Sunday, March 27, 2011

Nikki Doll Finished

 It is so amazing to see this little guy in 3 dimension after 7 years of working on the story and the illustrations.
 It is becoming very very real and after all the hard work I finally can feel the joy.
 When I started this project I couldn't even write a story. I thought it would be fun to illustrate a children's book. Like a child I had no idea what I was getting into or what I desired.

I prayed for a story and a year later this story came to me in a outline..What a moment of answered prayer.
But the flushing out of the story was next.
Writing is not easy..I can write a poem or a little blog but it is another thing to have a story that will stand up to publishers! My husband and several author friends have helped me to complete the story and the editing! I am truly thankful for all their love and help.
When the story of Nikki was finally finished I feel so in love with him I didn't have any desire to illustrate the book. I started the process of sending it to publishers. But I realize quickly that this was a hard task.  I new that I would need to illustrate it to have a chance to get it published. But it was overwelming to me. For one thing I didn't have the training and it was a daunting project. But a friends encouraged me to try. It was very very hard for me..it didn't come easy to learn something that was above my level at the time. I took a 2 1/2 month class weekly driving an hour to get there.

With the hardest parts for me now finished it is becoming so much fun! It is so special to use my new skills in photo shop to put even more  finishing touches on the illustrations.

I have finally come to the stage to find a publisher... ....the next part of this long journey of Faith!

I have little Nikki doll to keep me company and urge me on to complete this task. It has been very special to look into the faces of the little children who pass me by and think about how they will be blessed by this story. 
I really don't have words to explain all the parts of my heart ...I don't think I really know what it all means but the unfolding of Gods answer to the little prayer so long ago will write the rest of my story....

Gnome Elf Tomten Doll

 These are the books that inspired me to write my Nikki Nissa and the Christmas Star story. The Tomten..is the one front left..such a sweet story and then Peter front right..It seems Nikki looks a little like Peter. I read these to my son when he was little.  Other books are newer as I learned more about Tomten/Nissa the Scandinavian Elf/Gnomes.
 I am going to the SCBWI children's book conference in WA in April. Iam making a Nikki doll from the character in my book to hang off my purse as a door opener ...meeting people.. editors, agents, publishers, and fellow illustrator/writers..connecting..and having fun.

 This was my first try for the face. But he looked too much like a girl so I changed him.
  This is my first experience with making fiber hair for a doll ....natural sheep wool from local sheep.
 It caused me a little stress as I didn't have very much wool. But then I found a source in a yarn shop called "Rose and Ram" in a little village below my house 4 miles away. No one else had any and I didn't want to wait to order. The owner of Rose and Ram has a farm with sheep!
 It was hard as I had to wash the wool and pull it out in strands and dry..I had never done this.
 But it came out..Yes!
 Then I used a razor to cut the hair in levels..the scissors where to straight..so I could pull and razor cut. I tried to pull the fibers when dry but it was hard. That is how I did it when it was wet to make the strands but now they had to be shorter for the doll.

 Next I wanted to make the hair with strands..
 So I used this product from Sally's and water.
 A little drying..
 
Time to paint and make the shoes..I also put some clear shinny coat on the eyes and mouth to get the wet look.. Now some more drying over the stove.
Wild hair days for me and Nikki..no makeup..just working hard to finish the doll.
 I will post him when he is totally finished...Back to work on finishing the dummy book ..formatting the font and pages..has taken more time them I expected..but is so much better now.

With the Spring coming on it is hard to stay inside but..I am determined to finish this project!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Celtic John Doan and Happy St. Patricks Day!

Happy St. Particks Day by Celtic loving friends.
In honor I have a segment of a DVD called "Celtic Pilgrimage" with John Doan that I filmed.

Here he is in the land of King Arthur and Ireland. Click and to See the DVD segment!!!.

Here I am 8 yrs ago or so...while I was filming.

I think this is the town where the "Queit Man" was filmed.
You can buy the DVD on my husbands web at his shop..great present!

We filmed segment on St. Jo  in the Vale of Avalon at the famous Glastonbury Tor and at Chalice Hill.
This is were the Holy Grail was brought and the story and music on the Video tells the story.

Also a wild story of how the Jews came to ancient Celtic lands and why they are so Holy...if your interested you can go to this link .
Ireland was called the Land of the Saints and was saved because the people knew it was Holy and didn't want to sack it..until the Vikings came along and didn't care...
And another story link about Glastonbury Thorn, said to have flowered on Wearyall Hill.

We had so much fun making this DVD and running around filming it. Even going out to sea to film Skellig Michael.
and more about Ireland scared sites..click here.
Happy Happy St. Patty's Day!
and another segment..I have posted before..but maybe you are new to my blog...so here you go..

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Yummy Nutritious soups...sprouted lentils..

                                       Click here

I have been making low carb Nutritious foods...for my new little self..lost 10 lbs since my weight of last Sept..5 lbs if you count last spring..and 15 or more if you count the weight I put on in Europe and Christmas...had to stop somewhere!!

 Love the HCG lose the wrong bad fat plan..you keep the good fat and now I am on the staying stable part Phase 4....no more of this silly gaining weight in Euro..and I am having so much eating so much food..wow...
               Click here to read about the HCG eating plan.
When I was raw I ate so much too..but was eating and starving eating wrong and that is why I couldn't stay down when I quit the raw food..and had to eat so little. But now I know more about what to eat how to eat and how to love myself!!


Check out the recipes on my comments on my photo's on facebook. Click here

Monday, March 7, 2011

Nikki Nissa Childrens Book Photoshop fun...

HI..I am having fun with Photoshop and learning to paint with it....
I can't show the book but here are little pieces... of the black and white digital paintings...drawings...
I am on the last couple pages...finally!!! So soon I can paint in color again...and do my own art not just Nikki....!
    The publishers want you to send the dummy book in with black and white illustrations and story. It has been interesting. I have reformatted the pages and I used photo shop brushes for little flourishes..snowflakes and stars and ice and such...making the pages more exciting.

The art director of what ever publisher I get will make suggestions and do the page layouts but I get to be the Art Director of my dummy.

I am doing it much more elaborately then necessary but why not as every little bit helps.

I mailed off a more primitive version earlier this year and the one of the publishers liked my drawings! But they didn't want Christmas and the story needed a few things. That was when I went back to the drawing and editing board and revamped the story and illustrations. I really think I have the best possible foot forward I can have and now it is in the hands of God and which publisher has favor with it...Such are dreams and prayers.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Sepia Snow

What it looked like at my house last week...









I am working on my Children's book..learning to paint in black and white with Photo shop!