Sunday, May 27, 2012

Moose Jaw and more

I arrived in Moose Jaw on the fourth evening of my visit to Saskatchewan. I was delighted to drive up a steep hill to get to Wakamow Heights Bed & Breakfast . What a beautiful house and setting!

The room I stayed in, The Wedgewood, looked as if it should have been roped off in a museum.

The breakfast was delicious and got me off to an energetic start at Cornerstone Christian School. Here's what I saw when I entered the school's art room to set up:

Many students had made fun little pillows and stuffed creatures inspired by my books! Aren't they adorable?

After this terrific visit, I dashed off to the Moose Jaw Public Library where I presented to two local school groups. We were joined by some parents and toddlers, enthusiastic crafters one and all!

The day ended with a fun afternoon at Ecole St. Margaret where I presented to another lovely and creative bunch of students.

On the last day of my tour, I had the pleasure of presenting in Mortlach at a small, rural school where the total number of students is between 50 and 60. They were wonderful! Then for my final visit of the tour, I drove about an hour and a half to Hodgeville.

Hodgeville prides itself on being the coyote capital of Canada . I didn't see any coyotes but the students assured me that they see them regularly! The teachers had declared that the day of my visit should be "Dress-up as your favourite storybook character day." So, I had the fun experience of presenting to Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Anne of Green Gables, robots, pirates, and other cute characters. A creative way to end my tour.

As I drove back to the Regina airport, I felt so happy and grateful for the privilege of meeting so many fantastic Saskatchewanians! I also felt lighter: I had given out at least 7500 buttons!

I'll be back soon with part two of my trip to Western Canada.

All the best,

Judy Ann

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

More Book Week Fun!

On the second day of my Book Week tour, I visited two schools in Estevan. It was wonderful to present to the enthusiastic, creative students at St. Mary's School first thing in the morning!

After leaving St. Mary's, I had to quickly make my way to Sacred Heart School, luckily quite close by. I was puzzled as I approached the school because it looked like they were having labour issues with picketers on the sidewalk in front of the entrance. As I drove a little closer I realized that this was my welcome committee!!

I was amazed and totally delighted! Hanna Keating and her library club, the Book Worms, had made signs and a banner,

and decorated the library bulletin board:

I'm so grateful to Hanna for orchestrating such an incredible welcome! It was a delightful start to a fun presentation!

My next stop was the Weyburn Public Library where I made Button Buddies with another really nice group of kids. Afterwards, Kam Teo, the Branch Manager, offered to take me for a tour of Weyburn. I was very pleased to see the childhood home of novelist W.O. Mitchell:

Weyburn is also where the much-loved father of medicare, Tommy Douglas, spent time after he was ordained as a Baptist minister. He is honoured there with an arts centre 

and life-size statue:

On the side of the base of his statue is the comforting quote, 

"Courage my friends. 'Tis not too late to build a better world." What a good man.

On day three I travelled to Regina where I had the great pleasure of presenting to more funny, sweet students, this time from Jack MacKenzie School. You can see they were quite tickled with their new Button Buddies!

In the afternoon I visited White City School in White City. One student told me that instead of making a Button Buddy, he had made a "Bumble" Buddy!  This is one of my favourite photos of the tour. The student is as cute as his Bumble Buddy!

Another creative student gave his Buddy a skipping rope!

I love it when students dive right into creativity!

Still more to come!

All the best,

Judy Ann

Sunday, May 20, 2012


What a whirlwind couple of weeks I've had! It was my intention to keep up with this blog while I was away, but it just didn't work out. So here I am, playing catch-up! A quick overview of my TD Canadian Children's Book Week tour in southern Saskatchewan: I gave fifteen presentations in thirteen different locations in five days. I drove 1280 km, showed crafts and made Button Buddies with over 750 students and staff, visited tiny communities and good-sized cities, and everywhere I went I was greeted with enthusiasm and warmth. It was awesome!

The first town I visited was Moosomin. (I couldn't get enough of these beautiful grain elevators!)

As I drove into town down the main street, I was surprised and tickled to see this announcement on the window of the public library:

Wow, they were expecting me! I was given such a warm welcome by two members of the library board, the staff at MacLeod School and best of all, by the students.

We had a great time making Button Buddies and chatting about creativity!

The students loved their buddies and were happy to show them off.

At Wapella School, I presented to the students in Kindergarten to grade 9, all 50 of them!

They loved choosing buttons from the many thousands that I had packed! 

I ended the first day of my tour with two presentations with the wonderful students at Carlyle School.

I'll share more photos and stories in the days to come!

Happy crafting,

Judy Ann

Saturday, May 5, 2012


I'm trying to get packed for my trip to Saskatchewan as part of TD Canadian Children's Book Week . I have way too much stuff! Would you believe I have to pack 10,000 buttons (I'm not actually counting each one!), 1500 pipe cleaners, about 1000 wooden beads, permanent markers, yarn, and as many craft samples as I can fit in my suitcase. I also need to bring along a couple dozen copies of my books!

I have no idea where I'm going to put my clothing! In the five days of the tour, I will be doing fifteen presentations to at least 750 students in thirteen different locations. I'm excited about visiting Saskatchewan for the first time and looking greatly forward to meeting a whole new batch of students, teachers, librarians and many others.

Okay, deep breath, here I go!

All the best,

Judy Ann