Quand j'étais petite

So sweet: L'Étagère du bas has published a French edition of When I Was Small. It was nice of the publisher to send over a package, She even used very cute tape for the address! If only I could mail myself back to Paris. Too bad I'm not small...


And yes, I'm back up on my Instagram @robinmitchellcranfield . I am kind of rusty, but I'm catching up!


birch & maple

I've prepared a little printable with a blueberry jam recipe from Wild Berries and a couple of labels for a jar, in case you want to give a gift to your neighbour, or something. The recipe is in English and in Swampy Cree, also known as n-dialect Cree from the Cross Lake, Norway House area. Illustrations by Julie Flett. Translation by Jennifer Thomas. This printable is here with permission from the author.

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the weather

(This happened in February on twitter, but I'm behind on my studio housekeeping.) I was reading a story in LA Review of Books about Lisa Robertson and was surprised and happy to see the cover of the book The Weather referenced: 

'From the three floating blue circles in a white box on a sky-blue cover, signaling a Canadian pastoral poetry I had never before encountered, to the mix of conventionally paced lyric poems contrasting the justified prose blocks, it was, as she would say, a “sweet new style.”'

The Weather was one of my first design projects. Last year Paper Hound listed The Weather on its list of favourite local book design, and recently, New Star got in touch with me, and I'm working on some new covers for them. So it came back from the early 2000s (You can see on the back cover, it's for Steedman Design)! It's nice to be working on books again, after a bit of a break. 


A few years later, I laid out Lisa's book The Office of Soft Architecture, designed by Tae Won Yu for Clearcut Press. The illustration appeared in that book, and it was nice because I got to choose a Toyo colour and it was printed on a soft white bamboo paper, which was a good surface for it, and a nice contrast to the gloss coated version. I'm happy with both of them, which is a good feeling (that you don't always get as a designer to be honest). Also, Lisa, who is a very great person, came by my studio one time right after Windy had been rejected for something or other, and she gave me a very good book rejection pep talk. You need those pep talks when you're starting out.

And that's all about The Weather!

word festival

Yesterday I held a small workshop on the Word festival in Vancouver, meeting with aspiring children's book authors. It was fun, hope to do it again next year. I couldn't take a good picture in the middle of everything, so no photo :)

Everyone had different projects, but I think two statements which applied to everyone were:

1. Identify the specific age range you're trying to reach (3–5 etc.)
2. Have a clear synopsis of your story

Most people are not sure where to begin a conversation about their project: the best way is to describe your audience, their needs, the main characters in the story and the story itself. Also, it's very helpful bring samples of your work with you. Good luck, everyone!