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Posts Tagged ‘sketches’

Twas the Night Before Christmas

(inspired by a true event)

“It came upon a midnight clear, that glorious song of old.

From angels bending near the earth to touch their harps of gold.

‘Peace on the earth, good will toward men’,

from heaven’s all gracious King!

The world in solemn stillness lay, to hear the angels sing.”

“Twas the Night Before Christmas” 1  Carrie ©

Christmas music gently filled the little coffee house. Unlike the carol heralding a ‘midnight clear’, this night was everything but. Snow fell fast and thick.

In the corner, a young man sat alone. He looked out the window and watched as the last patron of the night plowed their way out of the parking lot.

“Young man, we’re closing.”

He nodded, put on his coat and made his way to the exit. He looked to be about fourteen, fifteen at the most.

As the door closed behind him, the cold quickly bit into his face and hands.  He pulled his collar up close to his face.

“Do you have a ride?” a voice called to him.

The young man turned to see someone standing in the shadows of the building.

”No, I’m good,” he answered firmly.

The man persisted. “I’m not so sure about that. It’s Christmas eve. Shouldn’t you be home with your family, sitting by the fire and enjoying hot chocolate, or something?”

The lad shrugged his shoulders as if to say… yah, so what. Who cares anyway.

The man stepped out of the shadows.

"Twas the Night Before Christmas" 2 - Carrie  ©

“Twas the Night Before Christmas” 2 – Carrie  ©

The young man saw that he was an old man. Old enough to make him wonder what someone this old was doing out in a snow storm at this hour of the night.

The old man continued. “Where you’re headed… it is not worth it… You do have options you know.”

The young man was beginning to feel somewhat uncomfortable. He stared at the old man not sure what to make of the encounter.

“How do you know where I’m headed?” he finally asked.

“I know that place, under the bridge.” The old man continued.  “You won’t find what you’re really looking for out there. Running away isn’t the answer.”

Now the young man paused.

How did this old man know that he was going to that “homeless place” where he might make it through the night?

Maybe if he was lucky someone would share their Christmas “Spirits” with him.

And how did this old man know that he was running away?

The old man smiled knowingly and said. “I’ve been young and now I am old…but I have never seen God’s children forsaken”… The old man talked so strange…and yet he was most compelling.

“I know a place.  A place where you can get a hot bowl of homemade soup, and a good night’s sleep.”

“Follow me,” the old man continued.

"Twas the Night Before Christmas" 3 - Carrie  ©

“Twas the Night Before Christmas” 3 – Carrie  ©

The old man began to make his way through the deep drifts of snow. The young man hesitated but only for a second or two. “Man…what do I have to lose,” he mumbled.

He began to follow in the old man’s footsteps.

After some time, the old man stopped at a building with a sign that read, “The Welcome Home Centre”.  He turned to the young man. “They will take care of you.  You can stay as long as you wish.” Then he paused, looked the boy in the eyes and added, “God loves you, you know. He’s got plans for you”.

The young man did not know what to think. No one had ever talked to him like this before.

They stood in silence and waited.

Eventually a pleasant sort of man answered the knock on the door. The young man’s last bit of resistance melted away as he breathed in a blast of warm fragrant air. He smelled something wonderful.

“Come in… welcome,” the man said sincerely.

“I…ah..need a place to hang till this storm’s over,” the young man said, hesitantly.

“You’ve come to the right place then,” came the reassuring answer.

The young man sighed.

He turned and started to thank the old man but no one was there.

“That old man, who was here with me. He brought me here. He was just here,” the bewildered young man exclaimed .

“I didn’t see anybody but you, lad,” came the answer.

“But he was here, I followed him here. He told me about you…he knew stuff about me…he…”

Bewildered, the young man took one last look out into the white night. He saw only lonely empty  streets and a fast disappearing, single set of footprints, that lead to The Welcome Home’s front porch.

Putting a kind hand on the young man’s shoulder the man at the door said, “It’s not the first time this sort of thing has happened son. “I do believe you.  Come…I want to hear all about it.”

It’s now midnight and that brings our 2010 Christmas eve story to an end.

Yes, this young man’s life was changed forever that Christmas eve.

What will this Christmas bring you?

Will you let God’s love bring you a miracle this Christmas?

I wish for you, a life changing kind of Christmas.

One that you will remember forever because it was…well…life changing.

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Chuzzle’s Incredible Journey is written for ages pre-school to Grade Two. A Mother and daughter effort – written by Minde Wachsmann, illustrated  by Carrie Wachsmann (myself).

Chuzzle cover blog

Chuzzle, a young adventurous porcupine with many endearing qualities, embarks on a journey to find his dear friend Whuzzle. Chuzzle and Whuzzle used to play together everyday when they were neighbors.

Then Whuzzles and her family moved far away, past the Little Stream, through the Deep Forest, beyond the Green Blue Pond, and up the Giant Big Hill.

Chuzzle missed her very much. One day he decided he was now old enough to venture out on his own. Saying goodbye to his parents, Chuzzle packed his lunch and bravely embarked on his incredible journey to find his friend Whuzzle.

You can read the complete story at:

http://bit.ly/BxBbk

My daughter  and I have cooperated in writing and illustrating several short stories.

Illustrating this story was exceptional fun. I got another opportunity to use my  Wacom Tablet – a Christmas gift from my husband. Thank you dear.

Minde created the visuals for the characters – then I developed her  concepts into the images used in the story book.

Chuzzles leaves homeChuzzle leaves home – Carrie  ©

I sketched, then pencil crayoned the sketches. I scanned the sketches and detailed them using Photoshop and Wacom Tablet. Using my digital Nikon camera, I took photographs and used them to create backgrounds.

Chuzzle leaves home - Carrie  ©

Chuzzle leaves home - Carrie ©

I’ve been studying some tutorials on http://deviantart.com which I’m finding very fascinating as well as helpful.

Here’s the photo I took of a burned out tree stump. I used it to develop the night scene in the forest.

I’ve learned to always have my camera ready cause I never know what treasures I’m going to find. (my moto: treasures are hidden in simple things)

Burned out tree stump

Burned out tree stump - Carrie ©

Chuzzles arrives at his destination after his incredible journey - Carrie  ©

Chuzzles arrives at his destination after his incredible journey - Carrie ©

You can read Chuzzle Incredible Journey at:

http://bit.ly/BxBbk

Available in Ebook form.

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Below, some sketches I did during a Life Drawing sketch session.

This wedding dress was hand made by the woman who wore it on her wedding day.

Notice the intricate detailed lace and beadwork on this exquisite dress.

 Wedding Dress 1 - Carrie ©

Wedding Dress 1 - Carrie ©

Wedding Dress 2 - Carrie ©

Wedding Dress 2 - Carrie ©

Wedding Dress 3 - Carrie ©

Wedding Dress 3 - Carrie ©

Scooped back bodice with covered buttons. Simple yet elegant skirt and full length train.

Maybe there’s a market for “Wedding Sketching”???

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5 Life Drawings - The Bather  -  Carrie ©

5 Life Drawings - The Bather - Carrie ©

Life Drawing - The Bather - Carrie ©

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Some of my sketches from this month’s “Life Drawing” session.

I belong to an artist group called the Central Fraser Valley Graphic Guild. Once a month we meet and sketch a live model.

All you need is a few pencils, a sketch book, and someone to draw.

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Do you have a special “coffee shop hangout”?   I do.

Perhaps you meet with a friend or two, or perhaps at times it’s just you and a book or your laptop computer.

It's not just about a great cup of coffee

Pencil sketch and Photoshop by Carrie ©

I’m talking about a place where the smells and sounds, the feel of the place draws you back time and time again. A place that makes you feel like you’ve escaped from whatever it is you need to escape from.

I figure it’s not just about a great cup of coffee…it’s about connecting,  about stopping to smell the roses… or the coffee in this case. That’s what it’s all about.

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Got SUN anybody?

My Office - space available  for rent

My Office - space available for rent - © Carrie

Right about this time of year, pretty much everyone I know is longing for the sun. Some of you are blessed enough to be able to escape to warm and tropical climes.

I’m certain you won’t be reading this.

This is for those of us who have to endure the long dreary winter months of rain and gray skies.

What did my research tell me?

Vitamin D is the SUNSHINE Vitamin

With the aid of sunlight, vitamin D is made from cholesterol in the skin, liver and kidneys.

* Studies are showing that Vitamin D deficiency may be a possible cause for SAD, or may be  associated with feeling tired and depressed.

* Getting adequate amounts of Vitamin D often  increases one’s sense of well-being, and  sleep patterns improve.

* Studies also show an association between adequate Vitamin D and weight loss. It is proving to be helpful in the battle of the bulge.

“Excess body fat absorbs and holds onto vitamin D, making it unavailable to the body. The absence of vitamin D creates interference with the functioning of a hormone called leptin, which signals to the brain that you are full and should stop eating. In addition, overweight people tend to spend more time indoors. This also deprives them from further D as the ultraviolet rays of the sun spur the production of D.”

http://www.brighamandwomens.or/healtheweightforwomen

(I’ve been told that most people put on a few lbs. during the winter months. I thought it was nature’s way of keeping you warm!)

* Vitamin D is an anti-inflammatory hormone

* Vitamin D is necessary for calcium absorption

During winter months my Naturopath recommends 2000 IU or more per day, depending on individual needs. (Always check with your health practitioner before starting on a new health regimen). He told me that  on any given day spent in the sunshine, one can take in up to 20,000 IU!

This winter, the blues remain with the weather.  I personally am in good spirits – yes, I still long for the sun, but I’m not obsessed about it.

Quote:

“As a clinical regimen, I recommend taking 1000 to 3000 IUs daily Monday through Fridays and taking a “hormone holiday” each week on Saturday and Sunday.” – Diana Schwarzbein – www.Life-With-Confidence.com

Here you will find one of the best articles, in my opinion,  on Vitamin D written by Catherine Pratt

The article is called Benefit of Vitamin D

disclaimer: The content on this post is meant for informational purposes only, and is not intended for use as official health consultation

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