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!