Wednesday, November 26, 2014

It's almost time! Happy pre-Thanksgiving everyone!

Wishing all of you who celebrate, a wonderful Thanksgiving tomorrow! Only a few hours left..what are you all preparing? Any special recipes? And special customs? Do you remember making these as little ones?

 I'm making a pecan pie for the first time with my littlest, an apple pie with my eldest, and two pumpkin pies too. Then there's the potatoes! Thank goodness my mother-in-law does the hard work and we get to enjoy a turkey with her delicious stuffing. Can't wait!

Thank you ALL for such wonderful and generous support throughout the years. I am so grateful for each comment, each message, each email and "like" out really does mean so much to someone who has always been introverted and shy in showing one's work to others. I am wishing for you all, the rest of the year full of blessings and warmth in your lives.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Emily Lost Someone She Loved, by Kathleen Fucci

Hello everyone! I wanted to share with you the fact that the third Thursday of November (November 20th) is observed as National Children's Grief Awareness Day. I apologize for the delay in this post, but wanted to properly share with you this wonderful project that I am completely honored to be working on with Kathleen and Kristina Fucci, of Kathleen Fucci Ministries.
Emily Lost Someone She Loved, is the first book in their Hope4Kids in Crisis series, a series of picture books designed to bring God's hope and healing to children who face traumatic life-experiences. Topics for the series include bereavement, divorce and disabilities.

The Backstory
I am the mother of three children whose birth mother died of cancer when they were young. When I met them, they were ages twelve, ten and eight, all grieving in very different ways. I have seen first hand the pain and confusion that accompanies childhood loss. But I have also seen the healing that can take place when children begin to understand who Jesus is and how much He loves them. By using our family's personal experience as a foundation, I hope this book will be a refuge for grieving children to express their sorrow, to feel understood in all their pain and to come to know that God is their ultimate source of comfort, healing, hope and joy here on earth, as well as in heaven.
-Kathleen Fucci
Author, Emily Lost Someone She Loved
I'm very excited to share with you their beautifully crafted initial book trailer, and will continue to share the progress of this touching book. Thank you for this wonderful opportunity, Kathleen and Kristina..I am so very honored! And a big thanks to Nicole Tugeau for your wonderful work and support as well.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A dream come true! : )

Hi everyone! I hope you're all doing well and enjoying this November so far! I can't believe how time is flying and how we are nearing Thanksgiving out here in the states.

I wanted to share with you my very, very happy news that I am officially working with Lee & Low on two new books due in 2015! Today, I received the contract in the mail and it feels so great to be officially working on two picture books with such an amazing team. I am grateful for my agent's wonderful and hard work. Thank you Nicole! And I am so grateful to have this opportunity to work with my new editor, Jessica, and my new art director, Maria.

Something also very wonderful, too, is that the main characters are diverse children! I am truly honored to help support the efforts in bringing diverse books to the future generations.

Thank you all for supporting me through the years here at the blog..without your support and encouragement, my journey would be less rich, less I thank you with all my heart.

The hard work is ahead, and I hope to share bits and pieces if I can (I'll have to get approval to do so), but I am so excited about it that I'm going to give it my all! ~ Shirley

Monday, November 10, 2014

Lettering with an oblique calligraphy pen and nib

Hi everyone -Hope you're all well! And a very happy pre-Veteran's Day!

I wanted to share this post on how I created some lettering for my most recent piece for the Make Art That Sells course, by Lilla Rogers. We are now in week 4, of a 5 week online course, but last week was on Scrapbooking.
The scrapbook page I created for MATSB
Because I was working very swiftly due to a self-imposed deadline of Thursday night for my piece, I broke out my trusty lettering tools to play with and create icons. A very quick background about me, I had the great pleasure of working as a Professional Lettering Artist for American Greetings right out of college many years ago, and was able to glean so much from that wonderful experience. I still to this day find such peace in creating letters, though I am very rusty at proper miniscules (lowercase letterform) and majuscules (uppercase, or large letterforms).

Anyway, for this piece, I sketched most of the icons and lettering in pencil, and then inked them on vellum or tracing paper, though tracing paper buckles unfortunately. I also just played with the ink and oblique pen and lettered phrases in my own handwriting, as well as drew with the pen freeform icons and squiggles as well.

Tools/material: I used pencils, laser paper, tracing paper, and Canson Vellum, with Higgins Eternal black ink, and an oblique pen holder with Hunt Artist's Pen Nibs (Extra Fine #22)

Here are a bunch of my lettering pens and nibs

sketch in pencil

poodle inked with oblique pen and Hunt nib on vellum..can you see the pencil sketch underneath?

Here you can see the pencil sketch sheet showing underneath the inked vellum sheet

Some very terrible freehand letterforms

some freehand handwriting, mistakes, and revised "bon"'s

I didn't use these, but the same idea was here, which was to sketch in pencil first, then ink on vellum

I decided to sketch in pencil with a little more precision.

Here is a sheet of inked icons and words on vellum. Feathers and scribbles were freeform as I was just playing with the tools.

My daughter kindly video'ed myself using the tools..I wanted to just share the angle that I draw at, and how you can get really neat thicks and thins using the fun oblique pen holder. I hope you try it sometime! 


Sunday, November 2, 2014


A heartfelt wish for a wonderful November ahead everyone!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Halloween is 'round the corner! Swing on by for your FREEEEEE download!

I quacked up making this! (errr, sorry for the pun!)

Hop on over to my wonderful group blog,, to download all of the ladies' (Belinda Strong, Julissa Mora, Cally Johnson-Isaacs, Nina Seven, Jennifer A. Bell) wonderful Halloween treats! :)

Here's my little treat can download it here.