Monday, 29 October 2007

Trying to Look at Poverty/Disease





I had planned to post this entry
on Monday night, but the computer-powers-that-be would not co-operate. I kept getting error messages every time I tried to do anything. So, I just considered it good training in patience and finally realized that I wouldn't be publishing this until Tuesday probably!

Anyway, I wanted to talk about the difficulty I have in looking at poverty and disease and all the things that seem to go with it. And I want to illustrate my words with a few drawings of mine.


The first two drawings are new ones. The one at the top of the column is entitled "Early Morning and Hard at Work". This drawing was done from a photo of a child labourer in India. A very timely topic especially if you shop at The Gap. As usual, however, as I worked on this drawing, I ended up making the child look much cleaner and neater than he did in the actual photograph. I then asked myself "why do I need to do that? why can't I just draw what is in front of me?" The answer is simply that I cannot tolerate leaving a child in such suffering even if all I am doing is changing the image in a drawing. Whenever I try to leave all the evidence of the poverty and pain in my drawing, I find I usually do not finish the work or else I eventually go back and change it anyway! You may recall the drawing I posted some weeks ago of a woman from the Congo who had been raped repeatedly and tortured. I had tried to leave the pain in her eyes and as a consequence, I never finished the drawing.



This next new drawing is entitled "Save the Children" and shows a young Canadian who was part of a group from Canada in Africa for the purpose of helping poor African children -- the younger boy on his shoulders is one of the children they had gone to help.

In the actual photograph, the African boy's face was covered in either some sort of heavy discharge or burn scars (I could not tell which from the photo). In any case, I couldn't stand to look at his face and so you can see what I did. I gave him clean, smooth skin. With a few strokes of the mouse, I wiped away all the signs of disease and/or scars and gave him a face that was easy for ME to look at. Also in the original photo, there was part of what appeared to be a tin-roofed shack in the background along with several more needy-looking children. I ended up putting a nice lake and green bushes in the background which made ME feel much better!

I know I keep coming back to Mother Teresa, but this was always what amazed me about her and her sisters: they could lovingly pick up human beings in the most disgusting states of putrefication, decay and filth -- many already being eaten by maggots they were so close to death -- and wash them and clothe them and see in them the face of Christ. I can't even tolerate seeing poverty and sickness in a photograph without turning away in disgust. May God have mercy upon me.



This next drawing is one I have shown you previously entitled "Blessed Are The Simple". As you may recall, this drawing was made from a photograph of a developmentally-challenged girl in Cuba. In the photo, the look on her face was more disturbing than it is in my drawing -- of course.

This is another thing I find difficult -- looking at people who are so terribly wounded. I live in a neighbourhood where there is a great deal of housing for people who require full-time care. I see them almost every day when I am out and they are being taken for an outing by their caregivers. Over the years I have worked at training myself not to look away but to try to make eye contact and smile at them. I love to listen to Jean Vanier talk about these wounded ones who really have so much to teach us if we will just learn to listen with our hearts rather than with our fears and preconceptions. Just today I was in the dollar store when a whole group of disabled kids came in, each with his or her caregiver. The caregivers were buying some simple Halloween decorations and the young people were delighted by all the bright colours. Several of them were constantly smacking their lips and blowing bubbles of their own saliva. I could feel a frown of disgust forming on my face before I quickly asked myself: "Sallie, when a young child does this, you think it is cute -- these teenagers are only young children in their minds, so why are you expecting them to behave differently. They are happy and enjoying themselves. Be grateful." And so I was -- but that wasn't my automatic reaction. Maybe when I get to be 90 I will have become a bit more like Mother Teresa!


The final drawing tonight is of a child of poverty somewhere in South America -- a street child. In this drawing, I was really trying to be faithful to the photograph that I was working from: the child was dirty, her hair was unwashed and she looked frightened almost like a trapped, wild animal.

Because I refused to allow myself to clean her up anymore than I already had, I found I couldn't finish it. Finally, when I caught myself actually removing the dirt I had drawn on her face, I decided to stop and I have never gone back to complete it. I don't even have a title for it -- it was listed as "poor little girl/DRAFT".

One day recently when I was thinking about how much more attractive the scenery around me is when there is nothing in it deformed, disfigured, dirty, etc., it suddenly occurred to me: Wait a minute, maybe people don't like to see me and my wheelchair in the scenery around them! That gave me a bit of a shock. I mean, after all, I am a lady in a wheelchair. While I may not look too frightening, I certainly remind other people of their own vulnerability -- how easy it is for anyone to end up where I am right now.

I am reminded of the song from the 70's by Fr. Bob Dufford: "Be Not Afraid":

"Blessed are your poor, for the kingdom shall be theirs. Blest are you that weep and mourn for one day you shall laugh. And if the wicked insult and hate you all because of me, blessed, blessed are you! Refrain-- Be not afraid, I go before you always. Come follow me, and I will give you rest."

Friday, 26 October 2007

Trees Revisited.

I came across some additional drawings of trees -- both mine and other peoples -- so I decided to revisit the topic. This first drawing is one of mine that you have seen previously and is called "Southern Dreaming".

I was also, for some reason, reminded of those wonderful creations of Tolkien -- the Ents. For those of you who might not know, the Ents -- to put it very simply -- are trees that talk and walk! Actually, they are incredible and I have wanted to be one ever since I discovered them in Lord of the Rings all those many years ago when I first read "The Two Towers".

I got out a copy of the 2nd volume and re-read the description of the wonderful meeting between the Hobbits, Merry and Pippin and the great Ent, Treebeard:

"They found that they were looking at a most extraordinary face. It belonged to a large Man-like, almost Troll-like, figure, at least 14 foot high, very sturdy, with a tall head, and hardly any neck. Whether it was clad in stuff like green and grey bark, or whether that was its hide, was difficult to say. At any rate, the arms, at a short distance from the trunk, were not wrinkled, but covered with a brown, smooth, skin. The large feet had seven toes each. The lower part of the long face was covered with a sweeping, grey beard, bushy, almost twiggy at the roots, thin and mossy at the ends. But at the moment, the hobbits noted little but the eyes. These deep eyes were now surveying them, slow and solemn, but very penetrating. They were brown, shot with a green light. Often afterwards Pippin tried to describe his first impression of them.

One felt as if there was an enormous well behind them, filled up with ages of memory and long, slow, steady thinking; but their surface was sparkling with the present: like sun shimmering on the outer leaves of a vast tree or on the ripples of a very deep lake. I don't know, but it felt as if something that grew in the ground -- asleep, you might say, or just feeling itself as something between root-tip and leaf-tip, between deep earth and sky had suddenly waked up and was considering you with the same slow care that it had given to its own inside affairs for endless years."

I recall immediately falling in love after reading that passage. Treebeard was the man for me! I never saw the films simply because I knew that they could not do justice to the images I had in my own imagination, but I am pasting in a screen saver picture that the web site makes available just in case you are interested.




















This next item is an article from today's (Saturday) Toronto Star about trees and how much good they do the City of Toronto -- or any city for that matter. I tried to get a decent scan of it, but could not make it legible so I will paste in the article for you. "Toronto's trees: Acer, Aesculus Hippocastanum, Fagus, Catalpa, Betula, Pinus, Prunus, Quercus, Robinia pseudoacacia and others.
There are over 3.5 million of them. They work hard on our behalf. And they have a tough life.
Toronto's trees are our environmental guardian angels, pumping water into the air (anywhere from 400 to 2,000 litres a day) at the same time as removing harmful carbon dioxide spewed out by cars (to the tune of 36,000 tons every year).
In short, life here would be a lot less agreeable without trees.
Yet most of us take them entirely for granted. We see a newly-planted sapling sagging by the sidewalk on a hot day and presume it's someone else's job to water it.
The Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation would like to change that. To raise awareness about the value of trees (and drum up more cash to take care of ours properly) they've just published, for the second year in a row, a neat little desk calendar.
Toronto Tree Portraits 2008 contains gorgeous photos of everything from crab apples blooming in High Park to soaring black locusts beside the Don River. The pictures are by Vincenzo Pietropaolo, with thoughtful words by Lorraine Johnson and Mark Cullen.
The calendars would make great Christmas gifts. Order them directly from the foundation (they cost $15 and every penny goes towards the trees) at 416-397-5178 or
parksandtrees@toronto.ca
You can also purchase copies at Book City, City Hall, Mountain Equipment Co-op and Toronto Botanical Garden."


These next two items are not works of mine (although I wish they were since I like them both very much). The first one I found at a booth outside St. Lawrence Market back during the summer. The artist's name is Julita Wolanska. She is of Polish heritage. Her web site is www. julitka.com Visit her web site. Hopefully, she will be back outside the market next summer and you can take a look at all her beautiful art work for yourself.






The following one was actually done on a leaf pasted onto a piece of construction paper. I received it as part of a handmade card from a dear friend of mine who is also a nun in a contemplative community. It is really a beautiful little painting. The scanner does not do it justice even with my clumsy efforts to improve the scanner's results. The name of the artist, I think, is on the leaf, but I have never been able to figure out, for sure, what it says as my magnifying glass just isn't good enough. Anyway, enjoy...





Finally, I want to show you an early drawing of a tree done when I was just learning how to do this kind of work on the computer. I called this one "Trees in the Meadow" (back to my clever titles as you can see!).


I had actually forgotten that I had done this drawing. I have never tried using it for the background for any other drawing. Perhaps I will consider doing that in the future.







And finally there is another drawing of mine from the early days. I called this one "My Happy Place".
My idea of a happy place has always been a big, shady tree in a meadow with a comfortable place for me to sit. I would have a book (for me what Catholics call The Divine Office would be preferable) and water to drink. Close by there would be a small stream running merrily along making those wonderful water noises as it passes over and under the rocks. Many different kinds of birds would be passing to and fro. The scent of sun-warmed grass and wildflowers would be in the air. I would be alone with no one waiting for me or expecting me -- just sitting quietly, wrapped in the ever-abiding presence of God.




May the Peace that passes understanding be with you always.




Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Adults holding Children.



How a child is held tells so much about how a child is loved -- or even IF the child is loved.

In this first drawing, entitled "A Mother's Prayer", you can see the mother's love and concern in the way she holds her sleeping son. He has slipped down into a position that must be uncomfortable for her, but she doesn't move -- he has been ill and his sleep is too important while her discomfort is not important at all. And while she sits so uncomfortably holding him, she prays for his continued recovery.

So much love drawn into a few gestures.








Here is another mother and son but in a very different situation -- they are laughing together. She is making him laugh and enjoy himself.

Once again, however, she has put herself in an uncomfortable position for his pleasure. Her arms are beginning to ache as he makes it clear that he wants more and more of this.




"Goodbye and God Keep You" is the title I gave to this drawing of a family holding each other as the father prepares to leave for Afghanistan.

There is no eye contact and they hold each other at angles as though knowing they will have to separate soon. But the son rests his face against his father's shoulder and his mother's left hand. At that point they are all connected. That is the physical centre of their love.




















This next photograph has the people out of focus plus the adult has her eyes closed, but even so, you can tell that this adult and this child are happy to be together at this particular moment.

These people are known to me so I can tell you that the great-aunt is overjoyed to be holding her grand-niece in her arms. This was a happy day for the two of them.





The name of this next drawing is "God is Love". I called it that because John Paul II so frequently reminded me of fatherly love. So many pictures of him, especially as he got older, were icons of God the Father.


In this drawing you can see his cane and the awkwardness of his hands as he holds this young girl in his arms. This had to be causing him some serious pain and yet it also gave him great joy to be able to give this expression of fatherly love.





























Surprise!

This is a picture of me taken about 20 years ago! I wanted to include this photo because I think it shows me looking gentle and loving when, in fact, nothing could be further from the truth!

The truth is that I had been smiling and acting happy so much that afternoon that I had developed a terrible migraine. I really did not want to be holding a baby at all but I was the only one available to do so without inconveniencing everyone.

Who would have ever guessed that all this stuff was going on -- why I almost have a sweet smile upon my face! I'm good!




This drawing, you may recall, is entitled "Big Sister". I found the big sister so fascinating because you can see that she has not learned yet how to hide her feelings.

Her face shows a bit of her inner struggle over having to give up being the ONLY child.

She will have to learn that her mother's love is big enough to encompass all her children even though at the moment the mother seems to be entirely taken up with her son.

None of this stuff is easy.








Here is a beautiful mother with her beautiful daughter. Even though the photo is not great, you can still see the joy in the mother's face as she holds her child. It is obvious that she loves this little one and will be doing everything she can to give her as good a life as she can.


I know these two people, by the way, so I can tell you that this picture, taken almost 10 years ago, reflected the truth. The lovely mother is still filled with joy whenever she holds her daughter and the daughter just grows more beautiful and delightful day by day.
























You may recall that this drawing of mine is entitled "An African Grandmother" and is representative of all those African grandmothers who are raising their children's children because their children and their children's spouses died of HIV/AIDS.

These grandmothers are strong women -- they have to be in order to accomplish what they are accomplishing, but they do get tired. The children get tired too without a father to rough-house with them. But this is life in the midst of an epidemic. The wonderful thing is that they still have someone in their life who loves them and whom they love!





Love is patient, Love is kind,
Love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude;
it does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;
it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth.
It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends.
(I Cor. 13: 4-8a)

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Oh, So Comfortable!


Ever since I first heard it, I have found the modern expression "comfortable in your skin" appealing. Part of the attraction is probably envy as I cannot recall ever feeling comfortable in my own skin. Rather, from the age of earliest memories, I wanted to be invisible -- not only invisible but absolutely silent as well. I remember reading about how the North American Native Peoples could walk through the forest and I practiced for hours in the woods behind our home trying to go a set distance without making the slightest sound!

So, to this very day, whenever I see people in pictures or in real life who look comfortable in their skins, I find them tremendously appealing. The original photo of this lady looked that way to me and so I wanted to draw her. I call the drawing, obviously, "Comfortable in Her Skin". I wish I could meet her so I could hear her voice and listen to her laugh!



One place I always find people who seem to be comfortable with themselves is anywhere there are youngsters -- and sometimes, amazingly, their parents seem to be at peace with themselves as well. This is the feeling I got from this mother and child -- everything about them comes across as natural and comfortable. I keep thinking I will draw their picture someday.


Another place where I sometimes come across "real" people is in any type of meditation classes, yoga groups or contemplative prayer groups. Like anywhere else, there can be a lot of posturing in these places as well -- and having been a well-developed posturer for most of my life, I quickly recognize one of my own kind!



When I saw this monk's picture in a news article, I felt he might be really sincere, really at peace with who and what he is. This led me to want to do a drawing of him and I am pleased with the results. The title, as you may recall, is simply "Meditation".


This next photograph was so lovely that I just had to keep it although I knew that I would never even try to draw it.


I am uncertain, of course, how aware babies are at this age of the skin

that they are in, but whatever

awareness they have, you know

they are comfortable much of the time.


This one looks like such a precious little angel all nicely posed and costumed. It is easy to forget that this baby, like all human beings, can get red in the face with anger. But even then a person who accepts who and what they are can be comfortable with themselves.





This next drawing is another one you have seen previously.


It is entitled "Walking Tall".


I have had the pleasure of meeting this young man once and I have seen photos of him and heard about him ever since he was born. So I can tell you from personal knowledge, this is a young man who is very comfortable in his own skin at this point in his life. I pray that this may always be so.












This happily smiling young man is also a friend of mine. He is really a charmer without even trying to be and he is very, very comfortable in his own skin although I am not sure how aware he is of it since he spends a lot of his time sleeping!


One of these days before too long I will be drawing a picture of him -- probably the first of many as he is also quite good looking with that mop of curly hair.










This is another drawing of mine you have seen before -- in fact, you have seen it twice previously: the first time as a drawing; the second as a holy card. I think both times it was entitled "John Paul the Great".
Here was a man who appeared to live his whole life being comfortable in his own skin. Never once in the hundreds of times that I saw him on tape, live being beamed to us by satellite or in person did I ever feel he was posing or posturing. People said to me that he had trained as an actor and so he knew how to manipulate the crowd. Maybe so, but whatever he did, he never moved outside of his own comfort zone. Rather, he brought you into his "skin" so you could share his own inner peace for a while.


As you may recall, this little girl's name is Lenny and she lives in Zambia. She is one of the wonderful children that I send money for every month. I receive letters from her a couple of times a year along with a new photograph. This drawing was done from the photo that she sent to me in 2006.



From her letters and her photos, she seems to be a young woman who is at peace with herself and with the life she has been given.










Finally, I want to give you another look at the drawing entitled "Division is Difficult".


This young boy is unknown and basically unknowable. His picture appeared in the newspaper some months ago as part of a larger photo. I liked his posture and what I could see of his facial expression.


He looks like the kind of little boy who can study (and learn) with both the TV and the radio on at the same time!


The only other person I have ever known who could do that was a young man studying to be a doctor and really totally at peace with himself!




I pray that someday people will be able to say about us all: Those people are really comfortable in their own skins!


Peace be with you.


Monday, 22 October 2007

Trees!

(Art by Jim Warren)

Tonight I want to talk to you about my love of trees.


As the well-known poem says: "I think that I will never see, a poem as lovely as a tree." I have seen few things in Nature more beautiful than trees. I feel quite certain that my ancestors were those Irish Druids that St. Patrick came over from Britain to convert to Catholicism. And although they joyfully gave up their worship of trees and such things for the one God in Three; I do believe there remains a vestige of the old reverence in the way their descendants look upon a tree.


Before I show you more drawings and photographs, I want to quote to you from one of my favourite authors, Annie Dillard, in her book, PILGRIM AT TINKER CREEK. She writes:
"One day I was walking along Tinker Creek thinking of nothing at all and I saw the tree with the lights in it. I saw the backyard cedar where the mourning doves roost charged and transfigured, each cell buzzing with flame. I stood on the grass with the lights in it, grass that was wholly fire, utterly focused and utterly dreamed. It was less like seeing than like being for the first time seen, knocked breathless by a powerful glance . . . I had been my whole life a bell, and never knew it until at that moment I was lifted and struck."
This is a painting I have always wanted to do ever since I first read those words back in the early 1970's, but, alas, it has never happened.











These next two are some of the many photos of trees in my vast collection of tree pictures. The first one is entitled "Golden Aspens" and was taken by Robert Holman.


I don't know who photographed a great many of my collection as I didn't realize the importance of not cutting off the photographer's name for many years!








This next one is just entitled "Fig Tree". I don't recall where it came from and certainly don't recall who photographed it. I just know it is a lovely tree.




Next is one of my drawings that I have shown you previously. The title of the drawing is "Juniper Trees". I am not sure what I told you about it when I showed it to you previously; however, I seem to recall mentioning that it is of a location off the coast of B.C.




Next is another drawing of mine that you have seen previously. This one is called "Live Oak Tree" because that is what I was trying to depict. I seem to recall mentioning that since I could not figure out a way to make Spanish Moss hang on the tree without it looking like Christmas tinsel, I outlined the tree in gray to suggest the grayness of Spanish Moss.




Following are two photos of actualy Live Oak trees outside of Gainesville, Florida so you can see what Spanish Moss is supposed to look like as it hangs off these majestic trees. These photos were taken by me years ago with a little camera that belonged to my dear sister, Betty.





The actual location these photos were taken was on Totem Pole Road, just outside of Melrose, Florida!


This photo is a scene from one of many calendars that I have been given over the years because it contained at least one picture of trees! I think it was one of those that had a verse of scripture printed underneath and no indication of location of the scene.





Finally, I want to show you a snapshot of part of the garden of the convent where I lived along the Niagara Parkway. The viewer is looking toward the Niagara River. The trees by the river are Willows.






I would like to end tonight by quoting one of my favourite verses from e.e. cummings. He wrote:
"I thank you God for this most amazing day,


for the leaping greenly spirits of trees and


a blue true dream of sky, and for everything


which is natural which is infinite which is yes."


e.e.cummings

Sunday, 21 October 2007

Aurora Borealis



Remember this drawing?

I almost didn't show it to you originally as I felt so unhappy about the finished drawing. I have tried to draw the Northern Lights several times since, but each effort seems to get worse -- not better. I know what I want to express -- it's those spiritual feelings I have experienced each time I have found myself surrounded by those incredible dancing "lights".

Oh, well, maybe someday I will find a way to do this on the computer. The title of this drawing, by the way, is "Before the White Man Came."

For some reason I was thinking about the Aurora Borealis today and so I went and looked at some of my collection of photos. That was when I decided I would share a few of them with you.







This first one is from a calendar I was
given last Christmas. Yes, December has already been scanned and saved into my Pictures file. I don't believe in wasting time. I mean, who knows, someone could have broken into my place and stolen the calendar back in June and if I had never scanned December, well -- you can understand how terrible that would have been to someone who collects pictures of the Northern Lights!







This next one is from a tourist-type magazine -- I think it was for Ontario and this section was obviously for northern Ontario.


I try to stay on the mailing list of as many of these types of magazines as I can -- anything that might have pictures of our far north in it.







Photograph no. 3 was clipped from the Toronto Star some time ago. It accompanied an article that obviously had something to do with the Northern Lights. I have long since forgotten what the article was about, but the photo has been safely stored ever since in my Pictures file!







This final photograph is one of my favourites. Any painting or drawing I might do in the future of the Northern Lights should contains many elements found in this picture.


One thing that none of these photographs show -- nor does my drawing -- is what it looks like/feels like when the waves of lights seem to be coming down to the ground, around your feet.


Certain events such as being bathed in the Aurora Borealis always bring to my mind the beginning of Psalm 19:


"The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament showeth His handiwork; Day unto day uttereth speech and night unto night showeth knowledge; There is neither speech nor language where their voice is not heard; Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world."


May God bless you.

Saturday, 20 October 2007

Comments but no Solution Yet

Well, here I am back again still trying to figure out what to do about my Christmas cards that I showed you on the 17th. As I said, I want to choose 10 of them for this year's set for those people who usually buy one or more sets from me. There are 16 possible choices which I posted.

At this point I am feeling more and more like going with 9 cat and dog cards and using the winter scene in old Quebec for the 10th one. But every time I think I have really made up my mind, I remember how much I like the fir trees in the snow and I get all undecided again!

One of the people who comments fairly regularly had this to say: "Why not 2 sets of 8, each set with a different theme? For example, you could have the 'traditional set', and include the more traditional scenes (i.e. #10 & #11). Or perhaps one for animal lovers (including the cats, dogs, horses). There are so many possible approaches. Well - it seems all I've done is outline your dilemma, without offering any real advice. I guess I'm really no help at all!"

Even though she wasn't a great deal of help, I really do appreciate her comments.

I have also considered making sufficient copies of all 16 cards and letting the customers chose which 10 they want (who knows, they might even decide to buy more than the traditional set of 10). However, that is a rather costly plan as the paper I use is quite expensive and if certain cards did not sell, I would be stuck with them! I'm beginning to feel like one of those crazy characters in Alice in Wonderland.

Well, enough of that for tonight. I have two new drawings to show you. They are both recently finished which means that they are really still in process, but they are far enough along for me to show them to you.







This first one was modelled on a photo of an African child who lives in a country where female circumcision is regularly practiced and infibulation is occasionally practiced.

I call the drawing "Please Don't Cut Me".










This second drawing was modelled on a photograph sent to me by a friend. You can't see it but the hands in the drawing are actually holding a red cap full of sugar water which the Hummingbirds are greedily drinking. It would appear that they are one adult male, one adult female and one juvenile.

I call the drawing "Patience Rewarded -- Hummingbirds".


So I come to the end of another post.

Remember if you have any brillant or just plain helpful suggestions for me concerning my Christmas cards, please contact me.

Meanwhile, I wish you all a peaceful night and a tomorrow filled with blessings.

Friday, 19 October 2007

No Response!

Well, it appears that everyone who was reading my blog has stopped reading it since I have received no responses to Wednesday's request for help. So, I will just wait until I hear from somebody before I continue -- otherwise, I'm just talking to myself! Talk to you again whenever... God bless...

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

I Need Help


I need help in deciding which 10 cards to use as my
official Christmas set for this year!

There are 16 choices shown here and I only need 10 cards. I have shown you all these cards previously and I have my personal favourites, of course. BUT sometimes the ones I like the best are not the most popular with the general public -- which is why I need your help.
Number one is called "Wintertime in Old Quebec".


Number 2 is entitled "Did I Do Something Wrong?"



Number 3 is my absolute all-time favourite of miz k.d. and is called "O Holy Night".



Number 4 is entitled "Let's Play Ball!" and has already become a best seller.


Number 5 is not easy to see clearly at this size but those are Christmas stockings hanging at the back of the hay pile. This one is entitled "Twas the night before Christmas".
















Number 6 is one of only two dog drawings and is entitled "A Lady's Stocking".













Number 7 has one very special tree if you look closely and the drawing is called "Christmas Trees".

Number 8 is the only flower drawing in the bunch. This one is called "The Merry Christmas Bear".



Here is the other doggy drawing. Number 9 is entitled "An Exciting Time of Year".



Number 10 is a church where Christmas eve services are taking place and the drawing is entitled "Christmas Eve".



Drawing number 11 is called "Snowy Sleigh Ride".





Number 12 is of two little girls dressed up as angels in a Christmas pageant. The drawing is entitled "Angels".



Number 13 is entitled "An Armful of Cats" and is one of the few with an actual greeting on the front of the card.









Number 14 also has a greeting on the front of the card. The drawing itself is entitled "Unexpected Gift".




Number 15 is entitled "We Three Kings of CRASH!".

And the last one...



Number 16 is entitled "A Well-Deserved Rest"


So, remember, I need your help in deciding which 10 of these 16 I should choose to include in my official Christmas card set for 2007. Thanks.



Wishing you peace and joy.