Saturday, June 30, 2012

taste of june

We're finally getting more adapted to life with Rain Dragon--we have learned how to function on 3 hour sleep spans! So, this means the Sasquatch has had time to do a little more experimenting in the kitchen.  With the last strawberries of June, he made Pac-man strawberry shortcake:


Friday, June 29, 2012

fortune cookie friday

"He who thinks too much about every step he takes will always stay on one leg. "
-Chinese Proverb

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Pocket Pacy Picture of the Week

Talia would bring Pocket Pacy to NYC!

*Don't forget, you can win your own Pocket Pacy by doing a drawing just like this! See details HERE!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

100 Wishes

I felt like I didn't show a good photo of the entire Bai Jia Bei in yesterday's post and the quilt is just too beautiful not to:

the sasquatch had to stand on a table to get the whole thing in the photo!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

red egg party with family

Rain Dragon's second red egg party was a family one in Upstate NY:

She stayed awake for some of this one:

to the delight of Aunties and Grandmas:

We combined the party with my niece Lily's birthday:

birthday girl and the baby!
But Rain Dragon got the best present. It was the 100 Wishes Quilt that began at the baby shower! They finished it! Isn't it beautiful?

I was told that so many people sent in fabric that even though it had originally been planned as baby size, it turned out queen size.  I was so touched to see all the people who contributed, people from all parts of my life-- local friends:
we had another red egg party with these people!
far away family:
all the way from Taiwan!

author/illustrator colleagues:

I like how Anna  made all her pieces color coordinated!
I particularly love the material Barbara chose because it reminds me of my cherry bedsheets

and new cousins:
love the Star Wars wish!

The quilt was backed with this neat dragon fabric:

The whole thing was perfect for Rain Dragon:

Thanks so much, quilters!
The talented quilters from l-r: Carri, Janet, Cappy (who didn't do any quilting but is in the photo because he thought this was a pile on game), Lily, Lissy and my mom

A 100 Good Wishes Quilt, a Bai Jia Bei,  is based on the Chinese tradition where family and friends each add a piece of cloth to make a quilt for a new baby. Each piece of cloth symbolizes their wish for the child and the quilt becomes a precious way to show how welcome the baby is into the world. 

Monday, June 25, 2012

on my desk monday

More sketch to final paintings for Starry River of the Sky:

small sketch

final painting--sketch on side to show scale!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sunday Chinese School

Welcome to Sunday Chinese School, where we learn a Chinese word (or phrase) a week with my mom!
Today's word is:

Friday, June 22, 2012

fortune cookie friday

"Learn to be content with what you have, and you will be a happy soul."
-Chinese Proverb

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Pocket Pacy Picture of the Week

This reader would take Pocket Pacy to the Louvre in France:

If she does, she could visit one of the original Pocket Pacys I left there!

  *Don't forget, you can win your own Pocket Pacy by doing a drawing just like this! See details HERE!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

red egg party with friends

Rain Dragon is one month old! (I have to admit, it feel a lot longer...perhaps it's the sleep deprivation). And she is a doubly lucky baby because she had not one, but two red egg parties. The first one was thrown by good friends Luke & Ranida (who wanted to return the favor).

It was a lovely party with friends,


 and food!

The pièce de résistance was the incredible dragon cake made by Luke:

who had meticulously planed it, first by making paper patterns:

Then cutting the cake accordingly:

He claims he had problems with the frosting:

But I think it turned out amazing! Don't you?

Unfortunately, little Rain Dragon thought sleeping was more interesting:

Though, big girl Maia thought the sleeping baby was so interesting that she wanted her own:

It was a wonderful welcome for Rain Dragon!

Customarily, the first big festivity in a Chinese baby’s life is the Red Egg and Ginger Party. This party is given in honor of a baby’s first month or first moon birthday, signifying it welcome to the family. Until a baby had lived a full month it was not considered part of the family. Consequently, the Red Egg and Ginger Party was an especially joyous occasion.

Eggs represent new life and, because of their roundness, harmony while red is, of course, the Chinese color of luck and happiness. So Red Eggs signify a happy and lucky new life, the perfect symbol to welcome a new baby.

New mothers “sit a month” after giving birth. It is only on the first moon birthday that the new mother is allowed to leave her home and rejoin the world. On this occasion, she is given much ginger, thought to contain special nutrients needed to give the mother strength.

Monday, June 18, 2012

on my desk monday

EEEKS!!!! I have Starry River of the Sky Advanced Reading Copies!!!!!!

The ARC's, of course, do not have my illustrations in them (other than some  rough sketches) and the story still has typos and other mistakes, but it's almost a book!!! I'm going to send these out to some of the bookclubs that have contacted me, I wish I could send to all of them!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sunday Chinese School

Welcome to Sunday Chinese School, where we learn a Chinese word (or phrase) a week with my mom!
Today's word is:

Friday, June 15, 2012

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Pocket Pacy Picture of the Week

Ashyln would take Pocket Pacy into a fairy tale book...what a creative idea!

*Don't forget, you can win your own Pocket Pacy by doing a drawing just like this! See details HERE!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


from etsy
My friend Libby, over at the Blue Rose Girls blog, recently asked what quote you have over your desk to inspire your work. This made me pause because I haven't been at my desk in a while. Ever since Rain Dragon has arrived, the studio has been abandoned. While I know this is temporary, it does make me nervous. With Starry River of the Sky coming out in the fall, I worry that I won't be able to give it the promotional attention it needs to make it successful. And on an even greater scale, I worry that taking all this time off makes me fall behind somehow, that  what I've worked to build career-wise will now deteriorate.

But whenever I get too anxious, I try to remind myself that all the little things that I am doing-- from burping the baby to changing diapers-- are the pebbles that are building my family and are just as important as giving a speech a hundred people. These are the moments that make life.  And during an existence which finite, this is the time, this life is what is most important.

Of course, that is not easy to remember-- especially at 3 in the morning with a fussy baby! So, I do have a quote that inspires me but it's not above my desk. I play it on repeat in my head whenever I feel restless. I tell myself Live your Life.  Live your life.  Live your Life.

And so I try, with poopie diapers and all.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

booktalk tuesday

The Wanderer by Sharon Creech

IndieBound Description: "The sea, the sea, the sea. It rolled and rolled and called to me. Come in, it said, come in."

Thirteen-year-old Sophie hears the sea calling, promising adventure and a chance for discovery as she sets sail for England with her three uncles and two cousins. Sophie's cousin Cody isn't sure he has the strength to prove himself to the crew and to his father. Through Sophie's and Cody's travel logs, we hear stories of the past and the daily challenges of surviving at sea as The Wanderer sails toward its destination -- and its passengers search for their places in the world.

My Thoughts: I love this book! The perfect book to read before going on a grand journey. It's so beautiful, I love how the stories are slowly rolled out like ocean waves. I might like this better than Walk Two Moons (which will be featured here soon) which won the Newbery (but both are amazing). Studying the structure of this book really helped me with my novel...Sharon Creech is my literary idol!

Monday, June 11, 2012

on my desk monday

**The wonderful school in Hong Kong that I visited in 2007 sent Rain Dragon a baby gift and a batch of cards:

Isn't that sweet?  My extremely limited Chinese knowledge extended far enough to inform me that the shoes say "right" and "left."  Thanks so much*, Hong Kong International School!

*I've been so horrible about writing thank-you notes (I still owe friends & family from the baby shower! I hang my head in shame. Somehow, every time I try to start them something calls me away. It's even worse with my reader mail. So Sorry!)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sunday Chinese School

Welcome to Sunday Chinese School, where we learn a Chinese word (or phrase) a week with my mom!
Today's word is:
jiǎotà chē