Friday, July 10, 2009

The Start of My Children's Book!

So.... I've embarked on a project I've wanted to do for nearly twenty years: illustrating a children's book! Before mosaics I painted and thought, one day my paintings will be good enough. Wrong! At least in my eyes. So I kept painting, hoping to get better.

In 2005 I discovered mosaics. After creating mosaics for almost 2 years, I suddenly got the brilliant idea of doing a children's book in mosaics! I was so excited because I had never seen it done before. I went online to see if I could find such a book and who do I find but Barb Keith! Her book, The Girls and Boys of Mother Goose (Brownian Bee Press, 2006), is a collection of nursery rhymes illustrated in stained glass mosaics. Since then, her second book has been published, Mosaic Zoo, An ABC Book (Brownian Bee Press, 2008).

I was so impressed with the book, all of the wonderful details, the different borders, how she did the faces. I wrote her immediately to tell her how much I admired her work, and to order a book, of course. From there, a new friendship began.

So Barb, amazing and talented in so many areas, published the book herself through her own company, Brownian Bee, and offered to publish my book, should I ever get to it! But, I still didn’t have an idea.

Well, about 9 months later in December 2007, I got an idea! I wrote Barb and said, “You should do this!” She wrote back saying, “It’s a great idea. YOU should do this!”

Yes, a year and a half went by before I started. I got distracted with marketing myself in every way possible, which included producing as many new mosaics as possible so I could get my work seen in galleries.

Last month I posted two new works on Flickr: a skunk and a mouse. Among the feedback were many comments telling me how perfect they’d be for a children’s book. Wellllllll, I have to say that lit the spark that made me say, “If I don’t start, it will never happen.” I knew it would take me a year to three years to finish it (depending on other projects that would come up meanwhile) and I like to focus on one thing at a time, so this thought contributed a lot to me delaying this project.
So I want to say a huge thank you to those who posted on Flickr for getting me started on this, as well as Barb, who continues to encourage me and support my ideas. Thank you!

Now, as many of you know, I am a FLICKR ADDICT! And I am a lover of documenting my works in progress. I post almost daily the work I accomplished that day, as well as my thought processes and decision making as I work. Therefore, this book is going to be a huge test in self discipline because I really want the book to be a surprise - soooo I won’t be posting daily WIP photos. :-(

However, I WILL post cropped bits of my mosaics every so often. I simply cannot NOT share! I’m too excited! Plus, I hope by having an audience, it will continue to motivate me to finish the book even sooner. And it will definitely make me blog more frequently.

I can’t share too many details about the book but I will say this:

There will be 15-18 mosaics, each 15x24”
The printed book will be 10x16” when open, so each page will be 10x8”
I’m estimating each mosaic to take about 60 hours
They will be made of stained glass and millefiori (lots of mille!)

And that’s pretty much all I can tell ya! Here's my first photo to share, a teensy part of pages 1-2. I am nearly done with this first mosaic and have spent about 45 hours on it so far. (That is another OCD thing I do – log each and every minute I work on a mosaic. But in the end, I can tell you exactly how long it took me!) So it’s possible I can finish sooner than I am estimating. We’ll see! Stay tuned for more on this exciting adventure of mine ….. :-)


  1. Hooray! I cannot WAIT to see this unfold. Congratulations on getting motivated, and we'll all be watching to make sure you stay that way. :-)

  2. Hi, your mosaics are very beautiful!!!! I like much!!!

  3. I am so looking forward to watching your progress, even if it's little teasers :-) I think this is a perfect project for you Christine. So proud of you for going for it!!

  4. How very exciting! I knew (or had a strong suspicion) that you'd be publishing with Barb as soon as you mentioned the book! Looking forward to getting sneak peeks here. Have fun!

  5. Thanks everyone! I'm enjoying it so much! Crystal, I know YOU won't let me lag. :-)

  6. Oh wonderful! Go for it! I will be so happy to buy it for my children :)

  7. Although I've never met you (except on Flickr), I love your work, & so admire your lofty new goals, which I'm sure will come to fruition beautifully! It seems that you have the visualizing all worked out, & that's usually what takes the longest! Wishing you all the best as you embark on this exciting new project!!
    Susan (aka Mimi's Mosaics)

  8. Yeah Barb! Soooooooo!
    Thank you so much Concetta and Susan! :-)

  9. Hi Christine! I don't even have kids (yet!), but I want to pre-order my copy now :-) Looking forward to seeing this evolve!

  10. Hi Christine,
    I just came across this post and didn't know you were working on a book! That is definitely a goal I want to acheive, but for now I have to work my style and only my style. Can't wait to see the book.

  11. I'm just now seeing your post, Gwyn. Thanks, I can't wait either!