Monday, February 04, 2008


' Had a nice, chocolately day -

-filled with good wishes and treats from friends (lovely booty here from Gretel arrived serendipitously this afternoon) and family -

My husband sweetly took me out to a ridiculously expensive, yet fantastically and exotically delicious restaurant called Cafe Juanita - which specializes in Northern Italian cuisine made with seasonal, local ingredients (my husband had octopus (above), pear salad and duck, I had kale soup, citrus risotto and roasted rabbit... Wow! Such amazing flavor combinations! Have a gander at their menu. I wanted to try everything.)

And Roz made *my* day by giving me an ''you make my day" award. (I have been so buried, I have been dismal at responding to these kinds of things - so sorry Chantal and Claire and anyone else I've completely ignored during this time of deadline purgatory...)

To pass it on, here are the details:
1. Write a post with links to 5 blogs that make me think and/or make my day.
2. Acknowledge the post of the award giver.
3. Display the “You Make my Day Award” logo
4. Tell the award winners that they have won by commenting on their blogs with the news.

There are so many fabulous blogs out there - how can one possibly choose? Here, however, are five that I consistently enjoy (and you five, feel free to ignore being 'tagged' if you can't get to it either! I totally understand):

1. Does Gretel of Middle of Nowhere ever post amiss? I revel in every entry. I want to move in.
2. Maddy over at Whittier on Autism is consistently, bitingly insightful and incredibly droll. Such warm, encompassing humanity.
3. Chantal at Celestine Musings always has gorgeous images combined with perfect quotes or thoughts. Scrolling through her blog is like scanning through a high-end coffee-table-gift book full of nurturing content.
4. Eric of Eric Orchard is a talented, imaginative illustrator who graciously posts paintings and art musings nearly *every day*. (I'm lucky to make it through my email any more).
5. And Andrea over at Colouring Outside the Lines is a must-read for thoughtful, wry insights into art and life (plus is an artiste-extraordinaire)

Now, I'm afraid, it's back to the 'drawing board' - literally. Somehow, I've ended up taking on *another* series with insane deadlines (four heavily illustrated books by the middle of April). Luckily this time they are adding an additional illustrator to help at the beginning of this project, rather than in the middle like last time - but it is still mind boggling. I think it averages about 16 days a book (which on my end includes design, a cover, a couple of full page, full color interiors as well as 2-3 dozen spots of various sizes and complexity, and any revisions needed. Somewhere in here I also have a handful of fairy-covers to do as well... This will be interesting).

I may follow Mia's example and head to bed early as my final celebration today, and that may be the last you see of me, or I see of my bed, for the next few months!

Please send chocolate.


Joanna said...

Happy birthday, it sounds a lovely birthday and that meal look s amazing, I love Italain food and so nicely presented. The deadlines for you next series sound really mad - good luck and have a lovely early night.

Merisi said...

Belately, but with all my heart, do I wish you a very happy birthday! May your life be filled with joy and lots of extra time to coast safely towards your deadlines.
The food you describe sounds wonderful, your husband knows how to indulge you, doesn|t he?

She Who Flies said...

Happy birthday Tara!!! I didn't know :-( Glad you got lovely things and were taken out for a sumptuous feat.

Good luck with your new project. I love that your work is being published to that extent! I'll think of you as I work towards meeting all my February deadlines.

And thanks for the award back!

dinahmow said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PG said...

Yay, it arrived, despite everything - Happy birthday, and good to hear that a suitably festive and edible time was had. That octopus looks far to pretty to eat!

Elizabeth said...

the cake looks wonderful - send me some!
The octopus looked........interesting.
you seem to be working incredibly hard so I send you some virtual chocolate from Morocco.
All best wishes
ps loved the cat picture

natural attrill said...

Happy Birthday!
That food sounds SO delicious.
Good luck with your books.
I've got 4 kids books to illustrate at the moment, I find they are so time consuming compared to other illustration work.

Erica-Jane said...

Happy Birthday!
And good luck with those deadlines, I know the feeling!!
It's atimes like these that one needs a chocolate cupboard...stacked to the brim!
Thank-you for your lovely comments about the flutterbugs. I'm afaid I decided to take the pictures down, and in the process I deleted all my comments...booo :0(
They aren't being published until..wait for it...September, with the last two not being published until 2009!!!
Anyway, take care and I'm glad you had a great birthday :0)


Rima said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Tara... what a lovely day you had full of goodies :) Thanks for your sweet comments about my new drawings... and gosh what an incredible amount of work you've got... I think that's fabulous... if a little daunting... that's when you need to be really organised with time isn't it :) Good luck and hope they are enjoyable jobs to do ... x Rima

Eric Orchard said...

Happy Birthdat, Tara! I ope it was a great day. And thank you so much for the award!

GinnyWH said...

Happy Birthday Tara! Gourmet food makes everything better. Sending you creative fairy thoughts to help out...:)

Cre8Tiva said...

oh happy happy day my friend...hoping you chocolate dreams...hugs, rebecca

Maddy said...

Golly! I'm not sure which bit I find more surprising?

1. you pinched my cat!

2. you're really a workaholic.

3. that you can be so creative and still function in 'life ordinaire.'

4. you ate the octopus [although I like the green stuff underneath]

5. that you were kind enough to think of me!

BEst wishes and many thanks.

I know a couple of those recommendations but I'll have to nip along and check the others.


Angela Rockett said...

Happy Birthday, Tara! I send you thoughts of warm Dagoba.

Good luck with the new project - you are the busy one, aren't you.

andrea said...

#$!?%#* -- I meant to drop by yesterday to leave you a Happy Birthday on whichever post was most recent but I'm useless at keeping up with blogging right now. Because of that, I'm surprised and really pleased to win this little award. You're a peach, Tara. And I'm so glad you had such a nice birthday!

michelle said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TARA!!! I wish you a wonderful year full of artistic growth and joyful experiences. You are an amazing person with incredible talent, you should be proud of what you've accomplished!

weirdbunny said...

Hope you had a wonderful Birthday Tara. Glad to see you took time out of your work schedule to enjoy a fantastic looking meal. Your cake looks very scrummy too. A decadent grown up Birthday cake ~ love Julia x

Vickie said...

Happy birthday. I can't send chocolate, but I am having a give-away to celebrate my first year blogging if you'd care to stop by though I'm sure you're tired to that desk and deadline :) I think the cat has the right idea.

Jess said...

Mmmmm that chocolate cake looks delicious. Happy birthday to you Tara! Jess x

clairesgarden said...

happy birthday to you!

Ash said...

Your workload is seriously scary and I hope you had LOTS of the chocolatey cake all to yourself to make up for it. Belated birthday wishes from the blustery Borders

muddy red shoes said...

happy birthday you...just caught up in transit, I have become a mobile blogger and it takes a little getting used soon as I have a handle on this new life I shall send you sutable birthday wishes. xxxx

Gina said...

Sounds just dreamy. Happy birthday. Good luck with your work, I'll be sending positive energy your way : )

Rebecca Bush said...

Happy belated Birthday!!!
I'm glad to hear that you were able to take time out from your work schedule to enjoy a wonderful feast with your husband.
Take care!

cinderelly said...

much belated happy birthday! wow, cafe juanita! we live just up the hill from friend and i went a while back. it was wonderful! i had the sweetbreads and i had to take the dessert home. it was expensive, but totally worth it!

Britt-Arnhild said...

I am sorry to be late - HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY dear Tara.