Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Little Gift from Floyd!

Merry Merry, everyone! If you don't have time to color the DIY Floyd Gift Tags I posted a couple of days ago, here's a little gift for you: Floyd Gift Tags IN COLOR! Just print and cut. Hope you have a wonderful holiday!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Time is Here!

I can't believe it's almost Christmas!  We've just had some beautiful snow here in southeastern Massachusetts, so we are all ready for Santa.  Floyd, Tiny and Larue are ready, too!

Here are 2 printables from me and the corgis to help you get ready: Make-Your-Own Gift Tags and a very special Christmas List to fill out and give to Santa. Just click on the titles to download the full-size documents. Then, scroll down to see what Floyd, Tiny and Larue put on their lists this year!

Floyd Gift Tags

My Christmas List

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Floyd Bookmark Bonus

Here's a quick bonus activity of the day: Floyd's Official "Reading is Irresistible" Bookmark! Just download, print, color, and cut out!

Don't forget about the rest of the week's Floyd and the Irresistible Cookie activities: Irresistible Cookie ornaments, word puzzles, puppets, printables: Maze and Floyd's Christmas Tree.

And if you haven't had a chance to check out the video, click here. All proceeds go to the MSPCA!

So...drum roll's the bookmark! Now, get out your books and start reading!

Floyd Bookmark

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

More Floyd Printable Activites

So far, the Floyd and the Irresistible Cookie Activities this week have included Irresistible Cookie ornaments, word puzzles, and puppets.

Today, I have 2 original printables for kids of all ages: The Irresistible Cookie Maze and Floyd's Christmas Tree. Cick on the links below to download and print for free. Have fun!

The Irresistible Cookie Maze
Floyd's Christmas Tree

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Puppet Time!

Here’s the next Floyd and the Irresistible Cookie Activity. If you missed them, we've already worked on Irresistible Cookie ornaments and word puzzles. Give them a try!

Today, it's Floyd, Tiny and Larue Paper Bag Puppets!  Play along with the book or video using these fun and easy puppets...

First, you’ll need a flat-bottomed paper bag like a lunch bag for each puppet. Gift bags work fine, too, if you cut the handles off. I got some little paper bags from the craft store where they also sell them in different colors. Just about any size will work as long as you can fit your hand inside and it’s not too huge.

Next, you’ll need to print off the puppet patterns shown below. Card stock works the best, or use regular paper like I did. FYI- There is one paws pattern sheet to use for all three dogs. If you’re making Larue and Tiny, you don’t need the tail because they are Pembroke Welsh Corgis (No tails! Floyd is a Cardigan Welsh Corgi: the corgi with a tail.).

Floyd Puppet Pattern
Larue Puppet Pattern
Tiny Puppet Pattern
Tail/Paws Pattern

Now, color with whatever you like: colored pencils, markers, crayons, paint... Here are my examples with the character’s real colors, but feel free to change the colors around if you wish! You could color or add fur texture lines to the paper bag, too, if you have time.

Next, cut out all of the pattern parts. Little kids might want to get some help with this step from bigger kids or grown-ups.

Finally, get your paper bag and use a glue stick to attach the pieces as shown on the directions sheet below (click on the link to download a full-size easy-to-read printable).

Puppet Directions
 You’re done! Now BARK!!

Hope you have fun with this puppet craft! It's officially Floyd-Approved!

Monday, December 13, 2010

More Floyd and the Irresistible Cookie Activities!

Here are today's Floyd and the Irresistible Cookie Activities! Visit my Dec. 12 blog post for info about yesterday's Irresistible Cookie Ornament Activity if you missed it.

Click on the links below to download a full size version to print. Have fun!

First, Word Search Puzzles! One is for beginners, and one is for experts!
Floyd and the Irresistible Cookie Word Search (Beginner)

Floyd and the Irresistible Cookie Word Search (Advanced)

Next, here's a fun Crossword Puzzle! The clues have a lot to do with the story, so you might want to have your copy of the book nearby.
Floyd and the Irresistible Cookie Crossword Puzzle

The answer keys can be downloaded below. No peeking!!
Floyd and the Irresistible Cookie Word Search Answer Key (Beginner)
Floyd and the Irresistible Cookie Word Search Answer Key(Advanced)  
Floyd and the Irresistible Cookie Crossword Puzzle Answer Key

Sunday, December 12, 2010

My Irresistible Ornaments!

Last week I posted an activity for you to try: the Official Irresistible Cookie Make-Your-Own Ornament. Here are some pictures of mine so you can see how they came out!

If you missed that post and want to try it, here are two printables for you: one is an original size with directions, the second is a little smaller, 2 printables per sheet so you can share with a friend. Just print on paper or card stock, color and cut out. Add glitter and sparkles for extra fun.
Cookie Ornament Handout 1

Tomorrow, look for more printable activities from Floyd and the Irresistible Cookie!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Make your own Irresistible Cookie!

Seasons greeting to everyone!  In the next couple of weeks I will be sharing some new classroom resources and fun activities for fans of Floyd and the Irresistible Cookie. I hope you enjoy them!

Today's activity is Make your Own Irresistible Cookie!

This project is easy and can be adapted for different skill levels. By the way, I drew that cookie by hand just like I did for the book's illustrations, so that is the real thing!

Just download the Irresistible Cookie Ornament Handout and print.
I recommend to use card stock if you can for the best results but plain old paper works just fine, too. For those working with older students, you can have them cut out the cookie shape instead of the border outline if you want to get fancy.

The original Irresistible Cookie is red with white frosting, but you may wish to encourage your artists to create their own version of the cookie. It could be red and green, blue for Hanukkah, or even rainbow!

And how about some GLITTER?!!! I love glitter! In the original illustrations, I used clear sparkling glitter on the white frosting parts, but you can put it anywhere. That clear glitter that looks like beautiful snow sparkles is awesome, but any color will add something special. For a less-mess option, try glitter glue or 3-D glitter paints in squeeze bottles. What about adding some sequins? Or pom poms? Have fun and be creative!

If anyone would like to send pictures of your creations, I'll post them here on my blog! Check back in for more Floyd and the Irresistible Cookie activities!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Floyd Holiday Book & New Floyd Art

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! The holiday season is upon us and I am working to get my second Floyd book under wraps for its spring release. I thought I'd share some of the finished art and synopsis from Floyd and the Mysterious Night Time Noise as I'm working on the digital end of things (scanning, setting type, etc.).

Don't forget the first Floyd book Floyd and the Irresistible Cookie is available on VIDEO format! This is a story for the holiday season and is recommended for ages 4-8 or anyone who loves Christmas, cookies or corgis. Read along with your paperback or watch the video while baking your own Irresistible Cookies! Click HERE for more info!

For Spring 2011 release:
Floyd and the Mysterious Night Time Noise SYNOPSIS: 

Floyd and the Mysterious Night Time Noise is about a dog named Floyd who can’t get to sleep.  The problem is a strange noise that keeps waking him up in the night. Floyd must find out just where that Mysterious Noise is coming from.

With the help of his two canine companions,Tiny and Larue,
Floyd bravely searches everywhere to find the noise.
He is, as always, very determined, but is he successful?

Floyd discovers that he is braver than he thought, and that sometimes the clues to a mystery are right under your nose.

The characters and illustrations are based on the imaginary adventures of  the author’s own dogs, three beloved Welsh Corgis.

Here are some of the original illustrations soon to become book and video!! I hope you enjoy them!

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Well, the big day has arrived! The Floyd and the Irresistible Cookie VIDEO is now available! A million thanks to Wendy Macdonald and the Somerled Charitable Foundation for making this project possible!

All proceeds from the purchase of this video ($2.99) will be donated to an animal-friendly charity I have chosen to be officially announced soon. Stay tuned for that news!

The video is now available on; and there will be other online vendors offering the video for download in the near future. You can easily and quickly download the mp4 format  to watch on your computer or burn onto DVD disk to watch on your TV. The 9-minute video includes narration, music and a beautifully presented filming of my original illustrations. I hope you enjoy!

To read more about the video or download TODAY, visit the Floyd page on!

The paperback book is still available from Amazon and other vendors. Other vendors both online and in southeastern Massachusetts are listed on my web page under "Books". The video and book make a great gift set for children ages 4-8 this holiday season.

Again, thanks to Wendy Macdonald and the Somerled Charitable Foundation along with the creative team that made this video possible, including:

  • Music Written and Performed by Matt Richard 
  • Narration by Heidi Swedberg 
  • Cinematography by Philip Holahan
  • Music sound production by Peter Kontrimas of PBS Studios in Westwood, MA

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Very Latest Floyd Book Series News!

Some exciting things are happening in my little corner of the children's book world! First, the DVD version of my first book, Floyd and the Irresistible Cookie, is going into the "post-production" phase. The DVD is being produced by the Somerled Arts Foundation under the supervision of Wendy Macdonald. I had the chance to view the final cut with music by composer (and my husband) Matt Richard, cinematography by Phillip Holahan, and brilliant narration by Heidi Swedberg. It's very sweet! I'll post more news when I know more about how and when it will be available.
This DVD will be a great companion to the book which is still available through Amazon and other online vendors. Check the Books link on my studio web site for more info on that!

I'm also still working on the digital stages of the second book, Floyd and the Mysterious Night Time Noise. Today I did some preliminary work on the cover design. So here it is, for the first time! More new illustrations to come, but don't worry-- I will not be giving the ending away!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Spooky Pumpkins 2010!

Happy Pumpkin Carving Day! It’s getting closer to Halloween and it's the perfect time to get the Jack-o-lanterns ready.  If you want to learn how make your own very cool carved pumpkins, keep reading! My husband Matt is the resident pumpkin expert and is featured here.

It all starts at the farm. We get our pumpkins at the Beaulieu’s Farm stand on Alden Road in Fairhaven, MA. These are excellent pumpkins and happen to be grown by my mom’s cousin. He also sells all-natural field-raised beef if anyone is looking for some healthy burgers. Matt has a good eye for a pumpkin that’s just right for carving and there are plenty of good ones still left to choose from.

After much deliberation, Matt decided on two pumpkin patterns from the Zombie Pumpkins web site: Sweeney Todd and Mrs. Lovett from Tim Burton’s Sweeney Todd, based on the musical by Stephen Sondheim!! Spooky!!  For a very reasonable price, the patterns can be downloaded and printed. Worth it for the awesome pumpkin effects. TIP: Most of these patterns are about the size of a piece of computer paper, so you need to choose a pumpkin with a large enough surface for the pattern to work. A piece of paper should fit on the carving area without being too close to the top and bottom of the pumpkin.

First, we must clean out the pumpkin guts, an important job which I help with. Matt cuts off the top and scoops out the pulp. I clean off the step top then rinse and save all the seeds which I’ll roast for snacks--more on that later. My job is now done.

Matt takes over from here. First, make sure the outside of the pumpkin is clean and dry. The pattern is taped to the best side of the pumpkin. Matt likes a flatter side since the pattern lays better on that. 

Next, using an awl (which you can get at the hardware store if you don’t have really old tools in your basement like we do), punch holes through the paper into the pumpkin skin every 1/4 inch or so on the lines of the pattern. Stay on the lines as much as possible!

Now, using your favorite carving tools, begin sawing out the pieces in a connect-the-dots fashion. Matt uses a pretty standard pumpkin carving tool set you can get at most stores and sometimes he uses a large Ex-acto knife for really intricate work. Try to get the edges of the cuts as smooth as possible.

FYI- The inside of the pumpkin will probably get wet and continue to have pumpkin juice gather in the bottom, so dump it occasionally.

When the pumpkins are finished, they look great, but we have to wait until dark for the full effect! We use 2 or 3 basic white tea lights for our pumpkins, nothing fancy.


And now....presenting our SPOOKY JACK-O-LANTERNS of 2010!!!

On a side note, I love pumpkin seeds! Here’s what I did while Matt was carving: I found a great pumpkin seed recipe on line. I made one batch with just salt, the other I sprinkled with cinnamon and Southwestern-style seasoning. Yum! It's easy and makes a great snack for while you’re admiring your pumpkins. Happy Halloween, everyone!