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The Great Book Giveaway

by abby on November 25, 2014 | Comment

NYC pop up bookshelves outside
{The Great Book Giveaway in NYC}

In the spirit of gratitude and giving back a very cool event happened last week organized by the National Book Foundation and the Uni Project. It was called the Great Book Giveaway!

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What happened? Well, a friendly competition between 2 authors: Neil Gaiman and Daniel Handler were challenged by these 2 book organizations to see who could give away the most books in Washington Square Park.

The turn out was large! New Yorkers waited in lines in the freezing temperatures to have a chance to browse the pop-up book shelves and to speak or snap photos with the 2 authors. What a great way to make books more fun and interactive. Wouldn’t it be great if you could do this in your own neighborhood?

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday too!

What book are YOU currently reading?

Send Paper Hugs This Holiday Season

by abby on November 21, 2014 | Comment

photos of christmas and hanukkah cards by AbbyDora Design {AbbyDora Design 2014 holiday card sampling}

What a crazy weather week, right? I hope you are all safe and warm. To cope with the wacky weather and keep my spirits up, I focused on the joy of the upcoming holidays. I hope you will seriously consider sending a paper hug this year by hand writing your holiday cards. It will feel like a gift for you and your recipient, I promise.

To help to you find the right holiday card, I’ve updated and revamped my Shoppe to include new sections and a few new items too.

We have new holiday cards!
Let it Snow christmas card featuring 2 white snowflake designs on red background

2014 holiday card with dark blue background and white snowflakes

Mother Nature and Nordic sweaters were my inspiration for these cards. Each set comes with 3 of each snowflake design. The cards are blank on the interior to let you personalize your holiday greeting. I also have single big snowflake cards available.

There’s a new way to shop!
AbbyDora Design 2014 build your own holiday card set
{Build your own set of holiday cards!}

I split the Holiday Card Sets from the Single Holiday Cards. This allowed me to offer another great deal: CREATE YOUR OWN HOLIDAY 6 CARD SET. Yay! You can mix and match and create your unique collection of holiday cards for your family and friends.

Start shopping now!

Happy Weekend!

It’s Festival Time

by abby on November 18, 2014 | Comment

photo of room filled with adults and children at the author and illustrator signing room
{A packed afternoon at Rochester’s Children’s Book Festival!}

Most of the year, my industry of children’s publishers, authors, and illustrators seems far away in hubs like New York City. But once a year here in Rochester the children’s book industry comes to us at Rochester’s Children’s Book Festival.

stacks of very pink Fancy Nancy books

And what a festival it was! I was very happy to see the festival brimming with energy of parents, children, and teachers all eager to buy books, meet authors and illustrators, and learn about the craft of children’s books. There were several well known authors attending this year too, like Jane O’Connor the author of the Fancy Nancy series.

The head liners were fun, but I had my own agenda at the festival. There were a couple of ladies in particular that I was thrilled to meet.

chidren's book authors signing books at Rochester Book Festival

The first was Kate Messner the author of Over and Under the Snow. I snapped a few photos just after I had a fun quick conversation with her. She’s the one with the glasses on in the black shirt on the left.

picture book by Kate Messner and illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal
{Kate signed my book with this little extra bit: “Look, Listen, and WONDER…”}

Over and Under the Snow is illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal. I blogged about this book a few years ago when it came out. It’s a beautiful book that blends non-fiction facts about animals hibernating with a fictional story. I felt great that I had the opportunity to tell her how much I enjoyed both the story and the beautiful book design. She said the her publisher Chronicle Books was a dream to work with. I’d love to be able to design a book for them one day!

Elizabeth Bluemle signing her picture book Tap Tap Boom Boom

My other author that I was looking for was Elizabeth Bluemle. I dropped in on a talk she was giving on how to create fun and smooth rhyme in picture books. She gave several inspiring tips. I like the one that if you get stuck, walk in the rhythm of your text. Not only is this a change of scene, but it also helps you to internalize your text and the pacing of it. Love it!

I bought her recent picture book, Tap Tap Boom Boom, not only for the great text, but again for the fabulous book design of it. I will be blogging more about this book VERY soon. It’s a great read aloud!

photo of lady pug sitting

And finally, I met a new friend at the festival on Saturday. Her name is Lacy and she is a HUGE fan of picture books. She told me her favorite book was, Harry the Dirty Dog and she especially loves to watch Betty White read it aloud. hehe!

Do you have an author you’d love to meet? Share it with me!

Handwritten Holiday Card Challenge

by abby on November 11, 2014 | Comment

holiday card with blue snowflakes and thin red type saying peace & love
{new 2014 holiday card}

With winter snow showers hitting the mid-west and today being a day of remembrance to our veterans, I thought I’d share with you my new 2014 holiday card and start the process of spreading peace and love to the world.

hand drawn snowflakes with red type wishing you peace and love to you on this holiday season

The card features more unique hand drawn snowflake designs (I really like creating them!) in cool winter blue which are then paired with lovely thin red type. There is plenty of room to include your interior message as well.

I hope this year, you’ll book time to handwrite your holiday cards. I know D and I are planning on this! Imagine receiving a handwritten letter and then receiving a typed note. Which one gives more warmth and love? Yep, the handwritten one! If you only hand write letters once a year, I think the holidays is a great time to show the extra thoughtfulness. Pair it with cute holiday cards and it becomes a gift in itself!

Won’t you join me in the handwritten holiday card challenge this holiday season?

Michelangelo Mini-moon

by abby on November 7, 2014 | Comment

Kensington neighborhood
{Toronto supports street art!}

After the wedding D and I took a trip to Toronto for a few days to enjoy being married. I hadn’t been there in more than 10 years and D was excited to show me his favorite “Brooklynesque” neighborhood. We stayed near the university and the vibe was great. There were lots of intriguing art and clothing shops which were mingled in between coffee and tea houses and restaurants and bars. We did feel like we were back in New York City—except that everyone was super friendly and liked to chat with you!

Michelangelo at AGO

Our trip happened to correspond to a fantastic art exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario. It was a show of 30 of Michelangelo’s drawings from his private studio collection from Florance! Yay! D is a big art appreciator, especially of the old masters, so he was eager to see this show too.

And what a show it was! There was a great modern twist to the exhibition design. It was a beautiful blend of a classicly hung art show and an interactive museum exhibit. The first thing I noticed was that Italian classical music floated in the air in the gallery.

chalk drawing of female head by old master
{My absolute favorite drawing of the show. I could look at this all day long…}

Michelangelo’s red chalk drawings were shown in simple dark blue wood frames with a hit of gold leaf on the beveled edges. Among the framed art were a few large flat screen panels showing enlargements of his smaller drawings and sharing collections of quotes that Michelangelo had said.

The show also emphasized that his drawings were a unique look at his in-process thinking. You could say his imperfections (though it was hard to see them.). There were several quotes by Michelangelo that spoke to the difficulty of the Creative, that art does not come easy. Instead it is the result of many hours of hard work and struggle.(ah-huh!)

Art Gallery of Ontario

It might seem silly, but knowing that even the Old Master, Michelangelo, had trouble with his drawings and clients made him crazy at times made be feel a little better about my own work and business. No matter the age, all artists have the same mountains to climb and must combat the same doubts. Grazie Michelangelo.

Do you have a favorite Old Master Artist?

She’s back!

by abby on November 4, 2014 | Comment

suzanne fine regional cuisine wedding
{D and I walking back down the aisle as husband and wife}

Hello friends! I know it’s been too long since I’ve posted, but life has been busy. My rule is that my blog compliments my life. It doesn’t rule it, so I’ve taken the last couple of months to focus on my teaching and my wedding! Yay! Yes, D and I got married 2 weeks ago. We got hitched in a lovely barn in the Finger Lakes. I couldn’t help but include a photo with my return post. I will be sharing a few other photos later on (huge smile). All you need to know now is that is was a truly magical day!

And now if you can believe it, it’s November. Crazy, how fast time is moving. I’m sure you’ve seen the holiday decor popping up in stores. I’ve restocked my Etsy Holiday Card Section in the shoppe in preparation for the holiday traffic. Take look if your curious! There will be more fun stuff to come too.

While away last week, relaxing with my new husband (eeee!—so exciting to say it!), I came across a great article listing the top 10 Illustrated books from 2014. Think you know them? Well, I had a few surprises myself. My favorites are: SHACKLETON’S JOURNEY, HARLEM HELLFIGHTERS, and TIME FOR BED, FRED. Perhaps one of these would make a great gift for someone you love?

Do you start your holiday shopping now or do you wait until after Thanksgiving?