Purpose of this Blog...

You may have noticed that not all books are equal in capturing children's imaginations and in cultivating those innocent, tender souls. My goal is to help you find the ones that do!
(Painting by Mary Cassatt: "Mrs Cassatt Reading to her Grandchildren" -1888)

Friday, November 30, 2012

GIVEAWAY from Audrey Eclectic

I'm so happy to introduce you to my Mystery Guest today:  "Audrey Eclectic" folk-artist and fellow blogger, Heather Sleightholm.  She has partnered with me for my December Giveaway (more about that in a minute).

Let's hear it for social networking!
Through someone's Scandinavian Pinterest Board, I discovered Heather's beautiful artwork and, eventually, her thoughtful, meandering blog and lovely Etsy shop, both named Audrey Eclectic (after her young daughter, Audrey).
Audrey Eclectic, "God Jul Sisters"

After several conversations on Facebook and visiting each other's blogs, we gleefully discovered that we share many similar interests - Russia, iconography, all things Swedish (especially Tomte and St. Lucia), and books (especially those by Tasha Tudor and Jane Austen), to name a few.

Audrey Eclectic, "St. Lucia"
Before I tell you about our Giveaway, I thought I'd ask Heather some questions...

What were some of your favorite children's books, growing up; and what are a couple of your daughter's favorites now? 
Growing up I really loved books about ‘old timey days.’ The American Girl Dolls books were favorites of mine (I had Kirsten, which is probably where my love of Sweden comes from!) and I also loved the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. My daughter is a book lover as well, and I can’t wait for her to start reading on her own! Right now her taste in books is really wide-ranging—she loves books by Lane Smith (John, Paul, George and Ben and Grandpa Green) as well as fairytales like Cinderella and she also likes the book The Tomten by Astrid Lindgren.

[Note to my readers, Lane Smith's books and illustrations are great - visit his website here.  Not to be missed: Princess Hyacinth, The Surprising Tale of a Girl Who Floated]

When did you realize that you loved to draw/paint? Why folk art?
Drawing and painting has always been a part of me. I can’t remember not doing it! I drew all over furniture as a child, painted rocks as ‘paper weights’ to sell in my mom’s garage sales, and took art classes all through school and college. To me, making art is my ‘happy place.’ It’s almost like a source of meditation. My mind becomes quiet and calm when I’m painting or drawing. My focus on folk art came about gradually as I tried different types of painting. When I first started selling pieces here and there as an adult, they were actually watercolor paintings. Then I started getting more into collage and mixed media, so I moved more into acrylic paints. As mixed media became more prevalent though, I decided I wanted to move onto something that was more unique to me, and decided to move toward acrylic painting without the collage element, and the style that came most natural to me was a more folksy, naïve art style. I really enjoy Americana and European folk art, specifically Scandinavian folk art, so that is another draw to Sweden for me! So it’s been a bit of an evolution, and I hope that I keep trying new things and improving, although I think what I’m doing now (folk art) suits my personality and skills the best!

Audrey Eclectic "God Jul Tomtes"
Are you Swedish?
As far as I know I am NOT Swedish. Can you believe that!? Well, surely there’s some Swede in there somewhere—I’ve done a lot of research on ancestry.com and haven’t been able to find the actual point in which a family member got on a boat and came to America--- seems we’ve been here since about the beginning! My maiden name was Van Winkle, which is Dutch in origin. There’s also a healthy strain of English and a bit of German in my background. My married name is Sleightholm--- which comes out of North Yorkshire, UK (there’s a Sleightholme Moor there). However, some of my family research into that side of the family leads me to believe that “Sleightholm” (which sounds Scandinavian, doesn’t it?) might have been a name created by Viking settlers in Britain. So perhaps…in a very round about way hundreds of years ago….there’s a dash of Scandinavian in my background!

So - on to the Giveaway.  Heather will send a lucky someone this beautiful set of 6 (six) "God Jul" postcards and envelopes.  

All you need to do to enter the Giveaway is to leave a comment here, or "like" or comment on the link to this post on my Good Books Facebook Page.  
My December Giveaway ends tomorrow, December 1st, at 11:00 a.m. (PST).  Winner will be chosen randomly and announced at noon (PST), Saturday, December 1, 2012. Giveaway over 12/1/12
And remember: you can visit the Audrey Eclectic Etsy Shop to see more of Heather's art - including her unique prints, calendars, and dolls.  Isn't her artwork stunning??  What's your favorite?


  1. They are beautiful paintings! I ♥ those cards. My grandmother was Swedish...I think my blonde and blue-eyed 9 year old takes after her.

  2. Such beautiful paintings! My oldest's patron saint is Lucia, and she would love these. I loved the Kirsten books growing up, too!

    1. Make sure you stop back by on St. Lucia Day (12/13) - I'll be joining Heather over at her Audrey Eclectic Blog for a St. Lucia Blog Procession. :)

  3. Thanks so much for featuring me here, Wendy! Your blog is so lovely! God Jul to you and all your blog friends!~

  4. The cards are lovely! I wish I had that kind of talent. Thanks for the give away :)

  5. The illustrations are beautiful! They exude such warmth.

  6. I am recent follower of Heather's delightful blog and I just think she is the BEE'S KNEES! And so talented! I'm thrilled to have a chance to win this!

  7. I love Heather's treasures she shares with others through her genuine talent. Her creativity is never ending.

  8. Love Heather's beautiful work! I always loved the "Kirsten" books, too. Thanks mama for sharing and for the opportunity to gain such lovely treasures! Thanks Heather for using your talents in a physical way that brings joy and beauty to the world!!

  9. I love Heather's work and her framed print on the wall is my favorite art in the house. :)

    1. I hope people head over to her site and see all her prints - which do you have? They are all lovely!

  10. Beautiful! My favorite (of course) is St. Lucia.

  11. I have been a fan of Heather's work for some time and always find her blog a warm and cozy spot to visit. And now it seems I owe her my gratitude for leading me to you. As a lover of children's books, your posts are pure candy! Am delighted to have a new spot to pop in on. (Oh and the idea of wrapping books for an advent countdown.....BRILLIANT!!!)

    Many Thanks,
    natalie jo

  12. They look lovely! Such heartwarming Christmas illustrations :)

  13. Adorable cards. Heartwarming indeed!

  14. thank you for introducing me to this wonderful artist. Her work is so warm and full of life. Beautiful.