Thursday, November 29, 2012

Snowman Love!

I live in Wisconsin, always have, but I'm not a fan of snow. December!  If we don't have a white Christmas I'll admit I'm pretty sad--really sad to be honest.  Even though I'd prefer to live by the Caribbean Sea, I love snowmen.  Chubby, white, fun...I love painting them too.  I also work in a school, so of course I always am holding out for a snow day!  Since I've been painting snowmen for a few years and these past few days I thought they'd be a perfect subject for a blogpost.  December is a day away, so snow should be coming soon.

Here are a few 3x3 canvases I recently painted and can be used as ornaments.  They really are fun subjects to paint!

© Jill's Dream Artwork

This one is called "Our First Snowfall" and I painted it last year I believe.  I love their sweet hats!

© Jill's Dream Artwork

I just sent this one to an old friend from grade school who now lives in South Carolina - she must miss the snow!  This one is called "Angels we have Heard on High."

This is one of my favorite photos of winter a few years ago - Isabella and I had a snow day together and built this snowman.  Well, temps changed, she started to melt backwards, then froze again, just like that.  She stayed that way for about a week--it was great!  We said she was doing yoga.

This was our first snowfall of 2009 and our dog Mazie's first experience with snow-what fun!

Thanks for stopping by today.  Even though I'm not a cold weather fan, I found myself smiling and looking back fondly on these wintery memories.

Monday, November 26, 2012

My Top 10 Favorite Children's Books

My daughter is getting older; she's almost twelve, but we still enjoy reading picture books together as well as her young adult fiction.

Here are a list of my favorite children's books--some are still favorites from my childhood, and some I've discovered through her childhood.

1.  Pete and Pickles
Even if you don't have children, I recommend this heartwarming and FUN book, with a great message.  The artwork alone will capture your heart and attention.

2.  A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle

I guess this is where my daydreaming and wishing to live in a fantasy world begun perhaps?

3.  The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

I don't know how old I was when I first read this book, but entering a wardrobe that had another world behind it--wow--I was hooked.  To this day, I really wish that could come true--seriously.  That and magic carpets.

4.  Brown Bear, Brown Bear What do you See? 

This is one of the first books I read to Isabella as a baby and I loved to use different silly voices for each animal and watch her delighted expression for each page.  Such sweet memories are tied to this book. 

5.  The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

Sarcasm, adventure and Greek mythology all wrapped up in one book...did I mention humor--oh and sarcasm?  Can't get any better than that in a young adult book.

6.  Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

Another one of the first books I experienced with Isabella at bed time.  It's a simple, sing-songy book that has memorable words and a sweet little mouse to find in a different spot on every page.

7.  Charlotte's Web by E.B. White

I guess I'll never forget the sweet and unlikely friendship of Charlotte and Wilbur and the terrible sadness I felt when Charlotte died and left her babies to become new friends with Wilbur.

8.  Imagine a Night 

The pictures in this book are so captivating and extraordinary.  They appear to be one scene and then almost magically transform into another scene.  Awe-inspiring art for sure.

9.  Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell

The illustrations are so lively and hilarious and it has a great message for kids to be proud of themselves, especially their quirks.  A great message for adults too!  I'll never purge this book from Isabella's collection even when she gets older.

10.  Knufflebunny by Mo Willems 

Great illustrations with actual photographs in the background, sweet little Trixie speaks her first words and we watch her parents panic as they search for lost Knufflebunny.  Honestly, so sweet and memorable. 
I really enjoyed looking back and thinking of some of these really colorful and memorable books of my childhood and those I've first been introduced to in my daughter's childhood.  I would love to hear if you have any favorite children's books or maybe some of my list is the same as yours!

Monday, November 19, 2012

So Very Grateful

Thanksgiving is only a few days away and I of course am thinking of all I have to be grateful for.  I actually think about that everyday to be honest, but I thought sharing them in a post would be a great reminder of all the gifts I have.

My colorful, creative, loving, caring and sparkling girl Isabella.  She brings so much joy into my days.

Amazing, fun and supportive, life-long friends...friends since grade school - priceless for sure.

Being interviewed for a local magazine called 30 West - yay!

Achieving one of my goals of having my artwork for sale in a "real" shop, the Waxwing in Shorewood.

A new sweet little niece Cora born this August. 

Attending the Bloom True Artist Retreat by Flora Bowley this September (another item I had on my list of dreams and goals for this year).

Of course I have tons more to be thankful for, like my eye sight, the beautiful sky, my cozy house, my creative community of friends, etc. but these are just a few that stood out from 2012.

I found this great quote yesterday while reading the book Daring Greatly by Brene Brown and I'll leave you with this:  
"It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful" 
by Brother David Steindl-Rast.

What are some of the things you are grateful for from the past year?  I'd love to hear them--it always makes my heart full to hear what others are thankful for.  

Thanks for stopping by - I hope you have a wonderful holiday!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Books on My Christmas List

Next to painting and eating good food not made by me (read: restaurant), reading is one of my favorite things to do.  Since Christmas is only 43 days away (according to my daughter), I've been dreaming of a few new books I'd love to add to my collection.

1.  Art as a way of Life

 -When I went to the Bloom True workshop with Flora Bowley in September, she introduced us to this inspiring book.

2.  Art Journal Freedom: How to Journal Creatively With Color and Composition by Dina Wakley

-I love her art and I'm sure this will be a great, colorful inspiration.

3.  One Line a Day:  A Five-Year Memory Book

-I'm a sentimental person and I love to look back at the past but just can't seem to stick to regular writing, but this seems doable, just writing one line every single day, and it's small enough to fit into a tote bag if needed.  I was thinking of getting one for my daughter too--she's 11 and I thought it would be a great way for her to reflect on her days and then enjoy them years later.

Do you have any new books that you'd like to either receive for Christmas or buy for yourself this year?  I'd love to hear about any of your recommendations!

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