Sunday, October 9, 2011

Hooray for Fall!....and a Giveaway! (until Oct. 31)

Something cheerful, I promised! I also decided to update my blog header as I just LOVE this time of's to a lovely Fall out here in the states, and to all of my friends from afar, here's to a wonderful season where you are too!

I am very grateful to all of you who visit and leave comments as this community is very important to me. I feel that sharing my art with fellow artists and creative people has been extremely valuable to me as a person and in my creative work. The warmth of thought, and sense of community I feel as I visit blogs and sites throughout the year, as well as the creations I see - from designers, letterers, illustrators, painters, crafts-persons, poets, authors, writers, jewelry-makers, and artisans working in all kinds of mediums constantly impress and inspire me. I am continually learning and growing, and this blog has been a portal to all of thank you!

I'm giving away three prints of "Well, hello!." Harry (the Hare) is the main character in a personal project I am working on with my littlest one..hope you like him. : )
 (click to enlarge)
Please leave a comment here, perhaps sharing a tip or trick to fellow artists, an inspirational thought, a recipe or a "must-do" in the fall idea, or perhaps the title of a favorite children's book! You have until 12 midnight, October 31st PST. I'll pick three winners and ship them out to you pronto.

Wishing you well as we enjoy the smells, the sights, and the warmth that Fall brings.~ Shirley


  1. Also loves fall. And Halloween! Good book when the ponder children were small was The Ghost Eye Tree by Bill Martin, John Archambault and illustrated by Ted Rand.

  2. Ahhhhh...I love it...the new header the new illo and Harry the hare! :D It's like I can smell and touch the wonderfully Autumn coloured leaves...I love Autumn myself and our Croatian sweet chestnuts baked in the oven or made into sweet dessert, the famous smashed chestnut with cream :D yum yum Autumn is very rich in everything and to me it represents fruitfullness and prosperity.
    Hope you have an enjoable Autumn yourself Shirley and THANK you as well for your radiating kindness and sweet words you're leaving on my blog :D

  3. I love Autumn!!! It is my favorite season because it is cool enough to wear coats but not so cold. Yesterday my husband and I went out for brunch and in the parking lot was surrounded by Quercus shumaardi trees so naturally I picked some acorns from the dangling branches. Unfortunately it is still in the upper 70s and 80s here so we have no autumn foliage.

    Aaah, your colors are so delicious. I love the blazing reds, yellow and oranges. The little rabbit's face is so gentle. She reminds me of Snowflake, our 6 y.o. pet rabbit.

    Have a wonderful week, Shirley. I love your new banner. I think I will put back the aspen painting header on mine. Thanks for inspiring me. Oh wait, maybe I will do leaves.

  4. Harry the Hare is completely adorable (but I would expect nothing less from you, of course)! :)

    We love fall around here too. I was just lamenting the fact that October never seems to last long enough.

    Here is my creative autumn contribution (and one of my favorite fall posts from my blog) - a recipe for fresh pumpkin puree, mmm...

  5. Shirley you have said it all...this blogging community of ours IS such a special place. I have SO enjoyed meeting you via our blogs and truly count you as a friend. I love it that we all have different forms of creativity and yet can join together sharing our world via the internet. My little thought to add here about this special time of year...the fact that you call it fall and we call it autumn.....what fun!Autumn here means misty mornings, crisp leaves underfoot, berries on the bushes and the fruits of our harvests. Enjoy your autumn all those thousands of miles away whilst we enjoy ours too, here in England. What a generous giveaway you are offering, Harry looks so sweet, and your new autumn banner is very special too :0)
    Jane x

  6. Love how vivid your colours are, mine are always so pastel...

    My must-do during fall is creating bookmarks :) Don't really know why but I think that cold weather and rain make me just relax with a book. A book with a fabulous bookmark :) And I can always share them with others.

  7. Such an adorable little fellow! I love his expression and the colors you use. It makes a warm and friendly header!

  8. Love the new fall header Shirley. I just love the fall. I love the feeling in the air in the fall. It makes me want to grab hold of it and not let it go ;) Hugs Shirley XOXOXO and thanks for your help with my little project!

  9. "Ah Fall!" - Love it! I would love to be in the running for a signed print by my favorite watercolor artist/friend! Here's my contribution, an inspirational poem for artists:


    The answer to the artist
    Comes quicker than a blink
    Though initial inspiration
    Is not what you might think.

    The Muse is full of magic,
    Though her vision’s sometimes dim;
    The artist does not choose the work,
    It is the work that chooses him.

    --Charles Ghigna

  10. It is FALL colors in your arts!!!!!! Love the color combinations. My favorite is your page header illustration. It is so adorable,Shirley!!!!!! The two friend animals are the perfect match!!! Love them!!!!!!

  11. Fall is my favorite time of the year. I love the colors, the cool, brisk morning air, the falling leaves, the smell of fireplaces burning their first woods of the season. Your illustrations bring alive the feel of this season. I seem to find that every time that I visit your blog, a smile lights upon my face. Your art is adorable and puts me in such a happy mood.

  12. What a lovely post Shirley - your header and illustrations are perfect for the time of year and it's super to read everyone's comments too. You're right about the blogging community - I too have gained so much from it! I miss Autumn - we just don't get those seasons here in Malaysia just more rain or less rain! Here's one of my favourite children's books - 'Autumn Story' by Jill Barklem

  13. Those are adorable!!! Fall is just FULL of inspiration. The colors, and the smells, and the food! I wish I had the talent to take that inspiration and create art with it, but I don't. So I bake instead! ;D Here is my favorite pumpkin bread recipe!

  14. How lovely Shirley. I love your newest illustrations. So sweet and the colours are amazing! I just love autumn. It is my favourite time of year, the colours, the smells, the sounds . . . all beautiful. I love the story by Leo Buscaglia, entitled "The Fall of Freddy the Leaf." I think it is inspiring and just wonderful.

  15. nice header! lovely bunny and colors! your work is truly inspirational! Thanks for the giveaway too! I'm entering with my very favorite children's book ever! I can fly! by Ruth Krauss (Author) and Mary Blair (Illustrator). :-)

  16. Hello, Shirley, you know that from the first day I saw one of your illustrations, I said to myself, this girl "has hand" (I do not know if this term is understood in English, "having hand" in my country means something like that that person is good at what he does, well you're one of my favorite watercolor women, not only because you "have hand" with the brush, but because "under" colors one can realize there is a very good drawing.
    I have no information to give about the fall, ha ha, I can only tell you that when I see, through my window, a leaf falling gently, I realize that I am "seeing" poetry, and that only occurs in autumn . a kiss!

  17. Hello
    I love your fall banner. Fall is my favorite time of year....last night we had a fire pit and smores! LOVE LOVE LOVE the colors of fall, too!

  18. Love the new header!Perfect for the Fall:)Love this period,the colors and the atmosphere is magical:)

  19. Hi Shirley - It's so nice visiting your blog. Your posts are always so warm and sweet. :) I'm excited about my first fall in the city... can't wait! Love your new header too! Here's a photo tip from Etsy on depth of field that I just read about today.

  20. Shirley, I'm in love, love with the new header! Fall is my favorite season and one of the "must do" is jumping in a pile of leaves! I love to hear them crunch beneath my feet and Roxy loves to roll in them! You have to try it! :) The Significant Other and I always collect beautiful leaves and place them in a scrapbook. We have leaves that go back ten years when we first met!

  21. Hello (again!) Shirley! Here's a Halloween cookies recipe I thought you and our artist/blogger/friends might enjoy. It first appeared on the famous Alphabet Soup blog. ;-) Scroll halfway down the page to see our GHOST BITES cookie recipe Enjoy!

  22. Nothing is more beautiful than the colors of fall, especially when the trees are just beginning to turn and still have a bit of green on them and the sun is shining through the leaves!!! Any illustration you would do, Shirley, would be adorable...children strolling through leaves, little red squirrels gathering acorns, cute critters baking up delicious fall treats! I love fall!

  23. Happy Autumn, Shirley! I just LOVE the new look with your beautiful art piece. I'd be so excited to win one of the copies. :) Here is a little inspiration for the season...
    October gave a party;
    The leaves by hundreds came -
    The Chestnuts, Oaks, and Maples,
    And leaves of every name.
    The Sunshine spread a carpet,
    And everything was grand,
    Miss Weather led the dancing,
    Professor Wind the band.
    ~George Cooper, "October's Party"

  24. What a perfect little piece for this gorgeous season. I thought I'd share my two favorite Halloween books from when my kids were small: Nancy Carlson's "Harriet's Halloween Candy" and Felicia Bond's "The Halloween Performance" (which has since been retitled, "The Halloween Play"). Happy Autumn!

  25. Awwwww! Superb banner! It really gets me in the mood. And peeking Harry is adorable, hehehehe. Happy fall! Actually, they should not call it fall. That word is too pessimistic and depressing. Happy autumn!

    I agree with you completely. This community of creatives is so very encouraging and inspirational. I don't think I'd have gotten anywhere without the people I have met, including you.

    Oh! I have a great recipe! This is not very autumny, but you should try it. I'm not even a big kale fan, but I LOVED it. My daughter even loved it! I've also used apples when I forgot to buy mangoes. That works too.

  26. Wow! I love the new Autumnal banner and Harry the Hare has to be the cutest Hare i have ever seen:) looking forward to getting out for some walks and collecting some leaves to press.

  27. You have said it all. I've been overwealmed myself since I joined this communtiy only a little while ago, and I have never met kinder and such talented people before...I will always love this place.

    Love your cutest little character...brought some sunshine to my day for sure. ^_^ Best time of year...when there's that wonderful crispness to the air and there's beauty all around. Taking walks this time of year is a treat.

    As for a insperational quote: "The best things in life are furry." Amen to that. ^_^ From the book "Purry Logic" by Jane Seabrook.

  28. WOW! The new banner is fabulously cute....:)
    And you are so right about the creative community here...truly inspirational!

    My daughter and I both love 'Horton Hires A Hoo' by Dr.Seuss, I think we just all his works and of course Enid Blyton stories.

    As for an Indianized version of cheese cake, you may like this.

    Keeping our( my daughter and I) fingers crossed for Adorable Harry:)

    Happy Day!

  29. ~Your work is AMAZING! Love, love,love your work. What a gift you have! Something about the Fall air that I enjoy....reading books, and taking long walks with my yellow lab. The fall colors are lovely!

    Here's a yummy recipe for: "Apple Danish Pastry Bars"

    2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 cup shortening
    1 egg yolk
    1 cup cornflakes
    8 to 10 tart cooking apples, peeled, cored and sliced (8 cups)
    3/4 to 1 cup granulated sugar
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1 egg white, lightly beaten
    1 cup powdered sugar
    3 to 4 teaspoons milk

    1. In a large bowl combine flour and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a liquid measuring cup, beat egg yolk lightly. Add enough milk to make 2/3 cup liquid. Stir well to combine. Stir milk mixture into flour mixture with a fork until combined (dough will be slightly sticky). Divide mixture in half.
    2. On a well-floured surface, roll half of the dough to a 17x12-inch rectangle. Fold dough crosswise into thirds. Transfer to a 15x10x1-inch baking pan and unfold dough, pressing to fit into the bottom and sides of the pan. Sprinkle with cornflakes. Top evenly with apples. In a small bowl combine granulated sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle mixture over apples. Roll remaining dough to a 15x10-inch rectangle. Fold dough crosswise into thirds. Place atop apples and unfold dough. Crimp edges or use the tines of a fork to seal. Cut slits in the top. Brush top with beaten egg white.
    3. Bake in a 375 degrees F oven for 50 minutes or until golden and apples are tender, covering with foil after the first 25 minutes of baking time to prevent overbrowning.
    4. In a small bowl combine powdered sugar and 2 to 3 teaspoons milk to make a drizzling consistency. Drizzle over warm bars. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into bars. Makes 32 bars.

    I would love to win! Count me in please?
    Debbie In Alaska

  30. Love this illustration, the vibrancy and fluidity of the watercolour is exquisite. I love this colourful time of year too. Been making leaf print pictures with my boys. Very generous of you to give away such a beautiful print.

  31. Yay Shirley! A give-a-way!!! I love your sweet animals and all the beautiful colors!

    Book I love: "I Ain't Gonna Paint No More"

    Inspiration: "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do."
    Bob Dylan

  32. Hey Shirley!!! Oh my gosh I can almost smell the wonderful apple pie sitting outside your blog window he he he he he! I love the fall as well. It's the best time of the year. The banner is fabulous! I love it! I was telling Eric Barclay the other day that," Shirley's illustrations take me to another place. A magical place. It's comforting to me in a way that I can't explain." I see your illustrations and think, this is what heaven must be like for children. Your pieces are not sugary sweet, but uplifting and transformational.
    I have been singing your praises since I met you not long ago.
    I expect great things from you Shirley. I believe that what you put out is what you get back. If you are putting out good energy, then good energy is going to come back to you. I think as artist and illustrators and crafters we care to much about what others think of our work instead of loving our own style of work. What do we think of ourselves and how can we be more creative and lend ourselves to the creative process is what we have to be more aware of?
    Stop measuring ourselves, by what has or has not be published. I thought I wanted to be an children's book illustrator, but I found that it can put you in a box and cut you off from things that will give you more expression. I just want to be the best illustrator that I can be and perhaps inspire others along the way.
    You are GOING TO BUST THE BOX OPEN Shirley! I can feel it.
    Big love to you.

  33. I love the header. Such happy colors for the season! Stop by my blog, I'm doing a giveaway too :)

  34. Hi Shirley! Loving the look of your blog with all it's fall colors and beautiful watercolors. And of course, all your cute woodland creatures! My favorite part of fall, besides all the yummy colors - eating yummy pumpkin bread!

  35. I love this! Your animals are probably some of the cutest out there. Great stuff! :)

  36. Stopping in to say hello again and wish you well. I do hope your life is lovely. When you have time, could you please stop by my blog and look at my last couple of posts? Especially "Whittling Willie". I feel like I've discovered a new world in watercolour since my father passed 2 weeks ago and discovering the world of Beatrix Potter. I would LOVE LOVE your true opinion and anything you can see for me to focus on. I really do admire your work. :)


  37. I love the colors of autumn!!
    Your header is great, and so are the other pieces - but I like all of your work ;) Your animals are always so cute.

  38. You're so skilled with your watercolors! The fall header is like art jewelry. So beautiful.

  39. Hi Shirley - I've put an announcement of you give away on my blog ;)

  40. I just found your blog (thanks Brigitte) and I love your art.
    I''m going to look around here a bit more and get inspired by all your great art.

  41. Hah :) Cute used to mean lovable but ugly here in Oz, but 'cute' wwwhen I come to your blog and see your work means 'lovable and beautiful".

    My trick is ":be true to yourself, do what you want in your art, and if people don't like it they have no taste"

    Obviously people who visit your blog have taste. It's a given, gee look at me for example!

    See you. Happy Fall. In Oz we are getting out our spring board shorts and putting away the winter board shorts :)

  42. Came here thru Brigitte - and so glad she put in the link - your work is wonderful and lovely and adorable. I have my fingers crossed for a win!!

  43. Hello of France and beautiful autumn here - this morning there is fog in the vineyards - this is where I live - no, no mushrooms here. Despite my cat who terrorized the countryside, the mice were prepared and their luggage out of the way they expect to pass through the alleys in the bushes towards the walls and under the roof of our house:))) this is where the mice live up 'in the spring.
    j'aime votre illustrations - I just discover your blog by Michelle Mushrooms

  44. I tweeted before I read your post, so I'll say it again. I ADORE this print! The colors are so vivid and the energy is fantastic! Sadly, we don't get that down here in Texas, so I live vicariously through art and photos. It's still my favorite time of year, though.

    One thing I do every fall is go nuts w/ the pumpkin. I bake pumpkin bread, muffins, cinnamon rolls, pancakes, and even a pumpkin smoothie! Since it's in the 80's here today, I thought I'd share the pumpkin smoothie/shake recipe:
    [Pumpkin Pie Milkshake
    (Recipe by Our Best Bites)
    1/3 C pumpkin, canned or homemade
    1/4 - 1/2 C milk
    1/4 t vanilla
    1/2 t cinnamon
    1/16 t cloves (just use a 1/8 t measure and fill it half way, or do a pinch)
    1/16 t nutmeg
    2 T brown sugar
    2 C vanilla ice cream
    a few graham crackers

    Pop it all in a blender. Start with 1/4 C milk and then slowly add more if needed to make the blender process it all. I used somewhere between 1/4-1/2 C.

    A note about blenders: Here's the problem with making thick, diner style milkshakes at home: A lot of times you have to add so much milk to the thing to get the blender to process that it turns into a milk-slushie instead. Or you have to blend and plunge, blend and plunge, etc. So if you have any trouble with your blender, I would recommend blending everything but the ice cream first and then mashing it into the ice cream by hand (well, with a hand. Holding a fork or spoon :) If your scooped ice cream sits out at room temp while you measure the other things and get them all ready, then by the time you mash it all together it should be a good consistency.
    I hope I win! ;)

    Sprinkle with crushed graham cracker crumbs before serving.]

  45. Love your new Fall header Shirley!! The deep reds and oranges are just gorgeous! I love all the wonderful fall colours we get here in Ontario Canada- we are pretty spoiled and lucky I know! It makes up for the very long and crazy-cold winters :) I collected a bag full of acorns and did a Fall/Halloween craft with my youngest child's JK class. We made acorn pirate people for the class's pirate ship pumpkin, complete with colourful leaf sails- adorable. Have a great Fall Shirely, and thank you for the chance to win one of your wonderful illustrations-fingers crossed!

  46. Oh, I love your art...and Harry is a favorite! I love childrens books and have quite a few, but my all time favorite is the classic, Heidi. Enjoy the beautiful weekend and Happy Fall, my friend! ♥

  47. Oooh Shirley, you darling, you! That banner is such a delight... I was an autumn person back in the old days, but since I live in a tropical country now, I think I've converted to a monsoon lover myself! God only knows why I wasn't built for hot humid climate..hehehe...

    Anyway, your art is always lovely, I'm sure anyone winning your prints will be ecstatic! oxx

  48. be still my heart to see watercolors expressed like this. the banner is awesome. and your comments are too: it's obvious you are held in high regard and welcomed arms.

    happy fall, shirley

  49. Wow, a give a way of your charming work. I'm so glad that you left a lovely comment on my blog, otherwise I would have missed it!!

    These illustrations of Harry are so playful and absolutely charming, great idea to give Harry a white color, he comes out better this way with the warm fall colors in the background!!

    My favorite books are those of Ingrid and Dieter Schubert. They have the most beautiful watercolors and are a great inspiration for me. I'm lucky, about two weeks they are signing on a book fair and I will be there!!! :D Just google them and you can admire their work!!

    Lots of greetings

  50. Hi Shirley!

    I'm definitely in the minority because I'm not a big fan of fall. I think it's because I associate it with the coming winter, cold and shorter days. I do love fall colors, though, and your illustration has the perfect palette (and cute characters!) Being a big fan of your work, I'm glad I get to participate in your giveaway.

    Here's one of my favorite books about fall: Leaves by David Ezra Stein. It's just brilliant!


  51. Hi Shirley,

    Autumn is my favorite definitely because in Australia it means an end to our very hot summer. I hate the heat and dream of living somewhere where it snows, sigh! Around here with two little people in tow our 'must do' is to find the a park with the biggest mounds of new fallen leaves (this can take a week of scoping) and then all of us spend a whole morning playing in them, having leaf battles and laughing until our cheeks are sore. And when we are exhausted off to a warm cafe for hot chocolate and marshmallows. : )

    Love Harry, Shirley. He is super gorgeous! As is this 'Hello' illustration - the colour in it is stunning. Hope you and yours are keeping well.

    xx Alisa

  52. I'll leave the prints to others to enjoy, but I wanted to say how great your work is. Truly it was surprise and delight to see your work today, it inspires me to continue with my own goals in illustration. :)

  53. Hi Shirley, I LOVE your work! Beautiful colors and characters!

  54. so very sweet, makes me fell all fuzzy every time I see your adorable work.

  55. Beautiful indeed Shirley! Been a while since the last time I dropped by and I am glad to see these wonderful works. :D

  56. Thanks for the kind words Shirley! :) Its been long, yes--- so so busy! But I guess that's a blessing, right? ;) Stop by again! Have a great one..

  57. Hey Shirley, I had a run in the forest yesterday on some old dirt tracks I found, and there was a deteriorated mound that some BMX riders had been using for jumps and they'd built it up with old logs and coverede it with dirt, and one of the logs I ran past was uncovered, and the white ants had made it hollow, and some creature for sure was living in it, and it reminded me of this wonderful work.

    I thought I would tell you that :)

    see you!

    Maybe it was Monsieur's new holiday cottage ?

  58. Yaayyy Shirley i completely agree with you (though i haven't really been blogging lately), but i always enjoy visiting my friend's blogs and my little Love Monsieur, of course!!!!!

    You know, Harry the Hare is cute, but i don't think i should cheat on Monsieur :D


  59. whoa, it took me five minutes just to scroll to the bottom! well deserved comments for such wonderful illustrations. your characters have such a nice soft touch to them. i also saw your They Draw and Cook contribution and it is fantastic! My mom always made us english muffin pizzas. :)

  60. Shirley, I love reading all these comments about your work!
    Count me in among your growing fan club membership!

    Here's a new little poem for you at
    The BALD EGO Blog

  61. Today I followed my wee dog out in the back garden, and wished I could just stay and stay... there is a warmth and crispness in autumn, just before the winter that is all too brief. I never tire of it or the incredible color! In fact, I'm off just now for a walk.
    Adore your work lady!!

  62. I have been thinking of you! Hope you are well.

  63. I just love the colours! really great! autums was the most inspirational season for many Russian poets, because it is so calm and cosy to sit at home and observe the changes in nature.

  64. Hi Shirley! So happy to hear from you. Yeah, it's been a long journey, but I think I'm falling into my niche at long last. Your drawings are still mesmerizing and breathtaking. So good to see so much color and vibrancy! Thanks so much for the kind words and I will keep you posted on my progress with this new venture.

    Sorry I missed the giveaway. Keep creating!

  65. Beautiful and so cute! I love your header and the little bunny! Nice Illustrations!-Danielle C. McManus

  66. love it love it love it love it! and let me tell you again... I LOVE IT! :)


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