Monday, February 29, 2016

and it's the year of the monkey!

it's Rain Dragon in her monkey costume! do you see the 2016? 

 Lunar New Year is over and the Year of the Monkey has already settled in, but I am late (as usual) getting my greeting out. But I have a good excuse! After three months of 4 hours of nightly sleep, I finally finished the new novel (art, revision and all--at least I hope so!). Now it's all in the hands of the people at the publisher--who, because of my late-ness, have to work doubly hard to get the book out. 

So, to thank them (and give myself a little break from the computer and desk) I made sweet-luck candied citrus peels again! This, of course, was inspired by my yearly delivery of delicious oranges by one my favorite librarians Mary Wong.  But, of course, she sent her oranges at right time--pre-lunar new I planned ahead!

Yes, I cut and froze all those orange peels! So, when I was finally able to make them, I had bags and bags waiting.

It was well worth it:


Because, this year, I truly meant it when I sent them as a thank you to the people working on my book. I am super, super proud of "When the Sea Turned to Silver" (now out in October instead of September because of the lateness of yours truly) but it really put me through the wringer...and my publisher, too!

Here's to a sweet year for all of us!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Make a Monkey Chain for Lunar New Year!

Check out my Lunar New Year newsletter and please sign up!

As part of my Lunar New Year Story Time  for my newsletter subscribers (I'm starting to shift most of my stuff there, so please sign up!), I suggested that readers make a monkey chain decoration!  Isn't it super cute? This is how you do it:

You need:
-a 4.25 x 11 sheet of paper (a normal 8.5 x 11 piece of paper cut in half the long way). 
-a ruler
-a pencil
-this monkey template, printed out, preferably on cardstock
-maybe some tape


1. Measure 2.2 inches from one side of the paper and mark:

nice straight line, don't worry if it's not exactly 2.2 inches, it all gets fudged when you fold

2. Fold on your marking and then use that width to accordion fold the rest of your paper. You should be able to make 4 folds (which will equal five monkeys after cutting).

accordion fold is like making a paper fan

3. cut out the template and trace the monkey onto the folded paper.  It's pretty small, so you might want to use a small piece of tape to help hold the template down while you trace. Make sure the arms of the monkey go right to the edge, if not off the edge of your paper.

a little bit of tape helps it from moving around, but just tack it on gently as you want to take the template off!

it should be traced like this!

 4. Cut out the monkey from you folded paper, making sure you cut all five layers. Do NOT cut along the folds where the monkeys arms touch the edges of the paper (that is where the chain connects!)

When finished, unfold and...Ta-Dah!

Five monkeys to go with the Five Monkeys Rhyme I made Lunar New Year!

*Want to make this a craft with kids?  Consider:

-Enlarging the paper and the template proportionally so that it's easier for them to cut.
-If the kids are young, pre-measure the folds for them
-If the kids are very young, make the chains for them and let them color them red (to go with the rhyme)

See how you can use this monkey chain for a Monkey New Year Story Time in my newsletter! (and please sign up for future editions).