Saturday, December 12, 2009

Rabbits' Christmas Party | Beatrix Potter Watercolors Auctioned in London . . .

I hope you have as much fun at all of your Christmas parties as these Beatrix Potter rabbits are having at theirs.

The Rabbits' Christmas Party - 'The Arrival'
Sold at Sotheby's London July 18, 2008 ~ £121,250

The Rabbits' Christmas Party - Roasting Apples
This painting was not in the auction.
It is in the
Victoria & Albert Museum.

This is one of a set of four watercolours by Beatrix Potter showing the successive stages of a Christmas party. Here the rabbits are roasting apples on the hearth. These pictures were given to Beatrix Potter's aunt, Lady Roscoe, wife of Sir Henry Roscoe. The date of these watercolours is unknown although the series pre-dates the publication of the 'Tale of Peter Rabbit' in 1901 when Beatrix had begun publishing some of her rabbit drawings as Christmas cards.

This painting is in the movie "Miss Potter" (one of my all-time favorites). She painted it as a Christmas present for Norman Warne, her publisher (and more). I won't give you any more information. Click on my link for Miss Potter and watch a trailer of this wonderful movie. Why not give a DVD to someone on your Christmas list? I have a request for this perfect gift on mine. I hope Santa remembers.

The Rabbits' Christmas Party - Dancing to a Piper
Sale Price - £22,500

The finished watercolour shows eight rabbits (compared to seven as present here) dancing to a piper. Rhubarb stalks are present in a large pot in the upper left corner. The rhubarb and pot are shown here in faint pencil outline. The floor was changed from evenly laid pinkish terracotta tiles to rather haphazard grey flagstone tiles. this version is entirely unknown.The scene was later redrawn with a rabbit playing a 'cello surrounded by five dancing rabbits (and two rabbits nuzzling each other by the back wall).In 1987 Frederick Warne united the four V&A illustrations with the two paintings originally given to Henry P. Coolidge. A fold-out panorama was published as The Rabbits' Christmas Party.

The Rabbits' Christmas Party - 'The Departure'
Sold - £289,000

Multiply 2x for price in US dollars.
On that date 1 British Pound = $2.00 US.

Beatrix Potter’s Christmas rabbits fetch £289,000 at Sotheby's
July 18, 2008 - London:
A previously unseen watercolour by Beatrix Potter (1866-1943) fetched £289,500 at auction yesterday, a record for a book illustration.

The painting, depicting rabbits leaving a Christmas party, was the final piece of a trio painted by Potter, in about 1892. It was sold to a private collector at Sotheby’s in London for nearly five times its upper estimate.

The first in the series - showing five rabbits swathed in overcoats - fetched £121,250 and it was originally given to Potter’s aunt, Lucy, the wife of Sir Henry Roscoe.

The third painting, which shows guests dancing, sold for £22,500

The watercolours formed part of an archive of illustrations, Christmas cards and letters that fetched £748,200 in total. The archive originated from the collection of Potter’s brother, Bertram, who encouraged his sister’s early efforts to sell her artwork. Potter painted the watercolours more than nine years before paying to have 250 copies of The Tale of Peter Rabbit printed in December 1901 after rejections from at least six publishers.

She gave many of them away to friends, and sold the rest for 1s 2d (less than 6p), although they are now worth in the region of £30,000.

Potter invented the character Peter Rabbit in an illustrated letter to the child of her former governess in 1893. It remains the world’s bestselling children’s book, with more than 80 million copies in circulation.

Other paintings include cats, horses, bears, deer and cows, and the collection includes private Christmas cards depicting rabbits painted by Potter for her friends and to illustrate first-edition books and letters to relatives.

The 3 photos with black outlines courtesy BibliOdyssey.

Hobbs, in the Dulwich Picture Gallery exhibition catalogue, noted "The attitudes are both rabbit-like and human. Only an artist with an intimate knowledge of anatomy could convey so well both musculature and the texture of fur. Remarkable, as in all Potter's animal drawing, is her observation of ears."

Carrie Underwood | Do You Hear What I Hear?

She certainly deserves all the success she's having. Agreed?

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Bing Crosby | The Littlest Angel | Video

I could listen to Bing Crosby all day long and some days I do! I got two of his Christmas CDs from the library and I've just about worn them out. I especially love The Littlest Angel and hope you do too.

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Friday, December 11, 2009

Even Rudolph Has Gone Green

This is the front of a Christmas Card I designed and sent two years ago. People loved it. Even Rudolph has decided to go green. Have you? The reindeer is an early engraved armorial crest. See the inside message here.

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R. O. Blechman has a website.

I was so excited when I found this website. Lots of you sent me notes about how much you enjoyed the CBS 1966 Video Christmas message featured earlier this week. Well, you'll be happy to know that the artist R. O. Blechman has a website full of his illustrations, magazine covers, animation, and book covers. I know you'll love exploring here. Have fun! I love finding these places for you. He looks like a really nice guy too, don't you think? Rosemary

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Lessons I Learned From Santa

All I Need To Know I Learned From Santa

1. Encourage people to believe in you.

2. Always remember who's naughty and who's nice.

3. Don't pout.

4. It's as much fun to give as it is to receive.

5. Some days it's ok to feel a little chubby.

6. Make your presents known.

7. Always ask for a little bit more than what you really want.

8. Bright red can make anyone look good.

9. Wear a wide belt and no-one will notice how many pounds you've gained.

10. If you only show up once a year, everyone will think you're very important.

11. Whenever you're at a loss for words, say "HO, HO, HO!"

I copied this from a Christmas card I got one year. I always save the good ones. I also recycle the fronts of old ones as gift tags. For the past couple of years I haven't gotten as many cards as usual. Lots of my friends send them online which is fine too given the price of postage and the lines at the post office. I have a PO box and when I went to pick up my mail today the line was out the door.

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Antique Dog Painting of Mine

I've had this small 19th century oil on panel of an English Water Dog for somewhere between 30 and 40 years. It's one of my favorite things.

Dog Fact: People have been keeping dogs as pets for the past 12,000 years.

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Network TV Christmas Message circa 1966 [Video]

A nostalgic one minute holiday card from CBS (back in the day when a network would do such a thing without a second thought). Designed by R.O. Blechman, animated by Willis Pyle. Music arranged by Arnie Black. Air date: December 1966. It's very sweet.

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

My Favorite Christmas Ornament | A Little Squirrel Holding an Acorn

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My Dog Thinks I'm Wonderful

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Alice in Wonderland Illustrated Quote by Lewis Carroll

Vintage illustrations from Life Magazine ©Time.

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Gourmet Magazine's 67 Best Cookie Recipes 1941-2008

Gourmet Magazine first appeared in 1941. To celebrate their 67th anniversary they are offering their favorite cookie recipe from each year 1941-2008. All 67 and on-line. How great is that?

This is especially nice since Gourmet Magazine is folding.

The site takes a while to load but it's worth the wait (the first time) to see the cookies perform. After that it's not fun, so just click "skip intro" and search on the various tabs.

This will be a nostalgic trip down the cookieland trail. All kinds of cookies too....everyday cookies as well as holiday cookies.

I am calling this post a FREE DOWNLOAD. Aren't you glad I found it for you? You are very welcome!

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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

"Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted." John Lennon

I still miss him.
It's been 29 years since he was taken from us on December 8, 1980.

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Monday, December 7, 2009

Original Manuscript | Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

This manuscript - one of the British Library’s best - loved treasures - is the original version of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll, the pen-name of Charles Dodgson, an Oxford mathematician. Dodgson was fond of children and became friends with Lorina, Alice and Edith Liddell, the young daughters of the Dean of his college, Christ Church. One summer’s day in 1862 he entertained them on a boat trip with a story of Alice’s adventures in a magical world entered through a rabbit-hole. The ten-year-old Alice was so entranced that she begged him to write it down for her. It took him some time to write out the tale - in a tiny, neat hand - and complete the 37 illustrations. Alice finally received the 90-page book, dedicated to ‘a dear child, in memory of a summer day’, in November 1864. Urged by friends to publish the story, Dodgson re-wrote and enlarged it, removing some of the private family references and adding two new chapters. The published version was illustrated by the artist John Tenniel. Many years later, Alice was forced to sell her precious manuscript at auction. It was bought by an American collector, but returned to England in 1948 when a group of American benefactors presented it to the British Library in appreciation of the British people’s role in the Second World War.

I started to hyperventilate when I found this site. Really! The complete 91-page manuscript from the British Library has been digitized and it's very easy to read if you enlarge the images. You can listen to the audio version as well. Isn't the Internet wonderful? Alice has never been more popular, has she? Enjoy this story and let me know how you like it. Rosemary

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Shakespeare Holiday Card | Free Download

"Health, peace, and sweet content be yours."

This is my Christmas wish for you!

I made this holiday card years ago and it is my all-time favorite. It would be a great New Year's card as well. Actually it is a perfect winter card for any occasion. All you need is one sheet of card stock. After printing, fold in half and write your own personal message inside. It helps to score the paper first for a nice crisp edge. You can also turn the page around and run it through the printer again. Cut in half (I use a paper cutter) and you will have two large postcards or gift tags. My design uses only black ink so it is very economical to print, yet it's simply stunning!

Click here for my free download. Scroll down to see design.

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