Friday, February 05, 2016

From the Art Docent: Symmetry

Second Grade Art Wall

Ladybug Image Transfer

Bumble Bee Image Transfer

To help the kids understand symmetry, I opted for an easy image transfer project. I gave each student a piece of white paper, a soup spoon, and an assortment of oil pastels. Here's the lesson:
1.) Fold the piece of paper in half.
2.) On the fold, draw half a bug by pressing firmly with a dark colored pastel.
3.) Fold the bug to the inside, and on the back, burnish the bug lines with the spoon.
4.) Unfold and voila! A mirror image on the opposite side.
5.) Color the same on both sides.

At first I thought the kids would whip through the assignment, and the lesson would be over in fifteen minutes. Most did, but they were excited to make another...and another. They got into the spirit of exploring. They turned out so cool!

Another fun day with the kids :)

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Groundhog Giveaway

Spring! Spring!

Super Phil, my little groundhog buddy, is helping me get the word out today. We have five copies of Dealing with Blue up for grabs on Goodreads.com. The giveaway starts today! Head on over to enter your chance for a spankin' new paperback.



Goodreads Book Giveaway

Dealing with Blue by Stacia Leigh

Dealing with Blue

by Stacia Leigh

Giveaway ends March 03, 2016.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Now Available in Paperback!

Dealing with Blue is now available on Amazon in paperback. It was a long process, and one that I found conflicting. On the one side, it was a drawn out slog. On the other, I kind of enjoyed it. Weird.

I'm one of those people who take the long road. I like to jump right in, then spend 90% of my time fixing all the errors I made, like:

1) Getting the margins right, including enough space for the gutter.
2) No ragged edges. Justify it, please.
3) Then, adjust character spacing to avoid excessive rivers.
3) No last-chapter widow sentences.
4) No dangling m-dashes.
5) Remove TOC in print version, add back for digital one.
6) Go back and add Acknowledgements page after all.
7) Make sure the spine on your cover is the correct width when it's all said and done!

There was a lot of back and forth and precious time spent waiting for Createspace to approve my changes.

And here we are...

Sigh.

Done.

If you've already read it--I hope you enjoyed it! Please remember to leave a review on Amazon. Algorithms, marketing, blah blah blah. Plus, this is all new to me. I'd love to know what you think.


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Look What My Eyeballs Found!




I'm considering a book giveaway on Goodreads, and through a search, found an informative blog by author Catherine Ryan Howard.

I love her writing style and gleaned fabulous information on what to consider and what to ignore. Here's what I've learned, just in time, too:

* It's not about how many books you give away. It's about how many eyeballs see your book giveaway.

* Don't restrict the giveaway to U.S. residents only, especially if you're self-published and don't have to worry about territory issues. Again, it's about how many eyeballs see your book.

* If you're worried about shipping costs, order your book from Createspace and send directly to the winners from there, instead of paying to ship to yourself and again to ship to the winner's address.

* If the winner is from another country, say the UK, order and ship your book to them from Amazon.co.uk.

* Don't just have one giveaway, have multiple, and make use of the fact that participants who didn't win, will get an email from Goodreads, saying to try again in the book's new giveaway.

Read Catherine's article Don't Do What You're Told and Goodreads Giveaway: An Update for an in-depth and witty read.



Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Favorite Picture Books on My Home Shelf

I love reading out loud to my two voracious readers. When we were in the picture book phase, we'd check out tons of books from the library and read through the stack in short order. We'd discuss what we liked about each book and what we didn't. It was a nice way to spend time together, to communicate through stories. Our imaginations would soar.

Last night, I picked through our shelf and made a pile of the books that were my personal favorites. Instead of me reading to them, they read to me. Times change quickly, don't they?

Anyway, I wanted to share my favorites that are currently in house. This short list by no means covers them all. *sigh* That would require a bigger house, a bigger shelf. Here goes:



The Book Pile


Are You a Horse? by Andy Rash
Waking Beauty by Leah Wilcox (illustrated by Lydia Monks)
Brontorina by James Howe (illustrated by Randy Cecil)
I'm Not Afraid of This Haunted House by Laurie Freidman (illustrated by Teresa Murfin)
The Circus Ship by Chris Van Dusen
My Truck is Stuck by Kevin Lewis (illustrated by Daniel Kirk)
This Is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen
The Runaway Pumpkin by Kevin Lewis (illustrated by S.D. Schindler)
A Visitor for Bear by Bonny Becker (illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton)
Sam & Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett (illustrated by Jon Klassen)
I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen
Journey by Aaron Becker
Lily's Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes
Falling for Rapunzel by Leah Wilcox (illustrated by Lydia Monks)

I have a whole slew of other favorites I keep track of on Goodreads. According to them, I've read 524! That's a fair amount. Out of curiosity, I looked for my last two picture-book favorites from the library...they were so good, they're worth a mention:

Adele and Simon by Barbara McClintock
Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late! by Mo Willems

Okay, that's it for now. I'm done listing.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

eBook Available on Amazon

Two years! What a haul. But after writing, attending critique sessions, rewriting, sending it to a developmental editor twice, more revisions, sending it to a copy editor, and...yup, you guessed it, more writing and rewriting...

I can finally say--

Wait! I also muddled through cover design. I took a picture of a pair of jeans, bought new fonts from myfonts.com, and perused buttercup images at Foter.com (thank you Blue Diamond Photography!)

Then--

I fussed with changing the margins, uploading to KDP, creating...you know what? This is boring. Suffice it to say Dealing with Blue is up and digitally available. Check it out on Amazon. It's also available through Kindle Unlimited until April 2016.

Getting it in paper back is another matter altogether, and I'm still working on that one :)


Dealing with Blue
Cover Art

  Dealing with Blue is a Young Adult Romance about a self-contained girl named Suzy Blue, who quietly endures a fragile relationship with her hoarding mother. Suzy wants to be wild and free and agrees to take part in a pretend girlfriend scheme with her charming neighbor, J.J. Radborne. When the lines between fake and real start to blur, Suzy gets nervous. What if J.J. wants more and what happens when he finds out about her mom?

This is a small town love story about a strong girl, a bad boy, forgiveness and trust, and finding love.

Merry Christmas!


"Merry & Bright"
Burst Pattern

I found a "burst" pattern on Pinterest and loved the look. This design made good use of the scrap paper I keep around. Gotta love the stacks of music I have set aside for collaging. I tried to capture some of the Christmas lyrics while cutting out the pieces.


"Merry & Bright"
Circle Pattern

This piece was inspired by a German advent calendar I received as a gift several years ago. Behind the chocolates were red holiday images, which I cut out with a large hole punch. I arranged them on red polka dot paper and...boom! Fin.

These two projects were done at the Western Washington Scrapbook Retreat last November.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

From the Art Docent: Complimentary Colors


Second Grade Art Class
Mixing Paint and Complimentary Colors


The assignment was to draw a border (so paint doesn't go right to the edge--saves on clean up) and trace their hands as many times as they'd like. Then, I had the kids mix primary colors, blue and yellow, to make the secondary color, green. The hands were to be decorated with the primary and complimentary color, red. That's it, the rest was left up to creativity.

The kids were so excited about mixing colors that many explored on their own. I encouraged the journey! This is where kids can dabble with the media, see what patterns the brushes make, and if they heard the lecture, maybe a little of it soaked in. The artwork turned out beautifully.