December 29, 2011

An Addition

One the gifts I received for Christmas this year was another beautiful book illustrated by Janet and Anne Grahame Johnstone to add to my collection.  This one is an ABC book of rhymes and verse.  Their illustrations are one of my biggest inspirations. 

December 27, 2011

Post Festivities Post

Here in our household we just finished up the last of the scheduled holiday gatherings.  It has been a very deep and wonderful Christmas. 
Christmas morning before the kids woke up

I'm excited to have added Prisma color markers to my tools of the trade.  Since the colors correspond with my pencils, I'm discovering how beautifully the ink sharpens the look of the colored pencil.  Looking forward to many happy hours of coloring in the upcoming year!

December 21, 2011

A Christmas Pageant

Here is the preface to a wildly beautiful Christmas pageant written and illustrated in 1937 by Mary Lane McMillan.

Night Full of Stars

If you are looking for something truly magical to enjoy in celebration of Christmas,  I highly recommend visiting the beautiful bridge at Old Salem after dark.  They have filled the ceiling of  that amazing bridge with all sizes and shapes of Moravian Stars.  It has it's own kind of quiet in there and the wood and star canopy is really magical. 

December 16, 2011

Another View

Here are two pieces done by Conrad Pickel taken from the 1974, forty-forth Christmas Annual.  I really love this artist's boldness in stylizing and using black lines.  I think these pieces speak loud and clear!

December 8, 2011


Volume 18, printed in 1948 is one of my favorite issues.  This first piece is illustrated by Stryker Ingerman.  He is one of my favorite Christmas illustrators.

This is work by Sada Jones.  It is part of a collection of illustrated Christmas Carols. 

December 5, 2011


This beautiful illustration was done by Sada Jones in the 1964 Volume 34 Christmas Annual. 

Oddly Me

I had the privilege of meeting an amazing artist last Saturday.  His name is Mark Bowman and he is gifted with the ability to do caricatures.  I have always been amazed by this art form.  He not only captured me and my bottom lip quite well, but he even fit in part of a conversation about a giraffe we were having. 

Mark is available for corporate events, weddings, birthdays and illustrations.  You can contact him at

December 3, 2011

Christmas Treasures

I have a highly treasured collection of antique Christmas annuals.  They are called "American Annuals of Christmas Literature and Art".  Augsburg Publishing House began putting them out in 1932.  They are beautiful on so many levels.  They have become one of the highlights of how I celebrate Christmas.  They are full of art, poems, scriptures, illustrated hymns, stories, articles and meditations on Christmas.  I'm getting a late start, but I will do my best to share bits and pieces of them for the month of December.

1945 cover illustrated by Lee Mero
illustration by Elizabeth Martin

1938 photograph

November 23, 2011

It's That Time!

Happy Thanksgiving!  It is such a wonderful practice to focus on our blessedness and to give thanks for every good thing.  It is time for many of my favorite things in life to take place. 

The light in the morning this time of year is so inspiring. 

I can't help myself.  I decorate my tree before Thanksgiving now.  I used to wait until the day after, but I just get too excited, and one of the luxuries of being an adult (with childish Christmas glee) is that you don't have to wait if you don't want to! 

It's time for clementines!
It's time to make sure the bird feeders are full.
It's time for me to clean out the bird bath.
It's time for the holly berries to turn bright red.  A neighbor told me yesterday, that when the holly bushes make lots and lots of berries like this that it is a sign that we are in for a long, cold winter.  Hmmm...
It's time to harvest my miniature pomegranates for holiday decorating.  They are a touch too sour to eat. 

It's time, as it is always time, for me to give thanks for the over abundance of God's grace and love and protection and blessing over my life. 

November 16, 2011

The Great Autumn Inspiration

Winston-Salem is blessed with Old Salem and Old Salem is blessed with the most glorious gingko tree.  We make it a point to take time to sit under it every year around this time because it is so remarkable with all it's butter colored, fan shaped leaves.  I've yet to get a picture that even comes close to capturing what it is like to see it. 
My Alice Under the Tree.

November 15, 2011

New block, Old Cactus

I completed the next block in my quest of block basket domination. 

My Sister-in -law Lisa gave me a gift of this Christmas Cactus years ago.  I have dearly loved it and believe that it must be in it's finest hour.  It is covered in sparkling blooms and I am really appreciating it.

November 9, 2011

A Perfect Afternoon

In efforts of soaking in as much as possible of the perfectly beautiful weather we enjoyed today, I lugged some of my paints out into the back yard and began what I hope will be a new practice for me.  Asher has a basket of old unfinished wooden blocks that children use for building towers.  I painted one today.  I put the date on it when I finished.  I would like to think that I will over time manage to paint every block in the basket.  I envision that by the time I have grandchildren of my own ( many years from now) that I will be able to offer them a whole beautiful set of hand painted and dated blocks, each reflecting a day or thought from when they were made.  Maybe I'm going crazy...

A Colorful Proclamation

November 8, 2011

Picture Treat

Because I plan on decorating for Christmas soon, which is far and above one of my most favorite things in the world to do, I realized a need to clean out a little of what I have accumulated over the year.  That usually means children's books.  One that I decided to pass onto the next lucky finder is an old double sided book.  One half of the book if Peter Pan and when you flip it the other half is Alice and Wonderland.  The illustrations were made by Marjorie Torrey.  They are amazing and very sweet.

October 31, 2011

Ready to Go

Upon finishing this design, I decided that I will only be doing two new Christmas cards this year.  I will be posting them on my Etsy shop and  my website  if any of you would like to place an order! 

October 25, 2011

Good Tidings

Here is next up for Christmas designs.  I like great big heavens! 

October 18, 2011

The Amazing Asher

My 8 year old son Asher drew this remarkably detailed drawing on his dry erase board yesterday.  The dry erase board is his favorite medium and he will invest huge amounts of time into his drawings and then happily erase them to move on to the next one. 

Here is an emerald city he made out of a collection of unmarked dice. 

October 12, 2011


This is a drawing I did per request for my nephew Ben's 16th birthday. 

October 11, 2011

Too Many To Count

We made a visit to Reynolda Gardens this past weekend.  It is one of those places where, at any given point in the year , you can be surrounded by wonderous things.  I took heaps of pictures.  Here are a few.