Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Tis the season for giving....

Happy holidays to all! While many of us may get caught up in the shopping, wrapping and visiting, there are also little ways we can help help brighten up the lives of those who truly need our help.

During the research portion of my YA book, I discovered a therapeutic riding stable nearby...and wound up volunteering there. It is such an incredible place....a place of healing and hope for all those who ride there, as well as those who work or volunteer there. If you would like to help make a difference, please consider a $10 donation to light a light at the barn and help us provide therapeutic riding programs to children and adults with special needs.

No one who needs this therapy is ever turned away if they cannot afford the treatment. Words can never describe this place....and the expressions of joy on the faces of the children and families who come here.

Between December 9th and December 31st, donate a $10 tax deductible donation to light a light in honor of one of our riders, our horses, your friends, loved ones or beloved pets.
Encourage your friends, employer, club, congregation or others to light a light.
By making a $10 tax-deductible donation to light a light on our barn this holiday season, your donation will allow us to continue our therapeutic riding programs to our growing community of riders.

Just go to to make a donation or visit for more information.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Disclosure of Material Connection

Disclosure: While I may have a material connection to a company affiliated with a brand, topic and/or product that is mentioned herein because I received a cash payment and/or product samples from that company for other services rendered (including trade show demos, project design & publication, etc.), the opinions and statements on this blog regarding those products are based solely on my own experience, preference and/or use. I am not being paid by any of these companies for writing my blog or in any other way being compensated for statements made on this blog or on my websites or

Friday, November 20, 2009

Read about me on the front page of !

If you have ever wondered what inspired me to create the Sweet PETatoes line or develop the rendering technique and style, all is revealed in a story featured on , a blog developed by TV Host and best selling author, Kathy Peterson. This Lifetime series TV host asked me to submit my story about when, how and why creativity is the most essential ingredient in my I'm shouting it out! Just go to and read all about how Sweet PETatoes came to life...and how they came straight from my heart.

Roller Coaster Riding...

If you wonder why I haven't blogged recently, it's not because there has been a lack of things going on. On the's been a bit TOO busy. Over the top busy, in fact. Trade shows, new clients, meeting deadlines-yes. Enjoying the gorgeous weather while it is still here-yes. That's busy enough, right?

Now add in the emotional roller coaster ride associated with the failing health of one elderly father that included serious, life-threatening infections, two trips to the ER, 2 stays in the hospital, rehab, heart attacks, heart procedures and surgery....and you've got a better picture how over the top it has really been.

Hopefully all will stay on an even keel for a while. Or, at least, for a few hours....

Around here, we can't really be certain of that.

Friday, September 4, 2009

WOW! Where did August go???

Actually, where did the entire summer go? Oh wait...Chicago never actually had a summer this year. Or at least, we didn't have a typical hot and steamy Chicago summer. Instead we have been fluctuating between wet, rainy weather and drop dead gorgeous Hawaii weather with only a random hot, sticky day thrown in.

I also cannot believe I haven't posted for so long because so much has happened the past few weeks. I'll try to summarize:

I was interviewed live on WGN-TV a couple weeks ago. The video is now posted at this link:,0,7659631.story
The interview is about my new book Animals & Teens: The Ultimate Teen Guide.

I attended the CHA show, doing make n take marker blending projects and demos the entire show at the Tombow booth. We were INCREDIBLY busy the entire show...sometimes demoing to 20+ people for hours.

My incredible husband also earned his O.T.C.H. title (Obedience Titled Champion) on Maggie. He's been getting consistent top scores (199 or 199.5 out of a possible 200) and placing or getting High in Trial. They're a magnificant team! So proud of all the hard work!

New member of our pack/flock joined us recently--Ollie, a baby Eclectus parrot. I'll post some photos soon.

That's all for now.....time to go walking with Shady and enjoy the rest of this drop dead gorgeous afternoon! I so love September....

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Back from CHA...WHAT A SHOW!

This year's CHA summer show was much smaller than in previous years but definitely did not lack for enthusiasm and creative energy! I heard repeatedly from attendees that they actually liked the smaller scale because it gave them the opportunity to visit each and every exhibitor's booth and try products they had never had time to explore in previous shows. Many felt less rushed and frantic and more able to actually relax and learn about these products so they can carry them in their stores.

I was at the Tombow booth for the entire 3 days of the trade show, demoing and teaching marker blending techniques to the steady stream of attendees working on projects or waiting in line and eager to learn about the Tombow markers and blending pen. We were totally mobbed almost the entire show and the days just flew by! EVERYBODY just loved doing the make-n-take projects and I had such a blast meeting all the people who went from never having tried Tombow markers and blender (or marker blending with any markers) to marker blending experts in the matter of minutes! It was hilarious when at least one person in each and every group would then turn to everyone else and tell them how much fun this was.

More thoughts later....

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Stop by Tombow booth 335 to say hi at the CHA Show!

A last minute invitation to everyone out in Twitterland, Facebook Island and Linked-in Avenue....stop by American Tombow's booth #335 at Orlando's CHA Summer Show Tuesday July 28 through 30 and do a make n take project with me! I'm teaching marker blending techniques using the awesome Tombow Brush Pen markers and blending pen. We'll be exploring techniques like Scribble Blending and Faux Watercolor, as well as Shadow Blending and Faux Chalking.

For anyone who is chemically sensitive or who is careful what chemicals and toxins they breathe or absorb through their skin, THESE are THE markers for you! I am VERY chemically sensitive and cannot even come within several feet of solvent-based markers and inks without triggering a reaction. But I've been using Tombow markers for almost 20 years without one single problem!

And, these markers are available in an incredible color range! If you were a kid like me who wanted to use every color in the crayon box, you will be blown away! The results you can achive with these markers and the techniques I will be teaching rival watercolor, airbrush and chalk effects.

Looking forward to seeing everyone at the CHA Summer Show!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

CHA in less than 10 days!

Wow, I can't believe I fly out for CHA in just 9 days! I think my fingers are permanently stained with ink from all the show prep.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Back from stop CHA in ORLANDO!

I'm finally rested up from the grueling weekend at ALA. Walking the show and networking with fellow SCBWI members and publishers was awesome, but it was exhausting when combined with a daily 5 hour commute. And, of course, this was a whole different audience than what I am used to at trade shows. I only saw librarians and related personnel instead of retail buyers. It was definitely a learning curve to absorb it all.

The Sunday afternoon book signing at the SCBWI booth was a bit disappointing since there was little traffic that late in the day and the author table was set so far back from the aisle it was difficult to engage anyone who walked by. But it was still pretty awesome to have librarians coming up to me while I was walking around and comment when they saw the author ribbon on my badge!

My hat got many, many comments, too. This is the second show where people have asked me where they can buy a hat like the one I was wearing, complete with all the pins showcasing my illustrations. I'm wondering if I should start manufacturing decorated hats......

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Will you be attending the American Library Conference (ALA) in Chicago this weekend?

If yes, please stop by and say hi!

I’ll be exhibiting with SCBWI at Booth #1626 on Sunday, from 3-5 pm. I'll be signing books available for purchase at my publisher's booth, Scarecrow Press Booth #2428. I'll also have periodic appearances in my publisher's booth where I'll be giving away handcrafted bookmarks featuring some of my original line art from my new book Animals and Teens: The Ultimate Teen Guide.

See you there!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

First Stop-ALA Conference!

What a shock to turn the calendar page to.....JULY! This month promises to be jam-packed with w-a-a-a-y more than one month can hold. Here's a sneak peak ahead:

The huge annual ALA (American Library Association) Conference runs July 11-13 at McCormick Place, Chicago. I've never attended this show so I will be experiencing it for the first time. Unlike the trade shows I'm accustomed to attending or exhibiting in, this show is similar to a consumer show except the attending "consumers" must be professionally affiliated with a library or educational institution. Attendees can also purchase books on the spot without having to purchase quantities--something not done at most "wholesale only" trade shows.

In addition to walking the show with fellow SCBWI members, I'm also scheduled to sign books and speak about my school presentations, programs and workshops at the SCBWI booth on Sunday, July 12 from 3-5 pm. This week I've been getting all my promo materials and hand-crafted bookmarks created. I definitely do not want to go into this show tired or stressed! The days will be fun, but very long and tiring. I need to remain high energy and full of enthusiasm throughout the show, but especially during my 2 hour time slot at the SCBWI booth.

NEXT....Orlando! The CHA summer show has been moved to Orlando this year. And, this year, I'll be demoing and doing make 'n take projects for Tombow. If you are going to be at the CHA show, please stop by booth 335 to learn all kinds of marker blending techniques and tips using the absolutely, fantastic Tombow markers. Unlike others on the market, these markers have no odor and are perfect for people like me who are chemically sensitive. I have just LOVED using these markers for many years! And these markers LAST forever. I've had other brands wear out or dry out within months but my Tombow markers not only have lasted for years, many of my pens are still perfect after over 15 years! These markers feature both a brush and bullet tip so you can color both small and large areas equally well. Perfect for rubber stamping and other paper crafts, as well as creating faux watercolor looks.

On a more personal note, our baby cockatiel is already 5 months old. That's still a little baby for these birds, however, since they can live to be 25 years or more. Not only is he quickly learning whistles and short melodies ( I SO want him to learn every Sugarland and Toby Keith song...), he's already beginning to form word sounds and phrases. That's incredible for a bird this young since most cockatiels don't begin talking until they are at least a year old. Hmmmm...looks like we've got ourselves a BORDER COLLIE cockatiel! Sure fits right in with out Border Collie pack....

Until next time....happy 4rth of July to everyone! Stay safe! We'll be hanging out in the basement trying to disguise the fireworks and explosions by playing movies until our sound sensitive Border Collies can turn back into their normal crazy selves instead of velcro dogs.

Monday, June 8, 2009

July will be a double-header trade show month!

May's Stationery/Surtex and BEA shows now belong to the past. Although I was not able to attend these shows this year, I am now looking forward to two other shows that I will be attending. Since BEA (Book Expo America) no longer travels to Chicago, I'm thrilled that ALA (American Library Association) will be holding their yearly summer conference here at McCormick Place in Chicago. And what perfect timing! This conference actually coincides with my book launch for Animals and Teens: The Ultimate Teen Guide.

Soooo....I'll be signing books and promoting my school visit/library programs at the SCBWI booth (#1626) on Sunday, July 12 from 3-5 pm. Plus I'll also be hovering periodically in my publisher's booth (Rowman & Littlefield/Scarecrow Press) on both Saturday July 11 and Sunday July 12. I might just have a freebie to pass please stop by if you'll be at the show!

But wait...there's more! At the same time I'm developing my school/library program brochures and hand outs for ALA, I'm also creating 3 days worth of "make it-take it" projects for the summer CHA show! YES, that's right...I'll be demoing and teaching marker blending techniques for at the Tombow booth at the summer CHA show! Woo hoo! Orlando here I come!

More info on these two shows later...

Friday, May 1, 2009

New Beginnings

Spring is naturally a time for new beginnings. Our new beginning arrived as a 10 week old hand-fed, hand-raised baby Cockatiel! Our family has always had a bird, from the week I was married through today. We began with a parakeet (Ruffles) that used to participate with us in relay races down the hall (he always won) and then another one (Frosty) who was THE sweetest bird we had ever had. He'd take a bath in my hands, fluttering his wings and singing to himself -totally vulnerable, total trusting. He was a hard act to follow and none of the birds following his death ever lived up to that standard. Until this new addition! We named him Frosty in honor of the first bird and he is already living up to the name. He's incredibly vocal and spends lots of time practicing whistles and tunes until all of a sudden, he gets the pattern right. It's pretty cute. Kind of reminds me of when my son and daughter began learning their band instruments. At any rate, out 17 year old Cockatiel is also singing a new, happier song these days. They aren't kept in the same cage and haven't had close contact with each other yet but I think they will eventually get along very well. Meanwhile, Frosty seems to be fascinated with Shady, one of our Border Collies. If Shady's in the room, Frosty will take off towards him. He's managed to land on Shady's back a couple of times now while Shady just looks at me, smiling, knowing that if he "leaves the birdie", he'll get a cookie. Once the flea and tick prevention season begins, however, we don't allow birds out when the dogs are in the same room. The prevention medicine could be harmful and probably fatal for a bird since it is absorbed quickly through the skin.

Friday, March 6, 2009

EXCITING NEWS! Books can be purchased on!

Exciting news! Books can be purchased through but signed copies can only be purchased directly through me. Just search under books>"gail green", then scroll down to the cover for "Animals and Teens: The Ultimate Teen Guide". For more information on how to order personalized, signed books directly from the author, just email me at the address on my website

Yes this book was definitely a huge project but one close to my heart. And I met THE most incredible young people in the process! Their stories about first-hand experiences with the human-animal bond will truly enrich everyone who reads the book.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Congratulations...It's a BOOK!

"Teens and Animals: The Ultimate Teen Guide" is now officially released. Here's a synopsis about what's inside the covers:

(From the publisher, Scarecrow Press/Rowman & Littlefield)
Animals and Teens: The Ultimate Teen Guide illustrates multiple ways young people can become involved with animals, from providing foster care and pursuing animal-related career opportunities to simply caring for pets at home. It also features teens that have worked with a variety of animals or participated in animal-related activities, therapeutic programs and shelters as volunteers and interns, as well as discussions about a wide range of topics that include how animals grieve, “Reading with Dogs” program, equine and dolphin therapy, and how the internet is being used to help stop animal abuse.

All teens need friends they can trust but teens live in an imperfect world where people judge each other on looks, popularity, bank accounts, or clothing styles; a world where people are not always treated fairly. Animals, however, do not care about poor test scores or bad skin: they simply love unconditionally. And that is what makes the animal-human bond so special. “The bond between people and their companion animals is incredible. It is a complex attachment involving friendship, affection, companionship, trust and a sense of being needed, basically filling all the emotional needs all humans instinctively have and must have met in order to be truly happy.”

From small mammals, reptiles and birds to cats, dogs and horses, Animals and Teens uses real-life examples to show how animals can enhance teens’ lives and how teens can improve the welfare of abused, neglected or injured animals as well as those that live in shelters, refuges and wildlife preserves. The voices in this inspiring book come from a large cross section of teens and young adults whose stories will resonate with anyone who loves animals.

Author Gail Green discusses everything from basic pet responsibility and dealing with the loss of a pet to how animals help humans and what is involved in the handling of service animals, such as dogs that provide physical assistance or horses that help with therapy for children with autism and other conditions. From helping with animal rescue to overcoming learning disabilities, these heartwarming experiences demonstrate how each of us can make a difference through the incredibly rewarding human-animal bond.

More info soon......

Thursday, January 8, 2009

And now.....for the Book Launch Announcement!

Hear thee, hear thee! My LONG awaited YA non-fiction book "Animals and Teens: The Ultimate Teen Guide" (Scarecrow Press) is expected in February 2009! Yippee! This is an AWESOME topic and an equally AWESOME book (okay, I'm a little prejudiced but my book truly IS an awesome piece of work) that is all about the incredible bond humans (specially teens and young adults) have with animals and how that bond can change lives. Literally. The book is FILLED with incredible real-life stories about teens who have had service dogs, volunteered at animal shelters, rescues and refuges, been involved with animal assisted therapy, including dolphin and equine therapy, and who are delighted to share their love for animals with all the teens and adults who read this book. AND it is filled with some of my illustrations.

Check out the book on the publisher's website at^DB/CATALOG.db&eqSKUdata=0810857693

New Year, New Beginnings...and a LONG awaited Book Launch!

Whew...glad the holidays are finally done and the pounds gained can now be melted off. Can you believe SEVEN holiday parties in just 2.5 weeks?! AND...all parties with too much high calorie foods that I NEVER eat and no veggies ("boo, hiss" says the rabbit inside of me).

I miss summer. The evening power walks....the weekend forest preserve hikes...and not needing a coat, boots, scarves, hats or gloves. The weather here in Chicago has been way too wintry for my taste! Cold, ice, snow, wind...each day a different combination. And none of them resembling walking weather! Each time I spot some poor brave souls out walking their dogs in the dark and cold, I just shake my head and think how nuts that is. But I also really empathise with them. Not only can they not stand not being out walking, they love their dogs so very much they'll risk slipping on the icey sidewalks, chapped skin and windburned cheeks just to make their pets happy! I know. I took Shady for a quick walk around the long block tonight...over icey the dark...until my face hurt from the biting wind and we agreed to return home.

So we shall continue to brave the winter....and whatever weather we are handed. Eventually, the sun will rise in the early am and all the obnoxious slight sensitive robins will return to wake me at 2 am, screaming in their excitement, totally fooled that the street lights are the rising sun...and we shall be able to walk outside comfortably once again. It's winter until the swans return.