August 5, 2013 at 9:57 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


November 6, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Paper or Plastic? nah.

February 15, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Posted in girl, princesstomato, teri skrdla | Leave a comment
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Now that I am all set up in the new studio, I have been missing painting on denim. I have taken a few orders lately, and this is one that is about to go out in the mail. This is for a writer friend back in South Dakota.

11 Pipers Piping…Calling All Pipers!

December 23, 2010 at 11:33 am | Posted in princesstomato, teri skrdla, The Doodle Diner, twelve days of christmas, Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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11 pipers piping

This piece is quite long and I do not have an oversized scanner, so my camera is doing its best to show all eleven pipers. I may have to photograph each piper individually so you can see the characters and lines and details. But here is this to give you the general idea! Note that there is always one SYLVIA in every crowd. (See day SEVEN). 🙂

Six Geese a-Snoozin’

December 23, 2010 at 11:29 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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So Mama and Papa Goose had a long night. They tried everything, but with four babies, at least one of them kept them up into the wee hours. It’s no wonder Mama hit snooze. Must be why they missed their cue this morning. Thank goodness the milkmaid clued them in (on the next page), or they might have just slept through Christmas entirely!

This is a work in progress…just playing around with some collage.

Ok, all together now, in your best Miss Piggy voice: FIVE go-old rings…..!

Speaking of Characters…

November 24, 2010 at 2:12 pm | Posted in character | Leave a comment

I am so excited that this video is on youtube. What better guest could there possibly be at the Doodle Diner?

Seriously, this theme song has been in my head since about 1975. The best episodes of Captain Kangaroo were hands down the ones that had SIMON in them. I loved watching this before school, and then being able to daydream all day of a world where the things I draw come true.

So….doodling minds need to know: what character or characters from your past have stayed with you into your adulthood? And if you really want some brownie points, tell us why!

p.s. And for you youngsters who have never heard Simon before, I dare you to listen to this theme song and just TRY to get it out of your head. I will check back with you in about 2045.

Dummies~and Inspiration~of all Shapes and Sizes…

November 22, 2010 at 4:25 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

SIMMS TABACK interview link
This interview and the following videos are packed with inspiration. What part or parts speak to you? Let us know in the comment section.

Here is Brian Selznick explaining his inspiration for Hugo Cabret:

And for Maria Kalman, it’s all about DISconnect! Love this:

More from Maria, in case you would like to see more about just daydreaming and letting go of your fears:

4th Annual Spring Conference in Sioux Falls, SD

March 22, 2010 at 10:47 am | Posted in scbwi, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

printable poster:

What a lineup we have for the spring conference! More details found on website:

+***~~CHARMED, for sure~~*~+~~

March 17, 2010 at 4:11 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Roberta and I were discussing possible themes for March, and we decided on CHARMED. Check here to see more of the charm inside our doodler studios. Woohoo! I love seeing how and where other artists work!

Here is a peek of the ol’ princesstomato studio. (please excuse mess…artist at work).

My favorite “studio charm” at the moment is the TOFUFU kitty and mouse jar. I bought it at an airport and have always wished I had room in my bag to get the matching green dog on that trip. Sigh. 🙂

New interview on the Diner blog

January 8, 2010 at 10:42 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Holly de Wolf on THE DOODLE DINER.

“Give,” said the Little Stream. But please…no armpit hairs on the deoderant. :)

November 24, 2009 at 11:46 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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So I am running about this past week, just wondering if we could just somehow push a fast forward button and get to say, about December 23. Like every human on the planet right about now, I am extremely overwhelmed. Really have zero right/time to be sitting here trying to sort out all these thoughts I have been running around with lately.

The laundry list rattling in my head might sound familiar, so feel free to fast forward past the italicized stream of consciousness to get to the good part:
Make money-Make- the -home- a home including- getting -all -the- nagging- dog -hair out of- the- corners -once- and- for- al-Get kids to and fro (basketball, scouts for boys, scouts for girls, Church activities for both, homework, after school music,,,,when do we eat? drive drive drive drive some more-…..breathe……
Plan and help with various group activities and dinners, etc…find social security card….oh,
Actual laundry,finish paintings, work on portfolio pieces, paint the walls, clean closets, do I still have a turkey roaster?-volunteer at the school oh tomorrow, sure thing…we need tires. i’m tired. wait i don’t have time to be tired- small town politics ugh- world wide politics ack -all is well though, life is good, will i be able to make everyone feel loved and welcome on Thursday? we don’t need curtains for that, right? just glad we have windows and walls and a roof—it all works out. for real. all good. these are all small things-what about all the real problems people face how can i help???am i teaching my kids enough how to help? ……

I did do the wise thing and just stop, be still, pray, and listen. It helped. Lots. The song that popped into my head after this morning’s prayer was Give, said the little stream. It’s worth a listen. Promise.

I just unpacked the rest of my husband’s suitcase from a short trip he just had to make. I totally got a great big heartfelt smile out of putting the deoderant away. Why? (this is the gem of the whole post):
Because of the conversation I had with my ever-so-honest 9-year-old son while helping my husband pack:

Me: Jake, can Dad take your new deoderant on the plane since you showed me yours is “travel size?”
Thinking first, Jake humbly said: Ok. But can you please tell him not to get armpit hairs on it?

That’s good stuff, people. See, all is well. Truly, truly well.

IF: Illustration Friday: UNBALANCED

November 13, 2009 at 1:06 pm | Posted in flyfishing, IF, illustration friday, Uncategorized | 10 Comments

fish n ships

Fish n Ships Cafe

Patrons swim from leagues around to dine at the Fish n Ships Underwater Cafe. The catch of the day is (almost) always fresh. They don’t boast a menu full of completely balanced meals, but guests manage to get a daily dose of Omega-3, and a hefty helping of hospitality.
fly in soup

Check, please!

“How is the soup du jour, Miss Goldie?”
Twitching her fins, Goldie politely gasps, “Check, please! I think I will try Fuddrudders for lunch today, after all.”

Actually, I think fishy will head to the DOODLE DINER…to catch up on other news and mingle with an artsy crowd.

Fall 2009 SCBWI Conference at UND (with a side of turkey)

October 15, 2009 at 11:12 am | Posted in scbwi, Uncategorized | 4 Comments
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A few highlights from last weekend:
Shown above left to right: Molly O’ Neill, Laurie Knowlton, Andrew Karre, Janet Spaeth
2009 SCBWI Conference at UND

Laurie Knowlton If ever I met someone who lives in and makes the most of every moment, it is Laurie. She fed our minds and tickled our funny bones with her presentation The Bones of Your Story. She taught about story structure and we know she lives by her words…For example, if you give a mouse this author a cookie, she will want to eat it like this:

c is for cookie

c is for cookie...Laurie Knowlton and Yvette LaPierre

Molly O’ Neill
Molly gave a fabulous, well-prepared presentation titled What Makes Editors Fall in Love? She had us at “hello” and brought the message full circle with clarity, heart, wisdom, and perfect examples.

At dinner, she entertained us with a true story about a turkey. Yes, a turkey. Real. Frozen. Ready for adventure, turkey. Those of us privy to this kind of inside information, now know why it is imperative to wrap frozen turkeys thoroughly before transporting them via the NYC subway system.

Andrew Karre
Andrew is a walking source of information. Among other things, he shared with us Ways to Survive the Social Networking without Losing Your Shirt. He is the editorial director at Carolrhoda Books, and is particularly passionate about YA. His wealth of knowledge and wit paired with his ability to prioritize and to know what he likes are a perfect combination.

We look forward to many more exciting books from the hearts and minds of Molly, Andrew, and Laurie!

SCBWI Dakotas upcoming conference

September 29, 2009 at 11:52 am | Posted in scbwi | 4 Comments

Once upon a time...

Once upon a time...

Click here for details.

SCBWI Illustrator News

September 29, 2009 at 10:36 am | Posted in scbwi, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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I just got this email:
Just this evening (French time) received a surprise email from the SCBWI Romania RA, Alina Darian.
She has a last minute opportunity for published SCBWI illustrators.
She has just found a digital printer in Bucarest Romania who will print out work for an exhibition THIS Sunday.
We are assured the print quality will be good.
Alina apologizes for being so last minute, but it’s an interesting opportunity if you happen to have a digitized illustration that fits with the exhibition theme. o You are welcome to contactl PAL illustrators in your regions about this.
Details below.
Published illustrators are invited to submit by email Alina with a low resolution THUMBNAIL of a published illustration.
Alina’s email is : alinadarian@gmail.com
There is limited room so the first come, first selected illustrators will then be asked to send a higher resolution picture as specified below.
DEADLINE – THIS THURSDAY OCTOBER 1Any queries should be addressed directly to alinadarian@gmail.com

I’d be interested to know on Illia how many respond at this late date!
Good luck!
International Illustrator Liaison

Period: 4th -15th October 2009

Location: Carturesti Bookstore (No 13 Arthur Verona Street, Bucharest, Romania)

Organizer: SCBWI Romania

Partners: Carturesti Book Stores, Mons Medius

Exhibition’s ThemeOne of the most appreciated themes in children literature all around the world is The Journey – Traveling to far-away places, exotic ones (North Pole, Asia, Africa), space travel, Imaginary Travel (The Other Lands, Dwarfs World, Ice Queen Palace)


Open to published SCBWI members worldwide.Each illustrator can participate with one illustration.

To submit, please first send a low resolution thumbnail to alinadarian@gmail.com
of the illustration you propose with the title, and book in which it was pubished.

The final illustrations should be sent as jpg, CMYK or RGB, dimensions 70 x 100 cm or 100 x 70 cm, at 100 dpi resolution.
They will be printed on matte paper and fixed on foam billboards.

What does SCBWI represent in Romania?

SCBWI is represented in Romania since March 2008 and among its objectives is to offer the authors and the illustrators of children’s books the perfect setting for a good work and cooperation environment, several annual project presentations and international workshops. Another objective is to present the children’s illustrated books situation around the world by organizing exhibitions for children, their parents and teachers.

Until present time, SCBWI Romania means:- participation at the International Children’s Book Fair and SCBWI Conference in Bologna, April 2008- an exhibition of foreign illustration for children’s books at GAUDEAMUS – November 2008 ( inauguration of SCBWI Romania)
– a workshop with the author and illustrator Doug Cushman – February 2009- a Show and Tell workshops at Carturesti with interested professionals in June 2009- the intention to have an annual SCBWI Exhibition.
Every fall, SCBWI Romania intends to organize an international exhibition of illustration for children’s books. The public can get a feel of the work of original authors, unpublished in Romania, with different styles, varying from watercolor and gouache up to graphics and collage work.

What is “Carturesti”?- Carturesti represents a chain of cultural stores in which one can find books, tea, music, art exhibitions and very often one can meet some of their favorite artists and authors.- Since the first library opened in Bucharest, Carturesti has become one of the biggest engines that grow the Romanian cultural market, offering alternative ways to present books.
Exhibition Details-
Estimate number of visitors – from 2000 to 3000 persons
– The possibility to include the exhibition in the Gaudeamus Book Fair (end of November)
– Very good coverage in national press

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