Monday, November 28, 2005




A Small Cherry Tale...
There was a lady named Jean who lived deep in the Mojave desert. She wanted a cherry pie so she planted a little cherry tree. She watered it every day for years and years to keep it green and growing, but the tree never gave her any cherries. At last she grew angry with the tree and told it, "If you don't give me a cherry crop, I'm going to going to stop bringing you water!" The very next day as she was watering, she noticed the tree had grown one small, green cherry. Jean was very excited about her cherry crop and covered it carefully so the birds wouldn't find it. Every day she checked the cherry to see if it was ripe, and every day she saw the cherry had grown larger and more red. Jean thought, "If I wait a while longer it will be a great huge cherry and I will be able to make a great big cherry pie. Finally the cherry was almost perfectly ripe and quite large for a cherry. Jean said to herself, "Tomorrow morning at dawn, I shall pick this cherry and I will make a pie and eat it all myself".

That night, a terrible storm came thundering out of the western sky. Horrible, sizzling lightning strikes shattered boulders and booming thunder flattened cacti for miles around. A years worth of desert rain fell in a few minutes. Coyotes hid in their rocky dens, covering their ears with their tails, while poor rattlesnakes and Jackrabbits had to swim for their lives. Jean's house rocked back and forth in the wind but she didn't care, she was only worried about her cherry crop. As soon as the storm went grumbling away, Jean lit her lantern and went out to see what had happened. She was so shocked! Her tree was bare and the cherry was gone! Jean was very sad as she as she went to bed, all that work carrying water to her tree and now there was no hope for a pie.

When the earliest dawn came, someone woke Jean by tapping at her door. When she opened her door, she saw a tiny little elf standing on her doorstep with her whole cherry crop in his hands. Jean said, "Thank you very much." and tried to take the cherry from the elf. He chuckled and ran past her feet as quickly as a mouse. He ran into her kitchen, leaving his little wet footprints where ever he went. She ran after him and saw him scampering here and there, grabbing this and that, running up and down, mixing and patting and making a PIE!! It was the worlds smallest pie, but when it was baked, he shared it with Jean. They ate the pie as the new morning sun shone on a desert blooming with flowers. It was very small pie, but it was delicious!

~*Worlds Smallest Cherry Pie*~

1/8 tsp flour
1/64 tsp butter
Place flour and butter
in clean half walnut shell
cut with two toothpicks
until crumbly.
Add drop water and mix lightly
until a dough forms.
Roll into a pea sized ball
and wrap tightly with
one inch of plastic wrap.
Refrigerate one half hour.

1 tsp apple jelly
1 cherry cut into small pieces
3/64 tsp sugar
3 grains salt
tiny pinch of cinnamon
mix all ingredients

Roll out dough and carefully
line clean large thimble with it,
trim edges.
Fill with cherry mixture.
Decorate top with trimmings.
Bake 5 seconds with
a magic wand.
Serve warm.

© LDahl 2005

67 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hahahaaaa, not a small cherry tale at all - humongous!!!! Love the tinsy elf's shoes, and face and hair and overall execution of brilliant image!

I have a son who is expert at very small origami and will leave the recipe on his desk on a small piece of paper. I think he will find it a small challenge to bake the world's smallest cherry pie:)

Ellen said...

Fantastic illustration!

Tony Sarrecchia said...

Love the texture on the illustration--great story also.

Ian T. said...

A tad Brian Froudy... or Alan Lee... I confuse their elves sometimes. I love the way you've used highlights and colour, the hat shape and those little alien eyes - cute, and a little spooky!

Queen Tut said...

Oooh, another magical illo from you!

ValGalArt said...

great story and illo!

carla said...

I'm clapping with delight! Of course I love the painting...it reminds me a little of the Flower Fairies of the Trees with its sweet, impish face, but it has a whole different feeling, more "streetwise" (or desertwise) with its atire and the colors. And the story! It starts out like a fairy tale, but it has a fun little twist with the elf running around the house (I love the wet footprints). Now about the recipe...if i can't find a magic wamd, can I use my Easy Bake Oven?

hartini said...

Wonderful story that goes with the almost realistic illo! :)

leif said...

great illustration and story... I was expecting something less pleasant for the cherry growing lady... a lesson in greediness, but you softened the blow. A very happy ending indeed!

Duncan said...

Lovely illustration - reminds me of Arthur Rackham

Amy Zaleski said...

Yummy! That sounds soooo good. I love this little character (and all of your fairy tale-esque characters) and the expression on the face is priceless. Is the background rice paper?

Holly said...

Wonderful story and cute recipe. Your illustration is quite well done. He looks quite happy to have that cherry.

Cate said...

What a brilliant tale! I love the illustration (esp. the elf's skinny little legs) and the adorable recipe at the end. I also love the paragraph where you vividly describe the storm (shattered boulders and flattened cacti)--I was paddling for my life along with the rattlesnakes and jackrabbits.

That was just marvelous!

cream said...

Just read the story to our Evie. She loved so much she asked: "Is there any more?"
And the illustration is so beautiful!

Mella said...

Adorable & Lovely.

andrea said...

Big grin on my face! I love this story. And the illustration is fantastic: what a lot of character you've packed into that tiny package.

Now I will go outside in the cold and pay homage to the two old cherry trees in my back garden that produce so much fruit .... for the neighbourhood birds.

merlinprincesse said...

You really have a great talent. I'm a bee jealous...;o)

Toni said...

I absolutly love this story and your painting.
and that recipe is to die for. (hehe)
Now I need to get caught up on the rest of your blog since I was gone.
love it love it!

Seth Russell said...

Beautiful Illustration! and I really enjoyed the story.

Jaimie said...

Stunning work. I always look forward to your illustrations.

LDahl said...

Anonymous,
Is that the same son that you sent to rescue me with the Anonmobile? You are a treasure!!

Ellen,
Thank you very much!

Tony,
Thank you Tony:)

Ian T.,
Two of my idols:)) Alan Lee's elves are elegant and tall. Have you ever seen him draw? It's like the drawing does itself. Thank you for your comments!

Queen Tut,
Thank you my dear:) Happy you visited again!

ValGalArt,
Thanks, I just visited your blog for the first time this morning, beautiful!!

Carla,
I love your visits! Who wrote Flower Faries? I'll be on the look out for it.
Do you need a magic wand? It just so happens we are making a new batch of them... Be happy to trade you a wand for a drawing of yours, I have beautiful aged apple wood and apricot ones with silver wire wrapped stones and beading, there are only two ash wood and one maple left right now and I haven't started on the pecan ones yet, but will by next week. Let me know if you want one and what color of stones you would like, I'll make a custom one just for you:)
Thank you very much for your ever thoughtful comments:)

Hartini,
Thank you for visiting and your comments...I'll be visiting you shortly!

Leif,
I am most fond of the cherry growing lady and would never let anything bad happen to her:) Thank you for your very nice comment!

Duncan,
Another of my heroes, Thank you...happy dance:)))

Amy Zaleski,
I'm so happy you liked it! The background is watercolor, I'm a texture freak and build my own:)))
Thanks so much for visiting again!

Holly,
Thank you for your comments, I think he is very proud indeed to have rescued the cherry, I don't know whether it is true or not, but I heard he was almost blown away trying to hold on to it in the storm! :))))

Cate,
Thank you so much for letting me know what your thoughts are. It means a lot to me:) I'm going to fully illustrate this story because I had so much enjoyment writing it. I think it will be a really fun project to finish up the year with! Thanks again ~LD

Cream,
:) :) :) Made my day!!! Hugs to Evie!!
email me your street addie and I'll send her one of the sketches I made for the cherry elf. Thank you for my happy day:)

Mella,
Thank you!! You've made changes on your blog...looks super!!!

Andrea,
AHMMMMMMmmmmmm to the trees:)
Thank you for your comments wonderful lady, *blush* thank you.

Merlinprincesse,
Bless you, what a nice thing to say!!
Thank you so much:)

Toni Kelly,
You're back!! You have been missed!
I'm looking forward to seeing what you are working on now. I haven't done too much with the blog... not that I haven't wanted to, but some days it seems as if I really need a clone:))) Thanks again for your comments:)

Seth Russell,
Thank you Seth, I'll be visiting you soon. Glad you liked the story!!

Jaimie,
Hi, glad to see you here again!! Thanks so much for your lovely comment:)

cream said...

L, you are so kind for offering to send our Evie one of your sketches. I have look throughout the blog but can't find you email address, sorry... Help!

Alina Chau said...

beautiful illustration!!

LDahl said...

Cream,
Nah, I'm the one apologizing...I have it on my website and didn't realize it isn't here too! I goofed!! it is celticld at yahoo dot com. If my spam filter zots you, I'll come looking for your addie at your blog... I just hope we can get the cherry elf to Evie in time for Christmas:)

Harrison said...

Nice work! i love the feeling i get from your art - your elf exudes warmth with a whisper of trickery. shouldn't the elf be part of the recipe too?? great stuff!

LDahl said...

Alina Chau,
Thank you for your comment:)

Harrison,
Thanks!!! I appreciate what you said very much! I didn't know if everyone has access to an elf, some people don't you know. They aren't as easy to come by as apple jelly!! :)))

ValGalArt said...

Funny that you would say that cuz I couldn't stop thinking about your story last night and the recipe and your darling elf! Blogging is so great cuz you get inspired by others and it's good clean fun!

ellia said...

oh what BEAUTIFUL BEAUTIFUL WORK!!!! i loved the story and that recipe made me smile... this was definitely a PERFECT small illustration

Ojo con Humos said...

I like Your blog, congratulations

Ojo con Humos

anne said...

oh goodness gracious! you are a wonderful artist! a very unique and personal style and totally amazing! love that cat with the bird inside the tummy. ;) and the art under nightplate, they are all wonderful. aah, seems like i'm writing the same sentences but with different aaah-words...boring, but oh, i am breathless!
you are bookmarked and thanks for commenting in my blog, yes, i should have fallen down on the floor...maybe it would have been my last visit there after that... ;-)
all the best to you!

aynaku said...

Very beatifull illo...great mastery!...
and thanx for the usefull recipe...
:)

Urban Convert said...

Another fantastic image. And your story was simply wonderful. Always look forward to your offering. Thanks again for you generous comments on my postings.

Guyana-Gyal said...

What an absolutely delightful blog! I found it, thanks to Cream. This is deeeelicious!

a said...

delightful painting! Your rich jewel tones are magical here. I'm a huge fan of fantasy art, and the work you have at Windy Nights is a real treat. Reminds me of another favorite fairy artist, Brian Froud. Lovely, fanciful work you've got here.

Fancy World said...

Oh what a wonderful illustration. I really love it!

Lily and Lucy White said...

Hooray for the wee people and wee pies! Lily

carla said...

Cicely Mary Barker wrote and illustrated a whole series of flower fairy books. My mother gave me a tiny copy of Flower Fairies of the Trees when I was a child. It was so beautiful that it became one of my little treasures that I still have in perfect condition. When my son was small, he actually liked to look at the pictures, but he always had to ask me to take it down from the high spot where it lived in on my bookshelf (I didn't want it damaged by gooey fingers). I am sure you'll enjoy looking through her lovely illustrations. I especially like how she combines accurate botanical drawings with fantasy creatures.

BTW, I would be absolutely delighted to trade a drawing for a magic wand (they sound gorgeous...you could choose an appropriate wand suitable for a beginner such as myself)! Please let me know which drawing you'd like. I've recently purchased a professional printer so I can reproduce my work in limited numbers with archival inks on archival paper. I would be honored to send you one of my first prints. I would just need to know how to get in touch with you.

penelope said...

Very well done! Love the expression. :)

Chuang Shyue Chou said...

Staggering! A finished and accomplished piece! Wow! Now that I gone through your blog and seen the others, this is indeed staggering. May I ask if you are a professional? Your work should definitely see print. Great great stuff. Stirring and individual.

LDahl said...

ValGalArt,
I've had a website for years, and a blog for a few weeks, already it would be a tough call if I could only have one... blogging is so different, it really seems more personal. The crazy thing is, I had to be talked into it, I didn't think I would like it:))))

Ellia,
Well, Ellia your comment was the cherry on top of my sundae *big smile* Thank you so much!

Ojo con Humos,
Eyes with Smoke, I like that name. I have visited your blog, you have very interesting illustrations! Thanks for visiting here:)

Anne,
Thank you! You are a dear:) (NOT BORING) I've been trying to get links made to all the places I like and have friends, I'm little by little getting everyone listed, but far from done... so sometime soon I hope to have your link listed too.
Again thank you, I think you are really special!

Aynaku,
Be careful with that recipe... it came from an old granny elf... you never know how it might affect you:))) !!

Urban Convert,
I really enjoyed doing this one... That is getting to be the "rule" I've made for myself. See, even my rules are getting better:))) I'm so pleased you like what you find here, it is like playing with friends again isn't it?

Guyana-Gyal,
I'm absolutely delighted you visited! Yeah Cream!! (he is pretty super) I did take a quick peek at your blog today, very interesting reading! Thanks for your comment:)

A,
I'm so happy you visited Windy Nights! It's comments like yours that really makes me glad that I do what I do, it makes me feel rich:)))!
Thank you, thank you for your kind remarks!

Fancy World,
:) Thank you very much Fancy World!

Lily and Lucy White,
Yes! And they won't make you gain weight! Well unless... oh, but that is another story:)))))

Penelope,
Thank you!! I appreciate your visit!

Carla,
Thanks for the info about Cicely Mary Barker and the link... I felt like a dummy because I have seen so many of her fairies on the net, but have yet to learn anything about her. I must make a note to self to learn more!
I still have books from my childhood too. I loved to read and I loved the pictures... yes I admit it, I was a bookaholic even when I was a kid:)

The last ash wand was chosen today.. and somehow none of the apricot or apple ones seemed perfect for you... I went to your blog and read your "100 things" about you hoping to get a clue as to what you would like the best. I have decided to make you a custom wand, I'll know when I find the right piece:)) This is going to be so much fun!
I love your Flowers from the Head with the sun above the woman, her hair is so beautiful and she is so mysterious. That would be my choice I think, she reminds me of things I like to remember:)
My email is: celticld at yahoo dot com

Chuang Shyue Chou,
Thank you so much!! I have been a professional, I'm involved with some very interesting projects now and I'm learning more about art every day:)) It was what I wanted to do, and it is what I've always done... so I've been really lucky. Now I'm getting a chance to do just what I want:))) Things that are fun or have meaning to me. Thank you again for the beautiful comments!

vfm4 said...

wow! a pie for my dolls house! will you please say thank you to the little elf? :)

love the story and the illo...

(and cherry pie is my favorite..)

scott said...

dang, that's cute, like you
I read some way down your blog and you will see me every week, that's for sure.
thanks for coming by my place, I'll look foward to more.
you have inspired me to try harder, so I hope I can reach out and get it happening soon

scott said...

I forgot to sign off
love
scott
ps
hey, if you don't mind me asking,
how big do you work.
is that a little tiny thing like it looks. love that cherry
thanks again

Courtney said...

wow. you always amaze me with your stories and illos. great recipe. :)

Christine Lim Simpson said...

What a superb blog. I love your illos. Your entry for Small is so entrancing.

I am adding you to my list. :)

Mark said...

Dangit! Now you KNOW I'm going to go try that recipe... :Þ

I do have a comment not related to your blog post though: The hat in your profile pic. Did you mug Smokey the Bear? (heck, I would, and for a lot less than just the hat) :Þ

LDahl said...

Vfm4
I did and he said you are most welcome !!Thanks for visiting:)

Scott,
Thanks for visiting and commenting! The elf was mid-sized, There isn't much point of working larger if the work is going to be scanned. I scan high and then reduce about half way done. So in computer terms, at one point the elf was huge, but now is diminutive...just elf size:)))

Courtney,
And you always amaze me with your fabulous color and fantastic characters! Thank you for commenting:)

Christine Lim-Simpson,
Thank you so much!! I'll add you to my list too:)

Mark!!!
HI BIO!!! So glad you stopped by my blog.. I will have to get the elf to make a recipe for vanilla pie just for you:)
Yes, I did mug Smokey the Bear and I stole his hat for my hat collection!!
He put up quite a fight but durn, it is a genuine Panama, and I wasn't going to be denied:))) HEHE! Your "profile pic looks like an Indian head-dress, you want to play cowboys and indians??? Let's do a conspiracy sometimes, I'll have my people call your people:)))

Virginia Valle said...

Hi, thanks for visiting my blog, this is a beautiful illo. Keep blogging

Wilnara said...

I'm so glad I checked in! This was an absolutely delightful story with a absolutely beautiful illustration!!!!! Again, I was wrapped up tight anticipating with Jean for that Cherry and just imagining that pie!!! The elf looks so mysteriously sweet! I can just see him come to life leaving those little prints scattering about. I'm still grinning! Loved it!!!!!!:-)

anthony said...

this is another wonderful illustration. your elf character is great. the story adds even more to it, and i loved the recipe you finished the whole thing off with.

LDahl said...

Wilnara,
Thank you for your thoughtful comment! As always, you are a most welcome guest:)You always write the nicest things.


Anthony,
The pie would go well with the watermelon and cheese... Picnic time!!...no wait it is now winter:(
Oh well, meanwhile we can dream.
Thanks for stopping by and thank you very much for your input! Appreciated!

jp said...

Now I have a 'big' craving for cherry pie. I love your work and website and will be back again soon. Have you written any of your own books to illustrate? If not you should. I have always loved tales of elves, and I really enjoy your vision and vivid imagination. There is a wonderful darkness in it.

I'm 5'4" and people think I'm taller too, but I think it's because I'm long waisted. Maybe you just have presence. (:

Shano said...

I grew up in the Mojave Desert. This is why I never have made a cherry pie to this day.

Julie Oakley said...

lovely illustration and story. My 2 year old xavier has been sitting on my lap enchanted with story

Fingers said...

Beautiful work!

LDahl said...

Virginiajoe,
Thank you Virginiajoe, I'm glad I have learned about blogging. Visiting sites like yours, is so much fun.

jp,
I love cherry pie, I craved it when expecting No. One son, that and whole lemons and bar-b-que, all together:p I have worked with a couple of editors at Random House's children's division, but they lost my manuscript and illustrations when they moved and then my father passed away, so I just wasn't up to the project at that time. I'm working on a project right now which has been such a delight, that I'm thinking that I would like to be more involved again with writing and illustrating. Comments like yours really encourage me to do just that! So thank you very much for your feedback. (I've already started on more illos for this story)

Shano,
:))) I can believe it!! Jean said she got three cherries this year and the Elf made a much bigger pie!:)

Julie Oakley,
Wow, so glad you stopped by, I've just found your blog and at your suggestion "Unkemptwomen" and through that one "Wally Torta's". I almost feel like I've overdosed!:))) Three wonderful blogs at once!!! My blogging fix is assured for the time being. Thanks again for visiting and for your comments!

Fingers,
Thanks! I see you love frogs too! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment:)

Jim "Kep!" Keplinger said...

The recipe wins me over. I've been in a bit of a pastry mood myself, I need to try this one with the kids. LOVELY!

andrea said...

57 comments! Holy crap! I knew it was a great illustration but even I'm impressed! :) Just popping by to let you know I have a new blog URL.

LDahl said...

KEP!
HI!! Hey I'm so happy you came over to visit me:) I know you will do just fine with the pie, you'll use your own magic on it... no wait, then it will levitate or end up on the ceiling:))))
Thanks so very much for stopping by and leaving a comm-ent!

Andrea,
Bless every one of them! It has been lovely fun:) I was especially happy to hear that it was read to children, somehow, that really meant so much to me.
I'll change your link right now. Thanks for dropping by and letting me know you had a new URL:)

Fancy World said...

Hi, thank you for your nice words on my site. I really admire what your'e doing.

carla said...

Hello Lilah-
Thanks so much for your comment this week. It means a great deal to me:> Yes, I did get your email, and I am going to send you a note as soon as I excavate myself from under this enormous pile of student papers I must grade before conferences this week. I have my new and wonderful Epson R2400 sitting in its box waiting to be pressed into service, and the flower power lady drawing will be among the first I print out.

Will you be treating us to a blue painting this week? I am curious to see what your vision is for this one...

Leezy said...

Incredible work - as always - bravo!
Sorry I've been out of touch lately, and thank you for your kind comments last week. ;)
This illustration and charming story is simply enchanting, and so is your "Blue" entry. I'm a big fan of Brian Froud's work and am completely in awe that you can create such an endearing little creature. I desire, everyday, to be able to come up with work as incredible as this, but alas, I have not yet found the secret.
Thank you for sharing such amazing talent.

LDahl said...

Leezy,
How are you doing? Thank you so much for taking the time to come and visit me and leaving this beautiful comment. Trust me, it means a lot:)

Leezy said...

Hiya
I'm okay. Been a tough time lately, as you know, but the air is lifting. I guess time makes life a little easier and the pain a little less. i think Christmas could be the true testing ground for everyone. I am grateful to have a family of loved ones and friends who all possess true strength of spirit, including the folks in my new-found blogging community, including treasures like yourself.
Peace. Leezy

LDahl said...

Hang in there Leezy! Will be sending good thoughts your way:)
Hugs!

String said...

That is a great illo, what energy.

LDahl said...

String,
Thank you very much... I'm happy you visited so I could follow you home and see what you are doing, some very cool stuff!!!