Favorite childhood books: things that inspire

Favorite childhood books: things that inspire

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Everyone treasures those select few favorite childhood books. You know the ones. These books have been read so many times, the binding is cracked and splintered. And, these books came to life when we read them, and the words engraved into the very marrow of our bones. These books hold stories that were our dearest friends, our closest companions, and our solace in many a darker time. Finally, they helped us to escape from the drudgery of life. They became our first loves. And, they taught us how to dream big.

So, what makes us gravitate to certain books more than others?

In all honesty, I have no answer for what makes this book greater than that book and vice versa. I know only that the books I gravitated toward had a tendency to show one or more of the following characteristics:

  • A character I identified with: If I could not find a character to identify with, I put the book down. I have always needed that connection to the story, a person who made me cheer for them, cry with them, feel everything they felt. Otherwise, a story lays flat and wooden to me.
  • Fantasy: Honestly, the more fantastical a story, the more I loved it. Real life can get pretty darn bleak, after all, and I wanted my stories to take me away from real life.
  • Humor: No book is complete without the ability to make me laugh. Sure, most of the time I laugh, then cry, then laugh some more, then get angry… whew. But, while a really good book sends me on one humongous, emotional roller coaster, it needs to make me laugh a lot to make up for it.
  • A happy ending: That’s right folks. No tragedies for this girl (see Fantasy section). Now, don’t get me wrong, I can handle a book where I KNOW there’s going to be some sort of tear-jerk ending (Fault In Our Stars, anyone?). However, I just tend to avoid seeking out those books unless they come HIGHLY recommended (and, to be honest, FIOS is absolutely hilarious, too, so I can forgive the sob fests). That said, I absolutely loathe being blindsided and will hate a book forever if it tricks me with a horrible, dark, tragic ending.

Want to know more?

Then, keep reading my top 5 favorite childhood books:

Check out the slideshow* below:

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Just Imagine

favorite childhood books

My all-time favorite picture book, and one of the many reasons I wanted to be an illustrator when I grew up. The rhymes are ridiculous and lovely and chalk full of fantasy – from dragons and fairies to teddy bear knights and beyond – and each illustration captures the reader. Honestly, this book is too perfect for words.

Sadly, this one is out of print, but it can be purchased used and, to me, is worth so worth every penny!

buy now from amazon

Winnie-the-Pooh

winnie the pooh book coverAnother huge favorite. I have always loved the sketchy, soft quality of the original illustrations. The stories are sweet, whimsical — and the characters, beloved. I loved these stories so much that I have always vowed my first nursery would be a Classic Pooh theme. Sadly, that hasn’t been possible, but it doesn’t keep me from having my own little collection of keepsakes. 😉

“Since 1926, Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends—Piglet, Owl, Tigger, and the ever doleful Eeyore—have endured as the unforgettable creations of A.A. Milne, who wrote this book for his son, Christopher Robin, and Ernest H. Shepard, who lovingly gave Pooh and his companions shape. These characters and their stories are timeless treasures of childhood that continue to speak to all of us with the kind of freshness and heart that distinguishes true storytelling.”

buy now from amazon

 

True Story of the 3 Little Pigs

The True Story of the Three Little Pigs LLED 402 Blog 241x300 - Favorite childhood books: things that inspireI remember winning this book at my elementary school, and it was an immediate favorite. The story made me laugh out loud, but the illustrations really drew me in and made me love it. It’s such a silly premise that I would be hard pressed to find someone that doesn’t enjoy it.

“In this hysterical and clever fracture fairy tale picture book that twists point of view and perspective, young readers will finally hear the other side of the story of ‘The Three Little Pigs.'”

buy now from amazon

 

Anne of Green Gables

619RpdGjmwL 275x300 - Favorite childhood books: things that inspireI consider Anne of Green Gables another classic series. The story follows a young orphan girl through life, from finding a family, to finding friends, to finding love and beyond. It warms the heart, has all the whimsy a girl like me could ask for, and has been read by me more times than I can count. Those characters are MY kindred spirits.

“Favorites for nearly 100 years, these classic novels follow the adventures of the spirited redhead Anne Shirley, who comes to stay at Green Gables and wins the hearts of everyone she meets.”

buy now from amazon

Chronicles of Narnia

the chronicles of narnia 199x300 - Favorite childhood books: things that inspireLast, but CERTAINLY not least – C .S. Lewis tops my chart of all-time-favorite authors. I’ve read about everything he’s written twice and three-times over, this series most of all. I cannot say enough good things about it, from the character development to the breathtaking description and the poetic way Lewis writes. You aren’t dragged into the story – you go willingly, excitedly, through that wardrobe and into an amazing world where things aren’t always what they seem.

“C. S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia has captivated readers of all ages for over sixty years, enchanting them with fantastical talking creatures, epic battles between good and evil, and magical doorways into new lands.”

buy now from amazon

As I mentioned before, these are only a small sampling of my favorites. After all, I was a huge bookworm growing up so to really delve into all of the books who touched me in some way throughout my childhood — well, we’d be here a long, long time. 🙂

Now that I’ve shared my favorite childhood books, tell me, what are yours? I’d love to know! Just write them in the comments below.

*Advertising Disclosure*

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Lady Liberty Coloring Page: “These Arms are Wide Enough”

Lady Liberty Coloring Page: “These Arms are Wide Enough”

Lady Liberty Coloring Page“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses…”

For those who expressed interest, here is a FREE coloring page download of the Lady Liberty Coloring Page based off the drawing that I’ve titled “These Arms are Wide Enough.”

This illustration was hand drawn and optimized in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. The coloring page depicts the Statue of Liberty holding refugee children in her lap, with the words “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…”

*** I would love to see your finished art. Feel free to post them on my Facebook page, or tag me via Instagram, Twitter, or Tumblr. I can’t wait to see and share what you create! ***

CLICK HERE FOR YOUR FREE DOWNLOAD!

Happy Belated Holidays – 2017 Edition

Happy Belated Holidays – 2017 Edition

 Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Happy Kwanzaa! -and- Happy New Year!

Happy belated holidays, y’all (she said, sheepishly)

Well, this is the first Monday back from the holidays (boooooo!). I hope that everyone had a nice, relaxing break! Mine was not nearly long enough – but that’s the sad truth of a developer who has very little vacation time (boo, crappy benefits packages).

Anyway, did you miss me?! (Sorry. I may have watched Sherlock this weekend. Ehem.)

For those of you dear readers who may not have received it via my social media accounts, here are my holiday illustrations. The first I did for Christmas:

I also did a little one for New Year’s Eve – because, frankly, the only way to celebrate the END OF 2016 was to drink lots of alcohol fizzy drinks!

Now, it being a new year and all, how about some resolutions? January comes every year, and every year I like to think of it as a mini reset button on my life. Not to say that the year before never happened — but it’s a chance for me to stop and think about things I’d like to change and better myself. Many people hate new year’s resolutions, and I totally get it. But, I always like to think of things I could improve on from the previous year. Here are my top five resolutions:

  1. Be more present.
  2. Stress less.
  3. Exercise and meditate daily!
  4. Focus on the little things.
  5. Show gratitude.

Not too bad, eh? Definitely things worth striving for, in my opinion.

I don’t know about you, but I’m really excited to see what 2017 has in store. Be on the look out this week for some news — both here and on my social media (if you don’t follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and/or Facebook, the links are to the left!).

Lots of love to you all!

♥ D.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

This week, I will be disconnecting from the inter-webs to spend time with my wonderful family. (Well, as much as I possibly can. I mean, let’s be honest.) Before I go, I just wanted to share this very important Thanksgiving message!

Thanks to each and every one of you. Your words of praise and encouragement mean the world to me. Your sincere interest in my work is what keeps me creating. 

So, whether you celebrate the holiday or not. Whether you are from right here in America or far across the ocean – Happy Thanksgiving! Because the holiday, to me, is about giving thanks – and YOU are the thing I am most grateful for. 

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My favorite things about autumn (& fun things to do when the weather starts to turn)

My favorite things about autumn (& fun things to do when the weather starts to turn)

I miss autumn on the east coast.

autumn east coast fall change forest path dirt road leaves

That crisp air and the crinkling of leaves underfoot. Red, amber, orange, and gold that explodes in a kaleidoscope of color everywhere I turn. The biting scent of burning firewood from chimneys and outdoor fire pits. Scarves and warm fabrics; heavy boots and sweaters. Pumpkin everything.

Back in my hometown, you are completely immersed in the fall season. The leaves pile high enough to jump into. Once the weather turns cold, it sticks to you and lingers. Cold turns colder. Frost covers every surface . Every waking moment, you are reminded of the season. Halloween seems a tangible, real thing. Pumpkins and pumpkin spice are the norm.

Okay, so living down south still has a lot of those things. Certainly the pumpkin. But, it’s hard to enjoy fall when the mornings are frigid but, by midday, the temperature has shot up 40 or 50 degrees and the afternoons turn sweltering hot. (Mother Nature has a serious case of menopause down here.)

Alabama autumns just aren’t the same.

fall leaves turning colors white picket fence forest

In Alabama, the trees hold onto their leaves until the last possible second. There are brief flashes of color interspersed within the green, until one day late in the season – the leaves fall in great bunches, leaving the branches bare for winter. No kaleidoscope. Just a spark that extinguishes when winter rolls in.

Halloween makes less sense to me in that warm Alabama weather. Pumpkins and pumpkin spice seems a bit forced.Although I am jealous of the kids in this area. (Insert old granny voice) When I was that age, we fought tooth and nail every year NOT to have to wear a winter coat over our costumes. Here, it’s so nice out that they usually don’t need any jacket at all. Many times I remember my friends and I (unsuccessfully) trying to squeeze out coats underneath the costume. Marshmallow ballerinas, puffy superheroes, policemen that looked like that had one too many donuts… it was truly a sight to behold.

But, north or south, east or west, autumn is still my favorite time of year. If you’re like me, autumn is the perfect time to reflect. It is a time of creative renewal. I get my second wind, and the ideas start rolling in.

Here are some fun things to do to keep you in a creative, artistic mindset (and maybe a jumping off point for some great new projects!):

Now that you are in the right mindset, take this time to think about your favorite fall things. Maybe jot them down, describe them in detail. Try out one of the ideas above. Snap photos. Journal. Mind map some new ideas.

While you are delving into all these creative outlets – what are your favorite things about autumn? And, what sort of things do you like to create during this season? Post them in the comments below!

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