“A Friend is Someone Who Likes You” – Joan Walsh Anglund

I’m guessing many of you know who Joan Walsh Anglund is, but if you don’t, maybe you will recognize her iconic art.

joan walsh anglund art

I began collecting Joan Walsh Anglund books, art, and paper products when my daughters were young.  There’s something so innocent and nostalgic about the instantly recognizable illustrations that made Joan Walsh Anglund a favorite of Eleanor Roosevelt, Jackie Kennedy, and Queen Elizabeth II, just to name a few.  Joan has authored over 100 books and is 88 years young.

joan walsh anglund birthday invitation Joan Walsh Anglund birthday invitation

Seven years ago, I crafted a birthday party theme for my youngest around the Joan Walsh Anglund items I had collected.  I found her website, where I purchased the birthday party invitations you see above.

childs birthday party theme

my little Kelta at 3

In correspondence with the gentleman who ran a forum affiliated with the JWA website, I shared my plans for Kelta’s birthday party.  He asked me if I would send photos to him so that he could share them with Joan.

joan walsh anglund birthday party theme

Joan Walsh Anglund inspired birthday party

The paper plates and napkins you see in the photo above?  I had been saving them in their still-sealed packaging for years for just such a special occasion.  And check out this vintage JWA Hallmark centerpiece that I found on Ebay:

jwa paper products


The cookie cutter is one of my favorite JWA collectibles!

joan walsh anglund cookie cutter


A few weeks after sending photos of the party, I was blown away to receive a very special gift in the mail – a pencil sketch from Joan especially for Kelta wishing her a happy birthday!!!  We framed it, and it still hangs in her room seven years later.

joan walsh anglund illustrations

for more details and photos from this party, click here

Even more amazing, she also sent a second sketch for my older daughter.  Who does that???? If that doesn’t say something about the beautiful spirit of this woman, I don’t know what does.

Picture 3

All this to say:  Joan is hosting a “Weekend for Friends and Fans” in Lexington, Kentucky September 19 and 20.  I received a personal email a few months ago from the organizer of the event, and I totally intended to go.  I AM SO MAD AT MYSELF, because I inadvertently scheduled my Psychological Staging training that weekend and will be unable to attend! However, I wanted to let my readers know about this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet Joan Walsh Anglund in person.  It will be a small and intimate event and will be well-worth the trip.

Another of my favorites, Mary Englebreit, will also be there with Joan.  I still have every issue of Mary’s Home Companion magazine.  Mary has always been an inspiration to me to have the confidence to create a unique (and quirky!) home that feeds my creativity and nourishes my soul.

mary engelbreit home companion

 Mary Engelbreit Home Companion

The weekend begins Sept 19, Friday evening, with a reception, followed by activities all day Saturday, closing with a dinner with Joan that evening.  The registration deadline is July 10, 2014, so contact Mary Diane Hanna at [email protected] to reserve your spot. If you go, please tell Joan and Mary that I said “hello” and, that I am sick to my stomach that I missed the opportunity to meet them both.  Oh, and tell me all about what I missed!

You can learn more about the event on this Facebook page.





  1. Amie

    I love Joan Walsh Anglund. I have several of her books and from them made a couple of wall hangings for our daughter’s room. You are lucky to have such beautiful originals with such a lovely story behind them. Could you reschedule your workshop?

    • Kristie Barnett

      I’ve got 20 trainees coming from 6 states – there’s no way I can reschedule the workshop! 🙁

  2. Janice

    I always enjoy seeing pictures of your beautiful, sweet Kelta.

  3. suzann

    I was so happy to see this [post. I still have my little JWA book (A friend is someone who likes you) with a note my dad wrote me when I was going through a tough time with bullies–must have been first grade. It is one of my prized possessions! I must have read it a hundred times and it just means ‘love’ to me. thanks for the update–so sweet! and so special.

  4. suzann

    Found my book- note was dated 1965–so I was 8. My dad is now 85 and has Parkinsons. Very meaningful to me.

    • Kristie Barnett

      Wow. Just wow. I’m sure there are so many stories like yours – so many lives touched by Joan’s work!

  5. martha

    Joan and Mary in the same room….it doesn’t get any better than that! I have my JWA books from childhood and my ME magazines from adulthood. Sad for you that you’ll have to miss it!

  6. Cathy Norris

    I absolutely love her books. My grndmother gave me many from her collection. You brought back so many fabulous childhood memories! What a beautiful treasure she sent to Kelta!! “A Friend is Someone Who Likes You” was my favorite.

  7. LibbyP

    What a wonderful story! And what a wonderful lady to send gifts for both of your girls!

  8. Karen

    My “adopted grandma” (a family friend who treated us as granddaughters) used to give me Joan’s books and cards, and they were always so meaningful to me because I knew she cared. Joan’s words and pictures are wonderful! How very cool she sent your girls a personal drawing and message!! LOVE!!

  9. Mary CC

    Wow, what a special lady indeed to think of your daughter in that way. I am sure she enjoyed doing it too as she seems to be a lovely soul ! You have so many warm memories to share Kristie, as well as new stories and ideas. Your articles always take me away from my hectic life for a moment while I sit and read about what you are doing or what you are up to. Thanks for sharing. Mary CC from CA.


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