The Snowman (A Children’s Classic Christmas DVD)

For those of you who do not know me…I love Christmas.  Yes, I’m the one that secretly plays Christmas music well before Thanksgiving, mostly so I can be more creative in my drawing.  I don’t know, but the songs,  or even the music alone, brings out the child in me. I also love certain Christmas movies that I just have to play year after year, no matter how old I get.  I just have to.
One is of course, is A Charlie Brown Christmas. That’s a given.  Second, The House Without A Christmas Tree (my favorite). Third…The Snowman.  If you have not seen this one, you have to.  I first saw it on TV when the kids were small and they just sat in awe the whole time it was on.  Of course, I loved it because of the artwork and creativity in the piece. But, the interest lies in the fact that it is based on a children’s book which has no words…and so they made the movie wordless as well, except for a few sounds and a musical flying scene, which is one of the best parts of the movie. The drawings are done in colored pencil (which is my media)and it plays on the fantasy of every child’s dream, a snowman coming to life.  He plays with the boy who created him and takes him on an adventure all in one night.
Here is a description of the movie I found on Amazon:
‘This is a charming British animated short film based on the classic children’s book by Raymond Briggs and crafted with a colored-pencils-on-paper look, like fluffy, hand-drawn illustrations.  It tells the story (although without words) of a small boy in rural England whose lovingly constructed snowman comes to life and takes him flying over the white-blanketed landscapes, in a beautiful rotoscoped (traced) sequence based on live-action flying footage. Part of the charm of the film is the gentle, everyday quality of its fantasy adventures: the snowman is invited in to try on clothes and play with the Christmas decorations, then plays host to the boy at a party in the woods, at which his snowy relatives do English country dances. This is one of the very few Christmas tapes on the market that really deserves to be a holiday perennial, a gentle fable of friendship and the power of imagination.” –David Chute
I have found the flying scene on you tube and the music you may be familiar with.  The song is beautiful…please listen.
So please, if you get a chance to rent the movie or buy it , please do and add it to that collection of yours.  You won’t regret it.  Also, don’t be disappointed in the end.  Just play it from the beginning and it starts the adventure all over again.  There’s always hope. 🙂

The Goblins Will Get Ya If Ya Don’t Watch Out! A Poem For Halloween!

Hello all!

I decided I’d post something fun.  Here is another poem my mother would read to us when we were small, and we loved it!  I can still hear her voice as she raised and lowered her voice to fit the parts.  It was funny,but scary.  And of course, I would read it to my children, with much enthusiasm.  It’s the only way.  You’ll see what I mean when you read it.  So Enjoy and share this one.  But remember…be good!

This is by James Whitcomb Riley:

To all the little children: — The happy ones; and sad ones;The sober and the silent ones; the boisterous and glad ones; The good ones — Yes, the good ones, too; and all the lovely bad ones.

Little Orphant Annie
James Whitcomb Riley
Little Orphan Annie’s come to my house to stay.
To wash the cups and saucers up and brush the crumbs away.
To shoo the chickens from the porch and dust the hearth and sweep,
and make the fire and bake the bread to earn her board and keep.
While all us other children, when the supper things is done,
we sit around the kitchen fire and has the mostest fun,
a listening to the witch tales that Annie tells about
and the goblins will get ya if ya don’t watch out!
Once there was a little boy who wouldn’t say his prayers,
and when he went to bed at night away up stairs,
his mammy heard him holler and his daddy heard him bawl,
and when they turned the covers down, he wasn’t there at all!
They searched him in the attic room and cubby hole and press
and even up the chimney flu and every wheres, I guess,
but all they ever found of him was just his pants and round-abouts
and the goblins will get ya if ya don’t watch out!!Once there was a little girl who always laughed and grinned
and made fun of everyone, of all her blood and kin,
and once when there was company and old folks was there,
she mocked them and she shocked them and said, she didn’t care.
And just as she turned on her heels to go and run and hide,
there was two great big black things a standing by her side.
They snatched her through the ceiling fore she knew what shes about,
and the goblins will get ya if ya don’t watch out!!
When the night is dark and scary, and the moon is full
and creatures are a flying and the wind goes Whoooooooooo,
you better mind your parents and your teachers fond and dear,
and cherish them that loves ya, and dry the orphans tears
and help the poor and needy ones that cluster all about,
or the goblins will get ya if ya don’t watch out!!!

This Scares Me, Too!

There Is No Friend

 This illustration was designed originally for my children’s catholic elementary school when they were selling items for the school itself.  That is why the little girl has a uniform on.

I always liked the quote and I love to read myself, so to illustrate this was rather easy for me.  

I love to curl up with an enjoyable book and sit in a quiet corner and get lost in a  good story. 

But you don’t have to sit under a tree with apples either!  You can sit on a couch wrapped in a snuggie, and have tea and crackers- it doesn’t matter!

A book can truly be a loyal friend, making your loneliness disappear, keeping you company and taking you places you never dreamed of. Enjoy! 🙂

There Is No Friend As Loyal As A Book

Ernest H. Shepard

When I was a little girl, my mom would read to my sister and I before bed and it was usually from A.A. Milne’s, “Winnie The Pooh” or “Now We Are Six”.  I simply loved the stories and assorted poems.  For me, Shepard’s simple black, ink drawings were perfect, and I couldn’t wait for my mother to turn each page to reveal the next one!  I truly believe these drawings influenced the way I draw today.

Shepard  seemed to draw children so simply, yet the form and actions of the children he drew were so life-like. Whether it’s Christopher Robin kicking up leaves in his high boots as he walks along with his nanny, marching to the pond with his fishing pole, skipping rope or just sitting up in his bed with the “sneezles”, it’s so innocent  and real.  He’s captured everything perfectly in a tiny black sketch, that I try to capture in an illustration that’s completely colored.  Sometimes, it’s more perfect in it’s simpleness.

When I want to be inspired creatively, I sometimes just go through these books by Milne. I want to try to capture the same feeling I had when my mother read to me from these books long ago -a combination of innocence, playfulness and comfort. 

The two, Milne and Shepard, were perfect together for these books and I’m sure they will be favorites for years to come.:)

Shepard's drawing from poem "Buttercup Days". My favorite.

Charlotte and Friends – Another Page


Charlotte and Friends


Here is another page from the picture book I created titled “Charlotte and Friends Picnic ABC”.  This is a rhyming abc book containing 3 friends packing a picnic basket for their special

outing.  I  plan on sending this out to another publisher again, soon.  I just thought it would be interesting to show you.

This is Charlotte (rag doll), Gunther (goose), and Toby (Scottish Terrier) and this is for the letter “F”.  I feel like Sesame Street!  Hope you like it.:)

Laura Ingalls Wilder and Auld Lang Syne

I love Laura Ingalls Wilder.  When you read her series of books, you can’t help but feel like your part of her family growing up in and experiencing the pioneer days.  All the inventions, the building of new towns, home cooked meals, and even going through the daily struggles, all seem so real.  She remembers everything.  When you read  her words, they are so descriptive.  You “feel” the wind and “smell” those prairie flowers and “see” that endless prairie sky.

I read this series not as a child, but later on, when the tv series came out.  I guess I was more of a late teen.  So, being curious about her stories,  I bought the set and read every one.  I was totally lost in them, and  as I read , felt I was the camera person watching and filming her family experiences on the sidelines. I even bought a book about her biography, and can’t even fathom the fact she was the last one in her immediate family to pass away .  She had to see each one of them die before her.  How sad that must have been to someone who had such fond and vivid memories.  I pray this doesn’t happen to me.

Because of Laura Ingalls Wilder, we now know of her family.  The names, their personalities , their friends and even their homes and places they lived.  They will always be alive now because of her, and that’s her legacy.

There is one part  in her series that has always stayed with me, (besides the very sad part where Jack the dog,dies), and that’s where Laura asks about “Auld Lang Syne” after Pa plays it on the fiddle:

“When the fiddle had stopped playing, Laura called out softly, “What are the days of auld lang syne, Pa?”

“They are the days of a long time ago, Laura.” Pa said. “Go to sleep, now.”

But Laura lay awake a little while, listening to Pa’s fiddle softly playing and to the lonely sound of the wind in the Big Woods…

She was glad that the cozy house, and Pa and Ma and the firelight and the music, were now.  They could not be forgotten, she thought, because now is now.  It can never be a long time ago.”

“Now is now.  It can never be a long time ago.”  This quote haunts me and I can’t seem to get it out of my mind.  It seems so sad to me because I feel, or have felt, the same way.  Happy times I remember experiencing from my past that I never wanted to end, that’s when I have thought this. But these times do become “days of long ago”, and that’s the sad part.  My parents have passed away almost 20 years now, graduations and birthdays have  come and gone, and through it all,  I kept thinking that these times could never be a long time ago, but they are.  It does often make me sad.

I guess the lesson here is to be happy in, and live the most of each day you are given, “now”.

Then we won’t really regret the “long time ago” part.

Thank you Laura for teaching us so much! 🙂  Cheryl

p.s.  I will definitely  be illustrating a picture of this quote, you can bet on it.

Another Silhouette

Here is a pic of a silhouette I had done for my sister-in-law for Christmas.  It looks kind of peaceful, doesn’t it.  i told my sister-in-law you could look at it as a vintage picture, a woman reading a book in her long dress (looking out the window) or it could be a picture of me with my hair up and a “snuggie” on!  🙂

Looking Out The Window