Friday, December 19, 2008

ValGal & The Magic Cottage

It started off as a run down backyard shed, home to a riding lawn mower that didn't work and plenty of cobwebs. In time, with some insulation and sheetrocking, painting, and a small propane heater, it became JB's art studio. We called it the Magic Cottage from day one.
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One night I spent several hours looking at the archives of
Valerie Walsh also known as my pal ValGal. I was hoping I might find one of her paintings to grace the cover of the story of Alex and Lily. I did not expect, and still can't believe, that Val would offer to paint an original in honor of my first book. This incredible artist gave me the gift of her incredible artwork, and she made me feel like I was doing her a favor.
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Sometimes I think Val was destined to paint the Magic Cottage.
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Here it is in reality:
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And here is Val's magic:
My book was published barely two weeks ago. I've just begun what will be as active a publicity and marketing campaign as I can muster, and so far the first words I hear are "What a wonderful cover." And, "Oh that cover is totally beautiful."

I've always felt blessed by my friends. They've been there for me in many special moments in my life. But in this moment, with this gift, by this artist--well, how lucky can a person be?

Thanks Val. I'm forever grateful.



14 comments:

  1. It is an awesome cover and she managed to capture the essence of the cottage and the book. It gives a lightness to the story, and the sense of joy comes thru in the picture.

    Someday Miss Em will be ready for her own book. Episodes in the life of a cartoon alter ego. someday...

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  2. mim, val paints magic.

    i'm glad to hear that about ms. em. because that book will be a success!

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  3. The cover, as well as the story are both magical! The way Val painted the warm light that eminates from the magic cottage embodies the light and love that shines from the story. I'm so glad I was lucky enough to have held this in my hand, and now I hold it in my heart. Thank you both ;)
    Alex, Lily, Mike, Andy and Amy...and you too Rebecca, you've left an indelible mark.
    XX

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  4. You are truly blessed to have someone like Val in your life. I love her painting and her magic cottage.

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  5. cs, everyone compliments the cover. between val and my friend bill, who designed it, i agree that it is nothing short of super!

    lolo, i was waiting for your comment. thank you so much...

    suki, i am surely blessed. have you seen the range of val's work? all those happy houses and magical scenes.

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  6. Yes, Karen, Valerie is as magical as her artwork. I am sure your book will do well with the two of you involved. The Magic Cottage you have created in your yard is gorgeous and Val's interpretation is as magical as can be. Much success will come your way I have no doubt.

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  7. Magical writing. Magical cottage. Magical painting. It's all simply terrific! Can't wait to have my copy in my hot little hands. :)

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  8. ginger, thank you and welcome. i visited your blog today and your illustrations are just wonderful.

    melissa, about five weeks now. how about that?!

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  9. you are a superstar. i8 will be back on tuesday and will order one from you for my new granddaughter!! hugs.

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  10. Hi Karen, thanks for leaving a comment on Miss Doodle's blog. So many stories to discover here. Congratulations on the book, the cover is very beautiful!
    Have a good day
    Andrea

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  11. soulbrush, i love that you may biy my book, but it's not a children's book. just so you know!

    andrea, i think miss doodle is going to become a favorite of mine. thanks for stopping by.

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  12. I want to paint my own shed this summer, as a homage to the Magic Cottage. I've always wanted a shed, and in the short time I've been here mine has had many incarnations, but it's getting kind of sad looking on the outside. It's metal, but if you can paint a car, surely one can paint a shed.....

    Right now, laying down with the heating pad and flu, I'm having a vision of a giant spray paint booth erected around the shed-but in the Oklahoma wind, that might not be the best tactic.

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  13. Ditto everyone else - Magical!

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