Thursday, 24 December 2015

Stocking Stuffing (8) - Cows

Calves Christmas Eve
(Ol' MacDonald Had A Farm - The Continuing Story)
Written by me!
Ol' MacDonald had a farm
E, I, E, I, O
And on the farm he had some cows
E, I, E, I, O

With a "Moo, moo!" here, and a "Moo, moo!" there
Here a "Moo", there a "Moo", everywhere a "Moo, moo!"
Ol' MacDonald had a farm,
E, I, E, I, O

Now the story stretches on
For the little calves.
They loved to play out in the snow
On the little farm.

Catch a snowflake here, and a snowflake there!
Here a flake, there a flake, "Hurry, catch a snowflake!"
Oh, these calves, they loved the snow,
E, I, E, I, O

Soon the day turned into night;
Tired little calves.
Mama tucks them in real tight
On their beds of straw.

See a sleepy calf here, and a sleepy calf there,
Here a yawn, there a yawn, barn is filled with big yawns.
Mama sings them off to sleep,
E, I, E, I, O

Time for gifts, it's Christmas Eve
Santa's coming soon!
Sweet, tasty treats I'm sure he'll leave
While whistlin' a tune.

Stocking stuffed here, stocking stuffed there,
Here some hay, there some hay, sweet and tender hay, hay!
Calves are in for a real treat
On this Christmas day!

"Stocking Stuffing... Cows"
 (watercolour, approx. 7" x 7")

This completes my Christmas 'Stocking Stuffing' series for 2015!
 My Dad suggested that I visit the farmyard in my series and 
depict some calves getting treated some tender green hay from Santa!
These were fun to draw and I got them painted just in the 'St. Nick' of time!

It has been fun to complete these illustrations and then write up something
to go alongside them... I took a lot of creative license with a lot of the songs 
I adapted. I never realized how difficult it was to work out a story to the tune
of 'The Christmas Song" (aka "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire") in 
yesterdays post ... that song has no consistent rhyme scheme or beat scheme!
As for today's choice of  'Ol' MacDonald Had a Farm", it is only a beat scheme, 
the original song/poem doesn't rhyme - it just sounds nice when spoken aloud - and it 
distracts young minds with lots of animals and their sounds around the farmyard!

My hope for each one of you is that you can sleep soundly tonight,
as you look forward to time with those you love, 
and that you truly enjoy the simple pleasures of the holiday season!

Thank you for your encouragement over this past year!!
Wishing you all the best - always!!
Merry Christmas Eve!!
♥ Cath- 

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Stocking Stuffers (7) - Bunnies!!

Bunnies Eve
(adapted from "The Christmas Song" by me)
Bunnies playing in their burrow home
Snow is falling out of doors
Hot choc'late with soft marshmallow foam
Fills my mug as well as yours.

Everybody knows a bunny on Christmas Eve
Has excitement to the full
When it comes to Santa, they believe
In his sleigh the reindeers pull!

They know that Santa's on his way
He's loaded lots of toys and goodies on his sleigh
Every bunny knows they must be in bed
So "Twas The Night Before Christmas" can be read.

Now they're dozing off and sleeping sound
The gifts can be put under the tree
Stocking will be stuffed with treats all around
Christmas morn will be filled with glee! 

"Stocking Stuffing... Bunnies"
 (watercolour, approx. 4" x 7")
 This is another favourite! So many bunnies!! 
I drew the stockings out first and then after fitting in ten, 
I set to work fitting ten bunnies into the little burrow room! 
Some sprawled out, some curled up, and everyone snug and 
comfortable - there really is nothing quite like big families!!

Hoping you get to cozy up with your 
loved ones this holiday season!
♥ Cath-

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Stocking Stuffers (6) - Raccoons

Raucous Raccoons Christmas Eve
An adaptation of  "Santa Claus is 
Coming to Town" - written by me
You better watch out
You better not cry
You better not pout
I'm telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town!

Where'd you get that egg?
Why won't you play nice?
Let go of his leg -
I won't tell you twice!!
Santa Claus is coming to town!

He knows if you are sleeping
Up soundly in the tree
He'll know if you are peeping
Don't make him count to three!
1... 2.... 

They're sleeping at last
Hopin' nobody shifts
Gotta be quiet and fast
Deliverin' the gifts!
Santa Claus is coming tonight!

"Stocking Stuffing... Raccoons"
(watercolour, approx. 6" x 6")

Sometimes Christmas Eve is not easy.  The kids can be rambunctious or even raucous.
The excitement and anticipation can be too much for li'l systems to handle!

Sometimes it all you can do to get them through the day  without bouncing off the walls,
and it's another Oylmpic event altogether to get them tucked into bed for the night!

But parents are geniuses when it comes to trying to get the gifts under the tree on Christmas 
Eve night... What's the famous ratio for genius? 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration - 
Yep,  the sounds about right, when you're trying to outsmart a couple of rowdy young raccoons!   

So, whether your kids are as quiet as church mice 
or as loud as two monkeys fighting over a banana,
I hope your holidays are full of joy and anticipation!
♥ Cath-

Monday, 21 December 2015

Stocking Stuffing (5) - Dogs

Deck the halls with bow-wows of Collies
Fa la la la la, la la la la
You'll be entertained by their follies
Fa la la la la, la la la la

Now for the Labrador Retrievers
Fa la la la la la, la la la
As for Santa, they're all believers
Fa la la la la, la la la la

Yellow labs join in the chorus
Fa la la la la, la la la la
'Specially the small pup named Doris
Fa la la la, la la la la

Santa's coming, we're so excited!
Fa la la la la la, la la la
We think his reindeers have been sighted!
Fa la la la la, la la la la 

Time to get to bed and snuggle up,
Fa la la la la, la la la la
It will be hard for excited pups
Fa la la la la, la la la la

Santa's here, pups are soundly sleeping
Fa la la la la la, la la la
Toys delivered with no one peeping
Fa la la la la, 
la la laaa laaaaaaa!!

"Stocking Stuffing... Dogs"
 (watercolour, approx 5" x 7")

I would typically choose Rough Coat Collies for a dog illustration 
- I have a real soft spot for them after having one for 14 years -
but I chose to depict yellow labs in honour of my friends
getting a new li'l puppy which they have named Molly.
Within a day or two of getting the news of Molly, our other friends 
announced that they would be getting a German Shepherd pup,
which they were naming Blu, that is why the pup in the illustration
is wearing a beautiful blue collar like the one Blu wears! 

So this illustration celebrates new puppies and the excitement 
associated with them and the holidays!

Hoping your holidays are filled with just 
the right amount of excitement for you!
♥ Cath-


Friday, 18 December 2015

Stocking Stuffing (4) - Cats

The Three Kitten's Christmas Eve
(written by me)
Said the three little kittens, 
"We cannot find our mittens!
What will we hang up tonight?"

"If only we had listened,
And cleaned up 'til all glistened
Everything would be alright!"

The three sad little kittens
Searched all day for their mittens
'Til Mother wished them goodnight.

"Whatever is the matter,
Your smiles could not be flatter,
Why are my kittens contrite?"

"Oh Mother, we do so fear,
E'en though we searched far 'n' near,
Our mitt'ns ne'er came into sight!" 

The kittens as they blubbered
Watched her go to the cupboard
And pull out an old flashlight.

"Come along, my dear kittens
We will find your lost mittens
E'en if it takes 'til Midnight."

They searched attic and basement
And every window casement
 Then to their joy and delight

Their Mother found the mittens
For the worried li'l kittens
 Laying across the skylight.

"Oh Mother, we had forgott'n
That on the roof we'd gott'n
When we were puttin' up the lights."

"It was so warm and breezy
There was no fear we'd freezy,
So we tossed our mitts out of sight."

 "Thank you so much Mother dear!
We now have reason to cheer
For this is Christmas Eve night."

"Now to hang our mittens 'round,
Then to get to sleepin' sound -
Santa is coming tonight!!" 

"Stocking Stuffing... Cats" 
(watercolour, approx. 4" x 6") 

These li'l kittens, although rather forgetful at times, are also very creative!
They are quite adept with a pair of scissors - just look at the snowflakes they've made!

Completely tuckered out from their mitten searching expeditions, but happy
that their dear Mom helped them retrace their steps to find the lost woolens.
Without them what would they have to hang for stockings?

Hoping you find joy in your holiday anticipations
and in the actual celebrations too! 
♥ Cath- 

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Stocking Stuffing (3) - Giraffes

A Giraffe's Christmas Wish
(written by me!)
Twinkle, twinkle little star
If I could keep you in a jar
I'd wish upon you ev'ry night
Wishing for some snow, so white!

"I wish I may, I wish I might
Have the wish I wish tonight!"

In Africa the sun glows so hot
For giraffes like me, it's just the spot
But all the same it might be nice
To have a little snow and ice!

If I should wear some figure skates
I'd create some nice figure eights!
I'd glide across the ice so slick
Spinning, twirlin' 'round, oh so quick!

I know that is what I would want
A frozen pond on which to jaunt,
But other creatures might dislike
Their home becoming the Klondike.

So, Santa please, do what is best
For me, my family, and the rest.
Let's forget wishin' for snowfall 
I wish good days for one and all!

"Stocking Stuffing... Giraffes"
(watercolour, approx. 12" x 7")

These sweet giraffes are going to awake to find the juiciest leaves 
from the tallest of trees tucked into their stockings - the leaves they 
are not yet tall enough to reach! What a wonderful treat to awake to!

This is my favourite, so far, in my Stocking Stuffing series! 

I discovered, while researching how giraffes sleep, that they sleep for about 4 hours a day!
They snuggle down into these sweet little packages - all limbs and long curving necks -
and they curl their neck around to rest their heads on their hind quarters!

These li'l giraffes were SO much fun to draw! 
All curvy lines and knobbly knees!! And spots!!!

The keen observer may have already discovered that whenever I draw 
a giraffe, I hide a heart (or two!) somewhere among their spots.
 I love hiding hearts (when I can) in my artwork!
Can you find the hidden hearts on these giraffes?

I will join with the li'l giraffe in wishing good days to one and all!
All the best ALWAYS!!  
 ♥ Cath-




Monday, 14 December 2015

Stocking Stuffing (2) - Mice

'Twas the night before Christmas
And all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring,
Not even a mouse.
Because they were both tucked up,
Sleeping soundly in their beds,
While visions of yummy treats
Danced in their heads.

Papa Mouse sneaked in quietly
With cheese for his small mousies.
They were dreaming of Christmas Day
and visiting cousins from other housies!

"Stocking Stuffing... Mice"
(watercolour, approx. 12" x 6") 

Inside the walls, everything is quiet; we can't hear the parents prepare.
Tiny morsels have been collected and saved, so everyone can have a share.

Oh, the celebrations that will be beginning soon! The party is about to start!
So much thought has gone into the festivities, so much time, and so much heart!
"Wake up! Wake up! Wake up everyone! Today is Christmas Day!!
Look at the treats Santa left in your stockings before rushing off to play!"

 ♥ Cath-

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Stocking Stuffing

Stocking Stuffing
(by Catharine Fairchild)

Hot cocoa and popcorn as we sit by the fire,
Laughter and smiles, their eyes are getting tired.
Soon their heads nod and bob down in soft slumber.

Plump pillows, cool and cozy, nestle their sleepy heads,
Stitched quilts, tuck them into their warm and welcoming beds.
Sweet dreams will arrive as they doze into sleep.

Tiptoe out of their rooms to gather a few small gifts,
 Sneaking back to their stockings, hoping no eyelid lifts.
Tokens of love await them in the morning.

. . . . . . .

One of the most difficult things to accomplish during the holiday season
is not gift wrapping or baking seemingly endless cookies, but trying to 
get the gifts under the tree and into stockings without anyone noticing...

At our house, Mommy usually find a way to get the gifts under the tree 
while Daddy gets to enjoy the "milk and cookies" that our kids put out.
It's just a fun moment in time when the kids are sleeping, but excited 
for the next day at the same time.  They are older now, so sleep comes 
easier but the excitement is still the same on the eve of the big day!

I still remember when I was a little kid, trying my best to get to sleep 
but waking so often, anxiously wondering if I got one of the things from
my wish list.  The next morning it was always a treat to discover not only the 
gifts but also a stocking filled with small tokens of love in the form of a big orange
stuffed into the toe, some small gifts, and a handful of chocolates!

. . . . . . .

I've been working on a small series for the holidays titled,
- Stocking Stuffing -
Different animals, in their unique environments, gently slumbering while 
a parent plays 'Santa' and quietly fills each of their carefully hung stockings.

 "Stocking Stuffing... Bears"
(watercolour, approx. 12" x 6")

A cozy den under the tree roots, soft quilts cushion their sleep.
Yummy treats tucked into their stocking will make the morning so sweet!

♥ Cath-


Monday, 7 December 2015

Delivering Christmas Cheer

This year seems to have gone by as quickly
as my recently planted amaryllis bulb sprouts!

And like the rapidly growing amaryllis stalk, 
there has been something to be wowed by each day!

It's a lovely thing to realize that with a little water 
and a snug peat-filled pot that the amaryllis bulb 
will awaken from a 3-season slumber and begin again 
to sprout and stretch its gorgeous green leaves upward!

It's an even lovelier thing to realize that with a little care
and a snug love-filled hug that a neighbour
will feel blessed by a small gesture of kindness and will
produce a warm smile that will in turn make us feel blessed!

It's a beautiful time of year to show kindness!

I have found that at this time of year people are much more receptive 
to unexpected knocks at the door and the discovery of a basket filled
with fresh baked cookies sitting on their front porch.

There is something wonderful about this time of year!

We are all anticipating the first snowfall
We are finding ways to stay warm and snug...
Boots and galoshes, 
Hats and toques, 
Gloves and mitts,
Cowls and scarves,

Kindnesses, especially the unexpected ones,
can add a special warmth to someone's day
that simply cannot be replicated any other way!

When was the last time you shoveled your neighbour's driveway or sidewalk?
Or ran down the street after their garbage can lid because it was blown off 
by a strong gust of wind?  
When was the last time you baked them a special treat - just because?
Or simply dropped off a note letting them know that you're glad you're neighbours?

Now is the time to get your heart thinking of how you can share warmth
and show kindness to those with whom you share a street!

"Delivering Christmas Cheer"
(watercolour, approx. 8" x 12")

Be a Secret Santa!
Be a bold, carol-singing elf!
Be your own sweet self! 
However you choose to do it - 
just do your very best to get out there
and deliver some Christmas cheer!!