Friday, January 3, 2014

Sneaky Art and a Giveaway

Author Marthe Jocelyn
Note: The winner of this giveaway is Ellie L. Congratulations Ellie and thanks to all that enter the giveaway.

I’m delighted to be participating in author Marthe Jocelyn’s WOW Virtual Book Tour for her charming book, SNEAKY ART: CRAFTY PROJECTS TO HIDE IN PLAIN SIGHT.

The book is geared toward youngsters in grades 3 to 7 (ages 8 to 12), but can be enjoyed by all ages. An added bonus of Marthe’s stop here at Thoughts in Progress today, she’s giving away one copy of this fun book to a lucky visitor. Please see the end of the post for the giveaway details.

Here’s a brief synopsis of SNEAKY ART:

      For young artists, tricksters, and crafters, here is a hip, friendly how-to manual for creating removable and shareable art projects from easily found materials.
      The sneaky part is in the installation! Each work of art is custom-created for display in public places — a tiny cork-bottomed boat in a public fountain, a plate of tiny paper cupcakes on your teacher’s desk, a penny left on the ground for a stranger, a funny message left on your mother’s bathroom mirror, and more.
      This utterly unique guide — part craft book, part art-philosophy — offers a stylish and sweet "made-you-look-twice" spirit of fun meant to put a smile on the faces of strangers and loved ones alike.

Now Marthe joins us to talk about her book and to answer a question for me. "What is sneaky art? Is it something that has been around for awhile or something you developed?"
Welcome, Marthe.

Thanks for hosting my book as part of its holiday season blog tour!

The book, written for young readers and artists but appealing to mischief-makers of all ages, is called Sneaky Art: Crafty Projects to Hide in Plain Sight.

Although I may have coined the phrase 'sneaky art' and wrapped it in a child-friendly package, the concept has been around in one form or another since people first painted on the walls of caves. (I had a discussion with my sister about whether cave paintings counted as sneaky art. I'm assuming they were probably more about storytelling and even happened in front of onlookers - therefore NOT sneaky!) Sneaky art is more of a greeting than a story or a comment.

Keith Haring

Keith Haring was a young artist who worked in New York City during the early 1980's and used chalk to draw images on empty black advertising space in the subways. 

I like to think of Keith as the 'originator of contemporary sneaky art' because his approach was (almost) in sync with what I tell kids in the introduction of my book: Sneaky Art is NOT: mean, defacing, ugly, hurtful, messy, or permanent. Sneaky Art is NOT graffiti or marking up someone else’s property.

Sneaky Art IS: funny, clever, thoughtful, temporary, subversive, playful, and surprising!

The transit authority probably considered Keith's drawings to be defacing but since they were usually made with chalk, they definitely qualified as temporary.

Here, however, I'm sure the "mason" who did this repair job is hoping for a permanent fix... 

Sneaky comes in all shapes and materials...

"Yarn-bombing" has become a worldwide fad in the past couple of years with devoted naughty knitters covering everything from tree branches and park benches to whole schools and bridges.

  THAT is some serious sneaky art!

In the book we call it yarn-blasting and suggest the kids make yarn braids to simplify their installations - or a single strand:

Kids are pretty great at adapting any idea they see into what works for their own artistic expression. Here's what can happen to a coffee filter:

It's a new year. Clean out the recycling bin, find some glue and go get sneaky! Cheers from

Marthe, thanks for joining us today and sharing this look at sneaky art. It’s a fun way to brighten other’s day and make someone smile.

Now let me share a bit about Marthe.

She spent her childhood in Toronto reading books and putting on plays and circuses in her backyard. Marthe has a long string of jobs: theatre usher, cookie seller, waitress, photo stylist, even toy designer before she finally settled on writer. She has written over two dozen books of all shapes and sizes.

Marthe lives in Ontario with her daughters Nell and Hannah but still enjoys visiting New York City often.

For more on Marthe and her writing, visit her website, the Sneaky Art website, and connect with her on Twitter @scissorhouse.


This giveaway is for one copy of SNEAKY ART. The contest is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada only and no post office box addresses can be accepted.

To enter this giveaway, please send me an e-mail ( with the subject line, “Win Sneaky Art.” The deadline to enter this giveaway for a chance to win a copy of SNEAKY ART: CRAFTY PROJECTS TO HIDE IN PLAIN SIGHT is 8 p.m. (EST) on Friday, Jan. 10.

Thanks for stopping by today. Were you already familiar with sneaky art before this post? Have you ever showed your creativity through sneaky art?


  1. Mason - Thanks for hosting Marthe.

    Marthe - I hadn't heard of sneaky art before. That is so creative and innovative! Thanks for sharing. And I really like those 'photos.

  2. Marthe, thanks again for joining us today. It was fun learning about sneaky art. Wishing you continued success.

  3. What a wonderful idea. I'd seen the yarn bombing on trees and benches. Sneaky art is a fun way to brighten up the day.

  4. I think I've seen some signs of sneaky art in the past. Small drawings on a wall. String art hanging from tree branches. There was even a news story quite awhile ago about someone who was decorating tree trunks with crocheted coverings. Cute book cover.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.