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!


Christmas tree house farmIMG_0142

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

Tis The Season

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The Season Begins


I love the hustle and bustle, making cookies, drying oranges for the tree, making rosemary wreathes…I could go on and on! I love it all!!! Did you ever notice when you unpack your christmas decorations the funny sounds you make as if is the first time you have ever opened the box…OOOH how pretty!  Aww this one is my favorite! And then there are the memory decorations the ones we all cherish the most, I have a ceramic Christmas Tree my mom made me, it always give it the best place of honor where I could see from almost any room, which is pretty easy since it is a small cottage house! 

I am very sentimental when I decorate, I listen to Bing Crosby, dry my oranges in the oven…it makes the whole house smell wonderful and cozy and always fire up the wood stove, “Brrr…we are having some cold days here in Maine!”. 

Sooo…make some hot chocolate yummm! And listen to White “Christmas” with Bing!

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Wishing you happy Christmas decorating!

Warmly, Cheri

Watercolor Painting Process Update

coco sitting on a pumpkin

Watercolor Paints

alizarin Crimson…Transparent Yellow…Quinacridone Gold…Olive green…

Smalt Blue 

 I love this color, it was put out by Windsor Newton as a special edition only for a short time! I purchased 4 tubes, that should last me a life time!

Burnt Sienna…Transparent Brown…Transparent Orange

4th stage on coco sitting halloween

stage 3HalloweenHammyIllustration.Stage2.©CheriCottrell

I have tried many painting mediums but I always come back to watercolor! I love the glow and the transparency and how the paints meld into one anouther…creating beautiful luminous shadows and shades I never expected! 

Well… It’s time for a cup of Trader Joe’s Harvest Blend Herbal Tea…this tea warms my tummy and makes me smile! Isn’t it funny how the most simplest things in life can make one happy!

Here is a link to the past sketching and Painting Stages of my Process!

Warmly, Cheri