ukulele yule

Posted by on Nov 22, 2013 in Illustration, Portland Public Library | 2 comments

Tis the season once again. Somehow the holidays always rush me. I’m still scrounging around for Halloween candy, and it’s time to think about holiday cards. I love making greeting cards, always have. I found this old one (me in a beard!) to show to my students, along with a fantastic collection received from other illustrators. This is back in the day, before color printers were a household item. Hand-colored xerox did the trick then.


I decided I should include two things in this year’s holiday inspiration: a beard and a ukulele. We’ve had ukulele music in the house for the past year, after our daughter dropped out of guitar lessons and picked up a ukulele. I sketched her plucking her new best friend.


She joined the Peaks Island Ukulele Ensemble, a larger-than-life band of new uke players who staged a uke mob in front of the Portland Public Library, launching a new uke lending program. You can hear their spirited Let it Be here.

I got one for Marty, too, made from an MJB coffee can. He sketched both ukes for the Sketchbook Project 2013.

Mukes_blogHonestly, they are such lovely objects.  No wonder we were SO eager to see the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain when they came to town.

I made this sketch for my Facebook page…sheer excitement!


We heard a fascinating lecture first about the history of the ukulele from local musician and ukulele maker, Joel Eckhaus.


The Brits put on a bloody good show, dry wit and original and unexpected arrangements (and epic whistling) pretty much brought down the house. With all that uke-ness playing in my head, here’s what I did for this year’s holiday greeting: ukulele yule.

ukecard_blogThis shows I’m hoping for love and joy to come to you, and maybe a pile of snow! If you want one in the mail, send me your address now. Here’s to letting sweet music finds it’s way into your holiday spirit.


  1. TERRIFIC!!!

  2. Fa la la la la!

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