A Good Home, Christmas Cards, Holiday Cards, Jeanne Balsam's Art and Illustrations

Check out Jeanne Balsam’s Creations

Jeanne Balsam is an illustrator, writer and one of my favourite bloggers.  Now she’s launched a new line of Christmas and holiday cards, and a special journal she’s created.

If you’re looking for interesting Christmas and holiday cards or a gift, may I suggest you check out her site on Etsy?

Blog Photo - Jeanne Balsam Frenchie image1

Jeanne’s love of drawing goes back to early childhood.

“I’ve been drawing pictures all my life from when I was a small child. I started focusing on children’s book writing and illustrating shortly after I graduated from art school, and I’ve worked on and off doing a variety of illustration over the years, including pet portraiture for a while.”

Blog Photo - Jeanne Balsam Frenchie 3

She created French Bulldog illustrations for the quarterly magazine, Just Frenchies, for many years, and fell in love with the breed. She would like to have a Frenchie pet of her own, when “the circumstances are right”.

Blog Photo - Jeanne Blasam Frenchie 3

Her shop on Etsy is brand-new and Jeanne is delighted that it’s taking off so quickly.

She’s also working on other projects:

“I have written a lovely piece that I will illustrate with Frenchies and make giclée prints. I can’t imagine I’ll have time to do this before the holidays, though. I am currently working on the graphic design of a picture book for a lovely client along with numerous other graphics projects. And I still have my eye on being a published picture book author and illustrator, too.”

Blog Photo - Jeanne Balsam Frenchie 2

Through her blog, I’ve watched Jeanne grow in her field in recent years. I’m impressed with her achievements and look forward to her continued success. Please check out her work:



A Good Home, African Traditions, Art, Authors, Book lovers, Book Reviews, Books, Celebrations, Children's Books

A Magical Story

The new book lies on my desk, on my bedside table, on the kitchen counter – a jewel that I’ve been carrying around the house with me.  I keep picking it up, drawn by the beautiful cover image, and opening it to flip through to the others inside. Occasionally, I re-read the whole story.


The story is about a young girl whose little brother is very ill. Doctors aren’t able to cure him, so the family calls on a healer. Surprisingly, the healer tells the family to hold a joyful ceremony filled with guests.


In some ways, it’s like a fairy tale. But the story is in no way typical, and certainly not ‘traditional’ in the Western sense.

“From the Lands of the Night” is written by award-winning author Tololwa M. Mollel and illustrated by artist Darrell McCalla.  The artwork is astonishingly beautiful and  the story is a delightful surprise.


There are angels in this book – angels who dance –  and the spirits of ancestors, dressed in shimmering, colourful clothes.


God – called “Mola” –  shows up but he’s in a grumpy mood.  The humans are making such a racket he can’t hear himself think.  “All I want is some peace, some quiet,” he complains.  But before you know it, the girl takes Mola by the hand and invites him to join the ceremony for her baby brother.

All of these elements infuse the book with an air of magic, spirituality and celebration. And yet, it is also a book about a little girl, a baby boy and their family. A book about ‘home’ in a wondrous sense of the word.

Launched this month by Red Deer Press, “From the Lands of the Night” is no doubt meant to benefit from interest in Black History Month. But I’d recommend this book for any time of year, and I’d recommend it for both children and adults. It’s lovely.

From the Lands of the Night is available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Chapters Indigo and other online booksellers. The ISBN number is: 978-0-88995-498-4.