Archive for the ‘Art/Craft Project’ Category

Get out your pencils, crayons and journals – you’re going to want to write after you read this book.   It makes you feel like everyone can have fun writing a book and even illustrating!!  My Perfect Picture Book pick is…..

Title:  Bunny Loves to WriteBunny Loves to Write (Parragon Read-Along)

Author:   Peter Bently

Illustrator:   Emma Foster & Deborah Melmon

Publisher: Parragon Books 2013

Genre: Fiction

Audience Age:  2-10

Themes/Topics: Creativity/Friends

Opening Sentences: One day, Buster was going out to play.  “Always carrying a book!” chuckled Mom.  “What is it this time, Buster?

Synopsis: Buster Bunny has  to write a story for school.  He can’t think of any ideas until his friends give him plenty of ideas.

Why I like it:  Mr. Bently has written a wonderful story that inspires creativity using everyday things around us.  When I read it to my grands they immediately wanted to draw and write.  Buster  and his friends write a story together and illustrate it in his journal.  The journal becomes a story within a story.  The illustrators use beautifully bright, large watercolor illustrations combined with a collage feel of photos and textures.  The journal looks like a real handwritten journal and is illustrated with line drawings.  It even inspired me with an idea for a classroom project.

 Activities & Resources:   Give your child a simple journal or blank book and let them write their own story.  Cut out some magazine pictures or textures and let your child glue them in the journal to illustrate their story.

Here is a link to some wonderful story starter pictures for young children.

Availability:  Major Booksellers.   Also available as a Nook book from Barnes & Noble.

(Susanna Leonard Hill is the originator of PPBF and you can find all the other PPB recommendations and links  on her blog.)

Enjoy the read and blessings on your creativity today!!

Laura (Grandmamiller)

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Hi!  I’m Laura Miller (AKA Grandma Miller)

I am so blessed that you stopped by today.

I’m a children’s author and illustrator, and I would love to keep in touch.

In my writing/illustrating groups we are advised to do some self-promotion.   I thought I would also offer you some coloring pages for your children, grandchildren, summer camp, Vacation Bible School….or just for relaxation for yourself.   So if you’d like to subscribe to my blog, you’ll have opportunity to download some coloring pages.

Subscribe Via E-mail To Get Free Updates  

And a Free Mini Coloring Book 

 Click Here To Sign Up!


If you enjoy the coloring pages it would bless me if  you took a moment to share this post with your friends on social media.

Blessings on your day and your creativity,

Laura (Grandmamiller)

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Here are some simple doodles – we were in the midst of parade and carnival  on Sunday/Monday so I kept it simple.

Alison Hertz’ prompts for these days of Doodle Day May were leaf , star and paisley.

Now I have to explain about the leaf…This started out just to be the mouse, the leaf and the tree, but I made a mistake w/my pen where the arrow is pointing.  So I tried to make a little critter – and then the idea of the mice tickling the sleeping mouse just grew.  Sometimes mistakes can work.


I did face painting at the carnival.  The first mom and little girl that came up told me thank you for what our church was doing (collecting donations for care packages for the troops).  I said, ‘you must have someone special in the military.’  She nodded and I looked at her little  girl’s shirt…It said,’ My daddy is in Afghanistan.’  I hugged Mom and said, ‘please tell your husband ‘thank you’ for serving… and thank you for sacrificing.’  We both teared up.

My dad was in the Coast Guard for 20 years.  I know some of the sacrifices families make.  He was at the South Pole (gone for over 8 months) during the Vietnam years, he had different stations of duty where he was also gone for 3 weeks, home for one (if the weather wasn’t bad and prevented the boat from getting him to shore, then it was gone for 7 weeks).  Families sacrifice as well with the absence of the mom or dad.    This is my little salute to them all.


And to get me caught up to yesterday – is paisley – which originated in Scotland.  So this is my Scottish Highland Cow.


Thanks for stopping by.

Laura (Grandmamiller)

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Still having lots of fun with Alison Hertz‘  Doodle Day May.  The subjects today are ‘ shoes’ and ‘design a font.’  I dedicated the Circus font to Alison (if you don’t know why – you need to read her bio/look at facebook pics.)   The shoe doodle made me think of my little girls growing up.

Circus font

Circus font

I sketched Circus first, then colored it in Photoshop.  I used colored pencils & ink on the shoes.



Now on to my pick for Susanna Hill‘s  Perfect Picture Book Friday.

This book reminds me of when my girls were little and it was bathtime. When dad supervised it was always lively with lots of giggling, shrieking and splashing.  The walls were dripping, the floor was submerged and the bubbles were everywhere.  (When I supervised – somehow it never seemed as much fun.)

Title: Big Red Tub  (Note: Released as Big Red Bath in UK) 

Author:   Julia JarmanBig Red Tub

Illustrator:   Adrian Reynolds

Publisher: Orchard Books, 2004

Genre: Fiction

Audience Age:  2-4

Themes/Topics: Bathtime, Imagination

Opening Sentences: Stan and Stella in the big red tub.  I splash! You splash!  Splash! Splash! Splash!

Synopsis: Dad is supervising bathtime. The children have lots of fun  especially when all kinds of animals join in.  Dog, lion, kangaroo, duck and even a hippopotamus!  And bathtime ends up going beyond the walls of the house….

Why I like it:  It’s  sudsy fun and the rhythm and rhyme are a rollicking good time.  The illustrations are big and bright.  Matter of fact they are so bubbly and soapy you either need a raincoat or a scrub brush.  When I read this to my grands they immediately wanted a re-read.   This is for a younger audience, but definitely a lively selection.  (You probably won’t want to read it at bed time, tho’ it is such a romp the kids get excited.)

Activities/Resources:   Ms. Jarman has a coloring page from her website here.   And an activity sheet .

 I could recommend something about hygiene, but that’s not fun…. how about   B U B B L E S ?  (Click and scroll down the page to find a dozen bubble activities.)

Availability: Barnes & Noble, Amazon

(Susanna Leonard Hill is the originator of PPBF and you can find all the other PPB recommendations and links  on her blog.)

Have fun enjoying the book.  Stop by tomorrow for another Doodle update.  Blessings on your day!

Laura (grandmamiller)

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The challenge was to draw Fish and Triangles.  Simple, quick doodles. . . uh…how many fins does a fish have???  Do seahorses have head fins…..uh…so I drew from my imagination (which is always correct!)…  The top right is a ‘parrot fish’.  My favorite is the little guy swimming behind the bubble.  I don’t know if underwater bubbles would magnify or not – maybe they demagnify – but I liked the effect.

Then Prof. Tri Angle popped into my head when drawing triangles. How many triangles do you count?   There are 50.

Professor Tri Angle

Professor Tri Angle

This is all part of Alison Hertz’   Doodle Day May challenge.  It has been so much fun  and discovery.  I’ve met new artist friends and been both inspired and challenged to do more with my art.

Thanks for stopping by and blessings on your creativity!!

Laura (grandmamiller)

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Had to add this pic

Mother's Day 2013 Ivy, Josiah, Felicity, & Lincoln & Me

Mother’s Day 2013
Ivy, Josiah, Felicity, & Lincoln & Me

Busy weekend- babysat ALLLLL my grandchildren together on Saturday for about 2 hours.   I had my youngest (14 mo)  here for  4 hours and the other three (4, almost 3 and 18 mo)  for only about 2 hours.  Fun wise it wasn’t long enough…stamina wise ….well let’s just say – I felt my age (713 mo.)  tee-hee.

Sunday was also a very busy day as our church had planning meetings for a Memorial Day Kids Carnival and then our Church’s Anniversary Picnic was at our house.  So that’s why no posting done over the weekend.



The First doodle  ‘FRUIT’ is from my memory of last summer.  I had rinsed a big bowl of strawberries and set them on the table to cut up and sugar to go on ice cream.  My granddaughters wanted to taste and I said okay.  The 3 1/2 year old winced when she took a taste and the 2 yr old stuffed one in her mouth and kept reaching for more.

Alison’s SWIRLS prompt was just fun and relaxing to do.   I’ll have to remember that next time I’m stressed!  Thanks for stopping by!  Blessings on your day!



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For Doodle Day May #16 our topic was SPACE.  Alison (the creator of Doodle Day May) put no constraint on our imaginations for this doodle.   I decided to doodle this in photoshop.   I’m still familiarizing myself with it’s features so this was a good practice.  Several things in this that I would change, some proportions (those tiny images were hard with the wacom).  I would probably do the skyline in pencil and paper and scan it in next time – but I was at 30 minutes – so I made myself stop.

Short funny story about comets-My husband and I love star gazing (as long as the mosquitoes aren’t too bad, or it’s not too cold.)  The last time Haley’s comet was around our youngest was an infant.  We bundled her up and drove into the country away from light pollution,  and sat for 2 hours in the middle of the night trying to see the comet.  No luck – the only thing we got was a wide awake baby when we got home.  A couple weeks later – my husband worked nights at the time – about 3 in the morning, hubby comes home,  wakes me up and says – you have to get up you can see Haley’s comet plain as day!  So bleary eyed and staggering I got dressed…socks…boots…extra layers…it was COLD…Tom kept urging me to hurry….mittens….scarf…..’C’mon, you’ll miss it’…..stiff-walked into the back yard, squinting at the sky…. “Where is it??   I don’t see it,” I said.   Several yards from me my dear, loving, considerate husband shouts, “APRIL FOOL’s!!!”

Anyway…  on to my Perfect Picture Book pick for the week.

Title: Baby Brains and RoboMom    (Note:  in the UK it is RoboMum)

Baby Brains & RoboMom by Simon James

Author/Illustrator:                        Simon James

Publisher: Candlewick Press (2008)

Genre: Fiction

Audience Age: 4-8

Themes/Topics: Problem Solving, Family

Opening Sentences: Before Baby Brains was born, Mrs. Brains ate lots of fish and nuts, which are good foods for brains.

Synopsis: The smartest baby in the world builds a robot mom to give his tired mommy a break from the chores, but things don’t go as planned.

Why I like it:  This was my introduction to ‘Baby Brains.’  which is actually the third book in the series. The others are Baby Brains: The Smartest Baby in the Whole World and Baby Brains: Superstar.    I definitely plan to find these first two to enjoy.  The Brains parents seem to be an average, loving  and hard working couple who have the smartest baby around.  They patiently hold pencils while Baby sits at the drafting board planning and creating his newest invention… like a remote-controlled, self-rocking cradle or a motorized stroller.   Baby notices how tired his mommy is so he lovingly creates RoboMom.  The busy metal mom hustles to do all the chores and then some.  However, we see Baby Brains missing the human touch and the parents perplexed at how to intervene.   When an explosion occurs (don’t worry everyone is safe–well almost everyone)  the problem resolves itself and Baby Brains learns to be a little more careful with his inventions.

Despite the difference between Baby’s extreme intelligence and his average parents you are able to discern the family’s love for one another.  The parent’s acceptance of their unique child and his desire to help give his parents a much needed rest and provide the heart of the story.  James’ illustrations are delightful sketchy, watercolor and ink.  One comment I read said they have a Quentin Blake (Big Friendly Giant) quality to them and I agree.

My granddaughters  (almost 3 and 4 1/2) liked the story and were really intrigued by Baby’s inventions, wanting to know what he was doing at the drawing board and how he could make those things.  It was also a requested re-read.

Activities/Resources:   Mr. James has an awesome website (check it out), a demonstration page on Youtube and he has colouring pages available.  There is one of Baby Brains where Mr. James leaves it to you to draw in YOUR picture of Baby’s invention. (I ran off one for myself  🙂 )

There are sooo many online resources about inventors and inventions.  Start by talking about what an ‘invention’ is.  Ask your child if they can think of something to invent that would help around your house.  Perhaps a machine to put away the toys.  What would they make it out of?   Have then draw a picture of what it would look like.  Here is a simple lesson plan  to help spark creativity using boxes, pipe cleaners, glue tape and all kinds of scrap material.

Availability: Major book sellers.

(Susanna Leonard Hill is the originator of PPBF and you can find all the other PPB recommendations and links  on her blog.)

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Doodle:  heart

Doodle: heart

I went back in time to draw this ‘heart’.  I was chatting with Gayle Wing O’Donnell and Kathryn Ault Noble (both of whose  art work I admire) and found out we all graduated high school within a year of each other. We started laughing about flower power.   So this doodle is for them.  (See if you can guess what year….but be kind.)

I brought out the bell bottoms, love beads, peace signs and granny glasses just for them.

This is part of Alison Hertz’ s Doodle Day May Challenge which has been so much fun to do.  I’ve met new artists, found inspiration, and laughed a whole lot too.

And this is the last day to vote for your favorite jingle promoting her e-book at  Susanna Hill’s  .  Lots of prizes for the winners.  You can check it out here.  Voting  ends Thursday, May 16th at noon EST.

Thanks for stopping by and blessings on your creativity.

Laura (grandmamiller)

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The Sun

The Sun

WoW!  I can’t believe I just drew that.    This was all done in a very old version of Photoshop Elements.  It took about 30 minutes.  The hardest part was the hand, because I did not pre-draw on paper.  I’m still not very good freehanding on the wacom tablet.  I have never tried to do something like this before.  I’m usually much more restrained and traditional.  Thanks, Alison, for helping me loosen up.

I have never just doodled in Photoshop!  But there have been several people from Alison Hertz’ s Doodle Day May Challenge who have inspired me to try some new things.  A new acquaintance,   Gayle Wing O’Donnell, especially.  She is amazingly talented and awesomely creative.  Visit her facebook page and you will see what I mean.

And….Don’t forget to stop by Susanna Hill’s blog to vote on your favorite jingle promoting her e-book.  Lots of prizes for the winners.  You can check it out here.  Voting  ends Thursday, May 16th at noon EST.

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toddler hands w/noodle

toddler hands w/noodle


Here are doodles from Saturday and Sunday from  Doodle Day May‘s challenge from Alison Hertz  .

Saturday’s Challenge was to draw a hand.  This is my grandson Lincoln’s hands, trying to pick up a spaghetti noodle. I did it from a pic when he was about 11 mo.

Then Alison drew a lovely doodle of her family.  I’ve never tried that – so this was my first effort.  I realized I drew myself  several pounds thinner (just by accident) and both myself and husband about 15 years younger.  Note to family:  this was my FIRST effort doing this.  No complaints please on how you look – I’ll try to improve.  Oh – and By the way – this represents our two lovely daughters, their hubbys and 4 grandchildren.

And one last thing – – don’t forget to stop by Susanna Hill’s blog to vote on your favorite jingle promoting her e-book.  Lots of prizes for the winners.  You can check it out here.  Voting  ends Thursday, May 16th at noon EST.


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