a bear a day cards

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

My latest card range with Nuovo Group is out--featuring my bears from A Bear a Day.

They're available in stores Australia-wide.

Beary cute!

foraging and slow

Saturday, 17 March 2018

This morning, I went for my regular walk around the neighbourhood. I often take nature photos as I walk, but things are decidedly dowdy at the moment. It's too early for the autumn blaze here in Canberra. Summer still clings. We've had .002mm of rain (almost literally) since January 1, and only the trees with whopper roots and natives that thrive on three drips of water are eking out an existence.

Mostly, things are shrivelling up and dying, and this isn't really the ultimate state in which to find treasure.

Unless you really look.

One thing I've promised myself this year, is to stop and look. Observe and really see. I'm always in much of a rush, and I'm pretty jack of it. I want to slow down and do slow things. Walk slowly, eat slowly, breathe slowly, move my eyes slowly. Pause. Scour. Take in. Pluck.

Most of the treasures in these photos were simply plucked from a tangle of leaves and sticks on the ground, some snapped from a dying bush. Some were pinched from a tree with more than enough to spare. Many are dying, some already dead. Some with fruit and flowers crisped and stubborn on tiny stems.

All beautiful.

February deadlines and new books and bullet journalling and awards and bears - oh my!

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

You could have bowled over with a lightly-fragrant glass of bubbles when a friend pointed out Merry Everything on the CBCA Notables table last night at Harry Hartog bookstore. You see, the lovely people at CBCA ACT organised a Notables Announcement event (complete with lightly-fragrant bubbles and other treats) and I went along because I have a severe children's book addiction... totally UNsuspecting any kind of Notable.

Yet--there it is. A Notable! Friend and Merry Illustrator Jess Racklyeft and me... we are humbled and absolutely thrilled (as is our gorgeous publisher, Windy Hollow Books) for our little book with its esteemed sticker. Thank you, CBCA. It will be a very smiley week, this one!

You can see all Notables here--congrats to my many friends and colleagues who have also been stickered. It's such an honour to sit alongside you. The shortlist for 2018 Book of the Year will be announced in one month--on 27 March, and the winners will be revealed as Book Week kicks off on 17 August.

from Mamie, HCP, Dec 2018

Typical of the author life, I've kicked up my heels last night and now back to my desk this morning.

Tomorrow is deadline day for Mamie, my picture book about the life of May Gibbs, and methinks there might be tears upon completion. I still can't believe this is happening. After many, many years wanting to write about May--it's literally a dream come true, and I'm pinching myself black and blue. Lisa Berryman and Eve Tonelli at HarperCollins have been divine to work with, and I can't wait to show you some peeks as we head towards publication date this December. I'm hoping to have a launch in Adelaide late November, so watch my Events page for more on this.

1 April is the release of See Hear, a sequel to Smile Cry--illustrated by the amazing Jess Racklyeft. I ADORE this book trailer Jess put together. Wait till you hear the original music concocted by Jess's husband and kids--it's utterly adorable! It brings tears to my eyes (in a good way!!).


Stay tuned for more on See Hear as the pub date approaches. There'll be peeks and peeps and giveaways.

Speaking of giveaways ... tomorrow I'm having my first random print giveaway on Instagram (@taniamccartney). This darling (from Australia Illustrated) is the first ...

... and all you have to do is follow my Insta account and leave a comment. Winners will be chosen at random. Good luck!

And now ... what you've been waiting for ... drum roll please ... recent book purchases!

Hello, 2018, you are already nearly March

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Hello, everybody! No, I have not morphed into a little white bear with a flower crown, though I do feel completely bear-immersed, as we pass the half-way mark with my A Bear a Day auction (@abearaday90) on Instagram. It ends 31 March, so pop on over to see if there's a bear for you.

Scroll down to the end of this post to see the latest bears and their status, and a reminder that most of the unsold bears will be up for a buy-now sale during the first week of April. If you miss out on an original, Nuovo group have published over 60 of the bears (and more to come) as a greeting card range! They will be available at stores Australia-wide this month.

announcing ... See Hear

Saturday, 3 February 2018

Jess Racklyeft and I have been squirreling away on a sequel to our best-selling picture book Smile Cry (EK Books 2017, a CBCA Notable Book and winner of the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award for Australia/New Zealand).

It's called See Hear and this one is a beginner's book of SENSES, perfect for toddlers right through to preschoolers and beyond. Here's the blurb...

Piglet, Bunny and Cat return in a charming, whimsical sensory adventure that encourages kids to explore the multitude of ways they can engage with the world around them, particularly via the senses of sight and sound.

From watching 'squiggly rain' on a window to pointing out 'heavenly horses' in the clouds, from hearing 'buzzing blossoms' as bees collect pollen and nectar to 'hot pan sizzles' as a favourite meal is prepared, See Hear invites us to open our eyes and ears to the everyday magic that surrounds us.

Younger kids will respond to the soft whimsical illustrations, while older readers will enjoy the onomatopoeic wordplay. Perfect for ages 3 and up, this is a book that will captivate children and parents alike.

Below is a sneak-peek of the interior, featuring Jess's truly divine illustrations. The book is available to pre-order here or you can pick it up instore or online from 1 April!

a bear a day - month one

Friday, 2 February 2018

I've so loved producing dozens upon dozens of bears for my A Bear a Day Instagram auction, and the first month was a hoot. Huge thanks to everyone who has bid. Most bears have sold, and those unsold will undergo a second-chance week from 1 - 7 April, where people can buy on the spot for a set price. Postage is free, worldwide.

In really lovely news, Nuovo Group are publishing over 60 bears I've created so far, as greeting cards. They will be available Australia-wide at newsagents, bookstores and other card stockists, from mid-Feb 2018 ...

For now, though, here is a line-up of the bears that have been up for auction in January! Two months to go.

the closure of the 52-week illustration challenge

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Today, the 52-Week Illustration Challenge has been archived. It's odd 'archiving' something that brought such happiness, produced the most beautiful community, inspired endless creativity and opportunity, and, quite frankly, changed lives, including my own.

Many people have asked why the Challenge closed, and my stock standard (and true) response, is that we never expected it to last a year, let alone four. Every single year, we presumed we'd close, but people stepped in, especially my dear friend and Challenge partner, Nicky Johnston, to keep it running. We 100% did this for our members, not ourselves. Our members were the reason it ran for so long.

a bear a day month one!

Friday, 26 January 2018

Cupcake bear - UP FOR BIDS TODAY

A Bear a Day has been in operation almost a month now, over at Ye Olde World @abearaday90 Instagram HQ. Above is today's cupcake bear, and she's available till 9am tomorrow, Saturday 27 January, Sydney time.

Here are some of the other kooky creations making a daily appearance... all have been sold, but there are three at the end of this post that are still available.

I'll be having a week-long second chance sale in the first week of April--all unsold bears will go for just $55 (these are all originals) unless snapped up beforehand, and I'm offering this option to my blog readers, in advance!

So check out the three unsold bears below and if you want one, hop on over to @abearaday90 on Instagram and leave a comment on the bear you want. First in, first served! Free postage, worldwide.

Bicycle bear - SOLD

Australia illustrated map window at Dymocks Canberra Centre

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Huge thanks to the beautiful Suzy, Meredith and the team at Dymocks Canberra Centre for this wonderful opportunity to squiggle and paste whales and birds and wombats all over their windows! This was a lot of fun and it's so cool to see the characters from my map swimming and flying free.

Check out the map here and head to the Canberra Centre sometime this month to take a peek! Thanks to my Ella Bella for her help, too.

happy new year with A Bear a Day!

Monday, 1 January 2018

A Bear a Day auction starts on Instagram today!

Just head to @abearaday90 for the very first original artwork, which will be live before 9am. You have just 24 hours to bid on each piece (daily artworks finish 31 March).

The bears and I will see you there!

Click here for how it all works.

new picture books to round out 2017

Friday, 29 December 2017

After some happy images to round out your 2017? I have them right here--recent picture book purchases/gifts that have knocked my socks off. I hope they knock your socks off, too. They're all pretty scrumptious.

goodbye 2017 (and a peek at my Christmas decorating)

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

It's hard to believe time could go any faster, yet each year scoots by so fast, we seemingly overnighterly find ourselves at December with bodies stock-still and heads spun 'round on shoulders like an empty tin can. At least that's how my head feels right now. Empty.

Yesterday, I could not remember what 11 minus 6 is, nor 15 minus 8.


It's been a huge year, a surreal year, a soul-crushing year and a heart-thumping-surprise year. How one could be pulled more tightly in opposing directions, I do not know. At once I'm thrilled and dreams-come-true-content with 2017 and yet hellishly disappointed and bereft. Disillusioned and inspired. Fulfilled and sucked dry. Deeply hurt and loved more than ever before.

It's been a decade whittled down and wedged into 12 breathless months. It's been an entire planet compressed and stuffed into each and every one of us, in an all-you-can-stomach smorgasbord of Too Much. Have you, too, felt like you've taken on both the pains and the joys of the world during 2017? And have you, too, drank more coffee than ever before in 2017??? Oh well, I suppose it was better than vodka.

Is it any wonder our brains are rattling--all that caffeine and all those burdens? Is it any wonder, some of us have reached the end of year 2017 feeling... well... sad?

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