Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Bedtime Stories & Winter Wishes

"Once upon a time..."

As Anne of Green Gables might say,  
'Isn't that a delicious way to begin a story?'

    Once upon a time... there was a small fox cub whose heavy eyes and drooping head indicated that sleep was on its way.
    "Time for bed Little Cub." said Daddy.
    "But I'm not sleepy" yawned Little Cub.
    Sitting down in his favourite chair, Daddy took up a beloved storybook and held out his arms to Little Cub.
    "Would you like me to read you a story?" 
    Without a moments hesitation Little Cub leaped up into Daddy's arms and quickly snuggled down beside him in the big, cozy chair.  Daddy opened the book and began to read:
    "Once upon a time..."
    "I love that part of the story!" Little Cub said, smiling up at Daddy.
    "But that's only the very beginning," laughed Daddy, 'You don't even know what happens in the story!"
    "But that's just it - anything could happen! Anything is possible!!" beamed Little Cub.
    Daddy wrapped his arm around Little Cub and gave him a tight squeeze. Daddy loved this time together with his Little Cub. With happy tears brimming in his eyes, Daddy blinked a couple times, looked lovingly at his cub, then at the storybook and began again to read:
    "Once upon a time..." 

"Bedtime Story"
(watercolour, gouache, approx. 6" x 7")

When I finished this illustration last night, I stepped away 
from the table, stood a few feet away and glanced back at it... 

Tears filled my eyes... 

This is a piece I'm completely proud of! 

I thanked God often for the abilities He has given me as I worked on this 
(as is my practice when I draw/paint - He gave me my talents!) 
and I could do nothing but thank Him and praise Him 
when I saw this illustration completed!

This painting is a piece of my heart!
It's joy... It's love... it's happiness... it's contentment!!

God is SO good!! He has blessed us all immensely!!
Grab a bible and read the 148th Psalm -
(if you don't have a bible handy - click the link)
God is SO worthy of praise and thanksgiving!!

I'm laying my paintbrush down for a short time 
now that the winter holidays are so near at hand...
I will likely make some sketches in the meanwhile 
but am focusing my time on my family and spending every 
moment God blesses me with in enjoying their company!

I wish you all a very wonderful holiday!
May you spread cheer wherever you are and wherever you go!!

As Clement Clarke Moore finished his famous story,
I too will finish this last post of 2014 with:

"Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!" 



Wednesday, 10 December 2014

One For Me, One for You...

Many, many, many years ago my Mom was baking
holidays cookies and treats well ahead of the winter holidays
and carefully boxing them and tucking them into the big chest freezer
in the basement so that she would have goodies on hand for drop-in guests,
holiday baskets for Aunts & Uncles, and for our family to enjoy too...

Mom felt proud of her use of time, baking on her days off and tucking it 
away into the freezer - the holidays were going to be a breeze!

The holidays drew near enough to begin preparing and delivering
baskets for relatives, so Mom went down to the freezer to collect 
from her supply, only to discover that someone had found her stash.

Apparently my brother had begun helping himself to "just one cookie" after 
school and on weekends for as many weeks as she had been tucking them away.

Needless to say, the abundance on which she had based her plans had 
dwindled to a scant few treats, crinkled wax paper, and several crumbs. 

Yep, that's the memory that came to mind as I worked on this latest piece...

 "One For Me, One For You..." 
(watercolour, approx. 5.5" x 9")  

May you be blessed with enough and to share!

Thursday, 4 December 2014


During a phone conversation with my Dad,
we were discussing my recent winter/holiday illustrations
and he mentioned the following word:
Harmony says:
harmony [hahr'-muh-nee], noun:
1. agreement; accord; harmonious relations.
2. a consistent, orderly, or pleasing arrangement of parts; congruity.
  1. any simultaneous combination of tones.
  2. the simultaneous combination of tones, especially when blended into chords pleasing to the ear; chordal structure, as distinguished from melody and rhythm.
  3. the science of the structure, relations, and practical combination of chords.

Dad feels "harmony" is a word that sums up the spirit of the holidays.
We talked about it a little more and before I knew it I had picked up
a pencil and began sketching out some woodland animals 
singing together  - in 4-part harmony!

I found a favourite Christmas song - "Carol of the Bells"
complete with notation for Soprano Alto, Tenor, and Bass...

I placed my illustration atop this sheet music and voila!

(watercolour, sheet music, approx. 6.5' x 6.5")

If I were to put this on a holiday card front I think the interior sentiment would be:

"Merry, Merry, Merry Christmas!"
"May your holiday season be harmonious!"

Look around and see what you can do to lend some harmony to this festive season!
Wishing you all the best - always!

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

The Gift Exchange

Dusk settles into the quiet woodland...
 The moon slowly rises in the clear evening sky...

Soon steps are heard in the snow...
Whispers waft through the tree branches...
Giggles dance along the cool air...

Sparkling eyes emerge from the darkness....
Everyone is beginning to arrive...
Gathering under the soft glow of the lamp post...
 for the annual Winter gift exchange.

"The Gift Exchange"
(watercolour, approx. 6" x 8")


Friday, 28 November 2014

Glad to See You!!

The sun drops below the horizon...
The dark beauty of dusk enhances the twinkling lights around the house...
The snow has stopped falling and now rests as a beautiful blanket o'er everything.

The aroma of savory tidbits waft through the house...
Friends are coming over and soon our home will be filled with the
sparkle of laughter and conversation - friends enjoying time together!

There is something wonderful about planning an evening with friends and family!
The anticipation, the excitement....

That is what fostered the idea for this painting.
I sat down with my sketchbook and asked myself,
"What is your favourite thing during in the winter holidays?"

This was my answer:

    "So Glad to See You!"
(watercolour, approx. 7" x 9")

Hoping you are able to plan time with your loved ones!

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Christmas Cards From Past & Present

This post features all my favourite - and available - Holiday Card designs:

"First Snow"
Front: "Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!"

"Family Skate"

Inside: "Happy Holidays From our family to yours!"
Inside: "Glad tidings for Christmas and a Happy New Year!"

"Rockin' Christmas"
Inside: "...have a Happy Holiday!"

Front: "Everybody knows that turkey and some mistletoe, help to make the Season bright..."                              Inside: "Although it's been said many times, many ways, Merry Christmas to you!"   

"Jingle Horse"
Inside: "Have a Happy Holiday!"

Inside: "Seasonings Greetings!"

"Chestnuts Roasting"
Inside: "Although it's been said many times, many ways, Merry Christmas to you!"

"Peas Be Home For Christmas"
Front: "Peas have snow and mistletoe and presents under the tree"

"Snowman With Scarf"
Inside: "Hoping your holidays are warm and cozy!"

Inside: Enjoy the magic of the Season!"

Inside: blank

"Owls Wearing Hats"
Inside: blank 

"Owls Wearing Scarves"
Inside: blank

"Kittens With Mittens"
Inside: blank

"Cozy & Bright"
Inside: "Hoping your holidays are all cozy & bright!"

Inside: "Season's Greetings"  OR  "Happy Holidays!"

"Bunny Hill"
Inside: "Wishing you a wonderful holiday!"

Inside: "Hang on tight and have a wonderful holiday!!

"Single Dog Holiday Design"

"Dogs With Scarves - Complete Collection 1"
Inside: "Hope you can paws for a bit and really enjoy the magic of the Season!"

"Dogs With Scarves - Complete Collection 2"
Inside: "Hope you can paws for a bit and really enjoy the magic of the Season!"

"Hockey Joy - Boston"
Inside: "Wishing you a joy-filled holiday!"

"Hockey Joy - Montreal"
Inside: "Wishing you a joy-filled holiday!"

"Hockey Joy - Toronto"
Inside: "Wishing you a joy-filled holiday!"

Inside: "Wishing you a a holly jolly Christmas!"

"Silver Belles"
Front: "Silver Bells" Inside: "It's Christmas time - enjoy it to the fullest!!"

"Ode to Winter"
Inside: "Wishing you all the best the whole Season through!"

Winter/Holiday Greeting Card prices:

Single card w/ envelope: $2.50 CDN
Pack of 10 w/ envelopes: $20.00 CDN
Pack of 20 w/ envelopes: $35.00 CDN
If you are interested in purchasing any of these card designs please email me:
Please include your Name, Address, Design (please specify dog breed 
if purchasing "Single Dog Holiday Design"), and Quantity.
Please allow 1-2 weeks for delivery.


Wednesday, 26 November 2014

My Ode to Winter

My Ode to Winter

Winter's harsh chill has filled the air
The trees their limbs uncovered
A cloak of snow the land does wear
Yet charm can be discovered

The card'nal's bright red flashes by
Squirrels chatter in the distance
The sun shines brightly in the sky
As jays call with persistence.
Sparkling snow, like tiny jewels
Glimmer and shine in the sun
Ponds become like solid glass pools
Soon skating will be such fun

Children build snowmen, big and fat
Cheery smiles carved with much care 
On tippy toes placing the hat
 A carrot adds so much flair

I can admire this season bright
From the comfort of my chair
My windows do not block the sight
But they keep out the cold air!

~ Catharine Fairchild ~ 
(November 26, 2014)

While I was waiting at the school earlier this week, I grabbed the only 
available paper I had, which happened to be an old business card, 
and worked out an idea for an illustration that had come to mind...

When I came home I snatched up my new favourite watercolour block (Aquarelle by Arches),
I then sketched, inked and painted my idea - and I really like how it turned out!!

What do you think?

   "Ode to Winter"
 (watercolour, approx. 9.5" x 3.5")

 Did you see the word being spelled out?

I hope you find reasons to rejoice even in this our harshest of seasons!


Monday, 24 November 2014

Holidays Will Be Here Soon!

As I was working on my Dogs With Scarves series I was thinking about holiday ideas I have come up with in the past and I remembered one I had scrawled in a notebook more than two years ago while waiting for my kids at school...

I reworked the original idea and in so doing have come up with a new holiday card design!

For the hockey fan and the holiday fan alike!
The perfect card to spread Christmas cheer far and near -
Wishing all your loved ones a jolly holiday!!

Wishing you all happy days while preparing for the holidays! 
 ♥ Cath-

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Paws For A Bit "Dogs With Scarves" Complete Collection

This is just a summary post showcasing all 18 dogs from my
"Dogs With Scarves" collection....

The Large(r) Dogs:

The Small(er) Dogs:



 If you have a favourite canine, it can be featured on a
"Single-Dog Family Greeting Card"
Like this...

 Or if you have mulitple family dogs (or multiple favourites)
 They can be featured on a "Multi-Dog Family Greeting Card"
Like this...

And for those who just simply love dogs, 
"The Complete Collection":

Sentiments on Card Interior can be left blank, 
you can create your own, or choose one of the following sentiments:
"Hoping you can paws for a bit and enjoy the magic of the season!"
"Hoping you stay warm and cozy this winter!"
"Hoping your holidays are cozy and warm!" 
Winter/Holiday Greeting Card prices:

Single card w/ envelope: $2.50 CDN
Pack of 10 w/ envelopes: $20.00 CDN
Pack of 20 w/ envelopes: $35.00 CDN
If you are interested in purchasing any of these card designs please email me:
Please include your Name, Address, Design (please specify dog breed if purchasing anything other than Complete collection designs), Interior sentiment choice, and Quantity.
Please allow 1-2 weeks for delivery.
 Hope you are having warm and snuggly days!