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When I Wake Up…

tea time book progress cheri cottrell writer and illustrator

eggplant pram sauce

eggplant pram sauce

YoYo's for quilts, floral print, © artist cheri cottrell

When I wake up thinking about the book illustrations and I go to bed thinking about the book illustrations. Every day is anew and I feel so lucky and privileged to be doing what I love. I start my morning with a walk on the beach (it clears my head: the smell of the sea air, fog horns, sand beneath my feet) and it inspires me so much that when I sit at my studio desk, it’s as if the pencil has its own mind and whatever I am feeling pours onto my paper as if by magic. And yes, there are those days when nothing is working and that’s when I take some needed time to take a tea break in Portland with a friend and do some serious catching up! An amateur at heart, I love to cook – especially something with sauce and garlic. There is just something wonderful about the delicious smells of garlic, olive oil and basil, mmm…just heavnly! I take look at my yo-yo’s that I had started for a quilt and with a sigh I put them away knowing that there will be absolutely no time for finishing this project. But, it is on those days when nothing is working that I fill myself with all the warm comforts of home, such as friends, family, food, candles and the feelings of gratefulness. It is amazing what a day off can do for the spirit and how one can see the day with a new fresh set of eyes!

So it is back to work and I am delighted to be back in my happy place!

Warmly ,


Spring Cleaning

Miss Elderberry

Artist, Blue Ribbon Illustration | © Cheri Cottrell

YoYo's for quilts, floral print, © artist cheri cottrell

reading quotes, spring cleaning, artist cheri cottrell

floral curtains, spring cleaning, artist cheri cottrell illustrator

spring cleaning, wicker chair, cheri cottrell artist and illustrator

Artist, Blue Ribbon Illustration | © Cheri Cottrell

It was wonderful to wake up this past Saturday morning with the sun shinning and the warm spring air. After such a cold harsh winter it was wonderful to open the windows which gave me just the right amount of encouragement to do some early spring cleaning. Just like my character Miss elderberry with her hand knitted sweater and arm full of Elderberry Jam that she sells at gull square in Kettle Cove Maine. She lives in the prettiest cottage made in a Beach Plum Bush where she tends to her creative spirit and domestic crafts, a true entrepreneur at heart. Miss Elderberry’s character was influenced by a wonderful woman named Florence a friend of the family. When I was a little girl I would stand outside her kitchen window of her old white farmhouse just hoping she would ask me in just so I could take a peek in all the nooks and crannies these old homes possessd. Once inside it was a treasure trove of ( yoyo quilts how to), knitted sweaters and beautiful hand-made rag rugs, antiques decorated every part of her home. The most exciting adventure was when we would go into her root cellar to fetch her strawberry jam and some veggies. Florence was to be an inspiration as I grew up and it has carried me throughout my life.

So just like Miss Elderberry, I donned my apron and set to work. I washed the quilts and curtains, aired the mattress out, vacuumed up the dust bunnies that have collected over the winter and gave the windows a fresh cleaning. Put up a pot of potato soup, a recipe from The Tasha Tudor Cook Book…yummy! After I was done I celebrated by taking a delightful shower and then went about filling my basket with good reads. Climbed into bed and before I could reach for the book my head fell onto the pillow and after a few yawns it was lights out…just like a kitten on a soft feathered comforter I fell into a long slumber of exhausted sleep.

Warmly ,


New Paint Pallets

Creature of Habit


A Delightful Outcome

coco and blue color

So Many Little Paint Pallets

I had so many little large medium pallets…but I knew where every paint color was! I could close my eyes and instinctively find my way to the exact hue! Changing out something I have used for years was a little difficult…as I explained in a recent blog Creature of Habit” OK maybe not so recent!

paint pan 1

I went From This



2paint paletteSC_0475


Ta Dah

It took me longer than I thought, I had purchased 2 of these fabulous metal paint pallets, but soon ran out of room and needed to order another one! Who New!!! I took quite a bit of time sorting out my paint colors and how I wanted to have them arranged! Everyone is different some people go exactly by the color wheel and maybe that is the best way to go! But this works for me! I was really worried that I would have to get use to finding where my paint colors were placed, but the funny thing was by creating my color index ( and that took a lot of time ) it just cemented everything visually!

Time To Enjoy The Fruits Of my


No More Lolly Gagging For Me Time

To Get back to


Warmly, Cheri

By | October 7th, 2013|Categories: My Studio|Tags: , , |2 Comments

Just Ducky

Sometimes We All Need A Little Nudge To Go Out

And Play


Did you ever notice how fast time flies when working on a project, hours seem to meld into one another. Yesterday was one of those days…with the windows opened in my studio I felt the early morning autumn chill and the smell of the changing season! A reminder… to take a little extra time to celebrate all the “fallish” festivities that this colorful season brings.

I deliberately keep this small ink and watercolor sketch on my shelf as an alter ego to remind me I need to take the occasional day for some serious playtime!


Sooo… today with a little nudge I am mapping out my day. 


1. Put up a pot of delicious chicken soup.

2.  Pumpkins and gourds. My favorite go to place is “Intervale Farm” in New Gloucester!

3. Have lunch with my daughters.

4. Stop by a farm stand for some fresh veggies.

5. “Christmas Tree Shop” to add to some of my fall decorations!

6. Pick up bread for soup! Yum!!!


Wishing all of you a happy “fallish”


Warmly, Cheri


By | September 19th, 2013|Categories: My Illustrations, My Studio, Out & About In Maine|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Meet Tinsel

Oh My Gosh Is He Just To Cute!


tinsel color 2


He came so easy to sketch, as I have mentioned many times my characters come from people I may know! He is no exception! When I was way little, there was a boy named Bobby, (fictitious name to protect the innocent) “I have always wanted to say that.” He was scruffy, smart and wore glasses and oh sooo cute! I had a little crush on this guy; unfortunately one did not share in those days. Then again I was only 8 years old! We made mud pies, collected worms; the worst was when we dug up all the vegetable in his parent’s garden to make a pretend vegetable soup! That did not go over well, but we survived it. Eventually he moved away. Remembering those warm hot summers, when you needed to be in when the street lights came on, building forts in the woods, smell of fresh cut grass, windows were flung open (most of us did not have air condoning), barbeques and swimming pools. Summers were simpler then, sharing adventures with friends and many of those friends stayed in my heart forever!

I have many scraps of paper with all different shades of hues that I have made. Loving the color on my grandmother’s teacup, I got busy trying to recreate it. Searching my scrap draw like a squirrel burying in nuts in the ground for winter, pulling out a few here and there, I read my paint recipes as if they were novels. The blue was bits of this and bits of that, Always aware how easy it is to produce mud looking wash with watercolor! Happy with what I have produced, my scrap bit finds it rightful place in the draw…

I wonder is there someone you might know who reminds you of Tinsel? I would love to hear from you!!!

Hoping you enjoy Tinsel as much as I have!

Warmly, Cheri

By | August 8th, 2013|Categories: About The Hammies, Kettle Cove, My Studio|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Creature Of Habit

I Adore Enamel Paint Containers…New and Old

large painting pan 2

Isn’t She Gorgeous? And I Have Two Of These Empty Beauties!

“Enamel Containers”

I have always had enamel containers, unfortunately that is not the problem! This lovely container holds 48 half pans, Oh my gosh! I couldn’t contain myself ( ha ha a small play on words). I couldn’t get my card out fast enough to pay for them, only having a few left in stock, I pounced on it like a dog on a bone!

“The Arrival”

Before the arrival I just dreamt of all the lovely colors filling into these small half pans,no more having to have six different receptacles littering up my desk. Oh no, no… I will just have to large pans that will hold a whooping 96 colors, I was deliriously happy. Then they came, when unwrapped I laid them one my desk. Tomorrow! I will attend to this large task of deciding what order and which colors get the honor of finding a home in my new enamel box!

“The Conundrum”

5 Months Later……….Yes they are still sitting empty in the same place! You see my friends, I know instinctively where every shade of hue is placed in my disarray of scattered pans. With eyes closed know I know instinctivly, where to find my Quincedrone purple! A creature of habit I can’t seem to move ahead. Sometimes the dream of something is better than the reality! Na! I just don’t want to change what I am comfortable with…

“Creatures of Habits”

All I need is a 12 step program! Believe it or not, I found one! “The Habit Change Cheat Sheet” One of my steps is to be accountable! Soooo…here I am diving into my 30 day challenge! Cleaning house of the old ways, check back in 30 days to see the new filled enamel pans!

new hammie cleaning house

Warmly, Cheri

By | August 1st, 2013|Categories: About The Hammies, My Studio|Tags: , , , |3 Comments


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© 2008 - 2013 Cheri Cottrell.
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