Margaret Tarrant Fairies

I’ve added some adorable cards and fabric blocks to my Etsy stores by artist Margaret Tarrant this week. She was a wonderful illustrator who is most well-known for her Flower Fairies, but she also did a whole series of fairy books, including Forest Fairies, House Fairies, and Seashore Fairies.

The items I added this week are from the Forest Fairies book, and include two images with fairies and mushrooms. The first shows a Forest Fairy holding an elf cup mushroom up to a small spider, offering it a drink.WP Elf Cup 1b

The second shows a pair of Forest Fairies and two Elves who are painting a large red mushroom. One of the elves is taking a nap, and is getting paint dripped on him!

WP Paint Pots 1b

Both of these can be seen as greeting cards in my Etsy store KatyDids Cards, and as fabric blocks in my Etsy store KatyDids Fabrics.

I look forward to adding more of Tarrant’s work to my stores soon, be sure to stop by and check for them.

Fronds Here and There on Etsy

One of my Crown Series fabric blocks has been featured in a Treasury on Etsy today, “Can’t We Just Be Fronds” (a clever play on a favorite Todd Rundgren tune.) The card is one of a series of twelve wonderful images reproduced from a print by Anton Seder, in my Etsy store:

One of twelve fanciful crowns by artist Anton Seder

My love of illustration

I have always loved book illustrations, and by extension, illustrators. As a child my mother had this wonderful custom of keeping fabulous, lavishly illustrated books in a special “Book Box” (which was actually a large metal trunk that locked) under the bed in the guest room of our house. The Book Box was opened on a variety of occasions: to celebrate an excellent grade, to soothe a sadness, to tide one through a vacation full of rainy days. To be given a book out of The Book Box was a magical thing, and a treat I looked forward to always.


An illustration by Milo Winter, from the fairy tale "Fortune's Overshoes", by Hans Christian Andersen.

I come from a family of inveterate readers. My ideal vacation is to sit on the front porch of the family beach house, with my feet on the railing, a cool drink on the table beside me, and a good book to dig down deep into. I don’t shop, I don’t sight-see, I read. We’re all like that, every one. It’s lovely. And as a child, the illustrations were, of course, no less treasured than the books themselves!

My parents collect(ed) books, and my mother specialized in vintage children’s books with fabulous artwork. The amazing images in the George MacDonald books by Charles James Folkard; the incredible illustrations of Arthur Rackham; the beauteous pieces by Jessie Wilcox Smith in The Water Babies; among others, captured my imagination, and I spent hours and hours absorbed in both the text as well as the artwork.

As I’ve grown older, and particularly since I started this venture with KatyDids Cards, my lust for children’s illustrators and their work has only increased. I love nothing better than to find an old, dusty, decrepit book with once glorious images that I can scan in and return to their former glory with Photoshop.

Back in the late 1990s, my mom and I discussed creating a small, boutique line of greeting cards using her images (all of which are out of copyright, naturally), and at the time, the technology just wasn’t good enough to do it from a home computer/printer. And alas, my mom passed away before we got to that point. But now the tech is more than good enough, and that’s what I’m doing. I feel like she’s my partner still, and working with me every day. My business is named after her favorite book as a child, What Katy-Did.

And as always, if you’d like to see the latest cards I’ve put into the stores on Etsy and eBay, just click on the links. I try to add new images every weekday, and if there’s anything in particular you’d like to see, just ping me at katydidscards AT gmail DOT com. And if there’s a particular illustrator you think I’d adore, please let me know of them, I’m always looking for more beauty!