Spring Flower

Spring Fower, Illustration, by cheri cottrell

” Spring Flower “ 

Spring Flowers is just one of my favorite things, there is inspiration everywhere I look…flowers truly make my heart sing! As the warmer temperature starts to creep in (Warm for me right now is about 35 degrees.) I get this happy feeling. I have to warn myself that it is too soon to pack away ALL my winter clothes and replace them with my spring, summer clothes. It is so wonderful to have daylight savings, even now the days seem so much longer, the light pours in from every window and fills the house with warmth and a happy glow! 

I was going to put up the picture that inspired the painting, but it seemed so sad in comparison to the watercolor illustration. ” Spring Flower ” was painted on a whim, I was about to throw out the bulbs that were planted in a pot which were straggly and a tangled hot mess when I said to myself…” You were such a pretty little flower.” And that was it I went off and sketched and painted until the sun went down last night. Funny isn’t it how inspiration hits us, it seems to come when we least expect it!




~ Cindy ~ Skip To My Lou


Spring Purple Flowers

Spring,cheri cottrell illustrator,flowers, gardening

“Sing like no one’s listening,


love like you’ve never been hurt,


dance like nobody’s watching,



Spring purplish purple cheri cottrell illustraot flowers


live like its heaven on earth.”


~ Mark Twain ~

Spring purple flowers cheri cottrell artist and illustrator

Spring purple flowers purplish

Spring purplish purple cheri cottrell illustraot flowers

spring purple things flowers

Spring purple flowers cheri cottrell artist and illustrator

Saturday felt like Spring…I opened several windows. I felt like Julie Andrews in the “Sound of Music“, you know the song…”The hills are alive with the sound of music…” Not warm enough for flip-flops but were getting there.

I went to the Boston Flower Show with my daughters this week. I saw beautiful flowers it was just enough to waken all the senses. I couldn’t wait to get home and put flowers everywhere! In the midst of my spring mood I wanted to paint something purple in the honor of spring. Sometimes if I am out and about town and I have an idea I will grab anything and sketch it out on a piece of scrap paper, napkin – just about anything. I remembered I had put it in a safe place so I wouldn’t lose it…I think you know where I am going with this. I couldn’t find it. Do you ever do that ? I  searched everywhere, cleaned out draws, went through closets, looked in all my coats and pants pockets, etc. Nope nowhere to be found. Eventually I gave up defeated. Yesterday was a full work day starting a 5 AM. I took out all my supplies and was ready to start, when I opened up a sketch pad and between the papers…UREKA!!! I found it. Yes it all makes sense now! I had put it in the sketch book so when I wanted to sketch something I would have found it! At the end of my day yesterday, I pulled out a small box and labeled it “Scraps Thoughts and Sketches.” I even gave it a honoray place in my art room. Now all I need to do is remember to put them in there when I get home…

Spring purplish purple cheri cottrell illustraot flowers

Have a wonderful day full of spring purple flowers!



Winter Story

Winter Story childrens story cheri cottrell watercolor illustrator


Bean produced three berries from his pocket, but seemed disappointed with the result.


Without letting Coco see his worried eyes, he reached in for more and was alarmed when his small paws felt nothing but the seam of his coat pocket.


“The berries! The berries are gone!” exclaimed Bean.


Coco watched her friend search his coat. In the bottom corner of his right-hand pocket was a small hole.


Coco looked at Bean with sympathetic eyes and then at the three small berries in his hand.

Winter story cheri cottrell illustrator  children's story


“At least we have something.”


But Coco, what are we going to do with –’ however before Bean could finish his thought, Coco let out a loud squeal.


“Look!” yelled Coco enthusiastically. In the distance was a fallen tree. “We can use some of the bark to build a shelter.”


The two Hammies trudged through the snow to investigate the tree. At the base was an old wooden door.

Winter story, children's story, cheri cottrell illustrator


“I think someone lives here,” cautioned Bean. “We shouldn’t intrude.”


Coco was less polite.


“But where else can we go?”  Coco asked as she curled her tiny paw and rapped on the thick wooden door.


The door creaked open, revealing an empty chamber. The floor was covered in dry grass and beach rose decorated the dry dirt walls.

winter story, children's story cheri cottrell illustrator


It’s an old root cellar!” shouted Coco.


Protected from the cold wintery elements, Bean carefully placed each berry in a chipped seashell and offered them to his friend.

winter story, children's story, cheri cottrell illustrator


“You have them, “ said Bean.


“No, we’ll have them.” Whispered Coco, the joy of sharing with her friend made her nose wiggle and her whiskers bounce with happiness!



That night the wind whipped and the snow blew, but Coco and Bean were none the wiser. Exhausted and drowsy from the trek, the two fell asleep easily in spite of their hollow tummies.

Watercolor illustrations Cheri Cottrell


The following morning, Coco and Bean were awakened – not by a Boondoogle – but by the sound of Papa Dubois and Papa Higgins banging on the wooden door.


“Hello, is anyone there?” bellowed Papa Higgins through the great door.


Coco and Bean awoke from their makeshift grass beds and ran towards the door. Coco reached for the doorknob but before she could turn it, the door swung open.


Papa Dubois and Papa Higgins scooped up the little Hammies in their arms and hugged them tightly.

“How did you know we were here?” asked Coco.


“We followed the trail of berries,” said Papa Dubois. “We found one by the snowman and then another and another and another, until they led us here.”

Cheri Cottrell storyteller chilrens illustrator


The weather had become much nicer and the sun was shining high in the sky. The four Hammies went back home. “Mama is making a berry pie,” said Papa Higgins in a loud, cheerful voice. Bean and Coco looked at each other. “Berry pie!” The two Hammies could hardly contain themselves and started laughing.

~ The End ~

winter story, cheri cottrell illustrator, children's stroyWarmly


To read ” Winter Story ” in it’s entirety click on the link


March Springtime
Weddings & Babies

march springtime babbies weddings

“The March wind roars

Like a lion in the sky,

And makes us shiver

As he passes by.

When winds are soft,

And the days are warm and clear,

Just like a gentle lamb,

Then spring is here.”

~ Author Unknown ~

March is one of those months that just puts a little spring into my step. I get all excited about crocuses and tulips. Oh yeah! And the anticipation of a little warmer weather!!! It has been a brutal winter here on the East Coast! We still have snow and snow and lots of snow! I want to dig out my flip-flops so they are all ready to go…just in preparation for when that beautiful spring day comes I can don my sweater and flips-flops and feel that beautiful warm breeze and the sweet air that flows off the coast…it just gives me that lift I need to say spring is on its way!



Winter Story
“Lost In Snow”

 Tracking paw prints in the snow was hard work and they were growing cold and weary.  It was the sound of branches breaking off in the distance from the crisp and frosty air that broke the silence between friends.

Children's story Cheri Cottrell,betrix potter


Suddenly, Coco grabbed Bean by the hand, squeezing it tightly.


“I can’t see anymore paw prints,” said Coco anxiously. 


“Neither can I,” said Bean.


At that moment they both looked around and noticed the snow was coming down heavier. The wind blew hard across the hills covering the paw prints as well as their own tracks in the snow. 

kind childrens story, cheri cottrell


 “How will we find our way back? I’m so hungry and cold,” whispered Coco.


Bean put his paw around his friend. “I have extra berries in my pocket, once we find some shelter, we’ll have a feast!”

Cheri Cottrell storyteller chilrens illustrator


Warmed by Bean’s words, the two went off to find some relief from the bitter cold.

Watercolor illustrations Cheri Cottrell

 Come back next Monday to see the continuation of

Coco & Bean’s


The Story From The Beginning



Children's Winter Story Cheri Cottrell

Did you notice Bean shared something with his friend?







A Winter Story
“The Beginning”

The snow fell all morning covering Kettle Cove in a thick blanket of fluffy white snow. Coco and Bean were busy building a large snow hammy, hoping theirs would win the prize at the Winter Festival.

Children's Story Illustration Cheri Cottrell

“Let’s go and find some twigs for his arms and seashells for his eyes!” said Coco.


“I don’t know,” replied a hesitant Bean. “My mama said not to stray far from home.”


Coco, who was busy catching snowflakes in her mouth, didn’t bother to look at her cautious friend. “We won’t go far, I promise,” said Coco in a muffled voice. A snowflake had just settled on her small, pink tongue. “We won’t even go past Gull Square.”


Bean considered Coco’s words. “Okay, Coco. Let’s go hunting!”

Children's Winter Story Cheri Cottrell

As they collected their twigs, Coco noticed small paw imprints around large paw imprints in the snow.

“Do you think that belongs to a Boondoogle?” whispered Coco.

 “Maybe. I’ve never seen one before! Have you?” replied Bean as a cold shiver went down his spine.

Coco shook her head and after a brief pause, grabbed her friend by the hand and ran off in the direction of the paw prints.

“Let’s follow the prints. Maybe we’ll see a Boondoogle!”


They both shouted out “What an adventure!” 

Watercolor illustrations Cheri Cottrell

 Come back next Monday to see the continuation of

Coco & Bean’s


Continuation of Weekly “Winter Story”




Joining Cindy’s blog at Skip To My Lou

Christmas Tidings

blog holiday hanging

christmas gift tag

 christmas cards 2013

making gingerbread cookies

oranges orris root tasha cookbook

It’s upon us, the hustle and bustle! Do you feel it yet? All the craziness! The rushing of mailing out the Christmas cards! Every year I say the same thing, “I am going to start my cards in November!” but it just never happens. I bet that happens to a lot of people. Oh! And the packages, mailing packages, receiving packages, wrong address packages! Even with all the brouhaha everything always works out at the end of the day before Christmas…funny thing how that works!

This year I decided to make new gingerbread cookies for my tree. Yes, the old ones looked a little sad, one even looked like a critter must have gotten at it! Yuck! I am just going to push that thought out of my mind, hope you do to.  I have used this gingerbread recipe from “The Tasha Tudor Cookbook“, for years. These are not to be eaten cookies, they are to be hung on the tree cookies.

Every year I prepare my oranges for the tree, a sentimental tradition I just love. I slice them up and place them on parchment paper (Martha Stewart would be proud) at 225°, turning them every half hour. The BEST PART IS THE HOUSE SMELLS YUMMY!  When the peel looks like a warm golden color and they are not quite dried out, I cool them on a rack and then place them in a bowl of orrisroot. After a week or so I take them out, tie a ribbon through, and hang on the tree. Not sure if this is the proper way, but it works for me.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

Warmly, Cheri

A Christmas Poem For My Fed Ex Man

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The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that all my Christmas cards will get there,

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

While mom made hanging oranges and gingerbread,

And I in my kerchief just settled down to wrap,

When outside I heard such a clatter and a little tap,tap,

I flew like a flash,

It was a fed ex man all dressed in red carrying my packages tied in a sash,

Oh, so happy am I,

I hugged him and gave him some pie!

 I shouted out  to him before he was out of sight,

Merry Christmas and to all a

 Good Night!

~ Cheri Cottrell ~

 Warmly, Cheri

Christmas Tree Farm


Visiting A Christmas Tree Farm


It’s hurry, hurry time to get the Christmas tree…before the snow comes! We have a beautiful Christmas Tree Farm right here in our own town! “The Old Farm Christmas Place” we have been going there the last few years. It’s so nice to see the familiar smiling faces filled with holiday cheer! Cutting down the tree roasting marshmallows, tying it to the top of the roof, listening to Christmas carols being played on the way home, I just adore that warm fuzzy feeling that the holidays bring!


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new new christmas tree farm


After home and preparing the tree, have to wait till trees limbs fall a little then it will be lights, garland, gingerbread cookies, oranges and antique Christmas ball! We all have different ways of tree decorating, some people like birds, while others prefer memorabilia or just a little of everything.

Before I mix the gingerbread for the tree cookies, I slip in one of my favorite Christmas movies. For anyone who doesn’t know me it is..” it’s A Wonderful Life “. I could watch this movie over and over, it just makes my heart smile!

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The Snow Has Just Arrived


fronch snow porch

Wishing you a cozy day!

Warmly, Cheri