Mimi and me

Mimi, c. 2005~2017

I came into the world in Maywood, California, because that's where my mom was on July 6, 1951. I grew up drawing, playing with clay, and reading Mrs. Wilder's tales of Laura & Mary on the Prairie. Also Maud Hart Lovelace's delightful Betsy-Tacy books.

Nowadays I live and work in my hometown, Independence, Missouri, the Queen City of the Trails. Albert, a.k.a. Kitty Boy lives here, too. So does Loula, the sweet Cocker Spaniel I rescued from the shelter in Oct 2017, after poor little Mimi, the Shih Tzu I'd had for nine years, was killed in June.

Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society
William Anderson Books


My working life began with an art ed. degree in 1973 at CMSU, a.k.a. University of Central MO. Rather than teaching, I ended up doing artwork at Kansas City's Hallmark Cards; Sunset Designs, a California needlework kit company, and at Current, Inc., in Colorado Springs.

In 1984, I learned so much from Uri Shulevitz, at his children's book summer class. The following spring, I spent a few days in NYC, introducing myself and my portfolio to editors. Four years and ten books later I quit my day job for the freelancing life. Books I did: the illustrations, then the words as well. Along the way I found a feel for American History. Really, it was there all along, thanks to Laura Ingalls.

This past year I've taken up playing with clay again - trying my hand at making dolls, to be exact, out of Super Sculpey' polymer clay. My first ever is Eleanor Roosevelt, pictured here, knitting - once I taught myself to knit, built her armchair, made her yarn wig, sewed her dress as well as her Scottie, FALA. I went on to sculpt/paint/costume Hillary as Wonder Woman then drove them both down to Nashville, TN, this past summer, to the annual conference of the National Institute of American Doll Artists, to see how my 'First Ladies' measured up -okay for a beginner/crummy compared to the glorious work I saw there. I left inspired, eager to improve what I've done then do more - plus reading, writing, and playing with Loula Cocker.

Children's Book Council
National Geographic
Missouri Association of School Libraries

Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators
www.historychannel .com


A cold school day, 1959


Dolls-in-progress: My
 'Laura and Mary Ingalls'


Loula Cocker and Bertie, aka Kitty Boy

Eleanor R. sits approximately 13" tall, as does my HILLARY WONDER (What Happened) WOMAN doll. To see how they look after their makeovers watch this space!



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