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What writers write when they 1) aren't writing, 2) are avoiding writing or 3) need a word count to convince their spouses they are writing.

Origami n' Stuff 4 Kids

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

Free print-and-fold pattern for your Thanksgiving Turkey card found on my origami website:

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Hawaiian Hoary Bat

Halloween is around the corner. What better time is there to learn about Hawaii's only endemic land mammal, the endangered Hawaiian hoary bat or ʻōpeʻapeʻa?

I love following the HVNPS and all the good work they do. The last time I visited Kilauea, I was alarmed by the spread of Rapid 'Ohi'a Death--I saw 'apapane, but no 'i'iwi. Learn more about Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park at and follow them on Instagram at hawaiivolcanoesnps (

Friday, October 7, 2016

Day 6 Illustration Challenge

I haven't been sticking to my goal of one a day, but I have been sticking to working as quickly as possible and finishing each illustration in a single sitting.


Thursday, October 6, 2016

Monday, September 26, 2016

Day 4 Illustration Challenge

The Roxy illustration challenge continues! One of my favorite poses, a combo of "What did I do?" + "Talk to the Butt." #illustration

Here's the video of my process...

And once again, here's my dainty princess. That face says it all...she's clearly embarrassed by my sophomoric attempt to familiarize myself with a new medium.

Friday, September 23, 2016


Quick rendering of my niece...I loved the play of light in this underwater scene.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Illustration Challenge: Week 1

I started off calling this "The Roxy Challenge."  My goal was to loosen up each day with a quick sketch of my bulldog, Roxy. She's funny, she's flatulent, and she sleeps 20 hours a day (mostly under my drafting table)--the perfect model for a children's book illustrator!

However, Roxy wanted no part of that modeling nonsense. She scratched. She fidgeted. She licked her toes. And she insisted on critiquing my work, nosing through all of my sketchbooks before finally resting her chin on my iPad.

Day 1

Day 2

Clearly, she's unimpressed with my work.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Paint the Town Peaceful: The Mural That Stopped Violence

Living art in Las Palmitas, aka "La Bella Airosa." What are the possibilities when a community invests itself in beautification?

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Conservation success...Kakapo Baby Boom!

Finished my Kakapo origami for my upcoming book, "Easy Bird Origami," in time to learn of successful conservation efforts in New Zealand! There are only 125 Kakapos in the wild--thanks to an intensive breeding program, 33 fluffy chicks have hatched this season. Go Kakapo!

Friday, August 5, 2016


Your word for the day: 


transitive verb bum·fuz·zle \¦bəm¦fəzəl\
Definition: confuse, perplex, fluster

Example: I'm bumfuzzled by the 2016 election.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Illustration tutorials

Helpful tutorial on color theory.

And what's color without composition?

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

GoPro vs Bulldog--Keeping Busy Between Books

Taking my "studio assistant" Roxy for a walk, I thought it would be great to mount a GoPro to capture Kailua Beach from a bulldog's perspective...if anything, as inspiration for a new children's book character.

Butterfly Emerging

My obsession with butterflies goes beyond origami...I do raise monarch butterflies at my home in Hawaii, using crownflower as a food source for the larva and lantana to attract adults. I'll write more about what goes on during metamorphosis on my Origami Page.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

SCBWI-Hawaii Book Sale!

SCBWI-Hawaii at the Friends of the Library Book Sale
June 18-19, 2016
McKinley High School Cafeteria

Stop by and meet Christopher Caravalho, Sue Cowing, David Estes, Leslie Ann Hayashi, Christin Lozano, Alina Niemi, Sandi Takayama and Tammy Yee!

Talk story, learn more about writing and illustrating for children, stock up on your summer reading, or have books autographed for your favorite reader. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Friends of the Library. Spread the word!

Book signing schedule:

Sue Cowing, 9 a.m. - 12 noon
Christin Lozano, 9 a.m. - 12 noon
David Estes, 12 noon - 5 p.m.
Alina Niemi, 12 noon - 5 p.m.
Leslie Hayashi and Tammy Yee, all day

Sandi Takayama, 9 a.m. - 12 noon
Alina Niemi, 12 noon - 4 p.m.
Christopher Caravalho, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Leslie Hayashi and Tammy Yee, all day

For more information, visit

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