Google+ and all that

Just when I was already busy enough Google goes and launches a new social network. Darn.I musn't, I thought, I'm too busy. But I couldn't resist it and had to have a look. And those circles, they draw you in. Well, I have to say I am liking google+. Not sure if it is just because people on there seem willing to interact at present. Like kids in a candy store.

I 'hungout' with the vido chat facility and it seems pretty good. Nice to see some old friends and meet new ones. It's not that this is really new, as we have had Skype for ages, and I used a app called OOVOO the other week. I guess it is just that people seem to want to try things out.

Facebook, which I have been active on for about a year and a half now, has, (as you will know if your a member) been steadily changing so many things that now very often people don't see posts any more, due to the way the newsfeed  shows. Sometimes it feels as if you are just posting to yourself. I do have a fanpage, where I post my latest illustrations and stuff, and that too gets less hits than formerly.

Probably this is the downfall of all these sites, in the end traffic becomes just too high and it has to be restricted. Still I continue to post and comment. It's good to catch up with other illustrators and writers, and also people who enjoy your work. So thanks if you are a member of my pages, or have put me in a circle.

Also of course having to restrict 'TIME SPENT' on these sites!

Find me on Google+ simply under Hazel Mitchell.

Meanwhile I have been working on my portfolio for the Los Angeles SCBWI summer conference in August. With 2 chapter books to illustrate before the end of August I am on a big time crunch, so last week I decided to blitz the portfolio and get it finished up. I am keeping it to one theme - flying - and hopefully in a coherent style (my biggest issue!) I've had some late nights and early mornings this week!

So I will leave you with some of the images created ... and then I have to pack because me and hubby are off to the seaside here in Maine for a couple of days. Well earned I might add.



This colouring/activity page is for you to print out and give to children - yours, someone else's or to use in a school or library. All I ask is that it is not used for commercial purposes.
Simply click on the image and print for your children to colour.

Don't forget to follow my blog so you will receive the latest Kid's Page on a weekly basis.



Dummy (plural)

Dummy. It's a funny word when you think about it. The dictionary describes it as 'general style of a contemplated piece of printing.' Which is indeed what I have been working on this week. Of course it 'informally' can mean a somewhat stupid person, and sometimes that applies to me also. What a versatile language English is! 

So, yes, Dummy's. (Or should it be dummies?) Whichever, I have been working on the math book layouts (aka T'he Dummy' for those not in the terminology).  I have pretty much finished Bear -

And Aardvark -

Next the Dinosaur and then Dragonfly layouts. Each one seems to be taking 3 days to get into shape ... I already had a rough layout done and some sketches. I have been adding shading to the sample coloured pages and putting the text in speech bubbles, as it is all direct speech and makes more sense. Doing some revising and adding in bits and pieces like end pages and title page ideas and stuff. 

I was so hoping to get them finished and submitted by the end of September ... it's still doable, just. But next week I am teaching a sketching cruise on a Maine Windjammer (Isaac H Evans in Rockland). the weather is looking good, so hopefully we won't all be in the galley drawing bowls of fruit, and as soon as I get back I will have the MANUSCRIPT from the publisher for the BOOK and then it is full steam ahead on the illustrations for IT. So, maybe I will find a few late nights to work on the last two math books. I am SO ready to submit them. I am so fed up of working on them!! I thought I knew where I was going to send them. And now I might be having second thoughts. Well, whatever, they are getting off my desk in an envelope and on to some one else's desk.

And that's about it.  I haven't surfaced much from the attic. I see a bright thing rise in the East out the window, and set in the West so I know the world is still turning.

Just over a month until the conference in Nevada and first mentor session with Priscilla Burris .. looking forward to it, but there is another thing hurtling towards me at speed. What's up with time?? 

Looking ahead to next year I am considering applying for the Amhurst College Mass, Illustration Master Class in summer. That would be awesome (Americanism) and I hear Peter De Seve and Mo Willems might be on the faculty. Two of my fav illustrators. Not sure how much it might cost yet ... guess I will need to save my pennies and get some more work in!

Right, I am pooped. Going to watch some TV and drink some rum in anticipation of sailing next week. I will be taking my camera, so pics to come next time, I expect.

Casting Off!
aka The Wacky Brit

PS ... Nothing new on the bedside table. Rereading 'Elidor' by Alan Garner, because if there is anyone I wish I could write like it is the old master.

PPS If anyone has a recipe for no-sugar and no-fat cake please send it to me!