Sunday, November 26, 2017

Newbery Award Books by grade-school category, genre

This is a partial list of Newbery Award books (winners and honors) and which grade-school reading categories they can fit into.  A friend was brain-storming a list for her daughter’s reading assignments and, in my opinion, if you pick up a Newbery Award Book, you know you’re getting a great book to read.

It’s a short list so far but hopefully we can add to it as we go. Your suggestions on Newbery/categories are welcome in the comments!

- Eleanor Roosevelt: A Life of Discovery by Russell Freedman

- The Hero & the Crown by Robin McKinley (the hero is a young girl)
- Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
- Fog Magic by Julia Sauer
- The Tail of Despereaux by Timothy Basil Ering

- Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor (1930’s Jim Crow era)
- Count the Stars by Lois Lowery (Holocaust evacuee, nothing graphic)
- Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes (Revolutionary War)

- The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
- Kneeknock Rise by Natalie Babbitt
- Holes by Louis Sachar
- The View from Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg

- Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse (free verse)
- Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices by Paul Fleishman

- A Long Way From Chicago by Richard Peck, and its sequel A Year Down Yonder
- Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
- Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
- The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron
- Our Only May Amelia by Jennifer L. Holm
- Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

- The Giver by Lois Lowery (Dystopian)

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Printable Coloring Pages on Etsy and a Huge Discount Code

Well I took the plunge and opened up an Etsy store: Cheryl Casey Art so I can offer printable coloring pages, in addition to the free coloring pages on my website and the coloring books on Amazon.

Chirstmas Card Coloring Page - Mouse in a Teacup

If you happen to do a little shopping there this week, be sure to use this code at checkout: LAUNCHTHANKYOU. It's good for 35% off your total from my store. Expires October 17, 2016, I believe.

The Christmas mouse if from my coloring book Christmas Cards & Gift Tags.

Printable Coloring Page - Koi Pond with Dragonfly on Lily Pad
There are a few pages from my coloring book Dragonfly Dreams & Fairy Wings.

Printable Coloring Page - Double Wedding Ring Quilt

Eventually I'll offer signed original prints of my art on my Etsy store. It's all a process; one thing at a time.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Kitchen update

A few years ago I wrote about my ugly kitchen makeover.

We recently tore down one of the walls to open it up to the living room. It's the wall on the left, in the above photos.

Here it is...

Old wall.

Tearing it down.

Open to the living room now.

It was a load-bearing wall with electrical wiring in it. We had to support the ceiling and put up two beams with a channel in between to re-route the electrical wiring (light switch and two electrical outlets). Then the channel was covered with a 2x4 so it all resembles one big beam now.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Funky junk bird house

I made this a few years ago for the Autism Speaks auction fundraiser held by the SGA at our local college.

FYI - vintage silver-plate forks are very easy to twist and curl the tines the way you want them, with needle-nose pliers. Modern stainless steel forks are practically impossible, for me anyway.

To get the paint looking more like color stain I watered down regular craft paint, then sanded it a little.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

How to find your art being used online without your permission and what to do about it

It is so heartbreaking and frustrating to see your art "going viral" online with no mention of you as the artist or link to your website. You want to put your work out there and have it seen, otherwise what's the point? But so many people are ignorant of the fact that this is your creative property, copyrighted, and not an internet free-for-all.

Here is how to track down your art wherever it's being used on the internet, and what to do about it:

  1. Go to whatever page you have posted your art (facebook, your website, wherever).
  2. Right-click on the image and click "copy URL".
  3. Go to
  4. Inside the search box where you type your text is a camera icon; click it.
  5. A new search box opens up, right-click in it and click paste.
  6. Now click the blue "search by image" button.
The search results will show all the websites that are displaying your image. Check to see if they have credited you by name as the artist and linked to your website. If not, look for how to contact them; maybe a comment on their blog or a contact page or an email, etc.

I usually word my firm request this way:
The image of the (brief description of the artwork) on your (website/blog/page/pinterest board) is my original, copyrighted artwork. You are using it without my permission. You are required to either credit me and link to my website (list your website) or remove the image. -Cheryl Casey
And I don't sign off with "thank you" as I'm not feeling very thankful to that person at the moment. It is a demand and you have the right to demand it.

Also, if the content of the page where they are using your image is inappropriate or offensive to you, skip the part about crediting you and linking to your website and simply require that they remove the image.

It can take a while, depending on just how "viral" your artwork went. But give it a shot and take it one page at a time.

Good luck, keep showing off your artwork, and keep tracking down copyright infringement. Somebody has to educate these yayhoos.

Another good article on fair use...

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Frog watercolor progression

About a hundred years ago, when I was working on my art degree, I had to take a watercolor class. It wasn't my favorite at the time and I haven't messed with it over the years. But recently I decided to give it another go, to incorporate into my children's book illustrations.

This is more practice while I try to get the hang of it. Which is mostly just trying not to be a control freak over what it does.

Click to enlarge.

 I tossed salt in the blue area. I saw it on someone else's watercolor and it looked cool. On mine... eh.

I wish I had left the leaf simple and not added the veins.

So far, watercolor seems 50% fun and 50% what-the-hell-is-happening??

In this last step I opened the photo in GIMP (like PhotoShop but without the price tag), added light to the eyes, and deeper shadows, adjusted the levels for brighter brights. Maybe too much, I may back that down a little after I see a print.

Here's the original little guy. Mine turned out kinda chubby.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Arkansas Crossroads quilt block

I love those quilts that make you work to figure it out. And again I was way off - although there is more than one way to skin this cat, as you'll see at the bottom of this post. This is the Arkansas Crossroads quilt that 24 Blocks shared on their facebook page (from Charlotte T.)

Arkansas Crossroads quilt

I had three different ideas for how this might be done but none of them were as simple as how you actually do it.

The basic block (from ) :

Arkansas Crossroads quilt block

Four of them together (from ) :

Arkansas Crossroads quilt blocks

And some basic how-to's with pictures on (more illustrations on their site):

A look at another Arkansas Crossroads quilt. This one is on Quilts from the Bluffs and she offers an excellent free pattern on her page. Her way is how I thought this quilt would go together. Probably the way I'll do it.

Arkansas Crossroads quilt on QFTB