It is so wonderful to meet artists and writers in your own town. Especially ones with big dreams and hours upon hours of dedication for years. She even has a fetish for TEA! (I will have to share about our teas next time.) It's just a joy to be able to share her work.
Kimberly Howell illustrations are making their way to cards locally and hopefully soon to Etsy. I will post the link as soon as she has it up and running. She is also a member of SCBWI but one of her big dreams is to go to the convention in New York for card making. Her ambition of making cards for the 12 Days of Christmas interrupted her ongoing work on an alphabet book. She was only able to get them to a few people this year before Christmas. I certainly feel fortunate to be on her close list. She even hand embossed gold and silver glows herself after they were printed.
The charm of her illustrations are not just the abundant cheerful details she puts into her art, but also the story behind each one. I love stories! She began creating many of her illustrations when she moved to Cove Orchard. They took on a small acreage with some animals that came along with the house and a small Christmas tree farm. They decided to name their place Fir Shire Farm, because it just fit with all the animals and the stories she would write and illustrate.
She has incorporated all of them into the 12 Days of Christmas as a fabulous, local, small farm in the Northwest. The idea began from her morning walks and feedings on the farm. From the squirrels in the trees to her honking geese and festive goats she shares the Northwest treasures of living in the woods. The Christmas animal spirit lives on in her fifth day of Christmas with the sincere tribute to her beloved dogs past and present. Each one on this card is one of her personal dogs. She decided to join them all together on the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...Five! Caroling! Canines!
The twelve cards are absolutely fabulous together and I hate to send them out and split them up. I do love the “seven owls a- hootin’” and the “ten quail a-running.” I really can’t decide which one is my favorite. When I asked, if she thought of making them all into a book, she said she hadn’t really thought that far. Although, she does have them together in a coloring book if people would like to order them from her personally. I think she may have to consider trying to publish because it is quite a special treat for those who love a country Christmas. Here is a short preview:
On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...
...a fluffy squirrel in a pear tree.
On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...
...two honking geese!!
On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...
...three festive goats.
She is even taking orders for next year.
Writer and Illustrator