Hello world!


Hello! I thought I’d introduce myself. I’m a children’s book illustrator, and when I’m not busy working in the closet-sized studio in my house, I’m playing with my three-year old daughter. I do daily sketches in my tiny moleskine sketchbook. It is a way to warm up my fingers, like a pianist playing scales, before I start with my “real” work. I love these daily sketches, and even when I have a hard day, when I can get nothing else done, the fact that I’ve taken 15 minutes to draw in my sketchbook, post it here , and connect with all you lovely friends, gives me so much joy. 

I also love sipping decaf lattes. Reading anything and everything. And writing in my journal. 

A few more random facts: I grew up in Canada but now live in suburban London (Kingston Upon Thames), my husband is South African and we love visiting Cape Town, my daughter was due on Guy Fawkes day (fireworks night) and, but she arrived early. 

Are you curious about anything? Ask me a few questions and I’ll answer them in a FAQ post soon. 

March 1st was also World Book Day! There’s so much to celebrate today!  I had two children’s books launch already this year: Princess Angelica and On Our Street. And another one is coming in October. I’m running a give-away to celebrate World Book Day and the magic of reading. I’m giving away a signed and “doodled-in” copy of Princess Angelica with a greeting card and sticker bundle from my online shop. It’s written by the incomparable Monique Polak. And Orca Books is adding in 5 more for five more lucky winners.

enter here! .https://mailchi.mp/9e3c58250faf/win-princess-angelica




Worm moon snow storm


I’ve been trying to document all the full moons of 2018. Last night’s “worm moon” was hidden behind a thick blanket of storm clouds, which were illuminated by the glowing city below, and the ghost of the moon behind them.Snow swirled on gusts of Siberian wind. 

This blizzard reminded me of the March blizzards we had when I was growing up in Canada; just when you thought spring was around the corner a storm would whirl through from the Rockies, dumping drifts of snow on the thawing ground. 

So, this is my home. Kingston Upon Thames. In March. We live across the street from an old WWII gun tower. 

Hopefully spring will come soon and the cherry trees will bloom, and the 150 bulbs in my garden will emerge from the frozen soil, painting the world with bright colours.

Snow in London


This is the first snow she will remember. I loved watching her marvel at the trail of footprints she made on the quiet street; the cars layered with snow like iced cakes. The outside world was silenced by the deep, downy duvet covering our neighbourhood. Time stood still in that moment, and we watched the ice crystals fall from the sky and they landed on our noses and eye lashes. 

These little moments mean so much to her.

I try to remember this every day. But sometimes it takes something extraordinary, like a blizzard in London, to get me to slow down and savour the moment. 

What can you do today to remind yourself to live in the moment? 

Plans for the weekend


Just when I was making grand resolutions to pursue my dreams with passion and courage, I got a little reminder to slow down and savour the moment. Mary has a fever and a bad cough. Nothing serious. Just enough to need lots of extra cuddles and naps. It’s in these moments that I know, without a doubt, what is the most important. My work is my passion; drawing and writing flow from my fingers, and when I can’t create on a daily basis I start to feel scratchy inside. But, the most important thing is nurturing my little family. So when someone needs hugs and kisses, I drop my paintbrushes and pens and run to their side.

This weekend I’m planning to do lots of sketching (for my big deadline on Monday), as well as lots of cuddles and cartoons with my baby. 

What are your plans for the weekend?

Dream plan do


Want to know something? You don’t have to know your whole plan before you set your goals. You just need to have a dream. As your dream gets brighter and more tangible, your plan will become clearer. It is like a path leading through a misty forest; you dream of the glimmering, fantastic destination you want to reach, and as you walk, step by step, the ground becomes firmer and clearer and the path becomes wider. Just take one step at a time. And, most importantly, do your best!

What are you starting this week? I’m diving straight into the sketches for the next novel in the Princess Angelica series. Let me know what you’re working on in the comments! We’re all in this together!

Imagination for a day


 “Do you want to be a doctor when you grow up?” I asked my daughter as she pushed her stethoscope against my chest. “I already AM a doctor,” she replied. -

Of course. -

She is whatever she imagines. She gets so immersed in her make-believe that it is more real to her than anything else. -

Isn’t that a wonderful way to live? -

I’m wishing you all a wonderful weekend, filled with creativity and flights of the imagination that are so tangible that you truly believe they’re real.

My bullet journal: welcome to my brain...


Welcome to my brain… 

I’ve been using a bullet journal system to keep my life organized since my daughter was born in 2014. I always thought I was a fairly efficient and organized person, but when I become responsible for another little life, and my to-do list more than doubled in length, I realized I needed a more detailed system to keep me from going insane. 

After much experimentation, I have settled on a weekly spread in my @moleskine_world dotted notebook. I rule all the weekly pages in advance, so that the entire year is ready. What I love about this system is that it’s so flexible, there’s lots of room on each weekly page for notes and brainstorming, and there almost half the notebook is still blank at the back for more detailed lists or thoughts. 

For each week, my top tasks for each day go at the top, and other to-dos go beneath. 

Over the next few weeks I’m going to give a more comprehensive tour of my bullet journals, past and present. Is there anything in particular you want to see? Just let me know! 

Be warned, my bullet journals are loved, dog-eared and messy. They go with me everywhere. They sometimes get scribbled in by my three year old daughter. They are my brain: creative, chaotic, and friendly!

Launching “On Our Street”


Today’s the day! I’m celebrating this week, and not just because it’s pancake day and valentines day… It’s also my new picture book’s Book Birthday today! I’ll take any excuse to party, especially in dreary mid-February. Do you agree?

Over the last year I’ve been quietly working on a series of picture books called “The World Around Us” which is published by Orca Books and written by none other than Jaime Casap, Google’s Chief Educational Evangelist, and Dr. Jillian Roberts, child psychologist extraordinaire.

The first one, On Our Street, comes out today! It is a compassionate look at the complicated topics of homelessness and poverty, perfectly aimed for children. Kirkus reviews calls it “Clear and accurate.” Plus, part of the profits from every book support UNICEF’s programs around the world. Isn’t that amazing?

Tell your friends, your library, your local bookstore. And be sure to get yourself a copy! Sign up to my mailing list on my home page to learn more about the book and my creative process. 


Bullet journals and self care


In this busy season of work and life, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how I can care for myself more conscientiously. For me, this entails pulling back to the absolute essentials in my life: naps, water, drawing, reading, writing, eating protein, playing with my daughter and going slow. What do you do for self-care when you’re feeling threadbare and unravelled? I’d love to know! Why not share below?

My week in drawings


Every afternoon Mary and I go for a wander around the block. Sometimes we stop at the corner store for a few things. Sometimes we watch the chickens in the garden at the local nursery school. Sometimes we admire the pink clouds in the sky. Yesterday the sky was particularly showy. I am so grateful for these little moments of joy. 


It is an extremely blustery, windy and rainy day. Perfect for curling up inside with a warm cup of something soothing and a good book.

What about the one I just illustrated? 😉 It launched yesterday, and I’m over the moon excited about it! 


Reading one of our favourite stories  

Go slow


It’s ok to go slow. This is something I’m reminding myself on this cold snowy Sunday afternoon. I hope you have a relaxing and reflective day, and a wonderful start to your week. Go at whatever pace feels right for you, and maybe slow is best!

Twinkle time


This morning Mary saw the morning star shining brightly when we opened the curtains. She sang “twinkle, twinkle,” softly, and in awe. What a wonderful way for a three year old to start her day. 

Invincible creativity


In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back. — Albert Camus


I’m collecting quotes to give me strength as I embark on the busy creative voyage of 2018. Care to share in the creativity? I’m going to be sending monthly meditations on the creative life to those on my mailing list. Sign up on my home page.  

A chain of holding hands


Sometimes we walk to the corner grocery store just for the sake of getting some fresh air. Sometimes we’re all in a cooperative mood; sometimes it takes a lot of compromise.

On this occasion, little one had to hold her doll’s hand before she would consent to hold mine. So we made a holding hands chain: doll, toddler, mama.

Sometimes life is like that. Chains of compromises to make everyone happy and comfortable. Hope you’re having a happy Saturday! 

Space Light and Inspiration for 2018


On the first day of the year I always take a deep breath and tidy the house to create space for new possibilities to arrive in the coming days and months. There is a deep connection between breathing and space and creativity.

This is something I want to explore in the coming weeks.

“Inspiration” means “to breathe in” in Latin. Does that resonate with you? I’m going to send out a newsletter meditating on breathing and inspiration at the end of this month.

Why not sign up to learn more?