Sunday, 1 December 2013

Counting forwards day by day Advent calendar - and backwards month by month...

Whaaaaa!  Was it really June I was last here?   What happened?
Well here's an Advent Calendar game I designed a few years ago.
Let me know if you can't open each day - on the right day.
Children might like to guess what's inside each present before they click on it.  If they jump ahead of the day, they'll get a pop-up which should animate.  I designed it some years ago and though I did not manage to change the old fonts as I'd like, it still works - thanks to my Sidney-based web hoster Simon Specker.  Since the late 1990s he has hosted me at Planet Homepage in exchange for having hosted him years before during his trip around Europe.

There's another advent calendar I helped the SCBWI Words and Pictures team  put together.   This one is new this year.  Have a look at our Society of Children's Book Writer and Illustrators' advent calendar which will grow day by day as a different illustrator is added on until December 25.

I haven't been idle since my last post in June.
And it's brought me two exciting new contracts, one French, one English for two very different picture books that I'm writing as well as am illustrating (more about those soon).

Time now to recapitulate the months I missed on this blog with a highlight or two per month.

July - an inspiring SCBWI Picture Book retreat with Helen Stephens and Gerry Turley in a dream location on the River Avon, alongside other authors and illustrators and visiting publishers from Egmont and Hodder.

August -  alongside the books I was working on a series of paintings for the Time for a Rhyme feature in Bayard's English Storybox Magazine.  Here's a glimpse of the first one for the September issue...
My son and I managed a week off and a long drive from London via Paris to the Lot to sketch scenery around Les Eyzies for another story I'm working on.
Incredible rock formations...quick crayon 
watercolour sketch in the heat

September - a dose of picture book dummy doctoring with fellow author-illustrator, the wonderful Sue Porter for a SCBWI BI illustrator masterclass we hope we gave fellow creators a fresh angle on their projects for picture books texts and images.

October  - A big sorting out and new storage in my home studio -  10 big wide smooth moving draws, and lots more shelf and desk space, built by a brilliant carpenter (contact me if you need a good one in London!)  and no less than 34  big delicious pears on my little Conference pear tree  which I  planted a year and a half ago, in my garden near Brick Lane.

November - work on my books, another commission for Highlights High Five, and a last minute charity sale to set up of SCBWI Showcase illustrator prints, at the SCBWI Winchester conference in aid of the Philippines Typhoon Appeal . An inspiring conference - a lot to take in but I had a moment to relax afterwards on the Eurostar to Paris for a working meeting with Bayard.
I managed to fit in the Grand Palais to see the huge Braque show.
No photos allowed - fortunately I had a few coloured pencils to record a thumbnail of
Braque's 1934 Still Life with Red Tablecloth

The Vallotton exhibition was huge and full of work I didn't know...Somehow the same day I managed an hour at the French kids book fair before the train back to London.

A couple of days later, this weekend, two seasonal fairs in South London with other CWISL authors and illustrators.  I read Mini Racer, at Feast Fair's CWISL stand today. The children coloured in snails on skateboards, and "dotty dog" cars and boy did we make tracks with them!

 There I've caught up with myself - not too late for December 1st and the Advent launch...and  just in time to make dinner - phew!


John Shelley said...

Wow, busy year Bridget!! You're such a dynamo!

Love the bookshelves - fun, colourful and inspiring. Really love the sketches, you should do more watercolour. And love the Advent calendar, wonderful!

Bridget Marzo said...

Aw - thanks John!

Marjory Gardner said...

All the best for Christmas Bridget all the way from Australia!