual representation takes precedence.  Repetition in a picture book only lengthens and complicates a form that is best kept simple, brief, and clear as possible.

It’s just fascinating, isn’t it?  This is a major element in children’s literature.  I’m far from getting the swing of it, but when you’re really able to wed words and pictures together like that, it’s a very rewarding experience.

There are many other books that are more technical and psychological about the creating process, but for those who are beginning a journey into the world of creating books for children, Writing with Pictures is a guide you’ll keep coming back to.

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Images courtesy of Project Gutenberg

Mother’s Day Sale

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Mother’s Day is just around the corner!  And if you’re looking for a special gift, use coupon code MOTHER14 at The Breezy Tulip Studio for 20% off at check out!  (Sale ends May 1.)

Spring is here!

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Many of the buds seem to have appeared overnight; a sweet reminder that God’s mercies are new every morning.  It’s rainy today, and there may be snow tomorrow, but I’m so glad to see these little hints of what’s to come!

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
His mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is Your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”

Lamentations 2:22-24

Working on Thumbnails

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Work on the storybook Bible continues!  These are thumbnails, the “seedlings” that will become finished drawings and paintings in the book.  (Above is Anna from Luke 2:36-38)

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Angie Smith has done a beautiful job writing the stories for girls, each featuring a woman from the Bible.  The redemptive narrative is thoroughly woven into every page.  It’s really, truly beautiful.

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Emily Rose has been assisting me by editing and scanning my artwork for the publisher.  (My work is never perfect and can always use a touch up to make it ready for the book!  She does an excellent job!)

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The publisher, B&H Kids, is planning on an October 2014 release.  We can’t wait to share it with you!

Spiced Rooibus Tea

We’ve had days of beautiful, sparkling snow, just perfect for the Christmas season. Mother and Emily Rose have been busily packaging all the orders for Clementine Pattern Co.. Daddy has been faithfully taking them to the post on the way back to work after his lunch break, lightening the load for us.  (Thank you, Daddy!)

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I’ll frequently take tea to the studio, so after nearly exhausting my tea supply, I decided to experiment for a spicy, chai-like tea.  It’s nothing radically new, and the ingredients are rough estimates – but it’s yummy!  Next time I think I’ll add more spice or steep it longer for a stronger tea:

SPICED ROOIBUS TEA
1 spoon of Rooibus tea
1 good pinch of cinnamon
1 good pinch of nutmeg
a few “petals” of star anise
a sprinkling of ginger root
1 small pinch of allspice
Stevia, to taste

Combine ingredients in a cloth tea bag.  Bring a kettle of water to boil, then steep the tea for 5-6 minutes.  Add cream if desired, and enjoy!  (Makes one serving.)

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Drawing and painting for the storybook Bible continues in the studio . . .

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