Etsy Shop Open!

Yay! My etsy shop is finally open and running as of this evening. I only have a few items listed right now to get my feet wet . Each month I'll add a few new items. All the shipping materials are stocked and for sale items ready to go. Now, just working to get the word out and wait for someone to actually purchase something. 

MelissaRossStudio

Sparky and Jimmy: Sparky's Uganda Adventure

 

A new picture book I illustrated is now in print: Sparky and Jimmy: Sparky's Uganda Adventure. This is a book that Guardian Angel published for Spark Worldwide, an organization that helps children in many places around the world. Two of their ten orphanages are in Uganda: one for babies and one for children. They try very hard to place children in loving homes first, then the orphanage as a second option.

It was an incredible experience working on these pictures. The story is by Leanna Brewer, the founder of Spark Worldwide. It was like I felt her heart for these kids as I drew and painted. Her heart and hearts of all the Spark team are Huge for children, truly filled with a love that longs to give. Hearing her talk about the children she comes in contact with challenges me to allow my heart to be enlarged for others, especially children. I think sometimes, we see pictures of kids in other countries and feel like it is overwhelming or that our little gift really wont make much of a difference. As I worked on this book, I realized that is just  not true. Helping one child have shoes, one child have a home or new pair of clothes or school book, makes a difference in that one life. One life is incredibly valuable. I realized that this past year also as my dad died. Helping care for him for several months before his death, I came to see more clearly  how valuable one person is.

Leanna also had a vision for this book  to be filled with joy, the joy that children are experiencing through the love of God that  Spark Worldwide is giving. I think she did a beautiful job of sharing with very young children a glimpse of what another child in another country might experience in a way that is not scary or a big downer. It is loaded with hope and love, just like the Spark Team's hearts are.

 SPARK: Saving, Protecting, And Raising Kids: www.sparkworldwide.org

The book can be ordered on Amazon: Sparky and Jimmy: Sparky's Uganda Adventure and also on the Gaurdian Angel website. There is also a companion coloring book that can be found on the Guardian Angel website.   

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Drawing

I was going through work in my studio/office and found this drawing form a few years back. It is a drawing I did of one of my art students. I remember having so much fun with the details on this piece. I have loved drawing since as far back as I can remember.

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Late Night

Last night I worked until 2:00 in the morning adding type boxes and type on a picture book project. I finished up this morning, or at least I think so. The editor will confirm that. This is the first time I've had the opportunity to take part in that phase of the book making process and it is definitely a learning process. Several of the pages had to be redone a couple of times. It is much like rewriting. I actually loved it. Every time I write and rewrite, and every time I redo text boxes and illustration layout, I am learning. The creating process is a blast, a heck of a lot of work, but a blast!

Junk DNA

I love learning about interesting things and simplifying the information for children. I love the way children think, pure and curious. I came across some info today about DNA, which is fascinating to my nerd side. Scientists used to believe that most DNA information was useless. Recently, they are learning that is not the case. In fact, what they used to term  "Junk DNA" may contain information that could lead to cures of diseases. Science is progressing so rapidly. I feel like there is loads of info in not only our DNA but also a whole lot more in the blood that we are just not aware of yet. The way we are made fills me with wonder! It is like looking at a piece of artwork and studying it. 

http://healthland.time.com/2012/09/06/junk-dna-not-so-useless-after-all/

First Woman Detective

I am so happy to have found this book written in 2016 by Elizabeth Van Steenwyk. It is the interesting story of Kate Warne, the first female detective at the Pinkerton Detective Agency. The  story itself is fascinating, but the time period in which it took place is particularly interesting to me. Some of the research I am sorting through right now has to do with criminals and the 1800's. I had never heard of the famous Pinkerton Detective Agency, which is still around today. He actually used mugshots before Bertillon, but Bertillon was the first to use them and create them in a scientific investigative manor. Pinkerton is more known for wanted posters. Anyway, all this is super interesting to the nerd side of me as I am journeying through this research and writing project. Coming across new information that is connected with my research is like finding hidden treasure, and when it is found in a children's book, well...it's like eating a hot fudge sundae at the same time. 

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Childhood Books

I came across this book today as I was cleaning off the bookshelf in my office/studio. I remember the day my grandmother gave it to me. I was so excited to receive a book like that, with so much interesting information and so many beautiful photos and illustrations. I spent many hours looking at and reading every page. It was one of my most cherished books, and still is. I found out about places I dreamed of going and things I wanted to see like the giant redwood trees. (It is still on my list.) Just looking through it brings back those magical feelings. I love books. 

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Christmas Crafts

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These are a few of the many many Christmas ornaments my dad made through the years. This will be the first Christmas of my entire life I have not spent with him. I am thankful to have so many beautiful remembrances. They bring me lots of joy. Joy looking at all the intricate details he patiently crafted, joy in all the time he had here with us, joy that he was a good father, and joy that I will one day see him again. The last picture is one I took the last month of his life, holding his hand, the hand that made these beautiful treasures.

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