Category Archives: Inspiration & Imagination

Nature’s Art: Tree Knot & Tiny Monkeys

20141012_124039I have been recently told that tiny monkeys live in holes such as these, and I am not one to argue with this line of thinking. I can picture them perfectly, can’t you?


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Filed under Inspiration & Imagination, Nature's Art

Quality Control Kids

Sometimes all you need to do to inspire creativity is pull out materials the kids haven’t seen in a while, or something they’ve never seen. In this case, washable brush tip markers, freshly sharpened colored pencils, and graphic pencils in varying hardnesses. After some testing to see what’s what, a flurry of activity followed:

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Filed under Drawing, Homeschool, Inspiration & Imagination

Local Art Show: Mark Khaisman

In awe of Mark Khaisman’s packing tape portraits at the Main Line Art Center, Haverford, PA.






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Filed under Artist/Author, Inspiration & Imagination, Public Art & Local Art

InkTober and the Kitchen Cart


First there was a great wooden kitchen cart that I found put out to trash in Manayunk.

Then… there was InkTober.


Inspired by Ben Hatke of the Zita the Spacegirl series and Jake Parker of Missile Mouse series? Yep, these kids were game. And at first… at first paper was enough for us.

But the supplies were on the kitchen cart… and they know my feelings about artistic graffiti created in the right situations… Sooo…

It’s been a week and they’re still drawing. The kitchen cart that almost went into a landfill, now has a new life as a work of art.



Filed under Collaborative Art, Drawing, Home Art, Inspiration & Imagination

Ben Hatke: Wizards and Libraries Forever!


Usually we leave the library laden with treasures, grateful and excited. This time, we brought our treasures to the library, and not surprisingly—because libraries are magic—we left richer than we arrived. We got to know the fabulous Julia’s House for Lost Creatures and take one home, have our Zita books signed, and heard an awesome talk from artist and author Ben Hatke.

See? Magic.

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 Not only did the kids get his signature and their book personalized with their names, but each also got an unhurried sketch in their books—the bird from Julia’s House for Lost Creatures, One or Strong-Strong or Zita from the Zita series.





Oh, there’s more. Yes. There was a great talk about books and illustration, an art game (will have to try this one at home), a reading of Julia’s House for Lost Creatures and a reading from Ben’s upcoming book.

There was also the hilarious and illuminating What Happened to My Cheeseburger?!? Demonstration:

It was about gesture, body language, and how to explain feeling through a drawing, sparing the speech bubble for further explanations. This made an impression. My son, later that night:


And one for me, my absolute favorite (so far) from Ben’s InkTober series, The Widow of the Outlands. That’s right, I framed it.



Wizards Forever! And Artist-Authors! And Libraries! Yes, definitely. Magic all around.

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Filed under Artist/Author, Books & Media, Drawing, Inspiration & Imagination, Public Art & Local Art

More Dragons, Please

Sometimes—often—our kids are passionate about things we are uninterested in, perplexed or bored by. At times, listening to them closely can explain why they care so much, and give us enough fuel of interest to hold our attention through the monologues of information. If nothing else, we can love their love, be grateful they care a whole lot about something (not everyone does), and help nurture it in whatever way we can.


For instance, my ten-year-old daughter’s dragon love. It has been in her since toddlerhood, since before she could speak in sentences. It began with toys and board books, then drawings, sculptures, paperweights, Lego projects, and now in chapter books.

Yes, honey, I will buy you out-of-print dragon codices. Don’t worry.

And yes, you can make dragon rune graffiti in the garden. I understand.


And I love your love.


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Filed under Books & Media, Home Art, Homeschool, Inspiration & Imagination, Painting & Mixed Media

Mail Art Inspiration

And this is how I lured them in…







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Filed under Drawing, Inspiration & Imagination, Mail Art, Lettering & Writing, Painting & Mixed Media, Stamp Carving