I've been mourning my cats. Every time I came to blog and saw Possum's beautiful face I'd get so sad and wouldn't be up for continuing. With the passage of time it's getting easier but I still miss them very much. Am trying to figure out whether to get new cats or not as we want to move and having pets makes it way harder to rent. I love the freedom of not having pets but I miss all the loving, fun, and warmth that comes from having them. Sigh.
So, enough about pets. I wanted to blog about my friend Maya Gonzalez who visited recently with her hubby Matt. Together they run Reflection Press and Maya's Etsy businesses http://www.etsy.com/shop/mayachristinaprints and her jewelry and prints site http://www.etsy.com/shop/mayagonzalezhttp://www.etsy.com/shop/mayagonzalez. Maya also illustrates wonderful children's picture books mostly for Children's Book Press who published most of my books. Maya is probably the most authentic person I know in terms of being true to her own values and way of being. I love how outrageously she dresses, her gentle way of being true to herself, and what a wonderful artist she is. They came for the CA Library Assoc. conference where Maya presented a workshop based on their Claiming Face curriculum. I was teaching an acrylic, collage, and mixed media class so in the time we managed to spend together it was kinda feverish arts and crafts play and show and tell. We traded jewelry (I haven't managed to take pics of her jewelry that I got yet, but you can see her wearing some of my needle-felted flower pins in the poorly taken pics below, taken with a not so great cell phone).
I also want to blog a little about Children's Book Press who need support. They were the first publisher to publish multicultural children's picture books and have been instrumental in anti-racist education over the past 35 years. Like many non-profits they have been hard hit by the economy and are struggling to weather the economic storm. Here's a letter from the publisher and a link to donate any amount of money to keep wonderful books in print and publish new ones.