Why I Love Peepsqueak

It’s fun to watch a child read a book. Their eyes are captivated with story and pictures. Their imaginations take off. Many times they ask you to read the book again and again. My book, Peepsqueak goes a step further. After reading it a couple of times, the child can read it to you. Boy oh boy, do they love that! They feel they can read all by themselves.

Here we have two Peepsqueak fans doing just that! Thanks to my friend Karen S. For sharing this picture. I love it!



“What’s In Your Backpack?”

I have the hardest time packing for a trip! What to wear is no big deal, but when it comes to what I might NEED I think long and hard. I usually take a back pack. This time I took a tote and a back pack. I might get bored.. I might want to do sketching, I might want look for ideas in a cool magazine or two or three,..  I should read that issue of What Women Create:Business. What about a notebook for writing?  I always get ideas. So, I should take some pens too. And I have to read my Bible. Will I need my markers? An eraser and pencil sharpener? The list goes on. ..and ON!

This is Part Two of my last blog. There is no vacation for an artist ! Unless you knock us out! Haha! OH! Did I mention my trip was only an overnight trip?  Haha!  My husband usually asks me if I would like to put my STUFF in the back of the van? “NO!” I say, “I might NEED it!” 
Help me! Haha!

Sometimes You Have To Iron



Life is full of mundane chores. There is no getting around it. Doing the bills, vacuuming, dusting, cooking dinner and ironing all fall into that category. Today I did all of those chores.. Oh wait, I put off the bills till tomorrow.

Why am I telling you this?  I suppose it’s because I think it’s important to be real. If all I ever posted was beautiful photos that made me look perfect …oh wait…I guess I haven’t done that. Heh heh… But here is my laundry that needs ironing. There! Feel better now?  Did I say that my washer broke two days ago? Feeling much better now? Oh, and it hailed all over my new plants.. I see you beaming. Ha!!

Yep, things happen, but we move on. Sometimes the moving on is the best part Of the day!



Organizing An Artist

Organizing an artist is not always easy.  I KNOW, I AM ONE!  HA!

A few weeks ago I was challenged to look at all my characters and take inventory.  It was the best thing I have done in a long time. I think I came up with about 19 different cartoon character lines. I am not kidding when I say my studio is full of life and noise!

This is my attempt at organizing. I am better to keep it all in front of me. Putting art in file folders and then in a filing cabinet assures me that my ideas will fade away.  Instead I gathered all the ideas for each line and clipped them together.  You can see in the picture above.

Now I can work on one line at a time. I can also look and see what needs to be done to make each line complete.

Each day is a work in progress, but at least I can see what the next step is without looking in a folder in my computer.

Here is a funny quote I found.

  • “Organized people are just too lazy to look for things.”


Dancing and Funerals

You may ask me, what has dancing got to do with funeral?  I will tell you that when you go to the funeral of your old dancing instructor you can think of almost nothing else. Such was the case with the service I went to this week.  It was for my dear Ethel Friel Barker.

It all began when I was in about third grade.  My older sister was taking dance and gymnastics and so I wanted to too!  My younger sister followed along after.  Each week we would tromp down her stairs in our leotards, set our dollar on her piano and begin our lesson.

Bring on the tap shoes!  What fun we had learning those dances.  The costumes came next.  Many times they were made by our mothers.  I remember the rumba costume the most.  The top was all gold sequins sewn on to satin.  The bottom was an open skirt that showed off your dancing legs!  haha!… a pair of green satin shorts underneath..and nothing skimpy!…then there were the ruffles of satin colors on the trailing skirt. I remember Ethel teaching us all how to shimmy.  We all laughed!

Each year Ethel would travel to New York to Dance Caravan.  She would learn all the dances and come back and teach them to all her students.  She had students of all ages from the tiniest little ones to the high school kids.  I remember two boys who learned a Russian dance.  Their dance number was mixed with gymnastic moves.

Besides the lessons,  Ethel would arrange for us to have shows.. at no extra cost to us. We traveled to girls homes, boys homes, a home for the mentally challenged.. and then even some Christmas shows for the American Legion.  As shy as we were, it helped us to learn how to be in front of people.  We learned about different people and the situations they live in.

When we got to high school, Ethel helped us with our gymnastic routines.  She rented out the Grange Hall, lugged all her black mats over and we tumbled and practiced for our meets.  All for that same one dollar bill on her piano.

Our lessons continued through high school and we occasionally went to see her for a class… just for fun.  My last class was when I was pregnant with my first daughter.  I remember going slow… I did a limber over… and then felt my daughter kick! That was the end of that!  ha!

Many friends gathered for the memorial service.  My sisters sat next to me and three other friends, all in the same row.  When the minister asked us to read something, I watched as ALL of us dug into our purses for our glasses.  Ethel would have laughed at that sight!  We all laughed and cried.

When the service was over and we sat at our tables for a small lunch, we talked and talked about our dances, our costumes and Ethel.  Before everyone left, we spread the word through out the room that anyone who wanted to, could participate in the performance of the Waltz Clog!  This was the dance that Ethel taught every student. ( My sisters and I do it periodically, even now for fun).

The people gathered… most dressed in black and white.  We almost looked like we were in costume.  .. and then we began.  We sang the tune as we stumbled though the dance moves laughing!  Our last steps were always … just as Ethel taught us,  “step cut the pie” with our feet.

What a wonderful remembrance. What a wonderful person she was!  We will always celebrate Ethel!

This brings me to this thought.  I have been thinking about it a lot in the last few weeks since I know four people who have died recently. There are many people who live life helping others. It’s such a wonderful thing.  They give and give and give until it’s time for heaven. Their memorial services are happy sad, but often joy filled.  Others take and take and take until their last day. Those services are sad. … almost tragic.

I prefer happy! I like the thought of people dancing at my funeral. .. and singing loud!

Here are three pictures of our Ethel!  She lives on in our hearts always!ImageImageImage

A Sketching Day!

Oh what fun it is to sit and sketch. I know I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating, even if it’s only for me. When you were born to create, nothing else satisfies. In the old days, artists were reveered. They were sometimes supported financially so that they might go on creating. What a leap we have made to this century where artists are often misunderstood to be lazy and dreamy-eyed. Who would not be dreamy-eyed with all the ideas we have rolling through our heads!
All of that to say, if someone wants to support me while I sketch, step on up to the plate! Haha! back to.sketching!

via PicsArt Photo Studio




Artists live a life of wonder. At times, it’s wondering what to do next. I will not lie, I have been wondering this for the last few months. I am looking for the sweet spot! It’s my favorite place to be in Art. It’s the place where you are working and you don’t want to stop. I think it’s a divine place where God kisses your life with ideas that flow out in a steady stream.

A lot of things can bar you from this place. Looking in the wrong direction, self doubt, self pity, self self self. Ha! Get the point? You have to get rid of the”self” part. If the sweet spot is divine, then you have to seek out the divine.

A few nights ago I had a dream. My dad was in the dream. Someone had driven him to my house. He slowly came up the steps to my house and said to me, ” Bloom“. In a small whisper he said, “bloom where you are planted”.
Then he was gone.
I woke up knowing the “divine” had spoken to me.
No grinding out ideas, just let the divine IN me out… to make the art I was born to make.

A flower does not worry about the bloom. All the coding for that bloom is IN the seed. It simply drinks up moisture from above and the roots go down and the bloom comes.

So… BLOOM today! You were meant to be like none other.