The room formerly known as my office, 1 year later

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More than two years ago I blogged about my old office being fully decorated. Less than a year later, I culled down to the basics and moved my office into a back corner of our living room. One year ago Saturday, it officially became our daughter Piper's bedroom.

I have no regrets about giving up that space. I love Piper's room. We've built lovely memories there. I love having my office where I can hang out with my husband in the evening. To be honest, I decorate at a snail's pace. I put a few finishing touches on her room this week. I don't decorate by ordering everything in one theme. My own baby blanket hangs over her crib. The blanket I crocheted while she grew in my tummy and I wanted nothing to do with illustration is on her glider.  The Amy Ruppel wall sticker goes with the original painting my husband bought me years earlier, that never had to move from it's spot on the wall.

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Many of my children's books still hang out in the upper shelves. Her brother's baby toys line her shelves too.

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Auntie Louise bird painting was the first thing I painted when the urge to be creative hit full force (and her middle name is Louise, after my great Auntie Louise who inspired that bike-riding, fish delivering bird). And most importantly, Piper seems happy here. And we are so happy and blessed to have her. She's our wild, funny, independent, sweet, and easy-peasy, spikey-haired girl.

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Happy Birthday Piper Louise!

Meet Piper

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Piper Louise arrived on May 19th, 2011. She is my best project to date, but equal of course to her sharp big brother Miles and super-dad Kristian.

I took a major detour from my work throughout the whole pregnancy. If anyone ever wants to commiserate about bedrest or the loss of creative energy while expecting, I'm here for you. I literally haven't drawn a thing in many months. To get myself back into the groove (regardless of the upcoming challenges of juggling 2 children and massive sleep deprivation to come), I signed up for The Sketchbook Project. I picked 'treehouse' as my theme and have been filing ideas away for the moment when I pick up a pencil again. I'd love to get my blog out of the pits by sharing that project. I still have zero expectations, and my goal is still to do what makes me happy. Certainly, these next few weeks will be filled with the happiness of just being a new mom again.

My Picture Book dummy confessions.

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Long ago I set a goal to get this picture book dummy done. After many detours this year, I devoted a big chunk of time to it. I sketched, scanned, tweaked, resketched, edited, resketched, rewrote, resketched, etc, etc.

I finally pulled together something to share with my generous and talented illustration friends. I was really nervous about sharing it because deep down I knew it just wasn't what I wanted it to be. I had a feeling it wasn't a matter of a tune-up. This guy needed all systems replaced. But at it's heart, I have characters I love, and a vision - even if it's gotten muddy.

I feel like I did achieve my goal in the sense that I finally pulled a whole book out of my head. But will I submit it? Nope. It's been sitting aside for a few weeks. Soon I'll throw it back into the fires. This dummy-making business is not for the faint-hearted!

One awesome thing to come out of it - a postcard to promote myself, finally! It's been over a year since I've mailed a little piece of me out there. I'm crossing my fingers that these two characters are well received. They have SO much more to share with everyone besides pancakes.

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I also managed to refresh my website, blog and customize my twitter page a bit. I might blog more about the process for this work since it's so complex - not just gouache on paper, you guys!

Autumn Days

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Babies totally GET living in the moment, don't they? I, on the other hand, need a reminder - not for the moments with him. But the moments in between. I'm taking a media break. If any of you have done The Artists' Way, you know what I mean. So I'm putting a few blog posts together this morning to auto-post in my absence.

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Check out the gorgeous quilted blanket made by our friend Jen, aka Recovergirl. She blogged about it over here. It's 100% reclaimed/reused fabrics. Including the binding. She's amazing. It will be loved for a long time to come I think. Oh, and go here to enjoy more pictures of our lovely day in the park, etc.

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And slowly I paint. I do paint very methodically - background to foreground, characters last. Describing it sounds dull, but it's my favorite part of the process - seeing the final picture emerging.

And to make more comments re: Twitter... I wish I had more time to tweet randomly throughout the day. I sort of tweet in bursts which is less than ideal for readers. Usually I catch up at naptime from my PC, or nursing time from my iTouch (which I am utterly addicted to since Miles' birth - perfect for new mommies, esp. if you nurse and need a quiet distraction to get you through the long nights).