The Plant Pledge

At the start of 2017, I claimed that I would write a blog post a week. I never called it a resolution, but it was a commitment. It was a commitment that got severely interrupted by my desire for a new website. By the middle of february I had dropped a few of my new year objectives and instead embarked on a journey of reinvention. Hallelujah, it’s complete. The new website is here and I’m ready to pick up where I left off.

Website aside, there are a few accomplishments and musings that I’d like to share over the next few weeks. I certainly couldn’t let three months of zero blogging go by and have only one thing to show for it. First, and most notably, Kate Murray’s children’s book is complete. Since February I painted five more images for Kate so that she may (finally) put her book together, The Plant Pledge. The book was officially finished in March and Kate has done a few readings and guest appearances to celebrate. This past week I joined her at our local library for storytime.

Storytime is offered weekly at the Wyomissing Library. It is one of our favorite events. Nina and Lila adore the librarian that runs the program. It was a real treat for me to step into storytime with Kate, and make it our own. Kate read the book to Wednesday’s crowd. I read the book to Thursday’s crowd. After the book we had live (and by live I mean real but dead) vegetables and fruits for a toddler guessing game. Then we sang a vegetable song. (For all of my Matolly Girls…we sang the Pop Tart song but I switched out the lyrics for veggies) To wrap up the program we had the children color in pages from the book. It was fun for us and the kids loved it. In my whole process of working on paintings for the book I have had a lot of proud moments, but creating an event around the book to share with the kiddies was by far my most proud moment.

Sharing the book with other people has allowed us to entertain great questions. The question I enjoyed receiving the most is, “How did you meet?”

The quick answer would be serendipity. The long answer is this…

There was a girl who loved fruits and vegetables. She loved growing them and eating them, but also believed strongly in their healing powers. Her belief was so strong that she wanted to help spread the message. She wrote a book. It was for adults. Then she wrote a book for children. It needed illustrations. The illustrations she envisioned for her book were beyond her capabilities. She expressed her desire for an artist’s illustrations for her book to a friend. That friend said, “My sister in law is a painter. She lives in Germany right now, and that’s far, but maybe she’d like to paint for your book.”

Phone numbers and emails were exchanged. That girl who loves fruits and vegetables met another girl who likes fruits and vegetables, me. We talked and figured we could work together to get the book colored in. It was 2014, that I began painting. Shortly thereafter I moved from Germany to El Paso. I was also pregnant with the twins. (All of this made it tricky to find time to paint.) After which I gave birth, and had to learn how to be a mom. (This made it impossible to paint.) Then my husband deployed so I moved from El Paso to Wyomissing, PA, to be near family. Kate was patient, I worked when I had the energy, and three years later I completed 15 paintings for Kate. And she cropped, cut, and layered them into the appropriate imagery for her book to inspire kids (and their parents) to eat more fruits and vegetables.

It has been a joy getting to know Kate and being a part of this grand project, The Plant Pledge. The book is out now. Thank you if you have supported the cause and bought yourself, or a friend, a copy.

And thank you for reading.

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