Saturday, August 30, 2014

Shoot for the stars!

The next pack is going to be stellar!  Full of stars, a rocket, and fun star-related phrases to inspire and praise the super stars in your class.  My favorite images in the pack, so far, are the cute star picture frames.  Kids will love seeing their faces shining in the stars with titles like "Math Star!" "Reading Star!" and "Super Star!" congratulating them on a job well done.

I've always been fascinated by stars and space.  As an adult I can't get enough of science and nature documentaries, and the majority of the ones I truly love are about space and animals.  As a kid I enjoyed looking up at the stars and identifying the handful of constellations I knew.  My favorite has always been Orion.  Every time I left home, seeing that same group of stars helped keep the homesickness at bay.  The sky was the same, no matter where I went.  On long drives I was fascinated by how the stars seemed to follow us.  I would lean as far as I could against the window and stare at them as we zipped down the highway.  I wished on them, too.  I had such a happy childhood, and I wanted every kid to be as happy as I was!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Bookworms are in the Shop!

Computer sluggishness and my inner perfectionist couldn't stop me from getting the bookworms finished and in the shop today.  This new image pack is 50% off through Saturday, August 23!  With the big sitewide sale today you can get it for even less!  Click here to check it out!

These cute little bookworms come in 7 different colors. Add some color and smiles to your presentations with this 36 piece set. I've been an avid "bookworm" for as long as I can remember. I hope these images help ignite the inner bookworms in your students, too!

-reading bookworm boy in 7 colors
-reading bookworm girl in 7 colors
-smiling bookworm boy in 7 colors
-smiling bookworm girl in 7 colors
-2 bonus reading students! (1 male and 1 female)
-transparent line art for each image (6 total!)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

I'm a Bookworm, and I'm Proud!

Bookworms are coming, just in time for the big Back to School Boost sale tomorrow!  The price will be extra low, so tomorrow will be the time to buy!

This set will have several colors of these cute worms, stacks of books, and students excitedly reading.  Make lessons about reading colorful and fun!

I have always been an avid reader.  As a child I kept a huge stack of my favorites on a shelf over my bed, and I would stay up hours longer than I should have cycling through each one.  My favorite series growing up was J. K. Applegate's Animorphs.  Every month I used my allowance to get the latest book.  I wished with every beat of my little heart that I could gain the ability to morph into animals and join Jake, Cassie, Rachel, Marco, and Tobias in their fight against the evil Yerks.  The most memorable books always involved animals.  I absolutely loved disappearing into those worlds where anything was possible and talking animals could be my dear friends.

To this day science fiction and fantasy have a special place in my heart.  Nothing beats transporting myself into a fantastic world full of strange creatures and courageous heroes.  I no longer dream of the ability to morph into a guinea pig, but I do think it would be quite enjoyable to live as a hobbit in the Shire.  (Post Return of the King, of course!)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Zoo Animals Clip Art Now Available!

It's finished!  Remember, all clip art packs are 50% off for the first three days they're in the store.  Get this one for only $2.00 through Tuesday, August 19th!

Add a wild side to your projects with these 12 zoo animals, available in my TpT shop!  I tried to strike a balance between making them look realistic and a little bit cartoony.  They turned out wonderfully!  I look forward to creating expansion packs in the future.  Except for the gorilla, who was a bit camera shy, every image in this set is based on a photograph or video I took at the Los Angeles Zoo.  I thoroughly loved creating these critters; I hope you love using them!

This clip art pack contains:
-Masai Giraffe
-North American River Otter
-Greater Flamingo
-Sumatran Tiger
-Asian Elephant
-Grevy’s Zebra
-False Gharial (a relative of crocodiles and alligators)
-Western Lowland Gorilla
-African Lion
-transparent line art for each image (12 total!)

There were many other animals I wanted to draw, so keep your eyes peeled for more zoo packs in the future!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Cats Rule!

I am most definitely a cat person.  I've loved cats since I was too small to hold them properly.  I have a very vivid memory from when I was three or four of picking up and snuggling a Siamese cat in my grandparents' front yard.  That is when I discovered I had an allergy to the breed.  My arms were covered with hives!  I remember sitting in our kitchen just sobbing my little heart out because I was so itchy.  No contact with any other breed ever caused such a strong reaction, so for years I avoided Siamese cats.  I've grown out of the allergy, thank goodness, and I still attempt to pet and snuggle every cat I see.

Of the big cats, tigers are my favorite.  Their beauty and graceful movements are almost hypnotic.  I could watch them all day.  I drew this one based on a frame from a video I took at the zoo.  It was a hot day, so this gorgeous feline meandered over to the pond in the enclosure for a nice soak.  I love how his mid-stride legs turned out.  I almost expect him to finish taking his step!

The first zoo animals pack should be ready to upload this weekend.  I'm so excited to share this one!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Otterly Adorable!

The zoo themed clip art is coming along, slowly but surely.  The images are a little more detailed than those in my previous sets, so it may take me two weeks to finish, rather than one.  I want to make sure each image is perfect before I release them.  I finished this North American River Otter yesterday, and I love the way his cute face turned out!

I can't get enough of otters; they are beyond adorable!  The picture is from a video I took at the LA Zoo of this cutie and his friend chasing each other from one pool to another, bouncing and rolling around like a couple of playful puppies.  My husband had to drag me away because I could easily have watched otter antics the rest of the afternoon.  Any animal that still goofs off and keeps their youthful silliness on into adulthood is automatically on my list of favorites!

My earliest memories of otters are from camping and fishing trips to various lakes in Utah.  I loved sitting in the canoe with my family, holding my kid-sized yellow fishing pole, waiting for the telltale nibble on the line and the excitement that would follow.  My favorite parts of those trips always involved the animals I saw.  I rarely saw an entire otter, but my little heart would race and I would squeal with delight when I saw one of their cute noses gliding across the surface in the shallows.  My deepest wish in those moments was to be able to get close enough to stroke their fur and even to join in their tumbling otter games.  Now I'm old enough to realize that any attempt to follow my dream would have ended in bloodshed and tears, but I still daydream about having some sort of Garden-of-Eden-like of relationship with every animal I see.  Perhaps in the next life I'll be able to participate in some giggly otter wrestling.

Monday, August 4, 2014

The next set is gonna be wild!

This week I'm excited to work on some zoo animal clip art!  I can't tell you how much I love animals.  I'm currently studying to be a veterinary technician, and every minute of it has been amazing!  I would spend every waking moment of my life around animals, if I could.  My husband jokes that if we actually ended up with all the animals I dream of adopting, we'd have a farm!  For my birthday last year he and our parents all chipped in to get me a year pass to the LA Zoo.  I can go whenever I want and just hang out for hours watching the animals.  I love it!  Every time I go my camera comes back filled to the brim.

I didn't always enjoy zoos, and there are many I will still never set foot in again because of their less-than-ideal conditions.  I used to very firmly believe that wild animals should stay in the wild, period.  Because of my recent schooling and a few other experiences I've softened my stance a bit.  I can see the benefits, to both animals and humans, of a properly run zoo.  They are especially good for helping the local human population gain an appreciation for our planet's precious animal life.  The phrase "out of sight, out of mind" applies perfectly.  I never want to see a day when any of today's well known animals are gone and my future children or grandchildren can only learn about them from the memories of their elders.  If more people experience these animals up close, more people will want to protect them for future generations to enjoy.

On that note, I'm off to raise awareness by drawing a koala!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Wanna Play a Game?

I finally finished and uploaded my Game Pieces Mega Clip Art Pack last night!  It includes everything pictured here in addition to the line art, bringing the total to a whopping 183 images.  Check it out in my shop for more details!

I truly enjoyed every minute I spent creating these images.  There was a long list of possible things to include and less than half of them made it in before the set was bursting at the seams.  I'll just have to make another game pack or two in the future!

Working on the chess pieces took me right back to my teenage years when my six-year-old brother would wipe the floor with me every time I agreed to play chess with him.  He was part of the chess club at school and he became quite the little strategizer!  It got to the point where I wouldn't even play with him anymore because, as a slightly angsty teen, I couldn't take the humiliation.  As I got older I was able to get over myself and my annoyance shifted to amazement at his talent.  He could beat anybody, and he loved it!  Then he became an angsty teen, himself, and his interests shifted to "cooler" things.  He may not play chess much anymore, but he remains just as talented at everything else he does!  You should hear him play in his steel drum band, Bram Brata!  Though I am incredibly proud of him and his abilities, and love him to crumbs, I still refuse to play him at chess.