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Save the Monarchs ! Read Janey Monarch Seed

Just in time for the holidays: Janey Monarch Seed!

book cover
Janey Monarchseed Green Writer’s press 2021

I illustrated Julie Dunlap’s wonderful children’s picture book Janey Monarch Seed on how a young girl works to save the Monarch Butterflies.

New Janey Monarch Seed Picture Book for Eco-Action!

Janey Monarch Seed is a STEAM picture book through a gentle story of how to save the Monarch butterflies. (STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, art & math) Dana  designed the layout and flow of this book and created the illustrations with her husband John Orth. In this new tall tale Janey’s story parallels that of a true American folk hero, Johnny Appleseed. Janey is determined to help endangered Monarch butterflies. She walks and plants milkweed seeds in an epic journey thay takes her from Texas to all the way to Quebec, Canada. The science content  depicts the lifecycle of monarchs and  their dependence on the milkweed plant.

spread from Janey Monarch seed after mowing
Janey sees native plants mowed down.

Learn & Save the Monarch Butterflies!

Told in simple verse, the simple story provides a lively introduction to monarch biology and ecology. Monarchs need habitat that sustains them. Learn about our role as active stewards in the natural world. Sidebars  expand children’s fascination with butterflies and other pollinators. We can help them through wildlife-friendly gardening!  

tree house illustration
Janey wants to help the Monarchs-maybe this milkweed seed…

Author; Julie Dunlap is an award-winning author or co-author of several children’s books, and co-editor of two nature anthologies, Coming of Age at the End of Nature and Companions in Wonder: Children and Adults Exploring Nature Together. Check out Dana’s other picture books!

Janey Monarch Seed Merch!!!

In doing author visits Dana noted her audience wished they could help Janey and spread awareness and milkweed seeds. So she created a gift card that contain information on milkweed, the history and lore of the plant and even its medicinal uses.

There are 4 pages of info inside and the last page is folded to contain organic milkweed seeds!! There are now 4 seed cards including hollyhock, garlic chive and oregano.

3 seed cards

Each card comes with a matching envelope. These are brand new products and you can order them by emailing Dana. $10 each or 4 for $38. List which you wish to purchase, your address and contact info in the email. I will process your order that way- you may pay by venmo, paypal or creditcard.

inside of seed card
interior book of milkweed card

I also introduced a line of monarch ceramic including a useful Monarch platter that also looks great on the wall-You can order that by using this link and requesting monarch design.

monarch platter

There is a monarch spoon rest and mug in this same design! (pictures to come) 

Plant milkweed!

Since we worked on this book, John and I have been careful to allow milkweed to grow in pour field until late fall so the monarchs caterpillars can feed, cocoon and emerge as adult butterflies in the fall. We were amazed at the many many monarchs that fluttered in our garden enjoying the flowers this autumn!!

click link below to see Monarchs in the garden!


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Earth Day Treats

1. WIN this Just Bee BOWL by Dana

Buy my book Come Together and you will be entered to win this BEE BOWL to celebrate EARTH DAY!! $120. value- !! My mission is to get the information in this book out to as many folks as possible. It is full of simple ways to get beyond plastic, toxic products & practices and how to do your part in restoring health to our environment. Climate Change and many of the environmental issues threatening all living things on our precious planet were created by our daily actions and choices. We made the mess we are in and we can (and will) clean it up by retooling our actions and choices. We are the change my friends.

I will enter every purchase of Come Together through the end of May 2021 into a drawing- on May 31! Example: Buy 3 and your name goes in 3 times for the Bee Bowl.

handbook-for-individual-action-to stem-climate-change
178 pages of simple ways to change for the better
This book has been held up by issues at my publisher, Green Writer’s Press, and next the pandemic. It is very hard to promote it when you cannot connect with people via book signings, speaking engagements or author visits. Yes, I do zooms and have been wildly creative in trying to get the topical and extremely useful content of this book out- but I need your help. Please spread the word and do pick up and read this book. Share your copy with others! Lets start a bottom up movement for a clean, safe future.
2. The Buzzard of Happiness
buzzard sculpture
17″ x 15″ glazed ceramic buzzard sculpture
They are ugly in kind of a beautiful way. signed. 2021……………………………………$325.
3. An Inch-tailed Cackle
9″ x 12″ relief detail bird sculpture
They only sing at brunch………………………………………….$165.
 Now Earth Day can last all year.
best wishes!

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Dana Interview on Sustainable Mind

My interview on Sustainable Mind with Marjorie Alexander has just gone live!  My book Come Together . handbook to retool for the future is available this month from Green Writers Press or here on my website. I am so pleased with the reviews I have been getting and I hope you will all give it a read- or listen to the podcast for a great overview of the book. Marjorie is a wonderful interviewer. Our chat was like a delightful walk in the woods with an old friend. She has a real talent for asking the right questions and smoothly guiding the conversation to keep the interview upbeat and engaging.  Below is a 1 minute snippet/ teaser to give you  taste of the podcast;

To listen to the podcast go to a Sustainable Mind interview #82

Below are a few reviews of my book- If you want to purchase 10 books or more we can give you a half price discount- These books are excellent resources for how to get beyond plastic, understanding what toxins are in commonly used products and their impact on your health, aquifers and the environment, and generally how to choose easy actions for the betterment of all. Come Together is an excellent premium for environmental or social action groups to raise funding. Email or call and I’ll get you what you need-

To purchase a copy as a gift for youself or the planet:) click here: It is time to Come Together!


“Come Together goes beyond tackling climate change with a call to build respectful community to honor all living things and earth​. It is truly a handbook for all of our futures.”

—Heidi Thompson, Sacred Soul Gathering of Women founder


“This is the book we should all be reading right now to empower each of us in the movement for bottom-up change.”

—Pamela South, facilitator of Green Engineers​


“Dana Simson is a super-creative person. In her new book, Come Together: Handbook to Retool for the Future, Simson will inspire you to take the task of saving the planet into your own hands. From gently coaching you through an easy way to give up your paper-towel dependency, to sharing practical pointers on how to converse with someone who holds a differing viewpoint, Simson’s pointers come from an authentic and lived perspective. This book may not make you a perfect citizen of the planet overnight, but it will certainly, and kindly, take you one step closer no matter where you started.”

—Joan Maloof, author of Teaching the Trees: Lessons from the Forests and Founder of the Old-Growth Forest Network

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when you need a BURST of ART

bone daddy sculpture

It is dreary. It is cold. We need some joy. In the deep slog of winter topped with a pandemic, I send you a burst of art. It is a slap of color into your cheeks. A pop in your instep. A neat shot of something else. Yes, my friends it is a Bone Daddy. Indeed the last of it’s kind. This benign beast has waited patiently for many years for me to finish him, rainbow his hide and breathe him full of ready.

side view

This fine pet is extremely neat, keeps his bones in a mouth drawer and never interupts you mid-sentence. You do not have to feed it stinky cans of odd textured food titled sludge or carry tiny plastic bags in your pocket should you go out for a walk together. You do need to bestow a name on this cat sized friend. Otherwise how will he know when you want an answer from him? Only 1 in the world. contact me to give the bone daddy a shelf to nap on. $350. 13x10x9……… SOLD thank you Beverly!

These were in a dusty corner of the studio…

in my dreams we fly
the very last
in my dreams we fly vase

In My Dreams We Fly … Joni Mitchel said that. It always stuck with me and found it’s way out into this design that we used to sell about 20 years ago. The vase is hand built and pressed into a relief I created. It was great fun to revisit this design with a totally new approach for a one of a kind/ last of its kind. 9x10x4 $225.00……… SOLD thank you Peggy!

fez man blooms

One Fez man vase left and it demanded all the glory I could muster. This was always one of my favorite designs. I had hand sculted the first one, then John built a large mold that requires a football team to lift and pour out. In a fit of wild stuff editing, John and I broke all the molds one afternoon.  13x7x6  $178.00

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acknowledgement feeds love

acknowledgement empathy bloom together heart with Seed Logo
Love is symmetrical. Love the earth and she will love you in return.

Acknowledgement of others is a powerful way to strengthen relationships and increase fulfillment in life. The power of acknowledgement is vast and easy to set in motion. We all work hard toward what it is we need or want to achieve. Some days it is easy to get wrapped up in the general annoyance of feeling under-appreciated and over put upon. Take a mental step back and look at those around you- family members, coworkers, friends or complete strangers; each with their individual mountain to climb. An unsolicited word of acknowledgement may lighten the weight of their steps forward. Oddly you also may feel lifted as well.

The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated. –William James

Here are the top ten ways you can acknowledge someone that deserves praise and will benefit from hearing it:

  1. Tuck a note of acknowledgement into their lunch or leave it on their desk.
  2. Stop what you are doing and totally focus on the person you wish to acknowledge.
  3. Send a hand written note or select a lovely card and include a message.
  4. Send a quick heartfelt email of appreciation.
  5. Praise someone for a job well done, especially nice for those you don’t know.
  6. A friendly wave and greeting to a stranger sends a burst of warmth their way.
  7. Look for the positive things people do so you can acknowledge and encourage them.
  8. Send a random text- to let someone know how much you appreciate them.
  9. Take a minute to let a manager know when an employee does a good job.
  10. Acknowledge people who are doing a good job – like a teacher or policemen.

    The written word is still treasured and carries greater personal wishes then an email. Each of my gift cards comes with a beautiful translucent vellum envelope. The US mail is old-school but the excitement of a hand written card from a friend is a true gift these days. One you can tuck away and pull out later to revisit.

A Valentine for the Earth

Come Together . handbook to retool for the future joyfully guides you through easy change for the better. 172 pages- get a copy and share it. This is a book to start a movement- empowering each of us to choose daily action and invention to live sustainabily. We are the problem. We are also the solution.

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holiday cheer to last all year

pet love-shows a platter with a white lab

To find holiday cheer in dark times like these, you need to live in the present. The present; being thoughts of those you love and what treats you might make or wrap up for them. Looks like many of us will heed the call to stay home for Thanksgiving and maybe Christmas as well. While it is tough to miss this long tradition of gathering together, making sure your loved ones stay healthy is something to be truly thankful for.

health & happiness

A wonderful gift commission I did recently; was to paint a much loved white lab that had recently passed away on a platter for a sister to give her brother. Pets can be remembered or celebrated on custom ceramic. Just contact me directly and we will come up with the perfect thing.

Happycat holiday cheer!

Our furry family keeps us happy and healthy. If I am feeling down I take a walk with Ozzy, cuddle with one of the cats or hug a goat. A cup of tea in a cheery mug is helpful too. IDEA!! Why not give a jolly handmade mug with a favorite tea or bag of local coffee?  I have added 2 more designs for this season only.  Happycat and Peace  dove. Two for $72. Buy two sets of two and get a fifth mug to keep for yourself. Just specify which designs when you order.

Drink your tea in peace.

I’ve been making, finding and shopping for gifts. Many years I am so harried gift giving is more like a list to tick off than the action of thoughtful love for an individual to come up with a treat perfect for them. I don’t like to shop on line. Please make every effort to support small local businesses this year, trust me Amazon is doing ok. Taking that one step further… try to buy earth-friendly gifts- watch the plastic over-packaging  and single use-cardboard boxed/plastic packing materials and fossil fuels to get it.

We have always shipped in reused packing materials. There are several wonderful businesses that are happy to save boxes and packing for me rather than throw it in the dumpster. When you wrap your gift up, why not be creatively green? Wrap it up with newspaper, magazines, fabric or market bags.

handbook-for-individual-action-to stem-climate-change

A gift for the planet!

More creative thinking on earth friendly living in my book: Come Together . handbook to retool for the future. Buy two for giving-get a third one to keep. 

Please take time to explore my web store! Find some holiday cheer that will last all year…and beyond.

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SEED. spread empathy each day

logo for Seed spread empathy each day

Spread empathy each day. To grow empathy you need to lay the seeds of tolerance, acceptance and love. It is a practice like Buddhism, filled with self awareness of motive and action. I started writing SEED several years ago, but it is always topical as we face racism and mistrust in our unsettled world. I have decided to give the book away now like seeds scattered to the wind. I hope anyone who relates will further it to their friends and on beyond.

simply request a PDF at or you can view it through this link:

Danasimsoncom Matted art card with envelope, Love blooms image, text love grows love.

SEED. spread empathy each day 

This is my effort to combat a deepening culture of anger, mistrust, arrogance and short sighted actions based in ego, greed and power to benefit a few rather than the many. Integrity has been eroded by opportunism. The idea of “Us” now reflects various groups rather than everyone. This societal change has been festering for many years, forming an uncomfortable dark-minded normal. Empathy starts with each of us offering the light of consideration in our actions. It is my hope that this little book may act as a positve tool in the meditation of an open heart and listening mind.  Thank you friends! Matted art card with envelope, "Live in peace and peace will live in you" quote, peace dove over earth image.

a little book to open hearts

I still believe the pen is mightier then the sword. Images can change minds. That is what my art has always been about. In giving away my art and words I hope they become weaponized in the loveliest way. This is the kind of book you can open anywhere in its pages, to snack on a story. I like to write books I hope are useful, like my book to create positive environmental change; Come Together . handbook to retool for the future. Available as an ebook or in print. (178 pages of easy, smart action)

Thanks for your interest.

Stay safe . health & happiness.




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My colorful ceramic sea creatures cover a villa in Spain!!

handmade ceramic sea creatures and fish on the Villa's exterior

I was commissioned to create handmade ceramic sea creature wall decor for the exterior of a villa on the sea in Spain. This was quite an undertaking requiring months to create. I had to design each piece so that it could be attached to the exterior wall, look fabulous and survive being shipped to Europe. My client requested 35 fish all different some swimming in one direction- others in the opposite.

colorful ceramic starfish
colorful ceramic starfish

Each sea creature must be exciting and different.

When I create my wall sculptures; whether fish, turtles, owls or other wonderful animals, my intention is use textures and color to make a piece of art that interests any viewer. I use stamps that I have shaped and sculpted, jewelry, zippers, and odd bits of things with useful textures to cover the animal in a way that enhances their structure. Usually people purchase a single wall sculpture to add zip to a room-inside or outside, others will group several on a wall. This was my first commission using sea creature decor as architectural ornamentation. And it turned out great!

handmade ceramic octopus

The client was so pleased he reordered twice as many more! 20 crabs, 10 octopus, 4 turtles, 10 star fish and  30 more fish!

outside of villa with ceramic fish

fish on wall looking toward the sea

Figuring out how to make delicate sea creatures like crabs and octopus so they would be durable, meant some engineering improvements like clay slab backing.

clay sea creature crabs
sculpting and imprinting designs on crabs
colorful handmade ceramic crabs
colorful handmade ceramic crabs

blue and green handmade ceramic crabs

The other sea creatures presented other challenges but were fun to figure out and create!

ceramic squid sculptures
ceramic squid sculptures

a variety of handmade ceramic octopus

handmade green aqua crab

I love doing commissions, whether is tile, sculpture or paintings. Your ideas are a spring board offering me an opportunity to design and discover.  If you would like sea creatures to hang on your wall, or to use as architectural detail give me a call. I am happy to work with you to determine colors, subject matter and construction. Prices will vary depending on the level of labor and complexity. We will quote the price based on each job. 

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the animals are innocent . an exhibit to lament climate change

exhibit at Henry Sheldon Museum

the animals are innocent . Digital exhibit available for Museum websites or video showings. 

The folkart boats and paintings in this exhibit may be loaned to Museums but would need a benefactor to facilitate shipping and insurance. 

the animals are innocent . an exhibit to lament climate change

   Intricately detailed hand crafted folk art toy boats full of animals and engaging paintings whimsically pull viewers into a world where water has displaced animal habitat. In tippy canoe and migrants to?, several dozen white rabbits are crowded into a lushly carved canoe on wheels.

abbits in a folkart boat on wheels depict the issue of migration
Rising seas, weather extremes leading to political unrest will compel both animals and people to seek new homes. In using animals to illustrate this issue I hope to open a channel of empathy that racism or territorial disputes might block otherwise.

Another has a fox steering a forest nestled in a boat to safer harbor in parts unknown.

fox floats a forest in his boat
Trees are precious, restoring the correct carbon balance to earth’s atmosphere. Deforestation, as human populations harvest or remove trees to plant crops, diminishes earth’s capacity to rebound from climate change. The disappearance of forested areas threatens animal and plant habitat providing food sources and wild areas.

close up of fox steering boat

Story text accompanies each boat, explaining the predicament that will be faced by its passengers. The exhibit begins with the following words:

 A long story has been written since the first bits of life began here on earth.

This is the chapter where we face ourselves.

 “I created this exhibit in hopes of nudging people to look beyond themselves to not only what we will be facing in the future through climate change, but also the impacts we are responsible for affecting earth’s other living creatures.” -Dana Simson

a boat full of happy rats
Three rats figure out their next move.
One of the most adaptable and intelligent animals, rats have
traveled by ship for centuries and are adept at helping themselves to whatever food they might pilfer while aboard.

detail rat with cheese flag

There are 10 folk art boats on wheels in the exhibit at present, but more will be added. A boat on fire full of Koalas is in the works to decry the current horrible fires ravaging Australia. As habitats  change, challenges rise for creatures living there.

A polar bear looks backward and a penguin searches the future
A polar bear and penguin search for new home to sustain them.
Their boat is filled with broken safety glass as chunks of ice.
While both are endangered, the Polar Bear will have a much harder time.
He looks to the past to what was. The penguin looks forward hopefully.

detail of polar bear in boatI hope to create a video of the exhibit so it can travel worldwide to offer it’s message. Some of the paintings in the Animals are innocent are below:

bear and cat in a boat
Animals are set adrift with little to sustain them.

Bare Boat

a deer with birds confronts us
The animals need our voices to be heard.

The Messenger

Love is symmetrical. Love the earth and she will love you in return.


The exhibit “the animals are innocent” can promote change.

I wrote Come Together . a handbook to retool for the future, to compliment this exhibit. The content offers easy changes to promote a healthier planet through daily choices we can make starting now. It is available through Green Writer’s press or on my website:

You can reach me through my website. Thank you for your comments or for sharing this post!

best wishes for a greener 2020,


I will be posting easy ways to “walk the walk” and my upcoming adventures working for bottom up change for a happy planet.


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Come Together . A handbook for daily action to stem Climate Change

handbook-for-individual-action-to stem-climate-change

Out Spring 2021 . order now  and I will sign your book. Green Writer’s Press . 170 pages . ships by Oct 1, 2019

Come Together is a useful handbook for a greener future is full of things you can do now to help stem climate change. It is an engaging handbook to launch a movement of individuals to tackle global warming by simply retooling our daily actions. Take easy proactive steps develop a long term perspective based in civility, integrity and an invigorating love for our earth. Save money, lose clutter, live well, feel happy and healthier as you pull for the planet.

page-samples-showing-market-bag-tricks-fro shopping
interior spread . Little things add up!


A useful handbook for a greener future
Make smart changes through a bottoms up strategy for now where each of us is empowered to make a difference in little ways that trend to big solutions.The Movement of One is both the individual and all of us connected in this common goal. Pass this book on. We are the change.

interior-spread-from-book-Come-Together-on greener-travel
interior pages on greener travel . 


We need to Come Together to stem climate change

Find actions you can take to reach out to others in a positive way to go forward together. We can agree on one common goal. That we must address the health of the earth and take steps to live more mindfully on a daily basis. Come Together addresses how to tackle areas in both your home or office to simplify, declutter and create greener, healthier spaces. All areas of your day, from travel to shopping and eating better are covered. Learn to make your own personal care products and about the health benefits of essential oils. Save money  and remove toxic products from your home by using simple ingredients to create better cleaning supplies then chemical leaden commercial ones. 

how-to-recycle-hazardous-materials-commonly-found-in -your-home
how to recycle hazardous materials . things to avoid if possible


Take control of what you expose yourself and your family to

Learn about toxins that are not only bad for you, but can easily flow from your home into water supplies and the water we drink. It is as easy as changing your mindset to care. Pro-active practices make it easy to avoid buying into our addiction to plastic and false conveniences.

Read this book and pass it on- the earth will thank you. Earth day should be every day!

Out Spring 2021 . order now and I will sign your book.

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