Sunday, December 21, 2014

'Tis the Season!

A very happy holiday season to everyone!

If you are looking for last minute gifts, you have one more day to order on to receive your items by Christmas. If you are looking for a gift for a child or corgi fan, my books are available at these links:
Floyd and the Irresistible Cookie
Floyd and the Mysterious Night Time Noise
Floyd and the Sparkling Seashell
The Hibernating House by S. Leahy/K. Tarentino

The Adventures of Floyd DVD is available to order online, too! It features Cookie and Night Noise, with original music composed and performed by Matt Richard and narration by Seinfeld's Heidi Swedberg.

If you are local and need a signed book, Adventures of Floyd DVD or giclee print, email me at and I'll see what I can do! I also have 2 gift baskets available for $40 each. Each contains a signed book, DVD, stuffed corgi, and a bookmark all wrapped up with a pretty ribbon.

Winter Peace, a CD collection of Christmas music, is a perfect gift for anyone and can be purchased at The Symphony Shop in Dartmouth. I sing a duet with Patrice Tiedemann on Gesu Bambino, and I created all of the CD art for that project which benefits the NBSO's educational programs.

Now that your shopping is done, how about some fun crafts? Try some of these Irresistible Cookie activities you can print out on your computer:
DIY Irresistible Ornaments
Irresistible Cookie Puzzles
Floyd, Tiny, and Larue Paper Bag Puppets
Floyd Present Maze and Tree Decorating Printables
Irresistible Bookmark
Floyd's Christmas Lists
Irresistible DIY Gift Tags
Easy Salt Dough Ornaments

A very happy holiday season to everyone and see you in 2015!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Happy Holiday Season!

Wishing all of my friends a happy holiday season! This year I will be doing only one book signing on Saturday, December 13 at the Brick Church Fair, part of Fairhaven's Old-Time Holiday Weekend! Come by any time from 10 am to 3 pm, on 34 Center Street! Visit the Fairhaven Tourism web site for a full schedule of events!!
Illustration by Christopher Richard
All 3 Floyd books and The Hibernating House will be available and I'm always happy to autograph and personalize your books. The Adventures of Floyd DVD includes Floyd and the Irresistible Cookie and Floyd and the Mysterious Night Time Noise, narrated by Heidi Swedberg of Seinfeld and original music by Matt Richard. Proceeds from the DVD go to the MSPCA thanks to the generosity of the Somerled Charitable Foundation. Plus, I have a number of high quality gicleƩ prints for a special one-day-only price! Visit my web page for more info about my books.

If you miss the fair, you can purchase my signed books and other fantastic gifts for everyone on your list from Art on Center. 

If you're on the cape, D's Home Again in Falmouth has all Floyd books and DVDs available. Brewster Book Store and Partner's Village Store in Westport also have signed copies Floyd and the Sparkling Seashell.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Teachers' Sculpture Fest at NBAM!

On Tuesday, our school system had a teacher professional development day, which meant all of the students got to stay home, and the teachers became students for the day.

I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to go to the annual Art Educator's Workshop at the New Bedford Art Museum/Artworks! (in cooperation with SMEC and UMASS Dartmouth CVPA), which was a fantastic day. The theme was 3-D art, and I got to try some really cool things that you might like to try, too!

First, we were all asked to bring along an index card with a design on the front and our names and school on the back. I created a sugar skull theme since I'm into that right now. It took me a while, but now it's one of my favorite cards I've done so far. When got to NBAM, we turned in our cards and later they chose cards to raffle off cool prizes. Deb Smook of Artworks! had also displayed a bunch of the cards from previous years' workshops... memories!
My 2014 ID card design
Past workshop ID Cards
For the first part of the morning, we were surrounded on the main floor by a current exhibits of really amazing art. We spent an hour or so getting some excellent ideas for sculpture lessons from local experienced teachers, Nancy Corrigan Wilbert (fellow corgi mom) and Elizabeth Machado-Cook from Seekonk High School. Materials included plaster, clay, cardboard, twigs and bark, and more. With their vast experience, these presenters were able to provide lots of tips on using and adapting the materials as well as how to incorporate writing into the creative process, which is a big trend right now. They even gave us full lesson plans for each project-- that is like art teacher gold!

My crazy "glass" sculpture
Next, we went to the basement of the museum (which was an old bank building and is still under reconstruction after the NBAM/Artworks! merger) and created sculptures from recycled water bottles inspired by the work of Dale Chihuly. Elizabeth showed us how you can color or paint the plastic, cut it, and melt it with a hot plate, heat gun, or microwave. When done, the plastic looks like melted glass, and you can assemble pieces using hot glue or tape.

We all brought empty soda bottles as requested and got to try this. Mine came out pretty crazy looking, but that might be because I turned into kind of a pyro for a bit there. I really just wanted to keep melting plastic over the hot plate forever, so honestly I didn't get much done in the way of actual assembly. But there were so many different results in the group it was really fun to see all of the different things people created.

Here are a couple of links to directions on how to create your own "glass" sculptures if you want to try this at home-- it was a blast and is a great way to use recycled materials!
More cool "glass" sculptures from the workshop
(You don't actually have to melt the plastic for a cool effect if you are working with younger kids-- lots of fun things to try as you'll see...)

For examples of Chihuly's work, visit

After a lunch break in lovely downtown New Bedford, we returned to the main floor of the museum to what we all originally thought was creative yoga session. Fear not!! Actually, a local yoga instructor, Juliet from Yoga on Union, showed us the sun salutation, and then we had to sculpt the poses into full size human forms!

After getting some basic instructions and materials from Deb, we broke up into teams of 5 or 6. One person did a pose from the sun salutation series, and the rest of the group was responsible for creating the sculpture.

First, we wrapped the person's body in plastic wrap, then we went over the plastic wrap with a couple of layers of clear packing tape. Then the form was carefully cut off the body and taped on the seams. We did create the parts in stages then attached them together. We even added packing peanuts and yarn scraps inside for "guts"!
Wrapping with plastic wrap and tape.
No one wanted to risk cutting up anyone else's clothes!! Luckily, no accidents!

Each group had a different pose.

Our finished pose sculpture.
Suggestion- if trying for the first time, start with a basic standing pose, like this!
When we were done, each of the groups had created one of the poses in the sun salutation series and we set them up in the museum in order of poses with Juliet's help.

It was super fun and this is actually a very non-expensive way to create a really huge sculpture with lots of impact. You can do this at home as well; you can even use dolls or stuffed animals instead of actual humans. Here are some links to directions:

I can't wait to try these new lessons and I'm already looking forward to next year's workshop! If you find yourself in downtown New Bedford, stop by the museum. Artworks! also has art classes and programs for all ages--check them out and try some art today!

Friday, October 10, 2014

New Event: SUNDAY, OCT. 12!

Due to yucky weather pending, Harvest Fun Day in Fairhaven is cancelled for Sat. 10/11.

But GOOD NEWS: I will be at the FAIRHAVEN FARMERS MARKET instead on SUNDAY 10/12 from 1 to 4 p.m.!

I'll have books for sale along with FREE kids crafts and a fun raffle!

There will be some other Harvest Fun Day vendors and all of the usual Farmers Market vendors and live music there as well.  It's the last Farmers Market of the year, so come on over and enjoy a beautiful fall day with us!

Hope to see you there!!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Don't Miss Harvest Fun Day!

So many fun family events in the fall in Southeastern Massachusetts, and here's one you do not want to miss: HARVEST FUN DAY in Fairhaven on OCTOBER 11!

I'll be there with books, free kids' crafts, and my new Floyd stuffed animal. Lots and lots of vendors and fun activities for kids. And don't forget the scarecrow contest! See more info below or visit the Harvest Fun Day blog.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Presenting...the First-Ever Floyd Stuffed Animal!!!

An exciting package arrived at the corgi house a few days ago...

As many of you know, I bring around corgi stuffed animals to my author appearances since the live animals do not always like large crowds and travel. But I've never had a stuffy that looks quite like Floyd (modeled by my blue merle fluffy Cardigan Welsh Corgi, Farley). Now I do!!

Thanks to the artists at Cuddle Clones, I now have a Floyd stuffed animal to share with my young readers! Thank you Cuddle Clones!! He, along with my other corgi stuffs, will be at Harvest Fun Day on Oct. 11! In the meantime, here are some pictures with Farley and his doppelganger!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

2014 Harvest Fun Day!!

It still feels like summer here on the south coast, but I know everyone is thinking about fall, and pumpkins, and apple pies, and colorful leaves, and all that good stuff. Here's a fun event coming up in October to look forward to! Mark your calendars for...

Saturday, October 11, 2014
10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
at the 
Fairhaven Visitors Center
141 Main Street at Route 6
(West lawn of Fairhaven High School)

I will be set up at this event with my books and stuff, and I will have some fun free crafts for the kids. Drop by, say hi, and make some fun Floyd fall crafts! I will also be revealing, for the very first time, my new almost life-sized Floyd stuffed animal: stop by and give him a hug!

There are also a whole bunch of other vendors and organizations with lots of fun activities and items for sale. This event is especially for families and kids, so be prepared for tons of activities. Also, don't forget about the annual Scarecrow Contest. Get yours ready and join in the fall fun!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Another Sparkling Craft

One week left of August, and though I'm back to school on Monday, I know some of you lucky people still have a week left before you go back. Enjoy the summer days reading Floyd and the Sparkling Seashell and making one more Sparkling Seashell craft:
Seashell Necklaces!
(Kids, you may want a grown up to help with this.)
Step 1: Get some seashells! You can collect them from a beach or buy them at a craft store. If you get them on the beach, it's a good idea to wash and dry them.
Step 2: Put holes in the shells using a diamond-tipped drill submerged in water--what???!! Yes that's how to do it. Too much trouble for me, so I used a little piece of pipe cleaner bent into a loop and attached with hot glue. Piece of cake.
Step 3: Cut a ribbon or string about 18 inches long.
Step 4: Thread the string through the shell's loop or hole.
Step 5: Add pony beads in any kind of pattern you like (You can use other kinds of beads, too, but pony beads are easiest to thread.).
Step 6: Tie string in a knot.

FYI--You can add as many shells and beads as you like. I also used some glitter glue and a paintbrush to add sparkle to some of my shells.

If you don't have real shells, you can print out my Floyd Seashell Necklace handout, color and cut, and add those on. Have fun!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Keep on Sparkling!!

Well, the Sparkling Summer is coming to a close and I had a great time at all of my summer book
events this year! If you missed them, I am planning on being at Harvest Fun Day in Fairhaven on October 11, 2014. I'll have my books and free kids' crafts. It was a great day last year so I hope to see lots of friends down there this time, too!

In the mean time, there's no reason that summer has to end when we have books to remind us of it! If you don't have a copy of Floyd and the Sparkling Seashell yet, they are available on, at Art on Center in Fairhaven and a few other spots as well. Check out my web page for details.

I'm also going to be sharing some of my activities that go along with Sparkling Seashell. Feel free to print out and make copies for home or classroom use.

The first activity is called "Floyd's Beach Pail": Think of the many natural things we can find on the beach every day. Collect them in your beach pail! Here are the printables-- have fun and stay tuned for more sparkling activities...

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Sparkling Summer Book Tour, 2014!

Hope you can join me at these events coming up this summer featuring Floyd and the Sparkling Seashell! Many events are free and are one-time-only, so mark your calendars.

Thursday, July 10, 2104 • 6 p.m. •  AHA Night: GNB Early Literacy Consortium presents "Floyd" Book Reading at the New Bedford Public Library  (Main branch, 613 Pleasant Street) • FREE

Join me for a reading of "Floyd and the Sparkling Seashell" in this historic library's children's room for AHA's "Kids' Rule" night! Book give-away and crafts, too, courtesy of the GNB Early Literacy Consortium. All ages welcome. I'll have books and DVDs for sale as well. A great night to be in downtown New Bedford for the whole family!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014 • 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. • Floyd Summer Story Time and Book Craft at Art on Center, Fairhaven • Reading- FREE, Book Craft Workshop-$10 for AoC members, $12 for non-members

This first-ever event will feature a reading of "Sparkling Seashell" (free, all ages). Then, for those kids we know and love who are bursting with stories and creativity--this one's for you! Art on Center director Stacey Frates and I will lead a really fun book craft where kids (ages 4-10) can make their own books, too. Class size is limited so call or email Art on Center to reserve your spot TODAY. Art on Center always has my signed books for sale in the gift shop, but at this event I will of course be there to sign and personalize your copy.


Sunday, July 27, 2014 • 1 to 4 p.m. • Book Signing/Reading at the Fairhaven Farmers Market,
Fairhaven Academy lawn, corner of Rte. 6 and Main • FREE

One of my favorite summer events, I'll be reading "Sparkling Seashell" and I'll have free crafts for kids, too. At this event, I'll have ALL of my "merch", including books, DVDs and select prints. And visit my friends at the Heart Henna booth for face painting-- they do a beautiful job with designs for all ages including henna tattoos and maybe even a special Floyd design for this day, too! In the event of questionable weather, check the Farmer's Market Facebook Page-- I will postpone if its raining!

Thursday, August 7, 2014 • 10:30 a.m. • Children's Reading Circle featuring "Sparkling Seashell" and Craft • Partner's Village Store & Kitchen, Westport, MA • FREE
Especially for the little ones, a story time with me and hostess Miss Joan. I will read my book and Miss Joan will do a special activity with the kids following the story. Out on the lovely back porch of Partner's, this is a highlight of my summer. Partner's also carries copies of my books in their store, and I can sign and personalize it for you that day, too. Hope to see you there!


Monday, August 11, 2014 • 6 to 7:30 p.m. • FIZZ-BOOM-READ "Sparkling Seashell" Author Night at Plumb Library, Rochester, MA

Here's an evening program with a  reading of "Sparkling Seashell" and a book-related activity for my friends out in the tri-town area. All ages are welcome to a special evening story time featuring Sparkling Seashell, then stick around for some book-related activities, including a book related art project incorporating the science of ocean life appropriate for all ages, activity handouts, and “inside info” on creating a children’s book for older kids. Books will be available for purchase and signing. This will be a first visit for me to Plumb, so very much looking forward to meeting some new Floyd fans!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Summer is HERE!

Happy summer, everyone!

This summer I am so excited about my new Floyd book which is all about corgis, the beach, and summer summer summer!!! I'll be making some special appearance at story hours and book signings around the South Coast, so check back in on my blog to see my updated schedule in the next few weeks.

If you haven't checked out Floyd's newest adventure yet, here's more about it:

In  Floyd and the Sparkling Seashell, Floyd, Tiny, and Larue spend a day at the beach where a certain Sparkling Seashell catches Floyd's eye. He wants that beautiful shell, but he'll have to go into the ocean to get it. That’s not going to be easy, because Floyd is afraid of the water. 

With Tiny and Larue's help, Floyd tries some clever ways to get that shell, but can these plans possibly work? Will the Sparkling Seashell ever be his? Can Floyd conquer his fear of the ocean and dive in?...
The new Floyd book is officially Corgi-approved!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Meet Me at RMS, June 4!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

New Book and Exhibit Recap

Last weekend I was the featured artist at the 55th Annual Acushnet Art Week Show on May 17 and 18, 2014. It was a lot of work to prepare, but in the end my home-town show was a fun experience. It was a true pleasure to see so many friends and family come out to see the show. I also met lots of new friends which was great, too! To make this exhibit extra-special, the award-winning art works from the F.M.S. Festival of the Arts by my students were on display, too. Special thanks to Dianna Couto and the Acushnet Art Show Committee for inviting me to be a part of this event, and for all of the hard work they do for the artists of Acushnet every year! 

I had a book signing at the show, but if you missed it, I'll be at the Rochester Memorial School's Literary Night on June 4 and a few other fun places throughout the summer. Stay tuned! In the meantime, the Amazon link is up if you want to mail order a copy of the brand-new Floyd and the Sparkling Seashell, or drop me an email if you want to purchase a signed copy.

Also, read about the show in the Fairhaven-Acushnet Advocate, with some great pictures and videos by photographer Ryan Feeney!

Here are some pictures of the exhibit-- enjoy!

Photo by Ryan Feeney- Signing books!
Illustrations from Hibernating House and In My Dreams
Photo by Ryan Feeney- Me and my show!
Illustrations from Irresistible Cookie
Illustrations from Sparkling Seashell
2014 FMS Arts Festival Award winners
Illustrations from Mysterious Night Time Noise
Illustrations from Hibernating House 
2014 FMS Arts Festival Award winners
2014 FMS Arts Festival Award winners- FMS Art Club Anthology
2014 FMS Arts Festival Award winners
Illustrations from In My Dreams and miscellaneous spot illustrations

2014 FMS Arts Festival Award winners