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permission of Carolyn Croll. ©All rights reserved Carolyn Croll

December 31, 2011

HAPPY 2012


                                          Carolyn, Tizzy and Freddie

December 22, 2011

Hooray For Fran Manushkin!

Thanks to author Fran Manushkin. 
A delightful introduction to Hanukkah customs 
and family celebration of the Jewish Festival 
of Lights for the very young.

Each night a new candle is added to
the Menorah.
The whole family prepares and dines on
golden latkes, plays dreidel, sings Hanukkah
songs and enjoys chocolate Hanukkah gelt (coins). 

Watched by their playful tabby kitten.                       
Sharing Hanukkah fun and joy for 8 days and nights.                   
In remembrance of a miracle from 2nd century BC.   
A small amount of holy oil in the Temple burned 
for 8 days enabling the ancient Jews time to prepare 
a new supply in order to rededicate their Temple. 
My Art Director at Random House asked me
to set the celebrations in an early 20th century
city brownstone.
At that time most Jews living in eastern cities,
including some of my family, were poor hard-
working immigrants living in cramped tenements.
But that is a different story.
Simple Stickley style furniture remembered
from my Great Grandmother as well as another
Grandmother's Menorah and old family photos
helped inspire my illustrations.

December 11, 2011

TZ's First Snowfall

The inspiration for my 2011 holiday card came from
a picture I took of baby Tizzy's first reaction to 
falling snow 11 and a half years ago.

(click image to see snow flakes) ⓒ carolyn croll 2011
It was early evening. Looking out the north window
at the falling flakes chirping his pure enchantment,
tail wagging.

See Dec. 23, 2008 post

December 6, 2011

A Day That Lives In Family

December 7, 2011, a day that lives in our family.

Wishing Mom a very Happy Birthday!!

So let the celebrating begin!!

Huge hugs and many kisses and all my love,


December 4, 2011


Red Cat, Carolyn Croll ⓒ 2011
One tiny step for cat art, one GIANT step 
for me on my Ipad.

So proud of myself. Did this quickie sketch
of a red cat. 

Marks the first image I made on my Ipad using the SketchPro app
AND then somehow managed to transfer it to my Mac without
quite knowing how I did it. 

If I can figure that out, I intend to do it again.

Stay tuned.......

November 30, 2011

Dumb Phone

ⓒ 2011 Carolyn Croll

Any day now my ancient NOKIA basic
cell phone may conk out and I may be stuck
having to use a SMART phone.

Don't want a smart phone. 

Don't need it to take pictures, play music, tell me 
where I am, buy things online, play games, brew 
coffee, make a sandwich and other amazing feats 
they perform besides boring old sending and 
receiving phone calls. 

I'll accept taking VOICE messages and stashing 
useful phone numbers.
The charge can last as long as possible. 
The monthly fee can be as low as possible. 
I need a cell phone to call for help, a cab, or to say
I'm on my way, or running late.
And to call my Mom when I'm out shopping
and see something she might like or if they're out of 
what she wants. Otherwise I socialize in person, 
by regular phone, email, and sometimes FaceBook. 
And I LIKE it this way.

Do not assume I am technologically
challenged. I love my MAC and use it to do all 
sorts of stuff on and off line and am always 
learning more. I just don't need a pocket NASA/ 
entertainment system to make or receive infrequent 
ordinary phone calls.

Tried to sign in to ATT's Mobile website a short while
ago to look for the dumbest phone they have.
They couldn't find my account. (No trouble finding my
account when there's a bill).

Dumb phone company. 
Just wish they offered a dumb phone.

November 22, 2011


**For DG:
     (In response to the question of what was the cover revised from:)

November 21, 2011

A Natural Master

bell-flower Frond, JoAnne Russo, photos Jeff Baird & Rachel Portesi, with permission

JoAnne Russo's striking large embellished
pods on their graceful textured branches
drew me in to her display at the 2011
Philadelphia Museum of Art Crafts Show.

blue-bud/ Joanne Russo, photos Jeff Baird & Rachel Portesi, with permission

Upon closer inspection her spellbinding naturalistic 
forms become otherworldly in their scale textures 
and colors. Organic in material, waxed
linen cord, Renewable Palm ivory (Tagua nut) 
beads dyed. Looking even more closely, a zipper and/or
ordinary hook and eyes.

chameleon, JoAnne Russo, photos Jeff Baird & Rachel Portesi, with permission
Her love of nature evident in every imaginative piece.
Surprises rewarding those who look a little closer.
JoAnne's enchanted work reflects the skills she has 
acquired over 30 years as a master basket maker.

White-teapot, JoAnne Russo, photos Jeff Baird & Rachel Portesi, with permission

Guild- cactus, JoAnne Russo, photos Jeff Baird & Rachel Portesi, with permission
You can learn more about JoAnne Russo and see much more of her 
extraordinary work at:


November 16, 2011

Uncommon Cents

Real change at the Philadelphia Museum of 
Art Crafts Show.
Sculptor, Jeweler Stacey Lee Webber 
is out to nickel and dime us in most 
unusual ways. 
Originally from Indiana, she now
lives and works here in Philadelphia,
First to catch my eye, copper Abe 
Lincoln silhouette earrings.
photo: Stacey Webber / with permission

Made from vintage solid copper US pennies.
There are Washington and Roosevelt pieces
fashioned from antique silver American coins
as well. 

photos: Stacey Webber / with permission

Earrings, cufflinks, bracelets, pendant
necklaces, long coin chains and money

photo: Stacey Webber / with permission
photo: Stacey Webber / with permission

Some of her most unusual pieces, hand tools.
Hammer, mallet, hand saw, architect/builder's
plum, tape measure and full size ladder.
Three American flags made of pennies remind
me of the flags my Grandmother displayed
from her porch railing on the 4th of July.

photo: Stacey Webber / with permission

All constructed with enormous care and craftsmanship
from old coins.

See it all at Stacey Lee Webber's delightful website:

November 14, 2011

Love at First Sight

(click on images to enlarge)

Went to the Philadelphia Museum of Art
Craft Show for inspiration.
What I found was L O V E.
At first sight, Mark A. Perry's fabulous
carved wood goat. 

photo Mark A. Perry, with permission from the Artist
Then I spied the huge Running Sheepdog 
Pie Crimper? 
photo Mark A. Perry, with permission from the Artist
And it was an antique carved
scrimshaw pie crimper that gave
Sculptor Mark A. Perry the inspiration
to carve his gigantic Dog Crimpers.
(Some have dog bone wheel spokes).
The cream colored Sheepdog at full 
sprint, shaggy carved hair blowing 
in the wind. 
There is also the sleek ebony Great Dane
pushing his giant crimper forward.

photo Mark A. Perry, with permission from the Artist

And other breeds can be found among 
Mark A. Perry's FaceBook photos.

This extraordinary Folk Art Sculptor is self-taught.
A perfectionist, learning his craft studying and duplicating and
taking inspiration from past excellence.
To see more of his exquisite Peacocks, gilded Fish, 
an enormous Grasshopper (sporting glass door knob eyes), 
elegant weather vanes, stoic tobacco shop Native American, 
cocky long necked Rooster and marvelous mysterious modern figures,
reminiscent of antique Italian Santos
visit Mark A. Perry's marvelous website:
photo Mark A. Perry, with permission from the Artist

Still more to come.....stay tuned!

Quilts Grow In Brooklyn

The Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show 
may have just ended. 
However, so much wonderful work can still
be viewed on the artists' websites.

photo:D James Dee, by permission of Erin Wilson

Erin Wilson, a Brooklyn, NY artist, has cats, 
and makes wonderful quilted hangings.
Urban, lively, jazzy even, but not disturbing or noisy.
Abstract reflected images in each quilted square, 
or is it an interior scene? 
Curious, colorful and in town. 
Like visual clues to an as yet unrevealed mystery.
Wonderful color ways, clean opaque goache-like tints tones and shades. 
Erin builds the small squares individually. 
Careful choices from scraps of fabric.
Then assembles them into hangings. 
Unified by color and shapes. 
Some like hieroglyphics. 

To see much more, visit Erin Wilson's website:

photo:D James Dee, by permission of Erin Wilson

MORE TO COME............stay tuned!

November 6, 2011

A Cautionary Tale

Have no idea what's been happening.
Just thankful that my blog hassle may
be over. Haven't been able to post or 
access the blogs I follow, nor the design
elements for this blog.
Looks like we're back in business.
Ours is not to reason why (though
I sure would like to know what
that was all about).
Think I'll just (cautiously) accept
and be grateful.

ⓒ carolyn croll 2011


October 27, 2011


When Edie Weinberg sent me Tony Johnston's 
delightful "scary" story, BOO, A Story 
That Could Be True to illustrate I couldn't
wait to start.
ⓒ Carolyn Croll 2011
A ghost story for early readers, begins in the 
grand tradition. Oooooo!

ⓒ Carolyn Croll 2011

Naturally, there is a ghost. But what's 
with the pickle?
ⓒ Carolyn Croll 2011

The Farmer and his Cat start hearing scary sounds.

ⓒ Carolyn Croll 2011
More funny than scary.

Not going to give the ending away, 
except to say this book practically 
designed itself.
ⓒ Carolyn Croll 2011
Many thanks to Tony Johnston for 
this wonderful story!
And also to marvelous Edie Weinberg 
for asking me to do the pictures!

October 14, 2011


In these times that can try one's soul,
so pleasing to report that there are still honest
people in the world as well as on the internet.

October 12, 2011, discovered to my fury that
someone had used one of my illustrations on
a CD cover for sale on a website from India.
Initially, though figuring this a losing proposition 
on top of the theft, I sent a scathing email message 
to the site. Documented the theft with the original 
and stolen (and slightly Photoshopped) images. 

ⓒCarolyn Croll 2011

Expecting no response, imagine my surprise upon
receiving not only a reply, but an apology 
and immediate offer to pay for the art usage, 
remove the CD covers in question and investigate 
the art agency involved.

And only 2 days later, agreement reached.

Payment by PayPal and they have dropped the errant
agency responsible for the entire issue.

In today's world this is such a heartwarming 
and encouraging experience. A conscientious 
online merchant in a faraway jurisdiction.
The Internet providing the means of instant 
communication and solution. 

Remembering when just ordering a book from 
London or Amsterdam required an international 
banker and the better part of a year between
ordering and receiving.