I made a new toy lamb and stuffed with Blossom's wool. When it was finished, my granddaughter told me I should have a birthday hat for it, just like the one I had made for Blossom's first birthday. I found the pink polka dot fabric I had used, put it on my copy machine, reduced it and printed it. Then I cut it out of that paper and made a tiny birthday hat. I also cut out a very small number 1 out of felt, along with some decorations for the top and bottom of the hat.
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Blossom has enjoyed the summer with her mother, Lucky, and two new lamb friends. Everyone has been very kind to her and she loves being one of the flock! She has given me more wool for my projects, as you will see in days to come.
Monday, March 30, 2015
This is the story of Blossom, our little lamb. It all started because I have always wanted to have some sheep. Three years ago we “borrowed” four sheep from a farmer who lives near our summer home in the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains in western Massachusetts. We had a wonderful time caring for them and watching them graze peacefully in our meadow. One of the sheep was a ewe named Lucky. When it was time to give the sheep back for the winter, my granddaughter Clementine was especially sad to see Lucky go.
Once back at their farm, it was decided that they would breed Lucky. On a very cold night in February of 2014, Lucky gave birth to twin lambs, a boy and a girl. The boy was doing very well, but the little girl was smaller and having a harder time. But then we got a call that the little boy lamb had died, we think from hypothermia (being too cold). The next day they said the little girl lamb was unable to stand and very ill. The farmer said it was up to God and nature, but I thought Jane Dyer might be able to help too.
We brought the little lamb back to our house in the city and I brought her up to my third floor studio in a box lined with some wool from her mother. We had to tube feed her and give her shots every 4 hours, according to instructions from the vet. She was too weak to even take a bottle, and could not stand. Her legs did not seem to work.
Gradually she began to get a little better, so I brought her box down to the living room of our house. We tried bringing her back to her mother, but Lucky was not being very good about letting her nurse, but we couldn’t blame her, the little lamb still could not stand, although she was beginning to try.
We brought her back to our home again and began to bottle-feed her every four hours, setting our alarm at night. She started to stand on one leg, then two, and finally after a few weeks, she could use her third leg just enough to drag the other back leg around as she tried to walk. We put a diaper on her and let her walk around the living room. When her last leg was finally stronger, I took her outside for a walk on the sidewalk. People were calling me “Mary”.
As she continued to gain strength, we took her to my daughter’s house outside of Boston. There she lived with my three grandchildren and their two bunnies. At night she would sleep with one of the children’s toys, a big stuffed sheepdog named “Fluffy”. As the little lamb continued to grow and gain strength, my grandchildren named her “Blossom”.
Blossom would run around outside with the children and come running in with them and leap onto the sofa, ready for story time. On Fridays, the children always get to watch a movie, and Blossom was right there with them. She often fell asleep curled up next to them, and sometimes they would fall asleep together. But when it was time for the children to go up to their beds, Blossom would cuddle up with Fluffy.
Blossom loved playing with the bunnies, Timothy and Willie, so when Spring arrived and it was time to bring sheep back to our farm, my daughter packed up Blossom, the bunnies, and Fluffy the stuffed dog. We retrieved Lucky and two other lambs and reunited Lucky and Blossom, and introduced them to the other lambs. As it turned out, the two lambs were very mean to Blossom (we called them the evil twins) and they wouldn’t let her eat or sleep with them. At night we would put Blossom on the other side of our little sheep barn with Timothy, Willie, and of course, Fluffy, where they would all sleep peacefully together.
One day we brought Fluffy, the stuffed sheepdog out into the field with Blossom. The evil twin lambs were scared of Fluffy, so I thought that they must think Blossom to be very brave. But then they went up to Fluffy as Blossom stood next to her in the meadow, sniffed the toy dog, and realizing it was not a danger, butted Blossom away. Then the twin sheep lay down next to Fluffy!
It was hard to see everyone being mean to Blossom, so we fed her in the other part of the barn. Eventually, Blossom wanted to try to fight her way over to the feeding trough and fend for herself, and she wanted to sleep on that side of the barn, too. It was hard to let her go. She was becoming a real sheep.
Blossom’s second spring is almost here. Lucky and Blossom have spent their winter with some very nice sheep where they have made friends, and soon it will be time to bring them back to our summer home.
Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Friday, February 27, 2015
Monday, February 23, 2015
Meyer Department Store in Melbourne, Australia chooses a different theme each year for their Christmas windows. In 2014, they chose a book that I illustrated, SANTA CLAUS AND THE THREE BEARS, by Maria Modugno. This is part 1 of four videos that can be found on you tube. It was so much fun to see my illustrations come to life.
They sent me the first set of bears which just arrived. We have plenty of snow for them, so I put them outside to do some reading.
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
Today is the pub date for my new book with Sally Lloyd-Jones. This is from The Horn Book Review:
THE HOUSE THAT’S YOUR HOME
by Sally Lloyd-Jones; illus. by Jane Dyer Schwartz & Wade/Random 2/15 978-0-375-85884-0
In a picture book that feels at once nostalgic and fresh, Lloyd-Jones and Dyer channel the best of contemporary mood pieces (see, for example, Scanlon and Frazee’s All the World, rev. 9/09) and the everyday-life books of yesteryear (such as Krauss and Sendak’s A Hole Is to Dig, rev. 10/52). A familiar home-away-home structure follows a little girl from the “house that’s [her] home” to school and back again, as she engages with her family, pets, and the world all around her (in a refreshing twist, it concludes with the child awakening to a new day instead of drifting off to sleep). Throughout, a soothing, rhythmic text embraces childlike phrasing with lines such as “A bike is Your Bike / That rides you around” and hits just-right notes to capture the happiest parts of childhood’s emotional landscape: “A friend is Your Friend / Who stays by your side / And chooses you first / And saves you a place.” There are no tears or hardships in sight, and Dyer’s soft gouache and pencil illustrations perfectly match the text’s depiction of childhood idyll. The graceful hand lettering adds much to the book’s pleasing design, and its clear readability will be a boon to adults who will doubtlessly engage in repeated readings with children in their own homes. megan dowd lambert