Friday, December 24, 2010

Olive, The Other Reindeer

How cute of an idea was this book?!

I love the color palette, design and style of this book. It catches my eye on the shelves every time. Of course it's a story about a dog, one of my favorite creatures. Olive has the biggest heart and just wants to help. Dogs are just so that way.

Happy Christmas Eve, all!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Kelly:The holiday book that spawned the cartoon that rocks my world

This is the book that started it all.
Before Chuck Jones received that fateful call.
This book in hand gave Chuck all that he needed-
He rushed off to his drawing table and his pencil speeded.
When done - there it was a, Christmas masterpiece.
Then all of the joy he felt started to cease.
He realized one can not improve upon perfection.
It was Dr. Seuss who provided the ultimate Christmas reflection:

"And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more. "

Best - ever.
Who doesn't want to read like Boris Karloff to their kids on Christmas Eve?

See how good it is?  - 3 of us picked it!!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Heather's Holiday Book Pick - The Polar Express

When I was a teenager there was a tiny bookshop in my hometown.  It was actually a Hallmark store, bookstore and town bus station rolled into one - quite a place.  I would visit at least once a week.  As a budding artist it was never short of inspiration.  My best friend's sister worked at Hallmark at the time and we would occasionally see one of her designs.  After pouring over greeting cards, little seasonal gifts and magazines there was the book aisle.  The children's book aisle. 

The first time I saw the Polar Express I was in awe.  So magical, such a beautiful story and the art work, well Mr. Van Allsburg knows his stuff and the Caldecott medal on the book cover attested to that fact.  I immediately laid down my hard earned babysitting money for this treasure - it would be the perfect gift for my young brother.

I knew as soon as I bought the book that I would have to give him an extra surprise to go with it.  And that led me to the Five and Dime store, yes our town had an honest to goodness Five and Dime.  There I found a large jingle bell and a small box.  I took the bell home and removed the inner ball.  You know - it had to be the magic bell from Santa that only those who believed would hear it. 

My younger brother at first was a little miffed that I gave him a broken bell, but as soon as I read the story to him and asked if his bell was still broken - he assured me no, he could hear it.  And for just that night on that Christmas long ago as a jaded teenager, I could too.

And on a side note the book takes place in Grand Rapids, Michigan - a city I called home for many years during and after college.  So now the story has a slightly more nostalgic feel for me and there are parts of the town that still look like the neighborhood in the book.

I hope you find some magic as your enjoy the holiday season with loved ones.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Diandra-Holiday Book Pick 2-The Grinch

"You're a mean one, Mister Grinch..." My children are very young, and so this is the first year we've really swung gung-ho into all things holiday. Needless to say, our library of holiday books is very thin.  I am slowly building it, seeing which books fit us and which don't.  One book I consider a must-have is the classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas. I still hear Boris Karloff's voice whenever I read it, and I never ever get tired of reading it aloud. My son is of an age now where he can gasp in horror at the Grinch's actions and worry about the lack of a Christmas, and all of that interaction makes reading the book that much more enjoyable. I hope he learns to love it as much as I do, because I see the reading of The Grinch becoming one of our holiday traditions.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Priscilla ~ Christmas Book Favorite!

Amazingly gifted paper engineer and pop-up book creator, Robert Sabuda is one of my most favorite illustrators!  Any of his books are top choices, but this one featured here is especially enjoyable this time of year.

Go to Robert's website, and you will find all types of treats and goodies ~ steps on how to make this pop-up Santa Claus is just one of the treasures you'll find there.

Hope this week is starting off wonderfully for each of you!  We'll be sharing more of our favorite Holiday books, so please do stop by each day for a visit!  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Sketch Interview: Alicia Padron

Thanks to Alicia for such a sweet interview. 

See more of Alicia's work on her blog and website.

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Grinch

It just isn't Christmas without The Grinch!

The book has a wonderful message. It doesn't matter about all of the decorations, the huge amount of food and goodies, who bought who (in Whoville) what present and just the all around craziness the holidays bring. We all need to reflect and just be grateful for what we have, who we have in our lives and that we should let them know they are loved.

Of course every year I love to watch the Chuck Jones animated version of the book. LOVE it! The characters and animation are great, the dog is especially my favorite :o)

Happy Christmas everyone!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Kelly's picks for Holiday Books- a view askew

Two of my favorite holiday books have come from the wickedly clever mind of Lemony Snicket.

The Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming: A Christmas Story

 I LUV it! We are a catholic/jewish blend- "Cathews"- we call ourselves. (Say it with a lisp a la Sylvester the cat- sounds like cashews)
 This book fits us better than custom made Christmas stockings. Best when read by the husband (the jewish boy)- adding an appropriate Jackie Mason voice to the latke. This book is so perfectly out of left field. The humor slaps you in the face.- If you haven't read it , I won't spoil the ending.(mmm latkes are good eatin' !)

The Lump of Coal

So- I thought Mr. Snicket had created holiday subversive perfection with the latke dude- and then... the Coal dude.
Confession: I received a lump of coal @ 7 years old. I did. I'm not proud of it. (OK! I AM!) Prouder to learn that the coal dude's journey into my stocking included a career in the fine art world. It's a book about finding yourself (I know, DEEP, right?)

Both of these are perfect stocking stuffer size. I hope you all add a little acid to the holiday sweetness and pick them up.- Holly Jolly!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Heather's Holiday Book Pick - Let it Snow

This book just warms me from my cocoa mug right down to my fuzzy slippers.  It's filled with holiday cheer, homemade goodness and the gift of friendship! 

I love the whimsical paintings and Holly Hobbie is a genius.  She brings to live such lovable and quirky characters in Toot and Puddle.  It's nice to show kids a simpler life, unplugged and full of creativity.  Toot and Puddle definitely deliver a homespun message. 

Hope you are having a merry and bright holiday as you search for or make the perfect gifts for your dearest ones.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Diandra-Holiday Book Pick: Stick Man

Taking her cue from the tale of the Gingerbread Man, Julia Donaldson creates a story all her own with Stick Man. When Stick Man goes out for a jog one morning he begins a journey that seems to have no end in sight. While enduring treatment that no good stick should, he is determined to make it back home to his family and the family tree in time for Christmas. Will a Christmas miracle occur? Or will Stick Man continue to have to deal with rough breaks?

This book was an instant hit in our house. It's quirky enough to entertain me and still grab and hold my three year old's attention. He ran around for days after the initial reading spouting, "I"m Stick Man! I'm Stick Man, I'm STICK MAN, that's me!" The illustrations are a treat as well. They're fun, friendly and detailed enough to have you taking a good look before you turn the page. Highly recommend it!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Priscilla ~ Holiday Book Picks Week!

Mark Buehner is one of my all-time favorite children's book illustrators.  I am telling you, just take a peek at this favorite Christmastime picturebook of mine, that he and his wife Caralyn created together!  Vibrant and illuminating colors throughout, and such hilarious snowpeople personalities!  A wonderfully fun treat to enjoy, especially at this time of year. 

Cheers to you and I'm hoping you find time this week to enjoy and share your favorite holiday book!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Priscilla ~ Cheers & Joy To You!

. . . . Adding to the sweet and wonderfully fun collection of gift tags that have been posted here on our blog all week long!    Download this page of tags here!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Holiday "Joy"

Here are some fun gift tags you can download! Print the pdf from this link HERE on nice card stock or even sticker paper. For an added touch, I made it so you can use a hole punch to punch a hole in the gold ball of the doxie's hat!

Have fun and happy holidays!


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Diandra-Tis the Season

We here at The Sketchables are so grateful for our readers! And to show our appreciation, we will each be sharing a gift label or two that we have created. You can print these out at home for personal use on sticker paper-easy peasy!  Simply click on the link below the designs to download the pdf to your computer.

Download Elves
Download Red Penguin Labels
 Happy Holidays, Everyone!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Friday, December 3, 2010

The "Joy" of holiday decorating

It's another quick, simple sketch from me this week. I haven't even had a chance to start decorating for the holidays yet! It's just been a crazy year. The dog is usually the most excited one in the house when I bring out the bins full of ornaments and Holiday cheer. She sits and watches me decorate the tree and is so curious about what's going on.

How are the holidays at your house? Is there someone who is more exuberant than everyone else?

Have a great weekend everyone!


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Holiday Decorating for Chanukah

"Sure kid- You're 11 next week! You are old enough to light the menorah!"

Famous last words last night from this shiksa's mouth.

She lit her finger on fire.

She's fine - wearing a band-aid. But she's not lighting it for the next 7 nights!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Decorating with Heather

One of my favorite festivities of the holiday is decorating the tree.  I used to go all out making new decorations each year.  We would treat the tree like a blank canvas and create ornaments around a theme.

This year I want to focus more on the spiritual side of the holiday and that includes reigning in my crazy over-the-top decorating.  So my girls and I will make a few new ornaments for this year, to spend some time together.  Our tree has evolved into a collection of handmade and nature themed decorations.  We are going to make some felt birds and wire nests.  My goal this year is to create an imperfectly decorated tree - I'm going to let everyone help and not 'correct' anything.  It's really about the memory, not the photo op!

A few of my favorite decorations:
1. Tiny straw stars from my Grandma
2. Paper ball ornaments that my husband made
3. Crocheted snowflakes
4. Wood acorns
5. Birds ornaments
6. Beaded snowflakes

It just isn't Christmas without the smell of a pine tree in my living room!

I love to sit on the couch after everyone has gone to bed, with a cup of hot chocolate and some quiet music in the background.  Stealing away some time to reflect and enjoy the peace of the season.

Wishing you merry and bright moments all through December!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Diandra- Deck the Halls

My favorite time of year has finally arrived!  Time to gather as a family, string the popcorn for garland, and recall the memories of each of the ornaments as they are placed on the tree. The Charlie Brown Christmas Soundtrack is on heavy rotation and while we don't use tinsel anymore (remember that stuff?) there is definitely a lot more sparkle around the house!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Priscilla ~ Sketching a Decoration

This week we'll be posting fun sketches surrounding holiday decorating or shopping themes ~ and i'm sharing this watercolor pencil sketch of a tiny little ornament I've had that actually and sadly lost it's twine to hang on our Christmas Tree, so I re-purposed it as a table top ornament.  The little wooden star is tenderly held up by some aging wire, and I just love the sweetness and simplicity of this keepsake.

Happy Decorating and Shopping you all!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

New Traditions -Kelly

This year, the kid went vegetarian. So today we "pour" the turkey into a mold. Our turkey will begin in a blender. Go into the oven and come out; some form of tan jello.

It is bizarre and fun to let the kid teach us some new lessons. End Results; more veggies and our very own pardon to a turkey - Go forth and gobble gobble another day you crazy lookin' bird!

It's nice to try a new tradition - maybe you can think of one for your family. Have a fantastic day filled with food, family and fun everyone!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I don't about your family, but in mine one of our biggest traditions is seeing who can sneak the most bites out of any of the given dishes that are simmering, baking, cooling or resting. The turkey and desserts are usually left alone, though. Probably because the culprit would be busted oh so easily. :) I hope everyone has a lovely, lovely holiday week.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Priscilla ~ Traditions Celebrated

A tradition I treasure ~ Every year we gather before our meal to give thanks to God for our blessings and being grateful for each family and friend gathered with us to celebrate Thanksgiving and to treasure the time we have with each other!  My precious father is almost 90 this Thanksgiving, and I am SO very thankful for him and his sparkly, joyful spirit!  =0)

I love the time we have together, the food, the laughter, the memories, the stories, the hugs, the joy.

Of course, I have to mention that cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie are my top priority favorites of all time.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Joyfull Thankfullness...

I really wish I had more time to work on a concept for this weeks sketch! I guess I'm thankful for the work I'm doing now that's keeping me busy :o). This is me sitting at my desk thinking about all of the things I am thankful for. I 'm sure I left things out, but those items could fit within these categories for sure. Specifically family and the support I get from my wonderful husband. See that belly, that's not just fat, but a future son. Pretty thankful for this little bundle, though not so much for the "joy" of pregnancy!

I try and take time once in a while to really stop and realize all that's positive in my life and be grateful for it! Life brings difficult things our way, so it's important to truly consider and reflect on all of the good aspects, too.

Thanks for visiting us here at The Sketchables! We're sure grateful for you :o)


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thankful to be- Kelly

 Most of my life I have felt like a square peg surrounded by round holes and the people who seem to effortlessly fit into them. (Yes- I loved that 80'show too)
Slowly- and it has taken a looonng time- I started to realize - I had no interest in those round holes.
So what I am thankful for this year, here at The Sketchables, online, in my Artist Mothers' Group and in my career and personal life are all of the other square pegs that I have met and gotten to know. We don't have to fit into those holes- cause we fit together - and we can hold each other up.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I'm Grateful For...

I don't know what this says about me - if I randomly wrote out what I was thankful for in no particular order and work seems to have the most emphasis.  I'm definitely grateful for the process of learning how to balance work and enjoying the rest of my life.  This Thanksgiving season I am filled to the rim with thankfulness for the blessings in my life.  For my family, my children and husband.  For my friends, all across the world and those right in my own backyard.  I'm thankful for the gifts of creativity and the joy of working with my hands to provide for my family.  I'm thankful for the beauty of nature, the comforts of my home and the wonder of art.  I'm thankful for the intangibles - love, faith, hope and joy.

Thank you Sketchables for being such a great group and thank you to those who visit us everyday!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


My sketch was almost identical to Priscilla's, so I thought I'd mix it up a little. :D

I'm grateful for: a partner to love and kisses from a sweet little boy, new little loves and family. A clean bill of health and the freedom to pursue my passions and express myself. Friends all over the world, who because of the internet, are never too far. And each one of you who visits our blog to share in our creative journey. Tell me, what are you thankful for?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Priscilla ~ SO Thankful.

Throughout this week we Sketchables are taking turns sharing what we're thankful for...and now I'd like to shout~out a big cheery THANK YOU to you for stopping by for a visit !  Hope you can spare a moment or two to share a comment of your own thankful thoughts!  

Friday, November 12, 2010

Somebody's gonna get a hug!

I love bears and really like to draw them.

Maurice Sendak's "Little Bear" has to be one of my favorite renditions of a bear cub. So cute and realistic with all kinds of personality.

I've always loved the idea of a bear cub having a doll, irony of a child having a Teddy Bear, hehe!

Have a fun weekend and be sure to hug your Teddy Bear!

Thanks for stopping by and for any comments!


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Hug a Bear - Hug a Soldier:Kelly

It's Hug a Bear day this week AND it's Veteran's Day today. Sometimes, I think we are a country with a short attention span, myself included. For all of the veterans of past wars - and for all of those vets being made as we sit in our comfy homes; We have not forgotten you. Today, we pause and ponder how you do it and feel grateful for you.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Diandra-Hug a Bear

November 7th was not only the end of Daylight Savings (wahoo!) but it was also Hug a Bear Day. This big guy is celebrating both.

I played around with a digital color version of this as well. See it here.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Priscilla ~ Fun November Days!

November 7th was officially Hug-A-Bear Day, and I just had to create a sketch to go with such a fun reason to celebrate! Hope this day is a great one for you, from beginning to end!

Friday, November 5, 2010

The "Joy" of donuts

Ahhh, donuts. So tasty, yet can so be your enemy...

Here's my commentary on obesity running ramped amoungst the youth of today. Not just children, but consider the poor Wiener dogs!

Ok, I'm just bitter because I can't eat donuts for 4 more months and it's killing me... Hope you enjoy the sketch and now go have a donut for me!


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Go Nuts for Donuts - Kelly

"One Day we will all drive donuts" - this was spoken by a friend of my daughters this summer- I thought... now there's a picture...  an homage to a Richard Scarry world of food shaped vehicles. The Panda's are in their Toyota "Kruller", the Bunny drives the "mini"- a munchkin of a car... the Chimp is frosted 'cause that's how he "rolls" and the PIG??? -first I was gonna put him in a jelly... but I decided a BIG 'OL coffee roll was more his style - Who spiked my coffee this morning? -Cause this is a wacky sketch. -Kelly

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Let the festivities begin! 
I'd like a world where it snowed sprinkles.
As soon as Halloween is done, I'm all about the Merry & Bright.
51 days and counting...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Diandra-Sweet Misery

There can be too much of a good thing. These boys just couldn't help themselves!  Any of you have candy hangovers in your house the day after Halloween?