Illustration for Children’s Books

Annual Talent Search For a Children’s Book Illustrator

illustration of birds on teacup for global talent search 2016
Birds Chatter on Tea Cup, my entry for GTS2016

I’ve emerged from my cave after sleeping through the fourth annual Lilla Rogers’s Global Talent Search. I would still be in the dark about the talent search if not for artsy friends on Instagram. Fortuitously, a hash tag led me to a talented network of artist and illustrators who had entered a contest to win agency representation by Lilla Rogers Studio.

Lilla Rogers at Make Art That Sells sponsors an annual  Global Talent Search competition to find talented children’s book illustrators. The Grand Prize winner receives agency representation from Lilla Rogers Studio; career development support in illustration; and numerous product licenses. Zowie!

Stop the presses: Lilla Rogers announced the winners of the Global Talent Search 2016. Entering the finals, Five Finalists were selected! Also, Mara Penny’s menu cover for Sunny Spindler’s cafe received the People’s Choice Award! See their work!

Continue reading Illustration for Children’s Books

Yummy Frankenstein Cake for Boss Franky

Frankenstein cake
Hallmark inspired Frankenstein cake

Decorating my Frankenstein cake for Franky was inspired by art on a Hallmark gift bag.

Legendary Boss Inspires Cake

I baked a Frankenstein cake for my Boss’s birthday. He earned himself the nickname Franky, aka, Frankenstein, from his boss.

Franky’s career in journalism was noteworthy, but his transition to the corporate world was bumpy. He embellished his reports to an extent that his articles, though fascinating reading, no longer passed the fact-checking test. His writing created nightmares in the board room. On those occasions, the company president who hired him, exclaimed he had created a monster, Franky.

For Franky’s office party, I baked a chocolate, Frankenstein cake with my go-to chocolate cake recipe, Hershey’s Chocolatetown Special Cake.

I whipped up some green butter-cream frosting. Topped the butter-cream with drizzles of melted, milk-chocolate chips for Franky’s face, and covered marshmallows with chocolate for his ear bolts.

SPOOKY: For cobwebs on your Halloween desserts, partially melt marshmallows on stove top or in microwave. Stir for a uniform texture. Pull apart and finely string across your dessert. Don’t heat it too hot to handle.

My $300 Italian Butter Cream Frosting Continue reading Yummy Frankenstein Cake for Boss Franky

Do You Know the Stories from Uncle Remus?

Uncle Remus Stories by Joel Harris

Book of stories from Uncle Remus
Classic stories from Uncle Remus

From our library and sold on eBay, The Stories from Uncle Remus by Joel Chandler Harris: six classic “Uncle Remus” tales that spell adventure:
–Why Mr. Possum Has No Hair on His Tail
–Mr. Rabbit Meets His Match
–The Wonderful Tar-Baby
–Mr. Wolf Makes a Failure
–Mr. Fox Tackles Old Man Tarrypin
–Old Mr. Rabbit, He’s a Good Fisherman.

uncle-remus-possom-race300

The charming stories by Joel Chandler Harris and their vibrant illustrations date from the 1800s.

It was one of those things we inherited, and inasmuch as I love books and story telling, I only glimpsed the book before selling it for $29 on eBay.

I was glad to hear from the buyer she bought Uncle Remus to read to her grandchildren, a perfect ending to any good book.

Flourish Wheat Icon to divide text

Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox, and Tar-Baby

Here’s how the classic story goes …

Stories from Uncle Remus

Brer Fox was always trying to catch Brer Rabbit; but Brer Rabbit was mighty pert and spry, and he never let Brer Fox catch him. So Brer Fox pretended to be friendly, and asked Brer Rabbit to come to dinner with him. But Brer Rabbit did not come; he knew what was going to be eaten at that dinner. Brer Fox then thought of something else. He went to work and got some tar and some turpentine, and fixed up a thing he called a Tar-Baby. He set up this Tar-Baby by the road near Brer Rabbit’s house, and laid low beneath the bramble-bushes nearby to watch what would happen.

By and by Brer Rabbit came prancing along, lippity-clippity, clippity-lippity, as saucy as a jay-bird. When he saw Tar-Baby he sat up on his legs in astonishment.

“Good-morning,” says Brer Rabbit, very politely and nicely. “Fine weather this morning,” says he.

Tar-Baby said nothing, and Brer Fox he laid low.

“Are you deaf?” said Brer Rabbit. “I can shout if you are.”

And he shouted. But Tar-Baby kept on saying nothing; and Brer Fox he winked his eye slowly, and laid low.

At last Brer Rabbit raised his fist and hit Tar-Baby on the side of her head. And there his fist stuck in the tar, and he couldn’t pull it away.

“Let me go, or I’ll strike you again!” says Brer Rabbit. And he hit out with his other hand, and that stuck on Tar-Baby.

book illustration of Brer Fox, Brer Rabbit, and Tar-Baby
Brer Fox to Brer Rabbit, “You seem rather stuck up this morning.”

Brer Rabbit kicked out angrily with his feet and they got stuck on Tar-Baby. Then he butted her with his head, and his head also got fixed.

“Howdydo?” says Brer Fox, coming out of the bushes, and looking as innocent as a dicky-bird. “You seem rather stuck up, Brer Rabbit, this morning.”

And then Brer Fox rolled about the ground and laughed.

“I expect you’ll come to dinner with me now, Brer Rabbit,” says he. “We’re going to have some nice roast rabbit. You won’t play any more tricks on me. You’re too saucy by far.

“Who asked you to strike up an acquaintance with this Tar-Baby? Now you’re going to have a warm time, as soon as I can get some firewood together.”

Then Brer Rabbit began to talk mighty humble.

“I don’t care what you do with me, Brer Fox,” says he, “so long as you don’t’ fling me on those prickly bramble-bushes.”

“It’s too much trouble to light a fire, says Brer Fox. I’ll have to hang you.”

“Hang me, or drown me?” says Brer Rabbit. “I don’t mind. But for pity’s sake don’t fling me on those prickly bramble-bushes.”

Birds eye view of Uncle Uncle Remus story of Brer Rabbit and Brer Fox and the Tar-Baby
Birds eye view of Brer Rabbit in the Bramble Bushes

But Brer Fox wanted to hurt Brer Rabbit as much as he could, so he took him by the hind legs and pulled him off Tar-Baby, and flung him right into the middle of the prickly bramble-bushes. There was a considerable flutter where Brer Rabbit struck the bushes, and Brer Fox wanted to see what was going to happen. By and by he heard someone calling up the hill, and there he saw Brer Rabbit sitting on a log, combing the tar out of his hair with a chip of wood.

“I was bred and born in a briar bush, Brer Fox—bred and born in it — says Brer Rabbit, with a laugh. And with that he skipped off home as lively as a cricket.

SOURCE: The Human Interest Library, The National Home and School Association, The Midland Press, Chicago, 1922; pp. 346-347