How To Make an Old Design New Again…

Hello and I know it’s been awhile.  I’m still trying to finish some pastel paintings that are sitting by my desk, but I have been busy getting ready for my daughter’s graduation party, painting the inside of the house, etc etc… but I will get to them this week, I promise.

I just thought I would post this to show you how I have been taking some old designs that I have on hand (from years back) and making them into something more colorful and new.

This design here with the country girl on the swing was a cute design from the ’70’s.  It was made to have just 3 colors, because way back then, color was very expensive at the printers for a big run.(Yes…we took everything to the printers!) So for interest sake, I drew the designs out on ivory stock with black ink, colored them in with red marker and it gave the designs this interesting vintage-look.

Here is a picture of one of the older designs, and the other picture shows how I changed the look to make it more marketable today, colors and all.  Of course, I will also offer the old designs as well, as there are still people who prefer vintage to new, but this is just for example. The new design was done in watercolors and ink on watercolor paper. This is currently on Etsy at Hope you like the change!

Old Design from the'70's

Old Design from the’70’s

Newer Updated Watercolor Version

Newer Updated Watercolor Version

“Sometimes”, said Pooh…an illustrated quote

This watercolor picture I did for a niece who is having a baby in September.  She loved this quote and so I used it just like it came from the book and altered a vintage drawing of Pooh and Piglet walking up a hill.  I tried to color it to look like it was old so it is not bright in color, but adds to it I think.  Ernest Shepard is the original artist of the drawing, I just changed it up a bit.  Hope you like it.

Pooh and Piglet

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 Beauty Of The Hours (Reblog)

This is a quote I illustrated awhile back which I really love.  It’s how I really feel about living and enjoying every minute of every day.  Time goes by so quickly.  My kids are now 17, 19 and 20 years of age.  I was a stay- at- home mom, and I loved it.  I wouldn’t  have changed any of it.

The Beauty Of The Hours

Today, as I was folding clothes on my bed, I put on an old CD I used to play for the kids when they were small and read their books.  It was music from the Beatrix Potter animated series that was on PBS (see below).  I love this CD as it helps me focus and think like a child when I have to be creative, drawing,etc.  When I started listening, I almost wanted to cry.  I could picture the three of them sitting on the couch, curled up reading their books.  Their stuffed animals cuddled under their arms while having a snack.  I remember this as clearly as it happened yesterday.  Times were so laid back then.  No homework, studying for SAT’s, driver’s ed and dating problems.  It was excitement, playfulness and innocence.  Hugs and kisses.  I’d take it all back in a second.

Anyway, before I get too emotional, this is what made me want to illustrate this quote.  This is what I picture when I read the words.  It makes me feel serene looking at the girl on the beach, just enjoying something as simple as listening to a seashell.  Can’t you hear it?  Enjoy!


Days Of Innocence (My Kids Patrick, Caitlin and Kelsey about 12 yrs. ago)

My kids reading their books before bedtime. 😦

Little Red Sneakers (A Poem and reblog)

I am posting this yet again, as I see people still look this one up now and again. Enjoy!!!

Here is a poem from my journal that was written 6/21/93.  It is about my children and wanting never to forget all the special memories of their childhood. The red sneakers were Patrick’s, and they were little  canvas high tops-so cute!  (He had several different pairs, and I even saved a pair of velcro cuties!)

This poem is titled:


I want to remember,

Little red sneakers, sandboxes and swings,

and all the little childhood things.

Little Red Sneakers 🙂 (Yes, I saved them)

Joyful laughter-wiping tears, I want to remember through the years.

Ice cream, lollipops and licorice,too,

Wagons and bicycles-a stroller for two.

Christmases and birthdays, when everyone’s over,

Ernie and Bert, Oscar and Grover.

Bathing suits and summer fun, a kiss and hug for everyone.

Carousels and pony rides, cookouts and climbing slides.

A wading pool, chock-full of toys,

Climbing trees is for little boys!

Scampering feet on wooden floors,

Singing kid songs behind closed doors.

Christopher Robin and Winnie The Pooh,

Owl, Eeyore, Kanga and Roo.

Reading books on Mommy’s lap,


“Come on now kids, it’s time for your nap!”

Cookies and milk before going to bed.

Stroking blonde hair on a tired boys head.

The kiss and the hug,  the ” I  Love You!” before sleeping,

Lies deep within my heart, worth keeping.

These things I want to remember with pleasure.

Worth more than gold,

It’s a mother’s treasure!

The End


Jolly Joe, The Ice Cream Man (via Cherylmcnulty’s Blog)

I am noticing that this post on this story (which I hope to get published soon) seems to be the most popular on my blog. I am bringing it back to the front page of my blog to see what kind of views this could generate again. This has proven to be very interesting and has given me a little more encouragement on my end to seeing it in book form someday. Thank you all. 🙂

I am writing this in my blog to see what people think.  This is a story I wrote from my childhood, which stands out in my memory as clear as it happened yesterday, but in fact it was 40 years ago.  I wanted to reflect the images and the way I remember the way the days felt back then.  I'm sure if you grew up in the 60's, you can relate to this story.  This is one is on it's way to a publisher as we speak. I can really picture this story as a chil … Read More

via Cherylmcnulty's Blog

Little Red Sneakers (via Cherylmcnulty’s Blog)

I know I’ve reblogged this before, but I think it is a great poem and many people enjoyed this last time. Here’s one for all the moms that “want to remember” and know that special times with little ones never really last for very long. Thank God for memories! Enjoy!

Little Red Sneakers     Here is a poem from my journal that was written 6/21/93.  It is about my children and wanting never to forget all the special memories of their childhood. The … Read More

via Cherylmcnulty’s Blog

Penny Candy (A Trip Down Memory Lane)

Hi all!  I was just sitting here thinking, “What can I write about?”, when I thought of a conversation I had with my husband in the car the other day.  It was about going to the bakery as a kid (which would be 1950’s to 1960’s),  buying penny candy and filling up a small paper bag.  Then we both started naming all the candy we could remember.

Okay, here goes…the first that comes to mind is Squirrel Nuts, which were so chewy my teeth would stick together and  thought I would break my jaw as I tried to chew. They were too good, so I’d just keep placing them in my mouth.  Yes, yes…candy necklaces, which I wore (nerd) and candy dots on paper, which I think I ate my share of paper that stuck to the undersides.  Okay, Flying Saucers, you know, the candy that tastes like the church wafers, only slightly flavored with candy beads inside!  Still don’t know why they couldn’t give these out every Sunday at church instead.  Sorry .

Sky Bars were my favorite, 4 surprise creams in a bar. Yum!

Ok,  remember those wax bottles filled with sugary liquid???  I shudder now when I think of eating or swallowing that liquid and how sweet it was.  They were kind of like the energy shots of today!

There were Razzles, the candy that was also a gum…genius!  Pop rocks, rock candy, milk duds, caramel creams!  Oh yes, atomic fireballs!  They were so hot when you first put them in your mouth, it made your eyes water, until you got used to it.  Then they were just sweet and you had to bite them, take them out of your mouth and look at all the layers it had inside!!!  So cool!  When it was done, the experience was so cool, you had to do it all over again.

The coconut  3 striped candy, neopolitans.  Jelly Nougats, Chunkys, Ice Cubes,chuckles, necco wafers.  I could go on and on.

But the last is the absolute best…..W A X   L I P S!  Come on, there wasn’t a cooler candy around.  First you could wear them and make everyone laugh (just see photo below of my kids trying them out when they were younger).  Then after that you could place them in your mouth and chew it like a gum!  The flavor was irresistible!  Like a sweet vanilla or something.  Oh, take me back, I can’t stand it!  Why did everything seem more awesome when we were little!

Come to think of it, do you remember caps and cap guns.  You didn’t even need the gun really, just a big rock.  You slam the rock down on the cap and “Bang!”.  Then you pick up the red burnt paper and you did ,what????  Yes,  you’d smell it!  Oh, the sweet smell of sulfur!

And then the “Snakes”.  These were always available around the 4th of July. They were black tablets you lit a match to, and it grew an ash snake that looked like it was alive as it coiled around…Oh my God!  I guess this is going to have to be another post!!!  I keep remembering stuff, see what you made me do!

Oh well, I hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane, or Candy Lane, I should say.  Hey wait, that sounds sort of like Candy Land.  Remember the game Candy Land???  I loved that game …with all those yummy pictures and neat candy names!  And then there’s the Mystery Date game???

Wait!!!  Stop!  Stop!

I gotta go….Bye! 🙂

My Mick Jagger look alike kids with their wax lips

Jolly Joe, The Ice Cream Man

I am writing this in my blog to see what people think.  This is a story I wrote from my childhood, which stands out in my memory as clear as it happened yesterday, but in fact it was 40 years ago.  I wanted to reflect the images and the way I remember the way the days felt back then.  I’m sure if you grew up in the 60’s, you can relate to this story.  This is one is on it’s way to a publisher as we speak. I can really picture this story as a children’s picture book.  I hope you like it.  Enjoy. 🙂  Cheryl


The nickel mom gave me was clenched tight in my sweaty, left fist.  It wasn’t going anywhere, at least not yet.

I sat patiently on the curb in front of my house, drawing pictures on the roasting pavement with rocks.  It was something to do while I waited-waited for the sweet sound of the ice cream man.

Those summer mornings of long ago always dawned hazy and cool, but by noontime, turned sunny and sizzling.  Cicadas droned their long, lonely songs promising another day of uncomfortable weather; while dogs laid lifeless, panting heavily in the shade.

Since it was too hot to play, the neighborhood children sat quietly in their wading pools, played board games or just read books.  It seemed the whole neighborhood was sleeping.

Suddenly we heard it!

“Clang!”   “Clang!”   “Clang!”

Oh, that  marvelous sound!

“Clang!”   “Clang!”   “Clang!”

The ice cream man was coming and his bell broke through the still, dank air like shattering  glass!  The red and white truck gleamed as it rounded the corner of our street.

“Clang!”   “Clang!”  “Clang!”

His bell beckoned every child and the neighborhood sprang back to life again.  It was like magic!

His name was Jolly Joe and he was always on time, half-past noon. He wasn’t your ordinary ice cream man, and he didn’t drive an ordinary ice cream truck.Unlike the larger, square trucks today, Jolly Joe’s truck was small, and all of it’s corners were rounded.  Vibrant stickers of assorted, frosty ice cream treats were strewn across it’s sides,  seeming so real and tasty, our mouths watered in anticipation.

The back of his truck was made of smooth, shiny aluminum and had small, compartment doors cut into it.  Each door had it’s own lever, but had nothing to reveal the treasure it held deep inside.  I’ll never know just how he did it, but he always knew which door to open for each child’s special selection.

Clutching my nickel tight, I’d run to the back of the truck where a small group of children were quickly gathering. Jolly Joe jumped out and walked toward us.  The sun glistened upon his greased, jet black hair.  He was an older man with a pleasant face and a welcoming smile.  He was short, round,  and yes, very jolly.  He knew us all by name and knew all of our favorite ice cream treats.

There were chocolate nut cones, ice cream sandwiches and assorted ice pops in every flavor.  Strawberry Shortcakes, Chocolate Eclairs and Cherry Bombs to name just a few.

Then there was my favorite ice cream of all -the Buried Treasure!  It was called the Buried Treasure because you had to eat all the raspberry ice cream to discover the “treasure” deep inside.  An imprint on the plastic stick!  It might be a lion, a dog, or even a funny clown.  Whatever it was, it was well worth the wait!

The money belt Jolly Joe wore around his middle made a merry “chink”, chink” sound as he collected coins or just made change.  Small puffs of freezer smoke escaped each compartment door as he opened them one by one.

Then it was finally my turn!  He dug his arm deep inside the frigid compartment up to his shoulder.  He’d pause for a moment, and a puzzled look would cross his face.  Then quick as a flash, he had it!  My Buried Treasure!  I couldn’t wait to taste the cool, sweetness sliding down my parched throat.

I managed a muffled “thank you”, as he tousled my damp hair.

Choices were made.  Money was exchanged.  Then as quickly as it had begun, it was soon over.  It was time for Jolly Joe to go.

He climbed back into his cab and waved us off.  Excited, sticky-faced, children were everywhere, playing and laughing again.

“Bye!” they all called back.  Then the merry bell rang again.

“Clang!”  “Clang!”  Clang!”

Over and over it rang, until it slowly faded in the distance.

How I hated to see him go, because then I knew it would just be another long, hot and boring day again. But I knew the next day he’d be back again.  I’d clutch my nickel tight and run, and it would be magic all over again.


How I remember Jolly Joe




For The Laughter Of Children

I know…I’m sorry.  It has been some time since I wrote my last blog. It has been crazy and I can’t seem to straighten out my new schedule and find time to do everything I want to do.  but I figured I’d just throw something out there and go with it.

This illustration I did awhile ago and it brings back such memories for me as a child.  I remember going outside early in the morning and not going back in, except for bathroom breaks and lunch.  I’d come back to the house when the street lights would come on.  Wow, how things change.

We played hopscotch, softball, statue, red light green light, tag…you name it.  it was great.  Now today, there is not one kid I know that is not looking down at their Blackberry, phone or otherwise.  They don’t even look up.  “Hellllooo!  I’m over here!!!”  Whatever happened to conversing , for God’s sake!

I don’t get it.

But anyway, I know when I am sitting in a park by myself, or even in my backyard on my deck…and I hear children in the distance at recess at the nearby school, and I hear laughter, It brings it all back.  The innocence and  feeling  of ultimate freedom that a child possesses, I’d take it back in a minute.

Yes, thank God for the laughter of children.  It’s like music for the tired soul.  🙂

For The Laughter Of Children