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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: winter, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 348
1. throwback to my favorite season....

silence of the snowdrops
8x10, acrylic on canvas
©the enchanted easel 2016
WINTER!!!

with almost triple digits temps going on here the last few days (ugh!) well, i thought we could all use a friendly reminder of a much colder time....you're welcome. :)

{ps and btw, this is my favorite painting. must be the winter theme...}

PRINTS HERE. OTHER GOODIES HERE. and for a little Eira (that's her name) in the making, visit my Facebook page HERE.

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2. Book Review: Winter by Marissa Meyer

Title: Winter
Author: Marissa Meyer
Published: 2015
Source: Local Library

Summary: The war for Luna is on. Cinder and all her friends are running an underground rebellion, while Kai works on the political scale to quietly undermine Luna. It's a dangerous game they play, with consequences for both worlds. Meanwhile, the broken and mad princess of Luna, Winter, may end up being the wild card of this war after all.

First Impressions: For as many moving parts as this book had, I think Meyer did a pretty good job of pulling it all together, and giving all characters relationships with each other, not just their love interest.

Later On: You definitely could not read this book first of the series. There are too many threads that have to get tied up from other books. But it's a giant fat book that I could not put down. It dragged me through all the ups and downs, through the tangled and interweaving storylines, to the triumphant and still slightly somber end.

Meyer also does something nice in that almost every character on the good guys' side has at least one scene with every other character where they're working together and depending on each other. The story is not broken out into one couple does this, another couple does this. You get the sense that this whole set of eight people (plus Iko) all really like and support each other and they can work together, even with their differences. For a series that's structured as four romances, it's a way of showing that people still have important platonic relationships outside their love story that I really appreciated in a series aimed at teens.

I do wish we'd gotten more of Winter earlier in the series. While she had some great character moments, she veered into the poor manic mystic territory a lot, and I mean that both in the manic pixie dream girl sense and in the mental illness sense. The lunar people loved her so much that she impacted the course of the war, but mostly because of how beautiful she was, not for anything she ever really did. I was not entirely satisfied with her characterization, which is a shame in the book that was named for her.

More: Smart Bitches Trashy Books
Forever Young Adult

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3. so, these arrived the other day...

well done, Society6. well done.

you know, it's always such a rush to see my finished paintings on products such as tote bags, wall clocks, tech cases, etc. really. it never gets old. to say it's rewarding is well, an understatement. NOTHING makes me happier than painting/drawing. COUNTLESS hours go into building up a painting....from the initial sketching process to the layers of prep work for the canvas and then the of course adding the COLOR with layers of acrylic. every single brush stroke is a joy to make. then, to see it all done is overwhelming. (i must confess, i cry sometimes when i finish a painting...there's just SO much emotion and passion that i put into each and every single one. finishing one is definitely bittersweet...whether it's a commission or just one that i've painted that will sit in my studio until it sells one day). so back to Society6 and the A-MAZ-ING printing job they do....

the above pic shows the tote bag (sized at 16x16) and the really awesome "carry all pouch" (as they call it-available in THREE sizes-this is the medium). love love love how these turned out. so true to the original painting (which is FOR SALE-contact me if interested)...just lovely.

also ordered a few mugs for Mother's Days gifts that impressed me as well (pic coming soon). they have everything from wall clocks to throw pillows to duvet covers to stationary cards. click on over here to the homepage and check out some other really great artists and their products. you won't be disappointed.

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4. The Thing About Yetis – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Title: The Thing About Yetis Author & Illustrator: Vin Vogel Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers, 2015 Themes: winter, yetis, summer Ages: 3-5 Opening: The thing about yetis is that yetis love winter Synopsis: Everyone knows yetis love winter. They love snowball fights and hot chocolate and sledding. But even yetis … Continue reading

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5. FINALLY....

got around to curating my first little treasury on etsy late last night (yay me!)....inspired by one of my favorite flowers (and recent paintings), the delicate and graceful snowdrop.

click on over and take a look at the exquisite handmade items i found in my search. they are simply stunning in their own right.

silence of the snowdrops
8x10 acrylic oncanvas
©the enchanted easel 2016
the other inspiration for this lovely treasury, my painting entitled "silence of the snowdrops". prints here and other goodies here.

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6. the making of "silence of the snowdrops"...step by step!

i thought it would be interetsing and fun to take a look into the creative process of my paintings...from thumbnail to sketch to paint palette(s) to the finsihed piece. i know i absolutely geek out looking at other artists WIPs so i thought i'd create a new album after each painting of the step by step process i use (and have used for YEARS) and share it with everyone. i work traditonally...pencil, paper, paint, canvas. i have much respect for the digital artists of the world yet for me, the passion and love will ALWAYS be in the traditonal tube of paint. old school...and proud. 

for a look at the full album and step by step instructions, please click on over to my Facebook page...and perhaps give it a "like", if you would be so kind! :)

PRINTS of this beauty here. ORIGINAL PAINTING is AVAILABLE. contact me, if interested. 

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7. first painting of 2016...done!

silence of the snowdrops
8x10 acrylic on canvas
©the enchanted easel 2016
winter, my favorite season. meet Eyra...."silence of the snowdrops".

this is my most favorite painting i have ever done. i am a winter lover through and through and nothing will ever change that. snow, icicles, cold air, snowdrops....i love all of it. tried a softer color palette for this piece to (hopefully) convey that frosty feel that winter brings and i also tried a bit of a new technique (which i am currently obsessing over)...

MULTIPLE coats of gesso on an already pre-primed canvas. i. am. smitten. i wanted something smoother, something that didn't *eat* the paint like the very lightly pre-primed canvas did. i tossed around painting on wood but then didn't want to have to go down the road of heavy shipping rates being that the wood is considerably heavier than canvas. plus, i love canvas....painted on it since i was a little girl when i got my hands on my first paintbrush so i kind of have a sentimental attachment to it (big surprise, what am i NOT sentimentally attached to?!). anyhoo...i have found that 6 coats (yes, 6) got me the texture (or lack of) that i was seeking. applied in alternate directions (one app-vertical, next app-horizontal...and so forth) with LIGHT sanding in between...paint applied like a dream. time to start buying gesso in buckets...:)

beautiful little Eyra is for sale as a PRINT here  with other novelties featuring this lovely here.

see, winter can be beautiful...:)

*ORIGNAL PAINTING IS FOR SALE. EMAIL ME HERE IF INTERESTED.

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8. SNOW, multitasking...and SUPER BOWL BOUND!!!

crazy couple of weeks (hence the lack of blogging-*hangs head in shame*) but i've been busy and that's a very good thing!





another good thing? i FINALLY got my SNOW!!! over 30"....not too shabby! 


and what's the greatest thing that's happened to me in the last 2 weeks? wait for it, wait for it....PEYTON MANNING IS SUPER BOWL BOUND!!! (should have just done a whole separate post for this one....LOVE THIS MAN) i cried like a baby. EVERYONE who knows me personally knows how much respect and love i have for this man...and have (loyally) for almost TWO DECADES. never wavered once. knowing this may be his last rodeo, well i want him to go out BIG! no one is more deserving. prayers and fingers crossed for a SB WIN on 2/7/16....although this man will ALWAYS be a WINNER to me! love you, Peyton Manning.





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9. Get ready for snow!



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10. A Snowy Day Read-Aloud!

[There is a video that cannot be displayed in this feed. Visit the blog entry to see the video.]

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11. 2016's first week....

so sometime this winter, i'd really love to see some snow...until then, i'll have to paint myself a beautiful winter muse. and that's exactly what i've been working on....


  

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12. Fog everywhere: an extract from Charles Dickens’ Bleak House

London. Michaelmas term lately over, and the Lord Chancellor sitting in Lincoln's Inn Hall. Implacable November weather. As much mud in the streets as if the waters had but newly retired from the face of the earth, and it would not be wonderful to meet a Megalosaurus, forty feet long or so, waddling like an elephantine lizard up Holborn Hill.

The post Fog everywhere: an extract from Charles Dickens’ Bleak House appeared first on OUPblog.

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13. Happy Holidays

Wherever you are, whatever you celebrate, I hope you have a season full of friendly faces and happy memories. See you in 2016!

xmas-ribbons

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14. DECEMBER DISCOUNT DAYS...DAY 22!



so, today is officially WINTER!!! well, i am ecstatic about that as it is and always will be my favorite season. however, i may have a bone or two to pick with Mr. December. this month has been more like spring than any December i can remember....and that bums me out. hopefully, at some point. Jack Frost will decide to pay me a visit. i miss him.

on a happier note....today is officially the first day of WINTER!!! and this beauty is today's FEATURED DRAWING! the lovely and pristine, Crystal.

{on a side note, i'm wearing RAIN boots to the post office today instead of SNOW boots. can i just say how wrong that is?! :( }

***last year on this day, i was snapping pics with Jack Frost....my forever love.***


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15. How is snow formed? [infographic]

Every winter the child inside us hopes for snow. It brings with it the potential for days off work and school, the chance to make snowmen, create snow angels, and have snowball fights with anyone that might happen to walk past. But as the snow falls have you ever wondered how it is formed? What goes on in the clouds high above our heads to make these snowflakes come to life?

The post How is snow formed? [infographic] appeared first on OUPblog.

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16. DECEMBER DISCOUNT DAYS...DAY 15!

day 15 featuring this guy....40% off this ORIGINAL PAINTING of the  adorable little bow tie wearing penguin, Apsen.

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17. Once Upon a Northern Night

UK cover (L), North American cover (R)

UK cover (L), North American cover (R)

Once Upon a Northern Night by Jean E. Pendziwol, illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault makes me weep.

I first read it back in April earlier this year, surrounded by a sea of people whirling about, chattering, elbow to elbow at a book conference. Despite the din of excited activity all around me, as I read Once Upon a Northern Night I quickly found myself inside one of those silent and perfectly still moments where the surrounding soundtrack fades to nothing, leaving a peacefulness where things can take you utterly by surprise.

Once Upon a Northern Night is a poem all about parental love. About how a parent looks at their sleeping child one evening and, with the magic intense love can provide, conjures up a wintry world full of wonder to gift to their child.

It’s a paean to nature’s beauty set against a snowy night-time backdrop. Pendziwol’s text (disguised as picture book prose) is some of the most beautiful I’ve read all year, set with those moments where description brings an unexpected focus to an everyday image, taking your breath away as you see it as if for the first, astonishing time.

Arsenault’s illustrations are masterpieces in the use of colour, even though they are primarily black, white and sepia. Accents of colour lift them off the page, acting like tangible manifestations of those poetic moments of startling, touching clarity. A certain (apparent) naivety in style acts as a foil to the rich prose, keeping our feet on the ground, ensuring the text’s tenderness never cloys but remains authentic and profoundly moving.

Every line is beautiful in this book, but one set of images caught my imagination in particular:

Once upon a northern night,
deep,
deep
in the darkest hours,
the snowy clouds crept away
and stars appeared –
twinkling points of light
hanging in the purple sky.

I knew by the time you woke,
the sun would have chased them away,
so I set them like diamonds
on the branches of the willow.

This made me want to bring home stars for my two children I sought out old chandeliers in our local charity and junk shops and we spent an afternoon taking them to pieces, to create mounds of stars-disguised as diamonds.

snowflakes2

We then re-threaded them with silver silk and “set them like diamonds / on the branches of the willow” in our back garden.

capturedstars1

capturedstars3

capturedstars4

We also hung some up in the window of our front room and now when the morning sun shines it scatters rainbows across my workspace.

scatteredrainbows

I didn’t make the connection straight away, but I do wonder if I was a little bit influenced in this enterprise by Pollyanna.

Whilst we re-hung our stars we listened to:

  • December by Skipinnish (my kids’ favourite band at the moment)
  • Lintuseni by Finno Balkan Voices. Hauntingly beautiful music.
  • BBC Radio 3 currently have a Northern Lights season and we’ve heard some gorgeous, haunting music as part of it, not least during their poetry-and-music-programme-on-a-theme, Words and Music, all about the North Pole.

  • Other activities which might work well alongside reading Once Upon a Northern Night include:

  • Creating paper snowflakes. Here’s a whole Pinterest board dedicated to them. My little ballet dancer likes the ones turning snowflakes into tutus!
  • Use puffy fabric paint or PVA glue to make 3D snowflakes which will cling to your windows. Here’s one tutorial but there are many more out there on the web.
  • Signing up for aurora alerts. There’s Aurora Watch UK, Aurora Service (North America) and Aurora Service (Australia). And here’s an interesting article about auroras on planets other than earth.

  • If you liked this post you might like these other posts by me:

  • On the difficulties of sharing something you find exquisite – When Dad Showed Me the Universe written by Ulf Stark, illustrated by Eva Eriksson
  • Love and a lost toy – Ernest & Celestine by Gabrielle Vincent
  • Frost, birds and the countdown begins – Night Tree by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Ted Rand
  • northernightlinks

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    Disclosure: I was sent a free review copy of this book by the publisher.

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    18. Stína

    stinaIt’s unseasonably warm in my part of the world at the moment, and here at Playing by the book we’re all longing for crisp days, with snow and ice and sparkle and the sort of mint-fresh air which gives you the magical ability to breathe out puffs of microscopic diamonds. Dreaming of a proper winter, we’ve really enjoyed stepping into the world of Icelandic author and illustrator Lani Yamamoto with her new book, Stína.

    Stína appears to live alone in a cabin (you can easily imagine she is a good friend of a slightly grown-up Pippi Longstocking). She’s inventive, clever, capable and resourceful, able to solve her every day problems with flair and charm. But as winter sets in, she becomes a prisoner in her own home: Stína really hates the cold and finds it ever harder to leave the warmth of her bed, even though she’s curious about the white landscape and children playing – apparently unperturbed by the bitter cold – she can see through her window.

    This is a delightful tale of unexpected friendship and of being brave and imaginative enough to try doing something you couldn’t believe you could do. It’s about being a person not defined either by stereotypes (Stína has her own tool box but also sews and knits) or your own expectations of yourself (Stína is afraid of the cold, but doesn’t let it stifle her curiosity) and it is uplifting, empowering and heart-warming.

    stina1

    Stína is also simply but beautifully produced. A cloth cover and black line drawings enhanced by a restricted, primarily blue and green palette give this stylish book a homespun and yet stylish feel. The positive, can-do attitude of Stína, the way she makes friends and the story’s quiet exploration of the benefits of being open and brave make this a book it’s a real delight to share.

    stina2

    Whilst Stína is very much a story book, one of the reasons it appeals so much to all of us at Playing by the book is that it is also part activity book. There are instructions for finger knitting (an activity Stína teachers her new friends), and a hot chocolate recipe. Taking our lead from our new favourite heroine we set about trying to invent the yummiest hot chocolate ever experienced in the Playing by the Book Household.

    hotchocolate1

    We drew up a list of potential ingredients:

  • Cocoa
  • Hot Chocolate powder
  • Milk
  • Double cream
  • Squirty cream
  • Sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Chilli flakes
  • Cardamom
  • Cloves
  • Nutmeg
  • Mini marshmallows
  • A vanilla pod
  • Sprinkles
  • Broken up bars of milk chocolate and dark chocolate

  • Each person got to create their own recipe using whatever they liked from the list. Rigorous taste testing was then carried out, assessing our hot chocolates, not only for general yumminess but also for interesting ingredients and unusualness.

    hotchocolate2

    Essentially this was like a “potions” making activity, but entirely edible (or drinkable) and with lots of lip and finger licking.

    hotchocolate3
    My personal favorite turned out to be a recipe using a good dash of cream and a pinch of cinnamon, though J preferred the version she created where the hot chocolate was stirred with a vanilla pod and M liked her version with a tall tower of squirty cream and lots of spices.

    hotchocolate4

    A simple but very satisfying after school winter activity! Indulgent and imaginative, I can only encourage you to set up your own hot chocolate testing laboratory!

    Whilst empirically researching hot chocolate we listened to:

  • Hot Chocolate by Recess Monkey
  • Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! sung by Dean Martin
  • The Little Holly Tree by Ange Hardy. Just such a lovely wintry song.

  • Other activities which might work well alongside reading Stína include:

  • Recycling your old duvets – homeless shelters and animal sanctuaries may accept them, if they are in reasonable condition and machine washable.
  • Planning some snow games just in case it gets cold enough to bring what everyone one in this home really wants for Christmas. Games we love include painting snow with water tinted with food colouring or even tempura paint, making giant coloured ice marbles with balloons, or stocking up on maple syrup ready for making sugar snow.
  • Trying out ARM knitting. Stína does some finger knitting, but have you ever tried using your arms instead of knitting needles?

  • If you liked this post you might like these other posts by me:

  • Some things are worth waiting for: Snow by Samuel Usher
  • Is it snowing yet? 2 winter reads shimmering with hoarfrost
  • Snowflakes, Seedheads and CBeebies
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    19. Cold Water Swim

     
    Adelie Penguins
                                                                  acrylic gouache on paper
                                                                          by Joanne Friar

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    20. DECEMBER DISCOUNT DAYS....DAY 2!


    this beauty is TODAY'S FEATURED DISCOUNT piece....an ORIGINAL DRAWING (and one of my favorites, if i do say so myself). 

    click here to purchase the beautiful, Icelyn...and here to read a bit about DECEMBER DISCOUNT DAYS.

    {check back tomorrow for Thursday's featured piece...}

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    21. it's beginning to look a lot like CHRISTMAS...

    with these little treasures!!!

    so, i thought i'd combine my love of winter with my other love of Christmas by making these precious holiday ornaments featuring PRINTS of my three whimsical winter girls...Icelyn, Crystal and Glacia. 

    the ORIGINAL DRAWINGS are also FOR SALE. links posted under the photos below.

    pick up one (or all three) of these one of a kind little lovelies to add some sparkle to your tree!




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    22. Winter Woods

    A variety of birds found in the woods for a natural science book I illustrated.  The reference was easy...right behind my house



    !


    Wonderful Woods
    Steven James Petruccio

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    23. Winter Season's Greetings!


    from Butterfly Counting 

    written by Jerry Pallotta and illustrated by Shennen Bersani

    Sorry penguin, there are zero butterflies in Antarctica.  Wishing everyone magical season's greetings!


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    24. DECEMBER DISCOUNT DAYS...DAY 9!


    40% off day 9's FEATURED ORIGINAL DRAWING....the happy little Glacia.

    {proof indeed that winter is wonderful! :)}

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    25. Winter Wonderland sketches - preschool book that celebrates the wonder of winter for young and old....





    Sketches from "Winter Wonderland"  written by Debbie Estrem.
    This is the third book in a nostalgic series for parents and 
    grandparents to share with little ones, celebrating 
    the best memories of every season. 

    The first two books in the series are now available!




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