Saturday, May 14, 2016

A little bit of local life

Well, we have just returned from a fabulous two weeks away in 'Sunny' Queensland. It was so wonderful just to focus on the family without any distractions - just what we needed after a pretty challenging start to the year for our family.

We were welcomed home with a Wintery cold snap (which was a bit of a shock to the system after such warm weather up North!)....


...along with some new additions to the farm!! 




I also came home with a renewed appreciation of the beauty of our gorgeous region and our hometown - Goulburn.

This is good timing as I am currently vying for the opportunity to create some artwork for the local Council. I have been pondering how I can bring my skills to the local Community and I hope this will be my beginning. 

So while we were in town today I took some photos around town to create some reference for my drawings.




Of course I have many more images, but I just loved the lighting and the sky in these. Would you believe I just used the camera on my mobile phone? I was just trying to document, rather than create a beautiful image so I was really happy with these. I am doing lots of sketching this weekend for my deadline (which is next week) so it's really fun to think about all of the great things I love about living here.

This week we have been laying low a bit as we re-adjust to 'normal life' again, and I have even ignored my rather enormous work list for another week. All of this down time has re-ignited a long lost yearning to be more Crafty. I am just desperate to start making things and have a really long list of projects that I am determined to find time for. 


I used to do A LOT of knitting and sewing in my life before having children and I would love to share these skill with my girls, now that they are getting a bit older. They are fascinated by my knitting (as are the chickens) and have already requested all types of hats, scarves and jumpers!!!

I have also borrowed a fabulous collection of books from our local library. (I just LOOOOOOVE our local library! They have a constant stream of NEW and modern books....and they even have some of MY books in there, so that's pretty exciting for me...and my girls!!)


I have also started a PINTEREST board of projects that I hope inspires me into action, so check it out here if you are interested. I have recently had my sewing machines serviced and am ready to go...well almost! I NEED to build my fabric collection up again, so it looks like a wonderful excuse to stock up!!

There are some wonderful things happening on the work front at the moment, but I will save that for another post.

Until next time......x

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

New Releases for May 2016!

Yes, I am still here! I am working through a pretty extensive 'to do' list, but thought I'd better stop by and let you know that I am still around! 

Ella Diaries news:
Here is the latest release for the Ella Diaries series. It's a wonderful tale full of all the usual craziness and antics you have come to expect from Ella and her friends, all centered around the School Play.


Here's a bit of an exclusive look at some of the internal artwork:





The latest edition (May 2016) of Total Girl Magazine features your chance to win a copy of this new Ella Diaries book through their COMPS CLUB. 


Otherwise, it hits the shops on the 1st of May, so be sure to grab a copy, or order one online here.

I have also completed the next book in this series (!) and have started the cover art for the following book, so there's LOTS more to come in this gorgeous series.

Other news:
I have been meaning to share this one with you for AGES! 


This was the very first book I created on my wonderful journey with the team at Scholastic. 



I will always have a soft spot for this book and it's just been released as a BOARD BOOK! This format really suits this book, and it still includes the music CD of Peter Combe's hilarious songs! This one is also due for release on the 1st of May. Here's one place you can order it.

On my desk:
A brand new picture book! Yay! I have missed working in FULL COLOUR and I am delighted to be working on my first sketches for a fun new book. 

Of course we also have a several new Ella and Olivia books on the go, and I am desperately waiting to see the first proofs for another brand new (still Top Secret!) book due for release in September.

Phew! That's it for now. We are off on a very long overdue family vacation shortly, so we are counting down the sleeps until the big day!

Check back soon for more news....there's still a couple of things brewing behind the scenes that I hope to be able to share soon. x

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Coming up for air!


This once month posting thing is clearly becoming a habit! There is so much going on but I just can't seem to make time to share things here. When there are so many things demanding your time and attention, then something has to give. I just can't physically do everything so I feel a bit like I am in survival mode! 

None the less, here I am! Last month I managed to finish an exciting BRAND NEW book project (double the length of anything I have worked on before!) This obviously means double the work! It took an entire week of scanning and 'live tracing' to sort out all of the illustrations (even with the help of my niece!) I am really pleased with how it all came together and I can't wait to see the final product - (due for release in SEPTEMBER this year.)

No rest for the wicked though - I have already completed another Ella and Olivia book since then and am starting on the next Ella Diaries too!

I do have a few new things to share, but I still need to photograph them. In the meantime, here's some (bad) photos of a lovely surprise I recently received in the mail. It's a Spanish version of a book I worked on a few years ago with Five Mile Press. It's a "Press and Play" concept where you 'pop' out a 2D character to interact with the pages. It's the first time I have seen a foreign language version of one of my books, so it's pretty exciting!



And just because I don't share enough farm pics here, I just wanted to share our lovely chickens getting in on some out door painting fun! 



I swear these chickens think they are human! They always try to come inside the house with us and even jump into the car with us whenever they can! I love them!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Mascot fun




A little side project for a friend....

Monday, January 25, 2016

(NOT SO) HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Well, a VERY belated HAPPY NEW YEAR to you all. I would have to say that we have had a very ordinary start to the New Year. In fact, I would go so far as to say it has included some of the worst days of my life.

I don't intend to bother you with the details, but it has included writing off our car. (We hit a wombat on route to our holiday destination on Christmas Eve and have been without a car for the past month while we sort things out with insurance! This is a tough ask when you live on a farm and can't rely on public transport, or walking anywhere!) But the worst part was one of our daughters becoming seriously ill and requiring some time in hospital. She has made a wonderful recovery, but we are still dealing with some side effects. This one will haunt me for some time to come, I think!

Anyway, that's my excuse for going quiet here again of late. I have so much to share with you, but will try to do it in stages. I plan to overhaul this blog and set up a website this year, but for now I have some serious work to catch up on.


I have had to do some re-shuffling of deadlines, but it feels good to get some normality and routine back into our lives. I have managed to complete the new cover artwork for the latest Ella Diaries, and have also completed all of the internal artwork for another new Ella Diaries due for release in a few months. These stories just get better and better and I LOVE working on this series.


I also meant to mention that you can now get a BOXED SET of Ella Diaries book. You know I love a boxed set!! (Sorry about the bad photo - something else I have to work on this year!)



Oh, and while we are talking boxed sets, here's an Ella and Olivia BOXED SET I spotted in one of our favourite book stores!


Now that I have caught up a bit, I am also back working on my BRAND NEW, TOP SECRET book. 



I am having so much fun with this one. There's lots of new characters and so many hilarious moments that I may have gone a bit over board with the illustrations! I don't know how we are going to fit it all into the number of pages we have been allocated!! This one is not due for release until September this year, so I can't give too much away just yet. But for now it's FUN, FUN, FUN!

This year is stacking up to be one of my busiest yet! Stay tuned for more updates and some new releases I still need to share with you. Back soon.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

NEW ELLA DIARIES: PONY SCHOOL SHOWDOWN

Phew...another month of craziness done and dusted! I would like to think that next year I can make some more time for this blog, but right now it's just a case of keeping up with the heavy work flow.

My motivation was boosted by the arrival of my advance copies of the new ELLA DIARIES book - PONY SCHOOL SHOWDOWN. 



I always thought horses were my weakness when it came to drawing, but this week I had to draw an Orang-Utan and that REALLY tested my skills!! I spent WAY too long on it, but was happy with it in the end.

Anyway, despite the 'horse' theme, I think this one may be my new favourite in the ELLA DIARIES series (but I think I say that about every new release, don't I?!)


We also head into the Christmas season with the wonderful news that ELLA DIARIES has been sold into 10 more countries in Asia! It's such an exciting time for all of us involved in this beautiful series and I am so proud to be a part of it all.

Next year brings a few changes, and some exciting NEW books for me to work on, with the contracts and deadlines all signed off and ready for the NEW YEAR.

Best wishes for a fabulous Holiday season and here's to an exciting 2016.

Danielle x

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

NEW ELLA AND OLIVIA COLLECTION

I have always wanted to have a boxed set of my books, and here they are!! 12 Ella and Olivia books!

This is such a gorgeous gift idea - just in time for Christmas. I am also working on a BRAND NEW Ella and Olivia concept due for release next year! Stay tuned for more details!