Friday, November 29, 2013

Violet's of Saratoga

My family moved from Savannah, Georgia to Saratoga Springs, New York, just over a year ago. The move happened quickly—my husband Fred took a job offer up here—and we were excited to migrate north, but it was a huge decision. Despite being in the middle of a busy season of making art for duopress (including Chicago Baby, which I painted all throughout the move), he flew me up to Saratoga Springs to show me around, so that we could decide together whether or not to leave our long-time home of Savannah.

Saratoga Springs' bustling, historic down-town is actually a lot like Savannah, minus the heat and that special Southern je ne sais qois. (Fred blames humidity. I think the likes of Flannery O'Connor and Tennessee Williams would argue that the issue is more complex than weather, but what do I know.) The South has its charms, but this small northern town is absolutely lovely. You'll never guess the name of the first shop that caught my eye as soon as we rolled in: "Violet's of Saratoga!" I saw Violet's, and knew I was home.

I also knew that once Isabella's Shoe Studio was in print, I would see about getting it into Violet's.  Violet's is a chic, up-scale ladies' boutique with an amazing staff, featuring an array of to-die-for shoes as well as everything fashion. Between the name and the content, it seemed a match made in heaven.

Shop owner Laura Farrar couldn't have been more gracious. She embraced Isabella with open arms, and features a stack of books in a place of honor on the counter.

If you're in the area, check out Violet's and of Saratoga. The shop is right down town at 494 Broadway, and there is a parking lot adjacent to the store, right off the street. Tomorrow is SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY—a good excuse to get out support a wonderful, local small business! 


If you look closely you can see Yours Truly in the top photo, and again in this interior shot. (Yes, I am bundled up to my eyeballs in a gigantic woman-eating parka. I've been up here over a year but am still not quite used to the cold.)

Sunday, November 17, 2013

SUNY Adirondack

I spent a lovely Saturday morning and afternoon at SUNY Adirondack yesterday, selling copies of a variety of duopress books, including Isabella's Shoe Studio.

The event—a conference sponsored by the Iroquois Reading Council and SUNY Plattsburgh at Queensbury—featured sessions all day long for grad student educators, focusing on vocabulary. 

As for me, I sat in the airy, sunlit hall at a table full of books with a handful of other local authors and illustrators who were doing the same, including Dale Christopher, Lisa Potocar, and Arthur Gonzalez. Great company, to be sure.

Between sessions we chatted it up with the attendees, who browsed the books on the tables as they ate cookies and drank tea. (There was delicious food available throughout the entire event. So nice!) 

duopress books are fun, interactive, AND educational, so they are always a big hit with educators, and Saturday was no exception. I sold every copy that I had of Yummy Food Doodles, Doodle America, Doodle New YorkNew York Baby, and Isabella's Shoe Studio! I even sold the single copies of Doodle Washington DC, Doodle Texas, and Chicago Baby that I brought along, just in case. It was a great day.

A very special thanks to Bonnie Yanklowitz (that's Bonnie in the photo), who took me under her wing at the Glens Falls Chronicle Book Fair last November, and again this year. Bonnie and Mary Anne Flanders, co-chairs of the Iroquois Reading Council (our local chapter of the New York State Reading Association) were extremely gracious to me—as was a dashing silver-haired gentleman who was so busy helping people all day that I never caught his name. (Stan, perhaps?) The Iroquois Reading Council is a lovely group full of smart, friendly people who love to read and who volunteer their time to promote literacy. What's not to like about that?

Click here to become a fan of the Iroquois Reading Council on Facebook.