Archive for March, 2012

Party Party!

Once again, I’m amazed at the projects you continue to come up with from Children at Play Fabric! I love seeing them over at the FLICKR group, and we talk a lot about them on my Facebook page, but sometimes I just need to share here on the blog. These pics are from the Amy Atlas Blog which  featured these designs by Ruby May Designs.

I am starting to think about my own toddler’s birthday coming soon, and this inspired me! And to think that the fabric is my own making…just goes to show how creative you all are and give me so many ideas. I just love it!  You all inspire me so much!

Ruby put this party together so sweetly. It’s the perfect mix of sweet but not too much!

I love how she used this panel On Parade fabric for the backdrop. I’m a big fan of panel prints,  and I can’t seem to get tired of them! So many uses!

Anyways, here’s some eye candy for your weekend, and maybe will inspire you with spring in the air!

Such a darling celebration Ruby May! Head on over to the FLICKR group to see more.

(Soon there will be another fabric collection to add to the mix! I’m hooked:)

Happy Friday! I’ve got LOTS planned to show you next week. Hee Hee:)



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French Kids Eat Everything

Guess what I got in the mail on friday! I went to my door step to find one big box of my new fabric collection (more on that later…) and a box full of the book that I illustrated just a few months ago! Talk about good mail days lately:)

I’ve mentioned French Kids Eat Everything before, and now it’s finally time to introduce you to it. It will be your new best friend. Seriously. It’s Karen’s story of moving to her husband’s native France, in a small town, and adapting (albeit unwillingly) to the culture of food in relation to parents teaching children how to eat. It’s amazing. This is really aimed at parents and how to see family eating in an entirely new light. I got a copy of the manuscript for me to review, and I almost had to remind myself to stop reading and start drawing cause I loved it so much.

Here are some pics from the book that are my favorites.


It’s such a charming and witty story Karen has: adapting and learning how to change her parenting based on all the good she sees in children there, and the way they think about food.

Things like no snacking (it spoils your appetite for the main meal!)  No upsetting pressures to “eat all your food” at the dinner table. No bribing with food, and how to really enjoy a family meal…most nights of the week.

We’ve implemented most of the rules now for a while. The children are so much more aware of what they eat, how they eat and are so much more respectful of what they eat.

When the design team decided to put this inside illustration onto the back cover, I kinda freaked out. Only because this is exactly how I write things at home…my own list making handwriting. So it was a bit shocking to see my own “undesigned” handwriting on the back cover of a book. I don’t know…kinda like seeing yourself on TV or something….it just feels weird :)

I hope you enjoy reading it. I’d love to know your thoughts! Karen has a blog, and is very passionate about giving information to parents on how to make changes in the American culture that we live in.

And did I mention that there are recipes in the back?

Um. Yes. There are recipes. Simple, flavorful, perfect for kids, meant to be savored recipes.

(But I have to insert an EDIT HERE: The book very strongly encourages healthy, whole food eating for families. And while this recipe is a dessert, most of the recipes and information in the book suggest that the French eat a wide variety of foods and focus on quality ingredients. This recipe has 3 ingredients: Fresh eggs, semi-sweet chocolate pieces and orange zest. While it’s a treat, it’s served in very small quantities and is meant to represent the idea that even deserts use whole food ingredients, rather than processed and overly sweet. I must add this disclaimer, as I’m not going to review the entire book for you, and don’t want you to think that this is some kind of “eat what you want” book. Rather it’s meant to encourage real cooking and whole, unprocessed foods in schools and at home.)

The book is full of experiences and information about feeding your children “real” ingredients, real food, and how children learn to appreciate food and ingredients. And I have a certain new favorite recipe now.

Kenneth is always coming up with amazing food around here, and I’m rather spoiled. Like, as I’m writing this, he just came down to the studio with a slice of a new bread he tried out: his own variation of the Amish Friendship bread. But honestly…sorry Ken.  The Mousse au Chocolate recipe in the book that is honestly my favorite dessert now. Hands down.

The kids agree.

It takes maybe 10 minutes to make, so simple and outright sinful.

Anyways…I was so lucky to illustrate a book that I was completely in support of. I’d be writing about it even if I wasn’t ask to illustrate it…just not this early…cause it comes out next week.

(And I need to say too, that I don’t get a cent more if you buy it. I am just really happy to have come across this book!)

I’m just so grateful to have been part of this experience. I’m not always proud of things I do…I’m really critical of my work, and I take great thought into what I choose to spend my time on. So opening that box of printed pages on friday was a real treat. I really hope that this helps parents find new ways to have genuinely happy eating as a family.

Bon Appetite and Enjoy!!

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Inspirational art for kids.

I honestly wasn’t prepared for how excited you all were to see more inspirational/religious children’s art. I knew that I was excited about it, cause I needed some of my own! But it thrilled me to see your response. Yay for bright happy religious art! I don’t talk about my faith here, for no other reason than it’s just not part of this space, but my faith is an integral part of daily life, and it’s happy and joyful and bright! So, why not art to match!


My friend Meta, who you will be hearing more about because she is drop-dead amazingly talented at designing spaces, let me photograph these prints in her family room. She is helping me design my kids room, but while that’s happening, I might sneak in a few shots of my work in her Scandinavian inspired home. She is actually starting a children’s design blog any day now, and I couldn’t be more excited. More on that later.

But for now, just know that there are 5 new prints in the shop, ready and waiting for a new home.

1) I am a Child of God (Girl)

2) I am a child of God (Boy)

3) Peace, Be Still

4) Jesus loves me

5) I love to see the temple

Both I am a child of God and I love to see the temple have lots of color and language variations to choose from.

Available in the online shop and on ETSY



Can you tell I’m into yellow lately? Perfect for spring. Here comes the sun!

I’d also like to note, that this isn’t all! I wanted to release the religious art first, and the rest of my spring collection will be coming as soon as I can get them here.  But I want to keep these separate, as I know not everyone will appreciate and be interested in these. But honestly…I have a lot more that I want to create along these themes, just all in good time:)

In a perfect world, there will be new prints for the shop in about 2 weeks, as well as other goodies that I’ve been slaving away at. But for now, I really hope you enjoy these! I plan on adding more in the coming months, but I think this is a good start as to what I hope to be a better effort at happy religious art for children.  I hope you would spread the word, pin, facebook and share with friends. I know that I personally am enjoying having these in my home, and hope lots of children can enjoy these that want to.  Enjoy!!


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Let them play.

I think a lot of how children play. I marvel at it. I wonder at it. Getting inside their minds and seeing all the amazing worlds they are creating.  I guess it’s a good thing I do what I do: raise children, make things and draw for them. I seriously consider myself lucky every single day. It’s seriously the most beautiful thing to observe a child at play.

Here’s our photo journal of play this past month.

Here’s my ode to childhood imagination, as promised with a sketch for each post.

There is so much going on in those minds. Amazing what goes on in their world.

PS: Shop update coming very soon:) Stay tuned!


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And that made the difference.

So I think one of the reasons I’ve slowed down blogging a bit (besides the obvious need to have larger chunks of creative time) is that I’ve been wrapped up in parenting stuff with all 3 kids going through tricky “phases.” Just phases…but they catch me off guard every time. I mean, just the normal stuff, really. All good, just the tiring kind, you know? I guess it never occurred to me how much mental and emotional effort I was spending until this week when I realized that all 3 were going through their “phases” all at the same time.  Which, you know, means 3 different types of parenting, at the same time, all the time, and with equal intensity (they don’t get their intensity from their mother at all….).  I’m used to this. Aren’t we all? But sometimes I forget how tired it can make you. Like a one-man show playing all the characters. Jim Carey must get tired a lot. I digress.

They are my love. And they are so smart. Smarter than me sometimes.

So Tuesday, I went to get the mail, I was feeling really low. Not sad, just tired, and just empty emotionally. You know?

And guess what? I went out to get the mail, and it was like Christmas. I couldn’t believe it.

There were no joke 4 packages waiting there. With my name on them.

I got 3 books that I’d ordered over a month ago from Europe, that I’d been waiting to see forever (one of them I’ve waited to get for 4 years!)

I’ll post more on these later. They are just beautiful. This one I was introduced to by my cousin who brought these home from Germany 4-5 years ago, and I’ve been trying to find it ever since.  Fiete Anders is the name, (which is a play on words as ANDERS in German means different or unique) and is about a red and white striped sheep that feels alone in the world until he starts to see other things with red and white stripes. Absolutely darling. Just look at the shape of the book. I’m in love.

This French book, Sha Salome by  illustrator  Loic Clement I’ve been following for some time. Just came out. Just charming. I love that cat.

And then, one of the ladies that sewed for me at market, sent me this hand embroidered tea towel, which translates to say “It’s always a good time for tea and macaroons” coupled with this needle book with my fabric, and a Scandinavian crewel embroidery kit. She made these just “because” she know I’d like them. My faith in the goodness of people is getting stronger every day. I was stunned and amazed.

But I kept opening….last was a scarf from a special person who saw this striped scarf and thought of my bunny who loves to wear the same.

I couldn’t believe it.

I sat there with my jaw dropped. And then I cried.

Ask my husband. He was there. I mean, really? It’s those little things that get you through.That get you out of your funk, and give you the energy to step it up and keep going. With a smile.

Parcels in the mailbox addressed to you with ribbons and bows.

Pretty things from pretty people really make the difference sometimes.  Don’t they?

It’s all the sunshine people need sometimes.

I’ve renewed my commitment to be a better gift giver.  What a day.
Happy Friday!!




PS: Are you on instagram? I’m showing up there more. So easy to document those little things with a phone in hand. I’d love to follow you too! @sarahjanestudios

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Getting Inspirational

So I got a bee in my bonnet a while ago, and it kept on buzzzing, buzzzzzing, buzzzzzzzzzzing…..

Until I got serious about (finally) painting and redoing the kids’ bedrooms.

The same bee went crazy 4 years ago when I decorated my toddler’s room, and I couldn’t find any illustrated, storybook-ish,  fresh and whimsical children’s art.

When I couldn’t find it, I just made my own. And so I opened an ETSY shop cause other people wanted some too.

This time, I’ve been looking for fresh, colorful, HAPPY, sophisticated Christian Children’s art. There are lots of awesome quotes and font art, but so far, I haven’t been able to find anything in the art category that I’d consider to fit my criteria.


So, I made my own.


And I’m wondering….since I know many of you are mothers who tend towards the same interests….if maybe you’d like to see some Sarah Jane inspirational/religious art for kids??

I’ve been trying to find scriptural, biblical, christian….anything! art for the walls, and so far it’s not really working (too dark, not childlike enough, too babyish, too serious….) and so I actually have like 12 more ideas in my sketchbook waiting to pop, but I wanted to ask first here if this is something you’d like too. Yay? Nay?

I know not all of you would be interested, so pardon me for asking. But if you are, I’d love it if you could spread the word, pin, facebook, etc. cause I’m really interested if other women have the same need I’ve had…..

Good Christian Children’s art.

Let me know, and I’ll get back to you about more ideas I’ve got up my sleeve.



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